The Obama Administration came under intense pressure today to substantiate Vice President Joe Biden’s incredible claim, in Thursday night’s debate, that “we weren’t told” the American consulate in Benghazi had requested additional security—despite congressional testimony this week that additional security had indeed been requested before Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in a well-coordinated terrorist attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
Of course, if America was a real country, the outright conquest of a consulate (complete with replacing the Stars and Stripes with the black banner of Al Qaeda) would have been regarded as the violation of sovereign territory and an act of war.
However, because America is not a real country, the Obama Administration was able to blame Americans for the attacks. It maintained that the protests were spontaneous demonstrations triggered by righteous rage about an amateur video, hijacked by violent extremists who of course do not represent the peaceful majority. Obama’s media friends, fresh from covering the bloodthirsty instincts of Chick-Fil-A customers hastened to support this narrative.
Unfortunately, the Libyan government put in power by the Obama Administration disrupted the story by insisting that the attack was previously planned and not linked to any protests. [U.S. plans new inquiry on Libya attack, By Anne Gearan and Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post, September 20, 2012] Furthermore, the Libyans insisted that they had warned the United States of what was coming.
But the Obama Administration stubbornly stuck to its story. And the President’s media cooperated by focusing on Mitt Romney’s offending their delicate sensibilities by criticizing the President.
Finally, on October 9, the Obama Administration’s story completely collapsed. The State Department not only admitted that there was a terrorist attack, but also that there had been no protests. Much like Obama’s position on gay marriage, the Administration announced that its story had “evolved.”
The common link between the Obama Administration’s initial story and the security failures in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq: its stubborn insistence that Muslims wanted to support American foreign policy, being only repelled by the xenophobic instincts of actual Americans.
Ironically, Libya may have been the one Muslim nation (not excepting France) that was not experiencing anti-American protests last month. Protests took part in well over a dozen nations throughout the Middle East and Europe. These included demonstrations targeted at the embassies of Great Britain and Germany. In other words, Muslim fury was not limited to expressing disagreement with American foreign policy.
Meanwhile, in Egypt, the government of what neoconservatives famously termed “the prize” of American grand strategy ignored warnings of an attack on their American embassy gave only the most pro forma denunciation. In Afghanistan, the Taliban used the opportunity to achieve what can only be called a strategic military victory by forcing the United States to abandon joint patrols with “allied” forces, after Afghani troops repeatedly murdered American soldiers and Marines.
Theoretically, liberals should be disturbed by what is happening. The late Christopher Hitchens pointed out that even the most sensitive progressives would be unable to keep Islamists from being angry at them—because they would have to abandon even such eminently liberal causes as the independence of East Timor. Or gay rights.
What Hitchens failed to see (or was afraid to state) was that politics is about who, not what. For example, the creators of the American television show South Park attempted to show a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed, in a non-offensive, manner as part of their shows. Comedy Central prevented it. However, the network did permit the ending of the show, an amateurish cartoon of George W. Bush, Jesus Christ, and random Americans defecating on each other and the American flag.
The obvious intent: to show that not only is free speech suspended when an officially designated Victim Class is offended, but that overt hate speech with no intellectual content whatsoever is happily allowed if it is targeted at whites, Christians, or the historic American nation. Progressives simply see no particular problem with this. [Muslims, Mormons and Liberals, WSJ, September 19, 2012]
Conservatism Inc. is, if anything less coherent than Obama and his media. Thus “conservative” defense “experts” have faulted Obama for not moving energetically enough to remove Assad from Syria, where he is stubbornly hanging on with support from one of the last Christian communities in the Middle East. "Conservatives" were cheerleading the campaign against Gadaffi in Libya every step of the way. And of course, it was George W. Bush and his “democracy agenda” that was the sine qua non of respectable conservatism for the first decade of the 21st century.
Conservatism Inc. is thus in the absurd position of leveling conspiratorial charges about Barack Obama deliberately empowering Islamists overseas, while simultaneously complaining that he is not being militant enough in removing the largely secular dictators that repress Islamist movements.
Behind the partisan mudslinging and self-righteous proclamations that politics should stop at the water’s age is a more disturbing reality.
Every aspect of American foreign policy relies on foreigners behaving as American policymakers wish them to behave, rather than Americans actually defending their own security. The late Ambassador Stevens seemed to have interpreted his job as fighting for “democracy” in Libya, rather than defending American interests. The war in Afghanistan is entirely premised upon Afghanis working with an American occupation. The United States is now actively arming anti-Assad rebels in Syria who proudly burn the American flag and seem to be composed of foreigners openly pledging fealty to al-Qaeda. Obama’s support for the “Arab Spring” presupposes that Islamic majorities in the Middle East want to metamorphosize into liberal American university students.
The parallels to immigration policy are starting. A key arguments made by the Obama White House in its case against Arizona’s SB 1070 was that enforcing immigration law would harm American relations with Latin American countries. No fewer than 11 Latin American countries joined Barack Obama’s campaign against Arizona. The Obama Administration remains contemptuously indifferent to border violence against American citizens, but it leaps into action against local officials who dare to enforce existing federal laws.
However, there is an internal logic. Just as the State Department’s first concern in the Benghazi fiasco was to silence Americans at home, the larger grand strategy of the United States seems to be to use the resources generated by Americans to empowered non-Western communities. The ideology and interests that drive the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and your typical Ethnic Studies Department at a California state college are indistinguishable. The lives of American servicemen, like those of Arizona ranchers butchered on their own property, are simply expendable in pursuit of the greater goal of universal egalitarianism and global democracy.
And just as with “equal opportunity” policies at home, some groups are more equal than others. The Muslim conquest of Kosovo or Egyptians attacking American embassies and being rewarded with billions in foreign aid is not policy failure. It’s policy. The enemy is, and has always been, the historic American nation.
In actuality today, the United States of America is a dramatically left-wing imperialist power, actively pushing mass immigration on European nations, blithely indifferent to the ethnic cleansing of Middle Eastern (and Eastern European) Christians, and cheerleading and subsidizing Islamization so long as it is done through “democratic” means. If anything, a “strong” American foreign policy with plenty of bold “leadership” would mean accelerating this destructive agenda, including the suicidal campaign against the relatively conservative Russia of Vladimir Putin.
The last thing American conservatives should want is a more energetically pursued campaign of international progressivism.
However, even though American foreign policy is objectively leftist, American conservatives blindly draw psychological solace from the power of the American government and military. Whether because of reactionary nostalgia or Stockholm Syndrome, Conservatism Inc.’s operatives are faithful servants of Obama’s foreign policy agenda, differing only in the tactics of how they would pursue the same goals.
To have a foreign policy, there has to be recognition that there is such a thing as a foreigner.
To have a national security policy, there has to be at least a basic awareness that there is such a thing as a nation.
Neither condition exists in Washington D.C. today.
The most terrifying thought of all: the federal government’s policymakers, “conservative” and “liberal,” may really believe their own propaganda. “America” is a means for these policymakers to achieve their ideological agenda, rather than a nation-state with interests worth defending.
Nevertheless, regardless of the indifference and even hostility of its rulers, the historic American nation does still exist.
But real Americans should recognize that the federal government actions abroad are at worst detrimental and at best irrelevant to them. It’s not the American people’s foreign policy—because it’s not their government. It’s not our country anymore.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] travels around the United States looking for a waiter who can speak English.