The Benghazi boondoggle

America emasculated: how the Libya attack highlights the shocking shortcomings of the administration

It is the morning of September 11, 2012. Things seem to be looking up for President Obama — a slew of polls has come out showing that the President maintains a lead in a handful of swing states he will need to win come November. Today is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and to commemorate this solemn occasion President Obama is heading off to Las Vegas for a ritzy fundraiser. Of course with the good domestic news on his mind the President doesn’t attend his daily intelligence briefing — this will be the sixth straight day that he has not been personally briefed. That can, of course, come later. Osama Bin Laden is dead after all, what could possibly go wrong, especially on 9/11? Since his inauguration, the president has attended the Presidential Daily Brief approximately 44 percent of the time, even less in the last year and a half.

Halfway around the world the U.S. ambassador to Libya is worried: during the last few days there has been concrete intelligence that American embassies were at risk of attack and that American diplomats in Libya were “not secure.” Furthermore, Al-Qaeda’s leaders have posted YouTube videos urging Libyans to attack Americans and the ambassador is worried that he is on an Al-Qaeda hit list.

Yet this morning Ambassador Stevens is traveling unprotected, as there is still no Marine force in Libya to protect Americans, as is standard protocol. The Obama administration has not heightened security measures in Libya, leaving security in the hands of local Libyans. In a few hours time much of the local security force will abandon the ambassador as a militia force storms a U.S. safe house and kills four Americans, including Stevens.

The lack of preparation for, and the response to this terrorist attack are shocking. Earlier in the day, as a mob descended on the U.S. embassy in Egypt, the embassy issued a statement which did not condemn the attacks on the embassy, but instead apologized to those who had been offended by a YouTube video which insulted Muhammad (reportedly the cause of the riot).

Additionally, for over a week the administration’s official stance on the Benghazi attack was that it was not a coordinated terrorist attack, but rather a spontaneous riot resulting from tensions over the video. Last week, amidst riots at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, President Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared in TV ads apologizing for the Muhammad video. This isn’t simply appeasement, this is blaming the victim, and it is just one example of how the administration has emasculated the U.S.

Pakistan, Egypt, Libya: these were numerous attacks against U.S. citizens on sovereign U.S. soil. The proper response is not an “I’m sorry,” but a “how dare you.” In administrations past, the potential retaliation to force used against the United States served as a deterrent. It was the job of the commander in chief to exude confidence in the righteousness of America’s ideals (including freedom of expression).

And yet, for over three years President Obama has managed time and time again to defang America. His first speech in Cairo contained an apology for our “dictating” to other people. America has abandoned Poland, an ally, to appease Putin and the Russians. We have committed to “engaging” Iran in dialogue for over three years, all while no progress has been made to halt Iran’s march towards The Bomb. We have released terrorists from Guantanamo Bay who have come back to attack us (one such terrorist helped coordinate the Libya attack). We continue to supply aid to Pakistan which in all likelihood harbored Osama Bin Laden next-door to an army compound for years. Obama shook hands and posed with Hugo Chavez, a man who has called the U.S. the most “murderous empire that has [ever existed].” In short, America is now viewed as a pushover.

This administration needs to wake up. Just because Osama Bin Laden is dead does not mean that America’s security interests merit less attention than a fundraiser. Threats against America are a very real concern and when we are attacked it is important to make clear that such attacks will not be tolerated. Strength and resolve, not appeasement, make America the strong nation it is.

Anonymous about 11 years ago

"Pakistan, Egypt, Libya: these were numerous attacks against U.S. citizens on sovereign U.S. soil. The proper response is not an Im sorry, but a how dare you. In administrations past, the potential retaliation to force used against the United States served as a deterrent."

What is this supposed to mean? A military invasion of Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya? Such a threat wouldn't even be taken seriously by anyone given the debacles that were Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama is correct to engage the Muslim world in conciliatory dialogues, as the tough-talking policies of "administrations past" were clear failures (Really. Name me an administration whose Middle East policy can be considered exemplary). It would be wise for neocons such as Mr. Edelman to recognize this reality.

AJ Edelman about 11 years ago


There is a reason the Iranian hostage crisis ended minutes after Pres. Reagan was sworn into office.

The premise of the argument is that appeasement makes America weak. No "invasions" are advocated for, rather, it would bode well for the US if our President were to stop apologizing when we are being attacked. Apologizing during an attack on ones self isn't "engaging in conciliatory dialogues", it is appeasement of the worst kind.

Furthermore, you also don't seem to understand the other premise of the piece: that the Administration does not view threats against America as seriously as it should. Fundraising on 9/11 while skipping a security briefing, lying about the suspected motives of the attack, continuing to fundraise the day after, it is a mockery of the duties of the Commander in Chief.

Withholding of aid used to be a threat sufficient enough to spur a foreign government to act in some way. However I don't ever recall appeasement having any positive effects whatsoever. Usually it emboldens those who are the true aggressors.

Arafat about 11 years ago

I have a recommendation, or two, about how to better address the perenial Islamic problem.

Educate. Quit pretending and lying. Teach people what Islam is really all about. Quit pretending Mohammed was an all-American hero and tell it like it is. Teach people about Islam's supremacist doctrine and its dreams of a worldwide ummah.

Work towards an atmosphere where Muslims feel free to safely leave their religion without fear of threats against them or their family.

Work with our allies and China and Russia towards these goals.

Remember the first victims of Islam are Muslims - the slaves of Islam. If we can make them understand that their religion oppresses them, steals them of their ability to be free and allow them the opportunity to leave it then one day we might all be free of this insidious problem.