Col Gaddafi’s son on TV brought two words to mind: Baghdad Bob!! “Tanks, what tanks? I don’t see any tanks.”
P.J. Crowley’s State Department hostage tape brings to mind Fonzie from Happy Days. Remember, he just could not say, “I’m sorry”, couldn’t get it out. Same for P.J. except his essential apology carries weight. An absolute inability to admit what common sense demands. The airport attack in Germany was terrorism, Jihadi terrorism, small ball terrorism; as predicted here. Incredibly, P.J. drew an analogy to the shooting of Rep. Giffords! Incredible! “Tanks, what tanks?”
P.J. clearly does not subscribe to the “weakness invites provocation” equation. One must assume he represents the official position of government. Has anyone in the White House read Sun Tsu? P.J., please, I’m begging, you and the Secretary need to give it a browse.
The President doesn’t want to “jump to conclusions” about the shooting, despite the perpetrator’s standard issue Islamist rants as the background music for the murders. The President essentially says that we must ignore evidence in front of us in pursuit of other evidence. “I don’t see any tanks!”
Secretary Gates appears worn out; worn out with the Muslim World may be a fair guess. Not hard to imagine Mr. Gates, after two cocktails, admitting there is no way to get it right in the Muslim Middle East and North Africa, no way to do the right thing because there is no confluence over what the right thing might be.
No doubt, Secretary Gates knows two additional things, extreme positions dominate the region by western standards and it’s all about religion. Not the religion we’re used to, not the tolerance we’re used to. It’s religion that defines it’s enemies on that basis. You’re either in or you’re out! Governance and the social construct is defined by religion and is an immutable concept widely held. Mr. Gates, perhaps alone within the administration has a sense of the scope at play.
The Secretary is not wrong! However, were stealth aircraft to take out every military airfield in the country resulting in minimal casualties a message is be delivered and the action would satisfy the “reasonable response” standard. We could do that now, Mr. Gates’ concerns notwithstanding. Doing nothing is recognition that the potential for a negative reaction is the determinate for U.S. action.
Was it coincidence that Col. Gaddafi accelerated his air attacks the day after Mr. Gates’ statements?
Tanks? I don’t see any tanks!