Last night I couldn’t sleep so I did the unthinkable. I tuned in to Glenn Beck. He was on a rant about Benghazi, a place I’ll bet he’d never heard of before the 2012 attack and probably couldn’t even pronounce. Now ‒ he’s an expert.
Unless you are a world traveler or a student of geography you had probably never heard of Benghazi either. I hadn’t. Turns out it is the second largest city in Libya, a 700,000 square mile country bordered by the Mediterranean on the north and surrounded by a variety of North African countries, the largest being Egypt. Tripoli (Remember the Marine Hymn? “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli?) is its biggest city with 2.2 million people.
Until 2011 Libya was ruled by a cruel and greedy dictator, Moammar Gadhafi.
We’ve gotten so used to hearing about people in third world countries killing each other that we hardly paid attention to the rapes, tortures and killing going on in Libya, the 17th largest country in the world.
Maybe we thought it would end with the death of Gadhafi, but revenge exacts a heavy price. Those who fought on Gadhafi’s behalf are being hunted down and slaughtered by revolutionaries and they have opened the way for islamic militants. The new prime minister, Ali Zeidan, has spoken forcefully about these injustices but has done nothing to control them. Nor has the UN or the U.S.
Then came an anti-Muslim YouTube video that went viral and is said to have infuriated’ Islamic militants around the world.
In the middle of this upset, Ambassador Christopher Stevens went to Benghazi to review plans for a new cultural center and modernizing a hospital. He was aware that threats had been made against the diplomatic compound but refused additional support forces. Then, on September 12, 2012, the compound was attacked and the ambassador killed.
Thus the name Benghazi has become familiar to us all. The administration’s U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, went on television that Sunday and said that “based on their best information, the attach was spontaneous.” A day later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged a link between Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Benghazi attack.
I believe President Obama and his administration released news of the attack based on their best information they had at the time. This is what a senior official said. “It was not an innocent mob. The video or 9/11 made a handy excuse and could be fortuitous from their perspective but this was a clearly planned military-type attack.”
President Obama said he believed the video was an excuse by extremists to try and harm U.S. interests. (The oil company lobby probably would agree with that since oil interests in Libya must be huge.)
That’s when I turned on Glenn Beck who said: “In Benghazi [President Obama] was transforming the Middle East. He wanted to run guns, support the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was the one who asked us to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. So support the Muslim Brotherhood in the entire Middle East, run guns to the Muslim Brotherhood through Turkey into Syria and cede revolution, not just in Syria but all throughout the Middle East. This is the transformation of the Middle East. That’s his policy.”
Maybe that’s why people listen to Glenn Beck. He’s ridiculously funny.
Sadly, this is another of those drummed up debacles to ‘get’ President Obama and to defame Hillary Clinton (who may want to run for President in 2016 though I’m rooting for Elizabeth Warren.)
Anyway, probably none of us will forget Benghazi any time soon.