Lara Logan sounds the alarm on Middle East policy
CBS News journalist Lara Logan was sexually assaulted by a mob in Cairo while reporting on the fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. It’s not surprising to learn that she would harbor no illusions about the “Arab Spring” after this horrifying experience, but she still caused quite a stir when addressing the Better Government Association in Chicago.
As reported at the Daily Beast, Logan “skewered American policy in Afghanistan and Libya, called for a ramped-up military campaign against terrorists, and criticized the Obama administration and others for both underestimating the Taliban’s strength in Afghanistan and for tolerating Pakistan’s obvious coddling of terrorists killing American soldiers.”
Her tough talk “appeared to leave the assembled alternatively riveted and just a bit troubled by a critique with interventionist implications clearly drawn from her reporting,” according to the Daily Beast. Her presentation was described as “depressing” and “worrying” by one attendee.
She was particularly tough on the Obama Administration’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan. Logan thinks “there is a major lie being propagated” about the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is far stronger, and more feral, than the official narrative would have us believe. She believes this narrative, which she dismissed as “nonsense,” is intended to make it easy for Obama to complete his withdrawal from Afghanistan, and was highly critical of the general quality of reporting on the situation.
And she urged America to retaliate for the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, saying she hopes we will “exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
A month after the attacks, not much seems to be happening on that front, although there are persistent rumors that drones are being positioned to carry out attacks on al-Qaeda targets in Libya. The initial treatment of the Benghazi compound as a “crime scene” didn’t work out very well, especially since it took the FBI weeks to reach the scene.
Yesterday, the Washington Post cast a critical eye over the prospect of using Libyan courts to locate and prosecute Stevens’ killers, and was not encouraged… but there are also fears that American drone strikes would destabilize the fragile government. It was so much easier to just blame everything on a YouTube video.