Protests flared in Libya and Egypt over anti-Islam film on Tuesday.
Protesters angered over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad fired gunshots and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing one American diplomat. In Egypt, protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and replaced an American flag with an Islamic banner.
It was the first such assaults on U.S. diplomatic facilities in either country, at a time when both Libya and Egypt are struggling to overcome the turmoil following the ouster of their longtime leaders, Moammar Gadhafi and Hosni Mubarak in uprisings last year.
The protests in both countries were sparked by outrage over a film ridiculing Muhammad produced by an American in California and being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States. Excerpts from the film dubbed into Arabic were posted on YouTube.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed that one State Department officer had been killed in the protest at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. She strongly condemned the attack and said she had called Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif "to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya."
Clinton expressed concern that the protests might spread to other countries. She said the U.S. is working with "partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide."
"Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet," Clinton said in a statement released by the State Department. "The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind. "
Officially the US states that they are against these kinds of provocations and that they support all religions, yet nothing has been done to these individuals who are causing real blood to be shed all over the world. Even with the bloodshed and backlash on US soldiers and US personnel overseas for some reason the US Government has not seen fit to stop these individuals from inciting religious hatred.
Many in the Muslim world and people in general see this inaction by the US Government as a sign that Official Washington supports the position of extremist anti-Muslim fanatics.
The light sentences and seemingly condoning attitude that has been taken to US and NATO Forces who repeatedly desecrate and have committed war crimes against Muslims does not help the US image in the Muslim world as well.
Another area which is causing backlash against the US is the failure of the Arab Spring and the US “missions” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The world is tired of the drone attacks, the killing of thousands of civilians, the assassinations, the torture and the military expansion of the US.
But, isn’t it yet another sign that the US needs to change its policies?
In Libya the double standards and the lack of planning by the US are more to blame than the insurgents who supported the US in their war to kill Gaddafi and who then turned their weapons on those who brought them to power.
Under Gaddafi in Libya and Mubarak in Egypt, such attacks on US Embassies would never have happened. The US’ lack of foresight and advance planning in unleashing the Arab Spring and effecting regime changes all over the region is going to have a continuing and growing backlash and instead of subjugating the people and controlling the countries in question, as the US has seen in Afghanistan, the opposite will be the case.
Again we have to condemn the violence of those who see violence as the only way to fight back, and we regret the death of yet the continued meddling by the US in countries all over the world is going to continue to cause backlash and will continue to escalate.
As many experts agree, including US based expert Alon Ben Meir, the failure of the Arab Spring was that the US mistakenly thought they could bring about “democracy” overnight in countries where the people had no idea what it means.
As the peoples of the Arab Spring countries and Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya begin to see their lives become worse, their countries continue to fall apart and the “promise” of democracy to have been a lie, they will turn to the Islamists, and if provocations continue against Muslims, the attacks will grow worse.
Maybe it is time the US thought about peace and stopped trying to dictate to the world what it should do, who it should befriend, what religion to believe in and how to run their countries?
Morsi’s silence on the embassy mob gets deafening
WhiIe Egypt’s prime minister called Tuesday’s incident “regrettable” and unjustified, President Mohamed Morsy condemned the anti-Muslim film that incited the protesters.
Morsy made a reference to Egypt’s duty to protect diplomatic missions and its opposition to unlawful protesters, but did not mention or criticize those who stormed the embassy.
“The presidency condemns in the strongest terms the attempt of a group to insult the place of the Messenger, the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and condemns the people who have produced this radical work,” the president said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. “The Egyptian people, both Muslims and Christians, refuse such insults on sanctities.”
His statement went on to say that the Egyptian government respects the right to free expression, a common Orwellian flourish whenever Islamists call for cartoons or films or books insulting the faith to be banned. Marc Lynch frets that the Brotherhood’s silence is negligent insofar as it might alienate the U.S. government, and wonders if they’re caught in a political trap where they can’t apologize for the embassy mob or else the Salafists will demagogue them as being sellouts to the Great Satan. I think David Frum’s closer to the mark:
More serious is the exploitation by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president of the incident as support for anti-Islam blasphemy laws. It’s important to understand that Morsi is concerned with Egyptian, not American, laws. Morsi is taking a page from the 1979 Khomeini playbook, fabricating an international incident to mobilize religious passions as a weapon for his political grouping against more secular blocs in Egyptian society - the Egyptian military very much included.
Presumably, Morsi and his advisors are savvy enough to understand that, once you’re an official “ally” of the United States, the White House will let you get away with all sorts of “gains”.
In fact, the nuttier you are, the more eager the White House is to retain you as an “ally”---“Better to have you behaving horribly while inside our orbit, where we can theoretically exercise some sort of restraint on you,”---Washington’s subtext when putting on stage The Taming of the Shrewd of its own version, than let you spin entirely out of it and run wild across the region.