Tag Archives: Libya

Libya and Egypt; Mumbling, Bumbling and Stumbling

The killing of Chris Stevens and three staffers in Benghazi, Libya was tragic.  Heartfelt condolences to their families and friends are perfectly in order.  However, compared to coverage by international news sources, the way coverage is being handled by the American news media is revealing.

Iran’s Gooya News uses the headline:

America’s ambassador to Libya killed in protest of anti-Islam film

Notice how a film considered incendiary by Islamists is featured within the headline.

The first paragraph of Gooya’s story speaks specifically about how the attackers, referred to as protesters, were motivated by an anti-Islamist film made by American pastor Terry Jones.

Following mention of remarks made by Libya’s Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abvshaqvr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the article launches into an aggressive verbal attack on Jones’ film, assailing it as an assault on the Koran and the Prophet of Muhammad.  Objections are raised to the film’s depiction of Muhammad as a child molester.  Ongoing objections concern themselves with Jewish funding of the film.

http://news.gooya.com/politics/archives/2012/09/146923.php

BBC Persia headlines their report with:

The killing of America’s ambassador and three of its diplomats in Libya is confirmed

While the BBC headline manages to stay on point by reporting the killing of the American diplomats, the story follows the pattern of Gooya by blaming the attack on the Jones movie.  However, BBC largely stays focused on reporting the news event rather than assigning blame for its instigation.  It defers further comment about the movie until the end of the article, choosing rather to relay detailed statements of condemnation made by Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Libyan government.

When the BBC does mention the movie, it does so in the context of how the film is viewed in Iran.  They report that according to Iran’s government, the publishing in America of a film that insults the Prophet Muhammad is a despicable act.  “The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns blasphemy and hurting the feelings of Muslims.”  Iran then warns America: “this dangerous trend of cultural hatred and insulting the Great Nation of Islam is blasphemy”.

BBC Persia then concludes by relaying how in the United States, preventing the publication of opinions is against the principle of free speech and protected by the U.S. Constitution.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/world/2012/09/120912_l03_us_libya.shtml

Yahoo News uses its headline to focus on how Stevens was killed and his record of diplomatic service:

Chris Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in rocket attack, served as envoy during revolution

Yahoo commits multiple paragraphs to conveying circumstances of the attack on the Libyan consul, Barrack Obama’s statement condemning the attack, and details about the diplomatic career of Chris Stevens.

Before featuring Stevens’ U.S. Embassy website bio, Yahoo describes how: “Mitt Romney condemned Tuesday’s attacks as “disgusting” and “outrageous,” but he also attacked the Obama administration for standing by a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that he claimed was an “apology” for American values”.

Romney later stated it was “disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks”.

Wednesday morning Romney did not back down from his earlier remarks: “It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values.  It’s never too early for the U.S. government to condemn attacks on Americans and defend our values. … When our grounds are being attacked, being breached, the first response of the United States must be outrage”.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/chris-stevens-us-libya-ambassador-killed-142949456.html

Only when attempting to portray Romney as politicizing events by accusing him of “attacking” the Obama administration, does Yahoo even mention Tuesday’s apology, released by the Cairo Embassy apologizing to Muslims for hurting their feelings.

Yahoo never mentions the movie.  How convenient.  When the movie is not mentioned, there is no need for Yahoo to explain away the Cairo Embassy apology.  Since Yahoo publishers chose to omit specific details, there is no need to defend the Obama administration for apologizing (again) to the Islamist world for America.  Out of sight, out of mind, right Yahoo?

An American leader would have immediately condemned Islamists attacks on American Embassies, especially on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.

Yahoo News, like other card carrying members of the “progressive” Party Pravda, continues to run interference for the Obama administration, and remains devoted to using their voice in the U.S. news media to ensure his re-election through selective censorship.

Surely Tim Russert is rolling in his grave.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/libya-egypt-mumbling-bumbling-and-stumbling/

Obama’s Carter Moment in the Middle East

While it’s not happening practically on the eve of the election, the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi are rapidly shaping up to be like President Carter’s situation with Iran in 1980. But, before the Romney camp can start celebrating, there are some very important issues that need addressing when it comes to the fumbling of the current administration. And there are some loose ends that need to be tied together.

First, let’s take a look at the events of yesterday, before the attacks. In the morning here in the States, Obama delivered remarks at the Pentagon. The more cynical among us were probably surprised that he limited himself at least a little, when it came to taking credit for the death of Osama bin Laden.

Most of the Americans we lost that day had never considered the possibility that a small band of terrorists halfway around the world could do us such harm. Most had never heard the name al Qaeda. And yet, it’s because of their sacrifice that we’ve come together and dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores. Al Qaeda’s leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again. Our country is safer and our people are resilient.

Perhaps the reference to the devastation of Al Qaeda’s leadership was alluding to the most recent death that has been brought up in context with the Cairo attack. But, that is something to consider a little later. For now, let’s leap to much later in the day, but still before the Cairo attack.

Andrew Kaczynski – @BuzzFeedAndrew

Only images of this tweet remain, this one from Andrew Kaczynski on BuzzFeed. The debate over government accounts deleting tweets, and the Library of Congress archives of those electronic communications can wait for another time. By the morning of September 12th eastern time, the Obama administration was backing down from this initial statement. It is not a reaction. The embassy doubled-down on the sentiment after the attack. But, this one came before it started, presumably because the embassy personnel knew there might be a riot in the first place. Questions and reprisals flew over this, and the administration’s attempt to back down from this position arguably is falling flat. Diplomatic personnel do not communicate with the world without guidance, period. Claiming that this was “unauthorized” is worse than admitting to the position, because it implies that there is a rogue element within the diplomatic corps that has the ability to communicate on behalf of this administration without any sort of guidance or supervision. And, bluntly, it is silly. This statement is typical of this administration, that has bent over backwards to appease Islamist organizations. One has to suspend disbelief to take this morning’s quasi-retraction of the statement seriously, especially since paraphrased forms of it were in both Obama’s and Secretary Clinton’s statements on these events – or event, depending on how one interpreted them.

That brings us to the tragedy that overshadowed the Cairo incident, and monopolized the official statements from the administration. Over the coming months, there is no doubt that there will be arguments over whether the Iran Hostage Crisis was better or worse than the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three diplomatic staff members. Secretary Clinton was quick to point out that Libyans stepped up to help Americans, and defend the Consulate, including a mention that they carried the Ambassador’s body to the hospital. But, it’s unlikely that is the whole story. Before her speech, news had already broken that contradicted at least part of the Secretary’s comments. The whispers are already out there that the Libyans might have been involved in the attack, and that security at the Consulate wasn’t sufficient.

Given that, there is a possibility that these two attacks may be utterly unconnected, not even sharing cause. The anti-Mohammed movie is a rather thin excuse, even with many radicals in play in both nations. One of the filmmakers is in hiding, and another that has been attributed with the work is associated with a Coptic Christian organization in America. The fact that the film had been promoted to one extent or another by Terry Jones, of “Burn a Q’uran Day” fame, further muddies the water. Regardless, all accounts state that the film itself is laughable, poorly made, and definitely wouldn’t have been destined for anything but demise in obscurity if it wasn’t for these events. Perhaps it was enough to spark the flag desecration and chanting about Osama bin Laden in Cairo, but buying that it sparked the armed attack in Benghazi would be foolhardy. Conversely, accepting Secretary Clinton’s contentions that Ambassador Stevens was well-liked and accepted in Libya might not be intelligent either. That is by no means an implication that Stevens was doing anything wrong. It is a suggestion that maybe he was meeting more resistance in his attempts to help the Libyans than the administration is willing to admit publicly. That certainly makes more sense than blaming this all on an obscure, poorly made film.

And, in all of this, it seems that the media is happily avoiding one subject that this administration probably has no desire to cover. That is the question of the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama would have everyone believe that this an innocuous social service organization, that many current and former Islamic terrorists just happened to be associated with at one point or another during their lives. On the other side, alarmists cry that the organization is kin with Satan himself, and is hell bent on the destruction of the West. As with most things in life, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. For the purposes of bridging cultural gaps, perhaps it would be better to compare it with another organization that Americans are probably a little more familiar with – Sinn Fein, the political arm of Irish Republican Army. This suggestion is in the context of defining the function of the Muslim Brotherhood, not to imply direct connection between that organization and any terrorist groups. The MB has been scrupulous about keeping itself separate from those groups, and that is plainly illustrated by the fact that terrorists are apparently not welcome in the organization. They move on to more radical action after leaving the MB, period. But, that doesn’t change the fact that many Islamic terrorists get initial experience in Islamic activism within the MB. Sinn Fein was also careful to stay above the fray, and did not dirty its hands directly in the terrorist activities of the IRA. That is where the similarity lies, and there alone. Where Sinn Fein was implicated in funding IRA activities, the MB has not been connected financially or otherwise with any known terrorist organizations – at least that has not been uncovered, or reported widely.

The story behind these events is still unfolding, and it is possible that details may continue to filter out to the public even beyond November. But, the current take away is that yet again, the Obama administration has shown itself to be wholly disorganized, as shown with the initial communications from the Cairo Embassy via Twitter. To suggest that the President is beyond his depth is probably an understatement. Cairo and Benghazi do not exist in a vacuum, and Obama has done a great deal of harm to this nation’s diplomatic relations with the only true ally in the region – Israel. And that in itself is yet another story illustrating the amateurish foreign policy management in this administration. Whether or not this becomes a coffin nail for the Obama camp in November remains to be seen, but it would be bluntly insane if the Romney camp did not leave it alone for now, only to resurrect it late next month.

Mitt Romney’s Talking Points Memo Leaked

CNN was given a copy of a Romney talking points memo from a GOP source. The points are instructions on how to respond on the events and Romney’s statement this morning. The full remarks as reported by CNN follow:

MESSAGE POINTS: Attacks On America’s Diplomatic Missions In Libya And Egypt

Surrogate Message Points: Attacks On America’s Diplomatic Missions In Libya And Egypt

Top-Line Message:

– We join all Americans in grieving for the four American patriots who lost their lives in yesterday’s attacks and send our condolences to their loved ones.

– This is a time for America to be firm and resolute – and to make clear beyond any doubt that America will not tolerate attacks on our own.

– The violence against the American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt underscores that the world remains a dangerous place and that American leadership is sorely needed.

– Over the last several years, we have stood witness to an Arab Spring that presents both opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region, but also great peril if the forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events.

We must strive to ensure that the Arab Spring is not followed by an Arab Winter.

– American leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region do not spin out of control.

– We have seen a foreign policy of weakness and decline in American influence and respect. Yesterday, we saw the consequences of this perceived weakness.

– America cannot send mixed signals to either our allies or our enemies.

– We must not be afraid to use our influence to support those who share our values and interests – and to stand firm against those who threaten them. America cannot shrink from its responsibility to lead.

Questions & Answers:

Don’t you think it was appropriate for the embassy to condemn the controversial movie in question? Are you standing up for movies like this?

– Governor Romney rejects the reported message of the movie. There is no room for religious hatred or intolerance.

– But we will not apologize for our constitutional right to freedom of speech.

– Storming U.S. missions and committing acts of violence is never acceptable, no matter the reason. Any response that does not immediately and decisively make that clear conveys weakness.

– If pressed: Governor Romney repudiated this individual in 2010 when he attempted to mobilize a Quran-burning movement. He is firmly against any expression of religious hatred or intolerance.

Reports indicate the embassy in Cairo released its initial statement before the invasion of the embassy commenced. Doesn’t this show they were trying to tamp down the protest and prevent what ultimately happened, not sympathize with the protesters?

– The Administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions.

– Distancing themselves from the statement and saying it wasn’t ‘cleared by Washington’ reflects the mixed signals they are sending to the world.

– American leadership needs to be decisive and resolute when our interests are threatened or attacked. For the last four years, this has been lacking.

– We have seen a foreign policy of weakness, indecision, and a decline in American influence and respect – and yesterday we saw the consequences.

– If pressed: The Obama campaign is now attacking Governor Romney for being critical of the same statement the Administration itself disavowed. This is hypocritical.

Did Governor Romney “jump the gun” last night in releasing his statement?

– No. It is never too soon to stand up for American values and interests.

Mitt Romney’s Statement on Embassy Attacks [Full Text]

The following is a transcription of Mitt Romney’s remarks following the attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya.

Americans woke up this morning with tragic news and felt heavy hearts as they considered that individuals who have served in our diplomatic corps were brutally murdered across the world. This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous, it’s disgusting. It breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served, during their lives, the cause of freedom, and justice and honor. We mourn their loss and join together in prayer that the spirit of the Almighty might comfort the families of those who have been so brutally slain.

Four diplomats lost their life, including the U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in the attack on our embassy at Benghazi, Libya. And, of course, with these words, I extend my condolences to the grieving loved ones, who have left behind, as a result of these who have lost their lives in the service of our nation, and I know that the people across America are grateful for their service and we mourn their sacrifice.

America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We will defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America. We respect our Constitution. We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world.

I also believe the Administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions. It’s never too early for the United States Government to condemn attacks on Americans, and to defend our values. The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn’t ‘cleared by Washington.’ That reflects the mixed signals they’re sending to the world.

The attacks in Libya and Egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that American leadership is still sorely needed. In the face of this violence, America cannot shrink from the responsibility to lead. American leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region don’t spin out of control. We cannot hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests. Over the last several years, we have stood witness to an Arab Spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region, but also poses the potential for peril, if the forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events.

We must strive to ensure that the Arab Spring does not become an Arab Winter.

Is the U.S. Unable to Protect Officials Overseas?

It is now being reported that two of the dead in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya were not U.S. Marines, but instead, Consul staffers. Questions are surfacing as to the Obama administration’s security provisions for the Embassy as the protests grew.

Security at the consulate was apparently provided by Libyan nationals hired by the United States.

Numerous incidents of “green-on-blue” attacks in Afghanistan showed that foreign muslim-led governments are unable to adequately protect U.S. personnel. If the State Department had indeed relied on Libyan security personnel to protect its staff, why?

Obama has been criticized lately for attending just slightly more than one-third of his daily national security briefings. Opting instead to read the text of the briefing, the President may have taken too hands-off an approach to understanding the current status of intelligence and security issues. Now a report by Breitbart.com states that in the week leading up to the attack, there is no record that Obama attended a single one of those briefings.

According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing–known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)–in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff

After the attack on the Consul staff, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now upgrading security at other U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world. In a “leading from behind” style prevalent in the current administration, the solution comes after the problem has escalated.

Taking a weak-hand approach to relations to nations involved in the Arab Spring has put American citizens in danger and may well have resulted in the deaths of an ambassodor and staff. In his statement this morning, the President provided a weaker-than-expected condemnation of the attack by saying “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”

The Administration has been highly-critical of Romney’s foreign policy experience in recent days – criticism that may be better served turned inwards. All eyes will be on the President as he reacts both in words and deeds to the deaths of so many Americans after his administration’s failure to protect them.

 

**post updated 10:35a – new reports indicate that no marines were killed at the embassy

Fundraise and Fore! obama’s Answer to World Events

Israel issued warnings over security problems with Egypt. Militants from the Sinai Peninsula crossed over into southern Israel Monday and fired on a border security fence, killing one Israeli. The IDF moved tanks and other armed forces to the Israel-Egypt border in response to the attack. Egypt is on the offensive against Israel.

Egypt’s presidential election results lean towards victory for Mohammed Morsi, the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood candidate. Thanks at least in part to vocal White House support for the “Arab Spring”, which ushered the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt’s presidency, Egypt is now likely to be more inclined towards acting offensively towards Israel.

Russia’s General Staff announced Russian Black Sea fleet warships may head for Syria, saying: “The Mediterranean Sea is a zone of the Black Sea Fleet responsibility. Hence, warships may go there in the case it is necessary to protect the Russian logistics base in Tartous, Syria”. Several warships, including large landing ships are ready for deployment. Russia supports Syria, an active agent for radical Ismanists in Iran, who also just happen to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Russia exerts new influence in the Middle East while Russia’s President Vladimir Putin plays the White House like a fiddle.

The Euro survived over the weekend after a close call in Greek elections. Early market euphoria on Monday diminished when persistent uncertainty over the situation in Spain, Italy and other eurozone countries resurfaced. Despite Greece’s election result easing fears that the single currency will disintegrate, indications that Greece will run out of money in mid-July stalled initial market optimism. Multiple countries in Europe are now in economic decline after decades of following Socialist policies.

In France, Socialist President Francois Hollande was given a mandate to follow through with his tax-and-spend agenda when France’s Socialists won control of parliament on Sunday. Hollande now has the majority he needs to combat France’s debt crisis by following the very formula that created a debt crisis in France, Greece, Spain, Italy and the rest of the eurozone.

Meanwhile, in an address to the UN sustainability conference in Rio, Great Britain’s Prince Charles issued warnings about climate change. In a pre-recorded speech the Prince declared: “Catastrophic consequences of carrying on with ‘business-as-usual’ are bearing down on us faster than we think, already dragging many millions more people into poverty and dangerously weakening global food, water and energy security for the future”. The Prince then went on to say: “We do not have nearly enough knowledge on which to base the decisions that will be the best for the long term.” So, which is it? Either “we do not have nearly enough knowledge on which to base the decisions that will be the best for the long term” or we know enough to say “many millions more people” have to worry about poverty, food, water and energy security. You can’t have it both ways, “your majesty”.

In America, Al Gore cashed in on the hysteria he and his fellow climate change propagandists created when New York city Comptroller John Liu OK’d a $16.56 million contract with Generation Investment Management, the former vice president’s environmentally friendly investment firm. Generation Investment Management will help manage New York City pension funds to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Given the track record of green energy capital investments, New York City pension funds are going to be another candidate for a taxpayer funded federal bailout. As with any investment management company, Generation Investment Management will earn their fees no matter what happens to the funds they invest. Apparently it pays to be a global warming alarmist. Perhaps Prince Charles fears the British Monarchy faces pending austerity measures and is just trying to get on the global warming gravy train.

Over the past three and a half years while current world events were taking shape, the White House has been spending money it does not have ala Socialist Europe. All the while enacting another big government socialist “entitlement” program to “nudge” Americans towards European style government dependency.

They championed bureaucratic violations of the free exercise of religion, using the presidential bully pulpit and complicit media lapdogs to convince uninformed voters that it was really a Republican attack on women’s healthcare.

Drones and unmanned airplanes began spying on private property in America’s heartland to ensure American Citizens are complicit with stifling new draconian EPA regulations. An EPA that is now attempting to redefine ditches as bodies of water in order to grant itself additional regulatory power.

Exceeding the Oval Office’s Constitutional and statutory authority to give work visas to a hand picked group of illegal aliens was deemed more important than creating a business friendly, jobs creating economic environment for American Citizens and legal immigrants.

This coming from an administration that pledged in 2008 that it would cut the federal deficit in half by the end of its first term. Instead, the size of the federal government, federal spending and the deficit are all at record high levels. The U.S. national debt has increased by over $5 trillion in less than four years, and after surviving WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the economic disaster that was Jimmy Carter’s presidency and the global financial crash of 2008, the United States of America’s credit rating has been downgraded.

Insinuating his name into the online biographies of former Presidents and releasing a photo-montage of himself in his “private moments” became priorities, as did attending a record number of fund raising events and playing 100 rounds (and counting) of golf. Never mind that David Axelrod, his 2012 re-election campaign chief, called former President George W. Bush “out of touch” for playing golf while the country struggled with a bad economy.

That’s what his deep-pocketed out of touch with reality millionaire and billionaire Hollywood elite friends expect from their “cool” friend in the White House. To be truly “cool”, one must be seen as being above it all.

America and the world will be better off once the current Chief Executive of the United States begins spending his days playing golf full time as a former government employee.

God Save the Queen.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/fundraise-and-fore-obamas-answer-to-world-events/

Egyptian Supreme Court Wants Parliament Dissolved

Outrage was sparked in Egypt Thursday when that country’s Supreme Court ruled that the recent parliamentary election was unconstitutional. That decision led to emergency meetings of the ruling military council. In response, the country’s interim military rulers declared full legislative authority.

Supreme Court head Farouk Soltan said: “The ruling regarding parliament includes the dissolution of the Lower House of parliament in its entirety because the law upon which the elections were held is contrary to rules of the constitution.”

Meanwhile the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, who won 46% of the vote, said the ruling would take Egypt into a “dark tunnel”.

Freedom and Justice Party and Salafist Al-Nur Party critics who said it would leave the next incoming president without either a parliament or a constitution, describing the ruling as a “complete coup” and “a complete disregard for the free will of the voters”.

The Supreme Court also decided in a separate ruling that former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq could run for president in the June 16-17 election, rejecting a law that would have kept him from competing against the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi in a run-off election. Ahmed Shafiq was Egypt’s last Prime Minister under ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Some in Egypt have called for the disqualification of Shafiq because he is a “remnant of the old guard”.

The makeup of Egypt’s government is crucial to future peace in the Middle East. Should the Muslim Brotherhood take power in Egypt it will then be in position to put its long held hostility towards Israel into motion. The Brotherhood is dedicated to establishing an Islamic state in Egypt. Islamic law has no room for either democratic principles or religious freedoms. It uses violence against dissenters and tramples the rights of minorities and women. The Brotherhood is, in its own words, dedicated to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within”. They were early critics of the Egypt Israeli peace treaty and have long been held responsible for the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty in 1979. The Muslim Brotherhood also has close ties to Iran, which is accused of engaging in hegemony and suspected of secretly developing nuclear arms.

Even though the Muslim Brotherhood was still outlawed in Egypt at the time of his June 4, 2009 Cairo speech, barack obama invited the group to attend. his administration established relations with the Brotherhood in 2011. Today three members of the Muslim Brotherhood wield influence over White House policy.

What was the White House reaction to the Egyptian Supreme Court’s ruling?

*Cue the sound of crickets*

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/egyptian-supreme-court-wants-parliament-dissolved/

America’s Destructive Lack of Realism

Last winter, when I heard John McCain drummed up support to bomb Syria, it makes me wonder if the 535 members in Washington have dementia.  We already had an unnecessary intervention in Libya, we’ve mostly concluded our business with Iraq, and Afghanistan is crumbling.  In a time where Americans are anything BUT enthusiastic or willing to become involved in another nation’s affairs, we must first ask, as George Will has, how many wars do we want to fight.

I was an unabashed neoconservative who supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq until I saw, as William F. Buckley aptly pointed out, how this movement grossly underestimates American power.  This was evident in the negligence in the post-war Iraqi reconstruction operations that followed the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government. The planning of the entire reconstruction effort, outlined in National Security Presidential Directive 24 issued in January 2003, gave the Department of Defense complete authority over the post-war operations.  It’s absurd.  Rebuilding Iraq into a modern, free market democracy in three months or less.  No wonder chaos ensued.  This whole notion of liberal democracy proliferating throughout the Middle East, in a region with no historical precedent of such values, is mind numbingly naive.

Even with our involvement winding down in Iraq, it appears the only winner is Iran since we’ve weakened the only nation in the region to curb its growing influence.  The resilience of the new democracy in Iraq and its disposition towards the United States in the future remains to be seen.  However, Syria is still holding out from the so-called “Arab Spring,” Iran still has nuclear ambitions, which would set off a regional arms race, and Egypt has fallen prey to the radical Muslim Brotherhood after we threw our good friend, Hosni Mubarak, under the bus in the hopes that a vibrant democracy will emerge there. Is this our dividend after spending $700 billion in Iraq?  Was this the best use of American political and military resources?

America’s destructive lack a realism is becoming disastrously expensive and straining our military.  Afghanistan and Iraq has cost us a whopping $1.2 trillion dollars in war expenditures.  We could be facing a $4-6 trillion dollar price tag when this whole ordeal is over.  We need to reexamine our financial stability and national interest for future engagements.

Case in point, Libya had nothing to do with American interests.  We do not receive oil from Libya. We don’t have diplomatic relations with Libya.  It was a civil war that was none of our business in a tribal society whose various clans hated Qaddafi more than each, hence the fragile display of national unity.  Like in Iraq, civil institutions were derived from one man and his family creating a power vacuum that will lead to more bloodshed.  The various militias refuse to disarmand the eastern half of the country has declared autonomy.  Did we really stop a slaughter? I feel more bloodshed will ensue because of our reckless engagement in their affairs.

People die in war, especially in the brutal theater of civil war.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean it’s our business. Especially when we have become involved in tribal societies before with little success.  We realists do not deny the existence of moral truths and principles, but when applied in the anarchic field of international relations, it is inherently dangerous.  It thrusts a nation, whose only purpose is to survive, into entanglements that are diplomatically obtuse, detrimental to its interests, and leads to prolonging the conflict.

If Qaddafi had squashed the insurrectionists in Benghazi, it would have been over, but we intervened, allied ourselves with rebel elements affiliated with al-Qaeda, and escalated the civil war leading to more deaths. In Somalia, our intervention culminated in the infamous Black Hawk Down incident, despite the fact it was hopeless from the start. There was no government to open up a diplomatic channel, no infrastructure, and clan ties that prevented national unity.  We lost nineteen American soldiers to help feed people in a failed state. A tragic waste of American resources.

The era of nation-building and humanitarian interventions need to end.   If our criteria for involvement is humanitarian based, we will be in a perpetual state of war.  The essence of nation-building, as George Will rightly said on Charlie Rose, is oxymoronic since it’s an organic entity that take generations to perfect.  Just because American marines are on the ground, doesn’t mean the maturation process will be accelerated.  In all, these attempts at social engineering are textbook cases of the irresponsible and arduous tasks that have drained American power over the past decade.  I’m thankful that a growing consensus in this country is starting to view such ventures as nonsensical.  It’s simply not worth the cost.

Herman Cain's Libya Gaffe: Let's Examine The Video


I heard a lot about Herman Cain’s “Libya” video yesterday.  It always works out like this; I’m in no position to sit down and watch a video, and everyone’s talking about it.  I heard it was really bad, and the snippets I saw on the news made it look pretty bad also, so I was expecting a train wreck of epic proportions.  Well, I hate to tell you, but I was disappointed.  It wasn’t as much of a train wreck as I’d been led to believe.  It was more like watching someone struggle to parallel park a car, so they circle the block in frustration, and then they find a new space has opened up just as they’ve come back around around the block.  It was awkward and sad, but train wreck it was not.  I actually felt compelled to annotate the video with my thoughts.  Check it out below.

So that’s pretty much it.  It looks like they woke him up on the bus, threw some clothes on him, and shoved him in the interview.  He seems to be progressively waking up throughout the conversation, and by the halfway point, he seems to know what he’s doing.  I don’t know about you, but it didn’t seem like that much of a train wreck upon viewing the whole video.

What do you guys think?  Was he just sleepy?  Was some “special” liquid in that bottle of “water”?  Or was it a total flame-out train wreck, after all?

Let us know what you guys think in the comments below.  And as always, resist we much.

Hillary Clinton's Candid Reaction To Qaddafi's Capture/Death

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall and see how a major politician responded to an event in U.S. history?  Maybe it would be neat to see how Abraham Lincoln responded to winning the Civil War.  Or maybe you’d like to see Ronald Reagan’s reaction when he first heard about the official fall of Communist Russia.  We don’t have footage of those events, but we do have video of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton reacting to what would ultimately be news of Moammar Qaddafi’s death. (in the video, she mentions “capture”)  Here’s her reaction when finding out, from her Blackberry smart phone, of all places.

Now, I have no idea what Secretary Clinton saw on her Blackberry (and can you believe she found via her cell phone?), but I did notice how careful she was to tell everyone in the room that the news was “unconfirmed”.  For all we know, it WAS confirmed, but she was trying to keep the release of information under control.  Or maybe it really was unconfirmed, and she was still trying to keep the release of information under control.  Either way, it’s very interesting to see a politician’s response to such a major event.  Also… I believe somebody that many of you will “know” made a cameo in that video.  Bonus points to anyone (who’s not a writer at this website) who tells us who made that cameo in the comments below.

And as always, if you would rather place your comments to any of our stories on Facebook or Twitter, we welcome that too.  It’s kind of like my Grandma always said… you can call us anything, so long as you don’t call us late for dinner.  (but please, don’t call us on the clumsy metaphors)

Breaking News Flash! Libya's Muammar Qaddafi Reportedly Captured/ Now DEAD

Fox News is reporting that Libya’s ousted leader,  Muammar Qaddafi has been captured. He was reportedly wounded in both legs and found in a hole similar to when Iraq’s oppressive leader, Saddam Hussein was captured. UPDATE: AFP confirms Qaddafi dead. i (Pic: AFP /Philippe Desmazes) It is reported that Qaddafi was shot in both legs and shot in the head. He was reportedly found hiding in a bunker.  The conflict remains about how Qaddafi was originally captured and then whether he was executed by an order to avoid his trial. Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam said he has confirmed that Qaddafi was dead from fighters who said they saw the body. He said he expects the prime minister to confirm the death soon, noting that past reports emerged “before making 100 percent confirmation.” Huge concerns about the huge stockpiles of rocket-fired missiles are being reported, as there are no NATO/US boots on the ground to keep those weapons from being sold on the black market.

Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: AFP /Philippe Desmazes)

 

 

 

 

In an earlier report from Foxnews.com we had seen it reported that Libyan Rebels had captured Qaddafi’s home town of Sirte, which apparently led to his capture. We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Col Gaddafi

Qaddafi took power in 1969 in a bloodless coup at the young age of 27. A ruthless dictator for 42 years, he ruled Libya with an iron fist which included reinstating the punishment of cutting off the hands of thieves. U.S. President Reagan gave Qaddafi the moniker of “Mad Dog of the Middle East. According to the latest reports. NATO jets attacked a convoy trying to escape the town of Sirte,  in which Qaddafi was riding in. The Libyan Rebels then captured Qaddafi alive when they found him hiding in a drainage ditch, and attempted to transport him to their Headquarters in Misrata. Qaddafi had wounds from gunshots to his legs and eventually was shot in the head, but whether it was the Rebels or the NATO strike that resulted in Qaddafi’s death is still in dispute.

Libya is now free from the notorious Dictator and there is dancing and celebratory gunshots in the streets across Libya today. France and the UK are to be commended for their role in the initial demands to intervene in Libya and to oust Qaddafi. President Obama eventually bent to the demands of French President Sarkozy to intervene in Libya, and the U.S. was very heavily involved in the initial air strikes and supplied the majority of the cruise missiles that started to turn the tide against Qaddafi. Many people have criticized President Obama for not taking action sooner and possibility avoiding some of the atrocious murders of the Libyan citizens in late 2010, and in the beginning of 2011.

The world, and especially the Libyan people are better off today with the death of the ruthless Libyan Dictator who was also responsible for numerous bombings in other countries, including the deaths of 270 people in the Lockerbe bombing over Scotland. Just what the Libyan people do with their new-found freedom remains to be seen. Qaddafi was supposedly the last obstacle preventing them from installing a Democracy and creating a new constitution. Just how they handle their new-found freedom and liberty could set them up for a true Democracy and a bright future for all Libyans if done properly without overt influence from radical fundamentalists in the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: While Fox News reports Qaddafi is now dead, the BBC still reports that  he was captured here.

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