General Question

Eggie's avatar

Should America apologize for its values?

Asked by Eggie (5867points) September 12th, 2012

I am referring to the attack that happened in Lybia yesterday and what President Obama said. Do you all agree that America should apologize?

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89 Answers

janbb's avatar

I think I would need to see the quote you are referring to before responding.

Qingu's avatar

@Eggie, I think you’re bearing false witness on what was said, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Coloma's avatar

” America?” No. Don’t group every citizen into the american pie. This american had nothing to do with it. Apologies should only come from the handful of officials that are responsible.

CWOTUS's avatar

I would expect that the apology was a diplomatic way of saying, “We’re sorry that your citizens are so benighted and uncivilized that they would murder an ambassador to your country. You must be profoundly embarrassed by this wholly unconscionable behavior, and we are sorry to see you be so embarrassed – and especially so for this reason which has caused us so much pain.”

Diplomatic apologies are not like the ones we deliver to each other. The USA has nothing to apologize for in any other sense.

Cruiser's avatar

@janbb Link

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others

tom_g's avatar

re: link – an embassy trying to cool people down? Really? This is Obama’s apology? Huh?

Please explain the controversy here for those of us that are lacking the ability to brew up controversy where there isn’t.

Qingu's avatar

Where’s Obama’s “apology” in that quote?

This is complete bullshit.

By the way, the embassy quotation was put out during the mob riot. Before anyone was actually killed. It was not a response to the riot or the situation. It was an attempt to quell the riot itself.

Cruiser's avatar

@tom_g For the record I am not appalled but it appears those that are, seem to feel condemning the actions of a blow hard pales in comparison to the barbaric murders act and that he should have condemned the murdering thugs that killed Americans first or instead.

Comes down to an insult of Muslims versus murder of Americans. To me that is hardly a comparison.

Qingu's avatar

The barbaric murders had not yet taken place when the embassy put out that statement, @Cruiser.


Cruiser's avatar

@Qingu Ooops you are correct! Busy day here at the office. My apologies.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t see that America has anything to apologize for. We’re a democratic nation with free speech, and we let people say offensive things without killing them. If you want to kill people because you don’t like our speech, then you are not ready to be a part of the community of nations. This is not how civilized people solve problems.

This is a baby nation and they don’t know how to be civilized yet. I think we need to correct them gently but strongly. I’m not sure how that converts into diplomatic behavior, but that’s what the professionals are for.

Qingu's avatar

@Cruiser, completely serious, thanks for admitting your mistake. :)

Qingu's avatar

My theory? The anti-Muhammad movie is a sideshow. This happened on 9/11. Al-Qaeda is active in Libya and in Egypt.

Al-Qaeda probably used the movie as a pretext to rile up an anti-American mob, since it’s a proven tactic. But I would bet 20 space credits that the individuals who actually shot the RPG’s at the envoy’s convoy were al-Qaeda.

Cruiser's avatar

@Qingu Just cutting and pasting away and forgot that the murders did come later. Almost seems the series of events were very neatly orchestrated to generate maximum shock awe and reaction.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Actually, I think public apologies from both governments and clear, swift, action on both sides to move forward with greater integration and cooperation is about the best thing that can come out of this. It’s not about fault and blame, it’s about saying we want cooperation and friendship between our people and governments and we’re not going to let extremists acts subvert that. Sure that’s sappily idealistic, and probably not the genuine position of either side, but it beats bloody, expensive, and potentially radioactive.

Qingu's avatar

NYTimes reports it: The Benghazi assault (which resulted in deaths) appears to have been planned. Not a spontaneous mob reacting to a film. Though that was probably used as a smokescreen.

Intelligence reports are inconclusive at this point, officials said, but indications suggest the possibility that an organized group had either been waiting for an opportunity to exploit like the protests over the video or perhaps even generated the protests as a cover for their attack.

I don’t think we need to overcomplicate this. Al-Qaeda is active in Libya. They are not representative of Libya. This appears to have been a successful terrorist attack, not a clash between Libya and America or between freedom and Islam.

Nullo's avatar

Never apologize unless you are in the wrong. And then don’t apologize until you mean it.

LostInParadise's avatar

For the record, the statement was made by the embassy, not by the Obama administration. The immediate concern of the embassy was to protect the lives of its members, which I think was quite understandable under the circumstances. Hillary Clinton gave the Obama administration response, strongly condemning the attack.

Qingu's avatar

I would also like to say: Fuck Mitt Romney. The bastard. His response to this mess is telling.

Let’s review. Fringe Islamic terrorist group kills innocent Americans. Response? “You’re either with us or against us! We will not apologize for our freedom!” and other bullshit that eggs on the exact war-between-civilizations narratives that said fringe islamic terrorists are pushing. Plus, lies and distortions.

I would say Romney is as bad as Bush. Except Bush actually cut this bullshit in his second term, and Romney is employing as his advisors all of the hard-core neocons that Bush later sidelined. Romney is worse.

tedd's avatar


1) Obama did not release that statement, the US embassy in Egypt did.
2) The embassy released the statement before we were attacked by a mob.
3) A statement was released in short order after the attack condemning the violence and those who perpetrated it.

Republican lies at it again.

Jaxk's avatar

Just to be clear, telling extremists that thier cause is just, is never a smart strategy. If the statement from the Embassy was intended to quell the violence, it obviously didn’t work. The Ambassador represents the US and Obama. He is the personal representative of Obama. Trying to say that his statements do not reflect on Obama is ridiculous.

This was a bad idea that went horribly wrong and made the situation worse. It does reflect poorly on Obama and his administration. Man up and take your licks.

Qingu's avatar


1. The embassy response was in Cairo. The diplomats were killed in Benghazi.

2. The embassy response happened before anyone was killed.

3. The embassy never told the extremists their cause was just.

4. Obama’s administration immediately repudiated the embassy’s statement in question anyway. “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.”

Stop lying.

P.S. The guys in Benghazi, who were actually killed? It looks like it was a planned attack. Which means statements by the embassy in Cairo about religious tolerance have absolutely jack shit to do with it.

Or maybe I’m wrong and the al-Qaeda terrorist in Benghazi manning the RPG-7 that blew up the convoy was also checking Twitter on his smartphone with his other hand.

Unfuckingbelievable, @Jaxk.

tedd's avatar

@Jaxk At what point did the embassy statement tell extremists their cause was just? It said that it condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.

And even if Obama had issued the statement from his own mouth, it still came before the attacks on our embassies, making the Republican accusations that we’re “apologizing after they attack us” false. The only “bad idea that went horribly wrong” was Mitten’s response.

@DrBill You’ll have to be more specific, I don’t understand your post.

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DrBill's avatar

I do have one, but that is not the point.

you have said an entire political party is lying based on a statement of one person. It does not mater what party it is, if it were democrat, liberal, green, wigg, it would still be wrong to accuse an entire group for the actions of one person. Your accusation is bias, prejudiced and bigoted.

Qingu's avatar

How’s this for “telling extremists their cause is just,” @Jaxk ?

US sends drones to hunt Libya attackers.

tedd's avatar

@DrBill Well I admit I painted it with a pretty broad stroke there, but you’ll have to forgive me. Election year has seemingly brought out the worst/craziest in the Republican party, and that’s all I have seen of late. Though I have to say my accusation is hardly bigoted, lol.

JustinHubbard_'s avatar

America shouldn’t apologize, we had nothing to do with it, Obama did, regardless of whether you think it’s right or wrong.

I do think American leaders (or lack thereof) should mind their own business and focus on their own country and its people.

Qingu's avatar

@JustinHubbard_, what the hell do you mean “Obama did”?

If you’re saying Obama apologized, you’re lying.

RandomMrAdam's avatar

@DrBill@tedd‘s point was not biased, bigoted, or prejudice. He is simply pointing out the flaws in @Jaxk‘s argument; which once he did, pretty much rendered it moot. The logic @Jaxk used was misguided and fueled by false facts. This is the same statement Romney made in his press conference this morning you can find here

QUESTION: So what did the White House do wrong, then, Governor Romney, if (inaudible) put out a statement saying (inaudible).

ROMNEY: It’s their administration. Their administration spoke. The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth, but also from the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department.

Is Romney not the figure to represent the Republicans this year? Sounds like he is sending the message out that @tedd called out as Republican lies.

The White House is not sending mixed messages, in fact, they made it clear that the statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.

Obama should not be held responsible for an Embassy sending out a message that the White House does not reflect as their own.

Qingu's avatar

Nor should the embassy be held responsible for a diplomatic statement intended to calm a rioting mob outside their walls… a statement that was not even an apology in the first place.

You know, the Republicans have pulled a lot of shit in this campaign. A lot of bald-faced utter bullshit. But I have to say, this absolutely takes the cake.

JustinHubbard_'s avatar

@Qingu That’s not what I’m saying at all. I do think Obama and our leaders have their hands in too many cookie jars and need to mind their own people.

You were quick to defend him though if that’s what I was saying. Obama is a pundit… that’s all.

People are always complaining and blaming one party over another. There is no two party system, even if there were, both parties have done their fair share of “bald-faced utter bullshit” throughout their existence.

Qingu's avatar

@JustinHubbard_, I still have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

You say Obama “has his hand in too many cookie jars.” What does this have to do with Egypt or Libya? What does this have to do with the terrorist attack at the Benghazi consulate?

And yes, both parties lie, but not equally. I know that pointing out that “everyone lies” makes you feel above the fray, but part of being an informed citizen involves judging claims and policies against one another and figuring out which ones are better.

JustinHubbard_'s avatar

@Qingu I don’t feel above the fray by pointing out everyone lies, that’s erroneous. However, this conversation is for another time because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

I agree that you cannot point fingers at everybody for what one person said but in the political spectrum, the leaders are the embodiment of its people, they are our representatives.

Oh and we are a democratic nation as one person said… what? We are a republic thank you.

I’m not going to address the specific topic since I don’t know enough about it, so I’ve been speaking in a more “general” sense.

tom_g's avatar

@JustinHubbard_ – Were you speaking “in a more ‘general’ sense” when you jumped into a conversation about a very specific event and added…

@JustinHubbard_: “America shouldn’t apologize, we had nothing to do with it, Obama did, regardless of whether you think it’s right or wrong.”

You seemed very specific to say that Obama apologized, when he had not. When @Qingu called you on it (and me in a PM), you said that this was not what you were saying. You went on to discuss whether this was a two party system, and made irrelevant statements about both parties being less than honest.

@JustinHubbard_: “I do think American leaders (or lack thereof) should mind their own business and focus on their own country and its people.”

I’m finding it difficult to to make any connections between the words you are typing and this conversation. Conversations like this are not well served with apparent non sequiturs or unrelated rants about other topics.

Qingu's avatar

Well, here’s a picture of Libyans apologizing.

Also, 10 Libyan security guards died trying to defend the consulate from attackers.

rojo's avatar

Here is a photo of Romney leaving the podium after commenting on the embassy attack. He looks devastated doesn’t he?

Jaxk's avatar


Apparently the Obamaites of the world seem to think the timeline is the critical point here. If the apology was made before anyone was killed that’s OK. If the apology was made after someone was killed they want to walk it back. The apology was issued early and reiterated many times. confirmed again as late as 1:30 am Cairo time. Stevens arrived at the hospital at 1:oo am and later pronounced dead. You can see the timeline here

Honestly I don’t see why this is so important since it doesn’t change anything. It is a distraction. The state department didn’t start walking the apology back until well after the dead were reported. Why we would continue to fuel this abhorrent behavior by telling them they had been insulted, indeed thier entire religion had been insulted, is beyond me. It only fuels the fires.

All this on 9/11. Did we not suspect there might be something happening on this date? At least Obama has reiterated that we will not let this incident affect our strong support for these Islamic Terrorists.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, no “apology” was made. Ever. You can keep on lying about it, but nobody here actually believes you.

The Egyptian embassy condemned the anti-Muhammad movie. So did Romney, whose press release said “Governor Romney rejects the reported message of the movie. There is no room for religious hatred or intolerance.”

And then you try to tie the tone of the tweet to the attack on the Libyan consulate. Maybe you should explain how the fuck you think this went down, because I’m still wondering. That attack was obviously coordinated, not a mere mob—there was direct fire from multiple RPGs and mortar support. 10 Libyan security guards died in the fighting.

Are you saying that the attack would not have occurred if the Egyptian embassy had only tweeted strongly worded outrage instead of condemning the film?

Do you honestly believe a word of what you’re saying?

“At least Obama has reiterated that we will not let this incident affect our strong support for these Islamic Terrorists.”
You are referring to the fringe Islamic terrorists who actually planned the assault, that Obama has just sent drones to hunt down?

Or are you saying that all Libyans are Islamic terrorists, and that we shouldn’t be supporting the post-Qaddafi government of Libya at all?

Or maybe it’s just more dishonest bullshit. Who knows? I hope it is, because honestly, your statement taken at face value is absolutely sickening and reflects a basic and horrifying ignorance of both Islamic culture and middle eastern politics. I guess you might be serious. You probably are one of those people who believed all those Republicans in the Bush era who talked about how liberals wanted terrorists to win.

Qingu's avatar

I just want to clarify the timeline in @Jaxk‘s mind, or at least what he claims to believe about the timeline.

1. Egyptian embassy hears about an incendiary anti-Islamic film (and possible mob?), tweets a condemnation of it.

2. Egyptian embassy is mobbed, American flag torn down. Embassy reiterates condemnation of film and also condemns mob.

3. Meanwhile, a consulate in Bengazi, Libya, is attacked. Consulates (unlike embasses) lack walls, heavy defense. In what appears to be a coordinated attack, RPGs and mortars are fired in 2 waves, killing 4 diplomats and 10 Libyan security guards.

4. ???

5. Obama is therefore responsible for the Egyptian Embassy’s tweet (which Romney agrees with) a tweet that, somehow, helped lead to the coordinated terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate. And, oh, Obama supports Islamic terrorists.

Like I said. Sickening.

Qingu's avatar

As it happens, I did find an instance of an American president apologizing to Muslims for offending their religious beliefs.

“President Bush has apologized to Iraq’s prime minister for an American sniper’s shooting of a Quran, and the Iraqi government called on U.S. military commanders to educate their soldiers to respect local religious beliefs.

Bush’s spokeswoman said Tuesday that the president apologized during a videoconference Monday with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who told the president that the shooting of Islam’s holy book had disappointed and angered both the Iraqi people and their leaders.

“He apologized for that in the sense that he said that we take it very seriously,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said. “We are concerned about the reaction. We wanted them to know that the president knew that this was wrong.”

rojo's avatar

@tom_g I followed your link and read the letter from the embassy. I must say, I see nothing at all to be embarrassed or ashamed of. I am proud that we have people working in the embassy who can express themselves so elequently.
I do not see what all the uproar is about.
I think it is more of the same
If it was Bush in office it would be “How can we tie this to Iraq?” but that was then and this is now and the question is now “How can we use this to make Obama look bad?”

Trillian's avatar

To answer the original question; no.

rojo's avatar

I sounds like we are learning more details about this attack as the day goes on and it does not seem as clear cut as it was made out to be initially. Maybe it is good that we do not have another cowboy in the White House who shoots first and asks questions when the dust settles.

Jaxk's avatar


You once again mis any reasonable interpretation. When Obama apologized to Karzai for the Quran burning it was a direct result of what the troops did. Same as Bush. Not because of some non governmental event. When Obama said he would not let this affect the close relationship we have it was with the Muslim Brotherhood. These guys have called for further protests and they want us to prosecute the “Madman” behind the video. We get no apology from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood but only condemnation for the film. And of course we’ll send them another $billion to try and buy thier friendship. Now there’s a foriegn policy that should work.

You don’t reward bad behavior nor apologize for your way of life.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Jaxk Just to be clear, telling extremists that thier cause is just, is never a smart strategy.

How do you get that from what was said? The strategy of the extremists who carried out the attack seems to have been take advantage of an (or create an advantageous) situation and use it to kill perceived enemies and/or their agents. They weren’t looking for an excuse they were looking for (or engineering) an opportunity.

Why we would continue to fuel this abhorrent behavior by telling them they had been insulted, indeed thier entire religion had been insulted, is beyond me. It only fuels the fires.

Because “they” aren’t the only ones listening.

Keep in mind it’s the Egyptian military who receives the majority of the nominal monies ($1.4B this year). And while things may change they are not under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jaxk's avatar


The video has been around for about a year. It was recently released in Arabic and uploaded onto the Internet. That may be a coincidence but I doubt it. The intention seems to be to fuel the unrest that turned ugly in both Egypt and Libya. As I understand it, Palestine is also protesting and burning US flags. The killings in Libya may just be opportunistic or it may have been part of the plan. Regardless the protests and unrest were perfect cover. The response from the Embassy in Egypt did not help the situation. By commiserating with them telling them the video was not just insulting but intentionally insulting, you give them justification for thier violence. Even the Americans think this is horribly insulting to Islam.

All this isn’t over yet. Protests are continuing and the Brotherhood is calling for more on Friday. It will be lucky if we don’t walk away with more dead.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, liar, nobody apologized.

Not the Egyptian embassy.

Certainly not Obama.

Romney later issued a press release that said the exact same thing the Egyptian embassy did—condemning the inciteful video.

You’ve made it clear you don’t care about truth, that you’re only here to repeat the bullshit and debunked Republican meme that “Obama apologizes for America.” Then you go even further and say Obama supports Islamic terrorists and accuse the Egyptian embassy of “commisserating.”

Who do you actually think you’re convincing? Honestly—do you think there are people who are reading this thread who believe a word you’ve said about this issue?

Does anyone believe Jaxk?

dabbler's avatar

Obama didn’t apologize, whether or not Romney wants to add that to his very long list of fabrications.

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Qingu's avatar

Here’s a pretty good article from Wired that explains what happened in Benghazi.

It was not a simple mob that attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday, killing four Americans. Benghazi was the scene of a pitched battle, one in which unknown Libyan assailants besieged American diplomats with small-arms fire for over four hours, repelling several attempts by U.S. personnel to regain control of it.

Nor was what happened in Benghazi a simple story of Americans assaulted by the Libyans they helped to liberate from Moammar Gadhafi last year, American officials say. Libyan security forces and a sympathetic local militia helped the Americans to suppress the attack and get the diplomats inside to safety.

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mazingerz88's avatar

@Jaxk Stop helping and giving money to Egyptians because all of them are terrorists? Same as those idiots who attacked the embassy thinking that every American approved of that YouTube video content then? You are joining the mob, harping on a piece of responsible, professional, sensible, pragmatic and savvy diplomatic tweet that could have probably saved American lives in Egypt. ( Not Libya )

You have thousands of men climbing your embassy walls, what are you going to tweet if you are a consul with people whose lives may depend on you during those moments-? Uncle Sam just crapped on the head of your you know who-?

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please don’t use racial slurs. And turn down the flames, folks. Remember to disagree without being disagreeable.

dabbler's avatar

The (regular, decent) people of Libya are apologizing.

Pandora's avatar

@dabbler Thank you for that. It was nice to see.

Jaxk's avatar


You think it helped? Hell they weren’t climbing the walls of the embassy until after the first release of that apologetic and commiserating statement. Obviously if they thought an apology would help, it didn’t. Egypt was our ally. Libya was cooperating with us. Then Obama got involved and helped to oust both those regimes. Now we are being attacked in both places and you think Obama was smart. Hell I can’t think of scenario that would be worse. And yes, the Egyptians elected the Brotherhood. They must be supporting those donkeys. If they want to fight us, the least we can do is to stop sending them the money to do so.

But Obama is on the job. We’ve got Iran building nuclear weapons and threatening Israel. Israel is threatening to attack Iran but wants to meet with Obama. Of course Obama doesn’t have time for that. Meanwhile we have our embassies under siege in Egypt and Libya. So what does Obama do? Road trip. He goes to Vegas for a fund raiser. Now there’s a guy with and astute sense of politics. We may lose the world but he’ll win the presidency, he hopes.

Nullo's avatar

Has anybody considered that this might be a 9/11 present?

Pandora's avatar

@Nullo That is what ran through my mind.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Jaxk You’ve been more laser focused before with other discussions. The deficit etc. This time you’re a tad bit all over the place. It’s vexing and downright frustrating I know. I’ve sat and waited on TV to see that American ambassador that was killed. He had a very kind face and looked happy with his job. Easy to imagine he had many friends and family who would sorely miss him. It’s heartbreaking.

Did the statement help? Who knows? But I thought we were talking about the statement’s purpose not the result. Who even read it in a manner that would really matter? Aside from Romney and his campaign staff? Epic Monday quarterbacking time for everybody. Romney was ahead. Waaaay ahead. But that’s ok, he’s running for President. He’s in a different zone.

It was a diplomatic statement. Please do not read it as Obama surrendering DC.

With regards to Egypt, it’s never about them fighting us and us fighting back. It’s about us dreaming of a democratic Egypt. ( Or democracy anywhere we could sink money that we don’t have in the first place. ) It is us supporting those few Egyptian fools who have the same dream. Is it worth it? Heck, I don’t know.

So you want Obama to meet with Netanhayu? To do exactly what? Correct me if I’m wrong but to attack Iran? If Netanyahu wants to, why not just do it? Why make a show that Uncle Sam gave its approving wink? If Israel goes into Iran, with or without the US riding shotgun, we’re all screwed anyway. That’s just a guess. And I’m referring to the global economic impact.

LostInParadise's avatar

@Nulllo, a “present” from whose point of view, the film maker’s?

@Jaxk , There were no apologies. Notice the absence of the words “sorry” and “apologize” in the statement by the embassy in reference to the film. The operational word they used was “condemn.” To condemn is not to apologize for. In case you are not familiar with the definition, to condemn means to express disapproval. It is the exact same word that Clinton used in reference to the violence in Libya. Do you think that she was apologizing for the violence? It would require one extraordinarily twisted mind to believe that.

mazingerz88's avatar

@LostInParadise Here is the part of that statement that probably amounts to an “apology” in other people’s mind.

“Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

It was a polite condemnation of the YouTube video poster…aka US apology. Truth is, the criticism of this tweet is too much ado about nothing. Imagine if that Egyptian mob didn’t just take and destroy our flag and actually killed an American! Would Romney charge the embassy twitterer with treason?

Nullo's avatar

@LostInParadise A euphemism. Humans in many cultures give gifts to one another to commemorate important events. 9/11 is an important event marked by death and destruction at the hands of Muslim extremists, so it is possible that the attacks on the embassies are to commemorate the occasion.

LostInParadise's avatar

Yes, butt the video maker also chose 9/11. Was this supposed to be a way of honoring those who lost their lives?

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Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, I think you’ve said all you really need to say. You think America should support despots like Qaddafi and Mubarak, rather than support free elections and freedom of speech in the Islamic world.

Look at you! That’s what being a strong leader is about. And it worked so well for America’s foreign policy during the Bush administration—which, of course, never saw savage Islamic mob protests like these ones.

I have to say I’m still confused as to why you are obsessed over this embassy tweet. Can you walk us through your logic of how it made the situation there worse? Can you show, for example, that the protests would not have happened, or would have been smaller, if the embassy hadn’t sent out that tweet?

I’ve asked you several times to walk me through your logic here. Seems pretty clear there isn’t any. I’ll ask again: who exactly do you think believes what you are saying here?

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, it seems obvious that it was a 9/11 present.

Al-Qaeda and other allied fringe elements of Muslims haven’t disappeared. The Arab Spring sidelined them, but they’re still active.

I think it’s pretty clear that the movie was just a pretext. Much in the way that Republicans dig around for for statements like “You didn’t build that” and then coordinate acting shocked and offended by them, I think Salafist fundamentalists did the same thing with this movie. Whipping up an angry mob helped them challenge America, challenge support for America among people in the Arab Spring countries and, in Libya, kill Americans.

So, needless to say, fuck those savages, but that’s what we might call a given. I hope drones find the Islamic Brigade or whoever it was n Libya and blows them up. But the broader question is how to better sideline these people and ensure monsters like them do not gain back influence.

Qingu's avatar

@mazingerz88, Romney later issued a press release that said the same thing as the so-called “apology” tweet:

Governor Romney rejects the reported message of the movie. There is no room for religious hatred or intolerance.

So that’s okay. Romney is a strong leader, see. But obviously the statement by the embassy is not only Obama’s fault but somehow tantamount to treason.

Jaxk's avatar


I will agree that things have been changing rapidly as events unfold. It’s hard to stay laser focused in that environment. And of course we are all looking at this with 20–20 hindsight. My initial reaction was that the message from the Embassy was the wrong thing to do. As events have unfolded, it is becoming clear that the movie was merely cover for more devious plans. The movie enraged the masses to distract from a larger movement. I’m not sure if the Killings in Libya were part of the plan or if it was just an opportunistic hit. It is very curious to me that we would send the Ambassador to an unprotected compound on 9/11. Does that date not mean anything to us?

Anyway, the message from the Embassy in Egypt, merely adds fuel to thier diversion. It is a quote that extremists can use to add weight to thier argument, it adds legitimacy. Same as the way we use quotes here on Fluther. Hell, @Qingu even drug Bush into this with a quote. If the Americans know this movie is blasphemous, and they released it anyway, they are obviously intentionally insulting Mohamed (something like that). I still think it was wrong to release that message. They are using us to help distribute and legitimize their propaganda. As for tying it to Obama, I don’t really care what people want to believe. But if the Embassy is sending out messages that Obama doesn’t agree with, they should be withdrawn and replaced.

As for the aid to Egypt, they didn’t do thier job. All indications are that we all knew this was coming. The protests were no surprise. Egypt let this happen and they have no apologies for it. In fact they are calling for more protests. Hell, that’s the ruling party that is calling for protests. Libya, I cut a little more slack even though that is where the murders took place. They are a fledgling government with little or no control. I think that event is more of our own stupidity than than anything their government could have done.

The truth is we are losing in the middle east. Egypt is gone to the Muslim Brotherhood, Libya is likely to go the same way. Syria is in the throws of a civil war and when that shakes out, it is likely to become another extremist government. We’ve fought two wars for more than 10 years to try and eliminate safe havens for extremists and we are now facing the very real probability that they will have safe haven all over the Middle East. And we are paying for much of it. It is an iniquitous arrangement.

rojo's avatar

@Jaxk from what I read about him this morning, I doubt that Stevens was “sent”. I think that he “went” because some of his people were there and he felt it was his responsibility to help get them out.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, I think we can agree that it was wrong not to provide more security at the consulate in Benghazi on 9/11. But like you said, 20–20 hindsight.

I think you are being deceptive about the embassy in Cairo’s tweet. Romney said the exact same thing. Do you think Romney was wrong for condemning the movie, too? Then say so.

I would hope that you can agree that movies like the one in question are not helpful to international relations, that they are like poking wild animals with a stick.

And I think your long-term view of the middle east is myopic, deluded, cowardly, and dangerous. The Middle East is an extremely religious place. Not unlike America of the 1950’s. Its governments, if given free elections, are going to be extremely religious. the democratically-elected government of Iraq, which Bush “liberated,” is extremely religious. Supporting dictators, like Mubarak and Qaddafi, does not change the fact that most people in this place are extremely religious. It does however make most people in this place hate America and many side with al-Qaeda. And it makes the rest of the world laugh in our face when we purport to support freedom and democracy—because what you want is for us to do explicitly the opposite.

Your comments show a sociopathic disregard for the people actually living in these countries, and it confirms the exact narrative that al-Qaeda is pushing, that America is an imperialist country that uses force to suppress Islam.

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu I honestly wrote it off as crazy Muslims being crazy, not making the 9/11 connection until 9/12.

Qingu's avatar

Well, did the anti-Muslim movie come out on 9/11? If that’s the case then it could have simply been opportunistic.

The protestors and rioters don’t seem to be making a connection to 9/11, anyway. And a lot of Muslims believe conspiracy theories about 9/11 to begin with.

tom_g's avatar

Obligatory Onion article (NSFW).

Jaxk's avatar


Yes if we don’t give them money so that they may burn and pillage our embassies, If we don’t sheepishly accept they’re riots and and agree that it is all our fault, if we don’t throw them a few human sacrifices now and and again, then we are obviously an imperialistic country that uses force to subdue them. Do you even read your own rants? You’re as crazy as they are.

How can you possibly look at what is going on in the middle east and conclude that that Obama has done anything other than screw us. Maybe he should go back to Egypt and give another speech. That should fix everything.

tedd's avatar

is this still going on?

Trillian's avatar

Wait, what? The middle east hates us and the blame lies with Obama? I think I’ll go have a lie down. My hair hurts.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, first of all, I’ll ask you again to stop being dishonest. Nobody said “it’s all our fault” or that we should “throw them a few human sacrifices.” Not the embassy. Not Obama. Certainly not me. Not even close. I called the people who attacked our embassies savages. I said I want the people who attacked the Libyan consulate blown up with Hellfire missiles.

And how dare you suggest otherwise. Maybe you think this is an acceptable way to hold discussions. When I argue with you, I don’t make up completely bullshit positions and assert that you hold them. I don’t lie through my teeth about what you’ve written. Stop being dishonest, Jaxk.

Now, you asked, how can I look at the middle east and decide anything but that Obama has screwed us? Because I’m not a dishonest fool who thinks “they” are a monolithic group of savages. Between three and ten Libyans died defending the consulate on Tuesday’s attack, and most Libyans strongly support America. Egypt is another story, but it’s a complex country of 70 million people, and it’s foolish to judge everyone there by the actions of a few hundred people who are likely the most fanatical and ignorant Salafists of the bunch.

Nor do I have selective amnesia about the state of the middle east from 2001–2008. You may recall the much worse Muslim riots in 2006, over Danish cartoons, where hundreds of people died. Constant riots and terrorist attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is happening today happened all the time during the Bush administration—back when we were supporting dictators like Mubarak and Qaddafi, just like you are advocating. Al-Qaeda—the people who actually attacked us on 9/11—was widely seen in the Arab world as a credible political force, violent jihad—as opposed to democratic participation—as the best way to reshape the Islamic world.

You don’t seem to have any idea of what is actually happening in the region, or what has happened in the near past. Nor do you have any ideas of how we should work to improve our standing or security in the future—beyond, apparently, supporting brutal dictators, which is a failed strategy. You just see something bad happening on TV and then, like a dog salivating over a dinner bell, immediately say “Obama’s fault!”

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, tell us what you think of the following statements.

“You know, I think it’s dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it.”

“Of course, we have a First Amendment, and under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film.”

“I think the whole film is a terrible idea. I think him making it, promoting it showing it is disrespectful to people of other faiths. I don’t think that should happen. I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment —- the good judgment — not to be — not to offend other peoples’ faiths. It’s a very bad thing, I think, this guy’s doing.”

Jaxk's avatar


“When I argue with you, I don’t make up completely bullshit positions and assert that you hold them.” – Actually that’s all you do.

RandomMrAdam's avatar

@Jaxk—What are you referring to when you said:

“Yes if we don’t give them money so that they may burn and pillage our embassies, If we don’t sheepishly accept they’re riots and and agree that it is all our fault, if we don’t throw them a few human sacrifices now and and again, then we are obviously an imperialistic country that uses force to subdue them. Do you even read your own rants? You’re as crazy as they are.”

It doesn’t even seem to be a reply to ANYTHING that @Qingu said previously. Are you reading from a different thread or something? Or was that your attempt to put words in @Qingu‘s mouth and then call him crazy for “saying” that? I am totally confused.

Jaxk's avatar


It may be difficult to follow all the crap that gets thrown out here. That response was to @Qingu‘s argument

“Your comments show a sociopathic disregard for the people actually living in these countries, and it confirms the exact narrative that al-Qaeda is pushing, that America is an imperialist country that uses force to suppress Islam.”

I don’t see how withholding the Billions in aid we send to Egypt would show we use force to suppress Muslims. The Billions we send to them is helping to keep Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in power. Morsi is helping to stir up this resentment by continually encouraging the protesters and calling for more protests against the US. Obama of course has said that this event will not affect our relationship with Egypt.

So the events in the middle east have resulted in embassies being pillaged, and people being killed. The whole context of that argument is whether we should continue to fund Morsi while he is encouraging these actions (Obama’s and/or Qunigu’s position) or stop (my position).

I really don’t need a reason to call @Qingu crazy, he is.

Qingu's avatar

I mentioned absolutely nothing about supporting Morsi or giving aid to Egypt.

I think Obama is correct in using the threat of withdrawing aid as a stick. It seems to have worked. But the threat should be real. I have no ideological problem with withdrawing our considerable aid to Egypt and Pakistan if the strategy warrants.

Try again, Jaxk.

And while you’re at it, try answering these two direct questions:

1. Do you think Romney was “apologizing for America” and “supporting terrorists” when he condemned the anti-Islam film repeatedly?

2. Can you explain an alternative foreign policy that would work better for our interests in the region? For example, can you explain how and why withdrawing aid to Egypt would help stop the embassy attacks there and marginalize the Brotherhood?

Jaxk's avatar


I don’t know where you are going with all this nor do I intend to rehash the entire discussion. There are however a few points that you either confuse or blatantly disregard.

The statement from our Embassy in Egypt, the one I call an apology, was disavowed after the attacks in both Egypt and Libya. Apparently the administration didn’t think they were so smart either. Unfortunately they also issued another statement using the same apology but adding that they condemn any any violence. Oh yeah, they condemn it in the ‘Strongest Terms’.

As for giving aid to Morsi, you didn’t say that I did. What you came back with was one of your rants against what I said. I assumed by that you didn’t agree.

Now you say Obama threatened to cut off aid to Egypt and that worked. We really don’t know if that’s what he said to Morsi but if he did and you support that, why would you want me to explain to you why cutting off aid might be a good idea?

I know you all want to make this whole thing about Romney, it’s not. It’s about our current foriegn policy and whether or not it has been effective. I’m not going to explain everything that has gone on for the past year or so but Obama has been helping Morsi in a number of ways. Not the least of which is the foriegn aid and demanding that the military (friendly to us) hand over the government to Morsi (unfriendly to us).

And just for the record, Obama’s conversation with Morsi had limited success. Egypt is now defending our embassy but Morsi is still stirring up the unrest.

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