Diplomats’ deaths leave Obama looking clueless
September 16, 2012 12:43 AM | 1332 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
North Africa and the Mideast are notoriously volatile regions, prone to periodic spasms of violence. One of those spasms claimed the life of one of our most skilled ambassadors to the region, J. Christopher Stevens. At 52, he was an Arabic-speaking veteran of two tours to Libya, including the tumultuous period in which the dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown with U.S. backing, some of it no doubt coordinated by Stevens.

Stevens and three other U.S. embassy workers were killed by a mob while trying to assure the safety of the U.S. consular staff in Benghazi. The mob had been enraged by a film made by a California resident, Sam Bacile, whom the Associated Press says identifies himself as an Israeli. The film depicts Muhammad as a philanderer who tolerated child sexual abuse, with an “an amateur cast performing a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about Muhammad, whose obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons,” the AP says.

A trailer on the Internet set off riots in Libya and Egypt, where a mob attacked and overran our embassy.

American tradition and the Constitution give Bacile the right to say and do as he pleases. It’s disheartening to see so many on the Left suddenly eager to jettison those protections for those who do not share their politics.

Meanwhile, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney rightly said it was “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.”

The Obama administration is now reaping the whirlwind for its decision to cast off such long-term friends in the region like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Its gamble that the handful of Westernized citizens in Cairo could withstand the maneuvering by the well-organized and highly motivated Muslim Brotherhood and its even more radical allies will no doubt go down as one of the biggest U.S. foreign policy blunders in generations.

Libya assured the United Nations of its commitment to bring the killers to justice. And in a Rose Garden statement, Obama made that same statement, twice promising that “justice will be done.”

We hope that’s true. But unfortunately, he looks for all the world like Jimmy Carter reincarnated, standing hapless, hopeless and clueless in the face of events in the Middle East.

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