Let’s start with the President Carter comparison, especially the takeover of our embassy and the hostage crisis that lasted 444 days. Carter’s ineffectiveness made America look weak and that emboldened the Iranians to do what they did. They point to the failed Desert One mission codename Operation Eagle Claw as another example of weakness. Sadly for the Republicans the facts don’t back up this false narrative. In reality the attack on the embassy was the culmination of Iranian frustration boiling over from years of abuse at the hands of the Shah, a dictator propped up by the U.S., and the failure was a lack of intelligence not a sign of weakness. And while Operation Eagle Claw was a failure, it was till a courageous act by President Carter to green light the mission. On final point on President Carter: the Camp David Accords that led to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel came about due to his leadership. That treaty represents the high water mark in Israeli-Arab conflagration and no subsequent U.S. President has matched its significance.
Then there’s the legendary, and I mean fictional, Dutch Reagan stories. The tough guy who go this nose bloodied in Lebanon and cut and run allowing Hezbollah to become a political and military force. Reagan made up for this failure by proving his toughness by bombing Libya from 30,000 ft., invading Grenada and Panama. No other man in American political history best represents the famous line from the John Wayne western “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” “When legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
Of course while the GOP attacks President Obama claiming we were attacked in Libya because we come across as weak, once has to wonder have they forgotten (thanks to CNN.com for compiling)these attacks during Cowboy George W. Bush’s tenure:
· September 17, 2008: Heavily armed fighters attack the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.
· July 9, 2008: The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, is attacked in what the American ambassador to the country calls "an obvious act of terrorism" aimed at the U.S.
· January 12, 2007: An anti-tank missile tears through the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, but there are no injuries.
· September 12, 2006: Syrian authorities kill three attackers and apprehend a suspect outside the U.S. Embassy after a car explodes near the walls of the Damascus building.
· March 2, 2006: A U.S. diplomat and his driver are among at least four people killed in an apparent suicide attack outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.
· December 7, 2004: An attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, kills nine people. A Saudi group linked to al Qaeda claims responsibility for the attack.
· February 28, 2003: Gunmen open fire outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. Two police officers are killed and six others, including one civilian, are injured.
· October 13, 2002: A series of bomb blasts on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali kills scores of people at nightclubs. At the time of those blasts, another attack occurs near a U.S. consulate. Authorities say they believe the attacks are coordinated.
· June 13, 2002: A previously unknown militant group called Al-Qanoon claims responsibility for a bombing that kills 10 people at the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. The U.S. State Department says it suspects al Qaeda is responsible.
· March 20, 2002: A car bomb explodes at a shopping center near the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, killing nine people.
· January 22 , 2002: Gunmen attack a U.S. government information center in Calcutta, India, near the U.S. Consulate.
And of course there was the September 11, 2001 attacks. Were we weak on that day? In the minds of Republicans, talking tough is more important than deeds, openness is weakness, you’re either with us or against us, and when in doubt make it up. At best they are hypocrites, at worst they are liars.
So Diggaduh calls bullshit on the GOP talking points regarding presidential strength or weakness. Or as Joe Biden would say it “That’s a lot of malarkey”