No Snark: Someone needs to remind Obama

A completely snark-free post, because the issue is serious:

With the news (and the admission) that the Benghazi violence of September 11, which included the murder of our Ambassador, was not a spontaneous outburst of emotion but a planned attack — quite possibly involving Al Qaeda — it’s worth reminding the President and the rest of the country of something important:

From the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to the attacks on New York and Washington, DC, in 2001, Al Qaeda launched attacks on American embassies and interests, and of course the USS Cole, an average of once every 18 months.

When Al Qaeda’s attacks are not responded to, they become bolder.

I am not suggesting what any sort of response should be — because I do not know. I have never been a fan of drones, and I certainly don’t support kill lists. I wish all war would end.

Maybe smart diplomacy — if it’s freaking brilliant beyond anything we have seen in modern history — can bring Al Qaeda terrorists around to laying down their weapons. Perhaps Pope Benedict’s brave and spectacularly successful trip to Lebanon, which was concurrent with so many uprisings in the Middle East, will stir something by way of the Holy Spirit, and amazing things will happen.

I don’t know. Anything is possible. But I do know that history, when it goes ignored, tends to repeat itself. And that the last time Al Qaeda thought it saw a weak horse, it was a bloody decade for America.

And I just want people to remember that — especially whoever is sitting in the White House this time next year — and take it into consideration, before more lives are lost.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Peggy Coffey

    I think Obama has put us in more danger than he probably wants to believe. This entire election is really making me sick. I don’t know how 10% of the country can vote for this man, but saying over 40% agree with his policies and want more of the same is almost too much for me. I have decided that on election day I am going to vote and then pick up my copy of Halo 4 and go into our game room and put on headphones and play Halo until it is all over. That is the only way I will make it through election day.

  • dry valleys

    It’s the whole mentality that really strikes me. They actually think that if a film is released in America, it proves that Obama commissioned it and agrees with its message, therefore randomly attacking Americans is ok. And this, imho, is because they are not used to the idea of a liberal and pluralist democracy which is home to free individuals who might make a statement without government backing, and that the government may not like or want: how would they, having lived under dictators for decades?

    The thing is, I endorse the idea of intervention, and certainly I’m not a pacifist. The judgement is whether it benefits the people who live in these places. I supported Shameron (just for once) and Sarko (ditto) over Libya, and don’t support the war against Iran that is sometimes advocated, because it depends on where we can honestly make a difference for the better. But unlike the Ron Pauls and Patrick Buchanans of this world, I think if we can do something (for example by preventing the mass slaughter that Gaddafi was going to have unleashed), and the natives support it (as they did in Libya), then it is right to act.

    As for the forces behind these riots, they are likely to be members of the establishment, and the reason for this is to divert anger towards America/Jews and away from the real authors of North Africa’s unhappiness, which is the indigenous political and religious elite. You can see the appeal, can’t you? They pick on some filmmaker, and suddenly people’s grievances against them are forgotten.

    There is no clear path ahead for Obama, which is why Romney has stuck to standard themes of upbraiding him for weakness and surrendering, rather than making proposals of his own. The only certainty is that the conception of America or anywhere else retreating behind its own borders and hoping the rest of the world goes away is no more reallistic now than it was 11 years ago.

  • Gayle Miller

    Nobody ever accused these terrorist loons of being rocket scientists (for which we should be grateful) and I cannot believe that we have been consistently lied to and deceived by a president who swore an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” but then these past four years have been completely surreal. We need to hit our knees and storm heaven with pleas for God to protect our beautiful nation and our people from the maelstrom that is coming. Only He can.

  • T

    “I wish all war would end.”

    There is a difference between wishing all war would end and realizing that, in reality, it can’t. The classic response is that “violence never solves anything,” but that is a myth borne of a utopian vision. Unfortunately, violence solves quite a lot. On a global scale, as just one example, it ended the extermination of the Jews in the first half of the 20th century. In the 19th century it ended slavery; in the 18th century it gave rise to this very nation. More locally, many many crimes of violence have been thwarted by individuals and bystanders willing to use violence when the circumstances require to tha salvation of many innocent lives.

    The simple fact is that the schoolyard bully doesn’t want to coexist with you. He wants your lunch money and no amount of speaking nicely to him is going to stop him from taking your lunch money. Because he stupid from the get-go (otherwise he wouldn’t want to extortl your lunch money) he will only stop when you punch him in the nose and no longer submit to his own violence or threats.

    It is just an innate part of the human condition and nihil sub sole novum (there is nothing new under the sun). Unfortunately wishing will never change that.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    The problem with Smart Diplomacy is that it usually isn’t very smart.

    First, we went into Libya, because we were going to save all those noble rebels—who, we were told, just wanted democracy—from the tyrant Gaddafi. Well, Gaddafi was overthrown, and they killed him. . . ah, rather messily. . . but we were told they would institute democracy, any day now. Then, the Moslem Brotherhood came in (they’d probably been there all along), with the support of many of the Libyan people. Arab Spring turned to Winter, pretty quickly.

    Our smart diplomacy wasnt’ very smart there.

    They’ve already murdered the chief diplomat, in Libya. Do we send in more—assuming we can find any to take the risk? Ambassador Stevens thought he had a good, working relationship with the Libyans. Our embassies throughout the Middle East are under attack; is the government working on protecting them? Or we just going to get more “Smart” diplomacy, and empty gestures? Such as having the FBI—an organization created to handle certain crimes within the US—appointed the ones to find the killers? They’ll go in and investigate—when it’s safe.

    This isn’t Kojack, or CSI, or The Untouchables.

    And the time for diplomacy may have passed. In saner times, and places, murdering an ambassador was regarded as an act of war.

  • Gerry

    Someone needs to remind Obama that we are not worshiping him when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance. #obamaflag

  • Todd Flowerday

    Call me a skeptic on this post. It was clear from the start that people don’t get upset about YouTube in the morning, buy rocket grenades at the neighborhood Sam’s Club in the afternoon, and launch an attack at night. I suspect the president and his advisers knew this from the first damage reports.

    It doesn’t strike me as necessary that the president publicly display his hand before the laydown so conservatives know he knows.

    “In saner times, and places, murdering an ambassador was regarded as an act of war.”


    So let’s declare war on terrorism. Oh wait, we already did. Effective, that.

    As for the history lesson, let me offer another. Communism is pretty much dead in the world with the notable exception of three small countries we battled in wars or embargoes. And there’s China I guess, but I can’t figure out if that nation isn’t one big WalMart or what. TR talked big stick, but he also won the Nobel Peace Prize. Go figure.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Oh, Todd, I think communism is very much alive in the world! It’s radioactive—got a long half-life.

    I think the president owes it to the American people to display something, other than his desire to be feted at galas sporting giant, golden champagne towers, and yakking with Letterman.

    He’s the president. The buck supposedly stops with him.

    As for the War on Terrorism. . war has been declared on us, by large parts of the Islamic world: Libya, Egypt, Gaza, etc., as shown by their attacks on our embassies (not to mention Saudi Arabia’s providing most of the 19 hijackers, for the first 9/11.) What name our waffling politicos decide to slap on it, doesn’t change what the thing really is.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    We’ve actually engaged in a lot of diplomacy, smart or otherwise, with the Islamic world; tried to talk Israel into giving up land to please them, helped them in places like Kosovo, and Somalia, embarked on nation building to help them, given them foreign aid, and our the blood of our fighting men and women. . .

    None of it seems to have made them like us.

    Ambassaor Stevens risked his life, sneaking in during the uprising against Kaddafi, to show American support for the rebels. He worked with them, supported them, thought he had a good relationship with him.

    We’ve seen how they repaid him.

    I don’t think the current situation is one that can be solved by diplomacy. Actually, I’d put more faith in the Pope’s visit sparking “amazing things”, though I’m not keeping my fingers crossed. . .

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Actually, I think Gayle’s plan, of storming Heaven with prayers, sounds like the best plan of action, at this point. Our government isn’t going to do anything.

    Again, if this was a sane time and place, after such a horrendous blunder as this, the president would resign—after firing the entire Department of Justice. (Yes, I know; that would mean we’d be stuck with Joe Biden, at least for a few weeks! And it would throw the upcoming election into an uproar. But some things are more important than politics-as-usual.)

    He’s not going to step down. He’s going to continue partying, campaigning and hanging our diplomats, and embassies, out to dry—when his administration isn’t going after nefarious Coptic/Jewish/Christian/American/Whatever filmakers who are inflaming the Moslem world with their nefarious videos.

    I think prayer, and fasting, are the best course of action, at this point.

  • Todd Flowerday

    “Again, if this was a sane time and place, after such a horrendous blunder as this, the president would resign …”

    Well, that would be smart. Too bad Mr Bush didn’t do the same after 9/11, anthrax, and Katrina. Then we could have shown our cards to the whole world, and let terrorists know whenever they wanted a regime change in the US, all they have to do is attack. I don’t think the last handful of presidents have had a very good bead on foreign policy, let alone international subterfuge. But unless I was looking for comedy, I don’t think I’d turn it over to the conservatives in the Catholic comboxes either.

  • Paul A’Barge

    Nothing you/we say or do will accomplish anything to change minds. Nothing will change until we (1) defeat Obama, (2) take the House and Senate, (3) hold the Republicans’ feet to the Tea Party fire and (4) emasculate the Media in the American cultural square.


    Well, except for prayer and faith. Which is what I shall resort to.

  • T

    Gerry @ 1:45 above wrote:

    “Someone needs to remind Obama that we are not worshiping him when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance. #obamaflag”

    Instapundit @ 10:44 wrote:

    “UPDATE: Meanwhile, on the just-plain-creepy side: Actress Jessica Alba asks voters to pledge allegiance to Obama.”

    It is to weep!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Todd, we know; Bush=bad!

    (And I was no big fan of Bush, but the constant harping on him gets tiresome.)

    Nice way to change the subject.

    Some things are more important than politics, “R’s” and “D’s” (as I explained in my last post, and I haven’t changed my mind on that); given the level of incompetence he’s displayed, Obama should resign, and let some other Democrat take a crack at the presidential election. Yes, this would throw the electoral process into an uproar—but, we’re in an uproar already. Letting Obama continue ruining our foregin policy would only make things worse.

    At the very least, Hillary should be fired—and, a lot of other people in the State Department, as well.

    Yes, that’s how serious I think the murder of our Ambassador, and the attacks on our embassies, are. But, then, I realize that Obama’s supporters will continue to defend him, no matter what, and try and shift the blame for his mistakes to: 1. George Bush. 2. Conservatives. 3. Coptic Christians. 4. Israel. 5. The First Amendment. 6. Videos that offend Moslems. 7. My great-great-grandmother’s cat, Smokey!

    Because it doesn’t really matter, as long as somebody, other than Obama, is singled out as scapegoat.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    T, to me this is just one more reason to boycott Hollywood.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Made a mistake above—I said the President should fire the entire Department of Justice—I meant to say, State Department.

    Actually, considering Fast and Furious, I think the Department of Justice needs to be cleaned out, too.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Todd, when the president’s blunders aid terrorists, and don’t hinder them—it’s time for him to step down.

  • Todd Flowerday

    RS, it doesn’t look like you have the president’s ear. Not only does it look like four more years, but the GOP is clearly pitching its chances for the Senate.

    “… the constant harping on him gets tiresome.”

    lol. I suppose once in 2012 seems constant when the tune still plays in one’s head.

    Try for five replies? Go for it. I still don’t think the president is paying attention.

  • T

    People need to understand that there is a symbiosis between Radical Islam and the liberal left. They are both anti-capitalist, they are both into the controlled behavior of people and they are both anti-Western civilization. This is a primary the reason that one never hears human rights organizations denounce the hanging of gays or the stoning and subjugation of women in the Middle East. C.S. Lewis’ observation applies equally to both:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.”

  • T

    “I still don’t think the president is paying attention.”

    Nothing new here, Obama hasn’t been paying attention for quite some time.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Very good points, T.

    Todd, where in my posts, do I claim to have the president’s ear? Where do I claim to be reaching him?

    Nobody’s reaching him at this point—except, maybe, Jay-Z, Beyonce and his adoring followers, who will continue to support him, no matter what. I believe he should step down—but he’s not about to. I agree with Gayle that the best thing we can do now is pray.

    And it isn’t my head the recurring tune’s playing in. I know you’re bitter that he’s being criticized, that his foreign policy isn’t working. Sorry about that. But it’s not my fault. Or Bush’s.

  • dry valleys

    T, you yourself might never hear such things being said, but that’s because you ignore everything that disagrees with your assumptions. Start here for instance:

    There are countless other left-wing people saying similar things, but I will expend no further effort listing them for you, since (a) they can easily be found by anyone who cares enough to do so and (b) I’m pretty sure you’re engaging in a cheap point-scoring exercise rather than expressing a genine curiosity.

  • Ted Seeber

    There is only one clear path away from this- but the past 7 US Presidents have not had the basic courage needed to do what was truly necessary; and I don’t see Romney having the guts to do what is necessary either:

    Cut off the Islamic world and wait for it to become sane again. Remove our diplomats. Restrict civilian commerce and travel to the area. End all trade with the region (including oil, uranium, blood diamonds, and whatever else comes from there). Quarantine them.

    Reformation is chaos. And chaos is a disease. One we do not have a cure for.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Valleys, have you taken a look at your own George Galloway, “Red Ken Livingstone” your own Labor Party, who seem to heartily support Islam? (Yes, yes, I know, they’re all supposedly for the working man, so they can do no wrong.)

    There is a a definite Left/Islam alliance.

  • dry valleys

    (comment nowhere to be seen- probably some kind of sign that I should be doing something else :) )

  • dry valleys

    Thanks for the concern, Rhinestone Suderman. Religious conservative Galloway left Labour long ago and isn’t missed. The stories about Livingstone are mostly fabrications (you’ve presumably heard the one about him being an antisemite, which was refuted soon after but has hovered in the air ever since), and they even tried calling him a homophobe. The man has been the victim of a quite incredible smear campaign by Boris Johnson, who wants to draw attentions away from his own disastrous policies (it was him that handled the London riots so woefully, following on from the conservative government at the time, most of whose members were on holiday at the time).

    So, some left-wing people haven’t confronted Islamism full on, but others have. And those who have will generally accept that there’s a problem but think that right-wing solutions (such as the putative war against Iran) won’t work. That is the basic fact of the matter. That link I posted above is by someone you’re not going to be in unison with. Here’s another.

    If American secularists focus mainly on Christianity, it’s because they meet more Christians in their own lives than they do Muslims, And it’s fairly obvious why secular voices in the Muslim world itself are not heard.

  • T

    dry valleys,

    1) “because you ignore everything that disagrees with your assumptions. ” And you know that for a fact precisely how? Your assumptive statements betray you; sounds like projection to me.

    2) I read your link. And your point is what exactly? I tend to ignore both the far left and the far right as credible sources precisely because, like your initial assumption they “ignore everything that disagrees with [their] assumptions.”

    I’ll type slowly this time so you can understand. My point to be made was regarding a national dialogue. Yes there undoubtedly are some people on the extreme left or right who are consistent in their opinions and have the courage to criticize their ilk. The problem is that their presence is meaningless because they can’t pierce the national dialogue; they usually have no effect. Gays have been hung and beheaded in the ME yet where is the outrage, the press coverage, Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International which have the ability to be heard above the din? Answer . . . crickets chirping. They were vocal for Abu Ghraib where there are no repurcussions, but for a murdered gay Muslim or a stoned Arab woman, they are conspicuously absent. And this is for one of two reasons; either they dare not criticize their ideological soul mates or they fear the reprisal of Islamist fanatics (or both).

    Andres Serrano thinks he is being provocative, avant garde and edgy by creating “Piss Christ.” He is a coward who has yet to put a Quran in a jar of urine.

  • Ray S

    I wish someone would fly over Iran and spread millions of pictures of Hiroshima; with the caption “LEST WE FORGET THE EVIL RESULTS OF NUCLEAR WAR.” In their long term isolation from the rest of the world, I don’t think folks over there have been sufficiently educated as to just what happened.

  • dry valleys

    T, my point is that it’s wrong to say that leftists “never” criticise Islam. It doesn’t happen enough, but it happens. Unfortunately I can’t convince the Human Rights Watches and Amnesty Internationals of this world to redress the balance of their campaigns, but they are by no means the full story. And then you’ve got campaigns such as that against female genital mutilation, which for obvious reasons enjoy feminist and liberal support.

    I’ve never encountered Andres Serrano, but then there’s also this French magazine that published more Motoons: rightly, and I’m sorry it isn’t more common. (The fact that France is more likely than, say, Britain to publish these cartoons- despite having a higher proportion of Muslims- is that the country has a more thoroughly secular state and is accordingly more willing to criticise religion in general).

    There’s even this: (may offend, but I love it).

  • Gerry

    .. and also of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Obama is airing groveling anti-free speech ads on Pakistani TV.

  • FW Ken

    The administration continues to claim the attack in Libya was spontaneous due to the movie, despite what the president of Libya says.

    It’s helpful to distinguish the situations in Libya and Egypt. The former attack was almost certainly independent insurgents. Ambassador Stevens was popular, as is the U.S. in general. Egypt, not still much.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    T, good post. Another problem with the Left is that, if they do speak out, they all too often bring the big “But” into it; you know–”But Israel”, “But Isalmophobia”, “But colonialism”, “But Christian hypocrites”, “But the Palestinians!” “But George Bush!”

    Kinda renders the whole thing pointless

    Here in the states, the reaction from the left has been, depressingly, pretty much support for hunting down the makers of the Innocence of Moslem video, and taking it off Youtube—and how dare you criticize Obama? So much for freedom of speech. Some may be speaking out, but their voices are weak and scattered.

    I have the feeling that American secularists are going to have to start thinking long, and hard, about encountering Islam—whether they want to, or not. And the encounter’s going to be very different than the ones with their Christian neighbors.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If Ambassador Stevens really was popular in Libya. . . well, it just goes to show that popularity doesn’t really count for very much, and shouldn’t be relied on, when dealing with Middle-Eastern governments.

    Yes, I heard about the groveling ads, and that our government is still lying about the cause of the attack. Is anybody really surprised?

  • T

    Dry Valleys,

    Youw wrote: “I can’t convince the Human Rights Watches and Amnesty Internationals of this world to redress the balance of their campaigns . . . ,” and I agree. You can not, not so much because you would be a singluar isolated voice, but because these organizations are immune to such change.

    They are anti-capitalist, anti-Western civilization organizations who will pick at a western scab while ignoring ans Islamic, Chinese or Cubam cancer. They operate under the guise of human rights as a convenient mask with which to promulgate an anti-Western philosophy. They believe that this gives them the moral high ground, but in reality they are simply stroking their own egos as they engage in a public display of emotional masturbation.