Reasonable people may disagree on whether or not releasing military assets would have gotten to Benghazi in time. There is however one consideration that your humble servant has not seen addressed.
Let us assume for the sake of argument that forces could have not gotten to Benghazi in time to save lives or reduce the injuries that occurred. They could, however, have gotten there in time to punish the perpetrators; to hunt them down and engage them and bring them to appropriate justice?
Was the potential for conflict with the Islamist mob what generated the ‘stand down’ order? Does that order represent, in sharp relief, the fairy tale that the current administration and a generation of politically correct but naïve journalists doggedly represent in regards to Islamist goals and tactics?
Lt. Col Gibson, in Greg Hick’s telling was livid at the stand down order. His commitment to rush to the sound of gunfire and save lives was unequivocal. His chain of command, however, did not share his commitment. There is little doubt, based on what we know of Special Forces that Col. Gibson and his three men would have taken on hundreds if necessary. They’ve done it before!
Greg Hicks was prepared to put himself and his own staff in jeopardy by sending what scant resources he had available to Benghazi from Tripoli. Col. Gibson and his men were ready to go. The diplomatic staff in Benghazi was in severe jeopardy under an organized attack. When the powers that be opine that they could not clearly identify the conditions on the ground they also could not, by way of logic, determine when that conflict would end. The Consulate and the Annex were under fire as were the vehicles evacuating staff from the Consulate. The battle could have gone on longer, it could have been worse. Did the chain of command need the Jihadists to get tired and go home, therefore clarifying the conditions on the ground. Wait, wait no; we knew the conditions on the ground there was a drone over the Consulate. The drone operator on duty at the time spoke with Sean Hannity on the radio yesterday, there is little doubt the chain of command had a live feed to the happenings in Benghazi.
So, once again we have not responded to a terror attack. No punishment, no retribution, no arrests,no pressure and no price to pay.
You may or may not have noticed that Middle Eastern based terror is seldom if ever directed at Russia or its predecessor the Soviet Union. Once upon a time in the 1970’s there was Middle Eastern terror directed at Russia. The Russian response was so overwhelming that the terror sought new targets of opportunity.
The lesson simply is that terror met with overwhelming force delivers the message that ‘it’s just not worth it’. That message has not been delivered. So long as political correctness, false narratives and restrictive rules of engagement demand that we not see, or address the threats for what they are we can be guaranteed that terror will continue and increase. Every lack of response is met in the Islamic world as another example that the U.S. is weak, decadent and in decline. That narrative strengthens the resolve of those who would do us harm.