“Senator Rubio emphatically supported Hillary Clinton in toppling [Muammar] Qaddafi in Libya. I think that made no sense,” Cruz told Bloomberg Politics in a wide-ranging and exclusive interview during a campaign swing through Iowa. He argued that the 2011 bombings that toppled the Libyan leader didn’t help the fight against terrorists. “Qaddafi was a bad man, he had a horrible human rights record. And yet … he had become a significant ally in fighting radical Islamic terrorism.”
“The terrorist attack that occurred in Benghazi was a direct result of that massive foreign policy blunder,” Cruz said during a drive eastward from a town-hall event near Iowa City to another in the town of Clinton.
“If you look at President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and for that matter some of the more aggressive Washington neo-cons, they have consistently mis-perceived the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and have advocated military adventurism that has had the effect of benefiting radical Islamic terrorists,” he said.
On Syria, Cruz inveighed against Rubio and Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of state, for supporting a no-fly zone and arming “the so-called moderate rebels.” “I think none of that makes any sense. In my view, we have no dog in the fight of the Syrian civil war,” he said, arguing that Rubio and Clinton “are repeating the very same mistakes they made in Libya. They’ve demonstrated they’ve learned nothing.”“The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend,” Cruz said. “If the Obama administration and the Washington neo-cons succeed in toppling [Bashar al-] Assad, Syria will be handed over to radical Islamic terrorists. ISIS will rule Syria.”
As another example, he said the Obama administration’s support for overthrowing Egyptian leader Hosni Mubaraki—a dictator opposed by his people but longstanding U.S. ally—led to the Muslim Brotherhood government, which fell in 2013.
Cruz said his decision-making test on military action would be about whether there’s a “real threat” to American security. On foreign policy, he said he’ll employ a simple test: “How does it keep America safe? If it’s keeping America safe, we should do it. If it’s making America more vulnerable, we shouldn’t do it.”
Rand Paul (and his father before him), of course, has been saying this for years. Meddling in the affairs of others nations is a fools errand and has unintended consequences. Toppling secular dictators has a track record of failure. I applaud Cruz for taking the right position though.
Looks like there is a developing international consensus as well: