This has to be the most devastating interview I've heard all week, at CBS, "'Face the Nation' transcripts, September 16, 2012: Libyan Pres. Magariaf, Amb. Rice and Sen. McCain":
BOB SCHIEFFER: Was this a long-planned attack, as far as you know? Or what-- what do you know about that?This guy's an interesting dude, a heavyweight of Middle East politics. And a relative moderate by regional standards. Check Magariaf's profile at Wikipedia. He's survived three assassination attempts and was once Libya's ambassador to India. Not a political neophyte whatsoever. He defected from the Ghaddafi regime in 1980.
MOHAMED YOUSEF EL-MAGARIAF: The way these perpetrators acted and moved, I think we-- and they're choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no-- this leaves us with no doubt that this has preplanned, determined-- predetermined.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And you believe that this was the work of al Qaeda and you believe that it was led by foreigners. Is that-- is that what you are telling us?
MOHAMED YOUSEF EL-MAGARIAF: It was planned-- definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who-- who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their-- since their arrival.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mister President, is it safe for Americans there now?
MOHAMED YOUSEF EL-MAGARIAF: The security situation is-- is difficult, not only for Americans, even for Libyans themselves. We don't know what-- what are the real intentions of these perpetrators. How they will react? So-- but there is no specific particular concern for danger for Americans or any other foreigners. But situation is not easy ...
Ambassador Susan Rice also appeared on this morning's "Face the Nation," among other broadcasts. She's offering an entirely different interpretation of events, as reported earlier, "Ambassador Susan Rice: U.S. Not 'Impotent' in Muslim World."
When hard intelligence data is made public the administration is going to be battered, bruised, and groveling before the people.
This is now a foreign policy election as important as any in recent decades. The immediate analogy is to Jimmy Carter and the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, when economic concerns were also of extreme importance. Indeed, Ronald Reagan first asked Americans if they were better off than they were four years earlier at that time. But the turmoil in Iran, the abduction of our diplomats and the Carter administration's inept response to the crises became key flashpoints of the campaign. The timing is different this year. Operation Eagle Claw, the Desert One rescue mission that failed on April 24, 1980, was more than six months before the November election. That time lag gave Americans lots of time to decide which candidate would better secure American interests in a dizzying period of international conflict. But while the timeline is quite different today, the utter degree of humiliation is not. If Americans blamed Jimmy Carter personally for our troubles, throwing him out of office and electing Reagan to the helm, there's really no reason to think that can't happen again. America's foreign policy is literally aflame across the Middle East. We're seeing anti-American protests in more than 30 countries. It's all on Obama's watch, after three years of unprecedented appeasement of the Muslim world.
Perhaps voters will filter out world events as they struggle to make ends meet amid the Obama Depression. Indeed, if the president wins a second term it means that they've accepted Democrat arguments for "shared sacrifice," that they want government to build a dominant role as the safety net of last resort. Such a result will mean a substantial shift in the political culture of the United States, away from individualism towards more dependence on the state. Will it last? Perhaps, especially as long as the economy fails to create new jobs and to lift hopes of opportunity. But outside events have a way of placing tremendous constraints on the U.S. domestic realm. If Obama's record is any indication, global hostility to America will continue, while in the meantime U.S. foreign policy will continue to marginalize our key allies such as Israel. It's all a recipe for continued long-term instability with a great likelihood of armed conflict. Moscow will be emboldened to expand its interests in Syria and beyond, continuing to prop up the Assad regime, which will amount to a de facto alliance between the Kremlin and the mullahs in Tehran.
Secretary Rice is wrong: The U.S. is becoming increasingly impotent to shape the course of events in the region and to secure America's traditional interests. The administration has offered a flawed theory of the region, based on literally bowing down to our allies and enemies alike. The reckoning is coming. There's likely to be more Americans killed and increasing tensions among the great powers. Without a change in direction of U.S. policy, the American eagle will be scurrying in fear in the face of the Russian bear and the Iranian lion. And our allies will decide that they have no friend in Washington, and they'll resort to self-help to secure their survival. It's an altogether ugly picture, but now clearly coming into focus in this fateful week after the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
UPDATE: Linked at Blazing Cat Fur and The Lonely Conservative. Thanks!