The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Facts on the Libya attack

The Boston Herald, unlike the other paper in that city (the Globe, owned by the New York Times) has some interesting columns, and one, by Michael Graham, dated Friday, September 21, 2012 named “How the truth hurts: Hence, White House avoids it,” has a great take on the recent attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It says,

In the era of battling fact-checkers, I’ve developed a new standard for testing the truth of claims being made by politicians:

Would I believe what they’re saying if I heard it coming from the mouth of my teenage son?

It works like this:

Four Americans, including local hero Glen Doherty, are killed in an attack on our consulate in Libya. The White House immediately insists that their deaths have — and I’m quoting White House spokesman Jay Carney — “nothing to do with U.S. policy.” It’s all just a reaction to an offensive, anti-Muhammad YouTube video.

So I look Carney in the eye and I think to myself: “Let me see if I’ve got this straight: A group of men armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades just happens to gather outside our consulate for a “spontaneous” protest, they just happen to organize a successful two-wave attack on the compound and, by sheer coincidence, someone inside lets them know where Ambassador Christopher Stevens is hiding. Oh, and all this happened on the anniversary of 9/11 and you’re telling me it wasn’t a planned attack?”

And then I send the White House spokesflak to his room. Or I would have, anyway, if he’d been my son.

This ridiculous story was nonsense on its face. When U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice claimed the Libyan assault “was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo,” she was as credible as my 17-year-old daughter saying, “I don’t know what happened to the car, I swear! Someone must have backed into me in the parking lot!”

Of course the Obama administration’s story was bogus. The Libyans said so, a member of the administration’s own counter-terrorism office said so and, most important, your good sense said so.

Which is why nobody’s surprised to learn that, far from the “movie-review-gone-horribly-wrong” scenario from the White House, we now know there had been warnings of an attack for days, Ambassador Stevens openly worried about his safety and it appears a former Gitmo detainee and al-Qaida member was directly involved.

In fact CBS News reports that witnesses say there was no anti-American protest that day at all. None. Just a coordinated attack against an American target by a terrorist group on 9/11.

So what was the White House’s response when caught red-handed by the facts? Carney promptly announced that they’d been saying the same thing all along: “It’s self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” he said with a shrug.

Which is exactly what a teenager will do if you let him. Your job, as a parent and a voter, is to not let him get away with it.

Watching the violence spreading across the Middle East, did you ever buy the “this has nothing to do with Obama administration policy, it’s just a movie” line? Of course not. The White House could send 100 people out to spin, but you’d know the truth.

And that’s the point: you knew. Just like you know when your kid claims he spent the night at his friend’s house, or doesn’t know why there’s a bottle of vodka missing from the liquor cabinet — you knew.

The next 46 days will be filled with claims, counter-claims, statistics and polls. You’ll hear more excuses from the Obama campaign about the current mess they’ve created than from a teenager who blew off a term paper.

This election year, more than any other I’ve ever seen, you need to ignore it all and go with your gut. You’ll make the right call in November.

It is quite amazing that there are still people in this country who believe President Obama. Certainly, in this case, the facts would seem to speak for themselves.

No comments: