Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Circumstances remain unclear

Here is the Guardian article that brings the story of the American ambassador's murder in Libya up to date, in so far as it is possible. The circumstances, they rightly say, remain unclear.
One witness told the Guardian on Wednesday that a mob fired at least one rocket at the US consulate building in Benghazi and then stormed it, setting everything ablaze. "I was there about an hour ago. The place (US consulate) is totally destroyed, the whole building is on fire," said Mohammed El Kish, a former press officer with the National Transitional Council, which handed power to an elected parliament last month. He added: "They stole a lot of things."
Kish, who is from Benghazi, blamed the attack on hardline jihadists. He said locals in Benghazi were upset by the activities of Islamist groups and would revolt against them. He also said the US consulate was not well protected, unlike the fortified US embassy in the capital, Tripoli. "It wasn't that much heavily guarded. In Tripoli the embassy is heavily guarded."
Will they revolt against the Islamist groups? Perhaps. Let us hope, this time round we stay out it all.

President Obama's Statement is exactly what one would expect in the circumstances. It is hard to know what else he could have said. The big question is, what will he do now, bearing in mind that there is this pesky election coming up.

UPDATE: Hotair quotes CBS news which tells us the unsurprising fact that it is more than likely that the Libyan security forces indicated to the extremely well armed militants (of course, none of the groups were disarmed after Gaddafi's capture and murder) where they were evacuating the American ambassador and other staff.
Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said the four Americans were killed when the angry mob, which gathered to protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, fired guns and burned down the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
He said Stevens, 52, and other officials were moved to a second building, deemed safer, after the initial wave of protests at the consulate. According to al-Sharef, members of the Libyan security team seem to have indicated to the protesters the building to which the American officials had been relocated, and that building then came under attack.
More marines have been sent to the shores of Tripoli to protect American personnel. How many were there in the first place, one would like to know.


  1. "President Obama's Statement is exactly what one would expect in the circumstances. It is hard to know what else he could have said."

    True, but the State Department has now twice come up with statements that are far from OK: The statement from the US Cairo embassy was contradicted by the White House, but State continues with its apologia:

    #SecClinton: The U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.


  2. I think the fact that he has then gone back to campaigning without even bothering to call in the Libyan ambassador (so far as I can make out) tells us even more.

  3. Hello Helen;

    I have just read somewhere...sorry I didn't make a note...that the Consulate(?) Marine detachment...were not issued with live ammo.
    I find that hard to credit. Maybe you know something about that.

  4. Vladimir Putin has commented:

  5. I did see the report about the marines not having live ammo. Oddly enough, I do see the reasoning behind it: the notion of a shoot-out between the US marines and those who are attacking the embassy or consulate in another country is not one to contemplate lightly. On the other hand, if the local security services can't or won't protect the embassy or consulate then a withdrawal of diplomatic staff might be the answer or, at least, a threat of it.

    1. If not to protect the Embassy & its staff what purpose does a Marine detachment serve?
      In my naïve book an unarmed Marine is an oxymoron when on active duty.
      One of Ras(tus)ben Obama's edicts I would hazard.
      What did Patton tell his troops? "It's not your job to die for your country but to make damned sure the other bastard dies for his"...........but that was the Peloponnesian War, wasn't it 8-((