After 11 grueling hours of testimony last Thursday, the Benghazi committee decided to call it a day on grilling Hillary Clinton over what really happened that September night back in 2012.
It was pretty obvious the whole affair was one, big nothingburger for Republicans. Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy admitted as much when he had trouble telling reporters if any new information was revealed by the hearing shortly after its conclusion.
There were no bombshells, no gaffes and no earth-shattering revelations for the GOP to take from the hearing. Some new details emerged and those who were already skeptical of Hillary’s sketchy behavior had more grist for the mill.
But for the majority of likely voters, the whole session presented a head-scratching experience that was all about people and topics that generated no resonance. Sidney Blumenthal was one of the primary subjects of the hearing, yet most Americans have no idea who he is and would not know why they should be upset at the idea that he emailed with Hillary.
The major problem with the hearing is that it got too deep into the weeds and obsessed with minutiae. For example, why do voters need to know if Clinton was alone at home on the night of 9/11/2012?
Benghazi is a genuine scandal, but it’s become a niche issue that doesn’t connect with the general public.
The interrogation of Clinton did nothing in terms of reversing that lack of attention, and that’s why it was a failure on the part of Gowdy and his Republican cohorts.
There is, however, a very good lesson for conservatives to take from the hearing. Instead of focusing solely on the Benghazi incident and harping on the obscure cast of characters involved in spinning it, it’s time to look at the big picture and examine Hillary’s one major “achievement” as secretary of state that led to the attack: intervening in Libya.
Clinton is, undoubtedly, the person most responsible for getting America into the international effort that toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. Prior to the Benghazi attack, she was happy to have it known as “Hillary’s War” and touted it as a serious accomplishment.
Libya is now a failed state where all types of Islamic extremists find safe haven and illegal migrants are able to pass through on their way to an over-burdened Europe. There are no signs of success at all in the beleaguered country as it has descended into total anarchy. (RELATED: Remembering Libya: Hillary’s Iraq)
But that hasn’t stopped Hillary from continuing to defend her role in the intervention as the right thing to do. As it is always repeated, before a no-fly-zone was established in early 2011, Gaddafi’s forces were on their way to slaughter rebel forces stationed in, oddly enough, Benghazi. What’s left out is how those same rebel forces went on to engage in large-scale ethnic cleansing and other horrific war crimes once the tide of war shifted in their favor.
While Gaddafi certainly was no saint, he was capable of keeping order in a troubled region and was willing to work with the West. The dictator gave up all of his weapons of mass destruction following the Iraq war and kept illegal migrants from trying to get into Europe.
To reiterate, Hillary is the person most responsible for this catastrophe. And Libya was not just an isolated decision based on faulty intelligence — it was the epitome of the dangerous and foolhardy foreign policy Clinton pursued as secretary of state.
She was an emphatic supporter of the Arab Spring and believed that it was a genuine movement in favor of bringing liberal democracy to the Middle East. That’s why she was a-ok with the toppling of Egyptian president and U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak. But it wasn’t hip liberals who came to power after Mubarak was deposed — it was the Muslim Brotherhood who took over the reins in Egypt before a military coup ousted the Islamists in 2013.
Clinton was also the leading force in the Obama administration in backing rebels in Syria and wanted a more active role for America in that conflict. However, hardly any of the rebels seem much better than the current ruler Bashar al-Assad and many of them, such as ISIS, are far worse than the Iranian-backed despot.
Even though Assad is hostile to American allies and interests — a notable difference from Gaddafi and Mubarak — the alternative to his rule at the moment is a brutal caliphate that stretches from Baghdad to Damascus.
Appearing to have learned nothing from the disastrous venture into Libya, Hillary wants to make the dreams of Islamic extremists come true by enforcing a no-fly zone against the Assad regime if she gets elected president.
That’s why if Republicans want a good point to take away from the disappointing Benghazi hearing, it’s that Hillary has crazy ideas when it comes to the world and they’re more likely to become reality when she’s commander in chief. Clinton believes that inside every rebel fighting against a stable regime is a liberal democrat ready to host a gay pride parade in their capital city.
As the case has been for most of these revolts, many of these insurgents are worse than the dictators they fight and once the governments fall, a power vacuum is created that offers ISIS and al-Qaida a home.
The world is becoming more dangerous with each passing day. The next commander in chief must have a foreign policy that doesn’t help people who want to crucify religious minorities, blow up Americans and wage eternal jihad. Namely, a very different policy promoted by Clinton’s State Department.
If Hillary becomes president, we can be assured that her foreign policy will create more power vacuums and lead to more Benghazis.
Republicans hoping to defeat the likely Democratic nominee should take note of that and stop being fixated on Clinton esoterica.