On September 12, the morning after he learned an attack in Benghazi, Libya had killed four Americans, including a distinguished U.S. Ambassador, his aide and two former Navy SEALS, Barack Obama said such events are just “bumps in the road” that are to be expected.
Appearing detached from the serious reality of the moment, Obama was interviewed just a matter of hours after learning that Ambassador Chris Stevens and one of his aides – plus the two former SEALS – were slaughtered in Benghazi, Libya. The interview by Steve Kroft aired Sunday, September 23 on CBS 60 Minutes.
Kroft asked if the attacks on American personnel and facilities gave Obama “any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?” Obama defended his “lead from behind” foreign policy. Not only did the President refuse to admit his Administration made mistakes – including failing to protecting the life of the Ambassador amid numerous intelligence warnings – Obama said he had done everything right.
It was, “absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights,” Obama told Kroft, referring to the new regimes resulting from the Arab Spring revolts in Islamic nations including Libya and Egypt. Kroft never asked about, and Obama never mentioned, the possibility that the attack in Benghazi was linked to radical Islamic terror groups including al Qaeda.
That connection, although vehemently denied for a week by the White House, Secretary of State Clinton, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice, was immediately apparent to the rest of the world including Mohammed Magarief, the interim Libyan President, and scores of experienced military and intelligence personnel.
The White House was eventually forced to completely retract the company-line denials. Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testified to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on September 19 after the attack that Benghazi was indeed a “terrorist attack on our embassy” with likely “connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda’s affiliates.”
Olsen’s honesty left the White House with little choice but to eat crow and renounce the position adamantly defended for a week. “It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” Press Secretary Jay Carney finally admitted – not coincidentally the day after Olsen’s Senate testimony.
OK, then. Which is it, a terrorist attack or just a bump in the road?
In the 60 Minutes interview, Obama almost casually explained that such incidents as were unfolding all across the globe as the interview was being taped simply reflected, “One part of society that hasn’t been controlled completely by the government.”
If little else, Obama is consistently a big fan of societies that are completely controlled by government.
Obama failed to explain why he included a nation where terrorists slaughter four foreign diplomats under the umbrella of democratic societies that are devoted to universal rights. Or, the fact that the limited human rights that existed prior to the Arab Spring have largely regressed further rather than advance under new regimes.
Specifically, as reported in USA Today, under the new Islamic regimes in the Arab world there has been a “rollback of gains for women won over the past decades as women are sidelined from power and Islamists, many elected with the votes of women, emerge politically.”
In Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood dominates the new regime, “women have been sidelined from power when only men were appointed to draft an interim constitution after the military council took control last year,” according to the report. With one of their own elected President, Mohammed Morsi, a “devoted Islamist and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood,” the new regime has already abolished the 64-seat quota for women’s representation in the new parliament.
Women who have tried to speak out for increased rights have been brutalized by radical forms of Islamic justice rather than the figment of Obama’s “universal rights” imagination. “Women protesting for rights have been sexually assaulted by authorities who in March 2011 tested women for virginity to defend the army against rape claims.” Human rights groups point out no one has even been charged in those cases to date.
The 60 Minutes interview by Kroft exposes once again the icy cold, distant, self-righteous arrogance of Barack Obama. There was no hint of righteous anger over the slaughter of our diplomats. No anger from the self-appointed Great Protector of Women’s Rights over the abuse and subjugation of Muslim women. No mention of concern about a new leader, Egypt’s Morsi, who – while brazenly accepting billions in U.S. aid – says “there is no room for judgment” by America of the actions of Islamic nations.
On September 13, the White House made considerable fuss about Obama supposedly blasting Morsi during a phone call over failure to provide security for our embassy. The trip to Obama’s woodshed apparently wasn’t as effective as initially represented to the fawning mainstream American media who are always quick to provide cover for Obama’s feckless foreign policy.
Less than two weeks after the American Embassy was stormed in Cairo – and on the eve of a visit to the UN and a speaking engagement at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York – Morsi explained away the attack, “Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region.”
Apparently, that’s just another bump in the road, too. Actually, Morsi sounded a lot like Obama – it’s always America’s fault.
Bob Beauprez is a former member of Congress from Colorado with successful careers as a dairy farmer, community banker, and real estate development. He has published his first book, publishes a public policy website, www.ALineofSight.com, and operates a buffalo breeding ranch in the Colorado mountains.
His column was originally published here