Richard Fernandez has an excellent post up that must be read in it’s entirety. In it he compares two regimes and two battles and how the results of those battles marked the downward spiral of that regime.
First he describes the battle of Midway:
Almost nobody in Japan heard about the Battle of Midway until after the war. The Emperor Hirohito, upon hearing of the debacle ordered a comprehensive cover-up. The wounded were isolated on hospital ships. All mail was censored. Surviving enlisted men and officers were held incommunicado until they could be shipped off to distant battlefields from where it was hoped they would never return. The sunken ships themselves were gradually written off over the course of the war until their loss blended in with the general demise of the imperial fleet. In order to coordinate this effort Hirohito created a special office of cabinet rank.
It worked perfectly. If the US had not won World War 2 Midway would never have existed in Japanese history.
…But the loss was worse than four carriers sunk. Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully in their classic account of Midway, The Shattered Sword, argued that the battle broke the Japanese empire in a fundamental way. It was the consequences of denial that really finished the Japanese military.
And then he described the battle at Benghazi:
The curious thing about September 11, 2012 — the day of the Benghazhi attack — is that for some reason it marks the decline of the Obama presidency as clearly as a milepost. We are told by the papers that nothing much happened on that day. A riot in a far-away country. A few people killed. And yet … it may be coincidental, but from that day the administration’s foreign policy seemed inexplicably hexed. The Arab Spring ground to a halt. The Secretary of State ‘resigned’. The CIA Director was cast out in disgrace. Not long after, Obama had to withdraw his Red Line in Syria. Al-Qaeda, whose eulogy he had pronounced appeared with disturbing force throughout Africa, South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Almost as if on cue, Russia made an unexpected return to the world stage, first in Syria, then in the Iranian nuclear negotiations.
Worse was to follow. America’s premier intelligence organization, the National Security Agency, was taken apart in public and the man who took its secrets, Edward Snowden, decamped to Moscow with a laptop full of secrets. But it was all just a curtain raiser to the dismemberment of Ukraine and the disaster in Eastern Europe.
The Ukraine has now been effectively partitioned. The Obama administration talk about inflicting “consequences” and “costs” on Russia turned out to be empty. Almost as if to add insult to injury, Iran has declared victory in Syria over Obama. “‘We have won in Syria,’ said Alaeddin Borujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee and an influential government insider. ‘The regime will stay. The Americans have lost it.’”
And still there’s no acknowledgement of anything being fundamentally wrong.
Deny deny deny and deny some more.
Obama does it. Hillary does it. The whole Administration does it as well as our ‘fantastic’ media. Hell, one media talking head was at it just this morning saying the VA scandal is a bigger issue than Benghazi:
More Republicans and Democrats are expressing concerns over Shinseki’s leadership. And it’s this bipartisan outrage that’s the reason why this VA issue and scandal is a much story right now frankly than the investigation in Benghazi.
…It’s the outrage from both sides of the aisle coupled with the competency issue of the Obama administration that they were facing since the health care website debacle that could be actually a real political problem for this presidency and perhaps for Democrats moving forward. But this one has legs and it’s very dangerous for the White House much more so frankly than the partisanized Benghazi.
Another media idiot denyed that Stevens was murdered at all.
Benghazi had its roots in an alternative theory of foreign policy formed in Obama’s team at around the time of the Surge in Iraq. From that experience, Obama’s advisers persuaded him that it would be possible to “turn” America’s enemies by taking control of them instead of fighting them. It was a dazzling prospect which offered victory on the cheap.
It was to be built on three pillars: covert action, targeted assassinations and diplomacy. The idea was simple, instead of relying on the regular military, the Obama administration would take over the most dangerous jihadi groups through intelligence agencies. Through this mechanism they would become their patrons and cement the relationship with diplomatic deals with their Gulf funders. Drones and hunter killer squads would be employed to promote chosen intelligence assets — American agents — to positions of responsbility in the terror cells. The drones would clear the way for designated jihadis to rise within the ranks. Eventually America would own the jihad and neuter it from within.
America would out ISI the ISI.
But of course there had to be a genuine political component as well. A bone needed to be thrown to genuine Muslim aspirations. Why not give the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and hand over Syria to al-Qaeda? And why not use American diplomatic muscle to force a deal between Palestine and Israel. That way al-Qaeda could have their own countries and presumably be satisfied with that.
This scheme has a certain superficial attractiveness. It sounds wildly daring, incredibly smart and its formulators must have felt like Cortez on a Peak in Darien. “Boy are we cool to have thought of this.”
There is only one problem with this scenario. It could never be sold to a public who had given their sons to fighting the Jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan. It could never be peddled to crusty old guys who’d see it as a crazy-ass scheme. The solution to meeting the objections was simple. Don’t tell anyone and conduct a secret foreign and counter-terrorist policy, which when it succeeded could be unveiled as proof of Obama’s genius.
But what happens when they are double crossed, as they were in Benghazi? Can they do the right thing, admit mistakes, admit the failure of the policy? No, because Obama could do no wrong.
That setback, by itself, was not necessarily a bad thing. Commanders in Chief can make mistakes so why couldn’t Hillary and Obama just admit they had this theory but it didn’t work in practice and just learn from it?
Because they had pursued the policy secretly and possibly illegally. Because of 2012. Because like Hirohito, Obama could do no wrong, so there was nothing but to protect the Throne of Heaven from the accusation of fallibility and the guilt of cover-up. So they lied.
Bush, when told that the fighting in Iraq had turned against them admitted that their strategy was wrong and embraced a new strategy, the surge. He and his Commanders had to admit their mistakes first, learn from them and adapt.
But not Obama. Not Hillary.
If they had just admitted that their strategy was flawed, that they made mistakes, and that they were going to adapt to the battlefield none of the ensuing turmoil would of happened.
But they couldn’t and now the noose tightens.
Suppose Benghazi was a catastrophic failure, made all the more dangerous by the possibility that Russia had a hand in it. If Putin, having studied how Reagan used the Jihad to bring down Soviet Union, played the same game on Barack Hussein Obama, it would explain many otherwise inexplicable things. The role of Snowden. The disgrace of Petraeus. The exile of anyone and anything to do with Benghazi. The kid-gloves treatment of the Ansar attackers. The strange enmity between Hillary and Obama. Each is bound by the same secret. Each lives in fear of the same smoldering fire burning in the bowels of the administration.