It's been all of 24 hours since Christopher Stephens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, was killed along with three others in an attack by an mob angered by a film ridiculing the prophet Mohammed. Stephens was, by all accounts, a dedicated public servant, and he had borne witness to the fall of Muammar Qaddafi's fall and the country's painful, halting transition to democracy.
Stephens' death is unquestionably a tragedy, as are the deaths of the three other people who were killed in the attack. It is also an opportunity, apparently, for Governor Rick Perry to bitch about the Obama administration. His office sent out a press release in which Perry spends a little time mourning Shields' passing and a lot of time talking about how it's all Obama's fault. He begins:
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans are now dead in the chaos of a destabilized Middle East. President Obama said he "rejects" these brutal acts, and condemns them in "the strongest terms" -- yet still acknowledges our attackers' supposed justification. This kind of language broadcasts an impotent foreign policy that fostered this crisis in the first place.
It's worth pausing here to take in this "justification." Here's what the president said:
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"While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."
Perry goes on:
Muammar Qadaffi was an evil oppressor who murdered innocent Americans. But in the naïve belief that America could "lead from behind" in the operation to remove him, this President allowed Libyan rockets and artillery to be scattered to the terrorist winds and had no plan to secure the country. Now we have these brazen attacks on our mission in Benghazi, and the violent death of our ambassador.
Combined with President Obama's shameful lack of leadership in Egypt that culminated in the burning of our flag in our own embassy in Cairo yesterday, it is no wonder our enemies in the region are emboldened and our allies are afraid.
Yep. He went there.