Cain Thinks the Taliban Are Taking Over in Libya

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6183942539/sizes/l/in/photostream/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr

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You’d think that after flubbing a question on Libya earlier this week in a meeting with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Herman Cain might have done himself a favor by reading a newspaper article or two on the subject, or maybe even just the Wikipedia summary. Instead, Cain went on CNN this afternoon and warned that “the Taliban” might take over the country now that former Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi is dead:

Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that [Qaddafi] should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you’ve got Taliban and Al Qaeda that’s going to be part of the government? Do I agree with not knowing the government was going to—which part was he asking me about? I was trying to get him to be specific and he wouldn’t be specific.

Now look, it’s fair to worry about how Libya’s transitional government will handle issues like the large number of armed militias or human rights and the rule of law. But this answer reflects particularly poorly on Cain, and not just because there is no Taliban in Libya, and no evidence that Al Qaeda is “going to be part of the government.” It’s because the only thing he was able to muster after minutes of hemming and hawwing during his disastrous meeting earlier this week was that he “would have done a better job” than Obama “of determining who the opposition is.”

Now how exactly is anyone supposed to believe that, as president, Cain would have done a better job of finding out who the opposition is when he can’t even be bothered to know who they are now?

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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