In an interview with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is considering a presidential run as a foreign policy war hawk, George Will sums up what went wrong with Hillary Clinton’s diplomacy in Libya and gives us a useful term: “progressive imperialism.” [Read more…]
Three diplomats on the scene in Libya when Islamists killed the American ambassador and torched the embassy facility in Benghazi testified before a Congressional committee that the official State Department account of the incident is not exactly correct. The three also told of pressure they received not to tell the whole story. [Read more…]
It turns out that the man who made that reportedly salacious movie about Mohammed, The Innocence of Muslims, that has set the Middle East on fire is NOT Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American with 200 Jewish investors, as he claimed. That was a fake identity for a convicted scam artist named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian. The Copts are already cruelly persecuted in Egypt, so this won’t help them.
So do we blame this guy or defend his freedom of speech?
The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed, along with three other Americans, when Islamists fired rocket grenadees at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Mobs were protesting an American-made movie ostensibly funded by Jewish militants entitled Innocence of Muslims, which depicts Mohammad and portrays him (some say pornographically) as a sexual predator. (All that had been released was a YouTube trailer, since taken down. See this on questions about the filmmaker.) Officials are saying, however, that the protests may have only been a cover for a planned attack designed to avenge the recent assassination by drone of a major al-Qaeda leader on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The killing of an Ambassador is traditionally considered an act of war. American warships are taking positions off Libya and Marines have moved in to secure the Embassy. Meanwhile, the protests over the film are spreading to other Muslim countries, with the U.S. Embassy in Cairo under siege. With the alleged Jewish connection to the movie, Israel will be a sure target.
So now a major international crisis breaks out just before the election. For the political fallout, see this. Normally, when America is attacked, the country rallies together and partisan divisions are set aside. But Mitt Romney has chosen to take the occasion to blast President Obama for his foreign policy weakness and his poor handling of this incident. Now Romney is getting blowback for inappropriate and unpatriotic criticism at a time of crisis. Who’s right here?
This sounds even worse than Rick Perry’s memory lapse, a function not so much of forgetting something but not knowing in the first place:
In an interview today with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain visibly struggled to explain his position on President Obama’s Libya policy.
The video is particularly damaging for Cain, who has struggled on matters of foreign policy in the past.
Asked if he agreed with the president, Cain said, “Okay, Libya,” and then was silent for about ten — yes, ten — seconds, before asking, “President Obama supported the uprising, correct?”
Cain then said he did not agree with Obama’s handling of the uprising, before adding: “No, that’s a different one. I’ve got to go back, got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me did I agree or not agree with Obama.”
Finally, Cain concluded that he “would have done a better job of assessing the situation relative to the opposition first, before I made decisions about what we would do” but did not spell out any differentiation on policy.
See for yourself. It isn’t just what he says–and asks–about Libya. It’s his rambling, incoherent discourse that follows. This video is really painful to watch:
Yes, we like him. Some of you think the sexual harrassment charges against him are bogus. But shouldn’t our president have at least some experience that relates to his office? Shouldn’t he show at least some knowledge of foreign affairs and other matters that he’ll need to deal with?
Saddam Hussein, Osama bin-Laden, and now Muammar Qaddafi:
Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan strongman who fled into hiding after an armed uprising toppled his regime two months ago, met a violent and vengeful death Thursday in the hands of rebel fighters who stormed his final stronghold in his Mediterranean hometown Surt. At least one of his sons was also killed.
Al Jazeera television showed footage of Colonel Qaddafi, alive but bloody, as he was dragged around by armed men in Surt. The television also broadcast a separate clip of his half-naked torso, with eyes staring vacantly and an apparent gunshot wound to the head, as jubilant fighters fired automatic weapons in the air. A third video, posted on Youtube, showed excited fighters hovering around his lifeless-looking body, posing for photographs and yanking his limp head up and down by the hair.
Conflicting accounts quickly emerged about whether Colonel Qaddafi was executed by his captors, died from gunshot wounds sustained in a firefight, was mortally wounded in a NATO air strike on his escaping convoy or bled to death in an ambulance. But the images broadcast by Al Jazeera punctuated an emphatic and gruesome ending to his four decades as a ruthless and bombastic autocrat who had basked in his reputation as the self-styled king of kings of Africa.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Qaddafi has been killed,” Mahmoud Jibril, the prime minister of the Transitional National Council, the interim government, told a news conference in Tripoli. Mahmoud Shammam, the council’s chief spokesman, called it “the day of real liberation. We were serious about giving him a fair trial. It seems God has some other wish.”
So the War in Libya, in which the USA played second fiddle to NATO, was a success, with the rebels in power and the dictator dead, with no American lives lost. (Anyone know the NATO casualties?) So shall we give President Obama credit? Or do you have mixed feelings about this?