American Elephants


No, It Wasn’t Just A Spontaneous Riot. by The Elephant's Child
September 12, 2012, 6:50 pm
Filed under: National Security, Politics, The United States | Tags: , ,

We are currently sending about $1 billion in aid to Egypt. Egypt is bargaining with the U.S. to reduce or cancel some of their debt to the United States.  Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi is due for a formal visit to the White House shortly.  Any suggestions?

We have sent 50 Marines to Benghazi, according to the radio, and positioned an American warship off the Libyan coast. President Obama said we would help the Libyan security forces to find and punish those responsible. Any suggestions?

ADDENDUM:  The US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a travel warning on August 7, about the incidence on violent crime, carjacking and robbery which has become a serious problem.  Political violence in the form of assassinations and vehicle bombs has increased in both Tripoli and Benghazi. This warning notes the resumption of full consular services to U.S. Citizens on August 27, 2012. There were IED attacks in June. The consular building was unfortified and had no defenses.



No New Beginning, Just Another Failure. by The Elephant's Child

In his famous 2009 Cairo speech, titled “A New Beginning” President Obama declared:

I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles–principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto responded:

As wonderful as justice and progress and tolerance and dignity may be, America’s central principles are principles of freedom. America does not–and constitutionally cannot–prosecute people because their speech is offensive. “Mutual respect” requires leaders in the Muslim world to understand and accept that–and it requires American leaders with the self-respect to make it clear.

The idea that a submissive-sounding president could set things right in the Muslim world always struck us as far-fetched. Yesterday’s events render it indefensible. This looks like the end of the “New Beginning.”

That’s a wonderfully straightforward statement of American principles by Mr. Taranto. It certainly clears the air.



No Leadership In a Crisis: Obama Needs to Go Raise Money! by The Elephant's Child

Foreign policy is a confusing subject. Many approach it with the vague idea “Can’t we all just get along?” Well, no we can’t, and that’s why we have foreign policy. Nations have allies, and allies of long-standing we sometimes call friends. But first of all, nations have interests.

Human nature does not all just get along. Families don’t all get along. Even in a world where “we must not be judgmental” there are good people and bad people who hold different beliefs.  Nations have interests. Nations will trade and cooperate, and even support each other, but there are limits, and somewhere you have to draw a firm line.

The Obama administration has embarked on foreign policy with the notion that America is a big bully throwing its weight around and should be brought to heel — to a place more equal to the other nations of the world. To that end we should apologize for our past sins, bow to people we consider important, and go much further in the effort to just get along. And we should go much further in our efforts to be kind to our Muslim friends. Islam is, after all, the religion of peace. That’s why Islamist governments work hard to rouse up their fanatics to show the big bully what’s what.

Egypt is the most populist country in the Middle East, and one of the poorest. They have populations that survive only on bread issued by the government, and on big amounts of aid from the United States. Their most important industry is tourism, which drops off when there are rioting religious fanatics attacking our embassy. The problem becomes clearer when you ask — just how much rioting should we tolerate?

Nations’ embassies are the sovereign territory of that nation and are sacrosanct.  When your ambassador and his staff are assassinated, the question should not be “where do you draw the lines?” That red line should have long since been firmly drawn.

Barack Obama announced to the world, in his Cairo speech, in his cut and run from Iraq, in his pre-announced hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, in his pandering to all sides in Libya and Egypt and in his encouragement of the “Arab Spring”— no help for the serious moderates who wanted to reform their own countries.

So now, a U.S. embassy in Egypt issued a groveling apology condemning a privately made film whose supposedly unflattering portrayal of the Prophet was stoking mob violence. America does not apologize for the free speech to which our citizens are entitled.The event was intended for the eleventh anniversary of bin Laden’s attack on America. The black al- Qaeda flags confirmed that. One of the organizers of the Egyptian demonstration was Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of Osama’s top deputy and the planner of 9/11.

What the U.S. embassy in Cairo has to say is a statement by the Obama administration, approved or unapproved. As things escalated, our Ambassador in Benghazi, Christopher Stevens, American Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith and two others, reportedly Marines — were assassinated and dragged through the streets.

The amateurish film has been around since the first of July or longer. Attempts to arouse mobs should have been noticeable to gatherers of intelligence, but who knows? Embassies should have been on special alert on 9/11, as Islamist mobs often use that anniversary to demonstrate.

Gov. Romney responded to the statement from the  U.S. Embassy in Cairo, last night

“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.”

Obama replied huffily, that the statement was unauthorized (Don’t blame me) and attacked Romney. When  it became clear this morning that our embassy staff in Libya had been assassinated, the president and Secretary Clinton both issued statements. Hillary’s was heartfelt, and Obama’s sounded like Hillary wrote it. At which point Obama departed for a fundraising trip to Las Vegas.

The lap-dog media were caught on an open mic, coordinating to be sure they got in proper condemnation for Romney injecting “politics” into the situation — by its nature already a highly political situation. They were all prepared with “the question” no matter who was called on. We have four representatives of our country assassinated, and the Obama media wants to attack Romney for criticizing administration policy which did not protect their people.

We have, in a way, been here before. Jimmy Carter’s passiveness led to the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran and 52 personnel were held hostage for 442 days. Victor Davis Hanson said:

These terrible attacks on the anniversary of 9/11 are extremely significant. They come right at a time when we are considering an aggregate $1 trillion cutback in defense over the next decade. They should give make us cautious about proposed intervention in Syria. They leave our Arab Spring policy in tatters, and the whole “reset” approach to the Middle East incoherent. They embarrass any who continue to contextualize radical Islamic violence. … And they remind us why 2012 is sadly looking a lot like 1980 — when in a similar election year, in a similarly minded administration, the proverbial chickens of four years of “smart” diplomacy tragically came home to roost.




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