Why did it happen?
The Benghazi, Libya attack, on the USA consulate building, started because of a film that was insulting to Muslims, called Innocence of Muslims. While the film was produced in the USA under the pseudonym of “Sam Bacile”, it was actually produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Nakoula is also known as “Mark Basseley Youssef,” and he has used other aliases as well. This low life even lied to the actors involved, telling them they were doing a film called “Desert Warrior,” which would recount a story of tribal battles prompted by the arrival of a comet on Earth. Nowhere during production was anyone aware that Mohammed would be a character, much less the central one. None realized at the time that their words would be taken out of context, or narrated over completely.
The protests that arose from this film began in Egypt as protesters, expressing outrage, surrounded the US embassy. It spread to dozens of Arab and Muslim countries, and some western countries as well. The saddest and most ironic part of this tale is that Nakoula is Egyptian. It is obvious that he, more than most people, would be aware of what the reaction would be towards his production. It is just as obvious why he went through such great lengths to protect his identity as the perpetrator of this hateful act. Nakoula’s action did not only cause 4 deaths in Benghazi. Due to his film, dozens of deaths occurred in riots across the Muslim world that week, and the week that followed. May Nakoula Basseley Nakoula rot in hell.
While the American embassy in Egypt did initially mention that they sympathized with protesters, these words did not come from Obama. In fact Obama disavowed the embassy’s statement as soon as he heard them. Should the embassy have stated that in the USA we believe in freedom of speech? Yes. Their failure to do so is where they screwed up. Should they have apologized? Apologizing is a heinous concept to Republicans. They refuse to do it ever; even when overwhelming proof shows they are lying. I’ll leave it up to the reader to determine whose actions deserve to be condemned, and whose actions should come back to haunt them.
When Susan Rice initially testified about the attack in Benghazi, it was obvious to most that the attack was carried out by an organized group. What is not so obvious, and what has rarely been questioned, is why was Susan Rice chosen to report on these events in the first place? She is the United States Ambassador to the United Nations for Pete’s sake. While she does know a great deal about Libya, she is not in the State Department, she is not involved with national security, and her only duty to embassy affairs are those at the UN. In other words, she should not have been the person to talk on this subject.
Be that as it may, the story has morphed into Susan taking the heat for having the audacity to be measured in her response, and for not labeling the Benghazi attack as a terrorist attack. She did state that the investigation was ongoing and that her report was only an initial assessment, words that seem to be lost on conspiracy theorists. See her interview: Ambassador Susan Rice: Libya Attack Not Premeditated.
Long before last week’s testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence Committee, by David Petraeus, Republican blowhards have been screaming bloody murder. Never one to let a juicy conspiracy theory go to waste, they believe if they scream conspiracy loud enough Americans will believe them. “Why did Obama mislead the public, by not labeling the Benghazi attack as a terrorist attack? What did Susan Rice know and when did she know it?” Republicans have even upped the ante adding, “We need a special counsel like those set up after “Watergate” or “the Iran Contra Affair.” We even have those calling for Obama’s impeachment. (For those who aren’t old enough, or who don’t remember, “Watergate” and “Iran Contra” were Republican scandals.)
On the day of the attack in Benghazi, Mitt Romney epitomized the Republican response. While the attack was still going on, Mitt didn’t wait for the inconvenient facts to come through. Even before he knew of Chris Stevens’ death, he tried to score cheap political points by stating,
“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
It has become a sad day for the United States of America, but this kind of response is now par for the course. The tradition of rallying behind our President, during times of national crisis, is behind us. Especially if you are Republican and your president is a “damned Democrat.” On the other hand, if you want the country, and the world, to forget it was a Republican president, GW Bush, a war criminal who lied to the world about Iraq’s nuclear weapons, leading to the deaths of over 150,000 people; if that is your goal then it all starts to make sense.
Benghazi attack was NOT a terrorist attack
The truth of the matter is: The Benghazi attack was NOT a terrorist attack. The attack in Benghazi was carried out by enemy soldiers against a sworn enemy, for targeting their people, or their allies, for over a decade. In their eyes they attacked a legitimate target, with military precision, and hit a mortal enemy who calls for their destruction. Had we been in their shoes we would have done the same damn thing. In fact we do attack them; wherever and whenever we can.
Once again I repeat: The attack on our consulate in Benghazi was NOT terrorism. It was simply one battle out of many that we have been involved in, but this time we lost. Rather than argue over terminology, and whether this was or was not a terrorist attack, we need to determine what went wrong, who or what is to blame, and how we can stop it from happening again.
What is terrorism?
Unfortunately the English language has been eroded, ever since GW Bush declared “War on Terror”. All freedom fighters against us are now insurgents, all insurgents are now terrorists, and all terrorists now work for al-Qaeda. Shades of gray no longer apply here; everything has become black and white.
People in the US are so wrapped up in this new interpretation they can’t see straight. They have heard a one size fits all definition of terrorism from every pundit, every news report, and especially the government. People no longer think for themselves, or are too scared to speak out for fear they will be labeled stupid, naïve, or even a traitor. What is worse – we don’t dare stop to think about the war being waged in our name, or if we ourselves have become terrorists.
Merriam-Webster describes terrorism in their Learner’s Dictionary: “The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.”
Britannica World Language Edition of the Oxford Dictionary describes terrorism: “A system of terror 1. Government by intimidation; the system of the ‘Terror’. 2. A policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized.”
I would go further to describe terrorism as an act that is perpetrated against innocent civilians.
The “War on Terror,” was brought upon us by the most immoral government we have ever seen. When GW Bush declared, “You are either with us or against us,” he started the trend, and our downward spiral began. Terrorism is a tool used in war because it is effective, but in reality terrorism is a disease of the mind. How can we ever eradicate this disease if we don’t know what it is, can’t recognize the symptoms, and don’t deal with the cause?
I have written how the Afghanistan war was won within months after our arrival. The war began on 7 October 2001, and the “Battle of Tora Bora” ended December 17, 2001. Why was this battle so important? This was the battle where we had Osama bin Laden in our sites. This is also when George W Bush let him escape, by ordering the Afghanis to catch him, instead of using our own forces. We have gone way past our original goal of getting Osama bin Laden out of Afghanistan. We have expanded our war to include every pimple in the world because we are told al Qaeda resides here, and that this is what it takes.
Here it is 11 years later, and we are still wasting treasure and lives in a country that hates us. We are trying to fulfill an impossible goal because we don’t even have a goal. Are we building a nation? Are we keeping al Qaeda from returning, or are we doing something worse; trying to keep the Taliban from living in their own country? The Taliban don’t have to defeat us in battle; they have been bleeding us dry and will continue to do so. The “new and improved Taliban” will be back, as soon as we are gone. When will that be? It won’t be in 2014 if the war mongers and arms traders have their way. At the same time the Taliban know that they have all the time in the world.
It has become ingrained in our psyche to fight terrorism the same way we have always waged war. The problem with this approach is terrorists do not reside in one country, they do not wear a uniform, and there are too many variables to determine who our real enemies are. Some people are labeled terrorists because they are a different religion, sect, village, or just because they are unpopular. As long as we continue to fight everyone who is labeled a terrorist the war will have too many fronts and will cost too many lives. It is already untenable due to cost, legality, and more important morality. The programming of the American mind, initiated by GW Bush and his cronies, is almost complete. The good news is: It doesn’t need to be this way. The war on terror can be won, as long as we change the way we do battle, and stop following conventional thinkers who’s only knowledge is how to fight a conventional war.
Case in point: The US has predator drones flying over countless countries, where we have not even declared war, going after people our government, or our corrupt partners, have labels as terrorists. There has been no court of law, no trial, no warning, no checks and balances, and no appeals can be made. While there is no doubt that this procedure has killed high value and even deserving targets, what is never reported are the numbers of innocent civilians paying the ultimate price. This collateral damage, done in the name of fighting terrorism, is itself a blatant act of terror, it is criminal, and it is the best tool al-Qaeda has for gaining support. Nothing is more effective, for recruiting new soldiers, then the death of a friend or loved one yet we ignore these facts, because our government tells us we’re winning. After each attack we are given the numbers of militants killed to justify our actions. We are never told about the innocent lives that were lost in our name.
In Vietnam we took great comfort in the body count given by General Westmoreland. These numbers made us feel like we were winning the war. When we finally learned that the body count was inflated, and included innocent civilians, our comfort level dropped instantly. In fact, we ourselves had become terrorists. Once Westmoreland lost the support of the American public, the war was lost. For those who aren’t old enough to remember Vietnam, our government refused to even call it a war. It was called instead… a “police action.”
The question we must ask ourselves: Is the war on terror legal? Is it moral? If not, what are we going to do about making it legal, or ending it altogether? Are we going to keep fighting stupid or will we start fighting smart? Do we attack on all fronts or do we choose our battles wisely? Do we continue killing everyone, or can we do something more useful; like getting rid of the dictators and tyrants who breed terrorists. The way to fight terrorists is not to kill them all. The way to fight them is to make them irrelevant?
The one thing where I agree with Republicans is Obama has not decimated terrorists – I mean al-Qaeda. Today they are stronger than ever, and still growing. Hmmm… I wonder why?