Washington: Donald Trump painted the Middle East as an oasis of stability before Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, argues that she and President Barack Obama “launched” ISIS group onto the world.
According to the report published in the Al-Alarabiya, Trump tries to outline how he would have defeat the threat and launched several other false claims on Monday. He also said that Clinton and Obama sought to install a democracy in Libya and pushed for immediate change in leadership in Syria, accusing the pair of embarking on a “nation-building” strategy that few Republicans would ascribe to Obama’s intervention-averse administration, he advocated his own vision for US foreign policy that included the suggestion of a US takeover of Iraq’s oil reserves.
These were some of the Trump’s comments and how they adhered to the facts:
Trump: on Clinton’s role in the Libya campaign: “With one episode of bad judgment after another, Hillary Clinton’s policies launched ISIS onto the world stage.”
The Reality: The U.S-led military campaign in Libya created a security vacuum and political chaos. But it took three years before ISIS emerged in Iraq and Syria, and there is no connection between those developments.
The group has its roots in a militant organization known as al-Qaida in Iraq, which found haven in Syria after being nearly decimated in Iraq in 2007-2009.
Some experts say the instability in Libya opened a door for the Islamic State to spread to North Africa, particularly after it suffered heavy losses in Syria and Iraq in 2015-16. But the group is facing severe setbacks there, too.
Trump: on the Iraq war: “I have been clear for a long time that we should not have gone in. But I have been just as clear in saying what a catastrophic mistake Hillary Clinton and President Obama made with the reckless way in which they pulled out.”
The Reality: Trump did publicly say he wanted US troops out years earlier than Obama pulled them out.
He said in March 2007 the US should declare victory and withdraw troops because Iraq was going to get further bogged down in civil strife.
He said the US was “keeping a lid” on the situation by being there, but that when the US leaves, “it’s all going to blow up” so the US might as well leave “because you just are wasting time.”
Trump: “I have long said that we should have kept the oil in Iraq … In the old days, when we won a war, to the victor belonged the spoils.”
The Reality: While Trump argues against nation-building, he seems to be suggesting the US should have seized Iraq and its natural resources as an American colony. He ignores the fact that Iraq is a sovereign country and the US at no point threatened to take possession of the country.
Trump says he would have used the money from oil sales to pay for the care of wounded soldiers. But the mission would require a permanent occupation, or at least until the oil runs out, and a large presence of American soldiers to guard sometimes isolated oil fields and infrastructure.
Trump’s claim that the US has taken “spoils” in previous wars also raises questions.
Trump: on one of the San Bernardino shooters: “She wanted to support very openly jihad online… A neighbor saw suspicious behavior, bombs on the floor and other things, but didn’t warn authorities because they said they didn’t want to be accused of racial profiling.”
Trump: The Islamic State “has a new base of operations” in Libya.
The Reality: Islamic State militants have tried to establish such a base in the city of Sirte. But a US-supported military offensive in Libya this year has all but driven the group out of its former headquarters there.
US officials estimated at one point as many as 6,000 extremists in the North African country. Latest estimates put only a “couple hundred” ISIS militants left in Sirte. Libyan officials say the city is 70 percent liberated and ISIS militants are cornered in a few locations.