Ghosts of Benghazi haunt Obama on Syria

September 11, 2013
By

The date of September 11th is sacred to America. Whether it be the worst terrorist attack on our soil in 2001 or 2012 when 4 brave Americans lost their lives in Benghazi, the date calls for reflection and remembrance, not a Presidential prop for military adventure.

That Mr. Obama used the eve of that date to make his pitch for escalating America involvement in Syria’s civil war is but another folly to add to a long list of tone deaf actions.

Mere words can never relay the pain that swept the land that night of September 11, 2001 or the feeling of fear and abandonment our fellow Americans felt that night of September 11, 2012. But if words can do anything they should at least remind of the differences between the dates: 2001 and 2012 were direct terrorist attacks against American civilians, last night was not.

The administration narrative is that since Bashar al-Assad escalated his use of chemical weapons, the world cannot tolerate such escalation and therefore, America, must escalate her involvement to keep Assad from escalating his.

Throw in a sentence about Iran here, Israel there, a little North Korea and Hezbollah dashed on top and you’ve got an old recipe with no new outcome.

Some blame opposition on politics, others blame Bush and Iraq, but the reasoned opposition is looking to history.

Specifically, the history of August, 1964, the USS Maddox, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats, and the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that sailed through the Congress with little thought or debate.

No matter how many DVD’s of dead Syrian children the administration distributes, they will not erase the images of almost sixty thousand American boys coming home in coffins from Vietnam.

The call that we must act now to contain others is the same tune that was playing in the summer of ’64.

But it is also the President’s own record that is filling the sails of opposition.

If Mr. Obama and his administration had been forthcoming in the days immediately following the Benghazi attack of September 11, 2012 and presented the truth instead of a B Hollywood script about an anti-Muslim video, the world would be more willing to believe him now.

And tomorrow is a year to the day that Mr. Obama promised: “make no mistake, justice will be done.”.

Yet not one Benghazi terrorist has been apprehended, not one State Department bureaucrat responsible for that gross incompetence has been terminated, and still not one photo of the Commander in Chief being anywhere near anything remotely resembling a command center that fateful night.

That our Nobel Peace Prize President is in such a rush for war, is disturbing enough, but toss in an Elmer Fudd style messaging campaign and the word “convoluted” takes on new meaning.

The time to have acted in Syria was two years ago, but that endangered the President’s re-election. So, words were uttered, a “red-line” was drawn, and the entire mess was pushed back until either his second term or his replacement’s first.

That Mr. Obama is now asking the world to just trust him on Syria is best summed up in the words of his own former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, when during Senate hearings on the Iraq surge told General David Patraeus: “..I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief.”

If the President was truly worried about American credibility abroad, he would put a lot more urgency into bringing the Benghazi terrorists to justice than rushing into what very likely will explode into a major regional war.

(Publisher’s note:  An edited for print version of this column appeared in the September 11, 2013 print edition of the Joplin Globe and may be read here.)

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