Clinton Defends Toppling Qaddafi: "It Is Too Soon To Tell" How Libya Will Turn Out

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Hillary Clinton spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations this morning in Washington, here she answers a question about Donald Trump's idea that toppling secular dictators in the middle east has led over and over again to anarchy and radicalism. In Libya, Secretary Clinton spearheaded an effort to topple the regime of Moammar Qaddafi in 2011.

FAREED ZAKARIA, QUESTION: Donald Trump says that if you look back, you see that every time — I get a laugh just saying it…

(LAUGHTER)

… Donald Trump says that every time we deposed or encouraged the removal of a dictator in the Middle East, what has followed has been political chaos and a worse humanitarian situation than existed before. And if you look at Iraq, if you look at Libya, if you look Yemen, you look at the fragility of the Assad regime and what it has produced, isn’t he right?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, he has a very short-term view of history, because it is not at all clear what the final outcome will be in the places that you named. As I mentioned in the speech, I spoke about the foundations of the region sinking into the sand just as the Arab Spring was breaking. And I did so not knowing about the Arab Spring coming to full bloom, but because it was so clear that what was being done by dictatorships, by the denial of opportunity, by the repression, by the sectarian divide just could not stand. It was going to explode at some point or another.

And with the developments in Libya, for example, the Libyan people have voted twice in free and fair elections for the kind of leadership they want. They have not been able to figure out how to prevent the disruptions that they are confronted with because of internal divides and because of some of the external pressures that are coming from terrorist groups and others. So it’s — I think it’s too soon to tell and I think it’s something that we have to be, you know, looking at very closely.

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