Three days after unilaterally deciding to go to war in Libya, while insisting on calling it something other than a war, Obama had justified his intervention to the American people based on protecting what would shortly become Libya’s most famously infamous city. “We saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city… we knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi… could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”
But there was no massacre. Nor was there ever going to be one. The only people who were massacred in Benghazi were Americans.
Obama had not kicked off a war because he was genuinely worried about the “700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear,” as some tin-eared speechwriter had scrawled on the teleprompter, but because the fall of Benghazi would have meant the end of the rebellion and the end of the Arab Spring, showing every dictator that he could stay in power by toughing it out and fighting the rebels down to the last man.
The Libyan War was not fought so that the 700,000 men, women and children of Benghazi could go from living under the rule of a totalitarian government to living under the rule of totalitarian militias. That was just an unintended consequence of bombing a country so that the militias can take it over. And it wasn’t the only such unintended consequence as Gaddafi’s Touraeg allies paired up with Al Qaeda to seize half of Mali and Libyan weapons were passed around to terrorist groups like Hamas.
Those unintended consequences came together on September 11 when those militias decided to commemorate the day with a round of attacks against American targets. Ground Zero for their campaign was Benghazi, the city where they were strongest because the heavily armed militias there had been growing fat on protection money. The same militia that attacked the Benghazi mission also provided security for the hospital where Ambassador Stevens was taken after the attack, providing gainful employment to Salafi terrorists from as far away as Iraq and Pakistan.
Obama had gained attention as a critic of the Iraq War, squawking about necessary wars to small crowds of wealthy elderly Marxists from Chicago’s upper crust champions of the red working class, but no sooner had he gotten out of Iraq than he was jumping up and down on the diving board and splashing down into Libya to show how much smarter and better he was at fighting unnecessary wars than that ignorant Texan who shot first and nuanced later.
George W. had told the American people that there was a vital American interest in stopping Saddam, from getting his hands on WMDs. Barack H. told the American people that “it was not in our national interest” to let Gaddafi capture Benghazi. What national interest was at stake in keeping Benghazi run by homicidal Islamist militias tied to Al Qaeda will be a lot harder to find than Iraqi WMDs.
Bush had told the United Nations that he wanted regime change in Iraq. Obama lied to the UN and told them that he was only looking for a No-Fly-Zone and then used that zone as an excuse to keep bombing Libya long after its air force had run out crop dusters and bottle rockets, until a drone pinned down Gaddafi’s convoy long enough for a mob to gather around and sodomize him to death.
The crazy Texan had built a fortified Green Zone for the American diplomatic presence. The smart Kenyan stuck them in an exposed mansion patrolled by terrorist militias and waited longer to rescue them than he did to send out another email offering a chance to win a free dinner with him, proving that there really is such a thing as a free lunch.
The ignorant cowboy-hat-wearing hick had tried to manage Iraq’s transition to democracy by moving in the troops to keep order, but his far cleverer coke-snorting successor with far more experience in the international arena outsourced the Libyan transition to the militias. And it kept the American casualties down until was the militias decided to manage the transition of the Benghazi mission from a boring compound to an exciting war zone.