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Foreign Policy And The Muslim World

Obama foreign policy, the Romney dissent, and the fury in the Muslim World.

An Egyptian youth protester reacts during clashes with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP)

An Egyptian youth protester reacts during clashes with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. (AP)

American foreign policy has lived largely on the outskirts of the 2012 presidential campaign.  Yes, the Obama camp has spoken early and often of the killing of Osama bin Laden.  Yes, Mitt Romney has taken his shots at Russia and China.

But the world has been largely off stage – until last week, when suddenly American embassies in the Arab world were burning.  A US ambassador was dead.  Mitt Romney attacked while the crisis still raged.  President Obama had a difficult panorama of outrage to explain.

This hour, On Point:  Obama, Romney, and the fight over US foreign policy in the Arab world.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Susan Glasser, editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine.

Robert Malley, program director for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group.

Reuel Marc Gerecht, serves as senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, focusing primarily on the Middle East, Islamic militancy, counterterrorism, and intelligence.  Earlier, he served as a specialist at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

From Tom’s Reading List

Daily Beast “The scene in Tahrir Square was a familiar one Thursday night. Surging crowds of demonstrators faced off with riot police along a heavily guarded street. Tear gas canisters flew through the air, and a sense of defiance filled the square. But for Mahitab Elgilamy—one of Cairo’s seasoned democracy activists who took part in the protest movement against former president Hosni Mubarak, the one against the military council that took his place, and many others besides—the situation didn’t feel right. “All these people are gathered like cattle,” she said.”

New York Times “The violently anti-American rallies that have roiled the Islamic world over a video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad expanded on Friday to more than a dozen countries, with demonstrators breaching the United States Embassy in Tunisia for the first time and protesters in Sudan’s capital broadening the targets to include Germany and Britain.”

Foreign Policy “For ordinary Americans, the understandable reaction is one of anger, even betrayal. We liberated them — this time for humanitarian reasons, and even though our vital interests were not at stake. And now they besiege our embassy and kill our ambassador. When I woke up today, a friend asked me half-jokingly, “What’s wrong with Muslims?” That is, whether we like it or not, the question that many — including American liberals who have, time and time again, given “Muslims” the benefit of the doubt — will be asking.”

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  • jacob_arnon

    Nothing that has happened 10 years ago in Algeria or fifty years ago in Iran (which, btw, is not in the Arab Middle East—thought it is a Muslim country) justifies the childish hysteria over a stupid fifteen minute film very few people even saw. 

    The riots are manipulated by radicals like from the Muslim Brotherhood to al Qaeda to Hezbollah (they are having their fun on Monday).

    The Muslim world is trying to scare the West into abandoning freedom of expression laws. They want us to become more authoritarian. 

    We have noting to apologize for. 

    Before the West invaded the Muslim world they had invaded the West. For every evil we committed they committed two including the slave trade. 

    The truth is that we are or were the mirror of each other. Imagine what would happen to our freedoms of the Muslim world were technologically superior. 

    • Mouse_2012

      “The Muslim world is trying to scare the West into abandoning freedom of expression laws. They want us to become more authoritarian. ”

      Unlikely, It is politically good for Politicians in the U.S. to do what you claim the Muslims want, Just look at all the bills passed in the name of Security, or “Free Speech Zones” or “Tank Drones” and the security at the RNC and DNC (50 Million a piece of our tax dollars ) 


      Before the West invaded the Muslim world they had invaded the West. For every evil we committed they committed two including the slave trade.  ”
      Good thing it only took till the 70s until our Western “Christian Values”  kicked in about equal rightsAt one time the Muslim word was technologically superior to the West and gave more rights to non-Muslims far better than it’s Christians brethren did 

      “The riots are manipulated by radicals like from the Muslim Brotherhood to al Qaeda to Hezbollah (they are having their fun on Monday).”

      The Rioters are “Useful Idiots” and did extractly what the Xenophobes in the World wanted, the MB actually came out and as for peaceful protest and switched from calling a Million Man March to small “Peaceful” Marches to link them to Al Q and Hezbollah is disingenuous. Before you go on about how Jews or Christians would never do something that I would like to point out “The Price Tag Policy” and this “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9287715/Israeli-anti-immigration-riots-hit-African-neighbourhood-of-Tel-Aviv.html” or the Anti-Gay Protest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0hIO-Jt8Hk supported by “The Family” in Uganda or attacks on gays after reading a magazine that listed the top gay threat.
        

      “ justifies the childish hysteria over a stupid fifteen minute film very few people even saw.”

      I agree but why not call it bigoted and intended to incite film? 

    • Imran Nasrullah

      You are completely misinformed.

      • Shag_Wevera

        You need to be more specific.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         You’ve got any justification for riots and murder over a movie?

      • jacob_arnon

        Really, have you read Hezbollah’s views on non Muslims? Do you support them?

        I am not misinformed about Iran being a hideously totalitarian society and that Syria which has been murdering thousands of Muslims.

        Turkey is the only Muslim country in hte area with some freedoms and even there lots of reporters have been arrested because they are critical of the regime. 

        Try a little honesty, Nasrullah.

      • jacob_arnon

        This is what compliance with Islamic regimes has gotten us:

        “Egypt Threatens to Execute American Citizens”

        http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/egypt-threatens-execute-american-citizens

    • Prairie_W

      I’m afraid we are already becoming far more authoritarian than we have been and far more than we should be.  And we do have a habit of thinking we “need” to invade others’ territory.  If I were on the other side, I’d be furious, too.  In this case — today/here-and-now — we have extremists in both cultures who suffer from the kind of narcissism that says, “If I believe it, then others should be obliged to believe it too.”  Americans aren’t free of that kind of belligerent narcissism.

      • jacob_arnon

        Prairie,

        No matter how authoritarian you think we are becoming we are still a long way from the kind of authoritarianism and totalitarianism in evidence from Egypt to Iran. 

        The fact that some jerk can make a stupid anti-Muslim video without being charged with any crimes is proof that our freedoms are still there. 

        Had the video been anti Christian or Anti-Jewish the reaction would still have been the same. No religion has the right not to be offended and that is a good thing. 

        • Prairie_W

           We don’t disagree really, Jacob, except probably in the matter of priorities.  The “some jerk” problem isn’t as much about the first amendment as it is about responsibility.   Being free isn’t a license to be stupid, vituperative, arrogant, deliberately provocative.  We aren’t separate from one another. 

          Yes, we are becoming authoritarian.  Our standard should not be Iran, of course, but other democratic republics doing better than we’re doing.

    • Don_B1

      When someone on the religious right puts out a statement about some movie, artist show at a museum or gallery, inflaming other fundamentalists, they can create an equally childish hysteria, most of them proud that they have not seen the film or play or whatever. Fortunately we have a long history of not using military weapons in attacks on government buildings (with the exception of Timothy McVeigh and a few others), so the full gamut of what can happen in the Middle East is not likely here.

      But it is not special to our human nature; it is that we have “civilized” ourselves by voting in people we accept to make governmental decisions for us. That is what is so despicable a part of the Republicans’ attack on Obama, not that he is making wrong decisions, but that he is not qualified or acceptable as one to make them.

      • jacob_arnon

        Don, the Republicans are not the issue and neither are the Democrats. Rioting and killing over a fifteen minutes stupid video few people even so.

  • JGC

    Please ask Mr. Gerecht about Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s abruptly severing diplomatic ties with Iran, and kicking the Iranian diplomats out of Ottawa. And is there something Netanyahu may have communicated to the Canadian Conservative government?   

    • Mouse_2012

      http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1256513–tim-harper-the-co
      http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1253862–harper-says-nothing-iran-does-in-wake-of-embassy-closing-would-surprise-him 

      “NDP foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar has called the latest embassy closure bizarre and irresponsible, saying it has removed Canada as a potential player in the Middle East.”

      You won’t find a single diplomat, active or retired, who would support closing a mission except in the most threatening, dire circumstances. 
      VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA—With Iran branding his government a hostile stooge of Israel and Britain, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Sunday that nothing Iran does in response to Canada’s severing of diplomatic ties would surprise him.Harper also pledged that Canada will work through its allies to help three of its citizens still in Iranian prisons. Questions surrounding their fate have become a live issue following Canada’s abrupt decision to close its Tehran embassy and expel Iranian diplomats from Canada.An Iranian lawmaker said his government would have a firm response, while a foreign ministry spokesman called the Harper government hostile and racist, and accused it of doing the bidding of Israel and Britain, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency.Harper said Canadian diplomats were recalled because of Iran’s “capacity for increasingly bad behaviour.”

      • JGC

        Yes, is there a “threatening, dire circumstance”? Or is it a Rumsfeldian “known unknown/unknown, unknown” circumstance?  That said, I find the potential 2013 gathering of a Netanyahu/Harper/Romney brain trust on Iran disturbing, to say the least.  

  • Mouse_2012

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Reuel_Marc_Gerecht 

    Gerecht is a frequent author of content for periodicals including, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Front Page, The International Herald Tribune, The New Republic, the New York Times, Playboy, Talk, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard.

    A vocal proponent of War on Iraq, Iran and Syria well before 9/11, and a frequent guest on news shows defending Bush Administration Policies. He often takes the position that the best strategy against the Arab terrorist is aggressive war, but as a CIA Mid East Operative in the late 80s, probably held a different position regarding Arab Mujahadin when they were fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan.
    Gerecht is not above attempts at marginalising serious issues in his articles.

    General Taguba’s public version of his initial investigation into the abuses of prisoners by American military personnel at Abu Ghraib included, amongst many other acts, the following:
    Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;Credible reports by detainees about being sodomised with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.
    Many acts of abuse that went on at Abu Ghraib are still kept secret from the American public.

    It was reported on May 14, 2004, that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stated after seeing some of the classified evidence,
    “The American public needs to understand we’re talking about rape and murder”.
    Yet in an article published by The Weekly Standard on May 24, 2004, Gerecht mused,
    “Have the chances of democracy in the Middle East really been set back because sexually sensitive Muslims are so revolted that they won’t embrace representative government?”
    Who’s Afraid of Abu Ghraib?, Weekly Standard – 05/24/2004

  • Mouse_2012

    Anyone else notice NPR use of Islamist when Morsi, until he criticized Iran and Syria? Than after the Cairo embassy Protest NPR went back to called him an Islamist, yet the Label used by NPR to refer to the Libyan Government or Saudi Government it’s Ultra-Conservative even when there views/actions are far worst than the ones Calling Morsi one?

    • anon

      I wish that whoever uses the term Islamist would define it. It means different things to different people, and its meaning has also morphed over time…

  • Mouse_2012

    http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Gerecht_Reuel_Marc 
    :From PNAC to AEI to FDDGerecht was one of several writers ousted from the American Enterprise Institute(AEI) in 2008 as part of an apparent effort to distance the think tank from some aspects of neoconservatism.:”Gerecht has long pushed for U.S. intervention in Iran. In the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, Gerecht argued for targeting Iran as well as Iraq for regime change. In February 2002 he wrote in the Weekly Standard that “if President Bush follows his own logic and compels his administration to follow him against Iraq and Iran, “”Gerecht argued that a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq would stir a democratic revolution in Iran, an idea that proved wildly incorrect.”Foundation for Defense of Democracies
    http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Foundation_for_Defense_of_Democracies 

    “ Reuel Marc Gerecht and Michael Ledeen have been among the more vociferous hawks calling for U.S. military intervention in Iran and elsewhere, arguing that religious militants must be “defeated.”

    “FDD’s claims of nonpartisanship were severely damaged in February 2008 after it created a spin-off organization, the now-defunct Defense of Democracies, to run an aggressive television ad campaign aimed at pressuring the Democratic-led House to “pass the Senate’s version” of the “Terror Surveillance Bill.” The controversial bill was aimed at providing retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that had cooperated with the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance programs. “

  • Mouse_2012

    So pretty much Onpoint is going to have on a guy that was wrong on so many things and so many times to speak as an “Expert”

    Anyone else see something odd about that?

    More info on the guy.

    By early 2008, however, Gerecht, like many other neoconservatives, was pushing a seemingly more nuanced stance toward Iran—likely in response to the November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which argued that Tehran halted its efforts to build a nuclear weapon in 2003 

    Gerecht argued in a February 20, 2008 New York Times op-ed that the United States must begin “direct, unconditional talks” with the country.[9]But what might have been mistaken as an argument for diplomacy was revealed as little more than an effort to push for military intervention. “Foreign-policy hawks ought to see such discussions as essential preparation for possible military strikes against clerical Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Gerecht wrote. He furthered his advocacy of diplomacy-as-prelude to military intervention later in the op-ed, writing, “If the mullahs don’t want to negotiate, fine: making the offer is something that must be checked off before the next president could unleash the Air Force and the Navy.”[10]

    Report Shows New Neocon Angle on Iran
    http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/Report_Shows_New_Neocon_Angle_on_Iran 

  • Yar

    I would like to recommend an unrelated article that might explain behavior that seems to defy logic. Here is the introduction:
    “Researchers have found the first evidence that complex, reversible behavioral patterns observed in bees (and very likely other animals including humans) are intimately linked to epigenetic changes, reversible chemical tags that turn certain genes on and off.”Planetsave (http://s.tt/1nx9O)
    Polarization in politics may have a similar effect on us.  We like to think of ourselves as rational self determined beings, yet group behavior can so accurately be predicted by statistics that as few as twelve precincts will determine the outcome of this year’s presidential election.  It sounds more like biology is being exploited than that of rational minds.  We know that environmental stress causes change in genetic markers, those marker’s effect on behavior has never before been accurately studied.  We also have evidence that epigenetics effects are past beyond a single generation. 

    “What This Means to You”
    “Is epigenetics just a topic of interest to scientists, or should it have an impact on the way we live now? Mounting research seems to be supporting the role of parental lifestyles and their (possibly permanent) effects on the health of their children, grandchildren, and beyond.
    While you may not be able to undo the genetic “on/off switch” changes you’ve passed on to the kids you already have, living healthier now could be invaluable to the health of your future offspring — and theirs. Epigenetics doesn’t just apply to passing on potentially negative traits or health risks, but also to the benefits of inheriting healthy factors.”http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/issues_2011/2011_epigenetics.html
    The first record of this in literature may very well show up in the Ten Commandments:Exodus 20:5 …”visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,”
    They way the US has and will respond to crisis around the world has profound implications.  When we live out our beliefs in Democracy we “bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”
    I just read:
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/10/michael-lewis-profile-barack-obama
    I don’t see how we get anyone qualified to actually take the job of president of the US.

    • Don_B1

      I suspect that you meant to put the word “more” before the word qualified? “… how we get anyone more qualified to …” which certainly seems appropriate when considering even all the alternatives that the Republicans offered. Of course the Republicans’ offerings were “severely” constrained by the ideology that it has adopted since the catastrophic record of George W. Bush.

  • Imran Nasrullah

    Of all the “experts” why Gerecht? Why not get someone from the ME who understands why the Muslim world is not happy with the Western policies. Rami Khouri is always well balanced and provides regional perspective from someone who actually lives there. Or perhaps Fawaz Gerges, who is a Christian, but is Lebanese. Adil Najam who understands the Subcontinent and global politics.  I suppose to appease the right-side radio listeners, they want to bring “balance” and a counter-narrative. I will listen intently.

    • hennorama

      I understand your point and your objection.

      Gerecht was identified as a neocon at the start of the segment, so his viewpoint was clear and his words fairly predictable.  Susan Glasser offered a reasonable objective viewpoint to parry his views.

    • jacob_arnon

      No matter what Muslims always see themselves as victims. 

      Moreover, what does it mean being a liberal in the Mid East, someone who doesn’t want to kill you?

      There is no excuse for people who haven’t seen a fifteen minutes and by all accounts is a pretty stupid film to attack foreign embassies and killing people 

      None.

  • AC

    i mistrust all religion and this ‘upset’ is a good highlight as to why. as for this ‘movie’ – has anyone even seen it? wasn’t it made by some other crazy fanatic religion?
    who is telling these people what that they are so crazy? seriously, where does their information come from? if they’re watching youtube, presumably they have access to better information, or is it a case of their leaders ‘telling’ them what to think? (a perk of keeping your people isolated and ignorant like N Korea?)

    • RolloMartins

      Republicans have access to Youtube as well, presumably; this hasn’t increased their proclivity to believe in lies (birther, anyone?).

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       I watched it so as to be able to speak in an informed manner about it.  The film is wretched in all aspects–no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  And yet, in a free society, people have to be free to make and to watch such movies.

    • Don_B1

      Please read my first post on Friday’s “Week in Review” On Point program. It lays out at least some of the background of dictatorships supported by the West, the U.S. big-time. That leads to a skepticism on our motives when we say anything.

      But these are fledgling democracies at best, and rival factions for power have no experience in compromising, not to mention just dealing peacefully with each other. Their experience is that one side physically suppresses the other. And they have not incorporated the responsibility that free speech demands, so their experience that government is always controlling all political (and other) speech does not give them an inclination to accept out response that we do believe in free speech, even of absolutely despicable speech. They do not see it when we allow Nazi-type groups to say hateful things about Jews, but they probably do know that in a lot of Europe speech denying the Holocaust is prohibited.

      But the rioters in Cairo, some few thousand out of some 17 million in the metropolitan area, were mainly supporters of a minor candidate for the Egyptian presidency, Ahmed Shafik, a group that is promoting the fallacy that the U.S., specifically Sec. Clinton, is funding the Muslim Brotherhood, which is why their candidate did not win. [That conspiracy theory is a twist on the vile false U.S. conspiracy fomented by Frank Gaffney, of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, and Ret. Gen William Boykin, that Obama is funding the Muslim Brotherhood to install Islamic Sharia Law in the U.S.

      When Americans believe that Obama is the “Other,” reinforced by “Birtherism,” and worse, which is endorsed by a major political party, is it any wonder that people in the Middle East can have beliefs that seem reasonable to them while totally outlandish to us?

      One Egyptian believer in the Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy, in response to being asked why,  simply said that someone who has been in the U.S. government would not lie. I guess he would buy a bridge from any ex government official. And Republicans are testing the waters for how many bridges/lies they have can be sold.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Imagine a world where gasoline was refined from freshwater, and the US with the Great Lakes was the world’s most energy rich nation.  In this imaginary universe, petroleum is just a greasy nuisance.

    What would our foreign policy towards the Muslim world be in this universe?

    • J__o__h__n

      So we would still need to deal with religious nuts to get energy?

      • Ray in VT

        Maybe.  Does Michele Bachmann have a house on Lake Superior?

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Their are many people hard at work to commoditize water as well – but they can still be described as oily.

      • AC

        it’s illegal to own a rain barrel in colorado; the water that falls belongs to texas…
        water rights is a fun field :

  • RolloMartins

    As to Gerecht, to paraphrase a well-known Western, “We dun need no stinkin’ neocons.” Take your wars and peddle them elsewhere. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Can’t stand hearing an opposing view?

  • Gregg Smith

    I find it amazing the White House is still pushing the narrative that it’s all about the stupid movie. Hillary is responsible for the lax security in Libya. We were warned 3 days before the attacks. Obama skips a military briefing and heads to Vegas. He refuses to meet with Netanyahu. It’s total incompetence.

    • J__o__h__n

      What is the point of meeting with Netanyahu?

    • northeaster17

      It’s not about the stupid movie. The question to ask is who gains from the mid-east tensions that are happening.  It think the Coptic Christian story is a ruse, as well as the timing of this mess. 
      As for Netanyahu, if he wants to influence our elections, as he is trying to now, he at least ought to admit it. That way we could deal with him, not have to listen to the Neo-Con Fox drones running cover for him.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Why would Egyptian Christians want to create such problems for themselves ??? 

        Sure… blame it on Coptic Christians.  HAAA.

        An Armada is forming in the Straights of Hormuz and Israel is causing all the trouble.

        • Don_B1

          There was a Coptic Christian posting here last Friday (Week in Review) that stated that this “guy” is a total nutcase and not representative of any Coptic people with at most a few exceptions.

          The whole riot scene is the result of rival factions vying for power and not knowing how to do it peacefully. Plus those that see terror as a way to stir up problems are usually small unrepresentative groups that try to leverage discontents within the bigger population. And the Middle East, emerging from half a century of dictatorship and hard suppression that has left them leading lives of desperation, maybe previously quiet, but not willingly quiet in the future.

      • Thinkin5

         Mitt is already Netanyahu’s puppet. Mitt doesn’t have convictions or the strength to hold the line and think things through. What’s best for the U.S? Don’t be led by the nose by others, ally or not.

    • Thinkin5

       Pres. Obama didn’t “refuse to meet with Netanyahu”. That’s spin from the right. They are in touch all the time. Netanyahu knows the president’s decision and is just trying to change it. Israel’s former intelligence director says that Netanyahu is WRONG. He should wait. Watch 60 Minutes from yesterday:http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57511491/the-spymaster-meir-dagan-on-irans-threat/?tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel

  • Gregg Smith

    For those still clinging to the notion a movie is to blame for this mess and decrying the intent, please give me your thoughts on “Piss Christ”.

    • Don_B1

      When you consider the huge stir that resulted in law suits, etc., it is clear that without the general population’s familiarity with the Constitutional Right to Free Expression, and the general acceptance that rioting is not the way to win the “hearts and minds” of the people, there would have riots here.

      The Middle East, where harsh dictatorships have ruled the day for over a half-century those “civilizing” influences either do not exist or are quite weak, as are the current governments.

  • William

    It will be interesting to see the reaction in the Middle East when Obama’s movie about killing Osama Bin Laden is released. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

       That movie is a Hollywood creation.  For that matter… so is that contrived charade of the Navy Seal who wrote the book. Dont believe any of that b.s.   SHOW US THE BODY !!!!   SHOW US THE BODY !!!  Too many Americans believe these Govt/David Mamet propaganda fantasies.

      • J__o__h__n

        Didn’t Scott Brown see them? 

        • Don_B1

          Great take! Sen. Brown had to sheepishly admit that he had been taken in by the false claims of a picture.

          It just makes one wonder what other false ideas, etc., the good Senator is taken in by.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         David Mamet would have written more interesting dialogue.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          And someone would have won some f–king steak knives.

    • anon

      Bin Laden doesn’t have any large following. The anger at insulting the Prophet is completely different – virtually every Muslim feels it.

  • OnpointListener

    It’s all about oil and how our country has manipulated Middle Eastern governments for more than a half century in order to secure it.

    That is fundamentally why the true insurgents hate us.  I suggest reading:
    “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11″ by Lawrence Wright, published in 2007, which gives a striking account of our history there.

    The book was published in 2007 and I think Tom had Wright on as a guest around then.

    Last week I had suggested the way the US can help solve its problems is to RUN to develop renewable and clean energy.  Those who argue that is too expensive can now see what a gallon of gasoline is really costing us.

    Those who say drill baby drill do not understand how oil is priced as a world commodity since it is traded freely.  

    We export a good deal of oil as it is.  How about requiring that all leases of “our” oil resources have some restrictions on export and require a fixed amount to be held in reserve?

    Finally, all is moot until we overturn Citizens United.

    • northeaster17

      You may have noticed that some of the Governments we are most hostile towards are ones that have nationalized their oil reserves….Iraq, Iran, Libya are front and center as is Venezuela. Nigeria has borne the brunt of commodity oil as is a mess. My point is that by defining “our” oil resources as “ours” we run counter to the US position that oil belongs to the “markets” and not whose land it is under. We have a long way to go to get past that.  

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       But we can’t shift over to other forms of energy in an instant.  We have many years of needing oil in our future.

      • sickofthechit

         We could have been shifting over for the past 36 years if Carter had been re-elected.

        • Thinkin5

           And if Gore was elected Social Security would have been safe in a “lock box”. Carter and Gore were both right on those issues. They were drown out by the blowhards.

  • wauch

    It is called a lust for hegemony! Until we get over this infatuation we will continue to put countless lives at risk in places where we are not wanted. Time to retrench and focus on the ills in this country.

  • MacMillin

    One foreign policy approach would be to pull out of the countries. All problems in the region seem to stem from western occupation. I surely do not want extremists occupying our country.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “I surely do not want extremists occupying our country.”

      Me either, unfortunately they already do.

      • MacMillin

        I would prefer to call them immigrants such as ourselves at one time.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          I was referring to the Ideological Religious Fundamentalists in the US and the rabid worshipers of the Temple Of Capitalism. I wasn’t speaking of “foreigners” at all, sorry for the confusion.

          • Don_B1

            Some of us understood! But it was reasonably subtle and may take a more cynical person than MacMillin to recognize it.

    • Don_B1

      Most of the problems in the Middle East (and places like Nigeria) is the sequence of the de-colonization and the discovery of natural resources of exploitation.

      All the countries above had weak governments and no traditions of democracy when oil, etc., was discovered and the companies that came in to extract/exploit it were able to extravagantly pay off a few “leaders” who could then buy off the populace, or enough of it, without developing any other competing sources of economic growth.

      That lead to the controlling dictatorships that suppressed the aspirations of the majority of the populace of those countries.

      Read Steve Coll’s latest book, “Private Empire,” on the way Exxon Mobil operates its oil energy empire all over the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739705324 Adam Brabant

    Would you consider this the start of the Arab Fall?  Should we simply pull out of this area entirely and let the chips fall where they may?  We’ve been trying to shape this region for more than a century, now most of the nations are finally starting their own democracy, like a baby bird we should let them fly under their own power.  OR … should we simply say enough is enough and roll through with bombs and tanks and conquer countries and simply turn them into new colonies?  

    • Don_B1

      It is the beginning of the Arab shake-out, and the U.S. needs to have a steady, non-obtrusive hand in helping each country find its way to a stable representative government.

      It will be a chaotic, messy, sometimes really uneven path, with some countries going way off the path from time to time. Note that Hungary is making strong steps toward building a fascist state over the past year or more.

  • Michiganjf

    2/3 of Libyans, for instance, support the U.S.

    … shall we also “lay that at the Obama administration’s feet?”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, how many On Point shows did you open up with “Did Bush blow it”? I mean,
    there was that whole “Bin Laden determined to strike in the United
    States”.

    • hennorama

      I suspect that few of those who criticized “the main stream media” for “forming the narrative” at Romney’s press conference will even notice Tom’s question.

      Nor will they object to how the various on-air personnel at Fox News form their questions.  A paraphrased example: “Shouldn’t here have been more security before the attack?”  rather than “What is your view about the security level prior to the attack?”

  • adks12020

    The Romney camp’s argument that these attacks are a result of weakness by the Obama administration are ridiculous.  The attacks are a result of severe turmoil in these countries.  As a result of the Arab Spring there is an emerging power struggle to control these countries and their resources.  These uprisings are a result of the lack of leadership within those countries.  There is nothing President Obama or, if he becomes President, President Romney could do about it.  It’s an interal struggle where frustrations are being taken out on outsiders because that’s easier than facing the actual internal problems they face.

    What is Romney suggesting? Are we supposed to fly in and occupy each of these countries to control the strife? We’ve all seen how well that’s worked in Afghanistan.  Romney’s spokespersons keep saying things would be different if Romney were president.  I fail to see how someone with absolutely no foreign policy experience, that can’t even attend the Olympics without offending an ally, would be able to approach this type of situation any better.

    These countries don’t want our control. I think we should limit our involvement and let them sort things out….but Team American will be on the case now doubt…unfortunately.

    • Thinkin5

       What’s more frightening than Mitt’s ignorance of foreign affairs, is that he’s got the Cheney neocons all forming his policy for him. They are still trying to redeem themselves after all their failures in the Middle East under W.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        So, he’s an expert manager with all the wrong experts working for him? Just what we need.

        • Thinkin5

          Junk in equals junk out. That’s Mitt’s problem in a nutshell with foreign policy and the economy.

  • Christopher Chase

    If attacking embassies is weakness on the part of the current American administration, then one has to admit the comparative weakness of Republican policy. During the previous administration: the embassy in Pakistan was attacked multiple times. The embassies in Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan were both attacked. So were embassy/consulates in Greece, Turkey, Syria. Why is Tom not pointing this out?

    • Don_B1

      Romney is genuinely a really good private equity businessman, known for being a “deal-maker.” And a “deal-maker” does whatever is necessary to make a deal. But he has NO inner philosophy of what government is or how it works and diplomacy is a foreign language.For Romney, closing deals has meant doing whatever it took:

      1) to make the deal at the Olympics, it meant he had to get the U.S. Treasury to throw in about $1.5 billion [$342 million directly and over $1.1 billion indirectly];

      2) to make the deal in Massachusetts, he had to be a gay-rights supporter, pro-choice on abortion, and work to implement a decent health care reform, etc.;

      3) to make the deal for the presidency he expected to use these successes and coast on the poor economy provided by Republican obstruction, but that has floundered because the rise of the Tea/Republicans has changed the requirements.

      He is floundering because he has weak support from his “base” and because he has no viable Plan B. So he strikes out with transparently opportunistic attempts at tearing down Obama instead of showing that he can be “presidential.” Which is what will drive the moderate voters to Obama before this is over.

  • Thinkin5

    It’s naive for the U.S. to think that it can control the Middle East and dictate their politics and their admiration of the U.S. We should just get over this fantasy and realize that it’s not about us.

    • anon

      BINGO!!!

      I’m so sick of the U.S. thinking it should determine who runs Egypt (or any other country)… or Americans saying that ‘we handed country X to group Y, but we should have handed it to Group Z’ – as if it’s theirs to hand to anyone!

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Romney is “old school” diplomacy.
    - Threaten them.
    - Show your “superiority”.
    - Cow them into submission.
    - Do what we tell you, we are smarter than you are even though we don’t understand you or your culture.

    The man is dangerous.  

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    If the people in the Middle East are this angry, they need some anger-management classes.

    • jefe68

      You’re joking? Right?
      Because if you’re not you need to read some history of this region. While you’re at it look up the history of US influence and how that effects our standing in Latin America.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         No, I’m not joking.  There is no justification for killing an abassador and his staff for a movie.  Espeically in Libya, there’s no justification for the Libyans to attack us after we helped them.

        • jefe68

          Your comment was a blanket statement about the Middle East. Libya is not in the Middle East. It’s in North Africa and is a very different country than Jordon, Iraq or Iran.

          Again, read up on the history of the region, including North Africa.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Fair enough.  For purposes of my comment, let’s amend it to Muslims.  Certainly, there are plenty of rational Muslims who aren’t out supporting these protests, but they need to be more vocal about how it’s wrong to kill as an act of film criticism.

          • anon

            Muslim governments, organizations and individuals have been very vocal. Their statements are not considered newsworthy, though. Just because you don’t hear them doesn’t mean they’re not saying it. My inbox and Facebook feed is full of these statements, as well as photos from Libya of people demonstrating in support of the U.S. ambassador, saying how sorry they are, etc. (If you’re ion Facebook, see The Sorry Project, which is only one of many.) Most media outlets will pass on all those pictures for another photo of an angry, shouting, bearded Muslim man, though – and thus people will continue to ask why Muslims aren’t condemning the Ambassador’s death.

        • Don_B1

          The group that attacked the U.S. Consulate was NOT representative of almost all Libyans. It is likely a small left-over militia from the days of Gaddafi. They were trying to stir up trouble within Libya so that some dictator could take over the country.

    • hennorama

      Do you mean to convey that you believe every person who lives in the Middle East is angry?  Angry at the US?  Angry at their govenment?  Angry that they are out of work?  Are protests and other demonstrations and/or attacks only occuring in the Middle East?

      It may be helpful to think just a bit longer before typing.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         It would be helpful if you read the whole comment before responding.  Did you notice the word, if, at the start of that sentence?

        • hennorama

          Wow.  You sure told me there.  Touche.

          I guess your phrase “the people in the Middle East” was meant to be expressive of some narrow categorization?  Did this phrase instead mean “(some) people in the Middle East” rather than “the people in the Middle East” ?

          If so, perhaps you may wish to edit your original post.

    • anon

      It’s actually Muslims around the world (most of whom are not in the Middle East) who are understandably angry. And 99.99% are not acting on that anger by protesting violently.

      This argument always makes me wonder, though, about a country who attacked Iraq, killing many people, in an act of revenge for 9/11 – against people who had absolutely nothing to do with it. Maybe some anger management was in order there?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739705324 Adam Brabant

    I completely disagree with your guest’s comments that Obama was niave about Arab feelings towards the USA.  I know he knows the history of the region and knew that their hatred of us didn’t simply stem from Bush.  It stemmed from as far back as FDR and colonial Britian. 

  • Thinkin5

    There is a sizable political/evangelical group in this country that is all about “holy war” and their point of view in the Middle East is all about Christianity vs Islam. This is what the terrorists in the Middle East seem to be all about too. Maybe they could just have their own private war and leave the rest of us out of it?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Keep smokin’, it is doing a world of good for your intellect.

    Disqus is doing it again! This is a reply to Paolo Caruso’s post of about 10:25.

  • Michiganjf

    The Romney campaign “argues for” whatever they think will press voters’ buttons on that particular day.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Where was the criticism; where was the rage over Lebanon when Reagan set the Marines up operationally as sitting ducks. It was a tragedy but it was the fault of Reagan and his cabinet who didn’t have a firm grasp of the situation over there.

    Bush was large and in charge in Iraq. Look how well that turned out. Mitt is clueless.

    Republican criticism is their strength – It boils down to Republican arithmetic –
    They can’t add; they can’t subtract; they can’t multiply, but they sure
    know how to divide!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Reagan’s term was granted the Birthrighteousness of tough manlymanness and StrongOnDefense, no matter what he did or what happened.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I am still wanting to know what the hostility is, which Malley says cannot be catalogued, so broad and profound is it.  Since Khomeini issued the fatwah on Rushdie 2/14/89 — he was speaking with the BBC at length this morning.  I learned Rushdie is Kashmiri, not Western.  What about the West, besides American “hegemony,” that Massey says is not the whole story; what is the rest of the story?  Oh, naive to think it can be stated in an hour.  But simply to say violence is wrong is apparently not enough.  Oh, the West is an agent of conspiracy and domination, Massey is saying.  So what do we do? If we cease domination — one view of the Arab spring — then can the “long and troubling history” as Glaser puts it be walked back?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I didn’t know Rushdie was Kashmiri.

      I would not have wagered that such a distinction would make a difference to any of the Ayatollahs, as both a Westerner and a Kashmiri are “not from here (Iran or such)”.

      • adks12020

        The fatwah was issued against Rushdie because one of his novels (The Satanic Verses) was seen as an insult to the prophet Muhammed (Mohammed?…I always forget how to spell it).  It wouldn’t matter where he was from.  Either way such a percieved insult to the prophet would have resulted in a fatwah.

        • Ellen Dibble

          As I recall, there are a huge number of fatwahs, or were, and possibly all infidels (non Muslim Americans) are teetering on the edge most of the time.  Some are more worth pursuing, whatever that means, than others.  Rushdie was a pretty “big fish” in terms of the attention drawn to the fatwah, kind of a video gone viral of a fatwah.  I recall thinking the Iranians maybe had justification for irrationality, given the kind of irrational standoff the Cold War seemed to have engendered in Tehran.  But the use of the embassy personnel as hostages, kicking off Nightline and our nightly preoccupation with it, that too seemed an expression of human emotion of Iranians being used, making that population the puppets of political interests there.  I didn’t try to understand Khomeini and that transition from a shah’s Iran to a cleric-headed state.  Now, I’m asking.
             As to the spelling of Mohammed, I know just enough Arabic to know that as with Jahweh, JHWH, the vowels aren’t in the script.  They can be added as dots.  So the spellings probably serve the variations in pronunciation per region.  You’ll find that name, for any individual, spelled maybe a dozen ways.  A French newspaper might use one spelling, a German one another.  The Arabic speaker, rendering his or her name into English could and probably should use multiple transliterations.

    • anon

      Rushdie’s family may have been Kashmiri, but he was born in Bombay and his family later moved to Karachi, i think. I just heard him on the BBC. (One unfortunate consequence of this incident is that it dragged him out for another 15 minutes of fame.) I don’t understand why it’s considered important where he was from; he was Indian from a Muslim family; that’s what Muslims knew at the time, whether or not some of the listeners here knew it.

      (Like the video, his book also had no other purpose but provocation. Very few would have bought it without the ensuing publicity, and from what I gather, the vast majority who bought it never finished it.)

  • Christopher Chase

    Why won’t Mr. Gerecht admit that there is a large loud contingent of right wing reactionary media in the US that continually fans the flames of Islamophobia? In the age of global media, Arabs and Muslims elsewhere know what “Fox News” is doing.

    • sickofthechit

      You mean “FAUX” NEWS don’t you?

  • http://twitter.com/sjwasser Steve Wasserman

    ooo

  • adks12020

    Is response to the current caller…..Does anyone know if we have to get permission to station troops at our embassies? I think we might because I heard the other day that the Sudanese government wouldn’t let us do so resulting in our taking most of the staff out.  Anyone have any insight on that?

  • Ellen Dibble

    The old domino theory that may have undergirded American Cold War meddling in the Middle East (coupled with oil addiction), that domino theory has not been referred to by Malley or Gerect. What is the perspective of Russia?  Can their UN ambassador speak for Putin et al the way Susan Rice speaks for and to this country?  An interview with Vitaly Churkin about Syria, as I recall, said that infrastructure of management has to be left in place.  And I’m thinking the idea would be agreed to by China.  But in terms of dominoes, America could leave a vacuum, and if the US Foreign Relations Committee of the House sees fit to punish Libya and Egypt by withholding billions of US dollars, aren’t there other powers, even nuclear ones, ready to fill the vacuum?  How about that?

  • MacMillin

    no need to apologize for the the last 10 years..;[ sounds familiar.

  • Thinkin5

    “Apology” is in the eye of the beholder. Rightwing neocons always think that they can win with bluster and bombs. So far, that’s NOT worked for the U.S. Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq…. The Middle East isn’t like WWII. The neocons don’t understand that the world and it’s enemies aren’t the same as that era. Bluster may feel good to the neocon ego but it’s not an effective policy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    The caller (Ed? not sure) at :36 is full of both memory holes and cogitation holes, especially the “apology” bit and “liking the decisiveness of Romney”. I don’t know which Romney the caller has been paying attention to.

    Tom’s polite brushback (the famous photo of Bush II’s holding hands with a Saudi prince) was appropriate.

    • sickofthechit

       Bush was not holding hands with a
      Saudi Prince, he was being led by the prince as if he (bush) were a small child.

      • adks12020

        What? In Muslim countries men hold hands like that; it’s a cultural thing.  That’s what was going on. I’m not a fan of GW but your response is just ridiculous.  Bush was actually following local customs.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I think chit was talking not about the actual meaning but how it has reverberated in our media. (As I did also.)

          As relayed by the mainstream media “following the local customs” is always ManlyMan StrongLeader stuff when a Republican does it.

          As played by the right-wing Wurlitzer, it’s cowardly kowtowing and weakness should a Democrat do it, no matter how many photos there are of (for example) Eisenhower bowing to various dignitaries.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

    Host countries are responsible for security. That’s not to say the U.S. shouldn’t take it’s own initiative for securing its sites. But James, the last caller, was full of nothing but the nebulous whining about American Exceptionalism, tinged with jingoism, that infects the empty rhetoric coming out of frustrated conservatives everywhere nowadays.

    • adks12020

      I was just wondering about that (comment below).  So if the host country is responsible for security then would we need the permission of the host country if we wanted to station troops there?  That makes a huge difference with regards to blame for these security issues.

      • anon

        I don’t know what the agreements are with host countries, but Sudan rejected a US request to send 50 more Marines in.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    The US has become an Empire by default not by premeditation. As far as rage against America lets go back to 1952 and the work of Kermit Roosevelt Iran. Mitt never served a day in boots yet he saber rattles. The man is a jingoist and his words of the past week clearly indicate that he is not the stuff of Presidents..

  • Stephen706

    The excuse of the video being the cause is a RUSE, trumped up by the MSM and Obama administration. Will bet that none of the attackers or clashers have even a clue. It’s our failed leadership weak as it is. But all you here on the news is the video

    • Thinkin5

      Do you think that more U.S. interference in Egypt would help matters there? They would like the U.S. more?! Really!

      • Stephen706

        Quite the contrary. But this was a part of the planned attack on our country. Not in our home but overseas where weaker and trying to appease folks.

        • Thinkin5

           Please define what strong would look like. What is the “weaker” that you refer to? So far, all I hear from the right is that Pres. Obama should talk tougher, threaten with “or else”, and military action.

          • Stephen706

            What is strong? It is not being viewed by your foes as weak as Obama and the admin is.
            It is having security with bullets. It is not being apologetic for our way of life. It would be blowing the &@)$ out of these attackers areas sending the message never again. It would viewed like Putin or the Mafia in a sense. It is being respected not just feared. Remember the Iran crisis. The difference between Carter and Reagan.
            If this needs to be explained more, you will never get it.

          • Thinkin5

             ”It would be blowing the &@)$ out of these attackers areas sending the message never again.” That will make them “respect us”. Carter sent in a rescue mission and because a risky mission failed you blame him not the sand in the helicopter gears?! Under Reagan the U.S. Marine barracks were bombed in 1983 and 241 U.S. servicemen died & many others injured. Guess Reagan was very “weak”and just not respected. Then we had 9/11 under W. Bush. Again, not “respected or feared” because he was weak.

          • Stephen706

            So what has Obama done to be a dominant alpha-male? Not much.

            Reagan put the missiles in Qaddafi’s bedroom, 20 years of peace after Lockerbie, remember? Got to have a target. Carter took a shot eventually, that’s why weak. Reagan had a target which is why they were freed. After Beirut didn’t have a target to hit remember? After 9/11, Bush hit the afghan region, remember? Also took of Saddam as well as had the chance. That’s why we are there still.

          • jefe68

            Your view points are immature and misguided.

            If everyone takes and eye fore and eye soon the entire world is blind.

          • Stephen706

            That is their mind set. Go visit the theater of operations and you will see. There is respect with strength.

          • anon

            That is YOUR mindset. The people who are angry about the video are not angry because they think the US is weak; they’re well aware of the US military might. They’re angry because of the disrespect shown to their religion and their people. 

          • Stephen706

            And who again promoted and fueled this stupid video to the masses??? It wasn’t Americans. It wasn’t Israeli. It was not a Danish newspaper. It was an Egyptian TV channel.
            Why is their no furor or outrage over The Onions latest cartoon flame?
            There is much more to this than a video and the administration does not want people to look at this deeper.

          • jefe68

            I guess someone forgot to tell whomever blew up that Marine barracks in Lebanon in the 80′s that Reagan was to be feared and respected.

            You’re view point is very comic book in nature. As if just by the US having this overwhelming force we can do whatever we want. What do think just happened in the last 10 years?  The US military overwhelmed the Iraqi military but could not do a thing to stop the nation from going into a chaos.

    • jefe68

      Seems to me you are not paying attention.
      The video was used by the extremist to fan the hatred that is already there. You’re not being truthful at all in that one needs to remember that 9/11 happened under a Republican president, GW Bush. Anyone with any insight into the geopolitics of this region would at least have the intelligence to see that there are elements that are out of the US government’s control. History has clearly shown us that.

      • Stephen706

        Exactly. The video bs 12-minutes of stupid from a Coptic Christian was not the reason for all this furor. Hatred of the US and what it’s doing or not doing, the unrest in the region, Iran, Israel, Syria, battles over western versus shariah and on was.
        But listen to NPR or the mainstream news and you would think differently.

        • anon

          It certainly had a lot to do with it. Muslims didn’t have any particular hatred for Denmark, but see how they reacted to the cartoons… Any Muslim would be angered and insulted by that video, although 99.99% of us didn’t react violently.

    • hennorama

      Please list the incontrovertible demonstrable evidence as to the cause or causes of either the Cairo or Benghazi incident, or both.

      Please list the incontrovertible demonstrable evidence that leads to your absolutist statement “It’s our failed leadership weak as it is.”

      Please understand there is a small difference between the words “here” and “hear.”

      Please.

      • Stephen706

        Go first.. but will reiterate the causes of either or both was NOT some stupid 12-minute video that has been out on the internet for over 6 months and just “magically” became apparent to the world… are you really that naive, manipulable or just gullible… that is my whole point… Susan Rice and the MSM to include NPR has been feeding this LIE to people to divert real analysis or discussion of the real causes of this. I don’t buy it. You may. I don’t. You may be okay with being “played” but I am not. 

        • Ray in VT

          Now, I’m not sure as this article presents the definitive timeline of the Innocence of Muslims trailer, but here it is:

          http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/09/12/how-innocence-of-muslims-spread-around-the-globe-and-killed-a-us-diplomat

          This article mentions what I have read elsewhere, namely that the trailer was shown on a popular Egyptian TV channel with a new, Arabic translation 2-3 days before the current unrest started.

          Now, are there underlying tensions, dislike and distrust of America going back decades?  Sure.  May the Benghazi attack have been preplanned?  Certainly, given that some turned up armed.  To state, though, that the video is merely a ruse that has failed to impact and inflame opinion in the Muslim world, some of which is quite highly connected to the Internet, is far fetched as far as I’m concerned.

          • Stephen706

            Very well could be and even I agree with you… BUT don’t you find it odd/coincidental that such a lame ass stupid and poorly done video just happened to be slipped to and played on a particular station? There is more to this…

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know how the TV station came by the translation that they had.  It certainly could have been provided by someone for a particular purpose.  Was it not the creators of the “film” that they wanted to show how dangerous Islam is, and certainly it should have been known to them what the reaction would be.  Just look at what happened with the Danish cartoons.  Those didn’t need anyone covertly planting stuff or a special date.

            Perhaps there is more to this, as you suggest, but without evidence, which may or may not emerge, it is merely speculation.  We know who created the video and ostensibly why they did it.  It would certainly seem as though it was only a matter of time before someone in the Arab world picked up on this, especially it being promoted on that guys blog and with a new translation.  It seems certain that those who made it wanted it to be found.

          • Stephen706

            From one Coptic to another Coptic… and they are not treated well in Egypt… 

            But the film only really picked up steam when it was posted to “Nacopticas,” a blog run by an Egyptian-American lawyer and Coptic Christian named Morris Sadek. Also on Sadek’s site: a photo of himself alongside Terry Jones, the Florida pastor infamous for having burned copies of the Koran.Sadek is known for his anti-Muslim screeds, and for having had his Egyptian citizenship revoked in May 2011 after he allegedly called for attacks on Egypt. Sadek, who lives in the U.S., has filed multiple, unsuccessful lawsuits to regain his citizenship.But Sadek’s promotion of the film didn’t stop with his blog. In an interview with the Associated Press, he told the wire service he promoted the film on Egyptian television stations as well. Sadek did not respond to request for comment from U.S. News.

          • Ray in VT

            It really does make me wonder why this guy would put such a video out there considering what the consequences might be for others from his own community.  I guess that nuts just can’t be expected to act rationally, right?

        • hennorama

          “Go first?”

          You want me to list evidence supporting YOUR statement?  Do you think I know the cause(s)?  I guess I missed the post where I declared I know the cause of the Cairo and/or Benghazi incidents.

          Yes, yes, only you and Fox News know “the truth” everyone who doesn’t believe this is gullible or naive or easily manipulated by “the MSM’ yes yes yes please go on …

          Please.

          • Stephen706

            You got it… go re-watch the admin quickly try to spin this to the video…

          • Stephen706

            Just like Watergate was just a little break in too huh?

    • Stephen706

      Here is the Fox News analysis on Brett Baier’s All Star Panel… maybe on target or off-target but they present nice arguments on why “the video is the cause and nothing else” is a RUSE…

      Susan Rice and Jay Carney trumpeting the “video”… the Libya Interim president refuting such… and others taking an approach of awaiting further analysis… The administration wants to forget about this and move on. The Libyan govt reports arresting Al-Qeida operatives that may be responsible for such which doesn’t help the administration holding up Osama’s death as a triumph for Obama… the US unfavorable ratings have double-digit increases since 2009 compared with 2012, again not good for the administration… Iran progressing in their goals… Our distancing stance towards Israel to help improve our image in the Muslim world which has not worked…

      You can like or accept or disagree with this… but to accept that a 6-month old posted poorly done lame 12-minute stupid video magically created all of this now–on 9/11 of all dates… ain’t buying it one bit.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The caller spoke of trust. Let us not forget our historical blunders.

    Remember when Bush screwed the Kurds and was it the Shiites in Iraq? Does anyone here think they have forgotten that our psyops / CIA encouraged them to revolt promising support, but when they rose up, we allowed Saddam’s gunships to slaughter them? 

  • Thinkin5

    The speaker isn’t aware of the fact that every time the U.S. tries to advocate for a certain leader or policy in the Middle East it is perceived as U.S. interference and it backfires on us.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    oh please – Bush’s promotion of democracy in the middle east came out of them reaching the point that the excuse of weapons of mass destruction was showing itself to be a total lie and they needed a new excuse.
     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Geez, Tom, I’ve never heard of this guy (:45 min) but he’s got a lot of strange ideas.

    I’m curious: About how many kids of his have been killed in America’s armed forces the last decade?

  • GeorgeLombardo

    How naive is it to believe that if we had no need for middle east oil, we would have little or no entanglements in that region. The region would be fighting among themselves, since we would not be “meddling in there affairs,” so ther would be little or no “fuel” to inflame anti-American sentiments.

  • toby burleson

    I am confused about the policy of freedom of speech. I have not seen the video; but from what I have heard, it seems that it is filled with what anyone would recognize as a fictitious presentation of the Prophet Mohammed–womanizer, child molester, etc. If any publication or movie is recognized as being entirely fictional and is being represented as truth, then can it be defended under our freedom of speech policy?  If so, then why?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Malley’s point that it “is not about us” is a useful point, but to the extent it IS about us — given the world of 24/7 internet connection, with Bing there to translate from Chinese or Urdu, etc. — what about that bully pulpit that Gerecht refers to?  Maybe the bully pulpit is America’s sound, the pulse of it?  Who governs that?

  • Thinkin5

    You don’t see the Republicans calling out the Saudi’s for their human rights & women’s rights issues.  Their “American values” aren’t as important when oil and money invested in the U.S. is on the line.

  • Ellen Dibble

    In terms of allowable speech, there has always been prohibitions about certain representations of the almighty.  Didn’t the almighty in the burning bush tell Moses not the name but something else?  Jahweh, I think?  And now we have the words for god, as soon as they are misused, they get turned into something one doesn’t say.  I’m thinking of Shakespeare and the curse of the soldiers in France, ‘sblood, which meant God’s blood, and couldn’t be said in full, but could be alluded to.  Maybe the word “good” is related to the same.  

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Jahweh is the name that is not supposed to be pronounced.  In the Hebrew text, when the consonants JHWH appear, the vowel points are for the word, Adonai, which is supposed to be said in place of the real name.

      In the Middle Ages, Christian scholars reading the Hebrew text misunderstood and thought that the name of God was Jehovah, based on the vowel and consonant combination.  That name isn’t actually a real name in the Hebrew Bible.

      • Ellen Dibble

        And that Jahweh is supposed to mean something like “I am that I am,” right?  And yesterday Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks was saying on On Being with Krista Tippett in a rebroadcast from 2010 something along the lines that the word actually means a lot more, and I can’t recall exactly, but to say one mustn’t try to express it sort of covers the territory.  And it makes sense to me.  Yet all faiths find ways to refer to Whatever It Is.

      • Ellen Dibble

        And that Jahweh is supposed to mean something like “I am that I am,” right?  And yesterday Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks was saying on On Being with Krista Tippett in a rebroadcast from 2010 something along the lines that the word actually means a lot more, and I can’t recall exactly, but to say one mustn’t try to express it sort of covers the territory.  And it makes sense to me.  Yet all faiths find ways to refer to Whatever It Is.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Yahweh is a form of the Hebrew verb, to be.  The idea there is one of self-existence, rather than dependent existence.

          When God speaks to Moses at the beginning of Exodus, he declares his name to be “Eyeh asher eyeh”–I am that I am.

    • J__o__h__n

      One group’s concept of freedom has advanced since then and another’s hasn’t. 

  • Michiganjf

    Netanyahu wants the U.S. to “draw a red line,” but he himself refuses to limit his options in that way… thus his “red zone” instead.

    He’s a hypocrite who wants the U.S. to do the dirty work of his desired policy of oppressing Muslim populations worldwide, validating the Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

    ANY U.S. President would be STUPID to bend to Netanyahu’s will… thus, expect it from Romney, maybe, but NOT President Obama.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I’m concerned about his “red zone” analogy. (Leave alone for a second about whether it has merit.)

      I’m concerned because showing a bit of knowledge of American football will echo loudly (and with approval) among far too many of our Beltway Inbreds.

      • Michiganjf

        Ha! Interesting point.

      • hennorama

        Yes, Netanyahu’s use of “They’re in the red zone. They’re in the last 20 yards, and you can’t let them cross that goal line. You can’t let them score a touchdown… ” when discussing Iran’s nuclear pursuits was a naked pander to Americans.

        Sort of ”You can/should believe me – I know your lingo.”

        The red line/red light phrasing was clever as well.

        • Ray in VT

          It did really surprise me to hear him use the correct American football terminology when making that statement.

          • hennorama

            Netanyahu’s family lived in a suburbof Philadelphia for several years when he was growing up, and he went to and graduated from high school there, then returned to Israel to join the Israeli Defense Forces.  “Bibi” served with distinction in the IDF, then came back to the US a bit after the Israeli wars in the early 1970s, and got his degrees from MIT.

            He met and worked with Mitt Romney during this time, and they’ve been close ever since.

    • Mouse_2012

      He wants the redline to now be “Capacity” which Congress also changed it’s Redline to.

      What this means to us? (since both U.S. Intel and Israeli Intel said Iran is not seeking nukes) That it’s a far harder case to claim such so both the Israeli P.M. and Firsters changed the wording to it’s broadest terms possiable.

      Nutty wants Obama to sign off on ”Capacity” and once Obama has done so then say that Iran is passed the “What if” Redline level and we must therefore Bomb Iran or look weak,etc, etc,

      My Personal view is People like Netanyahu wants a war with Iran so they can use it as an excuse to fix their demographic Isssue in the name of “Self Defense” and if the U.S. is fighting Iran and it’s proxies Israel could cleanse enough of the West Bank to reduce their Demographic threat

      • Michiganjf

        Great observations!

  • Mouse_2012

    If you’re one of those people who still thinks it would be a good idea to attack Iran, you might spend a moment or two reflecting on the past week of events in the Middle East. If a stupid and amateurish video can ignite violent anti-American protests from Tunisia to Pakistan, just imagine what a joint U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran would do.

    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/17/the_arab_upheavals_and_irans_nuclear_program

  • TribalGuitars

    These people really don’t grasp that we have freedom of speech. They plain can’t warp their heads around the freedoms we have, nor why we have them, let alone how they work.

    Conspiracy and ignorance is the bread & butter of the regions’ leaders who told them for decades that they were keeping the US at bay.  Richard Engel was just reporting how many of them really, honestly think that American families get up every morning and start plotting how the US is going to take down various countries throughout the world. Many honestly don’t believe any Jews were killed on 9/11 in the towers and planes. The rulers of these countries encourage it because it stops their people from looking at their own country’s actual problems, like rulers that keep them poor and uneducated.

    It’s going to take a LOT of education to get this through to them. We’d be better off letting them come to the US and seeing how we live, and maybe a few Jewish names on the 9/11 memorials; and the way religion is criticized, lampooned, and disparaged, yet we don’t have riots in the streets over it.

    • anon

      Stereotypical garbage… stupid, backwards uneducated people… how are we going to civilize them?

      I’m not exactly sure who ‘they’ are – all 300 million Arabs? All 1-1/2 billion Muslims? Either way, most of ‘them’ are quite familiar with America; they watch their TV shows, visit there and study there, maybe have relatives there. They are much more aware of what the U.S. is like than vice versa.I don’t know exactly what Richard Engels said, but if it’s the way you represented it, he’s out of touch. ‘American families get up every morning and start plotting how the US is going to take down various countries throughout the world’? Actually, the people in this region make a distinction between the American government and the American people, and they are very hospitable to Americans, for the most part. 

      They know how religion is lampooned in the US; they don’t respect the US for that. Showing them more and more how religion is disrespected is not going to have any benefit.

  • Brandstad

    Didn’t Obama say during his last campaign that the Muslim world would once again respect and love the US once he was elected because he knew Muslims since he lived part of his life in Muslim countries and returned to them several times throughout his college years.

    • Thinkin5

      Like W. They will respect us for our strength…yea…

  • Mouse_2012

    I also find what Netanyahu is doing is extremely bad for both Israel and the U.S. but his actions will open up fronts for Criticism of the Likud Lobby and show the undue influence Israel has in U.S. politics

    • hennorama

      Netanyahu has a nearly 40 year relationship/friendship with Mr. Romney, and one needs to keep this in mind when analyzing his words and actions.  Is he saber rattling to help his old friend by making Pres. Obama look bad?  Maybe, maybe not.

      My only point is that it’s part of the mix.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Well, it is a mess.

    Look at Iran. The CIA overthrew their first democratic leader in the 50s, we supported the Shah, Reagan used Iraq to attack them with chemical weapons, now we sanction and berate them. If I was an iranian I’d think America was the Great Satan for sure.

    Look at Afghanistan. Can you imagine the USA with drones circling overhead day and night and occasionally blowing up your neighbors? Wouldn’t you be anti-American?

    Reagan was practically a founding father of al-Queda. They were the “afghan freedom fighters” when the idea was to harass the russians. I’m afraid those chickens came home to roost.

    I support the existence of Israel and any actions necessary. I do not support them colonizing the Palestinian’s lands. If our policy were more even handed it would remove another motive for anti-Americanism.

    I think there is no hope for good relations with the muslim world while we keep doing what we’re doing.

    I have to laugh at all the enthusiasm for the rebels and “democracy” in the “arab spring” by people who had no idea what they stood for. On the whole I think moderately friendly dictators will be replaced by Islamic fanatics.

    Good to see Etchasketch piss himself, tho.

  • http://www.facebook.com/colinodeani Colino Deani

    That Video is stupid.. I Just watched it.. Whats Worse is that The Muslims KNOW that its made to piss them off & Instead of Rallying Against the Video & the supposed “Zionist” they attack a Country who had nothing to Do with the low quality crap.. Now if Americans get Scared & Vote for Romney they’ll have the Republicans sending Airplanes to Blow up thier homes &  businessess again..

    They are comming off as Barbarians here.. theres no logic behind these attacks, not even from a revolutionary stand point.. RIP to the fallen.

  • arthurkrotky

    Tom, Enough w/ the PNAC guys. What’s the point of having chuckling phonies like Gerecht? He’s like a robot and takes up  time from a reasoned debate. They don’t have ears,just mouths.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550427523 Akilez Stamatelaky

    $1.86 Billion a year aid for Egypt a country where the majority of Egyptians hate Americans.

    $25 million a year aid for the Philippines. a country where the people love Americans and respect them and even will go to war just to protect the friendship.

    Tell me what is wrong with this picture?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550427523 Akilez Stamatelaky

    Israel can and will always defend itself from its Arab neighbors without any help from America or other countries.

    • Michele

       Yeah, but it would be a lot more difficult wouldn’t it?

    • anon

      The let them give up all that miitary aid and political cover they get and do it themselves.

  • jimino

    I heard former ambassador Ryan Crocker interviewed on what is happening and he attributed the true source of the rage we are seeing from these populations as dissatisfaction with their own governments but outwardly directed at US facilities because the people know they will only face tear gas instead of the deadly force their own government would use to put down such a protest directed at the government itself.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Obviously the stupid video would have little impact without the underlying rage. However I think it is from the stuff I outlined below.

      How would you feel if you saw and heard drones in your neighborhood every day and night, launching the occasional “hellfire” missile? Would you have good feelings about the nation that controlled them?

      • erictremont

        To the best of my knowledge, the vast majorityof U.S. drone attacks have occurred in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia—drone attacks in Libya or Egypt have been very rare if any have occurred at all.   

        • TomK_in_Boston

          So what? They contribute to the whole picture of the USA being anti-muslim. Do you think the Libs and Gyppos don’t know about the drone war? Do you think the chemical attacks by Reagan proxy Saddam on Iran have all been forgotten? And by the way, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia are relevant, too.

          • erictremont

            Tell me, when Saddam Hussein was dropping chemical weapons on the Kurds, did that provoke a strong reaction among Muslims outside of Iraq? If so, I must have missed it. There is no end to the inconsistency and hypocrisy associated with Muslim outrage.

        • anon

          Muslims consider themselves one nation, and when one part of it is hurt, we all should feel pain. That’s why Muslims all over the world are concerned with the plight of Palestinians, the Rohingyas in Burma, Afghans and Pakistanis killed by drones, etc.

          All of these reasons are part of it, but we shouldn’t discount the fact that any believing Muslim is going to find it incredibly offensive when a disgusting video like that is made about the Prophet Muhammad (and about any other Prophet). There IS a religious factor.

          • erictremont

            The problem is that Muslim indignation is highly selective—Muslims are enraged by U.S. drone attacks, and of course the slightest transgression by Israel can incite an intense reaction, but for years a large swath of the Muslim population shrugged off the atrocities committed by tyrannical regimes in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere, whether or not such regimes were “propped up” by U.S. foreign policy. It is hard to take Muslim outrage seriously when it is so inconsistent and hypocritical.

  • Disquus

    Question: THe point was made that the American film market was not necessarily seen as separate from the government.  To what degree are people in the Mideast aware and responding to the Christian right during this campaign and seeing it as American policy? The makers of the film, after all, seem to have had a political objective. In other words, to what degree are our domestic “Christian soldiers” subverting the State Department and exporting policy, perhaps in the same way as radical islam might be overriding or undermining various governments overseas?

  • hennorama

    The incidents on Sept. 11th, 2012 at the US Embassy in Cairo and later at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya were very different in both their nature, and their relative importance.  Cairo was much less serious and significant.

    It seems clear that the fact of the date being Sept. 11th was a major factor in the timing of both incidents.

    In Cairo, based on the demonstrators’ words and actions, the proximate cause appears to have been reaction to “the video” as UN Ambassador Susan Rice said.

    In Cairo, the embassy walls were breached, the US flag was torn down, burned, replaced, etc.  No one was killed.  Scary, yes.  Objectionable, yes.  Worrisome, yes.  Hugely significant by itself, not so much.

    Taken alone, this incident was not such a huge thing.  Protests at US Embassies are not exactly uncommon.  If there had been no subsequent attacks at Benghazi and no resultant US deaths, I doubt we’d be talking about the Cairo incident alone for long.

    The attacks with heavy weapons and the deaths of US personnel in Benghazi makes this the much more serious situation.  The Libyan incident is indefensible, regardless of the cause.  There is considerable dispute as to the actual events.  There are conflicting reports as to whether there were or were not any demonstrations outside, prior to the attacks. 

    The cause is also not yet clear.  It may be reaction to the video.  It may be terrorists using this video as a cover for their motives.  It may be to avenge the death of a militant leader.  It may be connected to or in reaction to the Cairo incident.  Lots of maybes, still.

    There are ongoing efforts to bring those responsible for Benghazi to justice.  There are and will be investigations into both the Cairo incident and the Benghazi incident, and there are many legitimate questions about US policy, security of US diplomatic missions, intelligence prior to the incidents, etc.

    Expressions of outrage over the loss of US lives is completely warranted.  Expressions of outrage over attacks on US diplomatic facilities is warranted.  Calls for investigations are warranted.

    But drawing conclusions without all the facts seems hasty and unwise.

    • anon

      I also don’t know what really happened, but I would just point out that outside the U.S., September 11 is just the day between the 10th and the 12th; I’m American, living in the Middle East, and it didn’t occur to me that it was ’9/11′, despite seeing the date, until that evening. It’s doubtful to me that crowds in Cairo or Benghazi were chomping at the bit to do something on September 11.

      • hennorama

        YOU may not have recalled “that it was ’9/11′ ” a week ago, but do you really believe that your anecdotal experience is representative of everyone and everywhere “outside the U.S.” on that date?

        While certainly the the events of 9/11 are more “front of mind” here in the U.S., memorials were held across the world, and have been annually since those attacks.

        I don’t believe anyone has claimed “… that crowds in Cairo or Benghazi were chomping at the bit to do something on September 11.”  However, the combination of underlying unrest and anger, political and economic upheaval, and nearly instant communication were (and are) excellent tinder.  An obviously religiously provocative video clip provided either a deliberate spark or a convenient cover for the events that unfolded, depending on one’s point of view or alternate universe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550427523 Akilez Stamatelaky

    The Filipino Muslims in Mindanao are now on the streets to demonstrate against the anti-muslim film.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550427523 Akilez Stamatelaky

    Subic Bay, Philippines is now open for US Navy ships and USAF personnel. The US. Embassy in Manila is heavily guarded by Filipino anti-terrorist group and the Philippine marines. Philippine National Police PNP is on high alert in protecting American and other tourists in the islands.

  • doug_mO

    The Neocon foreign policy:  Aircraft carrier diplomacy.  When has that ever worked?  Was the Middle East any less volatile in the 1980′s and 2000′s?

    • William

       It’s working for Obama. He went to war against Libya without Congressional approval. He is deeply involved in the civil war in Yemen. He loves the drone attacks in Pakistan.

      • doug_mO

        Good point about the drones.  What is needed perhaps, from the US’s point of view, is a reduction in the amount of military activity we conduct in the Mid-East and Pakistan.

        • Ray in VT

          Drones are a tricky weapon.  They can, and have, enabled the U.S. to take out some “high value” militants without risking American lives, but they also can, and do, cause civilian deaths, but so have traditional air strikes and boot on the ground.

          I think that a lot of Americans would like to see us less throughout the Muslim world.  Our involvement there is problematic, and many of our actions there, such as support of autocrats like the Shah, have created deep seated resentment against the U.S. and our interests.  On the other hand there are our interests, either real of perceived.  There is oil, there are our allies, like Israel, and there is the knowledge that allowing radical elements to find safe haven there can most certainly harm us here, so what to do?

          I find some of the criticisms of the Obama administration’s policy to be interesting.  Take William’s comments for instance.  He’s critical of our actions in Libya, which the President, like Reagan in Grenada and George H.W. Bush in Panama, did not get Congressional approval for.  We did, however, help to get rid of a known supporter of terrorism without the loss of American lives.  Take Yemen.  Have we been backing good guys there?  No, but have we been acting to support that government against Al Qaeda aligned elements.  Yup.  Drone strikes in Pakistan.  Maybe not the best idea, but if the Pakistanis are unwilling or unable to crack down on Al Qaeda or Taliban militants there, then do we just allow that to be?

          The whole region is problematic, and our interests there are complex.  We probably would be better off if we could disengage from the whole region as long as it wouldn’t cause serious problems for us down the road, but I don’t think that that is realistic.  Many problems.  Few good solutions.

          • Gregg Smith

            My problem is not with the drones, it’s the whack-a-mole strategy. Drones are a great tool but not a strategy. The Middle East is at an historic tipping point and it’s tipping the wrong way. If the crazies get control it’s over. For that to happen all we have to do is nothing.

    • Gregg Smith

      Er… Yea, two sworn enemies are now allies.

  • jhowells

    I find Gerecht hard to stomach. The “you are all ignorant buffoons” tone coupled with the fact that he was a supporter of two wars in the middle east – such triumphs! O’Bama , of course , is “hopelessly naive” about the Middle East. 

    Did Gerecht grow up in a Muslim country? No . he is a “pretend expert” loved by the right wing. 

    Get ready for the next neo-con war.

  • SK

    Get tough with Iran says the Isreali PM,and draw that ‘RED LINE’ and guess who is gonig to war after the red line is crossed.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S65RBEEMYRFYVMJZMRRADQMMAI gardenia

      Learn to spell.  Israeli not Isreali.  Israel is our only friend in the Middle East.  SK, are you also a Muslim?  Why do many Muslims spew hatred across the board?

      • SK

        Thanks for the spellcheck!!
        No,I am not a muslim,why,it is not the Muslims who has put the USA in the dire state,it is the greedy bankers in wall street to ill adviced Bush who took USA to war,and take a guess who were these bankers and these advisors.sorry if there are any spelling errors.

  • Mike_Card

    Romney’s approach to foreign policy is to disagree with the Obama administration at every turn.  Since Romney survived a primary gauntlet where everyone else ran–with some limited successes–as anti-Romneys, that might have been a winning strategy.  Except, of course, Romney emerged as the candidate.

    • hennorama

      Republican primary voters were so in love with Mr. Romney that they raised up one laughably weak candidate after another.  Perry, then Cain, then Gingrich, then Santorum until Romney’s money finally won out.  The best of the worst?  Not my call, but certainly a weak field.

      Even now Republicans seem more anti-Obama than pro-Romney. Politico is reporting not only strife inside the Romney campaign (which is normal), but also what seems to be a bunch of CYA. A so-called “premortem obituary.”

  • JGC

    I don’t know if this is foreign policy, but Mitt Romney views 47% of U.S.citizens  as if they were foreign and outside the purview of his time and consideration.  See the video of Romney at a private fundraiser, writing off half of the U.S. as freeloaders; it is available through NPR or Mother Jones. Willard Mitt Romney, YOU are the Great Freeloader of American society. Your money summers in Switzerland and winters over in the Cayman Islands. You have produced no useful widget for American business; just deals that end in job closures and offshoring and bonuses in your ledger. You have used the roads that we taxpayers built to transport your hapless dog and your five boys (who have grown up to be non-military-serving banksters, just like you) on care-free holidays. This is not a patriot who can lead our country. Unless he only leads for the 1%. 

  • hennorama

    Unless I somehow missed the capture and subsequent confessions of those responsible for the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi, I fail to see how anyone can proclaim that they “know” the reasons behind this attack.

    Cairo seems much clearer, and was fortunately much less serious.  Event timelines abound on the web, and the sequence of events in Egypt seems to have been:

    - in early September, “the video” gets translated into local language- news of “the video” gets spread online, in the press, via text, etc.
    - on Sept. 9th, a popular Egyptian TV station (with ties to the very conservative Salafist branch of Islam) airs a part of “the video”
    - on Sept. 10, The Grand Mufti of Egypt (highest Sunni Muslim cleric) condemns the video
    - On Sept. 11th, US Embassy personnel in Cairo, knowing all of the above and likely anticipating unrest on the Sept 11th anniversary, issue tweets/statements condemning “religious incitement.”  They read, in part “…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.”
    - demonstrators gather at the Embassy, protests escalate, and the fit hits the shan

    One can see that it’s easy to argue that “the video” was directly related to this sequence of events.

    Libya is a markedly different story.  There are conflicting reports, from multiple sources pro and con, as to whether there were or were not any demonstrations prior to these attacks with heavy weapons.  Obviously, the resulting US casualties are indefensible and reprehensible.

    The fact that these reports conflict, combined with the timing, severity and nature of the attacks, makes it much more difficult to attribute this incident SOLELY to “the video.”

    Still, short of the capture and confession of the perpetrators, the causes and motives involved cannot currently be classified as “known,” and “the video” cannot be excluded as a possible cause or motive.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    “During the Friday night incident, 15 Taliban fighters staged a “well-coordinated attack” on the perimeter of Camp Bastion, armed with automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests. The 15 attacked fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, aircraft hangars and other buildings, according to International Security Assistance Force officials.Six Harrier jets and three refueling stations were destroyed, officials said. Also, two additional Harrier jets were damaged and six “soft-skin” aircraft hangars were damaged.In a firefight, 14 of the Taliban fighters were killed and one was captured. In addition to the two Marine fatalities, eight other NATO coalition personnel and one civilian contractor were wounded.”

    As my ‘ol buddy W used to say, “makin’ good progress”, right?

    We are going to leave Afghanistan just like the Russians and the 19′th century British did, with nothing accomplished but damage to ourselves.

  • anon

    Watching the news about how the British ‘royal’ family is dealing with pictures that offend their princess, and reading comments about how the Muslims don’t understand that free speech is sacrosanct in ‘the West’…

    The princess was topless on balcony that was in view of the street. When offered the photos of her, no one in the UK press bought them, because the press there operates under many restrictions and would be afraid to upset the Queen. When a French magazine published the photos, the ‘royals’ went bananas, saying they were furious and it was ‘grotesque’. They’ve gone to court to get an injunction, and they’ve instructed their lawyers to go for the maximum punishment – putting the photographer in prison. The co-owner of the Irish newspaper who published the photos has threatened to shut it down. (And the public reaction seems to be mostly supporting the royals.)

    All this because a princess is offended? Does anyone see why Muslims think the ‘free speech in the West’ argument is hypocrisy?

    (Personally, I think the more disgusting photos are of people lined up around the world simply to be in the mere presence of these ‘royals’, as if they’re vastly superior to everyone else, but that’s just me…)

    • sjw81

       was anyone murdered? riots anywhere? you are comparing the civilized world with the third world of intolerance, repression of women and regligion, outright hatred and violence at the least bit of alleged disrespect?

      • anon

        They don’t have to riot because they can get an injunction, have the co-owner threaten to shut down the Irish newspaper, go to court to put people in prison for this, etc.

        And your description of the ‘uncivilized’ world of Muslims is born of ignorance. I used to think like that too (maybe not that bad) until I actually moved here and realized how absurd those stereotypes are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    The protesters in Egypt were chanting “Obama, Obama, there are a billion Osama’s”" The Libyan leaders are saying the protest was planned on 9/11 as revenge for the drone killing of Osama’s number 2. While I am happy these two bad actors are deceased, lets not pretend Obama’s gloating over killing Bin Laden and his extended use of drones have not contributed to Mid East unrest.  

  • sjw81

    What’s wrong with Muslims?” That is, whether we like it or not, the question that many — including American liberals who have, time and time again, given “Muslims” the benefit of the doubt — will be asking. ANSWER: intolerant, violent, repressive, inferiority complex, easily offended, will riot and murder at drop of a hat, dont appreciate help or money we send them, not the help of our military.

    • ExcellentNews

       Sounds like a description of Dixie…

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  • jirenma

    “What’s wrong with Rioting?”
    First, I don’t know how much reporting is going on.  Obviously there has been rioting among the protesting, but whats the ratio between riots and peaceful protests? 

    Second, Muslims are not the only ones rioting right now.  At the same time, China is ablaze with riots over the Japanese purchase of the Senkaku Islands. 

    Without asking what causes people to riot, I ask, what allows a person to riot?  People are offended in the US over many things, so why don’t we see more riots? 

    Law and order, income, wealth, hobbies, education, population density, materialism, stability, nationalism, rivalries, etc- what enables someone to riot, or not to riot?  And again, this is not an issue of causality- though causality may have a roll.  This is taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture of what enables people to riot. 

    Just a thought-

  • ExcellentNews

    The words at 32:00 are true both ways. If we in the US were not so religiously handicapped, we could have a democracy too…

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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