Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Several Questions on Cairo and Benghazi

by Elliott Abrams
September 12, 2012


I commented this morning at the National Review web site on the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi.

My questions include, on Cairo: Why was police protection not provided until it was too late, given that the protests were planned and known in advance; Where is Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi? Why has he not gone on Egyptian TV to express outrage?  And at the American end, what did the State Department say to our embassies around the world, and particularly in the Islamic world, about risks and protective steps? Did State learn the lessons of the Danish cartoon crisis, or did it fall down on the job?

I join all his friends and colleagues in mourning the death of Amb. Chris Stevens. He was an exemplary diplomat and representative of our country.

Post a Comment 11 Comments

  • Posted by Moshe Sheskin

    I don’t know how many people will die through the hands of terrorists but I do know that the Americans and Europeans in particular haven’t yet learned the lesson of 9/11 nor of previous terrorist action.
    Giving countries financial and military aid who harbor these fanatical elements only show that it pays to spit in the face of the provider.
    Maybe an atomic attack on American and European soil will teach them that there is an Arab mind-set and unless they learn this quickly, they will suffer additional loss of lives,

  • Posted by RousseauC

    Do you think a self-criticism of US foreign policy is needed? That should be one of your questions, too.

  • Posted by John

    Ashraf Khalil wrote an article for TIME that’s quite telling. It reveals that Egyptian clerics and shieks had been hyping up the video leading up to 9/11, even going so far as to say that the video was set to be broadcast all over America on multiple TV channels. What is the average Muslim on the street supposed to make of that? They thought it was a propoganda piece produced by the US government. No wonder they protested at the gates of the US embassy. The people of Egypt and Libya have been manipulated by their leaders. That’s why they attacked. It was clearly someone’s deliberate plan to CAUSE this attack on the very anniversary of that infamous attack of 2001. You’re right, Mr. Abrams, this demands a very serious response.

  • Posted by David Most

    Mr Obama most likely didn’t want to upset his friend PM MORSI because he still believes that he can “reason together” with even the most radical parts of the MB.

    Had he alerted the embassies to potential danger, he believes it might have reflected poorly on the US. After all, he seems convinced that radical Islam is just another sect within Islam and therefore can be reasoned with!

    It appears that even 9/11 hasn’t cleared our President’s thought process.

  • Posted by Hussain

    Two things are quite obvious by the Benghazi and Cairo events. One, policy of “intervention” is not successful as evident not only in these two countries but also in Afghanistan where the Afghan forced trained by the US are killing the US-allied force. Second, US need to categorically understand that unless the larger issue of the region, which I consider as the “main” is solved nothing will depressed the sentiments of the opportunists to exploit any volatile event to destabilize the region. US needs to ponder seriously which issue needs priority at this historic moment. Mindless, intervention will only create few loyal groups than bringing miracles as perceived by cut and dry impatient lobbyists..

  • Posted by Dean Smallwood

    Anyone ( including the news media ) who honestly thinks these attacks were the result of a stupid little movie ( which almost none of the protesters have even seen ) needs his/her head examined . This was planned well ahead of time to coincide with observances of 9-11 . What happened in Cairo was nothing more than a diversion for what happened in Benghazi . And now it’s happening this morning in Yemen . The Obama administration should have seen this coming a mile away . Now they’re scrambling like crazy to cover their behinds . Look for changing scenarios in the coming days and weeks as to what really happened and why … just don’t expect a mea culpa from Obama !

  • Posted by WhatToDo

    All in favor of dropping a few thermonuclear warheads on the lot of them say “I”

  • Posted by Not eye

    Not too familiar with wind currents in the ME, but I’m pretty sure WtD’s suggestion would be bad for Israel.

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