October 1 2012

Denial Vs. Reality in the Middle East

Charlotte Hays

The American Thinker has a sobering piece on how the Washington Post obituary for Ambassador Christopher Stevens was used not to record the life and death of a man but to bolster the Obama administration’s failed policy in Libya:

Start with the headline, which reads: "US ambassador to Libya dies at age 52."  If you read only the bold print you might believe that Mr. Stevens died from a bad oyster or Foggy Bottom flu.  In fact, the American representative was killed by Arab terrorists.  "Murdered" would be a more accurate word.  People "die" from natural causes, like old age or disease.  Getting killed by religious cowards is another variety of death altogether -- different enough to deserve the decency of candor. …

Ms. Gearan goes on to speculate that Stevens probably died of "smoke inhalation," suggesting again that Stevens was collateral damage instead of yet another terror target.  Photo evidence puts the lie to such nonsense.  In one LA Times cover shot, the ambassador, with blood smeared and gashed head, is being pulled along by the armpits; in another image, he is slung over someone's shoulder like a sack of loot.  Ms. Gearan's spin may have been a transparent attempt to mimic early State Department damage control.

What we have been seeing lately is a collective engagement in denial, though the danger of uprisings in the Middle East is beginning to penetrate the consciousness even of New York Times writers. A recent report in the Times acknowledged that “shifting reports on Libya Killings May Cost Obama.”   The administration seems to have one goal: keep the lid on things until November 6. Hence the "shifting reports," an attempt to keep reality at bay.

The administration's failure to say what the attacks on our installations in the Middle East are is the result of a foreign policy that is not reality-based. President Obama really did think he could charm the mullahs, who, as far as is known, haven't responded to his charm offensive yet.

GOP candidate Mitt Romney, by contrast, has a serious piece in today’s Wall Street Journal that lays out his foreign policy. Romney says that the president has let American power “atrophy” and that this is dangerous for our future and those of our allies. Romney comments in particular on the crisis in the Middle East:

These developments are not, as President Obama says, mere 'bumps in the road.' They are major issues that put our security at risk. Yet amid this upheaval, our country seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them. We're not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies. And that's dangerous. If the Middle East descends into chaos, if Iran moves toward nuclear breakout, or if Israel's security is compromised, America could be pulled into the maelstrom.

Predictably, the Obama campaign is responding to Romney’s recent criticism of the administration's feckless foreign policy by portraying Romeny as a warmonger. Despicabe, but what do you expect?

It should not surprise us that the Obama team persists in appearing to believe that American strength, not American weakness, is provocative to our foes (if one may still use such antiquated words).

The uprisings in the Middle East prove them wrong. They show that it is American weakness that makes the world more dangerous.

Romney realizes this. President Obama is going to volunteer as little as possible of what he realizes between now and Nov. 6.

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