‘Looking back, it may indeed have been wise not to bomb targets in Libya that night. Given the uproar in the Arab world, this might have been the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a burning fire. But the anguish of Woods’s father is understandable: His son’s life might have been saved by a more aggressive response. The Obama administration needs to level with the country about why it made its decisions.’
If the decision was made to not save Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dougherty after they disobeyed the second order given to them to stand down, and in so doing the White House put some other priority first, what was that priority?
If the order was given just for policy reasons, and to protect a larger vision for the Middle East, then how is that vision working out?
This decision may be a pressure point where the the whole of the current administration’s foreign policy platform met the realities of the Middle East and continuing threat of radical Muslim terrorism.
We are using drone strikes, military and intelligence capabilities to protect ourselves from Al Qaida and other terrorist threats. We are doing this 24/7. Such actions can bring retaliation. The liberal internationalist vision Obama is trying to project upon the Middle East appeals to the Muslim on the street, and tries to redirect American power so that either ‘moderate’ Muslims push the terrorists and radicals aside, or that Muslim sentiment is such that Muslim countries are induced with carrots and sticks into some international framework or a place at the international bargaining table. Even further, Muslim sentiment may be such that Muslims agree to overthrow a tyrant and accept the burdens and responsibilities of more democratic institutions that come after a revolution (that America aids, instead of imposes, which is why this approach is the anti-Bush approach and one of Obama’s main points of pride). Libya was a mild success in this regard, and there was some public sentiment to push out Ansar Al-Sharia after the Benghazi attack, but it is still chaotic and very dangerous and it remains to be seen what will happen there. Iran and Afpak look much more daunting, as does Syria.
Some explanation would be nice, least of all for the four Americans who died to protect themselves and their country, and their families.
Addition: Was it even a mild success?
Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest–Benghazigate, Republicans Missing The Point-For Garfinkle, the point is that the Libyan war was a mistake in the first place, not the Bush-lite, masterfully played pivot off of Obama’s Cairo speech. It’s spilling out all over the place. It’s not meeting its objectives. Regardless, politics does have its uses, and the main one is to hold our leaders accountable, regardless of party affiliation.
From Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘Exclusive: Libya Cable Detailed Threats’‘Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘U.S. Officials Knew Libya Attacks Were Work of Al Qaeda Affiliates’ From The BBC Via Michael Totten: ‘Libya: Islamist Militia Bases Stormed In Benghazi’
Al Qaida back in AfPak: Lara Logan On Afghanistan Via Youtube: ’2012 BGA Annual Luncheon Keynote Speech’
The rise of Islamism across the region…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill
Didn’t we have this discussion a while ago: Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others