COMMENTARY | I don’t agree with people who say that Americans don’t vote on the basis of foreign policy. People have been saying that since the British were overthrown by the American colonists.
From the campaign surrogates who appear on morning news dissections, there is a great deal of partisan pre-positioning for tonight’s “tiebreaker” foreign policy debate between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.
Sure to be brought up is the Sept. 11 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The brutal attack left four Americans dead, and Mitt Romney rightly took issue with the administration’s handling of it.
Surrogates on the Democrat’s side hope to muzzle Romney by insisting that any criticisms he’d make are politically inspired. The real intent of this is more to characterize criticism of the Libya debacle as a politics-as-usual non-event.
Democrats who speak of Mitt Romney’s “Libya gaffe” get plenty of support from a compliant media. A report by Reuters terms the Romney criticism a “misfire.”
After weeks of listening to Obama administration officials blame an anti-Islamic video, Americans find out there were no protests, little security, and no escape for the victims of the attacks. Perhaps the most damning of yesterday’s accounts came from Time Magazine’s Steven Sotloff, who interviewed the guards present when swarms of Islamic fighters blasted through the compound.
The murders of Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans could sink the incumbent president, even without Republican criticism. Plenty of Americans feel they were misled, especially when the Obama administration tells America that Al Qaida is “on the run,” a concept disputed by the Heritage Foundation.
The Middle East is a mess, the yarn of peaceful change becoming unraveled by assassinations, regional and sectarian violence, and by the Benghazi terror attack and the murders of embassy staff.
The question now is whether there was an intentional Watergate-style cover-up. In the Wall Street Journal last week, James Rosen writes of Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb’s Congressional testimony that she was notified of an “attack, attack” by an agent on the grounds of the consulate in real time.
The cover-up scenario is gaining strength in the wake of three separate investigations, none of which will be complete before Nov. 6. The White House meanwhile tries to stiff-arm the media and beg for more time to “sort things out.”
Anthony Ventre is a freelance writer who has written for newspapers and online publications. He is a frequent Yahoo contributor in news and financial writing.