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Storming Embassies, Killing Ambassadors, and ‘Smart’ Diplomacy (Victor Davis Hanson)
National Review Online ^ | September 12, 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 09/12/2012 11:57:54 AM PDT by neverdem

The attacks on the U.S. embassy yesterday in Cairo and the storming of the American consulate in Libya, where the U.S. ambassador was murdered along with three staff members — and the initial official American reaction to the mayhem — are all reprehensible, each in their own way. Let us sort out this terrible chain of events.

Timing: The assaults came exactly on the eleventh anniversary of bin Laden’s and al-Qaeda’s attack on America. If there was any doubt about the intent of the timing, the appearance of black al-Qaedist flags among the mobs removed it. The chanting of Osama bin Laden’s name made it doubly clear who were the heroes of the Egyptian mob. Why should we be surprised by the lackluster response of the Egyptian and Libyan “authorities” to protect diplomatic sanctuaries, given the nature of the “governments” in both countries? One of the Egyptian demonstration’s organizers was Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of the top deputy to Osama bin Laden, and a planner of the 9/11 attacks, which were led by Mohamed Atta, an Egyptian citizen. In Libya, the sick violence is reminding the world that the problem in the Middle East is not dictators propped up by the U.S. — Qaddafi was an archenemy of the U.S. — but the proverbial Arab Street that can blame everything and everyone, from a cartoon to a video, for the wages of its own self-induced pathologies. So far, all the Arab Spring is accomplishing is removing the dictatorial props and authoritarian excuses for grass roots Middle East madness.

Ingratitude: Egypt is currently a beneficiary of more than $1 billion in annual American aid, and its new Muslim Brotherhood–led government is negotiating to have much of its sizable U.S. debt forgiven. Libya, remember, was the recipient of the Obama administration’s “lead from behind” intervention that led to the removal of Moammar Qaddafi — and apparently gave the present demonstrators the freedom to kill Americans. This is all called “smart” diplomacy.

Appeasement: Here are a few sentences from the statement issued by the Cairo embassy before it was attacked: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. . . .We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

The Problem? The embassy was condemning not those zealots who then stormed their own grounds, but some eccentric private citizens back home who made a movie.

One would have thought that the Obama administration had learned something from the Rushdie  fatwa and prophet cartoon incidents. This initial official American diplomatic reaction — to condemn the supposed excess of free speech in the United States, as if the government is responsible for the constitutionally-protected expression of a few private American citizens, while the Egyptian government is not responsible for a mass demonstration and violence against an embassy of the United States — is not just shameful, but absurd. The author of this American diplomatic statement should be fired immediately — as well as any diplomatic personnel who approved it. Obviously our official representatives overseas do not understand, or have not read, the U.S. Constitution. And if the administration claims the embassy that issued the appeasing statement did so without authority, then we have a larger problem with freelancing diplomats who across the globe weigh in with statements that supposedly do not reflect official policy. Note, however, that the initial diplomatic communiqué is the logical extension of this administration’s rhetoric (see below).

Shame: As gratitude for our overthrowing a cruel despot in Libya, Libyan extremists have murdered the American ambassador and his staffers. The Libyan government, such as it is there, either cannot or will not protect U.S. diplomatic personnel. And the world wonders why last year the U.S. bombed one group of Libyan cutthroats only to aid another.

The attacks in Egypt come a little over three years after the embarrassing Obama Cairo speech, in which the president created an entire mythology about the history of Islam, in vain hopes of appeasing his Egyptian hosts. The violence also follows ongoing comical efforts of the administration to assure us that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is not an extremist Islamic organization bent on turning Egypt into a theocratic state. And the attacks are simultaneous with President Obama’s ongoing and crude efforts to embarrass Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The future. Expect more violence. The Libyan murderers are now empowered, and, like the infamous Iranian hostage-takers, feel their government either supports them or can’t stop them. The crowd in Egypt knew what it was doing when it chanted Obama’s name juxtaposed to Osama’s.

Obama’s effort to appease Islam is an utter failure, as we see in various polls that show no change in anti-American attitudes in the Middle East — despite the president’s initial al Arabiya interview (“We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”); the rantings of National Intelligence Director James Clapper (e.g., “The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ . . . is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”); and the absurdities of our NASA director (“When I became the NASA administrator . . . perhaps foremost, he [President Obama] wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science.”) — to cite only a few examples from many.

At some point, someone in the administration is going to fathom that the more one seeks to appease radical Islam, the more the latter despises the appeaser.

These terrible attacks on the anniversary of 9/11 are extremely significant. They come right at a time when we are considering an aggregate $1 trillion cutback in defense over the next decade. They should give make us cautious about proposed intervention in Syria. They leave our Arab Spring policy in tatters, and the whole “reset” approach to the Middle East incoherent. They embarrass any who continue to contextualize radical Islamic violence. The juxtaposed chants of “Osama” and “Obama” in Egypt make a mockery of the recent “We killed Osama” spiking the football at the Democratic convention. And they remind us why 2012 is sadly looking a lot like 1980 — when in a similar election year, in a similarly minded administration, the proverbial chickens of four years of “smart” diplomacy tragically came home to roost.



TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: carterisobama; holderspeople; lybia; obamaiscarter; obamaspeople; vdh; victordavishanson

1 posted on 09/12/2012 11:57:58 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/09/12/Exclusive-Obama-Skipped-Intel-Briefings-Week-Before-Embassy-Attacks
2 posted on 09/12/2012 11:59:41 AM PDT by knownot
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To: neverdem

Victor Davis Hanson; always spot on with his analysis.


3 posted on 09/12/2012 12:02:13 PM PDT by henkster (With Carter, the embassy staff was still alive.)
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To: neverdem

“Egypt is currently a beneficiary of more than $1 billion in annual American aid....”

.
That amount will probably be increased substantially in order to appease these ingrates and our spineless response will encourage other muslim countries to copy the Libya and Egypt.


4 posted on 09/12/2012 12:02:54 PM PDT by 353FMG (The US Constitution is only as good as those who enforce it.)
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To: knownot
And they remind us why 2012 is sadly looking a lot like 1980 — when in a similar election year, in a similarly minded administration, the proverbial chickens of four years of “smart” diplomacy tragically came home to roost.

Let's hope the election results are the same and that the mushy independents don't rally to Obama
5 posted on 09/12/2012 12:05:40 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: neverdem

There is a long list of names and titles that can be applied to define who and what Obama is.

The one thing that is appropriately absent from that list is the title “AMERICAN”.

I view this with total horror and disgust.


6 posted on 09/12/2012 12:09:38 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: henkster
Victor Davis Hanson; always spot on with his analysis.

True. The tragedy is he preaches to a small audience known as the "choir" (us). The MSM makes sure his messages never reach the broad scope of American voters who might be influenced by his knowledge and logic.

7 posted on 09/12/2012 12:12:49 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: neverdem; All
Americans of the 21st Century must understand that the competing world views we see displayed today are not new in the world. They existed at the time of America's founding and before, but America's Founders introduced a new and revolutionary set of ideas upon which their documents of liberty were formed.

Theirs was a philosophy of individual freedom, as expressed in their Declaration of Independence.

In light of this week's happenings, we might do well to read about President Jefferson and the matter of the Barbary Coast see and other Presidents who fully understood their Constitutional responsibility for the defense of America and American interests abroad.

John Quincy Adams, on the 50th Anniversary of the Inauguration of Washington, traced the history of the Republic to that point. Every American should read his "Jubilee" Address, delivered at the request of the New York Historical Society, in its entirety in order to have a historical perspective on the founding philosophy and early history, from one who lived in that time--not from some later "historian" who revised it to fit a then-current agenda. His amazing tracing of the history of the Republic and its relationship to the rest of the world is available here .

Today's events, however, can be put into better historical perspective if the Barbary Coast matter and Adams' remarks in this excerpted portion of his address are considered:

The Jubilee of the Constitution

A DISCOURSE

Delivered at the Request of

The New York Historical Society

In the City of New York,

On Tuesday, the 30th of April, 1839

Being the Fiftieth Anniversary

Of the

INAUGURATION OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

as

President of the United States

on Thursday, 30th of April, 1789.

by

John Quincy Adams

 

(Eldest son of John Adams, born in 1767, served as Minister to the Netherlands under President Washington, as minister to Prussia and to Russia, as Secretary of State, and as U.S. Senator. He was the Sixth President of the United States and from 1830 until his death in 1848 was a United States Congressman)

“The motive for the Declaration of Independence was on its face avowed to be "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." Its purpose to declare the causes which impelled the people of the English colonies on the continent of North America, to separate themselves from the political community of the British nation. They declare only, the causes of their separation, but they announce at the same time their assumption of the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, among the powers of the earth.

“Thus their first movement is to recognize and appeal to the laws of nature and to nature's God, for their right to assume the attributes of sovereign power as an independent nation.

“The causes of their necessary separation, for they begin and end by declaring it necessary, alleged in the Declaration, are all founded on the same laws of nature and of nature's God - and hence as preliminary to the enumeration of the causes of separation, they set forth as self-evident truths, the rights of individual man, by the laws of nature and of nature's God, to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness. That all men are created equal. That to secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. All this is by the laws of nature and of nature's God, and of course presupposes the existence of a God, the moral ruler of the universe, and a rule of right and wrong, of just and unjust, binding upon man, preceding all institutions of human society and of government. It avers, also, that governments are instituted to secure these rights of nature and of nature's God, and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of THE PEOPLE to alter, or to abolish it, and to institute a new government - to throw off a government degenerating into despotism, and to provide new guards for their future security. They proceed then to say that such was then the situation of the Colonies, and such the necessity which constrained them to alter their former systems of government.”

____________________

 

“The Declaration of Independence recognized the European law of nations, as practiced among Christian nations, to be that by which they considered themselves bound, and of which they claimed the rights. This system is founded upon the principle, that the state of nature between men and between nations, is a state of peace. But there was a Mahometan law of nations, which considered the state of nature as a state of war - an Asiatic law of nations, which excluded all foreigners from admission within the territories of the state - a colonial law of nations, which excluded all foreigners from admission within the colonies - and a savage Indian law of nations, by which the Indian tribes within the bounds of the United States, were under their protection, though in a condition of undefined dependence upon the governments of the separate states. With all these different communities, the relations of the United States were from the time when they had become an independent nation, variously modified according to the operation of those various laws. It was the purpose of the Constitution of the United States to establish justice over them all.

 

“The commercial and political relations of the Union with the Christian European nations, were principally with Great Britain, France, and Spain, and considerably with the Netherlands and Portugal. With all these there was peace; but with Britain and Spain, controversies involving the deepest interests and the very existence of the nation, were fermenting, and negotiations of the most humiliating character were pending, from which the helpless imbecility of the confederation afforded no prospect of relief. With the other European states there was scarcely any intercourse. The Baltic was an unknown sea to our navigators, and all the rich and classical regions of the Mediterranean were interdicted to the commercial enterprise of our merchants, and the dauntless skill of our mariners, by the Mahometan merciless warfare of the Barbary powers. Scarcely had the peace of our independence been concluded, when three of our merchant-vessels had been captured by the corsairs of Algiers, and their crews, citizens of the Union, had been pining for years in slavery, appealing to their country for redemption, in vain. Nor was this all. By the operation of this state of things, all the shores of the Black sea, of the whole Mediterranean, of the islands on the African coast, of the southern ports of France, of all Spain and of Portugal, were closed against our commerce, as if they had been hermetically sealed; while Britain, everywhere our rival and competitor was counteracting by every stimulant within her power every attempt on our part to compound by tribute with the Barbarian for peace.

 

Great Britain had also excluded us from all commerce in our own vessels with her colonies, and France, notwithstanding her alliance with us during the war, had after the conclusion of the peace adopted the same policy. She was jealous of our aggrandizement, fearful of our principles, linked with Spain in the project of debarring us from the navigation of the Mississippi, and settled in the determination to shackle us in the development of the gigantic powers which, with insidious sagacity, she foresaw might be abused.

 

“Notwithstanding all these discouragements, the inextinguishable spirit of freedom, which had carried your forefathers through the exterminating war of the Revolution, was yet unsuppressed. At the very time when the nerveless confederacy could neither protect nor redeem their sailors from Algerian captivity, the floating city of the Taho beheld the stripes and stars of the Union, opening to the breeze from a schooner of thirty tons, and inquired where was the ship of which that frail fabric was doubtless the tender. The Southern ocean was stiff vexed with the harpoons of their whalemen; but Britain excluded their oil, by prohibitory duties and the navigation act, from her markets, and the more indulgent liberality of France would consent to the illumination of her cities by the quakers of Nantucket, only upon condition that they should forsake their native island, and become the naturalized denizens of Dunkirk.

 

“In the same year, when the Convention at Philadelphia was occupied in preparing the Constitution of the United States for the consideration of the people, two vessels, called the Columbia and the Washington, fitted out by a company of merchants at Boston, sailed upon a voyage combining the circumnavigation of the globe, discovery upon the shores of the Pacific ocean, and the trade with the savages of the Sandwich islands, and with the celestial empire of China, all in one undertaking. The result of this voyage was the discovery of the Columbia river, so named from the ship which first entered within her capes, since unjustly confounded with the fabulous Oregon or river of the West, but really securing to the United States the right of prior discovery, and laying the foundation of the right of extension of our territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.”

8 posted on 09/12/2012 12:14:04 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: knownot
Carter is Obama. Obama is Carter.

Both are Traitor Losers who hate America!

Jimmy Carter's presidency was doomed by the Iranian hostage crisis after the US embassy in Tehran was stormed by Islamist extremists following the Iranian revolution.

A year after the 52 Americans were taken hostage, Carter lost the 1980 election. The hostages were released just as President Ronald Reagan, who defeated Carter, was sworn in.

Thanks to RushIsMyTeddyBear and Focaulut's Pendulum and for finding these morphing graphic art realities!

9 posted on 09/12/2012 12:15:29 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: EagleUSA

Obama is the 1st alien to occupy the White House. I am not referring in terms of his citizenship, I am talking about his mindset.

His whole frame of reference from up-bringing to eduction to socialization is alien to the American experience. It is no wonder he is so incompetent as President.


10 posted on 09/12/2012 12:15:42 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: knownot
Carter is Obama. Obama is Carter.

Both are Traitor Losers who hate America!

Jimmy Carter's presidency was doomed by the Iranian hostage crisis after the US embassy in Tehran was stormed by Islamist extremists following the Iranian revolution.

A year after the 52 Americans were taken hostage, Carter lost the 1980 election. The hostages were released just as President Ronald Reagan, who defeated Carter, was sworn in.

Thanks to RushIsMyTeddyBear and Focaulut's Pendulum and for finding these morphing graphic art realities!

11 posted on 09/12/2012 12:17:05 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: uncbob

My concern is that the mushy independents are too mushy to string together the facts that show the monster 0bama has created for us in the middle east. On the other hand, I’m not worried about them “rallying” to 0bama, either. Mushy independents don’t “rally,” they just kind of aimlessly wander about with a slack-jawed drooling expression. Like the idiot neighborhood kid you always suspected of being a yard pooper.


12 posted on 09/12/2012 12:17:13 PM PDT by henkster (With Carter, the embassy staff was still alive.)
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To: MNJohnnie

“...His whole frame of reference from up-bringing to eduction to socialization is alien to the American experience. It is no wonder he is so incompetent as President....”

::::::::::::::

The really sickening aspect of this fact, is that we knew BEFORE THE 2008 ELECTION that this was the case. We knew it. But the fools did not listen -— and now look at what is happening to this country WORLDWIDE.


13 posted on 09/12/2012 12:19:07 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: neverdem

Well written, as usual.


14 posted on 09/12/2012 12:28:02 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: neverdem
And the world wonders why last year the U.S. bombed one group of Libyan cutthroats only to aid another.

The world should also wonder why not bomb all these cutthroats before its too damned late.

15 posted on 09/12/2012 12:29:41 PM PDT by oyez ( .Apparently The U.S. CONSTITUTION has been reduced to the consistency of quicksand.)
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To: neverdem

16 posted on 09/12/2012 12:30:37 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: uncbob
“Let's hope the election results are the same and that the mushy independents don't rally to Obama”

Thanks for saying that. I am sick and tired of people that call themselves Independents. They are worse than mush. Fence sitters - finger in the wind. To me everything is Black or White - there is NO gray area. Make a concerted effort of find the facts, then make a decision darn it. Base it on the truth. Independents are highly over rated. Mushy is being kind.

17 posted on 09/12/2012 12:38:41 PM PDT by WaterWeWaitinFor (Paul Ryan clings to his gun, sits in his deer stand and is going to be our next VP!)
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To: neverdem
The Problem? The embassy was condemning not those zealots who then stormed their own grounds, but some eccentric private citizens back home who made a movie.

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

It's hard to diffuse a violent mob by agreeing with the premise of their anger.

18 posted on 09/12/2012 12:40:17 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: neverdem

VDH nails it again.


19 posted on 09/12/2012 12:49:12 PM PDT by Eagles6 (DNC 2012 Convention: Celebrating infanticide and sodomy. Denying God.What could possibly go wrong?)
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To: neverdem

Here’s an idea: not only cut off all aid IMMEDIATELY, but also stop all grain shipments to both Libya and Egypt.

Let Allah provide. . .


20 posted on 09/12/2012 1:26:59 PM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border. I **DARE** you to cross it. . . .)
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To: neverdem

—— Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of the top deputy to Osama bin Laden——

Should be located and killed.

The way to deal with Al Qaeda is to kill thousands. A tomahawk into one of their demonstrations might kill a few thousand at one strong blow.


21 posted on 09/13/2012 4:44:58 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: bert

Get our people out of all Embassies in the Middle East. Send their Ambassadors packing out of here. Launch Tomahawks into everyone of our Embassies leaving craters where they stood plus the surrounding areas.


22 posted on 09/13/2012 4:49:01 AM PDT by publana (Beware the olive branch extended by a Dem for it disguises a clenched fist.)
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To: 353FMG
"Egypt is currently a beneficiary of more than $1 billion in annual American aid...."

Neal Boortz said something years ago that helps put things in perspective. He stated that taxpaying families pay, on average, about $10,000 per year in income tax. (That may be tax filer, not net payers, but it's in the ball park) So, for congress to do something like this, they would need to sit down in front of however many families it would take to foot the bill, in this case 100,000, and tell them why they needed to sacrifice a vacation or braces for the kid or replacing the car that's on its last leg or paying the house off early so that congress can instead, confiscate their money and do whatever it is it wants to do. In this case, take that hard-earned money and give it to people who hate us, want to kill us, and will take that money and try to do exactly that. 100,000 families! I dare one spineless, congressperson to defend stealing taxes from 100 freaking thousand families to give to terrorists.

23 posted on 09/13/2012 6:34:01 AM PDT by tnlibertarian (Government's solution to everything: Less freedom.)
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To: neverdem
The assaults came exactly on the eleventh anniversary of bin Laden’s and al-Qaeda’s attack on America. If there was any doubt about the intent of the timing, the appearance of black al-Qaedist flags among the mobs removed it.

The soft porn movie was an tactic to make liberals feel guilty... an emotion they enjoy as much as being sexually turned on. Or maybe for them it's the same...

24 posted on 09/13/2012 9:53:27 AM PDT by GOPJ (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T. Jefferson)
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To: neverdem
At some point, someone in the administration is going to fathom that the more one seeks to appease radical Islam, the more the latter despises the appeaser.

What! WTF? Is he saying giving lunch money to the school bully doesn't make him go away? OH No... please, anything but that...

25 posted on 09/13/2012 9:57:17 AM PDT by GOPJ (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T. Jefferson)
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To: henkster

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”


26 posted on 09/15/2012 8:02:25 AM PDT by dervish (ABO)
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