For the last few weeks, there has been a veritable shit storm of media coverage regarding the attack on the consulate in Libya, resulting in the loss of four American lives, and months of intelligence gathering (ransacked). Without question, there have been attacks from each side of the aisle as to how it was handled, who lied, who knew about it, and pretty much every angle that can be taken to try to make the other side look bad. Politics as usual. Here is the problem, while each side is busy trying to make “their guy” look like the savior, there is a crucial aspect that is being ignored. Radical ideology. It’s something that I have yet to see or hear explained from a strategic view point.
There is a constant mud-slinging contest going on between parties about whether or not it was pre-planned, or if it manifested out of an uprising over a video on YouTube.
The administration wanted to first pawn it off on this anti-Muslim video depicting the prophet Mohammed in a negative light. It was deemed that a protest spiraled out of control into the attack. Republicans immediately said that it had to have been pre-planned and that the administration was lying.
Immediately following the attack, information came out that shed a fair bit of light on what went down, and how it transpired. Based on what we know now, it’s very easy to draw the conclusion that it was likely a pre-meditated attack.
We had an Ambassador and a group of Americans conducting the business of the U.S. Government in Libya. They are all heroes.
There are numerous factions that absolutely do not want us in Libya and the Middle East, and they will use any means to drive us out, including attacking and killing us. In Benghazi, they gathered intelligence, planned and coordinated an assault, and then successfully executed that assault on our people and property. This scenario is a very black and white issue. We know where we stand with these groups. There are many other places in the region that are just as dangerous and in some cases worse that we operate out of regularly.
An Enormous Concern
Regardless of why it happened, the same and unacceptable end result is that four incredible men and damn fine patriots have been lost in all of this. Secondly, the big picture that is seemingly lost in all of this is that both scenarios are incredibly alarming. I actually contest that the YouTube video scenario is more dangerous than the pre planned attack from an ideological stand point. It’s very troubling and an indicator at how far disconnected most Middle Eastern culture is to the rest of the free world.
The video protest scenario however, though pawned off as being the “innocent vanilla option” to the pre-planned version, is much more dangerous in my book. A group of people who, based solely on religious rage over a 10-minute video, that assault a compound and murder Americans is an impossible group of people to reason with. There is NO reasoning with that mentality. When we, as a free society, live by the code of “anything goes” when it comes to what we can say, we will never see eye to eye with a culture that can be spun up so easily. If one 10-minute cheesy video can incite that level of violence and rage, we have much bigger problems on our hands than a group of militants trying to drive us out of their country.
The fact that very few are discussing this ideological divide highlights the media’s and government’s lack of understanding as to what we are dealing with from a foreign policy perspective. Bridging this ideological gap is the heart of the matter and until we start addressing this fundamental issue we will continue to stoke the fires of radical Islam.
Main Photo: Courtesy of punditpress.com