The security of the United States is the primary responsibility of the president.
Originally Posted by Hawkgirl
Failing in that responsibilty would be damning under any circumstances, but refusing to even engage with the security experts is criminal negligence.
Naïve and ill-informed, yes. We didn't bankroll radicals. The mujahedeen were not the Taliban, which formed after the war ended. There are actually three groups that claim the name, the Mullah Omar faction, which never had US backing, the Haqqani faction, which is basically a local mafian and the Pakistani Taliban, which was formed by the ISI as a means of establishing Pakistani control of Afghanistan. None of these were bankrolled by us, and al Qaeda was formed because Bin Laden thought that the Mujahedeen who took our aid were sellouts who were dealing with hated infidels. Our allies were what became known as the Northern Alliance, which opposed the Taliban.
Originally Posted by Molon Labe
Your basic knowlege of the history of the conflict is flawed and incomplete. You are applying libertarian talking points to tribal and religious conflicts, which is like trying to do brain surgery with a sledgehammer. That is why I, and everyone else here who has firsthand knowledge of the region, think that you are naïve.
And now, because they continue to provide the best analysis of the situation, here's last night's Nightwath:
Anti-US protests: A compilation of reporting from news services shows there were anti-American protests and demonstrations in more than 22 countries and territories. Reporting from Islamic states in Africa has been slow, and might increase the final tally. Burnings of American flags occurred from Morocco to Indonesia, including Kashmir in India and Niger, in northern Africa. Only Turkey and Saudi Arabia experienced no significant disorders. Turkey is not an Arab country and Saudi Arabia imposed security restrictions so tight that no demonstrations were permitted. This was a spasm of anti-American sentiment unlike any since the attack at the Ka'aba in 1979 in Mecca. That was the year the US Embassy was burned in Islamabad and the last time a US Ambassador was assassinated, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The most sensational attacks occurred in Tunisia, Sudan and Lebanon. In Tunis, the US Embassy compound was breached and a US school was burned. A US employee told the media that he never thought that Tunisian security and police would walk away and allow the demonstrators to break into the US Embassy compound.
In Sudan the US, German and British embassies in Khartoum were attacked. The German Embassy was breached and burned. In Tripoli, Lebanon, two US fast food restaurants were torched. In Beirut, one person was killed and 25 wounded in clashes near the US Embassy. Eighteen of the wounded were Lebanese policemen. In Egypt, demonstrations continued for a fourth day in Cairo. They also occurred in Alexandria for the first time. In Sinai, Bedouin militants attacked a UN peacekeepers' camp in the name of protesting the anti-Muslim video.
In Afghanistan, a large demonstration occurred in Jalalabad, near the border with Pakistan. Protestors burned President Obama in effigy. Demonstrations also occurred in Kabul, but were not reported in mainstream press. In Iraq, non-violent protests occurred in Baghdad, Hilla, Kufa, Samarra and Tikrit. In Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei continued to stoke anti-American sentiment in Tehran. It was echoed in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Palestine and Yemen. In Pakistan, anti-American demonstrations occurred in multiple cities, but no clashes have been reported. In India, Muslim anti-American militants demonstrated in Kashmir and in Chennai.
Anti-American demonstrations also occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia; Somalia; Jordan; London; Oman and Bangladesh, for a second day.
Comment: One difference from past eruptions of Islamic ire is that in some Arab countries demonstrators not only denounced the US and Israel, they also denounced President Obama by name, calling for his death. This is the first time that anti-American sentiment was personified. Readers need to know that these protests were uniformly anti-American. Equally significant is that local security forces were prone to not oppose the demonstrators in multiple cases. Four US diplomatic facilities have been breached, if not burned. All occurred in states touched by the so-called Arab Spring - Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. In earlier times, Muslim preachers insisted that democracy was not consistent with Islam. They denounced it. The great change in the past two years is that Imams, encouraged by Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan, have come to understand that democracy may be rationalized with ultra-conservative Islam as a pathway to a caliphate, by choice of the voters. To paraphrase Erdogan, democracy is a station stop, not a political end-state in itself. Even conservative Imams now seem to understand Erdogan's wisdom. Islamists, Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood are using elections to advance their objective of creating Islamic governments in the Arab Spring states. Islamic monarchies will be the next targets after the Islamic democracies consolidate power, provided they can. After that, Israel is the target.
US-Libya: Update: The British news outlet, The Independent, today published a detailed list of the extent of the security disaster in Benghazi, which goes beyond the tragic murders. According to The Independent, laptops were stolen that contain lists of Libyans who cooperate with the Americans, classified papers were taken and classified data was compromised. NightWatch cannot corroborate the statements in the article in The Independent. However, NightWatch can attest that anytime a sensitive US facility or asset is seized, secrets are compromised. An organized and carefully planned penetration of any diplomatic facility anywhere could afford a disciplined attacker access to sensitive information that jeopardizes far more lives than the four Americans killed this week. Finally, for the record, Readers should know that the authoritative source for information on the security arrangements at US embassies around the world is the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
End of NightWatch for 14 September. NightWatch is brought to you by Kforce Government Solutions, Inc. (KGS)