The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

#DNCLeaks: The Benghazi-ISIS Connection (Why Democrats Are Wrong)

Posted on | September 14, 2016 | Comments Off on #DNCLeaks: The Benghazi-ISIS Connection (Why Democrats Are Wrong)

“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing do to with. It’s hard for the American people to make sense of that, because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sept. 14, 2012, while standing over the caskets of the four Americans killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya

Why did ISIS emerge as a major terrorist threat in 2013? This is a question that Democrats don’t want Americans to consider a consequence of President Obama’s policies, as it quite obviously is. Nor does anyone in the Hillary Clinton campaign want to discuss how the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was connected to the rise of ISIS, although this connection is equally obvious.

The connection involves the so-called “Arab Spring” uprisings of 2011 that were supported by Clinton’s State Department. A major goal of the “Arab Spring” was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime in Syria. In the wake of the successful U.S.-backed overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Ghaddafi, the Obama administration sought to recover the weapons it had provided to the Libyan rebels, and transfer them (via Turkey) to the rebels fighting in Syria, where Assad had managed to retain power. It was for this purpose — seeking a weapons “buyback” deal with a group of Libyan rebels — that U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens traveled to Benghazi on that fateful day in September 2012 when he was ambushed and murdered. The offer of a meeting with rebel leaders, it turned out, was the bait for a deadly trap. The anti-Ghaddafi rebel forces in Libya were dominated by Islamic radicals, including al-Qaeda operatives and, in just the same way, the anti-Assad forces in Syria came to be dominated by the radical Muslims of ISIS — and the Obama administration’s policies helped make this happen.

Concealing this truth about the policies that Hillary Clinton had approved and implemented was why she lied about Benghazi, promoting a false narrative about “an awful internet video” in order to distract from the reality of what had actually happened in Libya, and what was also happening in Syria. In its effort to arm the anti-Assad rebels, weapons were being shipped from Libya to Turkey, and then transported to Syria. ISIS was not the intended recipients of these weapons, but the situation in northern Syria was so unstable that many of these weapons certainly did end up in ISIS possession and, furthermore, the U.S.-backed uprising against Assad created the “perfect storm” of anarchy within which ISIS subsequently established its Raqqah-based “caliphate.”

All of this is background to the leaked 2014 email in which Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Policy Director Mike Ryan tries to provide a defensible explanation for the rise of ISIS. The 2003 invasion of Iraq “created the atmosphere for a Jordanian to start a Muslim sectarian war, which ultimately created ISIS,” Ryan wrote:

He goes on to disclose that Zarqawi entered Iraq during the invasion to establish a religious caliphate for just Sunni Muslims and to start a sectarian war against Shias.
The Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Maliki and supported by the U.S. made the situation worse, because Maliki was discriminatory towards Sunnis and helped rally extremists to Zarqawi.
“Malaki’s prejudicial governing style worsened after U.S. troops left Iraq, helping quickly deteriorate the situation further,” Ryan concludes.

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) Ryan’s explanation is simply a lie — deceit by omission, at the very least — because it wasn’t Zarqawi, who was killed in Iraq in 2006, who created the situation that developed in Syria in 2013. Ryan’s explanation was a typical Democrat “blame Bush” excuse that ignores both (a) Obama’s disastrous decision to rapidly decrease U.S. troop strength in Iraq, and (b) the equally disastrous policy of arming the anti-Assad rebels in Syria. Ryan’s version of the ISIS story conveniently skips over the seven-year gap between Zarqawi’s death and the emergence of ISIS as a major threat in order to conceal the role that the Obama administration’s policies played in the rise of ISIS. Just a few relevant highlights from the Wikipedia article on ISIS:

In August 2011, following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, ISI, under the leadership of [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi, delegated a mission into Syria, which under the name Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli ash-Sham (or al-Nusra Front) established a large presence in Sunni-majority Al-Raqqah, Idlib, Deir ez-Zor, and Aleppo provinces. . . . .
In August [2011], al-Baghdadi began sending Syrian and Iraqi ISI members experienced in guerilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organisation there. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad al-Julani, this group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country. . . .
On 8 April 2013, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that the al-Nusra Front had been established, financed, and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq, and that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham”. . . .
Meanwhile, the ISIL campaign to free imprisoned ISIL members culminated in simultaneous raids on Taji and Abu Ghraib prisons in July 2013, freeing more than 500 prisoners, many of them veterans of the Iraqi insurgency. . . .
On 29 June 2014, the organisation proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate.

Now, from the Wikipedia article on Syrian Civil War:

On 11 January 2013, Islamist groups, including al-Nusra Front, took full control of the Taftanaz air base in the Idlib Governorate. . . . The leader of the al-Nusra Front said the amount of weapons they took was a “game changer”. . . .
On 2 March, intense clashes between rebels and the Syrian Army erupted in the city of Raqqah, with many reportedly killed on both sides. . . . By 3 March, rebels had overrun Raqqah’s central prison, allowing them to free hundreds of prisoners . . .
By 6 March, the rebels had captured the city of Raqqah, effectively making it the first provincial capital to be lost by the Assad government.

It is these events between 2011 and 2014, during Obama’s presidency, that Mike Ryan dishonestly omitted from his email to Democrats. After the death of Zarqawi and the 2007 U.S. troop “surge” in Iraq, this ragtag coalition of Sunni extremists was not a threat beyond a few places in western Iraq. However, once the U.S.-backed “Arab Spring” uprising destabilized neighboring Syria — at the same time Obama had withdrawn U.S. troops from Iraq — this created a new opportunity for al-Baghdadi.


“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Democrats don’t want to talk about the policy decisions that brought about the disaster in Benghazi, which is connected to the disasters in Iraq and Syria. Fiddling around with rival factions in Muslim countries is no substitute for exerting our own military strength directly in defense of our own interests. The Obama/Clinton policy was always naïve — as naïve, in its own way, as the idea that we could “make Anglo-Saxon republicans out of obscure desert savages,” as Kevin D. Williamson once described Bush-era “War on Terror” policy. It is not usually necessary for the U.S. to deploy 150,000 troops, to invade other countries and topple dictatorships, in order to influence foreign affairs. However, if we are never willing to deploy any troops, our influence will be minimal, our allies will have no reason to trust that we will defend them, and our adversaries will despise our cowardice.



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