Egypt, Libya, & the Obama Response

I’m not going to try to report on all the details of the attacks in Egypt and Libya; plenty of news sources have in-depth coverage of what happened. I will summarize, however, before offering some thoughts on the events.

In Cairo, Egypt, a mob scaled the wall of the American embassy, tore down the American flag, and replaced it with an Al Qaeda flag. As of this writing, mobs continue to threaten to break into the embassy. The Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt has not condemned the actions of the mob; instead, he has only made a statement condemning an anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S., thereby justifying the mob’s presence.

In Libya, things are even worse. The ambassador, Chris Stevens, and at least five other Americans, have been brutally murdered. Stevens’s body was even dragged through the streets. Sources say the consulate where he was residing had no American Marine protection. They were relying solely on Libyan security forces. Another report says those very forces were the source of information that led the attackers to the ambassador. Ostensibly, the Libyan government is not behind the attack; we’re told they are helping to track down those responsible. I would like to believe that. Color me skeptical.

These were not spontaneous outbursts of emotion. They were well-coordinated to occur on the anniversary of 9/11, and judging by some of the chanting in Egypt, were meant as revenge against the killing of Osama bin Laden. The hatred that erupted on 9/11/2001 has not dissipated in the intervening eleven years. If anything, the hatred has multiplied. Anyone who acts as if the War on Terror is over is seriously deluded.

Much controversy was spawned over the initial public statement made by officials at the Cairo embassy. This is the message that went out to the world from the Obama administration’s embassy personnel:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. . . . Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Did you notice anything missing in this message? How about condemnation of the actions of the mob? Instead, our government is more concerned about hurting the feelings of the mob. This is political correctness gone wild. Apparently, there was a major tussle within the administration to change the statement, but it took about sixteen hours to do so. Why? Well, when you have a president who favors what he considers the “oppressed” of the world, and then staffs embassies with like-minded individuals, it will take a while for those in charge to figure out what image they really want to project to the nation. I guess they finally realized this was not going to go over very well, and the initial statement eventually was repudiated.

You might recall that Barack Obama, in his book The Audacity of Hope, famously [or perhaps infamously] stated, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” Mr. President, what about when the Muslims are the cause of an ugly political wind?

Mitt Romney rightly criticized the Cairo statement as an unwarranted apology. What was his reward? Immediate accusations of politicizing the event. When he held a press conference, the reporters converged on what they called his “gaffe.” They repeatedly asked him if he now regretted making the statement. To his credit, he held his ground. And why shouldn’t he? There is now audio that reveals the reporters colluded ahead of time to ensure that he would be challenged to back down. The collusion was blatant. Hmm, I wonder if they’ve chosen a side in this election season?

As for the president, he made a Rose Garden comment on the situation, then assured he wouldn’t be put in the same position as Romney by declining to answer any questions—a common ploy for him. After all, he’s a busy guy. He had to catch his ride on Air Force One for a campaign swing to Las Vegas.

Does that sicken anyone else as much as it does me?

We’re in deep trouble. Change must come this November or we may never recover from this presidency.