Off in Lima, Peru — at least it wasn’t Antarctica or the Aleutian Islands — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has fallen on the proverbial sword long distance, declaring the buck stops with her on the Benghazi security debacle.
That’s all well and good, but where does the buck stop on all the lying and covering up that followed? Yes, I used the unvarnished “L-word” because that’s what it was. How else to characterize UN Ambassador Susan Rice running around telling everyone in earshot that the Benghazi events were caused by an idiotic and unwatched YouTube trailer when Occam’s Razor — not to mention rocket-propelled grenades, an ambassador dragged through the streets, and a safe house mysteriously under fire — pointed to a terror attack commemorating September 11?
And then the president, acting like an errant husband unwilling to confess his adultery (who do you believe – me or your lying eyes?), repeated the same swill on The View nearly a week later. Unconscionable.
Why did this happen? Why this bizarre need to obfuscate or push away such an obvious truth?
It’s a lot more significant than the usual election season blather. On the deepest level, Barack Obama did not want to be found out. He had something even bigger than Benghazi to cover up – his worldview.
Our president really believes — or more precisely really wants to believe — that the Islamist threat is relatively small and can be met with what John Kerry (his debate coach) used to call “police actions.” In Obama’s case, that means drone attacks or, more famously, the assassination of bin Laden, which he ordered and his associates give him so much credit for when any U.S. president would have done the same thing. (Can you imagine the outcry if it had ever been discovered that one hadn’t?)
What Obama doesn’t want to believe is that Islamist thought and often actions are endemic through the Muslim world because to believe that would be to acknowledge that there is something systemically wrong with them that could not be blamed on us, the imperialists. Islam is, after all, their religious ideology. Jihad is their conception.
Obama will do everything possible not to face this. The failure to name Islamism in any form as a motivation for Major Hasan’s Fort Hood murder rampage is just one example of this problem but an obvious and telling one.
This inability to confront the issue in an honest way has ramifications in Benghazi because, if this problem is not to be taken seriously, then security really isn’t necessary. Al-Qaeda died with bin Laden. Of course now obviously it didn’t. Far from it. In fact, stamping out al-Qaeda is an extraordinarily difficult task because it doesn’t really exist like a conventional organization. It is for the most part an ideology and for that reason can metastasize easily under multiple names. Indeed it seems to be constantly metastasizing.
So when Obama goes on The View or Letterman he is hiding something far more significant than his choice between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. He is hiding his viewpoint on the war of civilizations.
It must feel very odd to him as one who grew up in atmosphere that assumed Western civilization was evil, at the same time that civilization gave him every honor and privilege. Now it’s yet more confusing as he is asked to defend the West against a deeply disturbed ideology that wants to engulf it.
Talk about something difficult to explain on The View. Or in a presidential debate. But I submit to you that is what is lurking beneath the debacle in Benghazi.