Mac DefordAugust 7, 2013 13:01
Commentary: Growing US unpopularity limits its influence in a chaotic region.
A vehicle and the surrounding area are engulfed in flames after it was set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Two dozen US diplomatic posts were closed this past weekend because of a threatened attack by al-Qaeda's offshoot in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP); the vast majority will remain shuttered through the rest of the week. This unprecedented reaction by President Obama received strong bipartisan approval by Congress, which, in itself, is cause to question the administration's action. After all, Congress thought the Iraq war was a nifty idea; Congress continues to give vociferous bipartisan support to Israel regardless of how hardline its government becomes, and just this past week, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation that would substantially tighten the sanctions against Iran, a kick in the face of Iran's relatively moderate new president.