International Issues Not Going Away

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

This column that usually focuses on Georgia politics has spent much time of late on national issues.  Today we are forced to widen the spectrum to international issues.  Late in the evening of September 11th we began receiving reports that U.S. embassies in both Egypt and Libya were attacked by extremists.

As of the deadline for this piece there is one American confirmed dead in the Libyan attack, with unconfirmed reports that he is the American ambassador to Libya. Other reports indicate that three Americans are dead.  A day that has now been permanently scarred by radical elements into our collective history has additional blood added to its toll.

The motivation for the attack appears to be the showing of a film made by Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American real-estate developer according to CNN.com.  Bacile told the Wall Street Journal he wanted to showcase his view of Islam as a hateful religion.

The U.S. embassy in Cairo responded to the attacks by tweeting had earlier tweeted “We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims”.  A tweet that was later removed. (see note below in the comments)

Being neither an expert on international relations nor wishing to attempt to further explain the motivations of radical extremists, we’ll let the initial confusion of news reports and the haphazard U.S. response serve as a reminder that the world we live in is not scripted, and the elections we are about to hold are to pick a world leader who will assume much more responsibility that we are normally reminded.

The issues we face in world affairs are as daunting as any our country has faced in generations.  While we like to pretend we are in control of our own destiny, there will be events beyond those of our choosing that will require U.S. decisions, responses, and actions.  The stakes are high.

During a recent interview at the Republican National Convention, Senator Saxby Chambliss, ranking member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke of the growing tensions between Israel and Iran over Iran’s developing nuclear program.  His tone changed to one of grave seriousness when speaking of the growing potential for conflict between the two nations, and seemed resigned to almost indicate the matter is “when”, not if, Israel will respond.

He added the further disturbing caveat that he was not sure if the U.S. would get advance notice if Israel were to conduct an operation to remove Iran’s nuclear capabilities.  This is just one potential growing threat the U.S. faces of being drawn into yet another overseas conflict.

A nation that is weary after a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq would like to focus on our own domestic economy, health care, and other issues closer to home.  And we must.

We cannot, however, deny the reality that there are many additional issues that will choose us even if we do not choose them.  Our interests span the globe.  Our desire to focus on the home front does not make international issues go away.

Others will parse the meaning of the actions in Libya and Egypt.  The implications extend into our own issues of how we view freedom of religion and freedom of speech.  There will be much to discuss.

But at this hour, we must be reminded that we can script the issues as we would have them only so much.  Eventually, events of the world will dictate what our country will face under our next administration.

75 comments

  1. Three Jack says:

    If Mitt Romney had not issued a statement, the media and many prominent GOPers would be piling on to criticize his lack of foreign policy experience.

    But Mitt Romney not only issued a statement, he backed it up this morning. So of course the media and pandering GOPers trash him for daring to criticize the very critizable administration.

    I’m not a Romney fan, but what the hell is he supposed to do? The latest line of attack against him from Obama was based on a lack of foreign policy knowledge. Then much to Obama’s surprise, we are in the midst of a full on crisis where the first reaction from the US is to appease radical muslims. Romney correctly pounced and deserves credit for doing so knowing full well he would be attacked from all sides. He actually shows he has a pair for once, good job Mitt.

    • David C says:

      What was Mitt Romney supposed to do? Pretty simple: Say “I condemn these outrageous attacks. I applaud our brave foreign service officers and grieve with their families. Politics can wait for another day.” Do that, instead of going all out trying to make a political football out of a tragedy before the bodies are even cold, and before you know anything at all about what happened.

      By comparison, look at how Reagan and Bush reacted to the failure at Desert One in 1980:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/history-lesson-what-ronald-reagan-said/2012/09/12/966e5ef4-fcf9-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_blog.html

      “Carter’s presidential rivals were charitable. Republican George Bush supported the president’s actions without reservation. Ronald Reagan and Edward Kennedy offered sympathy to the families of the dead troopers and called for national “unity.”

      Bush was most outspoken, saying, “I unequivocally support the president — no ifs, ands or buts. . . . He made a difficult, courageous decision.”

      In strikingly similar formal statements, which they declined to amplify, Reagan and Kennedy expressed sympathy for the family of the eight men killed in the rescue effort, and pledged to preserve “national unity” in the cause of the hostages’ release.

      Before breaking off his Michigan campaigning to return to Washington, Kennedy said, “I share the feeling of all Americans at this sad moment for our country. . . . Whatever our other differences, we are one nation in our commitment to the hostages, our concern for their families, and our sorrow for the brave men who gave their lives trying to rescue their fellow citizens.”

      A few hours later, Reagan told a Los Angeles press conference, “This is a difficult day for all of us Americans. . . . It is time for us . . . to stand united. It is a day for quiet reflection . . . when words should be few and confined essentially to our prayers.””

      • Three Jack says:

        You can’t compare a failed rescue mission to the circumstances currently in Libya and Egypt. Not even close. I don’t recall Carter apologizing in advance either.

        Mitt handled it correctly. He should get credit where due, and I for one am glad he said what he said then stood by it instead of the usual ‘walk-back’ that occurs when a politician is challenged.

  2. Max Power says:

    Charlie,
    The factual error in this piece is huge as Chris points out, and it needs to be corrected. There was no haphazard response to the attack, there was a statement prior to the attacks.

    • Three Jack says:

      Why did the US Embassy in Cairo issue a statement discussing an internet trailer for a movie that likely never would have found a screen larger than a 20″ computer monitor?

      Whatever the timing was, it is still an ill-advised move on the part of muslim appeasers posing as representatives of the United States.

        • Three Jack says:

          Rather innocuous, hmmm. It was a straight up apology for some BS internet trailer, really did a whole lot of good issuing that statement.

          • griftdrift says:

            Interesting. The tweet that was sent is up there. I’d be interested in the location of the “straight up apology”.

            Actually what you had was not appeasement nor administration policy. It was a foreign services officer using a communications channel to try to diffuse a hostile situation. Which is pretty much exactly their job description.

            • Three Jack says:

              “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”

              Apology; just another word for condemnation, look it up.

              If the FSO shot a few of the radical islamlists and they backed off, it would have been ‘administration policy’. But instead he attempted appeasement and failed so the administration wants nothing to do with the statement.

              • bird says:

                Condemning the action of someone else is not an apology. The US Embassy in the Middle East took a sensible course by seeking to diffuse an extremely offensive video produced by someone in the US.

                The US leaders were not weak, they were adults.

                You can be smart to protect the lives of Americans without compromising principles, which is what they did. I’m puzzled why folks are so afraid of appearing weak. We are the world’s superpower, we aren’t weak, but there is no reason to spit at people to provoke a violent confrontation.

                • Three Jack says:

                  “You can be smart to protect the lives of Americans without compromising principles, which is what they did.”

                  They died.

                    • Three Jack says:

                      I understand fine grift. The statement from Cairo was meant to quell violence throughout the mid east. Unfortunately for Christopher Stevens and 3 others, islamists terrorists don’t respond well to apologies.

                  • bird says:

                    Three Jack, you are very conspicuously ignoring my main point that condemning someone else’s actions is not an apology.

                    This is not an apology.

                    • Three Jack says:

                      Call it what you want bird, I see it as what it is…a US diplomat apologizing for an internet movie trailer. It was a desperate act that failed to achieve its goal.

                      The bigger question posed by many over the past 24 hrs; Why were the US embassies so lightly guarded both by our forces and those of the host countries on 9/11? There were apparently warning signs of unrest, yet we had only a few armed guards in place. Somebody on our side needs to answer for this omission.

          • This “BS internet trailer” is causing riots. Now, we can agree that it’s archaic for people to riot based on a movie, book or cartoon, but foreign policy and the real world aren’t dealt with based on how things should operate, it’s on how they actually do.

            It makes me mad as hell that trillions of dollars and billions of man hours of good work in the Middle East by Americans and their coalition can be undone by the callous and selfish acts of a few idiots. You apparently argue that when stuff like this happens, we should ignore the reality of what it’s happening and what…say nothing? Lecture them about how backwards they are acting?

            The truth of the matter is almost all of the people that live in these countries are informed by a lifetime of living under oppressive and untruthful governments who have filled their heads with lies about America and the West to try to maintain their dictatorial hold on power. And while America is a force for good everywhere in the world, we’re not always batting 1.000. If you desire to see a free and tolerant Middle East 10 or 20 or 50 years from now that the state of Israel can co-exist peacefully with, the United States is going to have to say and do some things that in a perfect world either wouldn’t be necessary or wouldn’t have to be said.

            From a foreign policy standpoint, Barack Obama inherited two difficult wars in a region that is undergoing rapid demographic, technological and governmental change. I personally think he has done a good job navigating this new world, but even if I didn’t I would understand that it’s an incredibly difficult job and people with differing opinions have a time and place to offer them and debate how the future should unfold.

            When American diplomats lose their lives in a tragic and senseless act of terrorism, it should be a time for reminders of what’s really at stake and somber reflection on the fact that many people civilians and military are constantly putting their life at risk – the ultimate potential sacrifice – in service of our country and a better world. Unfortunately, instead of doing this, Mitt Romney chose to politicize the tragic death of American heroes in an attempt to revive his flagging campaign.

            Compare to the Carter incident: the class of Reagan, Bush and Kennedy are apparent. Two would go on to be Presidents, one was part of a dynasty of would be Presidents and an actual President. I’m sorry, but Mitt Romney just doesn’t have it, and today’s incident I believe helps to prove what a lot of the polls and statistics can’t quite quantify but what I believe has always resided in the guts of a lot of voters – even many who aren’t crazy about Obama. Romney just isn’t cut from Presidential material.

  3. heroV says:

    Agreed, the factual error is egregious. Charlie, you are terrible at being a front page poster. First that Handel hackjob post and now this.

  4. Noway says:

    Another barbaric act by those lovely practitioners of the ‘Religion of Peace.’ If you all think that our continuing to apologize and appease these radical pieces of s**t are gonna help, you’re certifiable. Their actions have been speaking volumes for going on four decades now. The present-day birth of this type of behavior began with the ’72 Olympics with the murders of the Israeli athletes. Throw in bombings of our embassy and Marine barracks, various highjackings in the Middle East in the mid-80’s, the murder of Robbie Dean Stetham on an airport tarmac, the killing of CIA Station Chief William Buckley, Leon Klinghoffer, Pan Am 103, USS Cole, the first and second World Trade Center Bombings, the African US Embassy bombings, the sawing off of hostages’ heads on the internet and you pretty much have these butcher’s MO. They hate us. Period. And any signs of weakness such as an apology, doesn’t mean to them what it would to us. Different mindset altogether. I’ve worked against this type of terrorism my entire adult life, been threatened my-own self a time or two, lost colleagues to these radicalized animals. Al we can do is continue the good fight, try and change a few minds, if possible, but never, ever back down from defending ourselves, our country and allies from folks whose stated goals are the death of the decadent West. That be us.

    • Jimmie says:

      Noway
      Barring the Saudi Arabians hijacking the airplanes, how many of the acts you listed above happened on U.S. soil?
      Seems to me if zero Americans are in these Hornet Nest locations, zero of them will get stung. These animals will kill each other off if we would leave them be. Instead we intervene and remove the dictators that keep them under control.

      • Noway says:

        Jimmie, Americans embassies ARE legally US soil. Americans are being killed in the ‘hornet nests’ you speak of.

      • Noway says:

        Let’s get ourselves energy independent, where we don’t have to depend on those animals for our very way of life and I’ll be glad to sit back and watch them kill themselves off with you, Jimmy. Be a good time for a beer or two.

  5. Noway says:

    Attempt to appease them don’t work. If it did the acts I listed above (and I left out scores) , would have stopped, oh, about 35 years ago wouldn’t they? They will not suddenly be our friends if we stifle our opinions. They look for excuses to do this kind of stuff. Salman Rushdie, the cartoonists, now this? Just because someone points out that radicalized Islam and it’s practice can lead to scores of innocent people being killed, their woman being treated as second class citizens, female genital mutilations. Yes, these are acts of a loving, caring religion. These truly are bad folks, Chris. Pointing it out shouldn’t result in the deaths of innocents.

  6. Romegaguy says:

    I get it, op-ed pieces are opinions and dont have to be factual but seriously Charlie, you are better than this. Or at least I thought so

  7. wicker says:

    Chris:

    We should not abdicate our right to free speech just because of how people react to it overseas. What goes on in our country is our business. And where does it end? It is easy to get into little ideological camps and classify this as conservatives with their hate speech and religious intolerance. But what if it is people in other countries committing atrocities like this because we have abortion clinics, gay marriage, and magazines published by Larry Flynt? It is easy for you to be “mad that trillions of dollars and billions of man hours of good work in the Middle East by Americans and their coalition can be undone by the callous and selfish acts of a few idiots” because it isn’t your speech, your ideas, your values being sacrificed. Instead, it is the other side being muzzled, and you don’t mind it one bit. Since their ideas would be offensive to you regardless, the ability to use this as a reason to state that ideas that oppose your worldview shouldn’t be said is mighty convenient. And yes, conservatives are going to react this way, because of speech codes, political correctness and other things used to silence conservative speech on places like college campuses.

    If the goal is to spread democracy and the American way of life, then what is needed is a vigorous, robust, unqualified defense of freedom of speech. That is what needs to be said by our government and our leaders, not equivocation to the effect of “while we have freedom of speech, we really wish that people wouldn’t use it.” And when did it become the duty of government to decide what speech is “offensive”? Does our government view the works of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris to be offensive? Again, this goes back to the PC/speech code thing where things are deemed “offensive” to “protected classes” but fair game for everybody else.

    What good does it do to promote democracy everywhere else if the price is less democracy at home? If that be the case, then we really should just disengage ourselves from places where our involvement comes at the price of our own way of life. Isn’t getting out of Libya preferable to silencing Terry Jones? If your answer is “No” because you don’t like Terry Jones’ religious and political views and speech to begin with, then you’re part of the problem.

    • bird says:

      Your argument is logically flawed (and very obviously). No one is infringing or attempting to infringe on anyone’s First Amendemt rights.

      A political administration can disagree with and disavow anyone’s speech. I would hope they would do so. I suspect you would feel the same if Jesus was egregiously insulted–I know I would feel that way in that case.

      • wicker says:

        @bird:

        I never said that they infringed or attempted to infringe on their speech. Your trying to make it about that evades the issue. Instead, I stated that they failed to publicly, vigorously without qualification defend our democracy, which free speech is a part of. I compare it to when George Tiller, the late term abortion doctor, was murdered. Not only did Obama decry the murder, but Obama immediately defended the right to an abortion AND denounced the beliefs that motivated the murder (though he did not say what those beliefs were). This isn’t what happened here. Instead, the administration expressed regret that people exercising their freedoms in our democracy provoked the situation (which I reject by the way … people in Libya would have never known about it in the first place had other people in their own country exploited it … it isn’t as if we went OVER THERE and showed the movie IN THEIR COUNTRY) including by knowingly spreading the lie that the movie was made by our own government (which made our embassies a target). That would have been the equivalent of Obama saying that while he condemns the murder of Tiller, he regrets that Tiller made himself a target by performing late term abortions in the first place.

        Our administration shouldn’t be political when it comes to defending our freedoms abroad after those opposed to such freedoms assassinated one of our ambassadors as part of an attempt to suppress it. By killing our ambassador, they got our government to equivocate about our right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion (inasmuch as the freedom to express your own religious thoughts by criticizing other religions). Face it, it was “mission accomplished.”

        Go back to the flag burning thing. In previous times, people burned flags knowing full well that it might incite a riot. They even burned flags in front of veterans who lost their friends in Viet Nam. Did we ever hear any of these people express regret at actions intended to harm the feelings of veterans? Nope. Instead, we got discourses on free speech. The same thing should have happened here. The fact that it didn’t shows that we may be well on the way to European style “hate speech” laws in this country.

  8. SallyForth says:

    A tweet?? Really?! From a U.S. Embassy in and to a foreign country?? Our nation’s high level diplomacy is now handled by tweets??! The same as my teenagers’ social tool, news media and product advertisement tool. Really??!
    Religious extremists murdering Americans at our Embassy, and our officials trying to head it off with a tweet. That just blows my mind.

      • SallyForth says:

        grift, I’ve been watching the reporting on NBC, ABC, and CNN off and on all evening – they are all saying that our Embassy knew there was unrest afoot about the video and that they sent out the tweet before the attack happened, in an effort to head off any violence that might be aimed them. It seems to have had the opposite effect, actually drew the extremists’ attention to our Embassy.

        We now are mourning the death of our Ambassador and three other Americans – serious stuff. I do believe international diplomacy deserves a more serious approach than tweeting.

        • Scott65 says:

          they issued a statement as well as a tweet(if there was one)…its too long to be a tweet. As far as I can gather, it was a rapidly developing situation without a lot of time to diffuse the tension…they did what they could and should be commended for doing so in harms way while we sit here and biatch about it in the safety of our own homes…lets have some context people

  9. I Miss the 90s says:

    Motto was stupid to be the first mover…even more stupid for not retracting his statement.

    This incident goes to show that Romney is not presidential.

    This mornings press conference, which is rare event on the Romney campaign, further shows his weakness as a candidate…not to mention an increasingly long shot potential leader of the free world.

    Pastor Jones has blood on his hands and could care less. He is a charlatan and a bigot. That is not the America our founders envisioned.

    • Scott65 says:

      My biggest problem with Romney was that he put out that statement without any knowledge of the unfolding situation…he has some really stupid people advising him…this whole thing is very politically amature

    • c_murrayiii says:

      I wonder how you felt in 2008 when candidate Obama responded to a brazen attack on a base in Afghanistan that led to 9 service members dying as an opportunity, on CNN, to attack the Bush Administration and Sen. McCain for their support of the Iraq war (taking the focus off Afghanistan)? Does that show that Obama wasn’t ready to be President, as we all know now?

      • Noway says:

        Agreed. Reports are coming out now that says the attack might have already been in the works with Jones’ support of the movie a convenient scapegoat. Wasn’t there some famous quote somewhere that says, “I might not support what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The people to blame are the pieces of radicalized human debris that actually did the killing.

        • Noway says:

          Besides, if we measure our speech so as not to offendddddddddddddd anyone, that is 100000% PC and means those A$$holes have won. That, for me, is unacceptable.

  10. Scott65 says:

    Actually…none of them would have known about the movie had it not been for an extremist cleric who spends most of his days looking for videos of this type to exploit for their own gain. This is about higher ups in Egypt using that assenine video to whip up the crowd which is why the embassy put out that statement (it was a statement not a tweet…its too long to be a tweet…hello) as to diffuse the situation. It was released without the knowledge of the administration in DC in an emergancy situation. I for one am not going to play second guess the foriegn service because they have much better training than anyone on this blog for the situation they were in…unless some of the posters here have worked in the embassy there

  11. seenbetrdayz says:

    If Reagan were alive today, he’d probably be talking about the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics.

    And he would be ignored, unfortunately.

  12. Charlie says:

    Here’s additional info about the tweet (at the risk of giving cred to the Washington Post’s “fact checker”)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/an-embassy-statement-a-tweet-and-a-major-misunderstanding/2012/09/12/a2d32a8c-fd24-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_blog.html

    As for the column above, it was written about 5am yesterday and then pre-loaded for the usual 1:00pm post. As noted, there was a lot of confusion as to what was going on and initial reports of what was happening/had happened were still quite sketchy. The part about the tweet is two sentences of the column and isn’t even the focal point. Regardless, while it appeared based on twitter traffic at the time I was writing to be the order as events happened, it is not the case.

    The larger point of this post remains in tact. As of this morning, there are protests spreading to the US Embassy in Yemen and at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. We can try to pretend domestic politics is all that matters to us, but the situation is a reminder that unpleasant or not, we’re still going to be dealing with the issues of the middle east for some time to come.

    As a side note/reminder, after I leave my hotel in an hour or so I will again be out of pocket almost all of today. Any additional responses will also be delayed.

  13. SallyForth says:

    It was late last night when I posted my dismay about tweeting being any part of this extremely serious situation. I had just heard the report that we had little or no military protection of our Embassy and our Ambassador – they were flying in a dozen or so marines last night as an emergency response after the fact. It freaked me out that it appeared our Embassy had to turn to *tweets* instead of a strong military protection of that piece of U.S. assigned ground.

    My deep concern was that our government had what appears to have been cheesecloth security for our Embassy, particularly one in a part of the world with known high levels of hostility toward the U.S. I’ve heard military members of my family mention being assigned to U.S. Embassies around the world, and I always assumed there was heavy security provided to our Ambassadors and staffers. I never dreamed that was not the case.

    It was shocking to see the film coming out of the Middle East yesterday, and I am gravely concerned for the safety of all our Embassies and employees in hostile countries. Washington should not leave our people in Embassies to tweets! Step up security with marines and other military personnel for all our locations, plus extra security in volatile countries – NOW!

    • griftdrift says:

      Okay Sally. I understand that you were in a high dither. Understandable given the times. But let’s clear up some of the confusi0n that seems to be spinning the story in a different direction on day 2.

      -No, it did not have Marines because it was a consulate not the Embassy. All Embassies have Marine guards. Consulates are more like outpost.

      – The tweets which seem to be causing so much consternation came from the embassy in Cairo not Libya. And that embassy is indeed heavily guard and described as a “fortress”

      -The Benghazi consulate was not undefended. There were no Marines but there were an undisclosed number of Diplomatic State Security service personnel. The name doesn’t sound very intimidating but believe me they are. They are in effect the State department’s version of Special Forces. You can read more about them here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_Security_Service

      -And they did fight back. Along with the Benghazi security forces and a friendly militia. Details that are now emerging show a pitched battle, not an embassy being overrun by a mob

      -Finally there is the question of why the ambassador was in a back water consulate. Not known at this time. But they are fairly sure there was no indication there would be a trouble. But those details are still to come.

      Bottom line – Despite the stories that are being spun today, we did not leave our diplomats helpless. We never do and frankly, people that are implying that are dishonoring the DSS, one of the most honorable agencies within our government.

  14. Noway says:

    Sally, I am now hearing that the Marines were not even allowed by the US ambassador to Egypt to carry live ammo. Actually, the marines are there to protect, primarily, the interior of the embassy and the classified info contained therein. If you look in most cases, the exterior of our embassies are protected by local guard forces under the supervision of the regional security officer, a high ranking American security official. Our US ambassadors overseas, in most cases, are protected by host country bodyguards under the supervision of an American agent in charge, who is always with them. Similarly, the US has the responsibility of protecting foreign embassies, facilities and consulates here in the US. Now, on some occasions, such as Ambassador Bremer in Iraq, he was protected by American citizen, civilian contractors, ie., Blackwater. It is the same for a few high-threat facilities, on some occasions, also protected by American citizen contractors. I am in total agreement with you that the security of our overseas facilities should be beefed up , in the best way possible, now!

    • SallyForth says:

      Thanks for further info re our defense service, grift and Noway. It’s obvious that more facts are also coming in on what happened yesterday, probably a lot more to go. And now we get reports that all hell is breaking loose in other Middle Eastern countries! Yep, I’m in a dither if we Americans send any of our civilian public servants into harm’s way in hostile countries without extra security, WIT. It’s pretty obvious we can’t count on the governments of some countries to protect others like we do here in the U.S. ‘Guess I’ll finish today’s work, then after I get home see what this evening’s news brings us on the mess over there.

  15. saltycracker says:

    Doesn’t our protection of our diplomatic offices in high risk countries move to a new level of adequate security with locals supplemented by U.S. Marines or D.S.S. folks ? Appears not.

    When being invaded, communicate your intent (quickly !), and take all defensive measures necessary. Did we or could we ?

    When the terrorists got on our side of the wall why weren’t they stopped/shot & stacked like cordword inside the gate until help arrived ?

    We are now engaged in a bunch of posturing and political talk after terrorists (using a lame excuse) invaded our sovereign grounds.

    • saltycracker says:

      P.S. If we believe that would escalate matters or its ok to put our guys in unprotected harms way or we need to talk this out…bring them home. Go on talk shows, don’t meet with Netanyaheu and recognize Georgia’s own Baby Boo Boo.

  16. John Konop says:

    It look like the GOP is not helping Romney on a macro…………..

    ………What Republicans are saying about Romney’s criticism of Obama and Egyptian, Libyan attacks

    Notice that the Republican wagons are not rushing to circle GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney after his criticism of President Obama’s response to the siege of the Egyptian and Libyan embassies and the deaths of four Americans.

    It’s been mighty quiet from top Republican leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner. They had only words of support for our besieged diplomats and staff and words of condolences for the families of our Libyan embassy staffers and U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens………..

    …..Richard Armitage, former deputy Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush, said that Romney “will find out that first reports from the battlefield are always incorrect. This should be his mantra, so he can speak in a deliberate manner, and not have to repent at his leisure later.”

    Former Congressman (R-Fla.) Joe Scarborough on his early morning talk show, “Morning Joe,” said that he thought Romney had made a terrible political blunder with his ill-timed remarks. “Not today,” Scarborough had tweeted………

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/ad-lib/2012/sep/13/what-republicans-are-saying-about-romneys-criticis/

    • Three Jack says:

      John,

      There are plenty of others who offered support including Bill Krstol, Rush, Newt…plenty more. And who really cares what McConnell, Boehner and other GOPers think about any topic? These are the same clowns who agreed to a budget deal that now has the country supposedly sliding off some ‘fiscal cliff’.

      Mitt finally does something that shows he has a pair. If spineless, media pandering GOPers want to distance themselves from him over this, one must question where they were during the primaries when Mitt’s real record was being debated. Oh yea, those same clowns were endorsing him.

      • John Konop says:

        Three Jack,

        Are you on their team or just not getting the game? They are hoping you guys keep it up…………..This is better than making donations………..

        ……In this letter, Bin Laden regrets that his organization’s original name, “Qa’ida al-Jihad”, has come to be known as simply “al-Qa’ida.” The abridgement, he writes, “reduces the feeling of Muslims that we belong to them, and allows the enemies to claim deceptively that they are not at war with Islam and Muslims.” Rather, the United States could claim that it was at war only with the al-Qaida organization, which it depicted as “an outside entity from the teachings of Islam.” Bin Laden complains that Obama has “repeatedly” made this argument. Therefore, he concluded, if al-Qaida adopted a new name, which included a reference to Islam, “it would be difficult for him to say” that he wasn’t at war with Islam…..

        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/05/osama_bin_laden_s_papers_he_wished_obama_would_continue_bush_s_war_on_terror_.html

  17. Noway says:

    Harry, I hope not but it’s up to the ambassador as to what he/she will allow. Ambassadors can be some pretty strange ducks with even stranger ideas. Would it surprise you if I told you not to discount the story as false? There may be certain circumstances where they (the marines) might be restricted but I cannot imagine that Amb. Patterson would forbid it totally.

  18. Noway says:

    Guys, go to Drudge and click on his story about the ammo. It basically says the same things I have posted in earlier posts about the defense of our embassies abroad. I really hope the story about her not allowing it is false. But he does cite several marine corps blogs saying just that, that they were not allowed to have the live ammo. I am one of those DSS agents (former) that Grift spoke of and my heart just breaks every time this sort of thing happens. Patterson has a great reputation within State, so I’m hoping there is another side to this that we have yet to hear.

  19. Noway says:

    Harry, that’s what Drudge had! Thanks for taking a look. Damn I’m sad about this whole damn thing. I lost two DSS agent colleagues on PA 103. Had a ticket on that very flight the following week. Lost a few more in Iraq and Afghanistan. Guys I trained with a drank beers with have been victims of these crazed people! In my perfect world, we’d use the oil, gas and nuclear we have and not have the need to be so saturated with our presence in a part of the world even our best minds don’t understand. But I still go there at the request of DSS and train the supposed good people of their governments. I am on the line doing the firearms training we have read about lately and have yet to have one of them turn on me and fire. It’s all the luck of the draw, I guess. It could have easily and I mean easily been me.

  20. bowersville says:

    The blog post alleges:

    [U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson] did not permit US Marine guards to carry live ammunition, according to USMC blogs. Thus she neutralized any US military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy. In this respect, she did not defend US sovereign territory and betrayed her oath of office. She neutered the Marines posted to defend the embassy, trusting the Egyptians over the Marines.

    The Time story continues with:

    …reports John McCreary, a former veteran Defense Intelligence Agency analyst. Well, Battleland can’t find those blogs; we’ve asked McCreary for them, and also asked the Marines and State Department to respond to what he is reporting.

    Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/09/13/whats-worse-no-marines-or-possibly-unarmed-marines/#ixzz26NDEqm6G

    Here are the updates from the Time article featured on Redstate.com.

    UPDATE II: The Marines said late Thursday that any reports “of Marines not being able to have their weapons loaded per direction from the ambassador are not accurate.”

    UPDATE: “With or without a weapon, Marines are always armed,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said Thursday afternoon. “I’ve heard nothing to suggest they don’t have ammunition.”

    The US Ambassador to Egypt is a career foreign services officer. During her career Anne Patterson was appointed US Ambassador to Pakistan by President George W. Bush

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_W._Patterson

    Guys it doesn’t help to get ahead of the facts.

  21. Harry says:

    Unanswered questions. Here are some that are listed by a blogger on FreeRepublic.com

    Who was responsible for the security of the Ambassador?
    What was the plan to ensure his safety and the safety of the other U.S. citizens?
    Were warning signs ignored?
    Did the marines have ammunition?
    What were their rules of engagement?
    Did they have tear gas, grenades?
    How many of them were there?
    Where were their reinforcements?
    Who ordered the chopper with the squad from across the desert?
    What was the outcome?
    Was the ambassador tortured before he died?
    Did the President attend his security briefings the week before the murders?

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