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Furthermore, despite every effort by the media to make it seem like Romney had no basis on which to criticize the president, Barack Obama still felt compelled to bring up religious disrespect during his statement Wednesday condemning the attacks, long after the Cairo embassy tweets had been disavowed. “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths,” he said. “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.” Thus, despite all evidence emerging that such “denigration” was nothing more than a smokescreen for stoking anti-Americanism in Egypt, Yemen, and outright terror in Libya–as well as American flag burning outside our embassy in Tunisia and by Hamas in Gaza city yesterday–moral equivalence remains part of the equation.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, invited to meet with President Obama on September 23rd (even as Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu remains persona non grata), demonstrated his priorities in remarks broadcast by Egyptian state television. “We Egyptians reject any kind of assault or insult against our prophet. I condemn and oppose all who… insult our prophet,” said Morsi, who then contended that “it is our duty to protect our guests and visitors from abroad..”
After the fact apparently. In Cairo, the mob scaled the embassy walls, took down the American flag and attempted to burn it. When that failed, they tore it to shreds. A black Islamic flag with the words “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet,” similar to banners used by al-Qaeda, was raised in its place. The crowd chanted, “Islamic, Islamic. The right of our prophet will not die.” Some shouted, “We are all Usama,” referring to Al Qaeda leader bin Laden. The crowd outside the embassy numbered in the thousands, and dozens of riot police lined along embassy walls made no effort to stop the assault. Attempts to re-assault the embassy continued yesterday.
The attack in Benghazi was far worse. An initial report by the Associated Press noted that the Libyan protesters “fired gunshots and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi,” during which American ambassador Christopher Stevens and his aides were killed. Once again, Libyan security forces, outnumbered by the crowd did little to stop the rampage. “The Libyan security forces came under heavy fire and we were not prepared for the intensity of the attack,” said Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya’s Supreme Security Committee.
On Thursday in Yemen, as many as 5,000 protesters were trying to storm the U.S. compound in Sanaa. Hundreds managed to get thought the main gate into the compound before being driven back by security forces who fired weapons into the air. One protester was killed by police. anti-American protests also took place outside U.S. embassies in Morocco, Sudan, and Iraq. Remarkably, Hillary Clinton re-iterated her contention that the violence was triggered by the aforementioned video, which she characterized as “disgusting and reprehensible,” as well as a cynical attempt to offend people for their religious beliefs–even as she once again added that it does not justify violence.
If the video doesn’t justify violence, why do administration officials keep alluding to it? The answer is obvious. Without that particular crutch to fall back on, the Obama administration would be forced to face two inconvenient realities. First, their Middle East initiatives are a bust, in large part because they have proceeded from assumptions that the president’s speech in Cairo three years ago would usher in a new spirit of understanding between the West and the Islamic world. It didn’t, despite Obama’s effort to apologize for America’s “sins.” Second and far more important, despite what the progressives in this administration fervently believe, culture matters.
A New York Post editorial best expressed this reality. “This week, Barack Obama got a life lesson: There is no dealing with the 9th century. It can be held at arm’s length, and beaten back when necessary, but it has nothing in common with the 21st century–that is, with civilization.” They further noted that the administration’s aforementioned crutch is exactly that. “Ostensibly, the week’s rioting has been over a mindless bit of videography clearly meant to defame Mohammed and, by extension, Islam. In the modern world, blasphemy is shrugged off. In the 9th century, it warrants mayhem. And in the Obama White House, it’s cause for compromising a fundamental principle, the First Amendment,” it states.
Make that a fundamental American principle, one of many this administration appears more than willing to sacrifice to a chimeric Middle East “greater good” that is neither greater nor good. The first rule of any coherent foreign policy is the idea that America’s interests come first. Yet it was the Obama administration’s combination of passivity in Egypt that precipitated the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of that nation, and their activity in Libya that has propelled the ascendancy of Islamic factions completely antithetical to the interests of America. It is their ongoing antipathy towards drawing a red line with respect to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, even as they have set obvious limits on Israel’s ability to defend their very existence, that allows the megalomaniac mullahs of Tehran to continue pursuing their apocalyptic worldview towards the catastrophe that must precede the second coming of the Mahdi, according to their interpretation of the Quran. Even the failure to beef up security at embassies in the Middle East in the days leading up to the anniversary of 9/11 is part of the same ideological bankruptcy that drives this administration.
Even their claims of fostering respect for religion ring hollow. This is the same president who thinks nothing of trampling on the beliefs of Christians opposed to financing birth control and abortifacients for their employees, while expressing disdain regarding those who would “offend” Islam — even as four Americans have been murdered by the terminally offended.
A giant power vacuum has been created by this administration and its ongoing attempts to foster the despicable moral equivalence between our enemies and our friends that forms one of the essential pillars of progressive ideology. It is a vacuum that will not remain unfilled, even as leftist apologists continue to insist that Islamist ambitions, wherever they arise, can be “contained,” as long as we remain “sensitive” to that which might ignite those ambitions. That is an abject lie. Those ambitions are self-igniting, and their perpetrators will exploit perceived weaknesses wherever they arise. That the administration would even dream of giving those perpetrators even an ounce of credibility–by making sure to include criticism of a film in every condemnation of the violence supposedly precipitated by it–is utterly appalling.
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