Benghazi: Responsibility, Rumors, Geopolitics


The weekend brings new postings about the deadly firefight in Benghazi on 11 September 2012.  Some of them appear to be going off the rails a bit; others will require vetting.  Time to try to do a little sorting.

On Friday, Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin reported that requests for help from the CIA Annex in Benghazi, where dozens of Americans were holed up during the firefight at the US mission compound some distance away, were denied by the CIA chain of command.

In a local interview in Denver on Friday, President Obama declined to answer questions about this, stating Continue reading “Benghazi: Responsibility, Rumors, Geopolitics”

Syria minus the US equals regional power struggle

Nothing changes except American will.

One thing Barack Obama’s presidency has done is lay bare just how little the world has changed.  There has never been any such thing as a global “safe space” created by sunny international consensus, and there never will be.  There is power and safety, and there is weakness and peril.  If the US is using power to guard “safe spaces” – territory on which the people have choice and opportunity, unprejudiced by someone else’s use of power – then safe places exist.  If we are not guaranteeing them, they don’t.

We are not guaranteeing right now that Syria can operate in a safe space and make choices based on what her people want.  This is something we still have the power to do, Continue reading “Syria minus the US equals regional power struggle”

How many old, belching Russian destroyers does it take to establish an international veto in Syria?

Crouching bear, sleeping eagle.

One, if the US is weak and undisciplined.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  The Bosphorus Naval News blog, an excellent source for ground-truth naval information in the Bosporus and Black Sea, has photos of the Russian Kashin-class destroyer Smetlivy transiting the Turkish Straits on 2 April, on her way to Syria.  “As you can see,” says blogger Cem Devrim Yaylalı demurely, “she was smoking heavily.”

According to Russian officials quoted in an AFP report on the deployment, Continue reading “How many old, belching Russian destroyers does it take to establish an international veto in Syria?”