Attack in Benghazi an act of war: Newt Gingrich
Washington: Republican leadership has intensified its attack on the Obama administration's handling of the current volatile situation in the Middle East, with one of its top leaders arguing that the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi was "an act of war" and not "senseless violence”.
"These are not acts of senseless violence. These are acts of war," Newt Gingrich, former speaker to the US House of Representatives and a former Republican presidential candidate, said in an op-ed to Politico magazine.
Gingrich alleged that the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were not killed by a senseless mob, but by a purposeful group of men armed with sophisticated weapons.
"These killers had tracked Ambassador Chris Stevens down to the US consulate in Benghazi, where he was much more vulnerable to attack and had less protection. They waged a coordinated, military-style assault," Gingrich said.
Senator John McCain said that the US is paying a heavy price for Obama's "feckless" foreign policy.
"What this is all about is American weakness and the president's inability to lead," McCain said on NBC's 'Today' show.
"Iraq is dissolving. Our relations with Israel are at a tension point. I'd like to see the president of the US speak out for once for the 20,000 people that are being massacred in Syria. There's an absence of American leadership in the region and they are very weak," McCain said.
"The fact is the United States in the Middle East is weak and we are paying the price for that weakness. There is a lack of leadership there, and that's what I would be talking about, and I hope that Mitt Romney will be looking at the big picture," McCain told MSNBC news.
Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, senior member on Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution on Thursday calling for US aid to Egypt and Libya be suspended until the President can certify that each government is providing a necessary level of protection to US embassies and personnel.
"Host countries have a responsibility for the safety of our personnel. Unfortunately, we lost four patriots yesterday (on Wednesday), including Ambassador Chris Stevens, and justice must be brought for their deaths. The safety of our embassy personnel continues to be threatened," he said.