When I was a kid, a popular TV show (and earlier a radio one) was You Are There, the theme of which was bringing the viewer into re-enacted historic events to better learn about them.
Watching the Middle East doings this week with any degree of care, news consumers can see quite clearly how mendacious officials, media and our enemies have created a false storyline about the uprisings in Cairo and Libya which, among other things have resulted in the murder of an Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his aides, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods and the loss of very important security information in Libya . (See this link is to the UK's Daily Mail because the US press coverage has come nowhere near as detailed or accurate as this. The attacks didn't even make it to the front page of the New York Times.)
These incidents mark the start of a serious further destabilization of a strategically significant part of the world. By Friday, other Western Embassies had been attacked in the Sudan, there was a bomb threat by Al Qaeda at the University of Texas and the US Embassy in Tunisia was being sacked. In fact, a Google map of the entire world shows how extensive the demonstrations are, many of which haven't been reported here.
Assuming you have a life and haven't been able to keep track minute by minute of this re-writing of history, here is what's going on behind the shadow puppet show screen.
Myth No 1: This Administration has strengthened our alliances and improved national security.
Obama jettisoned Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and gave aid to the Libyan rebels who deposed Moammar Gaddafi, acts entirely of his own doing, done without Congressional consent or bipartisan agreement. Mubarak, for all his faults, could be relied upon to keep out Embassy from being overrun and Gaddafi had been cooperating with us since the invasion of Iraq.
Obama okayed the killing of Osama bin Laden, but was so eager to get the credit for it that he crowed about it immediately and often, before we had an opportunity to act on the intelligence information about existing Al Qaeda operations around the world.
And he was certain these acts had strengthened our national security:
Here are Obama's words in his Sept. 8, 2012 address [emphasis supplied]:
"Instead of pulling back from the world, we've strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home. As Americans, we refuse to live in fear. Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline. And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.
Instead of turning on each other, we've resisted the temptation to give in to mistrust and suspicion. I have always said that America is at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates - and we will never be at war with Islam or any other religion. We are the United States of America. Our freedom and diversity make us unique, and they will always be central to who we are as a nation."
Here is the reality, from Jonathan S. Tobin of Commentary
What we are seeing on the screen is the meltdown, collapse of the Obama policy on the Muslim world," Charles Krauthammer said on the panel segment of FOX News' "Special Report" tonight. "The irony is that it began in Cairo, in the same place where the speech he made in the beginning of his presidency in which he said, you wanted a new beginning with mutual respect, implying under the other presidents, particularly Bush, there was a lack of mutual respect. Which was an insult to the United States, which had gone to war six times in the last 20 years on behalf of oppressed Muslims, in Kuwait, in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere."
"So to imply that we somehow had mistreated Muslims which was the premise of his speech and how the Iraq War had inflamed the Arab world against us. Well there was no storming of the U.S. embassy in Cairo in those days," the FOX News contributor and syndicated columnist said.
"What we're seeing now is al-Qaeda developing in Libya, meltdown of our relations with Egypt, you have riots in Yemen, attacks on our embassy in Tunisia. This entire premise that we want to be loved and respected, we'll apologize, has now yielded all of these results and these are the fruits of apology and retreat and lack of confidence in our own principles," Krauthammer concluded.
Myth No. 2: The Administration and media lied that the attacks were occasioned by a film attacking Islam.
The responses to these lies draw into question Obama's claim on September 8 that freedom " will always be central to who we are as a nation." Freedom of speech here is now in some practical, if not legal, jeopardy.
Michael Ledeen, like me, believes the attacks timed to occur on September 11, were not inspired by outrage at a film with attacked Islam, a YouTube low budget number available on line since sometime in 2011 which practically no one has seen.
[quote] No serious person believes that an obscure movie shown to less than a dozen people many months ago was the "cause" of the simultaneous assaults in Cairo and Benghazi. Or that the assaults were unrelated, let alone spontaneous. Or that there was no state actor involved in the operation.
The event is strikingly similar to the "cartoon riots" against Denmark. In both cases there was no reaction to the original "offense" against Islam. Many months passed before the cartoons - duly altered to enhance the presumed "Islamophobia" - were publicly displayed to justify a carefully planned campaign that turned out to have been crafted by the Iranian regime and its Syrian ally. In the current case, the Iranians were ready with a crowd to demonstrate at the Swiss embassy in Tehran (our surrogate in Iran).
If the cartoon crisis is a good model, it will be a while before we sort out the identities of the various actors. But it seems unlikely to me that those who chanted "Don't shoot, Morsi made me do it" were truth-tellers. Manipulators do not come out early to take credit for their schemes. This thing took time to organize; and simultaneous terrorist attacks are the trademark of Hezbollah (aka Iran) who taught the technique to bin Laden in Afghanistan (or was it Sudan? Senior moments abound).[/quote]
Still US officials responding to this preposterous excuse, rushed to punish and dissuade Americans from exercising their constitutional right to free speech to question Islam. Attorney General Holder initiated an investigation into the production of the film. Worse, Chairman of the U.S. Military's Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey (heard last week insisting we'd be blamed if Israel attacked Iran) took it upon himself, preposterously, to try to dissuade the a Christian minister from continuing to support the film. Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson and other news agencies exposed the man behind the film. And invaded his privacy, endangering him.
The rush to pitch the First Amendment out the White House window inspired the great Iowahak to respond,
David Burge @iowahawkblog
Today I learned I have moderate liberal friends who are absolutely cool with the US govt conducting a nationwide manhunt for a movie maker.
Certainly, that must be the media model, for I haven't seen outraged editorials on this score.
Myth No. 3: Obama might not know what he's doing but his staff does
The evidence that Obama is out of his depth on foreign affairs and national security matters has always been before us. Tom Maguire writes:
Ed Morrissey noted the shock felt by NBC News' man in Cairo at the notion that Obama was pitching Egypt under the bus.
And the press corps at the State Department briefing hung a huge "No Sale" sign on the idea that Egypt's status as an ally was really in play.
But none of that happened in Times World, where reporters are eagerly awaiting the next Romney statement so they can gaffe-check it.
OBAMA UNPLUGGED: Surely Obama doesn't just talk first and reflect afterwards when he is on the diplomatic stage? Of course he does, and stop calling me 'Shirley'.
Back in 2007 Obama was just making it up when he promised to meet Iran's leaders without pre-conditions (Matt Yglesias extolled the virtues of this creative "foreign policy by gaffe" approach.
In 2008 Obama was free-associating when he told AIPAC he favored an undivided Jerusalem. That one, his advisors couldn't rationalize.
So yes, the Magic Mouth theory is always in play with this guy. Obama has grown up thinking he can BS his way past anything. And hey, that belief has carried him a long way. And with the media in his pocket, it may continue to carry him.
Fewer people might have been aware until now that his Secretary of State, and his top foreign policy aides, Susan Rice (U.S. Ambassador to the UN)and Samantha Powers (Special Assistant to the President) are every bit as feckless and ill-informed on these matters as he is.
I read with initial suspicion the report from the UK Independent that we had received 48 hours notice that an attack on our interests in the Middle East preceded the Egyptian and Benghazi assaults. After all the Independent's reporting during the Iraq war was laughably false on every count that I recall. Then I saw the weasel words of Shawn Turner spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence : "This is absolutely wrong. We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent."
I read this as utterly consistent with the claim that we had received an advance general warning of trouble to our interests in the Middle East on September 11. (Certainly, one would suppose as a matter of prudence we'd harden security there on this anniversary of the worst attack on US soil.) There is no indication that our embassies received this news. If they did there's more than negligence involved, for our Ambassador to Egypt was in the U.S. and had forbidden the guards there to use live ammunition, and there were no Marine guards at our Consulate in Benghazi, our Ambassador being a man who like Obama had a deluded concept of his influence on the Moslem terrorists there. Daniel Greenfield writes at Frontpagemag.com:
Many in the World Trade Center chose to jump to their deaths, but Christopher Stevens chose to remain inside and die rather than face the tender mercies of his attackers. Stevens had spent enough time in Libya to have seen what the jihadist fighters did to their captives and must have known what horrors he could expect at their hands. The photos that have been released, along with claims by Libyan jihadists that they sexually assaulted his corpse, suggest that he made the right choice. And perhaps in those final moments, facing that terrible choice, Christopher Stevens finally understood the true horror of the Muslim world that he had fallen in love with as a Peace Corps volunteer.
"He was an avid student of Islam and the Middle East, and consistently strove to build the proverbial bridge between our two cultures in the face of sometimes overwhelming antagonism and bitter misunderstanding," a friend from the diplomatic service tells us. But though Christopher Stevens may have studied Islam, he had learned very little about it, and so his final lesson was the bloody one that Westerners who never really learn what Islam is about end up receiving.
"The world needs more Chris Stevenses," Hillary Clinton said, but does it really? Does it need more tall dead blond Americans lying bloodied in the gutters of Muslim cities? Does it need men who give up the hopes and dreams of their country to take on the dreams of their enemies without ever realizing where the fatal road of those dreams leads?
None of this seems to be making any impact on the White House operations. Obama neglected to attend the intelligence briefing before the attacks and didn't participate in the briefing afterward, choosing instead to fly off to Las Vegas for yet another fundraiser. Maybe Leon Panetta should try to find a way to combine the briefings with the fundraisers.