The "news" was on the tv, the internet, radio, and in the few surviving newspapers: Islamists took over the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya, and are using the balcony of the embassy building as a diving board to swan dive into the embassy pool.
- In video footage posted online Sunday, 31 Aug 2014 (see TARGET="MEmRItv">http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/4463.htm), a group of laughing, whooping men identified as members of an Islamist-linked group — some in black paramilitary-appearing outfits, some in summertime civilian wear — clowned, mugged for the camera and did swan dives off a second-floor balcony into a swimming pool said to be in an annex of the embassy in Tripoli, which was evacuated last month amid heavy fighting.
As the article noted, the embassy was evacuated last month amid heavy fighting.
All this thanks to America's support - encouragement - of the "Arab Spring"; support and encouragement based on an absolute lack of knowledge and understanding of the countries where spring was sprung.
The U.S. never has been known for its intelligence services, but then most "western" nations are ignorant of non-western mentalities.
The problem in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East stem largely from European interference in the locals' affairs.
Libya is NOT a homogenous country made up of people with a common bond. Libya, and Morocco and most North African and Middle East nations - Israel is the primary exception - is populated by multiple tribes that are, in turn populated with people loyal first and foremost to the tribe. (The same holds true for the Indian sub-continent.)
England, France, and to a lesser extent Spain, created borders of convenience - convenience for the line drawers, not the indigenous populations. Never mind that the Europeans' nations-by-fiat had warring tribes within the same artificially drawn boundaries.
The only way these "made-by-foreigners" nations could survive as nations was with a strong ruler who surrounded himself with loyal troops, often, as in the case of Morocco, troops from areas distant from the royal capital and therefore sans allegiance to the local tribe. Some of the strong rulers - such as Morocco's kings - developed popular support while others, like Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi, Iraq's Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, or The House of Saud in Saudia.
Enter the U.S.
During Teddy Roosevelt's day, America had The Great White Fleet, TR's way of showing off America's muscle. (In truth, it was mostly smoke and mirrors, but it worked.) During World Wars 1 and 2, America came in late. Against the Germans it helped its allies England and Russia with materiel and eventually sent in troops. When the wars ended, the U.S. was the only real power left whole, and with that, it rose to acclaim.
But then came Korea, the "police action" and after Korea came Kennedy's Vietnam when the U.S. got chased out as had the French before them.
But still, America had some respect in North Africa and the Middle East.
It was Carter's tenure that was the beginning of the end for America's role in world politics when Iran chased out the shah and the ayatollah's followers captured the U.S. embassy.
- If you ever visit a U.S. embassy or consulate, look who is standing guard. Not the Marines - although you will see a Marine or two with a weapon - but locals. Likely as not, the Marines' weapons will be empty; maybe the Marine will have ammunition nearby. Don't be surprised; American GI's walked the DMX between the two Koreas with empty rifles and no ammunition in their kits.
With the exception of the actor from Hollywood, it has been pretty much downhill for America's prestige since Truman and Eisenhower. Obama is simply the end of the line. (Given the potential candidates for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - another Clinton, another Bush - the prospects for restoring America to its former greatness seem rather bleak.)
Meanwhile, American politicians and the State Department don't seem to have a clue about life outside the 50 states, and sometimes I'm not sure they know anything about life outside the (I-395) Beltway (that encircles Washington D.C.
America had a good run. I hate to see it end, but unless things change drastically in Washingt