Juvenile red tailed hawk with clean and pristine feathers

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rice Job

Republicans are calling for the head of our Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, in the wake of her spin job on Benghazi. Of course, we at the Blast smelled something fishy at the State Department as soon as the initial statements on the killings started coming out of their pieholes, one only needs to scroll back a few weeks to confirm. For weeks we have been told that the FBI was knee deep into the investigation, now we find out that they haven't even been on the ground yet, fearing for their own safety against enemy mortar attacks.

She made matters worse when right wing pundits noted that she skipped the United Nations address of our supposed ally Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu to do lunch, while finding the time to do five Sunday talk shows.

There is an official line with this administration and than there is reality, simmering just below the surface, and some times they are at distinct odds with each other. Obama has admitted wanted to create distance and daylight with the jewish state and his lieutenants carry out his marching orders, sometimes quite nastily and clumsily.

I am agnostic about the prospect of her resignation, since she is merely following the marching orders of her higher ups.

I just reread Rice's initial post massacre interview transcript on This Week. Irrespective of our intelligence community trying to take some of the pressure off and taking the blame for the State Department's initial characterization of the tragedy as a "spontaneous reaction to a film", it is quite clear that she is spinning hard here.

RICE: Well, Jake, first of all, it's important to know that there's an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed. That will tell us with certainty what transpired.
But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.
We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to -- or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in -- in the wake of the revolution in Libya are -- are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there.  
TAPPER: Why was there such a security breakdown? Why was there not better security at the compound in Benghazi? Why were there not U.S. Marines at the embassy in Tripoli?
RICE: Well, first of all, we had a substantial security presence with our personnel...
TAPPER: Not substantial enough, though, right?
RICE: ... with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi. Tragically, two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them.
It obviously didn't prove sufficient to the -- the nature of the attack and sufficient in that -- in that moment. And that's why, obviously, we have reinforced our remaining presence in Tripoli and why the president has very -- been very clear that in Libya and throughout the region we are going to call on the governments, first of all, to assume their responsibilities to protect our facilities and our personnel, and we're reinforcing our facilities and our -- our embassies where possible...
TAPPER: But why...
RICE: ... and where needed.
TAPPER: Why would we not have Marines at the embassy in Tripoli to begin with? It would seem like this -- this is obviously an unstable country. This is a region where U.S. interests have been attacked in previous months. Why were there not Marines there to begin with? 
RICE: First of all, there are Marines in some places around the world. There are not Marines in every facility. That depends on the circumstances. That depends on the requirements. Our presence in Tripoli, as in Benghazi, is relatively new, as you will recall. We've been back post-revolution only for a matter of months.
But I've visited there myself, both to Tripoli and Benghazi. I was very grateful to have a strong security presence with me as part of our -- our embassy detachment there. So we certainly are aware that Libya is a place where there have been increasingly some violent incidents. The security personnel that the State Department thought were required were in place. And we'll see when the investigation unfolds whether what was -- what transpired in Benghazi might have unfolded differently in different circumstances. 
But the president has been very clear. The protection of American personnel and facilities is and will remain our top priority. That's why we've reinforced our presence in Tripoli and elsewhere.
TAPPER: Look at this map, if you would. There have been protests around the world over the last several days. And President Obama pledged to repair America's relationships with the Muslim world. Why does the U.S. seem so impotent? And why is the U.S. even less popular today in some of these Muslim and Arab countries than it was four years ago?
RICE: Jake, we're not impotent. We're not even less popular, to challenge that assessment. I don't know on what basis you make that judgment. But let me -- let me point...
TAPPER: It just seems that the U.S. government is powerless as this -- as this maelstrom erupts.
RICE: It's actually the opposite. First of all, let's be clear about what transpired here. What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region...
TAPPER: Tunisia, Khartoum... 
RICE: ... was a result -- a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is -- that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.
But let's look at what's happened. It's quite the opposite of being impotent. We have worked with the governments in Egypt. President Obama picked up the phone and talked to President Morsi in Egypt. And as soon as he did that, the security provided to our personnel in our embassies dramatically increased. President Morsi...
TAPPER: It took two days for President Morsi to say anything about this.
RICE: President Morsi has been out repeatedly and said that he condemns this violence. He's called off -- and his people have called off any further demonstrations and have made very clear that this has to stop.
RICE: Now, and -- and same, frankly, in Tunisia, in Yemen, and, of course, in Libya, where the government has -- has gone out of its way to try to step up security and express deepest remorse for what has happened. We are quite popular in Libya, as you might expect, having been a major partner in their revolution. What transpired outside of our consulate in Benghazi was not an expression of deep-seated anti-Americanism on the part of the Libyan people. Quite the contrary. The counter-demonstrations, the outpouring of sympathy and support for Ambassador Stevens and for the United States, the government of Libya and -- and the people on the street saying how pained they are by this, is much more a reflection of the sentiment towards the United States than a small handful of heavily armed mobsters.

Nice of Morsi to have his people call off further violent demonstrations. When the big boss is in the Muslim Brotherhood, you get remarkable access. The Obama administrations has a lot of political capital invested in the arab spring. They are all in with the notion that these nations and societies are mostly comprised of moderate voices who will eventually rout out the extremists in their midst. And they are perfectly willing to ignore reality when it is contrary to the narrative that they are trying to frame for their wishful world to come.

We are putting up a lot of money and shedding a lot of American blood on this guess. I personally think it is a very bad bet but I sincerely hope that I am wrong. A similar line of bullshit was being sown earlier this week when the State Department said that the recent Taliban attacks in Afghanistan were merely a sign of their desperation. Sounds like they are really on the ropes to me.

In two or three hundred years, perhaps with a heavy dose of education, psychedelics in the water supply and/or psychotherapy, the islamic world might be ready to join the rest of the human race. Until then, I am afraid that all of our blood, money and good intentions will be wasted for naught.


Splash! said...

The Marine Corps Hymn
says "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli". No U.S. Marines in Tripoli? WTF!

Anonymous said...

The Marines went to Tripoli to squish the pirates during the administration of Thomas Jefferson.

Ken Seals said...

It's sad, but you are SO right.