Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

15 September 2012

Disgrace In Benghazi


M2RB:  Don McLean









Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lenin read a book on Marx

A quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died






The devastating demise of the Obama Doctrine.



By Mark Steyn


So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser. No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.

The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation. No, no, a filmmaker would say; too crass, too blunt. Make them sober, middle-aged midwesterners, shocked at first, but then quiet and respectful.

The president is too lazy and cocksure to have learned any prepared remarks or mastered the appropriate tone, notwithstanding that a government that spends more money than any government in the history of the planet has ever spent can surely provide him with both a speechwriting team and a quiet corner on his private wide-bodied jet to consider what might be fitting for the occasion. So instead he sloughs off the words, bloodless and unfelt: “And obviously our hearts are broken . . . ” Yeah, it’s totally obvious.

And he’s even more drunk on his celebrity than the fanbois, so in his slapdashery he winds up comparing the sacrifice of a diplomat lynched by a pack of savages with the enthusiasm of his own campaign bobbysoxers. No, no, says the Broadway director; that’s too crude, too ham-fisted. How about the crowd is cheering and distracted, but he’s the president, he understands the gravity of the hour, and he’s the greatest orator of his generation, so he’s thought about what he’s going to say, and it takes a few moments but his words are so moving that they still the cheers of the fanbois, and at the end there’s complete silence and a few muffled sobs, and even in party-town they understand the sacrifice and loss of their compatriots on the other side of the world.




 President Obama campaigns and attends a fundraiser in Las Vegas after deadly attacks in Libya



But no, that would be an utterly fantastical America. In the real America, the president is too busy to attend the security briefing on the morning after a national debacle, but he does have time to do Letterman and appear on a hip-hop radio show hosted by “The Pimp with a Limp.” In the real State Department, the U.S. embassy in Cairo is guarded by Marines with no ammunition, but they do enjoy the soft-power muscle of a Foreign Service officer, one Lloyd Schwartz, tweeting frenziedly into cyberspace (including a whole chain directed at my own Twitter handle, for some reason) about how America deplores insensitive people who are so insensitively insensitive that they don’t respectfully respect all religions equally respectfully and sensitively, even as the raging mob is pouring through the gates.

When it comes to a flailing, blundering superpower, I am generally wary of ascribing to malevolence what is more often sheer stupidity and incompetence. For example, we’re told that, because the consulate in Benghazi was designated as an “interim facility,” it did not warrant the level of security and protection that, say, an embassy in Scandinavia would have. This seems all too plausible — that security decisions are made not by individual human judgment but according to whichever rule-book sub-clause at the Federal Agency of Bureaucratic Facilities Regulation it happens to fall under. However, the very next day the embassy in Yemen, which is a permanent facility, was also overrun, as was the embassy in Tunisia the day after. Look, these are tough crowds, as the president might say at Caesar’s Palace. But we spend more money on these joints than anybody else, and they’re as easy to overrun as the Belgian consulate.


 
The lifeless body of Ambassador Chris Stevens, as it is paraded through the streets



As I say, I’m inclined to be generous, and put some of this down to the natural torpor and ineptitude of government. But Hillary Clinton and General Martin Dempsey are guilty of something worse, in the secretary of state’s weirdly obsessive remarks about an obscure film supposedly disrespectful of Mohammed and the chairman of the joint chiefs’ telephone call to a private citizen asking him if he could please ease up on the old Islamophobia.

Forget the free-speech arguments. In this case, as Secretary Clinton and General Dempsey well know, the film has even less to do with anything than did the Danish cartoons or the schoolteacher’s teddy bear or any of the other innumerable grievances of Islam. The 400-strong assault force in Benghazi showed up with RPGs and mortars: That’s not a spontaneous movie protest; that’s an act of war, and better planned and executed than the dying superpower’s response to it. Secretary Clinton and General Dempsey are, to put it mildly, misleading the American people when they suggest otherwise.

One can understand why they might do this, given the fiasco in Libya. The men who organized this attack knew the ambassador would be at the consulate in Benghazi rather than at the embassy in Tripoli. How did that happen? They knew when he had been moved from the consulate to a “safe house,” and switched their attentions accordingly. How did that happen? The United States government lost track of its ambassador for ten hours. How did that happen? Perhaps, when they’ve investigated Mitt Romney’s press release for another three or four weeks, the court eunuchs of the American media might like to look into some of these fascinating questions, instead of leaving the only interesting reporting on an American story to the foreign press.


 
On the morning of his death, Ambassador Stevens met a colleague for breakfast where he spoke of his intense concerns for the security of all those working at both the Embassy in Tripoli and the Consulate in Benghazi, which had been attacked 4 times in recent months.


For whatever reason, Secretary Clinton chose to double down on misleading the American people. “Libyans carried Chris’s body to the hospital,” said Mrs. Clinton. That’s one way of putting it. The photographs at the Arab TV network al-Mayadeen show Chris Stevens’s body being dragged through the streets, while the locals take souvenir photographs on their cell phones. A man in a red striped shirt photographs the dead-eyed ambassador from above; another immediately behind his head moves the splayed arm and holds his cell-phone camera an inch from the ambassador’s nose. Some years ago, I had occasion to assist in moving the body of a dead man: We did not stop to take photographs en route. Even allowing for cultural differences, this looks less like “carrying Chris’s body to the hospital” and more like barbarians gleefully feasting on the spoils of savagery.

In a rare appearance on a non-showbiz outlet, President Obama, winging it on Telemundo, told his host that Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy. I can understand why it can be difficult to figure out, but here’s an easy way to tell: Bernard Lewis, the great scholar of Islam, said some years ago that America risked being seen as harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend. At the Benghazi consulate, the looters stole “sensitive” papers revealing the names of Libyans who’ve cooperated with the United States. Oh, well. As the president would say, obviously our hearts are with you. 

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the local doctor who fingered bin Laden to the Americans sits in jail. In other words, while America’s clod vice president staggers around pimping limply that only Obama had the guts to take the toughest decision anyone’s ever had to take, the poor schlub who actually did have the guts, who actually took the tough decision in a part of the world where taking tough decisions can get you killed, languishes in a cell because Washington would not lift a finger to help him.

Like I said, no novelist would contrast Chris Stevens on the streets of Benghazi and Barack Obama on stage in Vegas. Too crude, too telling, too devastating.



Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2012 Mark Steyn



Sophie:

How painful it must be for Teh Won and his sycophants to have their illusions and delusions shattered into a million, billion, trillion, little pieces!!!  They claimed that the Muslim World hated the United States because of Bush.  Their professed philosophy was "Remove Bush and, voilĂ !, they will love us, really love us.  The Nobel Foundation will even award a Nobel Peace Prize to a man, who has served a mere 143 days in the United States Senate and a miniscule 8 months and 19 days in the White House, just for not being George W Bush and for having such potential!" 

According to the Government Accountability Institute, which examined the President’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012 to see how often he attended his PDB — the meeting at which he is briefed on the most critical intelligence threats to the country — Obama attended his just 536 times in his first 1,225 days — or 43.8% of the time.  During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting. 

 The facts:

*  The PDB is a daily briefing with senior intelligence officials identifying for the president what the most critical threats are to our security.

*  Obama currently attends the meeting about 38% of the time.

*  Obama did not attend any of the PDBs in the week leading up to the attacks on the American Embassy in Cairo and the American Consulate in Benghazi.

*  Obama did not attend the PDB the day after the attacks on the American Embassy in Cairo and the American Consulate in Benghazi.

*  He plays a round of golf 30 days a year on average.

*  That means that for every 5 briefings he attends, he catches a round of golf

So glad that he's got his priorities straight. 





 "American Pie" - Don McLean



A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

But February made me shiver

With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step

I can't remember if I cried

When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Did you write the book of love

And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you're in love with him

'Cause I saw you dancin' in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck

With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
 
 I started singin' bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Now for ten years we've been on our own

And moss grows fat on a rollin' stone
But that's not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh, and while the king was looking down

The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lenin read a book on Marx

A quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

We were singin' bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Helter skelter in a summer swelter

The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the halftime air was sweet perfume

While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

'Cause the players tried to take the field

The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singin' bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin' "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Oh, and there we were all in one place

A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
'Cause fire is the devil's only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage

My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan's spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night

To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singin' bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin' "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

I met a girl who sang the blues

And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play

And in the streets, the children screamed

The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most

The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

And they were singin' bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

They were singin' bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin' "This'll be the day that I die"