Top Ten Likely Consequences of Muslim anti-US Embassy Riots

1. Tourism in Egypt and Tunisia, the economies of which heavily depend on it, is likely to take a nosedive this fall. It is a shame, because Tunisia had been hoping for a near return to 2010 levels of 7 million visitors this year. And Egypt’s tourism was up 16% over the previous year, though still down by 300,000 visitors a month from summer of 2010.

2. Likewise, foreign investment will be discouraged. Ironically, the embassy riots broke out while a delegation of 100 US business executives was in Cairo looking for investment opportunities. Some of those planning to stay beyond Tuesday are said to have abruptly left the country and canny observers spoke of the good will generated during the visit being squandered.

3. Decline of tourism and of foreign investment implies even higher unemployment in countries already plagued by lack of jobs.

4. In Egypt and Tunisia, the Muslim fundamentalist-dominated governments may well get blamed for failing to maintain public order. In opinion polling, security and fear of crime are major concerns on the part of ordinary Egyptians.

5. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the al-Nahdah in Tunisia, fundamentalist parties that did well in the first post-revolution elections, face new parliamentary elections in the near future. If they are in bad odor with the public for failure to provide public order, and for implicitly helping the Salafi rioters, and for failure to improve the economy, they could be punished at the polls. It would be ironic if the impassioned reaction of fundamentalists to a phantom Islamophobic film so turned off the public as to lead to the Muslim religious parties being turned out of office in the next elections.

6. As a result of these considerations, the fundamentalists will blame outside agents provocateurs for the violence, and Israel for provoking it, trying to convince the public that Muslim fundamentalists had nothing to do with the issue.

7. The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi and the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others almost certainly spells an end to any American interest in intervening in Syria. The longevity of Bashar al-Assad’s secular Baathist regime, now attempting to crush rebels that include a small number of radical Muslim vigilantes, may have just been lengthened. Meanwhile, the Muslim world will be unembarrassed that they got so upset about a Youtube trailer but didn’t seem to care if hundreds of Syrians were killed, arrested and/or tortured every day.

8. The attack on the embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, by some 4,000 angry protesters, will likely draw the US even more into internal Yemeni disputes, since Washington will want to try to destroy the fundamentalist movements there. US drone strikes on radical Muslim movements of an al-Qaeda sort have become commonplace in Yemen. However, no one in the United States will know that Yemen ever existed or that the embassy was attacked, or that the US is pursuing a policy of drone strikes in that country.

9. Assuming there aren’t any diplomats taken hostage, President Barack Obama will look presidential in dealing with these deaths in Benghazi and his electoral chances may improve.

10. Mitt Romney will go on switching back and forth among his various opinions of the Islamophobic film and of President Obama’s reaction to the Libyan consulate attack.

64 Responses

  1. Excellent close; had me chuckling. (good comic relief, from a rather bleak horizon)

    Separately, bullet #5 has always been my main reason for wanting us to quit acting so belligerent towards so many countries and/or their leaders. Support democracy… even if the fundies win power… ’cause if they can’t manage their countries, they’ll be booted out of power, or will have to suppress democracy to remain. Either way, it will diminish their credibility.

    Bottom line: quit playing the role that the fundamentalists cast us in.

  2. The beneficiary of the anti-American sentiments will be China—U.S. businessmen may go home—but Chinese ones will reap the benefits.
    As Tariq Ramadan points out in his comments on this issue—the BRICS nations are out there looking for opportunities. Basically—U.S. Islamophobia industry is detrimental to U.S. geo-strategic interests…..(60% of the 1.5 billion Muslims are in Asia—and China and India are the “big guys” in this neighborhood)

    • you do not understand how this works India, Russia and China and very-very-very touchy about islamic fundamentalism because of entire regions of their country being under Islamic influence, violence and rebellion.

      Basically you are parroting the usual dead BRIC line while being ignorant about the internal politics of both Russia, India and China. Shame on you for thinking yourself better than you really are in geopolitics.

      Brazil will never invest in the middle east. So there is no single BRIC member looking to invest in the Middle East Islamic barbarism. Certainly not Nigeria, Mexico, South-Africa or Indonesia either, which are sometimes also included among with the BRIC

      So as a conclusion, what can we conclude from your line of thinking. How intelligent is it really? If I were you I would apologize for offering such poor analysis.

      • Dude, the Chinese are the heirs of Mao, and they’re running sweatshops to con money out of US corporations to restore their land to greatness. You really think anyone that cynical (and successful) won’t try to profit from Moslems abroad while oppressing them at home?

        Even the US is guilty of this. After all, who supported the Mujaheddin against the Soviets in Afghanistan? Who looked the other way while the Pakistani junta developed nuclear weapons? Who built Desert One to protect Saudi Arabia, the home of limitless financing for Wahhabi missionaries? Yet our Islamophobia never flagged where Israel was concerned.

        But our corporations do not behave like our government and military, because they are fat, cowardly, and lazy and view the government as THEIR servant. Betraying America comes easily to them, but why do the hard work of betraying it in Moslem countries that DON’T have oil? Easier to rake it in by cutting deals in China.

      • Nigeria, of course, has its own problems with the kinds of groups that led the violence in the riots over this film. Indonesia does, too, but not as much a decade ago, it seems.

      • You mean Barbarity like killing an innocent muslim pregnant egyptian woman in a german court with 22 stabs with a knife from the islamophobe defendant while the police shooting not the attacker but the husband that tried to help his wife?

        something like that?

  3. You don’t think this may prove dangerous to Egyptian Copts? An emigre Copt seems to have made the film, and Copts have previously been exposed to episodic violence by islamists. I would think that the Copts are in very delicate circumstances right now.

  4. I notice that you have not predicted that things will escalate and get much, much worse. That’s what I predict. I was the first to coin the term Arab Winter. I noticed after I blogged it others did and then became common. The winter is heading for the Ice Age, meaning unbearable.

    Dictators may have been removed, however the consequence is much more severe than before when the dictators prevailed. It was their problem, not ours or The Coalition of the Willing. And if oil was the motivation, that’s plain sick. It dsplays a weak government.

  5. Let’s send the producer of ‘that’ movie to Libya and let them deal with him there. It’s not our business. He did a very stupid thing for which he should pay in some way. Let him face the music and he’ll soon lean what a big mistake he made. Lives have been lost over it and important lives at that. The man obviously wants to start WW111.

    • Eleana, The producer of ‘that movie’ did not riot or kill anyone. He made a film. Yes a stupid, controversial and many might say insulting film, but that it all he did. The blame for the riots and killings rests firmly with the rioters and murderers. Everyone should have the right to make films about Islam, Muslims and Muhammad without it causing WW111. The same should be said about ALL faiths and religions. Why should religion be exempt from being critiqued and laughed at, in a way that nothing else is? The riots, fires, attacks and murders these past few days have done more damage to the Islamic faith than a million of films such as this could ever do.

    • The problem with your suggestion is that pesky First Amendment. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion can be inconvenient sometimes.

      • Yeah, like people in this country are so truly concerned about incursions and intrusions into, and impositions and erosions of any of the Bill of Rights, except maybe a warped interpretation of the Second Amendment. You got any idea what is in the NDAA, the Patriot Act, stuff like that? Or what the various police departments in America are up to, not to mention a whole bunch of federal and state agencies?

        And now people who have little axes to grind, little explosions to detonate, want to hide their games behind the moribund bodies of our “Founding Fathers…”

        • “You got any idea what is in the NDAA, the Patriot Act, stuff like that? Or what the various police departments in America are up to, not to mention a whole bunch of federal and state agencies?”

          Do you? if so, please give us the benefit of your wisdom, O Enlightened One.

      • But even advocates of Freedom of Speech in the US believe it does not include the right to shout false alarm ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre. The idiot who made the film has endangered ALL westerners. He/she/they must face SOME consequence.

      • @Ray H and that pesky First Amendment. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion up to a point, my friend. Your freedom of speech does not allow you to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater!

        • Except that the theatre was apparently not that crowded when the movie was actually screened, both literally and metaphorically. I think these guys are surprised the thing got any notice at all, outside their little circle. And very few other people had even heard of it.

          There isn’t a prohibition about yelling “fire” in an empty theatre, is there? How about in a wide-open space?

          My opinion is that the “fire in the theatre” exception will become unacceptably broad if we give into censorship every time the Islamic world riots violently over a book, a YouTube clip, or a cartoon in a student newspaper. Far easier, and less damaging to our way of life is to not let Muslims in the theatre in the first place.

          It must be possible to route the internet around the Middle East, and pass laws forbidding people from bringing electronic or print information into those countries?

        • This is so much bigger than the dam film. The only people the Salafis hate worse than the US is moderate Muslims, especially those ELECTED in Libya and Egypt. BTW, years ago the Brooklyn Museum came under siege for and art show in which the artist put dung on Jesus Christ. Protests, etc. It appears the museum in in hot water again over an artist who painted the crucified Christ with ants crawling all over him.
          link to radio.foxnews.com

  6. Professor Cole, what do you think of this article regarding the cause of riots?
    link to nybooks.com
    I’m interested in your opinion about that please.

  7. “However, no one in the United States will know that Yemen ever existed or that the embassy was attacked, or that the US is pursuing a policy of drone strikes in that country.”

    So we could drone Yemen back to the stone age, and the American public might not be in the least bit interested, especially with new I-Phones and I-Pads coming out every few months. Maybe the Yemeni protestors know that, but the film is a better focused trigger for their actions.

    It’s a shame that the angry people in the Middle East can’t distinguish between their unacceptable street violence and the benign “kinetics” we send their way.

    • Sending “their” way, Sherm? Who are “they?”

      Good job equating al Qaeda commanders with the ordinary people in Muslim countries.

      • Good job, Joe, conflating the many dead bodies of “bugsplattery” with the relatively tiny number of what we used to call “terrorists” that happen to get killed by Hellfires. But then this is all about Us versus Them, then having to be a way bigger population than is any kind of threat to our security and way of life…

        And of course this situation, this eruption of anger and a bunch of other emotions by people who have been the negative beneficiaries of US imperialism (which goes back to the last years of the 19th century) is simply incomprehensible to us open-handed, generous, tolerant, progressive Americans (with a not so subtle subtext of “Them Wogs won’t get away with treating US like that — nuke ‘em back to the stone age, where they belong!)

        And maybe the whole propaganda-imposed analytics, of how it’s them irrational evil Muslims being too sensitive about their backward religion, is just kind of, like, wrong, and people all around the planet are finally fed up with kleptocracy and the sending in of the Marines to “protect US Interests.” Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

        • Good job, Joe, conflating the many dead bodies of “bugsplattery” with the relatively tiny number of what we used to call “terrorists” that happen to get killed by Hellfires.

          Actually, even the most extreme estimates of civilian casualties from drone attacks claim only a small fraction of the casualties to be civilians. Professor Cole had a post featuring these numbers up just a few days ago – a post that you commented on, so I can only conclude that you are being deliberately dishonest when you make such a gross factual error.

          When you stop checking your gut, and start making the slightest effort to comport your statements and beliefs with the available evidence, I might find myself more inclined to pay any attention whatsoever to your increasingly bizarre, consistently off-topic rants. As of now, when I see such a gross misstatement of fact as the very first statement out of your keyboard, I just stop reading.

        • Mr. McPhee, in your alternative universe I suppose your well-rehearsed screeds, posted with little variation (and no doubt taken from your file of 3″x5″ index cards) pass as insight and revelation. To be frank, however, they are repetitive and stale. I suggest that you try a little evidence-based research, and that you ground your posts in reality. You would be surprised how much more seriously you would be taken.

        • I think his screeds are consistent and have a certain literary quality. I miss him when he doesn’t post for awhile. I dont agree with everything he says, sometimes I don’t even understand it!, but I know from what he says, he lived and survived the foolishness of Vietnam – and all the other foreign policy adventures the US has undertaken since. That’s why I take him seriously.

      • Joe, droning for commanders has been a small part of our military violence in the region. Iraq, until a few years ago, and Afghanistan have been on the receiving end of daily made in America ordinance.

        But even in the droning for commander operation, there seems to be extensive evidence of civilians being killed an wounded.

      • Not all the anti-American violence during the past week was done by al Queda, unless you’re defining any Muslim who commits violence against US, European, or Israeli people or property as al Queda. If an angry mob spontaneously trashes a Burger King in Lebanon, is that al Queda?

        • No one claimed that it was – although all of the deadly anti-American violence (that in Libya) has been done by al Qaeda.

          The only conflation being made here is from Sherm, who claims that targeting al Qaeda commanders in air strikes is “sending violence…” ordinary Muslims’ “way.”

  8. Do you think the decline in popularity of the fundamentalist parties could lead to a resurgence of the old, army-backed oligarchs? I would hope not, but it seems there is a pretty strong undercurrent of support for the stability those types of regimes provide.

  9. I would love to hear your thought on who benefits from further demeaning the US reputation in the Arab world. News stories today talk of the FBI questioning a former internet bank fraudster as the one who directed the YouTube video that sparked this latest conflagration of hate. He had to be paid as there is no profit motive in this and he doesn’t appear to be an Ideologue. Cui Bono?
    link to plus.google.com

    • Excellent point, except that indicates a conspiracy, which means you have to be a raving lunatic … right? Isn’t that what we’ve been brainwashed to believe? You might want to stop rocking the boat carrying all the sane people who know there are no extremely wealthy (i.e. powerful) people engineering most of the violence in the world.

  10. Meanwhile in Iran Khamenei has said that if the US is truthful in not having a part in making the video why do they not punish those involved. Reminded me of your previous article where you argued people who have been sidelined are trying to take center stage.

    I would bet that Iran is pulling every string it has to instigate, exacerbate and prolong the issue.

    They had tried to sell the Arab spring as an Islamic Awakening, inspired by the Islamic revolution of Iran which would end the influence of US and Israel in the region.

    After Mursi’s speech in Tehran which was a bit of a snub, all this is playing right into their hands. And perhaps most importantly, they would give anything to keep Assad in power.

    This is all circumstantial but they do have extensive internal experience with directing mobs to achieve a political goal, I think I have read here and there that they have assets on the ground in Egypt, Yemen and Lebanon (obviously), and they have more than enough money to convince the right people.

  11. Thank you for this and all your other amazing work, Juan. One point on which I seem to have a different take is #6. There’s not a shred of doubt in my mind that agents provacateurs are responsible. I’m not informed enough to argue the point; it’s just that, since fundamentalists are, across the board, so logic-challenged and fear-driven, they are more manipulable than gumby.

    If we step momentarily outside the realm of that frighteningly small percent of the public who… well, let’s say who don’t watch network news, it’s clear that the goal of the MSM owners is to foment a religious war. Yesterday I had the misfortune to need to check a yahoo email account three times during the day, and each time, the first “news” story presented was about the embassy attacks, and had a blatantly incendiary headline to the effect of “Anger Sweeps the Muslim World” and “Muslim World Protests turn Deadly.” The latter was after Benghazi; it was about the protest in which four of the PROTESTERS were killed.

    The worse part though is that about 99% of the comments were hateful and ignorant. “Normal” people are not in the choir. They don’t get it that Muslim fundamentalists are a small minority. If a person looks Arabic, there’s a very good chance they’re a terrorist. Whether they are or not, it’s their fault for looking like one. This is why drones and their “collateral” murder are not considered a problem at all. I have cousins in the Bible Belt. They are GOOD, decent, loving, friendly people. And they are that ignorant, that they buy into such tripe.

    And I don’t think the yahoo article comment section is a case where they have to pay anyone to post. These people have been fed hate-propaganda to where they’re ready to eradicate all three billion Muslims, consider it a much-needed final solution, and our celebrate our boys as heroes for making it happen.

    Even looking at the proper English and high-tech production of the banners held by the Muslim fundamentalists is a dead give-away this was not a grass-roots movement. Virtually nothing is, any more. Sorry to be so long-winded. I suppose I could have said, if they blame The Powers That Be, they’re a helluva lot smarter than most Americans are.

    • “There’s not a shred of doubt in my mind that agents provacateurs (sic) are responsible. I’m not informed enough to argue the point; it’s just that, since fundamentalists are, across the board, so logic-challenged and fear-driven, they are more manipulable than gumby. … it’s clear that the goal of the MSM owners is to foment a religious war.”

      You certainly are correct that you are not informed enough to argue your above-cited point. Your breathtaking conspiratorial turn of mind, suggesting that agents provocateurs, representing MSM owners, are out to foment a religious war, is ludicrous. In fact, your description of the fundamentalists as being “logic-challenged and fear-driven” and thus “manipulable” is, in large part, the explanation for why the mobs, manipulated by Islamic agents Provocateurs (not MSM owners), have been demonstrating, destroying, and setting fires at US Embassies and other establishments.

    • I agree with the above comments.These attacks on embassies and Americans were instigated by people with the money to get the word out to the crowds. There must be big money behind it.

      • It doesn’t take “big money” to get the word out to mobs via internet and social media. To think that “big money” provided by “MSM owners” who want to “foment a religious war” is behind the demonstrations and destruction is to willfully ignore the evidence that Islamic militants and Salafists are behind it.

  12. It seems like a lot of people — not including Dr. Cole, of course — are missing the bigger story here.

    Yes, the embassy trashings show that the Salafis understand how secular democractic freedoms can be used to undermine secular democracy (not exactly a new discovery). And the Bengazi attack shows that Al Qaeda know how to exploit what the mainstream Salafis are doing.

    But those are just the trees. The forest is that, thanks to the Arab Spring, the Islamist movement writ large has been drawn into the game of democratic politics, and is starting to play by the rules of that game.

    The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nahdah are having to keep a wary eye on the more hardline parties and factions to their right, while the hardline parties — like Egypt’s Salafi Nour — try to prove (or at least pretend) that they, too, are “respectable” political players, is a sign of how much has been changed by the revolutions, not how much remains the same.

    The fact that the Obama administration can successfully put pressure on the Ikhwan — because the Ikhwan is now in power, and thus has something to lose — is a diplomatic revolution in itself, compared to the days when authoritarian regimes could usually count on Uncle Sam’s unqualified backing, secure in the knowledge that they were seen as indispensable bulwarks against “the Islamist threat.”

    I don’t want to sound like a Pollyanna. Of course it’s possible that the Salafist ultras will eventually manage to use democracy to destroy democracy — just as a certain extreme nationalist party managed to do in a certain central European country in the early 1930s. Let’s face it: The economic and demorgraphic realities in the MENA region are truly grim, if not disasterous.

    But they were also pretty disasterous in most of the Western world in the 1930s, and yet fascism did NOT triumph in most of them, while the split between the revisionist Social Democrats and Lenin’s Communists pretty much took the wind out of the sails of Marxist revolution.

    It’s that last historical example that seems most relevant. Just as the Social Democratic entry into parliamentary politics eventually turned them into “respectable” bourgeois parties — to be followed, a generation later, by the Euro Communists — the political normalization of the Islamist movement should lhave the same effect — IF it can be sustained.

    That would leave the jihadists doubly isolated — both in the world of Islamic politics and even inside the hardline Salafist minority within that world.

    But how the US reacts to the inevitable bloody setbacks along the way will have a lot to do with whether that actually happens.

  13. “Meanwhile, the Muslim world will be unembarrassed that they got so upset about a Youtube trailer but didn’t seem to care if hundreds of Syrians were killed, arrested and/or tortured every day.”

    False. I do not believe Muslims don’t care that Syrians are being killed. Every time an islamic country begins to rise in power and gain authoritative control, an attack is waged on the country (Ex: Iran, Iraq, etc) and that country is reminded of America’s military might. Muslim countries, other than Saudi Arabic who has VERY VERY close ties with America, do NOT have the power or military capacity to stop what is going on in Syria. I agree that they reacted very emotionally to the youtube video but they have every right when faith is the only thing left in their control. Muslims nor Islamic countries do not have the power to stop what is going on in Syria. They can only sit back,mourn death, and pray for the living while America watches unmoved and apathetic at the the situation.

    • Over one in every thousand Syrians has been killed by its “government,” yet this near-genocide does not even receive a fraction of the attention of a silly, hateful video from an Egyptian living in California. Prof. Cole is correct that this illustrates a moral and political failure among the masses.

      Americans are moved by the tragedy of Syria. America intervened in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, etc to protect Muslim lives; yet the Muslim masses have only hatred for America. The Arab League is truly apathetic. Syria is not America’s responsibility. Syria is first the Syrian people’s responsibility. Bashar has the support of thousands in his regime, Alawite and non-Alawite Syrians, with blood on their hands.

    • You have to laugh when you read people condemning America for supporting the jihadist against progressive and enlightened scum like assad or condemning it for not risking its blood and treasure for a foreign country that will most likely be run by anti-american muslims when it’s ‘free.’

      I would not be surprised if ‘Renna’ here would be shouting himself/herself horse about US ‘war crimes’ and such should Obama ever actually do something against assad.

  14. Any thoughts on ambassador Chris Stevens relationship to Gaddafi, ie: before he was against him he was for him, as revealed long ago in memos wikileaked? I never wished him dead but he surely had enemies on many sides.

    • Here’s few days of relevant reading – cables from the Libyan embassy with Stevens’ name on them. Hard to find any indication that Gaddafi is viewed as a bloody, viscous, brutal, demented dictator. In fact the prevailing view seems to have been that he had active progressive plans to improve the health of the country and the lives of the populace.

      If he was a brutal dictator (as seemingly so), it’s not hard to imagine some anger at the US for kissing his butt for some US business interests while his relentless ruthlessness was ongoing. embassy cables

      Here is an interesting one about human rights.
      political prisoners

  15. Just noting that in Cairo, much of the tension has been greatly exacerbated not by conservative Muslims, but by youth groups like the Ultras- Egyptian soccer hooligans. Take a good look at the photos. James Dorsey has hit the nailon the head: link to middle-east-online.com

  16. I don’t understand one thing. How come all the doormen, secretaries, IT staff, etc. etc. survived the attack but the Ambassador was killed? It seems a bit unlikely. I’ve visited a few embassies and I don’t see how 10 James Bond’s could’ve broken through.

    • Keep in mind that the Ambassador was killed in a consulate not at the more fortified embassy.

  17. 1- Of course, the violence in Libya should be condemned. Any loss of life is regrettable, and it is interesting that the 10 or so Libyans who died defending the embassy are not even mentioned. As usual the lives of brown people don’t count that much, if any, in the mainstream media. They are cheapt.
    2 – It is true that religion has been and is being manipulated by the autocrats in the region as well as new so-called Islamist parties, but as we defend freedom of speech here, we should allow the freedom to protest there. In other words, some of the protestors could have been quite genuinely concerned about insults to their core religious beliefs. Just as we don’t want to put the guy who made the trailer in jail, don’t expect Morsi to condemn the protests.
    3 – Let’s also not be too sentimental about US Embassies. Yesterday, the secretary of state called them as kind of “sacred” places where the only business they are in is kind of cultural exchanges!! Not true for an Embassy of a superpower. For example, US Embassy in Egypt ran the show when Mubarak was in power. US Embassies have been centers of espionage and that is not even denied. If you read Kinzer’s book “all the Shah’s men”, you will see how the 1953 coup was engineered and run from US Embassy. Other examples abound. Don’t expect people to forget all the history and fall in love with Uncle Sam, folks.

    • Ah, but our embassies are Sacred US Soil. Aren’t they?
      Isn’t that what the treaties and all that stuff say?

      Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state…. Rather, the premises of diplomatic missions remain under the jurisdiction of the host state while being afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws) by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Diplomats themselves still retain full diplomatic immunity, and (as an adherent to the Vienna Convention) the host country may not enter the premises of the mission without permission of the represented country. The term “extraterritoriality,” therefore, is often used in this broader sense when applied to diplomatic missions.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      And hey, our Sneaky Petes would not be overthrowing democratically elected governments and sowing instability and propping up penny-ante dictators who happen to be Our Guys without Really Good Reasons that involve Preserving Our Sacred Way of Life, would they? link to en.wikipedia.org.

      Details, details — they fit so poorly with the Narrative…

      • For you to write about overthrowing democratic leaders and propping up dictators, in the aftermath of American actions in Egypt and Libya during Arab Spring, just goes to show how devoted people can be to a narrative, facts be damned.

  18. “Just as we don’t want to put the guy who made the trailer in jail, don’t expect Morsi to condemn the protests.”

    No one expects Morsi to condemn protests. It is the accompanying violence that should be condemned. Those who violently overrun Embassy walls, set fires, and violate Embassy (and other) property forfeit any moral ground they may have stood on, and they should be dealt with swiftly and with the full force of law.

    • I was referring to the peaceful protesters. But your point is perhaps mute in case of Libya. Al-qaeda announced that they attacked Empassy to revenge Bin Laden. If this is the case, then it had nothing to do with the protest. The fog and frenzy of the protest gave them the opportunity.

      Freedom of assembly is a fundamental right. Morsi has already been acting like a dictator.

    • Another falsehood buried in that statement: the equation of putting someone in jail with issuing a condemnation.

      Because, of course, Obama and the American State Department have condemned the movie.

  19. Excellent points, Juan.

    The quality of information/analysis on TV is dismal. Even better attempts by Charlie Rose, Fareed Zakaria, C-SPAN are U.S. centric, barely get deeper than predictable arguments from same-old standard bearer. Richard Hasse is a nice, smart man, but I can finish his sentences.

    Why are you not on TV anymore? Some untoward scandal?

    The curious public needs more guidance, and there is nothing more educational than real time back-and-forth between experts. I would kill to see a panel of yourself, Rami Khouri, Joshua Landis, Fouad Ajami and a few others thrash through middle east dynamics for an hour or twelve.

  20. I think the anti- prophet film might help Obama very well in getting ta second round in the coming presidential elections by improving his political discourse towards the Muslim world ! The Arab world has changed and cannot tolerate any foreign intervention anymore . Obama is bound with Dr Morsis success!

  21. I predict very little change in the Middle East as a result of the riots. The attack on Iran in Jan/Feb will also have little real impact. The real show in town is the repositioning of US offensive power to the Pacific.

  22. “You tell her, Bill, from the depth and breadth of your personal knowledge and experience about how everything happens in the world. The stilted prose and condescension ought to shut her right up…”

    Although you had no substantive criticism to make (as evidenced by your little rant cited above) does the fact of your rant indicate that you actually agree with her, Mr. McPhee? Do you really believe that agents provocateurs who instigated the demonstrations and destruction, did so, not on behalf of Islam fundamentalists, but at the behest of MSM owners who want to foment a religious war?

    If you believe that, Mr. McPhee, I have some ocean-front property in Arizona to sell you, sight unseen of course.

  23. I think what is important here is to recognize that as much as the guy has a right to make a movie insulting Islam, the demonstrator have right to demonstrate against it.

    The problem is the violence that is accompanied with it. The problem is that free speech gives way to political violence. The thorn in our side is that it is hypocritical to condemn political violence when we in the west have always used it for our short term gains.

  24. Childish remarks about Mitt Romney, and unsupported praise for Obama. It’s likely that we are seeing the beginning of WW III due to Obama’s weak foreign policy, and obvious submission or surrender to the Taliban and Muslim Brotherhood (aka Islamists) demands for the USA to leave the middle east.

    Obama has managed to bankrupt the country, his ideas don’t work, he is to blame for the unrest, not some stupid film on youtube.

  25. My prayer for a good panel discussion on Mideast developments has already been answered. It occurs on conservative turf (AEI) with Danielle Pletka as moderator. There are only two guests, Brian Katulis & Hisham Melhem, but that’s enough as they have different perspectives. Excellent, highly recommended.

    link to c-spanvideo.org

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