Unexamined Premises

Benghazi, American Honor, Little Caesar, and the False Dmitri

“A coward dies a thousand deaths,” to paraphrase Shakespeare in Julius Caesar, “but a hero dies just one.” As we hopefully approach the end of the Barack Hussein Obama II administration, cowardice is just one of the many possible explanations of its catastrophic failure at Benghazi last month, a failure that cost the lives of four Americans, the loss of valuable intelligence assets, the burning of countless Libyan collaborators, whose lives are now forfeit in that wretched land and elsewhere, and the needless handing to the ascendant jihadists of a propaganda victory that might have been avoided and has yet to be avenged.

But wait — it gets worse. According to this story, they knew an attack likely was coming — and still did nothing:

The U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack,” according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.

Summarizing an Aug. 15 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Aug. 16 cable marked “SECRET” said that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.

“RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound,” the cable said.

It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of what Obama’s handling of what is sure to go down as one of the most disgraceful episodes in American political and military history tells us about him, his administration, the ethos of the modern Democratic Party, and the state of our nation. The short answer: nothing good.

Understanding the implications of the Benghazi story — which my colleague Roger Simon has outlined here and here and here — the MSM (except for Fox News) has done its best to ignore it. They know that, properly presented to the American people, the fiasco — in which our ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three others who died fighting like men instead of like politicians  — rightly should spell the end of the Obama administration. And regarding Roger’s suggestion of impeachment, it’s worth remembering that the Watergate burglary — the thing that ultimately ended Nixon’s presidency via resignation (under the threat of impeachment by the House) in 1974 — took place five months before his landslide victory in 1972. In other words, one doesn’t have to look very far for a precedent, should it come to that.

Because, let’s face it, the president of the United States — for no apparent legitimate reason of state or military doctrine — let those four men die on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, a clear and present dereliction of duty that, were he an officer in the services, would have gotten him court-martialed, stripped in rank, and sent to the brig. Instead, Obama’s decision (or, more likely, indecision) was a result of purely political calculations: the Slayer of Osama, having tamed the savage Islamic breast and declared the War on Terror over, chose to ignore any evidence to the contrary. And the media, ever eager to please, ignored the story because it didn’t fit the narrative.

We have now arrived at the purest distillation of the philosophy of the criminal organization masquerading as a political party that we call the Democrats: not only the personal is political, but everything — even the lives and deaths of our troops — is political.  But no surprise here.

Recently, one of the nastiest men of the 20th century — yes, I’m talking about you, Eric Hobsbawm — died at the age of 95.  (If you can stomach the face of pure moral-equivalence evil, click here.) Hobsbawm, an Egyptian-born Marxist, died honored in Britain, to which he emigrated from Germany after Hitler came to power. Before his death, as noted by Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal, Hobsbawm famously opined that:

None of this should have been surprising coming from a man who, over the years, gave his political assent to everything from the Nazi-Soviet Pact to the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Asked by the BBC whether the achievement of a communist utopia would have justified “the loss of fifteen, twenty million people,” he answered “Yes.”

Holodomor: the Ukraine, 1933

That “yes” is the authentic voice of the modern sociopathic Left of which Barack Obama is so unmistakably a part. Theory is everything to them; indeed, the villains of the Frankfurt School (to whom we provided safe haven from Hitler’s Germany) invented something called “critical theory,” a juvenile discipline predicated on the adolescent fixation with questioning strictures in the name of “human freedom,” but whose practical effect has been the demolition of moral and aesthetic standards and their replacement with nihilism. The deaths of millions of people in the name of their false god, communism, were — in words attributed to Stalin and endorsed by Hobsbawm — just a statistic.

From his boyhood in Honolulu to his young manhood at Occidental and Columbia, to the streets of Chicago and the halls of Harvard, Barack Obama has been passed along from one mentor to another, swimming in the seas of left-liberalism and internalizing its anti-American world view to such an extent that — as a candidate for president — he could stand in front of adoring throngs and proclaim that “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Think about that extraordinary statement (alas, too few of our fellow citizens did): what did he mean? Why did the nation need to be “fundamentally transformed” in the first place? Into what was he proposing to transform it? The answers today are all too apparent.

In just four years under President Obama, the United States has seen its stature in the world sink, its economy crater, and its soldiers left to die, unaided, on a foreign battlefield. As a member of a military family, I concur with Roger that Obama’s inaction at Benghazi fully warrants the opening of an impeachment inquiry, so manifestly derelict in his duty does he appear to have been. But then, throughout his woebegone presidency, Obama has never been particularly interested in that aspect of the job, other than to play Drones of Death with his political advisors and crow about how “he” got bin Laden — behavior more suitable to a Chicago gangland chief dispensing with his enemies than a commander in chief defending his country.

In other words, Obama is crazy brave as long as there is no personal or political cost, a fearless killer of even American citizens: judge, jury, and executioner by remote control. But when it came time to act, in real time, to support a few brave men fighting not just for their lives but to save other Americans, he choked (which is why those stories that he had little or nothing to do with bin Laden raid are now being given wide currency in Washington). Given his pampered upbringing at Punahou and the Ivy League, his cowardice is unsurprising, and his sociopathy obviously comes naturally:

Clinton, being Clinton, had plenty of advice in mind and was desperate to impart it. But for the first two years of Obama’s term, the phone calls Clinton kept expecting rarely came. “People say the reason Obama wouldn’t call Clinton is because he doesn’t like him,” observes [former aide Neera] Tanden. “The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”

Tanden was, of course, forced to apologize for her candor once the Obama drones got to her, but her Kinsley Gaffe (inadvertently telling the truth) simply reinforced what everybody had long since come to understand about Obama, that he is a cold and unfeeling man, who views the military as his personal Praetorian Guard, Congress as his courtiers, and the American people as his subjects. He openly boasts about going around Congress with his executive orders and via his control of the regulatory agencies. And a second term, in which he would be unaccountable to the electorate, would be far worse. Because that’s where the real “fundamental transformation” will occur; these past four years will be seen as mere prologue to the nightmare to come.’

In Russian history, there is a series of figures known as the “false Dmitris,” pretenders to the throne of the Czar of All the Russias who claimed to be the son of Ivan the Terrible. (These events form the backdrop of Mussorgsky’s great opera, Boris Godunov.) One after another they gathered adherents, raised armies, and marched on Moscow, only to be defeated each time. And yet each False Dmitri represented, you should pardon the expression, hope and change — hope for the restoration of the true Czar (the real Dmitri died in a mysterious accident in boyhood, and rumors attributed his death to Boris) and a change in the habitual misery in which the Russian peasantry lived.

In the same way, Barack Hussein Obama arose from nowhere, proclaimed Hope and Change, and rode a wave of wishful thinking from the obscurity of the Illinois state house to the White House — by any measure, an astonishing accomplishment, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. But his wave was fueled by the perfect storm, the Hurricane Sandy of a dispirited and dispiriting Bush second term and the ineptitude of the McCain campaign, which torpedoed its own best asset, Sarah Palin, and let its supporters down in the cruelest way possible: by simply refusing to fight. They must have known that Obama was an arrant fraud, a man of no accomplishment who was cynically foisted upon the country by the Chicago mob — recall that Saul Alinsky, Obama’s rabbi in community organizing, was a close personal friend of Capone enforcer Frank Nitti, and that campaign guru David Axelrod, the former journalist now playing footsie with his former colleagues from the other side of the street, so vividly evokes in journalistic ethos the corrupt Capone-era Chicago Tribune legman/bagman, Jake Lingle. And yet they threw the fight anyway.

Shame of a Nation

Now it’s Obama’s turn not to fight, at least not on the battlefield where a couple of former Navy SEALs sent some 60 of the dervishes to meet Allah before they were killed by mortar fire. Frantically calling for help while they delivered martyrdom to their assailants, the order to save them — a non-order that had to come from the top — never came. And so they were left to die, while their boss hit the sack in order to rest up for a fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day.

Instead, Obama saved his fight for the second and third debates, and America finally got a good long look at his nasty side. The indolent, bored, Choom Gang Obama of the first debate had kicked the props out from his own carefully manicured legend, so lovingly created by David Axelrod and assiduously tended by an adoring Washington press corps, and revealed himself to be the third-rate intellect and borderline inarticulate extemporaneous speaker some of us knew him to be all along. But instead of the TelePrompter-fueled, silver-tongued Demosthenes his acolytes had expected, in his place arrived a snarling and petulant little man who treated his opponent with contempt and frantically worked the moderators whenever he was backed into a corner. Leaving aside the apparently insane Joe Biden’s baffling act at the vice-presidential debate, Obama’s performance was the worst in American political history.

So this is how the first Obama administration ends: in retreat and defeat. The president stands revealed as just another False Dmitri, a pocket messiah with delusions of grandeur, a political Caesar — Little, not Julius — whose luck has finally run out.