Here’s what Obama said in his State of the Union message—which didn’t mention his alleged pursuit of the Benghazi terrorists:
“Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. Different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving.”
In other words, al-Qaeda is weakened to the point of collapse but then again…it isn’t.
“But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security….And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.”
Now that is a perfect model of what should be done: cooperation with American allies when possible; direct action when necessary. But that hasn’t happened. The allies are too weak or are even in bed with the terrorists themselves. The “ally” that the U.S. government is depending on to take care of the terrorists for it is the Muslim Brotherhood. Incidentally, the Libyan government is also the biggest single financial donor–presumably with behind-the-scenes U.S. encouragement or even pressure–to the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated group in Syria.
That’s why Obama didn’t mention Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, or Syria in his speech about counter-terrorism. CIA director John Brennan is directing such a policy but it isn’t good to say that too publicly or in front of a joint session of Congress.
And elsewhere—here’s where Yemen, Libya, and Somalia come in–regimes cannot provide for their own security. Or, to reframe the issue, what if they can only provide for their own security by ignoring or even undermining U.S. interests?
Yes, it’s much easier to throw some California-based video-maker into prison than to do anything effective.
The night of September 11, 2012, was the perfect time to “continue to take direct action against those terrorists.” Instead, Obama went to sleep and he has yet to wake up. And there’s graphic proof for that assertion in the streets of Benghazi today.
Originally published at Rubin Reports.Barry Rubin
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
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