But we don't have any of the above. So we need to talk about the best way of handling the situation. Certainly the best at the time would have been, oh, a couple of 2000 lb smart bombs right in the rioting crowd. You know that most of the bad actors were there, and injury to innocents would be minimized.
I don't think that the answer is to carpet bomb the area, or park a battleship offshore and shell. 99% of the people don't know who did what and I bet most of them don't even care. At this point, I think the best course is the stuff we are worst at humint - human intelligence. People on the ground who can get details on where certain people are. A few Predators putting Hellfire missiles through the right windows might get some respect. Someone in a high enough position in Libyan intelligence to know that our ambassador was in a safe house, so that he could be attacked and killed there, needs a Hellfire or two up his ass - sort of a retribution in kind. As Stormbringer puts it:
As many as 400 attackers took part in a coordinated military-style assault on the consulate in Benghazi. This kind of organized operation makes mockery of the theory that these attacks are any kind of emotionally-fueled reactions to a goofey movie on YouTube.A new site I've recently found, The Diplomad 2.0, presents an interesting read "We're Not At War ... Just Under Attack".
The attackers not only hit the consulate in Benghazi, they knew the location of a classified safe house where the ambassador and security personnel withdrew to after the initial hit. This is where our ambassador's vehicle was fired upon with RPG rockets, and he was subsequently killed and his body dragged through the streets. It is not certain whether he was sodomized before or after he succumbed to his wounds and smoke inhalation.
The reason we see deranged or at least nasty and unpleasant dictators in the Arab world is that Arab societies are deranged, nasty and unpleasant--thanks largely to the brand of Islam practiced in those societies which is particularly deranged, nasty, and unpleasant. In the Arab world you can have a brutal authoritarian who tries to restrain the even more brutal religious fanatics, or you can have religious fanatics who lash out at anyone who does not see the world as they do.Diplomad 2.0's profile says, "Long time US Foreign Service Officer; now retired; have served all over the world and under all sorts of conditions. Convinced the State Department needs to be drastically slashed and reformed so that it will no longer pose a threat to the national interests of the United States." Worth reading.
While it might be too quiet and we want a public show for the "deranged, nasty and unpleasant" Arab street, I personally wouldn't mind something like the happy ending scene in "The Sum of All Fears", where the folks who orchestrated the atomic bombing of Baltimore all get taken care of.