With the embassy attacks happening across the Middle East there is no doubt that the State Department is on edge. They lost four of their own this week when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Tyrone S. Woods are patriots and died in the service of their country. We own their families a debt of gratitude. There is a narrative that must stop however. We can not allow the blaming of the embassy attacks on the trailer of the Innocence of Muslims to continue.
I’ve watched the trailer. It’s pretty outrageous, and I can certainly understand why Muslims are offended. However in the United States unlike most countries in the Middle East we have the protection of free speech. It is, along with freedom of religion – something that is also denied by most Muslim countries, our first and fundamental right. Because of this right of free speech as a Christian I am offended every day by numerous advertisements, videos, music, etc. I could, if I allow myself, to be in constant outrage mode by how decadent our culture has become. This video should not be allowed to be used as an excuse for the embassy attacks in general and the attack on the Benghazi consulate attack specifically.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her remarks today at Andrews Air Force Base during the transfer of remains ceremony for the four slain in Libya said:
This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.
It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless and it is totally unacceptable. The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts.
I agree that the State Department had nothing to do with the internet video that was made. They have done nothing to deserve these embassy attacks. I agree that this violence is senseless and totally unacceptable. However let’s stop blaming the video. Let’s not cave to violent mobs. We should be angry that the White House has even asked YouTube to review the trailer and has sent the FBI to find out the true identity of the filmaker. Democratic strategist, Kirsten Powers, nailed it when she wrote:
In fact, what is “disgusting and reprehensible” is that there are people in the world who think they are justified in attacking and killing people because someone hurt their feelings or offended their sensibilities. The US government should not act as a validator or enabler of this upside down worldview, which is exactly what the Obama administration has done repeatedly as they have responded to these abhorrent attacks against the United States.
I have defended the Obama administration against the complaints from the right that they have run an “apology tour” in the Middle East because I believe the US should admit when we make mistakes, such as the accidental burning of Korans. But what we shouldn’t do is affirm the wrongheaded view that people should be protected from the free speech of others.
Worse, our leaders shouldn’t let our enemies know that when they kill our people and attack our embassies that the US Government will act like a battered wife making excuses for her psychotic husband. Wake up: we weren’t attacked because of a movie made by an American. We were attacked because there are crazy religious fanatics who hate the United States. We didn’t ask for it.
Egypt’s President Morsi reportedly asked Obama “to put an end to such behavior”—presumably freedom, constitutional rights and the like — as it led to the making of, in his eyes, the offensive movie.
Like I mentioned before I’m offended by what I see in culture every day. Yet what you don’t see are Christians rioting, issuing fatwas, burning down buildings, and killing people over what offends us. You don’t see that out of any religion except for the “religion of peace.” Let’s stop blaming free speech and get to the root of the problem – the inherent violence within Islam and to call it out for what it is.