Will Libyan embassy debacle be a game-changer for Obama?
Since the start of the election campaigns, Barack Obama has consistently enjoyed a slight edge over his opponent Mitt Romney, according to various polls. The Obama camp has benefited from some serious Republican Party mistakes as well. With the exception of a few missteps, it appeared that Team Obama would likely coast into another victory--until now.
On Sept. 11, the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was overrun by what was initially said to be an angry mob. At that time, it was believed that the incident was the result of backlash from an anti-Muslim video that spread virally on YouTube; or so the American people were led to believe.
Americans, along with the rest of the world, looked on in horror at the images and video that filtered from the area. In the aftermath, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans lay dead. Stevens reportedly had been tortured and dragged through the streets before being slain, eerily mirroring what happened to Libya's deposed leader, Moammar Gadhafi.
Interestingly, the embassy attack almost perfectly mirrored the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Benghazi attack took place exactly 11 years from the previous attack and on the same day of the week and date. It is also interesting to note that the timeframes were similar, with the 2001 attack beginning at 9:43 a.m. EST, while the Benghazi attack reportedly began at around 9:40 p.m., local time.
In the days after the attack, evidence began to point to an orchestrated military strike against the embassy. Intelligence claimed that they had no information that an attack was to take place on that day, yet in hindsight it would seem that this was indeed a planned attack. What appeared to be a coincidental event is now shaping up to be a monumental intelligence failure and could possibly be a big hit to the Obama campaign.
We now have yet another 11th-hour development in what appears to be rapidly becoming not only a race to become president but also a race to become president before something else goes wrong. This year's election season is littered with so many incidents, and each time, one side or the other has attempted to capitalize upon them.
The Obama administration is now faced with an obstacle that could be even more difficult to overcome than Romney's "47 percent" remark. What we appear to have here is what might have been shaping up to become a cover-up concerning the true nature of the Benghazi incident. It seems that even though the anti-Muslim video was truly inflammatory, it also may have served as a convenient instrument of misdirection from the true cause of the attack in Libya.
In any event, such a colossal mistake such as allowing al-Qaida to slip in and execute an American ambassador along with other US citizens cannot go unnoticed. Due to the timing of the attack and nature of the target, it was fairly obvious that a sufficiently large sacrifice would have to be made here. And so, we see America's top diplomat offering herself up in an attempt to, in her own words, ”avoid some kind of political gotcha.”
While it may be a noble gesture, the American people may not be so receptive to this. Time after time, we have seen our elected leaders stand high and proud, while basking in the glory of some political accomplishment, only to cut and run when a situation arises that could possibly damage their agendas.
We have seen them consistently throw their minions under the bus when the time comes for them to stand and accept all of the responsibility that comes with the title of president of the United States of America. What kind of servant to the people is someone who would place his own agenda before that of his people?
What kind of leader would try to insulate himself from accountability while those who support him sink and drown? What type of leader would attempt absolution from blame by silence, perhaps in hopes that the situation will simply go away, when those who stand by him are sacrificed?
When the hard choices have to be made, this is when the true leader will shine. It is also when the coward will reveal himself. When the hard questions are asked, this is when a true leader will answer with truth--even if it means sacrificing himself.
As Americans, we do not need a leader who leads from the rear; we need a leader committed to the well-being of the people more than that of his own. We need someone with the courage and conviction to stand up and admit his failures and make true resolve to correct them. Any would-be president without the fortitude to do these things is not fit to take the reins of state.
This is something we all may want to consider when we go to cast our votes for this country's next leader.
If you like writing about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.