The Consulate, 2012
On 11 September 2012, at 9:40 p.m. local time, the Libyan militant group Ansar al-Sharia attacked the American consulate compound in Benghazi. Resulting were the deaths of Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.
On 7 October, following the attacks on Israel from Gaza and the seizing of hostages, I was asked for the same two Churchill quotations the press requested after the 2012 Libyan consulate attack. The quotations are in my book, Churchill by Himself, later published as Churchill in His Own Words.
Chapter 29: Leadership: “Inertia”
—Churchill, House of Commons, 2 May 1935. Much more than a consulate was then at stake. In a conference at Stresa, Britain, France and Italy had agreed to cooperate to maintain the independence of Austria. Churchill’s fear was that this plan would be nullified by inertia. Hitler annexed Austria three years later.
Chapter 23: Politics, the World Scene: “Middle East”
“The Middle East is one of the hardest-hearted areas in the world. It has always been fought over, and peace has only reigned when a major power has established firm influence and shown that it would maintain its will. Your friends must be supported with every vigour and if necessary they must be avenged. Force, or perhaps force and bribery, are the only things that will be respected. It is very sad, but we had all better recognise it. At present our friendship is not valued, and our enmity is not feared.”
*Wikipedia: “The Hashemite Arab Federation formed between Iraq and Jordan in February 1958 with Faisal as its head, did not quell opposition. In July 1958, a group of Royal Iraqi Army officers led by Abd al-Karim Qasim mounted a coup d’état and overthrew the monarchy. They executed Faisal and numerous members of his family.
Mark Twain said:
“History doesn’t repeat. But sometimes it rhymes.”