Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Likely, you will hear soundbites about this drama in tonight's town hall debate.
This is the bizzaro world of modern political theater where blame must be securely affixed. Clinton made this statement to CNN yesterday,
"I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world -- 275 posts...The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals."Rest assured this has only fed the bellies and the fury of the red meat eaters on Capital Hill. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. They are now pawns on the table for political gamesmanship.
The jackals have the taste of blood and are in full attack mode, this despite the meme of the "I don't remember. I didn't know the details," being developed by their very own political godfather, Ronald Reagan, who's aides darn near copyrighted the strategy during the Iran-Contra affair.
The bitter irony for the President and the Secretary of State is that they are only reaping the blowback of King George the II's wars. Yet the narrative has been flipped on them. Libya was supposed to be near the epicenter of their successes.
The dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, is gone. The Arab Spring started right next door in Tunisia.1
But the problem is Obama and Clinton missed the opportunity by cozying up to a strategy that said anonymous death from the skies is better than dialogue on the ground. Why was America with the generals and the dictators in Egypt?
Well, if you are asking about the origins of that policy, they are deeply rooted and haven't been ideologically divided along Red-Blue lines for decades. Obama simply kept running the program.2 Political stability trumped human rights.
Now, the Muslim Brotherhood is in charge in Egypt and America's influence dwindles daily as the prospects for radicalization increase.
Libya's extremists and the failure of the West to be able to fiat political stability there, any better than it could in Iraq or Afghanistan,3 is ultimately what this is about and why the narrative has been turned on its head. Libya was supposed to reflect the utility, rather than the futility of limited power projection.
President Obama will surely need a better answer than, it's the Secretary of State's fault, should the question arise at tonight's debate.
1How America can possibly still be on the wrong side of fight between the dictators and the people begging for freedom, fifty years after Vietnam, is a national debate we need to be having.
2As Mrs. Clinton would have if she had won the presidency.
3Or in Syria, where we are trying out a tacitly "non-interventionist" approach.