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The five foreign policy questions every candidate should be asked

By       Message Trevor Timm       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Reprinted from The Guardian

Libya, Yemen, drones and more: why are presidential hopefuls being let off the hook on these critical challenges?

War on Yemen
War on Yemen
(Image by Middle East Eye)
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It's amazing that with almost two presidential debates every week, many critical foreign policy questions have gone unasked and unanswered -- even while the television networks spend entire hours discussing when and where the US should bomb next.
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These topics that will be crucial for the next president, yet are rarely if ever brought up. Why aren't they being raised at every opportunity?

The Libya catastrophe

By all accounts, Libya is currently a cesspool for terrorism. Filling the vacuum created by the chaos after the US helped depose Gaddafi in 2011, Isis fighters are reportedly telling their followers to go to Libya to train and fight instead of Syria -- which leads to the obvious question: why did we make such a catastrophic mistake of once again overthrowing a country's leader?

Instead of asking about the scandal that is the Libyan invasion, this week's debate moderator Jorge Ramos decided to ask Hillary Clinton about the other Libyan controversy, Benghazi, which she has answered for in detail over and over. This yet again allowed Clinton to reel off a practiced answer while avoiding the real issue.

The New York Times wrote a huge two-part series on Clinton's leading role in the intervention in Libya and its subsequent descent into chaos, yet there was barely a blip on the radar when it came to questions on the campaign trail or on television. Clinton has skated through the entire election cycle while only getting a handful of questions about the catastrophe, while continuing to call for more military intervention elsewhere.

But it's not just Clinton. Republicans have never been pinned down on Libya either, and now, are of course all in favor of us sending our drones and special forces in yet again.

Saudi Arabia's destruction of Yemen

If there is any central US ally that has been outright ignored during this election season -- as usual -- it's Saudi Arabia. Currently Saudi Arabia is engaged in an indiscriminate bombing campaign in one of the world's poorest countries, Yemen, which has led to thousands of civilian deaths and millions of people being displaced.

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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)

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