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Fooled by Benghazi

September 29, 2013

Recently I looked into the allegations that taxpayers had paid for Obama’s vacation. After patiently sifting through all the data, I found out that both Obama and Bush flew a lot on Air Force One and that this had cost the taxpayers lots of money. Very slowly, after a great deal of painstaking research, I came to the realization that all presidents fly on Air Force One and that it always costs a lot of money.

Sure, I felt a little silly, but one must sometimes feel silly if one is to learn and grow.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’ve done it again. Post Benghazi, there have been various allegations that Obama was absent and/or disengaged or even ordered military officers not to do anything to help Americans at the Benghazi facility (!!!), so I have again patiently looked into the responses of Bush and Obama to terrorist attacks.

Again, there’s that nagging feeling of silliness . . .

On 11 September 2001, Bush sat and continued listening to some children reading a story even after being informed that we were under attack. For almost 8 minutes, the president of the United States sat listening to “The Pet Goat” while the sky literally was falling. Then, to make it even more shocking, our brave commander-in-chief made a short scheduled speech and left the school almost 20 long minutes after being hearing the words, “We are under attack.”

Liberals of course had a field day with this and with the fact that both Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar escaped because “Bush didn’t act quickly enough.”  Bin Laden is dead now, but Omar is still at large, probably raping 12 year-olds as this is one of his favorite past-times. (Here is a man who actually is evil.)

Of course, President Bush did NOT jump up, grab a gun, and start barking orders into a walkie-talkie while dodging bullets and saving the day. He’s not Rambo. While he was reading with the children, the FAA and NORAD were communicating imperfectly — questions about the effectiveness of their communications persist to this day — about the hijackings.

There was nothing Bush or any president could have done about this. Presidents aren’t field commanders and the 20 minute delay at the school had no effect on anything.

I hope in the same situation, if I were President, I would have exited the building more quickly.  Maybe I even eventually would have pushed my military staff to come up with a plan that would have led to the rapid capture of bin Laden and Omar-the-child-rapist. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Unfortunately, our enemies are dangerous, violent, committed, numerous, patient, and adept at disappearing. Sometimes they are well-armed, well-organized, and well-informed with heavy weapons, accurate intelligence, and overwhelming numbers.

On 11 September 2012, when Obama and General Dempsey (the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and Defense Secretary Panetta found out about an attack taking place in Benghazi (they happened to be in the same room at the time), Obama did exactly what Bush did and what any president would do. He immediately gave the green light to deploy any necessary forces and then he let our experienced, battle-tested military commanders take over. They could not save the ambassador. Four Americans died.

We now know security at diplomatic facilities all over the world was grossly inadequate prior to 9/11/12 just as we know airline security was grossly inadequate before 9/11/01.

Of course, the conservative media came out with a wonderful and entertaining story about how Obama was playing with his invisibility cloak and disappeared and how the military people couldn’t find him and didn’t have any orders even though they ran around the White House crying “Obama, Obama, wherefore art thou?” Later Obama was reportedly found playing golf and smoking cocaine.

Actually, the conservative media theatrical presentation was not far from the exaggeration above. They pretty much recycled the liberal media attack on Bush and wrote the Obama MIA nonsense more or less by crossing out “Bush,” and putting in “Obama.”

This time, the theater even made it into the U. S. Congress where Republican leaders actually asked military leaders why they didn’t use F-16’s against the terrorists. It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous question except maybe asking why we didn’t use an ICBM to deal with the attack. Our military leaders had to patiently explain that you can’t use an F-16 to stop an attack on an embassy and then had to answer a whole series of “Where was Rambo when we needed him” questions.

General Martin Dempsey is a man with a distinguished military career including combat operations in Desert Storm under the first President Bush. He was a military expert before anyone ever heard of Obama and he will continue to serve his country long after Obama is gone. This is a man who job it is to win battles, who knows how to win battles, who really doesn’t like to lose battles, but who lost this one.

Dempsey’s testimony makes it abundantly clear that he did not lose this particular battle on purpose or because the evil Obama prevented him from deploying military forces or because the president wasn’t there to be a super-hero. One gets the very strong sense from the man that he is weary unto death with political theater.

Speaking of theater, Democrat Barbara Boxer has shrilly cried foul accusing Republicans of limiting spending on embassy security prior to Benghazi. Of course, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have, over the years, imposed what we now know are dangerous limits on security spending for diplomatic offices. These limits have been lifted post-Benghazi, but the finger pointing will undoubtedly go on. So will what Republican Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense under both Bush and Obama) calls “cartoonish” notions about our military capabilities.

Had I been president, I obviously would not have been able to stop Benghazi once it started, but maybe I would have realized that security there and at other installations was inadequate and had in fact been sorely lacking for years. Maybe I would have done something about it.  Maybe.

On the other hand, I’m the guy who had to do extensive research to find out that all presidents fly on Air Force One. Then I did more extensive research to find out that presidents don’t run military operations, generals do. Who’d a thought it?

Best I stick to writing, ne c’est pas?


From → Politics

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