Redacted in Beghazi – The Death of the Invisible Men

Obama has stated that the United States will find the perpetrators of the attack on the Embassy in Benghazi and bring them to justice weeks ago and is desperately hoping that the whole event will go away. Become invisible.

How about if we just prevented them from being killed in the first place? We now know that approximately 7 hours of video from the attack was available. But the President was out at a rock star fundraiser in Las Vegas instead of taking action.

Many are calling it “Benghazigate” and talking of a cover-up. It was not just a “cover-up” as we have become accustomed to the word in a political sense. It was incompetence, then arrogance and insensitivity followed by cover-up and deceit.

Take a look at what happens when an Ambassador is in peril.

There are a lot of questions being raised, but I think the most important is “if no one seems to have given the order to ‘Stand Down’, then please tell us all who stood their ground and gave the directive to ‘go save them’”?

Politics aside, ask yourself how you would feel right now if one of the four “invisible men” asking for help had been one of your loved ones.

What Happens When an Ambassador is in Peril?

Trying to be neutral, but given the current administration’s record, I find myself a little cynical.

I will note, there was sensitivity this weekend in face of impending Hurricane Sandy this week – of course there was money to be given away and potential votes to be bought.

Political Arena

Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton

Each consulate has a virtual panic button called the “Imminent Danger Notification System” that is hit whenever an ambassador is put in peril. This has been in place since after the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

This works as a virtual instant message that goes to the Intelligence agencies such as the CIA Director and the DNI, the Sec of State, the Defense Secretary, local
military assets are notified and it also goes to the White House situation room and
protocol says that this flash traffic MUST be acknowledged and someone in the situation room MUST go and physically contact the President. Again, this happens instantly.

In the absence of orders the standing order is for local assets to preserve American life. So someone had to STOP that AC130 gunship from firing and someone had to STOP local assets from responding as they were responding as they would…

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Wake up America and be heard – the silence is deafening

Awake Tea: 2

Awake Tea: 2 (Photo credit: basheertome)

Where is the outcry? In the short period of time after the attack on our embassy in Libya that resulted in the death of our ambassador the only thing we have heard is an apology for a movie trailer and the slow changing of position by the white house under intense pressure to finally admit the attacks were a terrorist act. But again, where is all the outrage here in the United States?

Where are the Free Speech Advocates? They come out of the woodwork to support the people who want to burn the flag, or display Jesus face down in excrement, or to protect individuals who want to arbitrarily protest at the funerals of our military deceased. But where are they now? I don’t hear anyone coming out to protect those rights of free speech when we are faced with multiple calls for censorship of any speech that muslims might consider offensive. Evidently, they are all fine with that. Perhaps, they feel if the muslims have their way, free speech will be protected?

Where are all the women? We heard “reproductive rights” are the #1 concern for the democratic party. Really? Bigger than the economy? Bigger than national security? That ship has sailed. We have Roe vs. Wade already and have for years, and have heard and debated every possible avenue of that argument. Perhaps we feel that women will have more access to equal employment and compensation, education and status in a society governed under muslim laws? Perhaps free contraceptives for all will be a serious concern?

Where are all the Hollywood stars and directors? I hear nothing but crickets. No support for rights to express oneself, regardless of how tacky and misguided the movie might be? Nothing? Perhaps they are thinking that if we are all guided by muslim laws we will be able to produce more insightful and controversial movies and documentaries? We can see how that plays itself out for the countries in the Middle East.

How about something from the Atheists? No? I am sure that whether or not you have to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance or face the horror of being affronted by a nativity scene over the Christmas Holiday will be the least of your worries.

Where are all the musicians who are so quick to support freedom of speech through music and support the current President? Bad news Jay-Z and Beyonce; I am thinking your music might be a little suppressed under muslim guidelines. But perhaps you have some inside information to the contrary? If not, explain the stunning silence coming from the music sector.

Where exactly is the outrage and defense of our freedoms and actions by the President of our country? This is a man that has been called the greatest orator of our generation. He sure doesn’t want to talk about this. Is it because he is too busy apologizing? I don’t actually think President Obama really wants our country to become muslim, despite what the evidence may indicate. Despite the fact that he has stated that the muslim call to prayer is the most beautiful sound in the world. I just think the man is completely confused, with a myopic world view and doesn’t know what to do. He is in over his head, and is incompetent. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, he has brought the entire Middle East to the brink of war through weakness, indecision and lack of any real direction.

We now have countries in the Middle East so emboldened that they use our own words to try to rationalize eliminating our freedoms and even here in the United States people are saying that free speech that criticizes Islam is a security threat to our country. A free country and freedom of religion means you are free to practice the religion of your choice or no religion at all if you wish. It doesn’t mean you are free to impose your will and the strictures of your religion upon everyone around you. Yet the United States is not viewed democratic because it doesn’t censor media that insults religion.

It is time to wake up and smell the coffee and make yourself heard. We have already tried to take the path of a President with no real qualifications for the job. Instead, we are worried that we might elect someone who has been too successful? Wake UP!

Blaming our troops? The real cause for the spread of intolerance in the Middle East

“Speak when you are angry – and you will make the best speech you ever regret”
Lawrence J Peter

If these links don’t make you angry, nothing will:

Blaming our Troops

Soldier had to apologize to the Afghan who eventually killed him

I am very angry, but I hope this isn’t a post I will regret. Paul Sperry, posting for the New York Post writes that Pentagon officials are blaming our troops. While Mr. Sperry only goes on to quote Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey as saying “There’s a percentage [of attacks] which are cultural affronts”, he does not provide any real substantiation of his claim that the Pentagon is blaming our troops. He does state that the Pentagon has “stepped up Islamic sensitivity training” for our troops. And that is what really gets my goat. I am not certain that this or even Chairman Dempsey’s quote means the Pentagon is really blaming our troops. What I do know is that the so-called sensitivity training is indicative of this current administration’s approach to foreign policy and the Middle East and is wrong beyond comprehension.

I need someone to help me understand why we are tiptoeing around on eggshells. The last I checked we are in Afghanistan because they hosted, aided and abetted a terrorist group that pulled off the most horrific attack to occur on our soil. I think that gives us a free pass to not have to submit to their customs, especially if these beliefs are a direct affront to our own beliefs and freedoms. Again, I will point out that the United States has a presence in Afghanistan because their country hosted the attack I noted above. I don’t have an issue with being respectful of others. I am fortunate to work in a multi-national organization. I have friends and co-workers from Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and other locales spread across the globe. We all get along with each other. We all respect each other and many of us are friends outside of the workplace. We don’t demand that others give complete deference to whatever our own personal beliefs may be. Complete deference to others beliefs is obedience, not respect. We certainly don’t kill each other or advocate murder as an appropriate response to perceived affronts.

Instead of forcing our troops to submit to the religious customs of the country that hosted our attack, perhaps we should be spending time teaching the Afghans tolerance. Instead of making our troops put aside their own beliefs and forcing them to treat with deference customs that include oppression and humiliation of women, violence, classification of our troops and citizens as infidels to be slain, we should be demanding that they respect the customs of our men and women. Instead of promoting a society and beliefs that entail looking for a multitude of reasons to find and react to any affront, perhaps we should help them to understand how respect the views of others. Is that too much to ask?

Paul Sperry quoted General Sher Mohammad Karimi, the Afghan National Army chief of staff earlier this month as stating “both sides need to do more to teach foreign troops Islamic traditions and values to reduce the chance of violent reactions to cultural slights. It is our duty to teach this to them. Our indifference causes the incident.” Maybe someone should teach the Afghans that “violent reactions to cultural slights” are unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated.

It is an absolute travesty that we are forcing our own men and women who put their lives on the line to submit to the teachings of Islam, and forcing them to give up their own freedoms. What happened to what we stand for – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality for all? While our troops can’t be seen with a bible or wearing a cross, they have to handle the Koran with surgical gloves? Does the soldier doing repairs on a piece of equipment have to worry that while kneeling down to do repairs someone might see the bottoms of their shoes and thereby have grounds to kill them? The Muslims choose to fast, so I must fast as well or I am offending them? Our troops ought to be able to eat a full course meal whenever they want. Is it so farfetched to think that we are over there for no other reason than we were attacked without provocation and you know what, it offends us when you engage in practices representative of the bloodthirsty killers that came to the United States and slaughtered thousands of civilians? We can be considerate, but we should not put their beliefs in any way ahead of the freedoms and beliefs that we and our troops hold dear. Anything less is cowardice at best.

This type of wrongheaded, apologist thinking is rife in our current administration and puts people’s lives and loyalties in jeopardy, and is the kind of approach to diplomacy that has spread ever more intolerance in the Middle East and brought the entire area to the brink of a monumental war. We can not afford four more years of this blundering, inept attempt at diplomacy through capitulation. The only apology that should be required here is one from the President of United States to our troops and our people.

The consequences of capitulation…

Over a dozen embassies across the world are under siege or attack from protestors. Four United States citizens including a U.S. Ambassador are dead in Libya as the result of a coordinated attack, arguably slaughtered in an act of war. Most news agencies as well as our government act surprised that this could have happened and are seemingly blaming these actions on a stupid, junior hack job “movie” that has been out for months. The President denounced the act only under duress, and in the mildest terms possible, naming the attack an act of “senseless violence” – elevating this attack to roughly the same level of international importance as a gang shooting.

Why are we acting surprised? We all knew what was happening when the “Arab Spring” was underway, replacing one set of oppressive dictators for possibly even more oppressive leaders. Even more interesting, the United States had advance warning that something was happening and our people across the Middle East were possibly at risk. Other than campaigning, what the heck was the President doing? Perhaps this was one of the security briefings that he allegedly misses on a regular basis?

Why are we even giving credence to the possibility that these incidents are as a result of the “Innocence of Muslims” movie? This isn’t about a movie – most of these protestors probably haven’t even seen it. And why the double standard? Muslims can post videos of decapitating a man with a penknife and we are supposed to be ok with it? This has nothing to do with the film – the film is a convenient excuse to disguise an open attack on the United States.

We must make a clear statement – we stand for freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Get over it. It is a movie. Regardless of whether you think it is offensive or not, it is a movie. Don’t watch it…you have that option. We will continue allow people to make statements and movies, even though we may not like them. We will continue to allow people to criticize our government and other governments around the world. In the United States, you can practice the religion you wish, or speak out against any religion you wish. That is what happens in a free democracy. Are some of these groups and their statements rude? Maybe. So here is the deal – we aren’t about to apologize for Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Mel Gibson or anyone else who might be off center or ruffle feathers. And you need to get over it. Sodomizing and killing a peaceful Ambassador and dragging his body through the streets is not an acceptable response. Ever. You want to kill your own people? We wish you wouldn’t, but that’s ok. Mess with a U.S. Embassy or the United States – there should be consequences. Period. A clear message backed up by serious and uncompromising consequences is what is required. Not apologies.

Our inaction and appeasement have only encouraged countries in the Middle East and radical Islamists by appearing to show weakness. Lets be clear – this attack is an act of war. Peaceful protest outside any embassy should be tolerated as free speech. However, acts of destruction or violence against the embassy or any of the occupants should be considered an attack.

We must reestablish appropriate diplomatic guidelines for the treatment of embassies. First of all, as a host country we consider you responsible for the safety of our people. Aggression against our embassy will result in consequences beginning with the immediate loss of U.S. aid up to and including massive counterattack on the area and the country’s capital. No government or terrorist agency takes us seriously right now, and will not until we clearly communicate what our expectations are and demonstrate that they are not simply empty words and that we will not tolerate this type of activity. Once this happens once or twice, I can assure you, people will lose interest in that game. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Please do not debase the memory of all those people who have died defending our freedoms by apologizing for those freedoms.

I know there will be some people out there who still argue for appeasement. You can actually see some of them on television now. They will argue that we cannot hold the people accountable because they don’t have the weapons to stand up to the terrorist. In the meantime, these same people “stand up” to the police, take pictures and videos, and then go boast in the Hookah lounges afterward, but they cower in their houses when the terrorist are around. That leaves us two conclusions: they are either terrorist sympathizers, making them legitimate military targets, or they are actually afraid that the terrorists will actually do something to them and their family. Clearly communicate your expectations and your consequences. Whether you agree or disagree with the message or consequences, it is obviously well understood.

Another argument for appeasement is that Israel has used a tit for tat strategy for years, but it does not appear to have any real impact, thereby demonstrating that this strategy is ineffective. Why doesn’t this work in Israel? Mainly because the responses are too restrained. On an international level, the expectation is that the response is to be measured and not excessive, effectively equalizing the antagonists in the Israeli conflict. Most peace loving countries build an arsenal in order to discourage any aggression against their country’s interests. You hope to never use them, but understand you may have to do so. If you merely stockpile weapons but never use them, or only use them to match the level of your aggressor, there isn’t much point in the stockpile, is there? In fact they aren’t even a deterrent any longer.

Some will argue that these are the actions of a small minority – I don’t think so. But if it is, then this will be easy – the host country can easily take care of the issue with the majority of the people supporting them. I am sure the alleged vast majority world wide will lend their vocal support to the host governments.

Finally, we have the argument that then “they” will hate us and want us dead! Really? Hello! They already hate us and want us dead!

And what about Iran – do you think they will be emboldened? Don’t you think they will see the wide level of protests and believe the U.S. will make no response to anything they might want to do. Do you think they might want to use that nuclear weapon?

The policies of our country must change to protect our people, our country and our freedoms. That includes the art of diplomacy, clear communication and the will to act when we must. Diplomacy is more than the act of agreeing and apologizing. This administration has failed miserably in the both the finesse of diplomacy as well as the actions required to protect the freedom we stand for.