We have a surprise winner in the Saigon Embassy Evacuation Sweepstakes… surprising, that is, to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to the steady disintegration of Barack Obama’s foreign policy “triumph” in Libya. Those who placed their bets on the Baghdad embassy being the first to bail can only watch, disappointed, as F-16 fighter jets and MV-22 tilt-rotor Ospreys cover the American diplomatic retreat from Tripoli, with nary a YouTube video protest in sight. Fox News reports:
The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.
“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid and the political uproar over it remain fresh ahead of a new congressional investigation into the incident.
That would be the “concern about heightened risk to American diplomats” so conspicuously absent when Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent Ambassador Chris Stevens virtually unprotected into a terrorist beehive in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, then spent several weeks lying through their teeth about how he was killed in a “spontaneous video protest” nobody could have seen coming. At least they’ve learned their lesson, and we can all get behind the urgent need to keep our diplomatic personnel safe.
American personnel at the Tripoli embassy, which had already been operating with limited staffing, left the capital around dawn and traveled by road to neighboring Tunisia, according to Harf.
“At the request of the Department of State, the U.S. military assisted in the relocation of personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli,” a spokesman from the U.S. Department of Defense said.
“During movement, F-16’s, ISR assets and an Airborne Response Force with MV-22 Ospreys provided security,” the statement said.
As the evacuation was under way, residents of the city reported in real time on social media that American military aircraft flew overhead while U.S. soldiers escorted a convoy of vehicles out of town. The Department of Defense said the mission was conducted without incident and lasted approximately five hours.
Sounds like it was quite a show. What a perfect image of Obama’s “smart power” and the sunset of the American era.
So who are these “militias” that have been turning Libya into bullet-riddled chaos while the American media tactfully looks away, and refuses to ask Barack Obama any questions about it? Why, they’re the guys we supported against Qaddafi:
The battle in Tripoli began earlier this month when Islamist-led militias — mostly from the western city of Misrata — launched a surprise assault on the airport, under control of rival militias from the western mountain town of Zintan. On Monday, a $113 million Airbus A330 passenger jet for Libya’s state-owned Afriqiyah Airways was destroyed in the fighting.
The rival militias, made up largely of former anti-Qaddafi rebels, have forced a week-long closure of gas stations and government offices. In recent days, armed men have attacked vehicles carrying money from the Central Bank to local banks, forcing their closure.
Libyan government officials and activists have increasingly been targeted in the violence. Gunmen kidnapped two lawmakers in the western suburbs of Tripoli a week ago and on Friday armed men abducted Abdel-Moaz Banoun, a well-known Libyan political activist in Tripoli, according to his father.
An umbrella group for Islamist militias, called the Operation Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, said in a brief statement on its Facebook page on Friday that “troops arrested Abdel-Moaz over allegations that he served under Qaddafi” and “instigated rallies against” the Islamists.
Islamists run wild and destabilize the country, as soon as American power has toppled the brutal strongman who was holding them in check? Who could have seen that coming?
Time for Obama to spring into action, hold another dozen fundraisers, and tell his swooning fatcat supporters how his leadership has made the world safer and more stable than ever!