Muslim mobs kill ambassador, storm embassy

Flag of Egypt. What happened in Egypt is a metaphor for American policy failures in the Middle East.
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Yesterday, Muslim street mobs scaled the wall of the United States Embassy in Cairo and attacked and burned the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya. The mob even killed the US Ambassador to Libya when he came to get his employees out of the mission. And US officials stunned the world—by apologizing to the mobs.

Muslim mobs go wild

Three reports came in from Fox News. Reports also came in from USA Today, The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Times of Israel, The Atlantic, and Reuters (via Yahoo!). The Muslim mob in Cairo, Egypt, struck first, during local night. Some sources say that Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, or at least one member of her staff, knew in advance that a riot might start and kept only a skeleton crew at the embassy. Protesters scaled the wall, tore down the American flag (and burned it later), and raised a black flag with this classic Muslim slogan in Arabic:

There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.

An Egyptian blogger noted pro-Al-Qaeda chants and published several photos.

Flag of Egypt. A Muslim mob in that country started a wave of attack against American diplomats.

Flag of Egypt

What was this protest all about? Earlier this year, an Israeli Jew named Sam Bacile released a new film titled either Innocence of Muslims or Mohammed, the Movie. (The film seems to have different titles in different regions.) He uploaded a 14-minute trailer to his own YouTube channel. (See the first embed below.) The trailer says a lot about Mohammed, his many wives, and his child wife Aisha. It also shows Muslims rioting, looting, and pillaging Christian-owned businesses, while police do nothing until the mobs have done their incendiary, and often bloody, work.

Some unknown person made an unauthorized version of the trailer with Arabic subtitles and/or dubbing. CNAV cannot tell whether the unauthorized duplicator translated the dialogue correctly or not. The second clip shows a scene from that altered trailer and how it played on Egyptian television.

Witnesses heard members of the Muslim mob yelling at Americans to, in effect, control speech, ban the film, and presumably to arrest Bacile. A Muslim government would do that. The United States government does not do that. (Yet.) The third and fourth clips show the mob scaling the embassy wall.

Uncannily, the embassy, in a press release, apologized to the Muslim mob:

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. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

The White House repudiated that statement later.

A dead ambassador

The Libyan attack was worse. The Muslim mob in Benghazi set fire to the US Mission in that city, and killed at least one employee. Ambassador Chris Stevens and a party of three drove to Benghazi to take charge of getting the rest of the mission staff out. Someone fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the ambassador’s car. The ambassador and all his party died in the attack. And at 8:30 a.m. EDT today, the embassy page still did not reflect mourning or even any acknowledgement that the ambassador had died.

Sam Bacile went into hiding after the first man at the Benghazi mission lost his life. He refuses to apologize for making the film.

The world reacts

The Presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney hadn’t planned to say anything political yesterday. That changed when the first consular employee died and the Cairo embassy sent the press release apologizing for freedom of speech. Romney took exception to that:

It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration‘s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

Naturally, the Obama campaign took exception to that.

We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack.

Today, of course, we deal with a dead ambassador, not a dead consular employee. (Some reports say that the ambassador was the first person to die, not that the ambassador and his consular employee were two different persons.) Mitt Romney said this morning, in Jacksonville, FL, that the Cairo embassy press release “shows the mixed signals coming from this administration.”

The administration’s tone seems to have changed overnight. But before then, Bruce Hirschensohn, a former Nixon-era diplomat, spoke more forcefully in a morning interview:

These are acts of war. Your embassy should be as safe as your living room.

Any country’s embassy is part of that country’s territory. International law always treats it as such. This is why Iran and the US are technically at war, a war that began when a Muslim mob stormed and occupied the US embassy in Teheran and took fifty-two Americans hostage.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

37 Responses to Muslim mobs kill ambassador, storm embassy

  1. Fergus Mason says:

    “Uncannily, the embassy, in a press release, apologized to the Muslim mob”

    Funny, I don’t see any apology in that statement; only condemnation of the idiot who made the film.

    Islam is indeed a vicious and stupid religion – considering the soil it sprang from that was pretty much inevitable – but people like Bacile and that fool Terry Jones are just troublemaking publicity hounds. They don’t care who dies as long as they make the headlines.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      That’s the apology to the mob. The First Amendment, which again I don’t expect you to understand, says that citizens and lawful residents of the United States have a Constitutional right to say things that you, or a Muslim, might regard as idiotic. Anyone who suggests otherwise, strikes at the heart of what it means to be an American.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “That’s the apology to the mob.”

        Where is the apology to the mob, Terry? I just don’t see it.

        “The First Amendment, which again I don’t expect you to understand, says that citizens and lawful residents of the United States have a Constitutional right to say things that you, or a Muslim, might regard as idiotic.”

        And I fully agree with that right. As you may have noticed I’m not exactly shy about speaking up myself. Sam Bacile has a perfect right to express himself in any way he chooses. Unfortunately the way he chose to do so reveals him to be a loudmouthed moron who’s too stupid to see what consequences his actions might have for innocent people. Are muslims childishly oversensitive about “insults” to their “prophet”? Yes, of course they are. Are they justified in the ludicrously violent way so many of them overreact? Absolutely not. However everyone with a brain knows that they do overreact that way, and Sam Bacile should have considered that before making his stupid film. He has achieved nothing and knowingly provoked violence that he himself can hide from but US diplomats stuck in foreign countries can’t. In short he’s a publicity-seeking little weasel who couldn’t give a toss about the effect of his actions on others, just as long as he gets some attention.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Absolutely anything said about “misguided individuals” is ipso facto an apology to the mob. They haven’t earned the right to suggest that the United States government ban films, arrest the filmmakers, and deliver them up to the tender mercies of Islamic justice. All of which that mob demanded.

          I will reserve my rejoinder about Sam Bacile pending an opportunity to review his film.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Absolutely anything said about “misguided individuals” is ipso facto an apology to the mob.”

            Well, that’s your opinion.

            “They haven’t earned the right to suggest that the United States government ban films, arrest the filmmakers, and deliver them up to the tender mercies of Islamic justice.”

            And they didn’t. In fact the press release reiterated the right to free speech.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Not when it spoke of “abuse [of] the universal privilege.” It is universal but it is not a privilege. It is a right. An unassailable right.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Not when it spoke of “abuse [of] the universal privilege.” It is universal but it is not a privilege. It is a right. An unassailable right.”

            Yes.

            “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

            Did you have a point?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Yes. The point is this: that statement constituted pusillanimous conduct in the face of an enemy of civilization.

            And also falling into the trap of a distraction. The real target in this affair was Chris Stevens. He was getting just a little too close to Arabs in an Arab land. Close enough to ingratiate the United States with the Arabs. Not something a radical Muslim wants to see. They therefore saw him as a dangerous, seductive enemy.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “The point is this: that statement constituted pusillanimous conduct in the face of an enemy of civilization.”

            I don’t see that. Should the embassy have defended Bacile and his film? I don’t see how that could have been justified.

            “He was getting just a little too close to Arabs in an Arab land. Close enough to ingratiate the United States with the Arabs. Not something a radical Muslim wants to see.”

            I agree. However it’s not what radical zionists or, apparently, a large number of radical christians want to see either, is it? Which, in my view, puts them all in the same boat…

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            The embassy staff should have said nothing at all. And furthermore, all of it is a sham. That film came out six months ago.

            And your comment about “radical Zionists” reminds everyone else in the comment space, again, where your sympathies lie.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “The embassy staff should have said nothing at all.”

            Embassies are there to communicate with the people of the country they’re in. It’s quite hard to do that if they say nothing at all.

            “And furthermore, all of it is a sham. That film came out six months ago.”

            Yes – one showing in a US cinema. When was it releasd on YouTube with Arabic subtitles?

            “And your comment about “radical Zionists” reminds everyone else in the comment space, again, where your sympathies lie.”

            That’s right. My sympathies, like those of most people, do not lie with radical zionists.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            See the next article that just came out from this site. Where do you think the dubbed trailer came from? Egyptian television. Egyptian government television.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Where do you think the dubbed trailer came from? Egyptian television. Egyptian government television.”

            Yes Terry. That was on a programme which reports things that are happening in the world or that people have done. Here in Europe we call it “news.”

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            The operative word here is “manufactured.” That dubbed video is nowhere else available on YouTube except as part of an Egyptian television segment. So how do I know that it was not produced by and for Egyptian television?

  2. CamilleT says:

    You’re misconstruing this. They condemned the violence, and apologized for the moronic film that sparked all of this.

  3. AlexM says:

    A couple of possible corrections:

    The statement by the Cairo embassy is not necessarily the viewpoint of the administration. I highly doubt the Obama administration approves every statement put out by every American diplomatic mission.

    The ambassador was killed in Benghazi, several hundred miles from the American embassy in Tripoli.

    Terrible tragedy. I feel bad for the overwhelming majority of Muslims who aren’t radical extremists and are regularly lumped into the same group as the nutjobs who carry out these attacks.

    Anybody who gets that offended by a picture of Mohammed (or anyone) should check themselves into an insane asylum.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Well, seeing as how a President appoints ambassadors, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, I’d say that Obama might have known that Ambassador Patterson would make a statement like that before she made it. The White House disclaimed that statement for the same reason they laid on what became a travesty of parliamentary law at the Democratic National Convention last Wednesday: because the public outcry was louder than they could afford to ignore during an election campaign.

      • AlexM says:

        Or the far more reasonable explanation that the ambassador released the statement as an attempt to quell the riots.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          An attempt, if what you say is correct, that was doomed to fail from the start. Those people didn’t want assuagement. They wanted satisfaction.

  4. alex says:

    Everyone has a right to Freedom of Speech, and on those grounds I condemn the mob.

    However, Do you think that it would be all that different in America? If I made a film depicting Jesus as a child molester and it received a lot of press, I would receive death threats. Thankfully we are a stable country, and have been for over a hundred years. Libya has really only been a country since Gaddafi fell.

    The attacks are wrong, but I would not consider this a reflection of Islam

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      The difference is: I wouldn’t condone the death threats. I would hope the cops would arrest anyone who tried to carry such threats out.

      I have no such confidence in the police in a Muslim country.

      But there’s something else that we’ve missed. All of this is a sham. The real purpose was to get Chris Stevens. Because he was one of the few American officials who was reaching out and bonding with Arabs in an Arab land. That is precisely what the radical Muslims do not want.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Because he was one of the few American officials who was reaching out and bonding with Arabs in an Arab land. That is precisely what the radical Muslims do not want.”

        Didn’t Andy Schlafly’s blog condemn Obama for reaching out and bonding with Arabs in Arab lands? Doesn’t that give Conservapedia, on this issue at least, common cause with islamists?

  5. […] Muslim mobs kill ambassador, storm embassy […]

  6. alex says:

    You would condemn the death threats, the same way my Muslim relatives condemn the negative reaction to “The Innocence of Muslims”

    You prove my point, the harsh reactions of a few do not reflect the ideals of the majority. There are a lot of reports of Libyans apologizing for the attack.

    Yeah, It wouldnt surprise me if terrorists used the protests already happening to stage an attack against an ambassador.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      We know now (because the Libyans now say they have arrested a bunch of people who admit it) that all of this dust-up was a sham to get the Ambassador.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “all of this dust-up was a sham to get the Ambassador.”

        No, that’s just silly. The specific incident at the Benghazi consulate may well have been a cover for the attack on the Ambassador, but multiple incidents over multiple countries isn’t likely to be. In any case there is plenty of rpecedent for muslims going on the rampage at ridiculous provocations, so it would be absurd to say that something as inflammatory as this film wouldn’t cause genuine uproar. Stupid? Well yes. However many muslims do over-react that way to “insults” against their religion and we all know that.

      • AlexM says:

        Starting a protest for cover while radicals attacked the American consulate certainly seems reasonable, although it is important to note that the vast majority of Muslims do not partake in these kinds of protests. The largest riot in recent days has been in the several thousands of people (as a maximum ). There are over 1.5 billion Muslims.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          You do know now, I trust, that we now learn that Libya saw no riots before the Benghazi Incident went down.

  7. […] rebels in Libya because we wanted revenge on Mohamar Khadafy. This resulted in our embassy being attacked and 4 Americans being brutally killed. Our official response was to apologize for an obscure film, […]

  8. […] work with was his September 25 address to the UN. Obama spoke at length about the Muslim mobs that stormed our embassies in the Middle East on September 11, 2012, and the terrorists who overran the Benghazi […]

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