On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney would not budge from the Obama administration’s insistence that the ongoing unrest in the Middle East was caused entirely by the anti-Muhammad video reportedly made by filmmaker Sam Bacile.
But not even chronic Obama cheerleader and Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein, who earlier this month trotted out graphs and charts to tell to the American people they are indeed better off now than they were four years ago, is buying Carney’s argument.
As a fill-in host for MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Friday, Klein pointed to the administration’s frequent use of aerial drone strikes as a key source of anger in the Muslim world.
“It is hard to say what it means to run a resolve-based foreign policy against your enemies because the question is, what form does all that resolve take?” Klein said. “For President Obama, there has been a form of resolve, and you can see it right here. It’s physical. It is an unmanned predator drone. Regardless of whether he wins a second term, this will likely be President Obama’s single largest legacy in how the American government conducts war — an understanding of the centrality of the drone to American foreign policy in this era, understanding that in most cases, or at least many cases, the drone is now how our most committed enemies experience our resolve.”
The death of a militant al-Qaida leader in Pakistan at the hands of a U.S. drone set the stage for the violence in Benghazi, according to Klein.
“Since 2004, U.S. drone strikes have killed 49 militant leaders in Pakistan, according to analysis by the New America Foundation,” Klein said. “One of those leaders killed was Abu Yahya al-Libi, a man recently named al-Qaida’s number two, which turns out to be a dangerous job these days. Foreign Policy magazine connected the June strike on al-Libi with fatal attacks on the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by saying, quote, ‘as details emerge, it appears increasingly probable that al-Qaida-linked linked groups were behind the violence, likely acting in reprisal in for the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi.’ Just prior to the Benghazi assault on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released an Internet video in which, according to CNN, he said al-Libi’s blood is, quote, ‘calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the crusaders.’”
Klein took issue with the White House’s apparent belief that the violence in the Middle East, including the deadly embassy strike in Libya, is simply “a reaction to a video that many Muslims find offensive.”
“That’s something we should be real clear on right now,” Klein said. “From what we think we know, attacks in Benghazi were not about the weird Internet video which created the attacks in Egypt. The attacks in Benghazi appeared to have been a response to an American drone strike against an al-Qaida leader. And that drone strike wasn’t an anomaly. It wasn’t some rare event. This is how the Obama administration has chosen to prosecute its offensive against terrorism.”