A President’s Words. A President’s Actions
“…true democracy – real freedom – is hard work.”
-President Barack Obama
On September 11, 2012, violence directed against American diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya erupted without warning or at least, that was the official position of the Obama administration. It is now clear that there was not only reason to anticipate something happening on the anniversary of 9/11 but there were warnings as much as 48 hours in advance.
Four Americans, including the American ambassador to Libya were killed; an unnecessary loss of life due to nothing more than careless indifference to the safety of diplomatic staff in this troubled region.
On September 11, there was no statement from the White House regarding the attacks and indeed, later in the evening while appearing on the David Letterman Show, the President was mute about what was happening in North Africa and the Middle East. Mitt Romney spoke out against this silence and was criticized by the administration and the mainstream media for politicizing the issue.
Politicizing the issue?
I think there has been a great deal of politicizing of this issue but it hasn’t come from Mitt Romney or his campaign.
On September 12, President Obama gave a short, terse statement denouncing the attacks and showing firm resolve at bringing those who had committed the attacks to justice. He reiterated that these were spontaneous, random attacks that had nothing to do with terrorism and took no questions. President Obama is very good at the delivery of wonderfully crafted statements but has been proven time and again that he isn’t very good at living up to his words.
Subsequently, violence erupted across the Muslim region with protests and demonstrations against the United States. There were even demonstrations in Australia and other democracies. The cause, the world was assured, was a fourteen minute video that ridiculed the prophet Mohammed and which offended Muslims. Even if that were true and it now appears that it is not, so what? There are millions of Muslims around the world who did not riot, protest or threaten the lives of Americans. They accept, like most civilized people, that freedom of speech includes the right to offend.
President Obama has devoted much of his response to the attacks to apologizing for and condemning those who offended Muslims but it was only in his speech to the United Nations that he ever made reference to all of the offense directed at other religions by others, including his own supporter Bill Maher.
In a democracy, freedom of speech means exactly that; the freedom to speak your mind and voice your opinion even if it offends others. The President felt it necessary to apologize rather than defend that basic American right until it became clear that Americans were outraged.
The video was a convenient excuse for both those who consider the United States an enemy and who are constantly looking for a reason to attack it, as well as, for the administration itself.
By blaming the video, the administration did not have to take responsibility for either its lax security arrangements or having ignored the advance warnings it received from governments in the region. It didn’t have to acknowledge that it didn’t put any particular plan in place to increase security at is embassies in anticipation of potential threats at its missions in the Middle East and North Africa on the anniversary of 9/11.
Instead, the President and his administration blamed it all on a crudely produced video and characterized all of the violence as nothing more than a spontaneous event. Blaming others is something at which this administration has become quite accomplished.
Nothing is ever this administration’s fault. The economy is the fault of the previous government or the recession. The unconscionable increase in the budget deficit, indeed the lack of a budget in four years, is strictly the fault of Congress despite the fact that the President had a Democratic majority in the senate for two years. Neither the President, nor his supporters, gives any consideration as to whether or not the President had a responsibility to lead and build consensus rather than throw up his hands and simply point fingers at others.
The administration takes no responsibility for anything except what it perceives to be popular successes and then, they are only due to the courageous leadership of the President.
Since September 11th, that courageous leadership has run television ads in Pakistan apologizing for the independently produced video, denied intelligence information to the house committee for national security that it had in its possession and has yet to send in the FBI to undertake an investigation into what happened in Benghazi. Indeed, so much time has passed since the attack that the FBI no longer sees the value in going to Benghazi as the ‘crime’ scene has been so tainted it will tell them virtually nothing.
So much for the firmly spoken commitment to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
Now, it appears that despite public pronouncements to the contrary, the administration knew within 24 hours that what happened was a planned, terrorist attack and it wasn’t the only one. Attacks took place in other places including America’s largest military base in Afghanistan. It was a coordinated effort by Al Qaeda and its supporters including the Taliban which the administration denied publicly until yesterday.
None of this information has been forthcoming from the President or the State Department but rather from media who are on the ground in the region, doing the job the administration should have ordered done two weeks ago. It is the media who for once are doing their job that forced the administration to admit the truth. I doubt the whole truth has yet emerged but clearly it will and this pitiful attempt at covering up the truth lest it interfere with the President’s reelection will be exposed for what it is.
Recent polls show that support for Barrack Obama’s reelection is increasing which is a tragic and dangerous endorsement of style over substance. Considering his ineffective leadership in every area of the presidency but in particular in foreign policy and national security, it amazes me that he has any support at all.
I can only attribute the President’s success in the polls to the dismal campaign being run by the Republicans.
The President has failed to demonstrate the leadership that would find agreement with Congress on fiscal matters, has defended the only Attorney General in American history to be found in contempt of Congress over the Fast & Furious scandal which cost more Americans their lives and has implemented a mandatory health care plan that is so poorly conceived that it has divided the nation and requires taking $750 billion from Medicare to properly fund it.
The President’s redistribution of wealth now appears to include taking from the elderly to give to others.
Jimmy Carter did far less and accomplished far more than this president and yet remains mocked and vilified for his presidency by Democrats and Republicans alike. The fact that so many have refused to consider what their support of the past four years will provide them over the next four if they continue that support is a telling indication of just how little thought is being applied to this election campaign.
Many may discover too late that emotion is a poor substitute for analytical thought when it comes to deciding the future government that will decide your personal future and that of your family.
There is an old saying that the people get the government they deserve but once reality hits after the election and the debt, unemployment and confused foreign policy continue, it will be too late for anyone to change their mind. If the past four years are not enough to make people stop and consider the record of this administration, surely to God it’s performance and response to the attacks against Americans and American diplomatic missions in the past two weeks should at the very least give them pause for thought.
If not, God help them.
In his speech to the United Nations, President Obama said, “…true democracy – real freedom – is hard work.” Yes it is. We can agree on that. It is unfortunate that for this president they are too often only words; words that many cling too in the hope and failed belief that this time he will follow through on them.
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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