Foreign Policy ? What Foreign Policy.

By
Real Estate Agent with Carmody and Associates LLC

The news media has been overwhelmed this week by the events in North Africa and the Middle East.  The US Embassy in Egypt has been attacked, our Ambassador to Libya has been murdered with three other foreign service professionals in a Consulate attack and our embassy has been attacked in Yemen.  Demonstrations at American Embassies in more than a dozen countries were in progress today.

ChrisStevensThe death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and members of his staff is particularly tragic since, in my view, it was preventable.  London newspaper “The Independent” carried a story <source>, which I cannot confirm, that the State Department had knowledge of the Libya attack 48 hours in advance.  Jay Carney, the Administration Press Secretary denies this stating they had no actionable intelligence –  a weasel denial to my ears.  The Independent story has been cited by Ben Shapiro <source> and Tim Brown <source>

But even if not true, there can be no doubt that there have been recent attacks in Libya demonstrating a lack of central authority to restore order.  And further there is no doubt that the attack occurred on 9/11. I do not understand why we would not have had all American diplomatic or military facilities in Muslim or Middle East countries on a high state of alert on September 11 as there have been expectations of terrorist attacks on the anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks every year since they occurred. 

The Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the safe house provided for protection of staff were not  hardened facilities and offered little protection for the Ambassador. Intelligence experts believe that the attackers may have been too heavily armed to be random demonstrators and may have been elements of al-Qaeda carrying out a revenge attack for the death of of a highly placed member of al-Qaeda in Libya three months ago. We certainly knew that demonstrations were coming in Cairo at least 24 hours in advance. Why would the Ambassador who had just returned from a trip in Europe be placed in harm's way in a Consulate facility rather than delay his return until after 9/11 or return him to the Embassy in Tripoli.

Of note there have been eight US Ambassadors who have died in the line of duty since 1950 (none previously) –  two in plane crashes and six by armed attacks.  The last murder of an American Ambassador occurred in 1979 when Adolph Dubs, Ambassador to Afghanistan, died in a kidnapping and subsequent Afghan security service attempt at rescue. 

As I began to draft this post, I watched the return of the four murdered diplomats including Ambassador Stevens to Andrews AFB near Washington.  Nice ceremony, nice speeches and regrets.  I do not want to bring politics into this subject –  but I feel that I have no choice.  I believe the public should examine what I believed to be the continued failure of leadership by the President in the Middle East and elsewhere.  I want to have the news media ask the President about why these American heroes were not protected.  Where is the news media ?  Why aren't important questions about safety of Americans at home and abroad being asked of this President.  It is one thing for a Senator and candidate for President to take a couple of years off to devote to his campaign –  but I am offended that the President of the United States seems to be more concerned about re-election than doing his job.  Perhaps some of the Libya updates were presented in the more than 50% of the daily intelligence briefings at the White House that the President has been too busy to attend during his term.  And yet the media is more interested in Candidate Romney's statements and their timing than in the failures of the Administration. 

My frustration for this event is blurring my original intent in writing this post. I honor the memory and service of Ambassador Chris Stevens and members of his staff, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods as well as other Consulate staff who were injured in the Libyan attack. These men deserved better.  Tim Brown, in a separate article <source> notes that Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President –  but with no national security portfolio –  receives a full secret service protection detail.  Really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
1,089,501
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

Ted * I did not see the wisdom of the NON-safe house and the fact that the State Department knew of the possibility of "events" since Sept 4th in Egypt is telling for the lack of action by the White House to warn and protect our embassy staff

Sep 15, 2012 03:39 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,279,356
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'm told the attackers had foreknowledge that the Marines were not allowed to have bullets in their guns.  Wouldn't matter much as the rockets surely outgunned anything anywhere - embassy building or "safe" house.  The rocketeers knew exactly what they were doing. 

Interesting this is the first such thing since 9-11.  Anyone think this is an accident?  Or due to a movie coming out on You-Tube in June that NOBODY saw?

I think there is something MUCH more nefarious going on...

Sep 15, 2012 04:32 AM #2
Rainmaker
589,712
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

They know we have a weak president or a president that believes more in 'protecting' Muslims than in protecting Americans.

Look at his first statement "offending Muslim sensibilities". Seriously?  The Mormons are being made fun of on Broadway, Christians are continual made fun of and trash is called art as long as it desecrates Christian religious symbols. But, do not even SAY anything 'bad' about Islam or else.

This was all planned for 9-11. There was advanced knowledge (why else were they moved to a safe house). the movie is an excuse and the media and the liberals have jumped all over it and are again blaming everyone but the perpetrators.

Could you imagine what would be said on TV if a group of Mormans attacked the broadway show for offending them? I am not even talking about killing. What if a group of 'militant' Mormans got together and beat up the writers/directors?

Sep 15, 2012 05:23 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,279,356
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The real title is "Latter-day Saints" Than.  To split a hair.  The word "Mormon" is a nickname coming from the name of the prophet who edited and put together the Book of Mormon (kind of a Reader's Digest of many histories).  His name means "more good."  Not bad.  But you are right!  Don't think that Broadway thing ruffled any feathers, because it didn't.

Sep 15, 2012 07:27 AM #4
Rainmaker
378,606
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

Than - Actually I kind of like the Book of Mormon production.  I have not seen the play but I have the original cast recording.  The writers and producers are the creators of South Park so the language is rough where it does not need to be and will offend some.  But the music is fun and the story is not offensive to me as it relates to the Mormon Church.  I understand the Church response (paraphrased) was quite positive, "The Book of Mormon, the musical, will entertain you for an evening - The real Book of Mormon will change your life."  It is a mystery to me how detractors can say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a Christian religion.  Each and every member of the Mormon faith that I have come in contact with (disclaimer - I have never personally met Harry Reid) has been dedicated to their Church, their families and their communities - more than I can say for some others who claim to be Christians that have crossed my path.  I have no problem with the Book of Mormon, the musical or the Book of Mormon as a part of a religion.  

I am not a member of an organized religion on the theory that throughout history religion seems to have taught us enough to hate but not enough to love.  I find many religions provide a set of values which I accept.  And I find most religions provide a structure for money and power, generally for good works.  And I am interested in the secular positions many of the Churches hold in our society.  I certainly believe that tolerance and religious freedoms are a major part of the founding of our country and I would like to think that we still believe those freedoms are an important part of who we are.  The teachings of Islam and the nations that have followed those teachings for more than a thousand years have provided light in centuries of darkness in our history.  Western civilization owes much of medicine and science and other knowledge to the Nations of Islam.  But, as there are radicals in all religions, there are radicals in the Muslim culture that pervert their holy teachings and are willing to burn down the house rather than repaint the exterior trim.  I fear that this may end badly and I do not know how to fix it.  

But I digress... again.  I seem to be doing that a lot lately.  

 

Thanks to all for stopping by.

Sep 15, 2012 08:12 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,279,356
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I talked to a friend at church who saw the Broadway production and he thought it was pretty funny!   If I get a chance to see it I think I will!  Here I merely made my comment, Ted, because I saw an opportunity to instruct a little bit.  I am not shy.

Sep 15, 2012 09:34 AM #6
Rainmaker
390,712
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Ocean County - Toms River, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

I believe there is a difference between national 'foreign policy objectives' and security failures at individual embassies or consulates and conflating the two brings unnecessary politics into the conversation.

If you want to criticize the Obama Administration on security, ok. If you want to criticize them on policy, i see no examples in your blog.

On missing the PDB (reading them instead of meeting the principals); both Bush and Reagan were away from the White House for over 1000 days during their Administrations, do they deserve the same criticism?

Sep 15, 2012 09:59 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,279,356
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Karl - according to my friend in the White House, the PDB is short hand and really has to be explained to be understood.  When a president is away from the White House he is still supposed to be president.  How many of Reagan and Bush's time away was Camp David, working with leaders?  Nobody is away as much as the current guy, nobody - and he does diddly.  He shows up late in the morning and leaves early in the afternoon.  More golf games than the last how many presidents combined?  This notion that he hunkers down late at night reading letters from Americans is farcical. 

However, as to Bush and Reagan and the PDB there is this:

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/09/14/obamas-daily-intelligen/print

Criticize it if you want.  Criticize Kengor if you want.  He has written five EXCELLENTLY researched books.  If you can find a better PDB synopsis and the Grand Imam's involvement with them written by someone just as credible on the statist side, let's read it.  Yeah, he is such a "sophisticated consumer" of intelligence he doesn't need an explanation!!  Ha!  (Define sophisticated consumer for me please)

As to foreign policy, the Grand Imam is a joke.  The Russians won't even shake his hand.  As to security he is a joke to, both foreign and, as you know, domestic. 

The last ambassador murdered was when, Carter?  The last embassy invaded was when?  And the last 9-11 incident? 

Between you, me and the wall, I think something very nefarious is going on here.  Those rockets came from whom?  This is seriously deep doo doo.

The Grand Imam has time for the Pimp with a Limp, Letterman, Beyonce, et al, but not Netanyahu?  C'mon Karl.  The Dark Side has a powerful hold on you.  I can help you break it!  Let the fooooorrrccce work within you Karl - feeeeel it!

Sep 15, 2012 12:28 PM #8
Rainmaker
390,712
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Ocean County - Toms River, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Umm, Obama has taken 1/3 the time off as W and 1/2 the time off as Reagan (at this point in their terms).  My point is that one does not have to be in the same room as the principals to get the information.

Sep 15, 2012 01:40 PM #9
Rainmaker
378,606
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

True, Karl.  He can always watch CNN of MSNBC.

As for Bush or Reagan - I would expect that the briefers from Langley and other agencies would come to wherever the President is located for the briefing - Texas or California.  If they did not attend the briefings - yes I would be critical of them too.  I would also be surprised.

Jay - your comment on the Church came in while I was drafting my comment so I may have been redundant.

And Karl - you are correct.  This one was about security on 9/11.  I also have problems with his policies.  That may give you something to look forward to.  And I am still serious when I welcome you to return with your comments whether you agree or disagree with me.

 

Thanks to all for stopping by.

Sep 15, 2012 03:53 PM #10
Rainmaker
390,712
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Ocean County - Toms River, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

So why does not the same apply to Obama?

Sep 16, 2012 05:23 AM #11
Rainmaker
378,606
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

I assume, Karl, that you are talking about Presidential attendance at his daily security briefings.  

<sigh> The media has reported that this President has only attended 44% (that is less than half) of the daily briefings.  I find that appalling and I never heard that said of previous Presidents of either party.  They didn't say that he is away from the White House a lot - and I believe that the daily briefings are made available to any President wherever he is in the world.  And yes, I referred in my post to briefings at the WH - you may consider that to be an error, if you wish. But I thought I clarified that in a previous comment.

And I frequently include a source link for my assertions.  I failed to do so on the the briefing question.  One of the articles I read was from the Washington Post opinion page written by Marc Thiessen quoting a study from the American Accountability Institute.  <source>  While the Post is not a conservative voice, both Marc and the AAI are conservative.  Marc was a speech writer for Bush 43.  

 

Sep 16, 2012 08:28 AM #12
Rainmaker
160,731
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

Ted - I agree with Karl on this one. The attacks have nothing to do with Obama's foreign policy. You can argue inadequate security, but not foreign policy.

The focus moving forward should have an embassy in those countries or not, depending on what type of security and commitment we get from those governments. I would also question our foreign aid we give those countries.

I do not find fault in Obama for the actions of those who attacked our embassies.

Than - Comment #3 -"They know we have a weak president or a president that believes more in 'protecting' Muslims than in protecting Americans."

Obama is not weak nor is he protecting Muslims. He killed Osama Bin Laden and has targeted more Muslim extremists, even American citizens, by increasing drone attacks in 5 countries.

Sep 16, 2012 03:03 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,279,356
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Apologizing for radicals trashing our embassy for a phony reason (or any reason) is foreign policy.

Subscribing to any UN mandate that Islam not be "criticized" is foreign policy.

Meeting with unessential pop culture types and snubbing a very important ally is foreign policy.

And there is certainly fault in not preparing for 9-11 (with advance information) and not arming those who protect our embassies is certainly something to find fault with.

Sep 17, 2012 03:20 AM #14
Rainmaker
378,606
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

Satar - so do I... see #10 above

And Karl - you are correct.  This one was about security on 9/11.  I also have problems with his policies.  That may give you something to look forward to

I do believe that the security issues are problamatic for the State Department and the President.  News outlets have suggested that we may have had specific warning 48 hours in advance but even if not, the handwriting was on the wall in Libya and all Middle East and North Africa military and diplomatic sites should have been on alert for 9/11, in my view. 

I also have problems with the Administration's actions as they relate to policies, but my point to Karl in #10 was that will be a saparate post.  The topic here was the unnecessary loss of diplomatic personnel for reasonably foreseeable protection issues.  I do agree and give credit to the President for increasing use of drones as the technology has improved, the completion of the Bin Laden hunt, and the use of Seals to conclude a Somali Pirate incident in April of 2009.

I see Jay has started the policy discussions at #14.  

 

As always, thanks to all for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

Sep 17, 2012 05:01 AM #15
Ambassador
720,942
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Dyersburg Tn Real Estate

We have a weak president hence the attacks made on all our embassies on 9/11.

Sep 17, 2012 07:25 AM #16
Rainmaker
353,982
Dale Terry
Yadkinville, NC

To those that cannot make a connection to foreign policy, I disagree.  But instead of giving more examples that are clearly policy, how about this.  It will clearly be foreign policy with Obama's response.  I am still waiting for one.

Sep 19, 2012 03:24 AM #17
Ambassador
720,942
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Dyersburg Tn Real Estate

All the myths about a video causing this violence is sure being proved false. It is a shame our leadership does not believe in terriorism because terriorism is starting to prove itself to this administration. Thanks for the message earlier Ted. Florida will certainly be key to this election. I for one cannot understand why the jewish vote does not go to Romney more than ithe polls indicate?

Sep 20, 2012 03:00 PM #18
Rainmaker
378,606
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

Mike - I was listening to Dick Morris this evening and he explained that the voter data models that are used by pollsters are based upon the voter behavior patterns from the most recent election.  His point was that relying on ethnic or demographic percentages from Mr Obama's 2008 election could result in exaggeration of expectations from those ethnic or demographic segments in the current polling.  He explained it better than I am - but the message was that the polls may have a bias that may introduce errors in polling numbers because of reliance on old data models which expect Black voters, for example, or Jewish voters to replicate previous patterns. So the pollster may weight Black voter or Jewish voter data slightly in error. 

Well, that is not my clearest explanation - but Dick Morris was quite persuasive.  (It is late and I am going off topic from this post - give me a little slack)  More than a month to go and all of the scheduled debates still to come.

Sep 20, 2012 11:46 PM #19
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Ted Baker

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