Flashback: The Time Three Years Ago When Hillary Clinton Called Bashar Assad a Reformer

• March 27, 2014 11:24 am


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.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Why is that different from Libya?


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.

Published under: Bashar al-Assad, Hillary Clinton