Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Difference It Does Make

By now you've heard the line that will likely come to define Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State.  So really what difference does it make if the four Americans killed at the consulate in Benghazi died at the hands of an angry mob or Al Qaeda operatives?  You could say that Secretary Clinton was correct, admission by the Obama Administration that organized Islamic militants were behind the attack did not suddenly bring the four victims back to life.  And if Clinton was testifying in front of a board of inquiry trying to determine the exact manner in which each of the Americans was killed--who was doing it really wouldn't matter.  But Clinton was testifying before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations--which oversees the way the US relates with other countries.  And the "version of the facts" that the Obama Administration chose to parlay to the world about what happened in Benghazi DOES make a HUGE difference.

The position forwarded by the Administration in the immediate hours after the attack--and then for a couple of weeks after that--was a mob of protesters, angered by an obscure internet video posted by an American filmmaker, grew out of control and took out their anger on the consulate--setting fire to the building and killing four of the people inside.  You may recall President Obama in a press conference "apologizing" to the rioting masses across the Muslim world for an American exercising his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression.  While not condoning the attack, the President gave the impression that those who carried it out were "rightly aggrieved" by American actions.  We brought this upon ourselves by failing to be "tolerant" of their religion.

It was only after a few news outlets got wind of what actually happened in Benghazi that we and the rest of the world found out the "offensive video" had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks.  It was trained militants that specifically targeted the consulate and those inside--and the chaos created by the protests provided them with good cover for the attack.  What's more, we would also learn that those with "boots on the ground" in Benghazi had been warning of such an attack for some time--continuing a sad tradition of American leaders ignoring warnings of impending action against their own people.

And so Secretary Clinton, the "difference" is defending the American tradition of bringing freedom, democracy and human rights to all people--versus trying to appease those only interested in "killing in the name of......"  It's pretty tough to defeat an enemy, if you do all you can not to properly identify them.

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