For a guy who's a hard-left gay-blogger, he comes off surprisingly mainstream here, and thus his presentation's actually quite devious. He notes, for example, in talking about Libya, that while Muammar Qaddafi at the U.N. is playing a kind of "court jester," Libya is in fact "a nuclear non-proliferation success story." This comment allows Clemons to contrast Libya's abandonment of nuclear ambition to that of proliferator Iran under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What Clemons omits, naturally, is that Libya's denuclearization is a Bush admininstration successs story (being a radical leftist, Clemons won't mention that). Clemons apparently loves selective comparative analysis across regimes. In 2007, Clemons compared Libya to Syria, and at that time implied Qaddafi's regime was a failure of U.S. policy, "Turning Syria: Lessons from Libya":
Interestingly, Clemons omits this passage from the Hishim Matar essay:
Hisham Matar has an interesting piece in today's New York Times, "Seeing What We Want to See in Qaddafi."
The writer suggests that Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi continues to rule Libya as a tyrant, disappearing his critics, and cultivating a climate of fear -- particularly among those who might engage in public dissent.
But the writer also has real insight into what drove the Bush administration and Qaddafi to become partners:Colonel Qaddafi deserves sole credit for Libya's foreign policy U-turn. He has never found it necessary to devote himself to a single political ideology; his only consistent policy has been to guard his personal political survival. The United States and Britain understand this, but have only exploited it for their own myopic objectives. . .
Now that the United States has incorporated the Libyan regime into its so-called war on terrorism, it is difficult to see what political pressure it can exert on the Libyan government to reform. Western governments have had the power to effect change in Libya only as long as the dictator’s government has hungered for the West’s acceptance. The short-sighted paranoia with which the war on terrorism has been managed has weakened any moral advantage the United States might once have had.This is America-bashing, pure and simple, and it naturally goes against the prevailing consensus in the U.S. that the Bush adminstration's regime change in Iraq convinced the Colonel that his regime might be the next stop on the U.S. Army's tour of the Middle East.
In any case, be sure to watch the video above. Faust Wertz aquits herself admirable in denouncing the United Nations as an anti-American hotbed of brutal Third-World tyrants. See, "Obama at the UN."