Does Haley Barbour Back Obama’s Libya’s Strategy?


Most of the GOP’s likely 2012 presidential contenders are staking out hawkish positions on the conflict in Libya, supporting military intervention like a no-fly zone and criticizing President Obama for not acting fast enough to prevent violence in the north African country. But one Republican weighing a presidential run, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, appears to be siding with Obama on the thorny issue of what to do about Libya.

In a Tuesday speech in which he ripped Obama’s economic policies, Barbour also advocated for a more realistic, less reactionary response to the bloody crisis in Libya, where the military forces of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi are violently quelling a popular uprising: “I think we need to be cautious about being quick on the trigger.” Barbour went on:

“The idea of nation-building, in my opinion, is something we need to be very, very, very careful about. I don’t think it’s our mission to make Libya look like Luxembourg…At the end of the day, we might have some role in Libya but it should not be to send American troops in there and knock heads and make Libya what we would like Libya to look like. Because it, no offense, is not ever going to look like what we’d like it.”

For those of you keeping track, that’s a noticeable break from Barbour’s fellow GOP presidential hopefuls, who seem all too eager for America to swoop into Libya—and probably plenty of other countries, too—to save the day. The question is, will Barbour’s foreign policy stance help or hurt him among increasingly polarized conservative voters?

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate