The attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the murder of four Americans there has become a huge issue. There are many stories and rumors that are still being debated and more information is coming out. What I’m going to try to do here is to analyze the enduring themes raised by these tragic events.Among the topics Rubin addresses are:
- Why Do They Hate Us?
- Why Do Some of Us Hate Ourselves?
- Is America a Bully or a Leader?
- Who is the Enemy?
Once upon a time a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination warned that if Obama was elected president he would not be reliable in a crisis, answering a 3 AM phone call requiring instant response. That claim, of course, came from Hillary Clinton. Benghazi was that phone call.Interestingly, there is also the odd contradiction that after decrying the Mohammed video as insulting to Muslims -- going so far as to arrest the maker of the video, albeit for violating conditions of his probation -- there is now going to be a TV movie appearing a few days before election day all about the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
That conclusion is reinforced by the killing of al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin. Notice something of huge importance that has been neglected. Obama and his supporters bragged about his indecision on the no-brainer of getting the architect of the September 11 attacks. If he would hesitate on an obvious call like that one, how would he deal with a consulate under attack in Benghazi?
The motive for the timing of the movie, as well as its accuracy, are called into question by the report by the New York Times that the producers wanted to falsely portray Romney opposing bin Laden raid:
But promotional materials and a copy of the movie provided to The New York Times this week also show that the film has been recut, using news and documentary footage to strengthen Mr. Obama’s role and provide a window into decision-making in the White House.It remains to be seen whether the added footage giving a behinds-the-scenes look at Obama's decision will remind viewers of the current confusion, contradictory information and apparent incompetence behind the disastrous terrorist attack just last month, carried out in revenge for that operation.
...But [the film’s director] Mr. Stockwell said he had included Mr. Obama as a character in his film from the beginning, and had actually shrunk his screen time somewhat. And Howard T. Owens, the president of the National Geographic Channel, who joined the call, said his company had insisted on removing a scene that showed Mitt Romney appearing to oppose the raid.
As it is, there is a group of ex-soldiers who have bought TV ads attacking President Barack Obama and his alledged leadership:
Rubin concludes that the larger picture of the lesson of Benghazi goes beyond Obama's incompetence:
One could say that the Obama Administration’s failure to act denotes incompetence, and there is truth there. But the larger picture is that it was a failure due to its concept of America and the world. The real danger is not from totalitarian enemies grown bolder in the fact of American weakness and a loss of self-confidence. No, according to the prevailing view, it was rather excessive American self-confidence and strength in the past.Read the whole thing.
The effort to change those bad old ways, to open a new era with completely different behavior, the failure to perceive the real enemies and to understand America’s rights and duties were the causes of the incident in Benghazi, and many other setbacks as well.
The chickens have come back to roost and have roosted in the White House. And the vultures are gathering.
The growing dissatisfaction of American voters with Obama should be the least of his worries, though with any luck -- it may be the beginning on the long road back to recognizing who our real enemies are and how to deal with them.
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Technorati Tag: Obama and Benghazi and Election 2012.