One year ago today the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked and the American Ambassador, Chris Stevens, was killed along with three other former members of the U.S. Special Forces. Those forces defied orders to stand down and died trying to protect Stevens and his staff. The mainstream media, and much of our ruling class, has attempted to hide the details and, moreover, the meaning of this event. But much has been begrudgingly divulged.
For example, we now know that it was not a spontaneous attack issued by an unruly mob of Muslims enraged by an obscure internet video but a coordinated attack by an Al Qaeda affiliate armed with high-powered sophisticated weaponry.
We also know that President Barack Obama, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and various other members of the administration lied repeatedly about the true nature of the attack. Those lies came just weeks before the presidential election, thereby influencing the outcome of the election.
We now know that, at the outset of the attack, desperate calls were made from Libya to the White House asking for help and that Clinton and then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met with Obama and briefed him on the attack.
We even know that while the fighting raged, Obama never once went down to the situation room to see for himself what was happening.
What we don’t know is what was said by Clinton and Panetta to the commander in chief, what were his orders, what did he do for the eight hour-long firefight, and who gave the order to “stand down.” Most importantly, we don’t know why.
Bound up in the reason why Obama and his team lied about the source and nature of the attack is very likely the same reason why this administration, one year later, has made no attempt kill or capture any of the Al Qaeda fighters, some of whom openly hang out in Libyan cafes overlooking the Mediterranean and give television interviews to Al Jazeera.
What are the Wages of Obama’s Foreign Policy Failures and Deceit?
In my book, Lessons from Fallen Civilizations: Can a bankrupt America survive the current Islamic threat?, I develop a list of ten immutable principals that contribute to the fall of great empires. My number one reads:
No nation has ever survived once its citizenry ceased to believe its culture worth saving,
Both the independent Greek poleis and the Roman Empire of the West fell because they could no longer muster armies necessary to repel invaders. Now that our president has painted himself into a corner with his rhetorical bravado, with his statement regarding the “red line” that Syria must not cross, and his ridiculous “shot across the bow” comment, Members of Congress have been shocked by how few Americans support military action. A Reuter’s poll had support for his military engagement all the way down to 20%.
One could reasonably argue that Americans have not yet given up on American culture. But that they do not want their sons and daughters put in harm’s way under this Commander in Chief. As Peggy Noonan wrote, “…wrong time, wrong place, wrong plan, wrong man.”
After 12 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, this president has managed to lose the peace in both countries. Despite thousands of American dead lost for those countries’ liberation, Iraqis and Afghans are rapidly becoming our enemies. Given this horrific waste of the lives of our sons and daughters, how can this country continue to ask their younger brothers and sisters to answer the call to arms? How can we ask them to serve under a president who is more concerned with settling scores with his political enemies than consolidating our hard-won gains relative to this nation’s security and national interests?
Obamas Deceit and Failures Have the Region in Flames
Egypt: President George W. Bush once reflected that conducting American foreign policy was like playing chess in three dimensions. In Egypt, seeing their youth flooding into the squares of Cairo, Obama naively thought he could be the proxy president of the so-called Arab Spring. He decided to throw Mubarak overboard, the man to whom the US had for decades paid billions in order to keep the peace with Israel.
Next the Egyptians elected Mohammad Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood hardline Islamist. He promptly destroyed the Egyptian economy and stood by while Brotherhood loyalists burnt down Christian Churches, schools, and homes. In the space of one year the Egyptian military, with the help of millions of secularist marchers, ousted the first duly elected leader in Egypt’s 6,000 year history. Good pick, Mr. Obama. You own it.
Tunisia: Three years after Mohammad Bouazizi set himself on fire putting in motion what many pundits were once calling the Arab Spring, the Tunisians find themselves ruled by a rabid Islamist, Rashid Ghannouchi, head of the Ennahda party, a Muslim Brotherhood front group. With opposition party leaders being assassinated and the economy in shambles, Tunisians are back out in the streets demanding that the Ennahda thugs go.
Libya: When Muammar al-Gadhafi saw George Bush take down Saddam Hussein’s regime, he turned over his entire nuclear weapons program to the U.S. It seems doubtful that Obama or anyone else in his inner circle has considered the fact that when this president blithely backed the overthrow of Gadhafi, he has made it highly unlikely that Bashar al-Assad will give up his chemical weapons. Obama’s treatment of Gadhafi is just one more reminder that Obama’s America can’t be trusted.
Today Libya is a lawless country harboring unknown numbers of Al Qaeda affiliates.
A Highly Damaged Commander in Chief
What has changed over the year since Benghazi is that, due to Obama’s insouciance and duplicity, he is losing his ability to be the commander in chief. Photos of American rank and file military holding signs stating that they refuse to fight on the side of Al Qaeda have exploded on social media. One post alone generated 16,000 shares on Facebook. The rank and file also know that it was Vice President Joe Biden who let it be known that it was SEAL Team Six which killed Osama bin Laden, putting all the men in the unit and their families in grave and perpetual danger.
Major General Robert Scales, former commandant of the Army War College, recently wrote a scathing article for The Washington Post in which he describes the growing discontent among military leaders regarding Obama’s reckless combination of dithering and bravado.
In the Spring of 410 AD, a large army of Goths and Roman deserters surrounded the city of Rome. The feckless Roman Emperor, Honorius who had escaped to Ravenna, sent a contingent of 4,000 legionnaires to help defend the city. They never showed up. The city was sacked for the first time in 800 years and the civilized world was shocked. The consequences of highly flawed leadership during a time of war are almost always profound.
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