Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

‘Trump trying to appease Republican hawks, US power elite’

Press TV. Listen here:

Keith Preston said “Donald Trump is talking out of both sides of his mouth.”

Donald Trump’s reversal of position on American intervention in Libya shows he is trying to appease hawks in the Republican Party and the US power elite, an American journalist and political commentator says.  

Keith Preston, chief editor and director of, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday when asked to comment on Trump’s latest statement about Libya.

In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, the presumptive US Republican presidential nominee said he would have ordered a “surgical” strike to kill former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

“I didn’t mind surgical. And I said surgical. You do a surgical shot and you take him out,” said Trump, who had earlier said that US meddling in Libya was a mistake.

Trump’s statement “completely contradicts the things that Donald Trump had said in the past about Libya,” Preston said. “In the past, Donald Trump had attacked Hillary Clinton for her actions in Libya during her tenure as secretary of state.”

“He has, I think correctly, in his earlier statements pointed out that because of what the United States did in Libya in 2011 it has turned [the country] into an actual failed state, and because of that the Libyan society has fallen apart, Libya’s government has fallen apart, Libya’s economy has fallen apart,” he stated, adding and Libya has “become a haven for terrorist organizations.”

“So Trump had said in an earlier statement that Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration in conjunction with NATO had made a serious mistake by eliminating Colonel Gaddafi — now he seems to be backtracking as saying, well, perhaps he would have used some sort of surgical strikes,” the analyst stated.

In March 2011, when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, the US and its European allies started airstrikes in Libya to help militants fighting against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi was deposed and murdered later that year after the fall of the capital Tripoli to militants in August.

The ensuing power vacuum allowed various militant groups, including many extremist and terrorist organizations, to gain power in the country and exploit its natural resources.

Nearly five years after the overthrow of Gaddafi, Libya has become a failed state, with the central government holding no sway over the country.

‘Trump talking out of both sides of his mouth’

Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Sacramento International Jet Center in Sacramento, California on June 1, 2016. (AFP photo)

Preston said “Donald Trump is talking out of both sides of his mouth. The only thing he has been consistent   is his inconsistency.  Donald Trump is someone that changes his positions on things constantly.”

“Donald Trump has been criticizing Hillary Clinton for her foreign policy record for a while now in this campaign. Now I suspect what he is trying to… appease hawks in the Republican Party,” he stated.

“In the Republican Party, I think he’s trying to reach a wider audience not only within the party itself but also within the ranks of power elite in the United States,” the commentator said.

“He’s probably trying to indicate that he’s an acceptable candidate to the power elite in the United States,” Preston said in his concluding remarks.

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