In March 2011 Hillary Clinton argued the U.S. should not intervene in Syria as it did in Libya because Syrian President Bashir Assad was a “reformer.”
“There is a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer,” Clinton said.
It’ll be interesting to see Ms. Clinton try to defend this comment as more than 140,000 people, over 7,000 of them children, have been killed in Syria under the Assad regime.
The full exchange is available below:
BOB SCHIEFFER: But I mean– how can that be worse than what has happened in Syria over the years, where Bashar Assad’s father killed twenty-five thousand people at– at a lick. I mean, they opened fire with live ammunition on these civilians.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well–
BOB SCHIEFFER: Why is that different from Libya?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I–
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): This is a friend of Iran, an enemy of Israel?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, if there were a coalition of the international community, if there were the passage of a Security Council resolution, if there were a call by the Arab League, if there was a condemnation that was universal but that is not going to happen because I don’t think that it’s yet clear what will occur, what will unfold? There is a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is– is deeply concerning. But there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities, then police actions, which frankly have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see.