Egypt today is a zero-sum game. We’d have preferred there be a democratic alternative. Unfortunately, there is none. The choice is binary: the country will be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood or by the military.
Perhaps it didn’t have to be this way. Perhaps the military should have waited three years for the intensely unpopular Mohamed Morsi to be voted out of office. But Gen.Abdel Fatah al-Sissi seems to have calculated that he didn’t have three years, that by then there would be no elections — as in Gaza, where the Palestinian wing of the Brotherhood, Hamas, elected in 2006, established a one-man-one-vote-one-time dictatorship.
What’s the United States to do? Any response demands two considerations: (a) moral, i.e., which outcome offers the better future for Egypt, and (b) strategic, i.e., which outcome offers the better future for U.S. interests and those of the free world. Continue reading
In Egypt, nobody wanted military intervention, yet nobody believed in a smooth transition to democracy. For this reason, Egyptians viewed the military as the guarantor of order and stability, albeit they hoped to avoid another military coup. When it actually came on July 5, 2013, it reinforced the incontrovertible fact of many prior great transitions: a nation’s historical sins, embodied in the acts of its previous despots, tyrants and dictators, always come back to haunt their successors. Continue reading
History, in her disposition toward intellectually gifted peoples and nations, appears as fickle as the gods of ancient times were wont to be of their most devout revelers; the more those peoples and nations excelled the less they were shielded from endless tribulations, great catastrophes, and devastating tragedies. Like most of the nation-states of Europe and Asia, present-day Iran had a glorious history, yet unlike them, it has been torn since 1979 between revolutionary adventurism and reactionary self-preservation.
The fatal contradiction in Ayatollah Khomeini’s doctrine of the “guardianship of the jurist” (velayat-e faqih) is that, by definition, it contains the political seeds of its own destruction. Continue reading
Ronald Reagan coined the phrase, “Peace through strength,” but it was not a new idea and it had not been an historically partisan concept. It dates back to George Washington who said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” Washington and Reagan understood that peace is achieved through strength and conversely that weakness invites attack. This was once a universally accepted truth among American leaders. Current events prove, it should again become American policy regardless of party.
We live in a dangerous world. Kim Jung-un is threatening military invasions and nuclear attacks. We’ve recently learned that the North Koreans are much closer to being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile than was previously believed. China, already a nuclear power, is rapidly developing a large navy and stealth aircraft. Russia has been sending its military aircraft into American airspace on provocative test missions. Continue reading
by George Landrith
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified on Capitol Hill this morning about the events of September 11, 2012 in which the American Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and burned to the ground and four Americans murdered, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Panetta said that he had a pre-scheduled 30 minute meeting with President Obama at the White House at 5 p.m. that day. Panetta said that they spent 20 minutes talking about the American Embassy in Egypt that was surrounded by angry mobs and the unfolding attack in Benghazi. Interestingly, he said that Obama did not ask for any information about what military resources were in the region or for options of what might be done to protect the Americans in Benghazi. Continue reading
“Our party speaks for human freedom, for the sweep of liberties that are at the core of our existence. . . . Together we’ve fought for causes we love. But we can never let the fire go out or quit the fight, because the battle is never over. Our freedom must be defended over and over again — and then again.”
by Scott L. Vanatter
At the end of a Super Bowl the winning head coach can rightly point to the day’s game plan, key plays, and stats. All these and more contributed to what was accomplished by the team – led by the coach.
At the end of his time in office, a successful two-term president can rightly point to the administration’s fundamental principles and key policies. All these and more produced the real-world accomplishments – led by the president. After eight years of concrete success and indisputable accomplishment President Reagan reported to the 1988 Republican National Convention. Prior to being elected Reagan had carefully and overtly taught — yes, taught — the country the key principles on which the Founders based the U.S. Constitution and preserved American culture. Continue reading
Nobody should have been surprised when Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a “constitutional declaration” on Thursday asserting total political power. This was, after all, the former Muslim Brotherhood leader’s second power grab since he took office in June, complementing his earlier seizure of legislative and constitution-writing authorities by now insulating himself from judicial oversight. Yet Washington was caught entirely off-guard: Morsi’s power play was at odds with the administration’s view that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “democratic party,” and his impressive handling of last week’s Gaza ceasefire created a modicum of trust between him and President Obama. So the State Department released a predictably confused statement, urging “all Egyptians to resolve their differences … peacefully and through democratic dialogue.” Continue reading
by Jennifer Rubin
Each new revelation about the Benghazi debacle reinforces the idea we are either not hearing the truth or everyone in the administration was behaving irrationally. If you are waiting for someone to finally give a satisfactory explanation, I think it’s going to be a long wait.
The latest is that the director of national intelligence is claiming responsibility for the changed talking points. Continue reading
We don’t have all the details of former CIA Director David Petraeus’ testimony to congressional Intelligence Committees on Friday, but it looks like the American people were grossly misled about the Benghazi attack.
Is anyone surprised? You shouldn’t be.
The last thing the Obama administration wanted to tell the American public during a tight presidential campaign was that al Qaeda had attacked a US consulate on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, killing four brave Americans. Continue reading
What we now know—and still don’t—about President Obama’s 9/11.
Editorial: Wall Street Journal Editorial
November 3, 2012
The Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered September 11 in Benghazi. That we know. But too little else about what took place before, during and after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission is clear.
The White House says Republicans are “politicizing” a tragedy. Politicians politicize, yes, but part of their job is to hold other politicians accountable. The Administration has made that difficult by offering evasive, inconsistent and conflicting accounts about one of the most serious American overseas defeats in recent years. Unresolved questions about Benghazi loom over this election because the White House has failed to resolve them.
• Why did the U.S. not heed warnings about a growing Islamist presence in Benghazi and better protect the diplomatic mission and CIA annex? Continue reading
by George Landrith
Pundits say that to win Barack Obama must shape this election as a choice about the future and Mitt Romney must frame it as a referendum on Obama’s poor performance. However, this election is not a referendum, nor is it a choice. It is an IQ test.
Virtually no one who looks objectively and rationally at the facts could judge Obama’s first term a success. Moreover Obama has given us no real reason to believe a second term would be any better. He asks for more time, but neglects to tell us how he would use it differently. Perhaps that is the point. He intends to simply do more of the same, but he won’t come out and say it.
There are lots of irrational reasons to support Obama — “I like him personally,” or “he has a nice smile,” or “he’s a good speaker,” or “he had a really tough job and needs more time.”
Sensitive documents found amid the wreckage of the U.S. consulate shine new light on the Sept. 11 assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
by Harald Doornbos, Jenan Moussa
November 1, 2012
BENGHAZI, Libya — More than six weeks after the shocking assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi — and nearly a month after an FBI team arrived to collect evidence about the attack – the battle-scarred, fire-damaged compound where Ambassador Chris Stevens and another Foreign Service officer lost their lives on Sept. 11 still holds sensitive documents and other relics of that traumatic final day, including drafts of two letters worrying that the compound was under “troubling” surveillance and complaining that the Libyan government failed to fulfill requests for additional security. Continue reading
The Obama administration needs to level with the country about why it made its decisions.
by David Ignatius
October 30, 2012
The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi has become a political football in the presidential campaign, with all the grandstanding and misinformation that entails. But Fox News has raised questions about the attack that deserve a clearer answer from the Obama administration.
Fox’s Jennifer Griffin reported Friday that CIA officers in Benghazi had been told to “stand down” when they wanted to deploy from their base at the annex to repel the attack on the consulate, about a mile away. Fox also reported that the officers requested military support when the annex came under fire that night but that their request had been denied. Continue reading
by Jonah Goldberg
Where is the Benghazi media feeding frenzy?
I don’t think there’s a conspiracy at work. Rather, I think journalists tend to act on their instincts. And, collectively, the mainstream media’s instincts run liberal.
In 2000, a Democratic operative orchestrated an “October surprise” attack on George W. Bush, revealing that 24 years earlier, he’d been arrested for drunken driving. The media went into a feeding frenzy.
“Is all the 24-hour coverage of Bush’s 24-year-old DUI arrest the product of a liberal media almost drunk on the idea of sinking him, or is it a legitimate, indeed unavoidable news story?” asked Howard Kurtz on his CNN show “Reliable Sources.” The consensus among the guests: It wasn’t a legitimate news story. But the media kept going with it. Continue reading
by Victor Davis Hanson
We have had ambassadors murdered abroad before, but we have never seen anything quite like the tragic fate of Chris Stevens. Amid all the controversy over Libya, we have lost sight of the human — and often horrific — story of Benghazi: a U.S. ambassador attacked, cut off and killed alone, after being abused by frenzied terrorists, and a second member of the embassy staff murdered, as two American private citizens rushed to the rescue, heroically warding off Islamist hit teams, until they were overwhelmed and also killed. Continue reading