But one thing is certain... after 12 years our standing in the world as a country that you mess with at your peril has never been lower. Witness:
- We are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq.
- We are conceding defeat in Afghanistan and withdrawing, leaving the Taliban inevitably back in power, whether de facto or de jure it doesn't matter.
- Libya and Egypt and Syria are all in chaos.
- Iran is ever closer to obtaining nuclear weapons.
- The longer we go without some retaliation for the murder of our ambassador in Benghazi, the more radical Islamists across the world see that America can be attacked without repercussion. We are becoming the weak horse.
Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antananarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis are instructed to close for normal operations Monday, August 5 through Saturday, August 10.
That's from the State Department's press release.
Here's a more honest press release, which would reflect the apparent reality:
"Dear Islamist terrorists, you win! America has no stomach to fight you anymore, and we'll absorb whatever attacks you have in store for us until you get bored with it. Don't expect us to retaliate... we'll just hide our heads. And, oh, by the way, Israelis... don't wait for us to protect you from Iran's nuclear weapons... you're pretty much on your own. Iraqis or Afghanis interested in democracy and scared by sharia... too bad, so sad. America is taking its ball and going home."
But here's a statement that a real President would make:
"America has obtained credible intelligence regarding potential attacks on our embassies abroad in the Middle East and Africa by radical Islamist terrorists. Our embassies will remain open for business despite these threats. Any attack on our embassies is an attack against American soil and will be met with force. Any murders of our embassy personnel will result in an overwhelming response against capital cities in Islamic countries across the Middle East, including Riyadh and Tehran. So I encourage the leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two most powerful Islamic countries in the world, to use whatever influence they may have to stop terrorist attacks against American embassies, or else face the consequences. Thank you."
That's not going to happen. Again, a little Gibbon goes a long way:
"A people who still remembered that their ancestors had been the masters of the world would have applauded, with conscious pride, the representation of ancient freedom, if they had not long since been accustomed to prefer the solid assurance of bread to the unsubstantial visions of liberty and greatness."