American Ambassador to Libya Killed in Attack
Early this morning, U.S. time, an angry mob stormed the American consulate in Benghazi, the birthplace of the recent Libyan revolution, apparently setting fire to and using grenades on the building and the state department officials there. Early reports are that four officials have died, including the American Ambassador to Libya, 52 year old Chris Stevens. Stevens, and the other three officials whose names have not been released, were reportedly leading and evacuation of the consulate, and died due to smoke inhalation. President Obama has stated that these four Americans “exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.” The United States has promised retaliation.
The attack follows a similar attack in Egypt, in which the protestors stormed the compound and tore down the American flag, destroying it and replacing it with a black flag. These attacks are reportedly in response to a video produced by an American in which Muhammad is profaned according to Islam. Our hearts and prayers go out to family and loved ones of the four victims, and we hope for safety for the rest of the State Department officials who are now seeking safety.
To Patriotslog this attack, as tragic as it is, is framed in a larger light: the civil war in Syria. Many public officials, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a leader among them, are calling for the United States to take a much larger role in liberating Syria from the dictatorship of Bashar al Assad. While liberty is most certainly a human right, and living under a dictator is something we never wish upon anyone, there is a delicate balance between liberty and security. The Constitution specifies that security is a primary concern of the Federal Government; as important as the liberty of others is, that cannot take priority over the security of our own nation. History has shown that removing dictators may not be in our best security interests.
I wish it were safe to provide liberty to other nations, however, it seems that many nations, particularly in the Middle East, use us to help overthrow a dictator, then once they have what they want, they throw us out as fast as a spoiled glamour girl gets rid of a boyfriend that had to take a pay cut. The simple fact us, we just cannot be sure whom we are helping in these other nations.
The first and foremost example is Afghanistan. Though we did not help to overthrow a dictator, we did give weapons and training to Afghan militia to help defeat the Soviet Union when they invaded Afghanistan. The problem is we did not know who the militia was. It turned out to be terrorists. The CIA gave weapons and training to Osama bin Laden as well as what would become the Taliban. That story did not turn out pretty.
Iran gives us another example. The CIA helped in a coup that overthrew the government of Mohammad Mossedeq. The United States then aided the Shah and was very friendly to his government, which was then overthrown, and the current extreme regime was brought into power. Reports are that the US is now on the verge of armed conflict with Iran over their nuclear weapons program.
Now the United States consulate has been attacked by armed militants in Benghazi that we provided weapons to as part of their revolution to oust long time dictator colonel Moammar Gadhafi.
The point is that these revolutions which get rid of dictators do not always bring a desirable result. The stability provided by Saddam Hussein in Iraq has been replaced by endless question marks and terrorist attacks in that country. We can only hope those attacks never make it to our shores. This is why we have to use caution with the Syria civil war. Arming and training a rebellion may end up arming and training a foe down the road. The fact is we just do not know who will take power should the Assad regime actually fall. In fact, we do not even know if the people will have liberty with whatever succeeding government may come. If it ends up being a Taliban type government, they certainly would be less free than they are under Assad. Jumping off a diving board is never a good idea until you know how deep the water is.
The attacks this morning, and the tragic deaths of Ambassador Stevens and his three associates should be a strong reminder of this. The loss of life of these people who gave their lives to serve our nation, just as so many soldiers have, needs to be remembered and the all consequences need to be weighed. We would hate to have to lose more lives because of an intervention with Syria. America is not the police force for justice; we need to put our own security first because EVERY life is important. We must remember the cost of intervention. Ambassador Stevens and his associates served our nation with courage and dedication. Their lives lost mark a tragic day for our country; we need to remember this before we make a decision with Syria.
12 September 2012
Posted on September 12, 2012, in Patriotslog Articles, Politics and tagged ambassador dead, angry mob, attack on consulate, bashar al assad, benghazi, libya, middle-east, politics, sen john mccain, state department officials, Terrorism. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.