Starting in March 2011--eighteen months before the Benghazi Bungle--I ran several posts (available in the archives) which expressed doubt over and opposition to our involvement in the EU's war on Libya. Make no mistake: This was the EU's war. The Europeans became fed up with Qaddafi when he no longer gave their oil companies preferential treatment. The same Europeans who vehemently opposed Reagan's action against Qaddafi when he posed a threat, now ardently demanded American action against Qaddafi when he no longer did--and when, in fact, he leaned toward the USA. At the time, I expressed my views to State colleagues working on Libya and North Africa. They dismissed me for my lack of "expertise."
Much more important, however, Obama and Clinton violated the Number One Diplomad Rule of Foreign Policy: Never pay attention to Europeans. Except at times the British, the rest of Europe hasn't a clue about how the world works.
I noted in one early post that,
Unlike Saddam, the Taliban, or Al Qaeda, crazy old Qaddafi posed no threat to the US homeland or to our interests abroad. One of the great achievements of the Bush administration was that it defanged Qaddafi-- dismantled his nuclear weapons program and turned him into a valuable source of information on Al Qaeda. That administration basically treated Qaddafi as though he were an aged sex offender, put him under house arrest and tagged him with an ankle monitor. Qaddafi, once the darling of the left, became just a cranky old man with an odd fashion sense selling his oil to whomever wanted it. <....> [W]e had an imperfect solution in an imperfect world.
Then, Qaddafi got himself a rebellion. OK. People in Libya are unhappy. OK. He is a crazy gangster and responded like a gangster. OK. And our interests are what? Are they so pressing as to justify Obama's incredible abuse of Presidential power? <...> What is the mission? No Fly Zone, or blast Qaddafi into the arms of 72 virgins? What result will make any difference to American national interests? What are our interests in this?Those questions never got answered, and we ended up as predicted,
The US, of course, will have to take over the whole operation when it becomes patently clear that neither the British nor the French have the capabilities needed. That, therefore, means the whole mess will be ours: the UN will back off; the Arab League will be nowhere to be seen; and the EU will be snickering behind our backs with not a word of thanks for having secured their oil supplies. And the Libyans? All of them, pro- and anti-Qaddafi, will be angry with us and our intervention.
Our policy was also motivated by another trait of the liberal mind: See what you believe. The Obama cult believed that the magical powers of the Dear Leader from Chicago would transform the world into a peaceful Eden where Julia could tend her community garden free from the threat of unwanted pregnancies, medical expenses, or having to look for a real job. The Arabs and the entire Muslim world would abandon their 1400-year-old war against the rest of the world, and come join us around the camp fire. Ah, the Arab Spring . . . if just those pesky Jews living in Occupied Palestine would get over their paranoia everything would be great.
This delusional state of mind, combined with the pressing need to win an election, prevented our National Command Authority from reacting to the protracted and extremely violent assault on our Benghazi facility. This attack simply cannot be. I killed Osama! It has to be an aberration: Yes, that nasty culturally insensitive video produced in California! That was what threw everything off! After all, I killed Osama! A crowd upset by the video grew a bit unruly, and . . . tsk, tsk . . . these bumps in the road happen on the way to global Nirvana. It just can't be terrorism. Did I mention that I killed Osama?
I have yet to see evidence that the President, who had real time knowledge of events in Benghazi, gave the military anything approximating an "Execute Order." His statement on this makes no sense, nor does Panetta's. Until I see solid evidence to the contrary, I cannot and will not believe that the US military rejected or otherwise defied a Presidential "go." That is not the US military with which I dealt for thirty-four years. Wherever I was in the world, I knew that if it hit the fan, they would come get me, or make a damn fine effort to do so.
What Stevens was doing in Benghazi on 9/11 is inexplicable. Unless he had orders to go there on that day for some very special reason, he suffered a major lack of judgement which contributed to his death and that of three others at the hands of Islamist murderers. What was the purpose of the Benghazi facility? If it was a cover for other activities, why did the Ambassador draw attention to it? Was this part of a "gun walking" exercise from Libya to Syrian rebels via Turkey? If so, who knew about it? By that I mean how widespread was the knowledge within Libya and elsewhere that we were doing or intending to do that? It certainly seems to have been leaking into the press as part of the Obama misadministration's efforts to appear supportive of "freedom" in the Arab world. If we were "walking" guns to the Syrian rebels, might the attack not have been instigated by the Syrian regime or its Iranian allies? If this facility was engaged in highly sensitive work, why was it so poorly defended? The questions are endless; anybody reading this can come up with dozens more. The answers, however, well, those are not forthcoming.
The insanity of Obama's Libya policy gets further underlined when see that now our clueless Secretary of State has gone to Algeria to seek support for US-French action against the growing threat of Islamic terrorism in Africa, in particular in Mali. There used to be somebody who knew how to keep those crazies under control; his name was Qaddafi. Maybe Hillary should go talk to him . . . oh, yes, I forgot, "We came, we saw, he died!" It now seems likely that Americans will have to risk their lives in Mali, because Obama's delusions helped overthrow Qaddafi.
We will kill and die yet more for Obama's Arab Spring.