Rooting Out Extremists in Libya
Well here is a first: The first time a Congressman has gone out of his way to respond to an article of mine. In this instance, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) has totally missed the point of my article and accused me of misquoting him (although I did not) while totally dodging the substantive point about how his remarks inhibit understanding and cooperation between the US and Libya. Moreover, Brad Sherman misses that if the US is concerned about Libya (or Cyrenaica in particular) becoming an ungoverned space where terrorists can operate than we have to diplomatically engage in Libya and help with capacity building and the forging of institutions like a national army and not take the approach of Sherman, that is to simply lambast the Libyans and claim that their government contains “evil jihadist elements” and should be doing more to fight terror. It is high time for Rep. Sherman to grow up and see the world in all its nuances and to ignore the simplistic narrative of his constituents.
Jason Pack’s op-ed on January 4, 2013, entitled “Another missed opportunity on Benghazi,” misstated my remarks at a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on December 20, 2012. Mr. Pack quoted me as referring to the Libyan government as “a coalition… which includes some of the most evil jihadist elements imaginable.” I actually stated that, “The fact is, this is a government that is a coalition that includes, or at least countenances, some of the most evil jihadist elements imaginable.”