Arab Spring’s Bitter Fruits

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“As-Salamu Alaykum. My name is Chris Stevens, and I am the new U.S. ambassador to Libya. I had the honor to serve as the U.S. envoy to the Libyan opposition during the revolution, and I was thrilled to watch the Libyan people stand up and demand their rights. Now I’m excited to return to Libya to continue the great work we’ve started.”

Thus begins a State Department propaganda video, complete with Middle Eastern music and Arabic subtitles, aimed at establishing that the U.S. government holds a friendly disposition toward the Libyan people. The feeling isn’t mutual.

Tuesday, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Middle Easterners outraged by the existence of an obscure anti-Islamic film called “Innocence of Muslims,” stormed the American embassy in Cairo and the consulate in Benghazi. The man behind the movie, identifying himself as Sam Bacile, told the Wall Street Journal that he hoped his film would show “Islam as a hateful religion.” Muslims rebutted this portrayal by attacking foreigners who had nothing to do with the motion picture. In Libya, a mob armed with guns but not a sense of self-irony killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, an idealistic Berkeley grad who fell in love with North Africa after an ’80s stint in the Peace Corps. The Barbary Coast-barbarians parading the American ambassador’s corpse around like a trophy are the people the American government aided to overthrow their government.

This is what democracy looks like?

In the Middle East, the enemy of our enemy isn’t necessarily our friend. But the State Department occasionally regards the enemy of our allies as our friends. As the Ayatollah Khomeini engineered the ouster of the Shah in the late 1970s, the U.S. ambassador to Iran helped the unholy man’s ascension, which Jimmy Carter reflected bitterly upon in his memoirs. William Sullivan, hired by Carter after showing insolence to the Johnson administration as ambassador to Laos during the Vietnam War, apparently surprised the president by treating him as he had treated his Democratic predecessor. The 39th president noted that Ambassador Sullivan “had been carrying out some of my directives half-heartedly, if at all,” and that “Sullivan thought we should not oppose Khomeini’s take-over because his rule would lead to democracy.” More than three decades after the Islamic Revolution dashed the hopes of Western leftists such as Sullivan, a similar mindset, immersed in the hype and hope of the Arab Spring, swept the Obama administration, which apparently left the outposts in Cairo and Benghazi lightly defended.

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  • Schlomotion

    "The ingratitude extended to Stevens by the beneficiaries of his diplomatic work should serve as a cautionary tale about the futility of extending good deeds to bad people."

    This is a problematic statement. It is not demonstrated that Libyans are the beneficiaries of NATO bombardment, the assassination of Qadhafi, and the extraction of their national resources. Gratefulness is hard to measure on that yardstick. If a country teamed up with several others, bombed the living crap out of the US capital, armed illegal aliens, Christian Identity movements, drug dealers, and freed everybody from maximum security prison while they siphoned all the oil out of the US Reserve, the last thing we would be is grateful.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "It is not demonstrated that Libyans are the beneficiaries of NATO bombardment"

      The article states "the beneficiaries" not "the Libyans."

      The Sunni Muslim jihadis are the beneficiaries and the attackers. That defines "ingratitude." Stop posing as an educated person please.

      "If a country teamed up with several others, bombed the living crap out of the US capital, armed illegal aliens, Christian Identity movements, drug dealers, and freed everybody from maximum security prison while they siphoned all the oil out of the US Reserve, the last thing we would be is grateful."

      The circumstances are not at all equivalent or even comparable unless you have a very simple mind. The USA government has a system of justice accessible by all its citizens. It has "due process" including appeals. It is the epitome of the just society. Liberal justice is so widespread that even treasonous bastards can go around lying with impunity, such are the strength of liberties here, until you harm another person against the law.

      Libya never was that. Go reboot your education if you want to understand the distinctions. At some point you may be able to study and analyze the situation well enough to make constructive comments. Until then, I suggest a stealth reading and learning mode for you. Stay away from Obama supporters during that time. They can't help you.

  • Bluffcreek1967

    Liberal do-gooders naively thought the Libyans, or any other 'Arab Spring' Muslim nation for that matter, longed for freedom from tyranny. They thought the Libyans wanted democracy, a nation committed to human dignity and individual rights just like we in America. But this is not at all what Muslims want. Liberals had also forgotten that we are dealing with Muslims, a religion of fanatical followers who have, throughout their history, been unable to live at peace with others. They are hot-tempered, unreasonable and they will say anything for the moment in order to obtain what they want. Their religion allows them to do this. Thus, when America or any Western nation tries to interfere in Muslim affairs, should they really be surprised at what happens to them?

  • Ghostwriter

    Should we really be surprised that more Muslims hate us for not what we've done,but who we are? When we get our minds around that fact and deal with it,the better off we'll ALL be.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Should we really be surprised that more Muslims hate us for not what we've done,but who we are? When we get our minds around that fact and deal with it,the better off we'll ALL be. "

    The collective "we?" Well, we need to patiently teach the facts of history. In my experience, one needs to be very familiar with Western history at least back to Constantine, but knowing the facts of Biblical history is even more effective.

    You see, no matter what we say, there are people out there who believe lies about history. Until you can overcome their assumptions (that are rarely even discussed openly), you will leave most people unconvinced.

    You need to explain why Judeo Christian texts are in fact absolutely in polar opposition to Islam. You need to explain why expecting Islam to reform "like Christianity did" is a false expectation. You need to explain why taking texts out of context as a means of "showing what we have in common" is totally deceptive and fallacious.

    The hippies taught that you should always search for what "we humans" have in common. Fine, if you want a starting point for a new relationship. But once it's proved that an enemy is exploiting your desire to "find what we have in common" you obviously want to deny this weapon to them. Many on the left teach that all animosity is the result of misunderstanding. They never heard that war is deceit, or they want to believe that man has "evolved beyond war" just because they "envision world peace."

    That is only part of the nuanced truth that fails to penetrate most people. Who will teach it?

    • HighPressure

      Point well taken…. here here

  • watsa46

    It is too early to judge what is going on in Libya.
    The extremists in Libya will need to be chased out and or exterminate. That is the only way to deal with "mad dogs".

  • HighPressure

    We can't expect a flourishing free republic from the ashes of violent mob action… more often we get another brutal country. We only have to look at our own history compared to the French Revolution. Our revolution came from the ideas of good while the French revoltion came from the ashes of hate. They see the same tactic to be used for all there gains because of the success of the first one.

    Neither Clinton, Obama or Carter understands our history… they were doomed to make these mistakes.

    A free republic can only be succesful when the society grasps values such as Judeo-Christian. Pure Secular Utopians and Islam will all feed on individual narcisict tedencies and blame other groups for their failures. They react without introspection and veribly want to destroy others. Then they destroy their allies. Hence more muslims are killed by other muslims then by any other combined groups.

  • jemaasjr

    I would say to a very considerable extent our American revolution worked out owing to luck. While the founders had flaws, we had a collection of men of considerable ability, and collectively they made up for each others shortcomings. That was followed by a period of prosperity caused by the demand for exports that was in turn brought on by, guess what, the French Revolution.

  • Sunbeam

    It's time America should consider stopping its economic aid to these countries. How many billions and trillions of dollars America spent in aiding these countries economically each year? And the end result it earns in return is oblivious ungratefulness. How many more American lives must still die in their hands. It seemed these men's lives and blood are less worthy than the sensitivities of the people's feeling. What a jerk. What is wrong here? Why do you have to always punish your own people. Why do you always think you're always wrong when things went wrong with the other side. What about showing videos of beheading Americans? Did Americans caused such an uproar, though they have right to because this is disgusting? Come on people, where is your conscience.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, Obama doesn't study the history of Islam it been on a conquest on and off for centuries. It over took the old Persian and Byzantine empires and almost conquered France.