and an outburst
...about losing four Americans including Chris Stevens (U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens; Libya) in the Benghazi Consulate Attack, and the current protest / assault against American interests sweeping across various countries-in-turmoil.
Yes. I did wait for a couple of days to get as many different reports in as I could before commenting.
First the outburst:
DAMN IT! Avoidable; it seems as of information coming out today, predictable; and absolutely unforgivable that an Ambassador was in a low-security Consulate in a risk-area at ten o'clock at night with only his traveling (and likely doing more than one job) Diplomatic Security close-team at the location.
Now the thoughts:
There should currently be a search for at least two replacement Ambassadors going on in Foggy Bottom. The public conduct of the US EMB CAIRO has been shameful and I don't care if the Ambassador was out and he left Public Affairs in the hands of underlings. Command Responsibility and all that.
While we're at it, this sort of multi-level screw up should fall on the Administration, especially the SecState. Given the crew currently running the regime in D.C., that's not going to happen voluntarily, but it should.
There can't be, for many reasons, any public recognition of some of the people who kept the 37 Americans that survived the Benghazi Consulate Attacks (multiple wave complex assault; it was not just a riot, folks), it is probably ok in the near future to hang some public "thank-you" on the small detachment ...reportedly U.S. Marines, reportedly only eight men... that were rushed in from the Embassy in Tripoli and were essential in holding things together until a proper rescue / evacuation could be done. Same goes for the loyal-to-the-Libyan-government troops that did help... yes, there were some.
The apology from the Libyan government and their promise to bring the attackers to justice is one that should be accepted. It also should be waved in the face of any local official that interferes with the effort to bag the attackers... oh and while one is at it, do find out why the local Libyan "guards" helped the attackers continue their assault... and bag them all too.
Egypt, specifically "President" Mursi, on the other hand... need to pretty quick be doing the old Chinese Kowtow crawl to the steps of the White House for their role in actively promoting the fraud that led to the Cairo Riot and Perimeter Breach... or a reply somewhat similar to that made to the Boxer Rebellion is entirely in order.
Karzai in Afghanistan, jumping on the "Outrageous Outrage" bandwagon, needs to remember his place in the order of things... or else.
In fact, the entire "Outrageous Outrage" as a political mechanism by the leadership of an chronically insecure social theocracy needs a little rough treatment by the civilized world right now. Yes, I know it is "your custom" to be so outraged (presuming one is a hardened Islamist; no such claim applies against Sufi or other Muslims that are also victimized by the fanatics)... might I remind one and all of the British Colonial-era reply as to the Hindu practice of Sati (suttee), paraphrased as: "You may burn her, as is your custom, but then we will hang you for murder, as is our custom."
The timing of all these events ~ Tunisia; Libya; Egypt; Yemen; the provocations in Afghanistan and other places ~ is not coincidental. A concerted effort was made to get the "insult to the Prophet" translated into Arabic and publicized juuuuuust in time for the eleventh day of September, and then it was pushed out in the various local media anywhere someone could be found to take offense.
There is a real possibility that the original "movie" that is the supposed excuse for all the "Outrageous Outrage" justification mentioned above is not legit. Several serious questions about the main person behind making the film are being raised... like a history of criminal fraud and false identities... and the claims of Jewish or Coptic interests being behind the film production are looking pretty fake too (at least as of today). In the old school, we used to call these sort of inside-the-opponent-country propaganda jobs "Active Measures"... and I'd say this case is similar enough to bear a whole lot of investigation.
It is helmets and shovels time for any American, (or European, or Japanese) diplomatic presence anywhere within reach of the fanatics. Shutter the Consulates and Offices and get everyone back inside the Embassy. Dig in deep, fellows, and aim true when they come over the wall. Because Friday is the day of prayer... and the frothing fanatics will be doing everything they can in their sermons to stir the masses into doing something very very stupid.
I am reminded (thank you, Glenn Reynolds!) that the paraphrase above re: Sati is more correctly rendered as The Napier Response:
"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs."
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