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Saturday, Sep 15 2012 10:00 PM

NEWT GINGRICH: Embassy attacks were an act of war, not 'senseless violence'

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    Newt Gingrich

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President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again perpetuated the kind of intellectual dishonesty that cripples the U.S. response to radical Islamists.

The president asserted we have to oppose "the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."

Clinton reinforced his analysis when she said, "We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence."

This concept of "senseless violence" is at the heart of the left's refusal to confront the reality of radical Islamists.

These are not acts of senseless violence.

These are acts of war.

Our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were not killed by a senseless mob. They were killed by a purposeful group of men armed with sophisticated weapons. These killers had tracked Ambassador Chris Stevens down to the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where he was much more vulnerable to attack and had less protection. They waged a coordinated, military-style assault.

Our four dead are combat casualties as much as anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan.

It is tragic that the president is so committed to a leftist worldview that he cannot allow himself to face these facts.

It is inconceivable that there just happened to be attacks in Egypt and Libya on Sept. 11. Yet when I connected the dots between the two countries on television Wednesday morning, the reporter asked me if I had inside knowledge. It had clearly not occurred to them that simultaneous attacks on embassies were almost certainly not coincidental.

No one has looked into how the news of this stupid film reached crowds in Egypt and Libya. Similarly, a few years ago, no one wanted to look at how anger about Danish cartoons spread across the Muslim world.

The left is desperate to deal with each new incident as though it is occurring in isolation.

On Thursday morning, people were asking how we had failed the Libyan people. The naivete is unending.

Libya was the second largest source of anti-U.S. fighters in Iraq. (First was our "ally" Saudi Arabia.) Benghazi was the largest supplier of anti-American fighters from Libya.

Because of congressionally imposed limitations and administrative and bureaucratic timidity, the fact is we know remarkably little about our enemies.

We should expect to be surprised because our elites cling to a fiction of "peace" while our enemies are waging war.

The policies of Obama have made our intellectual incoherence and strategic incompetence even worse.

It is no accident that the embassy in Cairo issued a groveling statement, apologizing to the haters for having inconvenienced them with American freedom of speech.

The embassy was simply following Clinton's lead, set months earlier in her meetings with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The OIC has a long-term campaign to manipulate the U.S. government into defining any criticism or improper reference to Islam as unacceptable.

No one should be confused by this. As Andy McCarthy wrote on Wednesday, the Islamist definition of heresy would destroy American free speech.

The Obama administration is waging war on the Catholic Church while appeasing the most extreme elements of Islam.

This is the bizarre situation we now find ourselves in.

Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., is a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He wrote this for Politico.

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