DE GRACIA: In Syria crisis, Benghazi demons haunt Obama

Didn't like the Photo: In this file photo an explosion looms over Homs, Syria as fighting rages. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)

SAN FRANCISCO, June 1, 2013 – Even as the nation continues to seek answers over the deadly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, calls for President Obama to intervene in Syria are growing louder in Washington.

Nevermind that the intervention in Libya was so poorly executed that the State Department was forced to admit in its post-Benghazi investigation that it did not fully understand the local militias or have a clear perspective of the region.

Forget that the entire foreign policymaking apparatus of the Obama Administration overlooked the fact that Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in a city which only a few years earlier the U.S. Army’s Combating Terrorism Center had identified as one of the top recruiting sites for jihadists fighting American forces in Iraq.

Disregard the fact that our “liberation” of Libya has gone so well that Marines are now on tap, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with tiltrotor aircraft to be ready to evacuate U.S. personnel from the region.

Ignore the fact that sequestration has shut down Air Force fighter squadrons, delayed the launching of Navy ships, or forced furloughs of thousands of Department of Defense civil service personnel across the nation. Pretend that China isn’t using its economic surge to buy out billions of dollars worth of American real estate and industry, even as the dollar declines and the Federal Reserve has the country on the verge of hyperinflation.

Act as though all is well in Afghanistan and that our mission there isn’t plagued by bloody suicide attacks, unreliable allies and mass corruption. Forget about Pakistan and how in spite of billions of dollars of foreign aid, America practically had to raid Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound like it was sneaking into enemy airspace rather than an ally without the approving escort of Pakistani F-16s.

Dismiss the fact that Russia wants to provide advanced S-300 surface to air missiles to Syria, or that President Obama’s “reset” has been matched by a Russian and Sino arms race. Pay no attention either to the fact that just months earlier, North Korea had brought the Asia-Pacific region to the brink with threats of war.

In this bizarre world where America is broken, dysfunctional and weaker than ever before, Washington’s lust for the “peace” of no-fly-zones, taxpayer subsidized foreign fighters and commitments to the quagmire of questionable deployments would have us believe that all is well to begin new wars.

Has America learned nothing? Have we not seen enough American blood needlessly spilled in foreign sand? If we are fighting for freedom abroad, why are Americans losing their freedoms, houses, and jobs at home?

Democrats and Republicans alike should be outraged at the repeated failure of our foreign policies and the hawkish mania of their overzealous yet chronically incompetent elected leadership. America is not the superpower of 1991 that ejected Iraq from Kuwait or the moral world leader of 1963 that scolded the Soviets for their construction of the Berlin Wall. Today we are a nation that has repeated the mistakes of our former enemies and now is in a state of an economic, military and domestic collapse.

It is time to stop the insanity. The responsibility of every “good” Democrat and Republican must now be to end the wars, retire the hawks and return America to a peacetime nation with the moral authority to be the leader of the free world.


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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