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Why Benghazi Is Overwhelmingly Important

There are, of course, additional issues raised; many of them also have far deeper significance:

-- The failure of the Obama administration to defend and rescue Americans in Benghazi is equivalent to its failures to defend American interests around the world.

-- The fear of using American power in Libya that day parallels the overall retreat from the traditional bipartisan policies of credibility, deterrence, and all the other things in a great power’s lexicon.

-- The belief that a soft answer turns away wrath is so terribly unsuited to the conduct of international affairs.

-- The standpoint that it is better to let Americans die than to risk offending certain groups might seem harsh, but when it was decided not to send a rescue mission, that was precisely what was happening.

-- Benghazi revealed a lack of competence by a president who didn't know his duty, and by high-ranking subordinates who would not remind him of  that duty.

-- Benghazi is the perfect symbolism of the president of the United States going to sleep in the face of a crisis, the living embodiment of a 2008 election ad by his opponent about whether he would deal with a crisis that erupted at 3:00 a.m.

-- Benghazi is the perfect symbolism of the secretary of state being the one who did that ad, and who said "What difference does it make?" regarding the attackers' motives.

-- The administration's declaration of victory over al-Qaeda (the reason for the cover-up) is not only untrue, but the idea that if al-Qaeda is defeated there is no more threat from revolutionary Islamism is the central wrong theme of administration Middle East policy.

-- Why was the ambassador in Benghazi on that day? Remember that President Obama stood before the United Nations General Assembly and said that Christopher Stevens was there to plan a new school and hospital wing. Was Obama telling an outright lie?

Instead, was the ambassador there for:

  1. An attempt to retrieve advanced weapons previously provided to Libyan Islamist groups in the war against the Gaddafi dictatorship because they could be turned against America? Well, such weapons were turned against America that day. If so, the situation showed the bankruptcy of the pro-Islamist policy.
  2. An effort to funnel weapons to the Syrian rebels in a policy likely to repeat the problems in Libya? If so, the situation showed the bankruptcy of the pro-Islamist policy.
  3. A policy of negotiating some kind of deals with extreme and anti-American Islamist terrorists? If so, the situation showed the bankruptcy of the pro-Islamist policy.

And finally, what could be more symbolic than the hiring of Islamist terrorists to guard the consulate, men who deserted or even turned their guns against the Americans there?

It is truly symbolic because the Obama administration has turned to Islamists -- in Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, and elsewhere -- in the belief that they are best suited to guard U.S. interests in the Middle East.

In discussing the Benghazi affair, none of these broader issues should be forgotten. It was not merely an order for the American rescue forces to “stand down” but for the United States to bow down.