Pro Logica

December 2, 2012

An Apology (sort of), Plus Some Additional Comments on the Benghazi Debacle

Filed under: Foreign Policy — Tags: , , , — Ron Toczek @ 1:54 am

Three posts ago, I commented about Egypt, Libya and Yemen destroying and vandalizing sovereign U.S. territory within their boundaries and gave the unsurprising remedy that would be sanctioned under international law.  Even for lesser offenses, countries would invade the offending country and exact proper restitution from their point of view.  The problem in the Benghazi situation is that the attacked property was not part of our  embassy, at least from the accounts that I have read.  Does this mean that the terrorist attack on the mission house, also referred to as a consulate, was an undeclared act of war?  I truly don’t know, so, it is not completely clear that international law even applies.  Nevertheless, American citizens, one of whom was our Ambassador to Libya, have been killed by members of a Libyan militia group within the boundaries of Libya using weapons normally associated with actual warfare.  Also, regardless of the status of the property occupied by the Americans, that property received damage from mortar fire.  From all the reports that I have read, I cannot glean much more than this.  It needs to be pointed out that the attack being  perpetrated by an Al Qaeda leaning Libyan militia group was not discovered until after an investigation.  Rumors heard before the event do not constitute evidence

The deaths of our American citizens remove the possibility of labeling the Benghazi incident as trivial so we do have the responsibility of finding out what actually occurred and we must investigate any possible shortcomings of our standard procedures and eliminate them.  Most importantly, I feel that our American deaths need to be ameliorated by a gesture from the current Libyan government, namely that a suitable apology with proper compensation be given to the families of the victims by no less that the Libyan ambassador.  Our government should take steps to ensure that the compensation cannot be connected in any way to money provided through U.S. aid.  I am motivated to this action by our recent ‘honor payment’ to the Pakistani families for their relatives’ death by an American citizen.  America shouldn’t expect less!  (Considering the large amount of money paid by our government, I’d be willing to bet that most of that payment went to corrupt Pakistani officials, knowingly by the Americans.)

Most troubling in the after-event news discussions is the extreme call for transparency in this debacle.  Congress should and does have oversight control of America’s foreign policy but the day-to-day normal dealings are totally in the domain of the Executive Branch.  Successful foreign policy dealings depend on a certain amount of mutual trust and trust cannot be fostered by blabbering other nations secrets.  Considering the current Middle East situation with its rivalries, I’m sure there are lots of secrets floating around and the administration must be given some leeway.

One article that I read stated that this particular mission house in Benghazi was being used to recruit mercenaries for the Syrian rebels in their civil war.  While I can accept the use of mercenary forces in certain situations, I do not believe that a country with democratic principles should be actively engaged in procuring and/or paying mercenaries for any cause without consent of the governed.  Giving our government the benefit of doubt, I sort of assume and hope that we were only acting as recruiting agents for other organizations or nations willing to support and fund the Syrian rebel’s cause.  Supporting the downfall of an intolerable dictator is a worthy cause so long as that dictatorship is not replaced by another dictatorship.  It has not been a given that the government changes resulting from the protests alluded to by the name ‘Arab Spring’ , have produced non-ideological and non-dictatorial governing systems.

Lastly it is time for a stern bit of criticism.  The news reports indicated that our situation in Benghazi was not safe.  We don’t know whether this was due to some vague rumors of an attack on the mission house or just a general unease about the defensive procedures in case of trouble of some sort.  It is quite clear that there was inadequate defensive personnel available at the onset of the attack  I am amazed by the lack of precaution or the part of the ambassadorial staff given the logistics.  September 11, is a glorious date for any Al Qaeda outfit and most would love to conflict damage onto any American installation or personnel on that date.  There were known Al Qaeda leaning groups in Benghazi.  The defenses at the Benghazi mission house were deemed wanting.  Why didn’t either the Ambassador himself, or even the State Department just call a halt to all Benghazi activities and vacate those premises on that day?  It might have spoiled somebody’s fun.

 

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September 12, 2012

On Attacking Embassies

Filed under: Foreign Policy, International Law — Tags: — Ron Toczek @ 1:44 pm

This morning, September 12, 2012, Americans were greeted with the news that our embassies in both Egypt and Libya were attacked by citizens of those countries resulting in our Libyan ambassador with three other American citizens being assassinated–a totally unacceptable breach of international law.  While Mr. Obama’s speech appropriately extended consolation to the families of the victims it did nothing to address the seriousness of the attacks nor any possible actions that we would take.

It is my hope that the president will give another speech or speeches very shortly with these views and actions:

  • He states that these actions by the citizens of both Libya and Egypt constitute a declaration of war by these countries–embassies are sovereign territory.
  • He breaks off all diplomatic relations with these two countries and evacuates all American citizens.
  • He stop all foreign aid to the two countries.
  • He impounds all funds of the two countries residing in U.S. banks.
  • He impounds all funds of private citizens of the two countries residing in U.S. banks.
  • He will ask all countries of the world to do the same with such funds.
  • He will ask Congress to give him the authority to confiscate the impounded funds should any other breach of international law be committed by these two countries, definitely including harm to any hostages taken.
  • He states very unequivocally that military action against these two countries will occur until apologies are rendered, hostages are freed and full compensation has been received covering all the inconveniences of victims and their families and all destruction of U.S. and American private property.

I should also hope that all American patriots should ask nothing less from our president.

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