The State Department in Cairo responded to its attack by lecturing Americans on “hate speech” contained in an internet video which allegedly triggered the invasion of American soil in Egypt. That statement has since been withdrawn, but I don't care. It should never have been made in the first place. The default position of the Obama administration is to apologize, stuck in the mindset of asking “why do they hate us?” Well, let me answer that. They hate us because we're America. We're free. We respect the right of all religions to believe what they want to believe, and to practice their religion without interference from the state. And we tolerate offensive speech. Regardless of what the video may have said (I haven't seen it), our ambassadors and consular spokespeople should never, repeat never apologize for an American, however loathsome, who is exercising his First Amendment rights.
Better the ambassadorial staff had made no statement at all than to have apologized in a way which gave at least minimal support to the barbarians who invaded our embassy. The State Department didn't condone the attack, of course. But by using the anti-free speech announcement, it essentially said to the mob “you shouldn't have attacked our embassy, but we understand your anger.” That's just wrong, wrong, wrong. If any statement at all had been issued, it should have at least included the words “American territory has been attacked, and though we will do our best to work with the government of Egypt in stemming future attacks and punishing the perpetrators of this attack, we nevertheless are making it perfectly clear that every self-defense measure available to us will be used to prevent future invasions of American soil.”
The largest problem with the Obama administration is that it has been so solicitous of Arab and Islamic street thinking that the locals in Cairo simply didn't believe the Americans would defend their soil or take punitive action immediately. They were right on the former, and may be right on the latter. Mobs are like dogs. If you don't discipline them right after they commit their bad act, they don't make the connection when you discipline them later. In addition, American embassies should have sufficient contingents of Marines and other security personnel on site to protect the embassy and staff. The mob breached the walls of an American compound, and burned the American flag.
The Obama administration lives in a dream world of “democracy” and the “Arab spring.” In America's London embassy, two Marines and a part-time rent-a-cop are probably sufficient for embassy protection. But when our embassy staff is quartered in hostile territory, they need a lot more protection than that. Two things should guide this principle. First, London is not hostile territory, Cairo is. Second, the Brits are pretty damned good at keeping their citizens in proper behavioral mode. In Cairo the Muslim Brotherhood which now controls the government can't even control its own members, let alone fast-forming mobs filled with blood-lust for some real or imagined insult. In fact, in Cairo it's hard to separate the mob from the government (ask the Copts, if you don't believe me).
What provoked the Islamists in Cairo is still not entirely clear, but mounting evidence indicates that the deadly attack in Benghazi was planned, coordinated, and somewhat professionally carried-out. As evidence mounts, it seems the Benghazi attack had little or nothing to do with the offensive internet video which “insulted” Mohammed by offering facts. It is possible that the attack occurred only incidentally with the anniversary of 9-11. There are connections between the mob, revenge for the death of a major al Qaeda leader in June, and even the adherents of the blind cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman who is imprisoned in the US for participating in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Whether the Libyan government was itself involved remains a question to be answered definitively at a later time. There is an unverified story that the ambassador war taken to an emergency treatment area, and that Libyan security forces informed the mob that he was being moved to a hospital where he was subsequently murdered in cold blood. But one thing is clear. The Libyan security forces put on a short pretense of opposing the mob, then simply got out of its way. The result was an invasion and trashing of American soil and the death of four Americans, including the ambassador who had worked very hard to make friends of the Libyans and listen to their causes. It seems a rabid dog doesn't care if you've offered him food and shelter.
Like most people, I have daydreamed of being the President of the United States. But I'm not qualified, for multiple reasons. One of which is temperament. While Mr. Cool Obama issues dry, reasoned, empty words and empty threats which encourage the mob, bad-tempered me would be far too dangerously close to the nuclear trigger. What we need is a leader who can make it clear America will not tolerate attacks on American soil, and make it known to the enemy that we really mean it. We (and they) don't need details. The real pledge that the wrongdoers and all their enablers will be punished must be believable. And you can't defend an embassy or consulate with drones or apologies for being a nation which allows free speech.
The next step will be fussing over who was really behind the attacks. I'm going to go out on a limb here. In each and every case of attacks on America and Americans in the Middle East, there is one enemy—Islamism. I have done this before, but just in case somebody has read this and doesn't know exactly how I distinguish between Islam and Islamists, here it is. Islam is a religion, and like most religions, it has unique laws and rules, and would like to persuade everyone to become a Muslim. Not much different from evangelical Christianity. Islamism is the belief that Islam is the solution for all problems and the model that every society in the world must follow, and that the apparatus of the modern state must be applied to enforce Sharia law on everyone, everywhere.
Islamism is a zero-tolerance belief system. It won't tolerate other religions, civil/secular government, apostasy, or any “insult to Islam.” The solution to almost everything is to kill or enslave its perceived enemies. For the Islamist, the mere presence of an infidel institution in Muslim lands is an insult to Islam requiring death and/or destruction. That goes for Christian churches and American embassies. Al Qaeda has its roots in hatred of the presence of American troops and legations in Saudi Arabia, the home of the holy sites of Mecca and Medina.
The administration and its mainstream media hacks attacked Mitt Romney for criticizing the State Department's Egyptian “free speech” statement. Too early, they say. Using a serious crisis as a political tool, they say. Aw, hooey. It's never too early to tell politically-correct fools to quit apologizing for America's right of free speech instead of condemning an attack on American soil. It's never too early to say we must not let terrorists have a free rein. Whether they are right or not, it is hugely refreshing to see an American candidate for the presidency get angry about the loss of American lives and destruction of American property. Or call it righteous indignation. Obama has demonstrated neither so far.
Since I'm too hot-tempered to be President, I strongly suggest a vote for Mitt Romney, who at least has the decency to call an Islamist an Islamist and to get angry when Americans are killed and America's flag is burned on American embassy soil. Nobody is suggesting that American forces should go about shooting suspected terrorists willy-nilly (which is the line the mainstream media will take about Romney). But whatever threat Obama may make will fall on deaf ears because our enemies simply don't believe he has the backbone to follow his words with actions other than drone strikes. Romney at least looks and sounds believable.
Given what we know as I write this article, I have said what I think about the new crisis in the Middle East. I invite all our readers to do the same. I don't pretend to have a quick solution, and “nuke 'em” or “send in the troops” hasn't even entered my mind. Obama's response is to evacuate all diplomats and staff from Benghazi and Tripoli. I also recognize that new revelations are likely to emerge even by the time this article publishes. Feel free to point them out and include them in your comments.