According to conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?,” the recent terrorist attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi is a sign of the increasing al-Qaida influence in the region, which he said President Barack Obama has tried hard to cover up.
“[H]ere’s the overall problem, Sean,” Buchanan said to Sean Hannity on his Friday night Fox News Channel show. “Barack Obama is down there saying, we’ve won the war against al-Qaida, we’re winning the war, they’re in retreat, all the rest of it. If al-Qaida is that strong in Benghazi, and the Libyan government can’t even deal with this thing, what did we liberate there? Al-Qaida is now in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaida is in Syria, al-Qaida is in Anbar Province, al-Qaida, as I mention is in Libya, it’s in Pakistan.”
Hannity has stepped up his criticism in recent days of the White House’s initial claim that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Islam movie on YouTube, which the administration subsequently walked back and reversed.
“Take a look at Northern Mali,” Buchanan continued. “It’s the size of France. And the Ansar Dine, which is the affiliate of al-Qaida, has taken over the place entirely. [But Hillary Clinton] seemed to suggest the attack might have originated in there. … What’s at stake here is Obama’s entire Middle East policy and all this, you know, Osama is dead, and we’re on a roll.”
The U.S. government apparently knew within 24 hours of the death of ambassador Christopher Stevens that the Benghazi attack was not the result of mob anger at the anti-Islam movie trailer. Still, administration officials, including ambassador Susan Rice, publicly insisted the film was to blame.
“[T]he intel knew it the next day, and yet two days later, [White House press secretary Jay] Carney and, four days later, Susan Rice are sent out, by whom?” Buchanan said. “Was it Hillary Clinton? Was it the chief of staff in the White House? Was it the head of the NSC? To go out and speak utter foolish untruths about what occurred. Who told them to do that? Because I don’t believe Susan Rice called up five networks and said, ‘I’d like to go on Sunday and explain all of this to you.’ Somebody told her to do that.”
The White House desperately wants to protect the president’s foreign policy credentials and his idealistic vision, which he had emphasized during the 2008 presidential campaign, according to Buchanan.
“I’ll tell you what’s happening is, Barack Obama’s entire Middle East policy built around the Arab Spring, and his special relationship because he grew up in Indonesia, and the Cairo speech — it is all collapsing right under him,” Buchanan said. “The whole place is on fire with jihadism, anti-Americanism, fundamentalism and all the rest, and he’s saying his policies work. The whole American Middle East policy is hanging by a thread right now, Sean.”
“You know what they’re trying to do, Sean?” Buchanan added. “They want to get by the election. If they can get through the election … Get all these — bury it, get it aside, you know, get it out of the election. And don’t let anything happen, hopefully keep your fingers crossed until it gets through to November, and then whatever happens then happens. That is the only thing that explains why you would use your officials and destroy their credibility by sending them out and basically making fools of them.”