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September 28, 2012

Defining Moments

Joe Charlebois

America was attacked on 9/11. On a beautiful Tuesday our nation came under attack. Eleven years to the day that al-Qaeda attacked our homeland, it once again lay in wait to attack America. This time it struck at one of our most vulnerable locations; the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.


All evidence points to an al-Qaeda led attack. Over two weeks have passed and President Barack Obama is still hiding behind the notion that this attack was triggered by reactions to an amateur video that is critical of the Prophet Mohammed.


It has been widely reported that the administration knew that the attacks were terrorism within the first 24 hours, yet the president continues to obfuscate. His most recent public appearances, in which he addressed the issue, were his address to the United Nations and his appearance on ABC’s The View. Both times the president refused to point out the fact that al-Qaeda was responsible.


Why is the president refusing to deal with this publically as a terrorist event? What is keeping him from treating this action as a direct act of war?


Al-Qaeda killed four Americans including Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, two former Navy SEALs, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, and computer expert Sean Smith as the result of a well-planned and ruthlessly executed ambush on the Benghazi Consulate. Ambassador Stevens was their target.


Three days after the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington and Shanksville, PA, then President George W. Bush visited the site of the World Trade Centers, addressed the rescue workers. As he was taking the bullhorn, he was greeted with chants of “USA, USA…” He responded: “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."


This was a defining moment for the new president. He responded with courage, strength and leadership.


President Obama has yet to show the courage to stand up to al-Qaeda. He has yet to show resolve to keep our military at full operational readiness. He has yet to show that he can lead on an international stage.


As of Wednesday, Mr. Obama was still hesitant to state with certainty that we suffered a terrorist attack that specifically targeted Americans on the protected grounds of an American consulate.


What he is committed to doing is crippling our military through extreme budget cuts as an “easy” short term fix to deficit spending.


If the president ever hopes to be re-elected, he needs to take responsibility for his actions and inactions.


He needs to build relationships with our allies. He can’t just show up, give a speech, and then leave. That is not leadership.


Lastly, the president needs to realize that each country and each leader view diplomacy differently. Many see the friendly hand of peace as a real sign of weakness and will respond accordingly.


We need a president to be strong, one who will hold himself responsible for the events that happen on his watch. We need a president who will lead, one who will stop blaming everyone else for the failings of his own administration!


Mr. Bush had his defining moment. Mr. Obama, where is yours?


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