–The perfect symbolism of the president of the United States going to sleep in the face of a crisis, the living embodiment of a 2008 election ad by his opponent about whether he would deal with a crisis that erupted at 3 AM.
–The perfect symbolism of the secretary of state being the one who put out that ad and who then said, “What difference does it make” regarding the attackers’ motives.
–The fact that the cover-up seems to be involved with the administration’s need to declare victory over al Qaeda. Not only is that claim untrue but the idea that if al Qaeda is defeated there is no more threat from revolutionary Islamism is the central bad theme of Administration Middle East policy.
–The issue of why the ambassador was in Benghazi that day. Remember that President Obama stood before the United Nations General Assembly and said that he was there to plan a new school and hospital wing. Was he telling an outright lie?
Was the ambassador there in an attempt to retrieve advanced weapons previously provided to Libyan Islamist groups in the war against the Qadhafi dictatorship because they could be turned against America? Well, such weapons were turned against America that day. If so, the situation showed the bankruptcy of the pro-Islamist policy.
Or was it an effort to funnel weapons to the Syrian rebels, in a policy likely to repeat the problems in Libya? If so, the situation showed the bankruptcy of the pro-Islamist policy.
- Or was there a policy of negotiating some kind of deals with extreme and anti-American Islamist terrorists? If so, the situation showed the bankruptcy of the pro-Islamist policy.
And finally what could be more symbolic than the hiring of Islamist terrorists to guard the consulate, men who deserted or even turned their guns against the Americans there? It is truly symbolic because the Obama Administration has turned to Islamists—in Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, and elsewhere–in the belief that they are best suited to guard U.S. interests in the Middle East.
In discussing the Benghazi affair none of these broader issues should be forgotten. It was not merely an order for the American rescue forces to “stand down” but for the United States to bow down.
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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