Killing Americans serves several purposes in the war being waged against us (we have yet to seriously engage against our known enemies): first, it’s what the war is all about. They want us dead or dominated. Second, it helps recruitment, which had dropped after the defeat of Iran, Syria, and al-Qaeda in Iraq. Morale had also dropped, and stories claiming that the top American in Libya had been raped before he was executed feeds the blood lust of jihadists, whose language and fantasies are rich with such images. Third, it enhances the power of the unseen moving hand. Fourth, it discourages our current and would-be friends and allies.
No serious person believes that an obscure movie shown to less than a dozen people many months ago was the “cause” of the simultaneous assaults in Cairo and Benghazi. Or that the assaults were unrelated, let alone spontaneous. Or that there was no state actor involved in the operation.
The event is strikingly similar to the “cartoon riots” against Denmark. In both cases. there was no reaction to the original “offense” against Islam. Many months passed before the cartoons — duly altered to enhance the presumed “Islamophobia” — were publicly displayed to justify a carefully planned campaign that turned out to have been crafted by the Iranian regime and its Syrian ally. In the current case, the Iranians were ready with a crowd to demonstrate at the Swiss embassy in Tehran (our surrogate in Iran).
If the cartoon crisis is a good model, it will be a while before we sort out the identities of the various actors. But it seems unlikely to me that those who chanted “Don’t shoot, Morsi made me do it” were truth-tellers. Manipulators do not come out early to take credit for their schemes. This thing took time to organize; and simultaneous terrorist attacks are the trademark of Hezbollah (aka Iran) who taught the technique to bin Laden in Afghanistan (or was it Sudan? Senior moments abound).
Whoever masterminded it has scored a win against the United States, and signals to our friends and enemies that killing Americans incurs no cost. All will be reminded of the long, bloody chain running from the bombings of our embassy and the Marine barracks in Lebanon through Khobar Towers to 9/11, whose anniversary was celebrated in the best jihadi fashion in Libya and Egypt. All will see an America that apologizes to our killers as we retreat from Afghanistan and slash our military power. All will be reminded of Clinton’s humiliation in Somalia, and Carter’s humiliation in Iran, and Reagan’s humiliation in Lebanon. If you believe that sanctions can win this war, you should ponder the effect on countries and corporations deciding how rigorously to cooperate with us.