Why did the West fail to claim an ideological or moral victory at the apparent end of the Cold War?
Did the West really even win the Cold War?
Diana West asks these questions. She goes on:
If we go back in time and listen, we hear no consensus click over signs that an unalloyed US-led triumph over communist ideology had taken place; nor do we find a sense of national thanksgiving for the forces of good – or, at least, for the forces of better – in their triumph over the forces of a non-abstract evil as manifested in Gulag or KGB or famine or purge history. “Mustn’t gloat” was about as joyous as the White House of Bush No. 41 ever got.
The inability to proclaim victory loud and clear derives from the Christian injunction to be humble.
Almost everything that handicaps our civilization comes from its Christian legacy; and everything that drives it forward to discover and innovate, to attain greater prosperity, longer life – whatever general conditions are needed for such happiness as we may individually be capable of – is the legacy of the Enlightenment, the awakening from the long dark nightmare of “God’s” reign, the rise of reason. It only happened to the West. Reason and its children Science, Freedom, and the United States of America, made the West great; not, as those lovers of the darkness, the god-worshipers, like to intone, the “Judeo-Christian” tradition.
All religions are the ideological enemies of the West. But yes, the Red ones, Communism and its conjoined twin Environmentalism, are the most dangerous at present. They suffuse and weaken our culture and our civilization.
They are the New Christianities.
Diana West is right to diagnose Communism as the transforming blight.
Was the official non-reaction due to that “crisis of confidence” we always hear about — specifically, that “politically correct” failure to believe in the worth of the West? I used to think exactly that and no more. The self-loathing West, failing to see anything of value in itself, was simply unable to take satisfaction, let alone pride, in the demise of its mass-murdering nemesis. “After all,” the PC catechism goes, “Who’s to say the Western system is ‘better’ than any other?”
But there is far more to it. At a certain point, it becomes clear that what we are looking at isn’t a West that fails to appreciate itself anymore, but rather a West that isn’t itself anymore.
Decades of subversion by communist infiltrators and American traitors, collaborators and “useful idiots” have helped make sure of that. So, even if the military enemy went away after the dissolution of the USSR on Christmas Day 1991, our ideological enemy never even had to break step.
Cold Warriors might have prevailed abroad, but America lost the ideological Cold War at home.
This helps explain why our college campuses are outposts of Marx, our centralizing government is increasingly invasive and dictatorial, and our culture is one of metastasizing decadence …
President Obama’s recent speech in Brussels, headquarters of the European Union, reveals the chasm between what we have become and what we are supposed to be. Wearing his “Leader of the Free World” hat, Obama made the case against Russia’s annexation of Crimea by conjuring a Manichaean split between free societies and dictatorships. But does it fit?
According to the president, there are free societies where “each of us has the right to live as we choose,” and there are dictatorships where the rule is “ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs.” Americans confronting government-mandated health insurance would do well to wonder exactly which society they live in.
Obama continued: “In many ways, the history of Europe in the 20th century represented the ongoing clash of these two sets of ideas.” That contest, he explained, swerving wildly away from historical fact, was won “not by tanks or missiles, but because our ideals stirred the hearts” of Eastern Bloc anti-communists.
Omitted was the fact that these revolts were mainly crushed without US aid. Omitted also was the decisive role that President Reagan’s “tanks and missiles” – and missile defense – played in the military contest.
In this post-World War II era, Obama declared, “America joined with Europe to reject the darker forces of the past and build a new architecture of peace.”
Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in sum, is an attack on that “architecture,” and, as such, is bad.
On closer examination, however, that same US-EU “architecture” doesn’t support the free-society paradigm so much as what the president calls the “more traditional view of power” – the one that sees “ordinary men and women (as) too small-minded to govern their own affairs.”
This latter view aptly describes the “soft” tyranny of the EU nanny state, whose early lights, after all, were Belgian Socialists and Nazi sympathizers with visions of a unified pan-European welfare state. In Brussels, their political progeny – unelected bureaucrats – increasingly dictate political and social norms across a “United States of Europe”.
In the US, the medical totalitarianism of Obamacare – not to mention Obama’s serial usurpations of power (not enforcing legislation he doesn’t like, making up and enforcing legislation he does like) – makes it all too clear that this president has a dictatorial temperament.
This is unsurprising when you consider that his political baby, his engine of transformative change – state-mandated health care – happens also to have been an early program of the Bolsheviks, and had as one of its earliest US boosters a noted Stalinist named Henry Sigerist. This seems like as good a moment as any to remind readers that the UN and the IMF, those leading institutions of globalist infrastructure, were fostered into post-World War II existence by a pair of notorious American Soviet agents – Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White.
Truly, it’s a Red, Red world.
In the first half of this video, Guy Rodgers, of Act for America, talks to Erick Stakelbeck about the Organization of Islamic Co-operation’s campaign to silence criticism of Islam .
In the second half, the excellent Diana West briefly describes how America has become the socialist country it now is.
Diana West, writing a column in the form of an open letter to General David Petraeus, suggests that he should be “testifying before the American people” about “national scandals” which, she accuses him, “you have so far successfully left in your dust”.
The scandals she means are:
Lying to the House Intelligence Committee about Benghazi twice; causing death and dismemberment of U.S. forces by directing them to walk the IED-packed roads of Afghanistan as part of a counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy to win Afghans’ trust; and your see-no-Islam COIN strategy itself.
And she asks him to -
Take that apparently bulletproof reputation of yours and use it to seek clemency for the so-called Leavenworth 10.
The Leavenworth 10? She explains:
This tag refers to a group of American soldiers now serving long prison terms mainly at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for crimes committed on your COIN battlefield in Iraq, and also Afghanistan. Across time and space, from desks in orderly offices peering into ghastly battlefields, obsessed military prosecutors have been able to see murder and even premeditated murder in the eyes of these soldiers who were blinded by the densest fog of war.
Since it was you who ordered these young men into the hostile urban combat zones in Iraq to win hearts and minds, since it was you who set them up, unable to tell friend from foe, to earn trust and confidence amid hostile outposts in Afghanistan, it should now be you who leads them out of their living hells. Long after the U.S. government has released tens of thousands of insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan — including Hezbollah mastermind Musa Daqduq, for example — it is time for you, the leading general in these wars, to declare that these young Americans, these American prisoners of COIN, have been punished enough.
She goes on to cite some of the Leavenworth 10 in particular – what they’re accused of, the draconian punishments they’ve been sentenced to endure:
I refer, for example, to 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, the elite Army Ranger whose last-ditch interrogation of an al-Qaida terrorist ended when, as forensic evidence indicates, he killed the detainee he was questioning in self-defense. Michael has served roughly four years behind bars, but that’s only a dent in his 15-year sentence.
There is Pvt. Corey Clagett, the most junior and the only imprisoned member of an Army squad implicated in following direct orders to shoot captured Iraqi insurgents in Operation Iron Triangle. Corey was sentenced to 18 years; cruelly and unusually, he has already spent nearly seven years in solitary confinement.
There is Sgt. Evan Vela, the first-tour Army sniper whose commander ordered him to kill a captured Iraqi struggling to blow the squad’s cover behind enemy lines. He was sentenced to 10 years.
There is also Sgt. Derrick Miller, an Army National Guard veteran of Afghanistan, who, during a harsh interrogation, killed in self-defense an Afghan who had penetrated his squad’s defensive perimeter. He received life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 10 years.
There are more such men whose names you should know — Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins (sentenced to 11 years), Army Master Sgt. John Hatley (sentenced to 40 years) — whose tragic stories should in truth keep you awake at night …
All of these young Americans marched into the crosshairs of COIN, the place where your hearts and minds strategy blew up, the place where living among, loving, respecting and bribing Iraqis and Afghans according to COIN’s see-no-Islam tenets became life-or-death propositions. These men managed to stay alive. According to COIN, that’s their main offense.
She asks him to plea for clemency for them.
As he hopes for forgiveness for himself, he should – we agree – want it for these men who are – yes – the victims of his misguided, even absurd policy, best summed up as a redirection of the American military in chaotic Iraq and savage Afganistan to act as an army of social workers rather than as warriors.
On August 2, 2012, Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton was killed when he stepped on an IED while patrolling across a mine-field in Afghanistan.
Diana West writes at Radical Islam:
Below is an extraordinary, heart-stopping and historic letter. It is a letter SSG Matthew Sitton sent to U.S. Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young after his commanders in Afghanistan told him to “quit whining” about orders to lead patrols without objective “through, for lack of a better term, basically a mine field on a daily basis,” as Sitton wrote.
Twice daily basis, in fact. On August 2, 2012, Sitton and another U.S. soldier were killed in one the IED-riddled field he spoke of. …
It is time for Sitton’s commanders and their commanders and on up the chain of command to be questioned … about who devised and signed off on this morally and militarily bankrupt doctrine — counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy — that patriots such as Matthew Sitton have paid for with their lives.
It is time for Generals Petraeus, McChrystal, Allen, Dempsey, Admiral Mullen and many more to face us and explain. It is also time for former President Bush and his advisors and President Obama and his advisors to answer for the failure of their misbegotten and irresponsible policy of nation-building in the Islamic world, which COIN supports.
Here is the letter in full:
Hello my name is SSG Matthew Sitton. I am in the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Ft. Bragg, NC. I am currently deployed with the 4th Brigade Combat Team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. I am writing you because I am concerned for the safety of my soldiers. This is my 3rd combat tour to Afghanistan, so I have seen the transition in Rules of Engagement and Overall Tactics over the past 6 years.
I am only writing this email because I feel myself and my soldiers are being put into unnecessary positions where harm and danger are imminent. I know the threat of casualties in war and am totally on board with sacrifice for my country, but what I don’t agree with is the chain of command making us walk through, for lack of a better term, basically a mine field on a daily basis.
I am in a platoon of 25 soldiers. We are operating at a tempo that is set for a full 35-40 man infantry platoon. We have been mandated to patrol twice daily for 2-4 hours each patrol on top of guarding our FOB [Forward Operating Base] and conducting routine maintenance of our equipment.
There is no endstate or purpose for the patrols given to us from our higher chain of command, only that we will be out for a certain time standard.
I am all for getting on the ground and fighting for my country when I know there is a desired endstate, and we have clear guidance of what needs to be done. But when we are told basically to just walk around for a certain amount of time, it doesn’t sit well with me.
As a Brigade, we are averaging at a minimum an amputee a day from our soldiers because we are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives. Not to mention that the operation tempo that every solider is on leaves little to no time for rest and refit.
The moral and alertness levels on our patrol are low and it is causing casualties left and right.
Here is an example of how bad things have gotten. Our small FOB was flooded accidentally by a local early one morning a few days ago. He was watering his fields and the dam he had broke and water came flooding into our living area.
Since our FOB does not have any portable bathrooms, we had to dig a hole in the ground where soldiers could use the bathroom. That also got flooded and contaminated all the water that later soaked every soldier and his gear.
Instead of returning to base and cleaning up, our chain of command was so set on us meeting the brigade commanders 2 patrols a day guidance that they made us move outside the flooded FOB and conduct our patrols soaked in urine.
That is just one single instance of the unsatisfactory situations that our chain of command has put us in. At least three of my soldiers have gotten sick since that incident and taken away from our combat power because of their illness caused by unhealthy conditions.
I understand that as a commander you are to follow the orders of those appointed over you, however there needs to be a time where the wellness of your soldiers needs to take priority over walking around in fields for hours a day for no rhyme or reason, but only to meet the Brigade Commanders guidance of you to conduct so many patrols for such an allotted time.
I’m concerned about the well being of my soldiers and have tried to voice my opinion through the proper channels of my own chain of command only to be turned away and told that I need to stop complaining.
It is my responsibility to take care of my soldiers, and there is only so much I can do with that little bit of rank I have. My guys would fight by my side and have my back in any condition, and I owe it to them to have their best interest in mind.
I know they would, and I certainly would appreciate it if there was something that you could do to help us out. I just want to return my guys home to their families healthy. I apologize for taking your time like this Sir, and I do appreciate what you do for us.
I was told to contact you by my grandmMother [name blacked out] who said that you had helped her son (my uncle) [name blacked out] many years ago. He also was serving in the military at the time. Thank you again for allowing soldiers like me to voice their opinion. If anything please pray for us over hear. God bless.
SSG Matthew Sitton
Americans, Gallup tells us, admire Hillary Clinton more than any other woman in the world — again. This latest accolade marks the 17th time Gallup has found Clinton to be the Most Admired Woman (MAW?) since she became first lady nearly 20 years ago. … And therein lies America’s cosmic flaw. A country that could time and again embrace Hillary Clinton as its MAW has lost its mind or its memory or both.
So Diana West writes at Townhall. She goes on to remind Hillary Clinton’s numerous fans why their admiration is misplaced. We quote in part:
Does the phrase “congenital liar” tinkle any bells? … As conjured by the late New York Times columnist William Safire in 1996, the phrase described the then-first lady for her shameless prevarications. These included what sure looked like bribery (“cattle futures”), defrauding taxpayers (“Whitewater”), obstructing justice — or, rather, “finding” her Rose Law Firm billing records (under subpoena for two years) just days after the statute of limitations ran out — among other corrupt behaviors that must have slightly suppressed Hillary-admiration that same year. The phrase remains apt.
“I remember landing under sniper fire,” Clinton declared on the presidential campaign trail in 2008, describing a 1996 trip to Bosnia. “There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down (chuckles) to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” It was a vivid but debunkable whopper, as CBS footage of the event proved. In reality, Clinton, accompanied by daughter Chelsea, made her ceremonial way into Bosnia through a warm throng marked by smiling faces and a kiss from a local girl — not bullets. Admirable?
On a more nationally significant level, Clinton recently supported President Obama’s Big Lie that a movie trailer of “Innocence of Muslims” on YouTube “resulted” (her word) in the September attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya — a concerted falsehood for which neither Clinton nor Obama nor former CIA Director David Petraeus has yet answered. Even several days after intelligence agencies determined that a planned assault, not a video-driven protest, had taken place, Clinton went so far as to promise a grieving Charles Woods, father of slain former SEAL Tyrone Woods, that “we” were going to have the video maker “arrested and prosecuted.” Why was Clinton still perpetuating the false narrative that the exercise of free speech under the First Amendment, not Islamic jihad, had resulted in the attack? Was that admirable? …
Meanwhile, the video maker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was indeed arrested and swiftly prosecuted, and is now serving one year in jail for “parole violations.” His incarceration, however, is better understood as punishment for violating the Islamic ban on free speech about Islam. … The fact is, Hillary Clinton has worked assiduously with the Islamic bloc nations, known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to promote Islamically correct speech codes through the so-called Istanbul Process. The goal of this process — and the goal of transnational Islam — is to implement Shariah speech codes via U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which seeks to criminalize “defamation” — free speech — about Islam. In leading this drive against free speech, Hillary Clinton is actually leading a drive against the First Amendment.
Most Americans don’t know about the Istanbul Process, let alone how Islamic speech codes are unconstitutional, but it is this policy against free speech that may stand as Clinton’s enduring legacy as secretary of state. It is of a piece with having presided over, first, the shredding of U.S. alliances with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and then supporting jihadist factions and organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, now implementing Islamic law across the Middle East. This, of course, is President Obama’s policy, but Hillary Clinton has been an active team player.
Another aspect of this same foreign policy Clinton has spearheaded is the launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. The forum’s roster of 29 nations plus the European Union is stunning for its exclusion of Israel, a leading counterterrorism force as much as it is a leading terrorism victim. But not so, according to Islamic definitions. Knowingly or not, as a leader of this forum, one-third of whose members come from the Islamic bloc, Clinton has accepted the Arab League and OIC definitions of terrorism, which both deny the existence of Israeli victims (sometimes U.S. soldiers) and legitimize the terrorism of Hamas, a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah. …
What influences have led Clinton to formulate or follow such policies? … It is hard not to wonder about the input of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, a young woman with well-established familial and personal ties to Muslim Brotherhood figures and front groups (including a “charity” linked to al-Qaida and a group banned in Israel for ties to Hamas). Indeed, what may be most astounding and mysterious about Clinton’s whole public tenure is how Abedin ever received the security clearance necessary to work so closely with the secretary of state.
And further to all that, the burning question is: what has Hillary Clinton ever done that is admirable?
The tide may be turning in Syria, because the rebels are newly equipped with what are called MANPADS – shoulder-carried anti-aircraft weapons. Until now Assad’s forces were stronger than the rebels because they could strike unimpeded from the skies. Now their planes and helicopters are under threat, and a plane and a helicopter have been brought down by a MANPAD. (See also here and here.)
Where did the MANPADS come from? From Turkey, certainly. But Turkey does not make them. (Nor does Qatar, the alleged source of some of them.)
They come from Libya. They were part of Gaddafi’s arsenal. They were shipped from Benghazi to Turkey, and on to Syria and the rebel fighters.
The transfer of arms was done secretly by a CIA operation in Benghazi, overseen by Ambassador Stevens. He was almost certainly discussing another shipment of arms from Libya to Turkey with the Turkish consul a few hours before an al-Qaida-associated gang attacked his mission station and murdered him.
As so often, they are lying. The US is arming the rebels, including al-Qaida contingents. This is the guilty secret (or one of the guilty secrets) the Obama administration is trying to hide by distracting attention away from the atrocious Benghazi fiasco itself and on to side issues like Susan Rice’s false narrative, and General Petraeus’s adultery.
Diana West asks the important questions about the disaster of Benghazi:
Who came up with the administration plan to discard early intelligence confirming the U.S. had sustained an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and to seize on a lie blaming a YouTube video for the attack? Who got everyone — White House, State, CIA (but not, it seems, Defense) — on board? After the president addressed the United Nations on Sept. 25 (citing the video six times), the false video narrative peters out. Who called the whole thing off?
Speaking of the president’s U.N. address — notorious for declaring, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” — who wrote it? Its underlying message that “slander” (read: free speech) of Islam causes violence dovetails neatly with the Istanbul Process, an Obama administration initiative to prohibit and even criminalize speech critical of Islam. The initiative is spearheaded by Hillary Clinton in conjunction with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an Islamic bloc of 56 nations, plus the Palestinian Authority.
President Obama stated to an outside-the-Washington-Beltway reporter that “the minute” he found out what was happening in Benghazi, he sprang into action. “Number one,” the president said, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to do.” Did Obama, in fact, issue such an order? If so, it appears to have been ignored. Shouldn’t someone be fired for insubordination? If no U.S. military assets were available — a big “if” for the sake of argument — why weren’t NATO allies such as Turkey or Britain called on to help? What exactly was the president doing during the eight-hour span of the terror attack?
On Sept. 9 and again on Sept. 10, a YouTube video featuring al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was posted online. In it, Zawahiri exhorted Libyans to attack Americans in revenge for the killing of al-Qaida senior leader Abu Yahya al-Libi. The CIA and other intelligence agencies appear to have ignored this video entirely. Why?
Why was the United States in Benghazi relying on Libyan jihadists for security? This is where we might pick up on the Arab Spring trail the Obama administration followed to this whole disaster. For example, the small CIA contingent that flew in to Benghazi in the wee hours of Sept. 12 was “aided” (delayed) on arrival by Libya Shield. Not only did this militia fight in the Libyan revolution under the black flag of al-Qaida, but U.S. government analysts believe its leader, Wissam bin Hamid, a jihadist veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, may be the leader of al-Qaida in Libya.
What was the Benghazi mission (it did not function as a consulate) doing there in the first place? Troubling reports indicate the U.S. presence in Benghazi may have been part of a secret CIA operation to run weapons to Syria’s anti-Assad rebel forces, which, as was the case with Libya’s anti-Gadhafi forces, include a heavy contingent of jihadist actors seeking to spread Shariah (Islamic law). Was the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens, previously point man to jihadists in Libya, party to this unauthorized operation?
Notice I haven’t even mentioned Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. While not altogether unimportant, it is a distraction from weightier matters. For example: How can David Petraeus lie to Congress — a felony — and get away with it?
Ask President Obama.
Another question needing to be asked: why is Obama supporting the Syrian rebels? There is no reason to expect that, if they win, a more savory regime will supplant Assad. Assad is nasty. So were Mubarak and Gaddafi. But the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida are worse. And it will be the likes of the MB and al-Qaida that will, in all probability, come to power in Syria if Assad falls.
To this last question we have an answer. Obama likes the Muslim Brotherhood. He is helping them consolidate their power in Egypt and the Middle East generally – and also to advance their agenda within the United States.
Counting on a blindness, ignorance and gullibility he assumes (not groundlessly) in the American public, Obama is using his power stealthily to advance Islam’s mission of jihad.
In order to delay having to say anything of substance about the Benghazi disaster (see our many posts about it over the last month), Obama insists that we must await the findings of an official investigation he has launched: a sober enquiry that will discover all the facts, patiently sift them, astutely analyse them, and thus be able at last to reveal the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Which will totally exonerate Obama. Not because the truth is in his favor, which we already know it is not, but because he can rely on the investigator he and the Secretary of State have appointed to find a “truth” that Obama and Hillary Clinton want him to find: that all their decisions in the matter were wise, all their actions right, and their motives pure as the driven snow.
Why do we presume this outcome with such arrogant confidence? Because of what is known of the man he has appointed chief investigator.
Behold Thomas R. Pickering, who heartily approves and endorses Obama’s policy towards the Arab and Islamic worlds and probably helped to formulate it.
Of him, his remit and his views, Diana West writes at Townhall:
As we arrive at Election Day, some of the most crucial questions left unanswered about Benghazi are, in fact, the simplest. They are not “fog of war” questions. They are not questions rendered unanswerable by “conflicting intelligence.” They are questions that probe clear actions taking place not on the roof of a safe house under mortar fire, but inside the fortress-like, orderly and well-lit White House.
Who turned down requests for military relief for Americans under rocket and mortar fire? Who decided to suppress the fact that no protest preceded this attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that claimed four American lives? Who ordered senior Obama administration officials to lie to the American people for two weeks by blaming a YouTube video for a “spontaneous” outbreak of violence that was, in fact, a coordinated terrorist assault?
President Obama declared he made his priorities about Benghazi clear “the minute I found out what was happening.” He said: “Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” If he issued an unexecuted order to this effect, there was a grievous breakdown in the chain of command that must be exposed. If, on the other hand, Barack Obama is lying, that must be exposed, too. It’s not a hard fact to find out.
But is Thomas Pickering, Obama’s choice to lead the Benghazi investigation, the proper person to search for it? On first glance, Pickering, a retired top diplomat and State Department official, sets off conflict-of-interest alarms for heading an investigation that must focus closely on the State Department. On closer inspection, however, so many red flags pop up around Pickering that his selection becomes another Benghazi. …
The man is a foreign policy establishment leftist. It’s not just that Pickering serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the International Crisis Group, a George Soros group that, for example, advocated engagement with the Shariah-supremacist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Pickering has personally explored opening relations with Hamas; pushed peace talks with the Taliban; argued for getting rid of, or removing to the U.S., all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe … and promoted bilateral talks with Iran without preconditions. And speaking of Iran, Pickering sits on the boards of two pro-Tehran groups, the American Iranian Council and the National Iranian American Council. The Iranian connections are additionally disturbing since one Benghazi scenario to be explored is whether Iran was involved, possibly in retribution for U.S. support of anti-Assad forces (including jihadists) in Syria.
Pickering’s politics place him squarely inside the Obama foreign policy mainstream, but that’s not the proper point from which to investigate an Obama foreign policy fiasco. Indeed, Pickering has expressed support for Obama’s Libya policy, “where,” as he put it in March, “we play a major role behind the scenes and … incorporate many other people in the activities we did in Libya.”
Explaining the Libyan “experimentation” in “consultative leadership” that minimizes the U.S. military role, Pickering sounds as if he also endorsed the disastrous policy of relying on local jihadist militias for U.S. security.
And here is more about him from an article by Matthew Vadum at Front Page:
America is a seething hotbed of “Islamophobia,” filled with ignorant racist rubes who irrationally fear the benign Muslim religion, according tothe Obama administration’s lead investigator into the Benghazi atrocities.
So said former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering in more polished, diplomatic language during an Oct. 23 panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The talk was on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia,” a make-believe mental illness that Islamists would love to have listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Radical Islam’s stateside defenders frequently accuse anti-terrorism hawks of “McCarthyism,” hurling the epithet “Islamophobe” the same way American leftists use the word “racist” to shut down debate.
Pickering’s pontifications came two and a half weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named him to head a State Department “Accountability Review Board” tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the deaths on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.…
Pickering urged what might amount to a zero-tolerance policy against so-called Islamophobes in American society. “There are strong efforts as well that we must make to deal with opinion leaders who harbor these prejudices, who espouse them and spread them,” he said.
Such as tearing the First Amendment out of the Constitution?
Critics say Pickering is unfit to head any probe of what happened in Benghazi because he harbors sympathy for Islamism and is suspiciously cozy with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
And so, since Obama and Hillary Clinton have picked to investigate the atrocity of Benghazi a man who firmly believes the policy that led to it is ideal, we can predict with certainty the outcome of his investigation.
It will be a whitewash.
Members of a terrorist organization called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade were employed by the State Department to guard its legation in Libya.
Who are they ? What happened to make martyrs on some February 17?
Following Friday prayers on Feb. 17, 2006, thousands of Benghazians attacked the Italian Consulate to punish the temerity of an Italian minister, Roberto Calderoli, who several days earlier had publicly defended free speech in the West. The world was then experiencing another cycle of Islamic violence, this one orchestrated to punish a tiny Danish newspaper for publishing a sheet of Muhammad cartoons and, in turn, Denmark itself for refusing to punish the journalist-transgressors of Islamic law, which outlaws any critiques and all depictions of Muhammad.
Calderoli didn’t merely defend free speech. During his TV interview, he dramatically unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a T-shirt featuring a cartoon of Muhammad. Referring to Islamic rioters worldwide, he added: “When they recognize our rights, I’ll take off this shirt.”
He was forced to resign from his post the next day, a sacrifice on the altar of Shariah (Islamic law) by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It wasn’t enough.
“We feared for our lives,” the wife of the Italian consul later told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, describing the attack in which the consulate was set on fire. All personnel were safely evacuated. Libyan police used tear gas to try to disperse the rioters, later opening fire and killing 11 attackers.
Those are the “martyrs” for whom the February 17 Martyrs Brigade named themselves. When Arab brigades name themselves in honor of dead terrorists, they are announcing that they are sworn to avenge their heroes. They are terrorist groups, every one of them.
So the State Department, under the inspired leadership of Hillary Clinton, employed vengeance-thirsty members of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade to guard its legation in Libya.
We found that information in a column by Diana West at Townhall. (She also tells us in passing that Benghazi literally means “city of holy warriors“.)
Next we learn from Mark Steyn that the terrorists paid for by the State Department were acquired through the agency of a British company based in Wales:
The State Department outsourced security for the Benghazi consulate to Blue Mountain, a Welsh firm that hires ex-British and Commonwealth Special Forces, among the toughest hombres on the planet. …
That should be okay then: tough hombres defending US representatives in foreign lands.
The one-year contract for consulate security was only $387,413 – or less than the cost of deploying a single U.S. soldier overseas. On that budget, you can’t really afford to fly in a lot of crack SAS killing machines, and have to make do with the neighborhood talent pool. So who’s available? Blue Mountain hired five members of the Benghazi branch of the February 17th Martyrs’ Brigade and equipped them with handcuffs and batons. A baton is very useful when someone is firing an RPG at you, at least if you play a little baseball. There were supposed to be four men heavily armed with handcuffs on duty that night, but, the date of Sept. 11 having no particular significance in the Muslim world, only two guards were actually on shift.
Let’s pause right there … Liberals are always going on about the evils of “outsourcing” and “offshoring” – selfish vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney shipping jobs to cheap labor overseas just to save a few bucks. How unpatriotic can you get! So now the United States government is outsourcing embassy security to cheap Welshmen who, in turn, outsource it to cheaper Libyans. Diplomatic facilities are U.S. sovereign territory – no different de jure from Fifth Avenue or Mount Rushmore. So defending them is one of the core responsibilities of the state. But that’s the funny thing about Big Government: the bigger it gets, the more of life it swallows up, the worse it gets at those very few things it’s supposed to be doing. So, on the first anniversary of 9/11 in a post-revolutionary city in which Western diplomats had been steadily targeted over the previous six months, the government of the supposedly most powerful nation on Earth entrusted its security to Abdulaziz Majbari, 29, and his pal, who report to some bloke back in Carmarthen, Wales.
Was there a connection between the guards and the attackers? Yes. A very close one according to Diana West:
Ansar al Sharia (“Supporters of Islamic Law”), the al-Qaida-linked militia believed to have led the consulate assault in September, is a spinoff of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade.
Which explains how the attackers knew where Ambassador Stevens would be on the night of 9/11/12, the lay-out of the campus, and the location of the “safe-house”.
What says the State Department to that?
Diana West tells us:
The State Department reminds us not to forget the service of two brigade members who were beaten and two who were shot defending the compound. “But there were some bad apples in there as well” …
Was the whole tragedy a result of the State Department being granted too little money to pay for proper security ? Joe “the Clown” Biden alleged as much in his “debate” with Paul Ryan recently.
According to this article by Daniel Greenfield, there was no shortage of money, but Obama and Hillary Clinton had what they considered better uses for it than squandering it on protecting US personnel and property:
The last, generally disavowed, excuse is that the Benghazi consulate lacked proper security because of budget cuts. This has already been disproven, but let’s take that excuse at face value. The State Department has a 50 billion dollar budget. Within that 50 billion dollar budget there was no money for reasonable consulate security in a city rife with Islamist militias who had already attacked the consulate and other diplomats in the city. But here’s what there was money for…
The 770 million dollar Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund for the Arab Spring.
7.9 billion dollars for Obama’s Global Health Initiative.
2.9 billion for international debt relief.
2.2 billion to strengthen democratic institutions in Pakistan.
469 million for global climate change.
587 million for student exchange programs.
And of course there is the always popular Mosque renovation program …
Which raises questions connected with the First Amendment, as this report in the Washington Times points out:
The mosques being rebuilt by the United States are used for religious worship, which raises important First Amendment questions. U.S. taxpayer money should not be used to preserve and promote Islam, even abroad. …
Section 205.1(d) of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations prohibits USAID funds from being used for the rehabilitation of structures to the extent that those structures are used for “inherently religious activities.” It is impossible to separate religion from a mosque; any such projects will necessarily support Islam.
So would not Obama be shocked, shocked to learn that his State Department is supporting Islam?
The extreme importance of the 2012 presidential election is recognized by (among millions of others, we hope) Diana West, who warns at Townhall that “Election 2012 is anything but politics as usual. It is an existential crisis.”
This election is for keeps. If Barack Obama doesn’t lose his bid for a second term, he and his vast, left-wing support network of Marx-inspired think tanks, strategists and elected officials will fulfill Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to “fundamentally” transform this nation, thus bringing the American experiment in liberty to what could be the final curtain…
Americans are about to decide whether to empower the increasingly dictatorial executive branch of Barack Hussein Obama, whose future plans to distort “checks and balances” promises to transform the U.S. government out of all recognition, or to break the momentum of government centralization by electing Romney-Ryan.
Yes. And we find signs that are good; signs that there is a swing to the right in public opinion, considerably boosted since Paul Ryan was selected as candidate Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential choice.
This is by Scott Johnson at PowerLine:
GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan appeared at a rally this morning at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Virginia. … An audience of more than 2,000 turned up for the rally. More impressive than the size of the crowd is the fact that supporters started lining up for the event around 2:00 a.m. Recent alumni of Deep Run High School, where Ryan spoke … joined the line around 7:00 a.m. with [Chick-fil-A] breakfast in hand.
In these faces we can see what optimism looks like:
Ryan is a star. Romney’s pick of him for his vice-president has energized the Republican Party and brought excitement to the electorate. Even the heavily left-biased British newspaper the Guardian has to concede that:
Democrats’ nerves start to show as Ryan fires up conservative voters …
The Democrats have been sending out panic-laden appeals for donations, one of them expressing concern over the size of the crowd. One of the appeals, for $3 or more, said of Romney-Ryan attacks: “This could cost us the election.”
And quoting American pundits with a message the left canot be happy with, the Guardian raises the prospect of Republican government for the next 16 years:
If Romney wins, then Ryan, as vice-president, will be well placed as a Republican presidential candidate for the future. …
Roger L. Klavan writes at PJ Media that the Democrats are scared of Ryan:
Obama’s main man David Axelrod looks depressed. Why wouldn’t he be? Forced to run a campaign based on lying about or distorting what the other side says, fanning the flames of non-existent racism, etc., is a sure loser, even if you win — perhaps especially if you win. Winning ugly in this instance will not be a triumph of any sort. Obama, at his worst, may succeed in destroying America as we know it, but he would destroy himself and everyone around him in the process. At this moment, I’m betting none of this will happen. Romney’s choice of Ryan, for me, saved the day.
But the black vote – that’s remaining pretty solid for Obama, isn’t it?
Or is it? A formerly prominent black Democrat has gone over to the Republicans. Former Democratic Representative Artur Davis, who was also a candidate for the governorship of Alabama in 2010, and was one of Barack Obama’s campaign managers in 2008 – making one of the nominating speeches for him at the 2008 Democratic National Convention – is to speak this year at the Republican National Convention in support of the Romney-Ryan ticket. (Read more about this in the Washington Post here.)
And there’s this (also from the Washington Post). The story of a black community organizer’s disillusionment with Obama. He is “disillusioned” for the wrong reasons, and he probably will not be coming over to the right, but if he decides to cast his vote for Obama, it won’t be with any enthusiasm. The point is, redistributive economics and collectivist politics don’t work, and the Obama episode in American history has proved it. Once Obama has gone – and go he absolutely must with the coming election – his bad four years in the White House can be seen as a lesson millions of Americans needed to learn.
He still walks the same streets here as his old acquaintance Barack Obama once did. That is about all they have in common anymore. At 50, Chicago activist Mark Allen … [is] the head of a small, community-assistance organization called Black Wall Street Chicago. Allen regards his personal survival alone as a small victory, grateful he can pay the rent on his modest office space, aware he is doing better than many on this city’s restive South Side.
“Things haven’t gone the way we’d hoped after Barack got elected,” he says. Surveys place unemployment rates above 25 percent here, and indications are that South Side residents such as Allen aren’t nearly as passionate about the 2012 election as they were during Obama’s trailblazing 2008 campaign.
Historically, community organizers such as Allen have wielded outsize influence in the black-majority neighborhoods of the South Side, with none better known than Obama, who directed a group called the Developing Communities Project for three years during the 1980s. But old bonds between the two have frayed. Allen, who as a member of another group worked on community issues with Obama during their organizing days, has grown frustrated with his former ally in the Oval Office.
Obama’s much ballyhooed 2009 stimulus package has failed to touch ordinary South Side residents, says Allen, who has reached out to Obama administration officials, including fellow Chicagoan and prominent White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, to express his dismay. …
Allen, who views the South Side’s pain as common to U.S. inner cities, also offers a political warning for Obama’s campaign strategists. The disillusionment of once fierce Obama admirers, he suggests, may hamper the president’s reelection chances by subtly dampening black voter turnout.
Best of all there’s this:
Did you hear the one about a crowd of terrorists holding a conference in the name of counter-terrorism? Sponsored by the Obama administration? What’s painfully funny about it is that it really happened.
Diana West writes at Townhall:
The Washington Free Beacon reported this week on the continuing omission of Israel from a U.S.-sponsored organization called the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). At a recent forum meeting in Spain, Maria Otero, U.S. undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, delivered a speech titled “Victims of Terrorism,” but, in her roll call of victims, she didn’t mention Israel. The conference at which she spoke was described as a “high-level conference on the victims of terrorism,” but Israel wasn’t a participant.
It bears repeating because it is so fantastic: At an international conference devoted to victims of terrorism, the world’s leading victim or, better, leading target of terrorism — Israel — was nowhere in sight, or mind.
Welcome to the GCTF — U.S. counterterrorism’s new “normal.” This 30-member organization got its official start last September as a “major initiative” of the Obama administration when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced its launch in New York.
It was quite an occasion; Hillary curled her hair. Seated next to her Turkish co-chairman, ensconced amid ministers from Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates …
All of which are or have been breeding-grounds of terrorists, and some of which – Turkey, Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan – are or have been active state sponsors of terrorism …
… and 18 other miscellaneous member-states plus the European Union, she then said the magic words: “From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it’s innocent civilians who have been targeted …”
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon? Poof, gone. And that’s the point: This new counterterrorism organization, with its related counterterrorism center coming soon to Abu Dhabi, is Judenfrei. Not coincidentally, it is also heavily Islamic. Eleven member-states — slightly more than one-third of the organization’s membership — also belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc of 56 Islamic countries working to impose Islamic law (Shariah) on the world. Six of those 11 members additionally belong to the Arab League. Both groups have defined “terrorism” to exclude Israeli victims (sometimes U.S. soldiers), and “terrorists” to exclude groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It is no wonder the Arab-Islamic members would now unite in “counterterrorism” without Israel.
What is both shocking and shameful, however, is that the U.S. would, too. It shows that the U.S. has implicitly but clearly accepted the Arab League/OIC definitions of terrorism and terrorists. …
Their implied definition of terrorism is: ”Israel defending itself”. Their implied definition of terrorist: a Jew.
Under the Bushes … while Israel was not permitted to fight alongside coalition forces, at least it was still recognized for withstanding more than 60 years of Islamic terrorist attacks. Today, under the auspices of the Obama administration, Israel no longer rates mention even as a victim. “Big Satan” has thrown “Little Satan” to the sharks. Which says two things about Big Satan. Our institutions now see the world from the Islamic perspective, and, as far as the sharks go, we’re next.
And this is from politicalmavens.com by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen:
So, there’s this Global Counterterrorism Forum comprised of 32 countries, including the United States, Columbia, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia and New Zealand. It also includes the European Union, nine European countries, 10 Arab/Muslim countries and three Asian ones.
This group was formed last year, under the United States’ leadership, for policymakers and experts in the counterterrorism field to share insights and best practices.0
Great idea, right?
Inexplicably, however, not included in the forum is Israel, easily in the top three on the list of the world’s most frequent terror targets and likely the most skilled at fighting the scourge. …
Inexplicably? Not at all. It could not be more obvious: Obama loves Islam and hates Israel.
Since no explanation has been offered by our government, we are left to speculate about why this is happening, and I suspect that were they to deign to explain their actions, Obama Administration officials would likely say it’s about getting the nations where the terrorists are spawned to help fight them, without pissing them off by inviting the Jews. It’s the only thing they can say, really. But I’m not buying it. And I’m not the only one.
After it was learned that the United State’s “best friend and closest ally” was excluded from this forum, our country’s officials assured those expressing concern that “a way would be found” to include it.
I find it peculiar, since we created the forum and Israel is among our closest allies and an expert on the issue, that a special way must be found to include it, different from the way the others came to be on the panel, but, evidently, it does.
However, it’s been a year and nothing has changed. Maybe they thought no one would notice.
But, at least two U.S. Senators did notice and wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who attended this forum, and demanded to know why this glaring omission remains uncorrected.
Also, the Simon Wiesenthal Center took exception to the blatant insult, not to mention the stupidity of failing to include the player with the most direct experience with the phenomenon and the best track record at fighting it, and fired off an urgent letter of protest to Ms. Clinton.
The center’s founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, reportedly wrote of his awareness that Turkey and some others “oppose an Israeli presence,” but notes that – SO THE EFF WHAT?
Are we trying to fight the most deadly dangerous threat to humanity to ever have slithered out of hell, or are we trying to appease the Arabs?
Answer: Obama and Hillary Clinton are trying to appease the Arabs.
Rabbi Hier also said that “having a Global Counterterrorism Forum and not including Israel, is like having a global technology conference and excluding the United States of America.” And, noting “there is no one with more experience at combating terrorism or educating civilians about it, than the State of Israel,” he said, “I think the time has come for the United States to make it very clear why Israel continues to be excluded.”
Me, too. But, I’m not sure we’ll get an honest answer, or, if we do, we’re prepared to hear it.
The first, and most obvious explanation, is that the Arab/Muslim contingent “objects” to the Jewish state’s inclusion. In other words, the bully objects to the victim’s presence at a discussion ostensibly designed to stop bullying.
Bullying is too mild a word, of course, but her point is good.
It’s a phenomenon similar to the so-called Anti-Racism conference in Durban, South Africa, which was actually an officially sanctioned, international Jew-and-Israel-bashing free-for-all, with a name that really only served to add insult to injury.
It’s another act of bullying, right in our face, and we – and by we I mean the United States and the rest of the free, normal-thinking world – is afraid to set the crazies off by defying their demands. …
This is unfortunate, obviously, because it’s proof certain that terrorism is working to cow even the world’s greatest powers.
In the light of this, the appointment of an Israeli as the UN Security Council’s top counterterrorism lawyer is simply astounding.
The Washington Post reports:
The United Nations has promoted a former Israeli government attorney to a job as the Security Council’s top counterterrorism lawyer, making him the only Israeli national serving in a senior security position within the U.N. Secretariat … David Scharia has been appointed legal coordinator for the Counter-Terrorism Committee executive directorate, where he will oversee a team of 12 international legal experts who advise the 15-nation Security Council on its counterterrorism efforts. The appointment would not typically be notable were it not so uncommon for Israelis to reach the upper levels at the United Nations. … Of the more than 44,000 international employees within the United Nations, only 124 are Israeli, according to the U.N. None serve in the top ranks of the most sensitive political jobs, which are responsible for maintaining international security, mediating peace deals and coordinating humanitarian assistance.
Why suddenly is an Israeli appointed to such a job at the UN?
Our preference would be for Congress to cut off all funds to the disgusting UN. The UN should be wiped off the face of the earth. See our post Why the UN must be destroyed, June 12, 2012.