Peter Lemiska
Why Benghazi is so important
By Peter Lemiska
November 2, 2012

Pundits tell us that presidential elections inevitably hinge on the country's prevailing economic condition. More than a decade ago, the Clinton campaign used that premise to help defeat President Bush. Immediately after liberating Kuwait, Bush was enjoying lofty poll numbers, and seemed certain to win re-election. But the economy was sputtering, and Clinton won the election with the help of a simple campaign slogan, "It's the economy, stupid."

Economic conditions are worse today than in 1992. Americans are burdened with higher unemployment, significantly higher gas prices, and ever-increasing costs of basic necessities. They are worried about the cavernous national debt their children will inherit. The abysmal economy may very well cost Mr. Obama the election.

But there are other issues we should not, and cannot ignore. Many Americans have become indifferent to the relentless incidents of terrorism occurring throughout the world, like the one in Benghazi this past September 11th. Perhaps they've been hardened by the many years of war and its endless casualties. Maybe they just don't see how the killing of four Americans in Libya impacts their lives. Yet the Benghazi atrocity and the events that followed should be a wake-up call to all Americans.

First of all, the attack serves as a reminder that the war on terror is still very real.

On September 11, 2001, Americans were jolted to the realization that we are not immune from international terrorism. On that day, people cried at the sight of fellow Americans jumping from the Twin Towers to escape incineration. Their anguish was followed by outrage and demands for justice, and they rallied behind a determined President who understood that we were facing a prolonged war against Islamic terrorism.

Where are they today, and why are they not enraged over last month's attack? Some of them can be found in those adoring crowds cheering Obama's self-proclaimed successes in the war he refuses to recognize. But whether he recognizes it or not, the Benghazi tragedy is the most recent in a string of successful and attempted attacks, proving that that his policy of peace through evasion and capitulation has failed. The war on terror is real, and Obama can't end it through Executive Order, or by re-classifying it. This atrocity was not spawned by an irate mob, nor was it workplace violence, or a man-caused disaster. Calling it anything other than terrorism will not appease our enemies or prevent future attacks.

Secondly, the very gravity of this act demands our attention.

Everyone was paying attention on September 11, 2001. Never before had we experienced an attack of that scale on our homeland. But nothing of that magnitude has occurred since then, and many have become complacent. Perhaps they're just bored with terrorist acts that don't cause mass casualties. Maybe they're just focused on other compelling issues, like fee contraception.

Though the terrorism in Benghazi did not occur on our homeland, it was a violation of our sovereignty. When those people breached the consulate gate, they invaded America. More than that, they brutally murdered four American diplomats, one of whom was the official representative of the U.S. President in Libya. Those four placed themselves in harm's way to serve their country. Was their loss somehow less tragic than the loss of our citizens in 2001?

Finally, the whole tragic episode provides a clearer insight into the character of our current President.

In the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi assault, to this very day, the accounts provided by this administration been have fluid, conflicting, and evasive. For weeks, Obama and his surrogates desperately tried to blame the attack on an unruly mob, incensed by some offensive video. Considering what we now know, that scenario was a lie, intended to reinforce the illusion of a successful terrorism policy.

Obama also made a troubling assertion during his second debate. He said that as soon as he learned the Benghazi consulate was "being overrun," he was on the phone with his national security team, with specific instructions to "beef up security." So he knew in real time that the consulate was under attack, and we now know that some high-level official rejected pleas to help those people. Administration officials now glumly shrug their shoulders and blame the "fog of war" for their inaction. Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty didn't consider the fog of war when they embarked on their rescue attempt. Back in 2001, how many more casualties might have resulted if the Twin Towers rescuers had been ordered to "stand down?"

Somewhere in the midst of his frenetic campaign, Obama "courageously" assumed responsibility for the Benghazi fiasco. As President, he had no choice. But he was careful not to take blame; that is clearly intended for someone else.

The contradictory statements that Obama and his surrogates so strenuously pushed during this period cannot possibly be construed as anything other than lies — lies of almost pathological proportion. We may never know who bears the ultimate responsibility for the deaths of Obama's "folks" in Benghazi, but the aftermath has revealed Obama's craven, deceptive, and self-serving character. What makes him think he's worthy of four more years as Commander-in-Chief of our brave military?

© Peter Lemiska


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Peter Lemiska

Peter Lemiska served in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Secret Service. Following his retirement from the Secret Service, he spent several years as a volunteer for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Like most of his contemporaries, he's always loved his country, and is deeply dismayed by this new and insidious anti-American sentiment threatening to destroy it. He's a life-long conservative, and his opinion pieces have been published in various print media and on numerous internet sites.


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