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American Bombs in the Muslim World: The Real Reason Why U.S. Citizens Were Killed in Libya

While the Republicans make political hay from last month’s killings in Libya, the real source of U.S. woes in the Middle East goes unsaid.

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Dead Consciences

We are told we should not speak ill of the dead. Dead consciences, though, should be fair game. In my view, the U.S. Secretary of State did herself no credit the morning after the killing of four of her employees, when she said:

“I asked myself – how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be. But we have to be clear-eyed, even in our grief.”

But some things are confounding only to those suppressing their own responsibility for untold death and misery abroad. Secretary Clinton continues to preen about the U.S. role in the attack on Libya. And, of Gaddafi’s gory death, she exclaimed on camera with a joyous cackle, “We came; we saw; he died.”

Can it come as a surprise to Clinton that this kind of attitude and behavior can set a tone, spawning still more violence?

The Secretary of State may, arguably, be brighter than some of her immediate predecessors, but her public remarks since the tragedy at Benghazi show her to be at least as equally bereft of conscience as Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and yes-we-think-the-price-of-a-half-million-Iraqi-children-dead-because-of-our-sanctions-is-worth-it Madeleine Albright.

Like Albright, Clinton appears to suffer from Compassion Deficit Disorder (CDD), especially when it comes to people who do not look like most Americans. (She does make occasional exceptions for annoying people like me who also merit her disdain).

Given that she is plagued with CDD, it would have been too much to expect, I suppose, for Clinton to have taken some responsibility for the murder of four of her employees – much less the killing, maiming and destruction caused by the illegal attack on Libya. But if she really wants to get “clear-eyed,” holding herself accountable would be a good start.

Was it dereliction of duty for Clinton to have failed to ensure that people working for her would honor urgent requests for security reinforcement in places like Benghazi? I believe it was. The buck, after all, has to stop somewhere.

In my view, counterterrorism guru Brennan shares the blame for this and other failures. But he has a strong allergy to acknowledging such responsibility. And he enjoys more Teflon protection from his perch closer to the President in the White House.

The back-and-forth bickering over the tragedy in Benghazi has focused on so many trees that the forest never came into view. Not only did the hearing fall far short in establishing genuine accountability, it was bereft of vision. Without vision, the old proverb says, the people perish – and that includes American diplomats.

The killings in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, validate that wisdom. If the U.S. does not change the way it relates to the rest of the world, and especially to the Muslim world, more and more people will perish.

If we persist on the aggressive path we are on, Americans will in no way be safer. As for our diplomats, in my view it is just a matter of time before our next embassy, consulate or residence is attacked.

Role of Congress

It is a lot easier, of course, to attack a defenseless Muslim country, like Libya, when a supine House of Representatives forfeits the prerogative reserved to Congress by the Constitution to authorize and fund wars – or to refuse to authorize and fund them.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Kucinich noted that in Libya “we intervened, absent constitutional authority.” Most of his colleagues reacted with the equivalent of a deep yawn, as though Kucinich had said something “quaint” and “obsolete.” Like most of their colleagues in the House, most Oversight Committee members continue to duck this key issue, which directly involves one of the most important powers/duties given the Congress in Article I of the Constitution.

 
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