Yahoo News… Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed along with three others in a rocket attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi. President Obama said in an initial statement Wednesday that Mr. Stevens was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States, the president said while condemning the attacks.
Initial reports said the slain embassy staffers who also include foreign service information management officer Sean Smith – were trying to flee the consulate building that was under assault by protesters apparently angry over a film they say insults Prophet Muhammad.
However, U.S. Officials told The New York Times and CNN on Wednesday that the attack may have been planned by a group that had either been waiting for an opportunity to exploit like the protests over the video or perhaps even generated the protests as a cover for their attack.
Stevens, 52, is the sixth ambassador to die in an attack in U.S. history, according to CBS, News, and the first since 1988, when Arnold Raphael, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, was killed in a plane crash there.
Standing in the White House Rose Garden, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at his side, President Obama condemned the attack as outrageous and shocking, but insisted that it would not harm U.S. relations with Libya’s newly elected government, which took power in July after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
However, in an unusually harsh exchange so soon after a national tragedy, Republican candidate Mitt Romney slammed the White House response to violent attacks in both Libya and Egypt. Romney released a scathing statement on Tuesday night blasting the Obama administration for its “disgraceful response”. Romney suggested that the White House had chosen to sympathize with those who waged the attacks, instead of condemning the attackers, according to a report by Yahoo News.
Readers of The Horton Journal – A Political Perspective, might remember it was not long ago that I said that it was in the area of Foreign Affairs that might cost President Obama his re-election. As I had feared, Mr. Romney took advantage of what seemed to be a mis-step by the White House in its response to the Smith Assassination. However, it was evident that the White House was being cautious during the early reports of the events in Libya. It turns out that in this case the President was right in as much that the Libyan government had nothing to do with the attack. Mr. Romney responded in an obvious attempt to gain political advantage to the crisis, in an effort to show leadership. That might have back fired though, as more details were revealed. Not only that, but his own supporters said that Mr. Romneys response might have damaged his image with voters. In most cases, if a crisis occurs during the election campaign the challenger is very careful not to overly condemn the sitting president least he offend the voters or show weakness in United States resolve. early reports indicate that this might have been an expensive blunder by Mr. Romney.
However, on the other hand, it is just as important that the sitting President stand firm in his resolve that terrorism at any level will not be tolerated and that the United States will, without hesitation, respond to acts of violence directed at U.S. overseas installations.
While Romneys response might be seen as an over reaction, Mr. Obama could be seen as weak in the area of Foreign Affairs. That is where his campaign could be in trouble, if this crisis continues to balloon out of control.
I therefore, still contend, that it is in Foreign Affairs that this President could be brought down. A major flare up in the Mid east, such as this,or Israel deciding to take military action on Iran to halt its nuclear capability, or some direct attack on Homeland United States, could anger the voter if the President is seen as weak.
Like any American, I hope that Mr. Obama is not put to such a test. It is too expensive, and any more loss of American lives is almost unbearable.
That’s my point of view, I look forward to your insights on the issues here. Until then, have a great day, and as usual……………….. God Bless America!