Yemen and Tunisia

A small protest outside our embassy in Tunisia. Other in Morocco and Sudan. Flag burned in Gaza (but that could just be because it’s Thursday). Large violent protests in Egypt and Yemen. But Libya seems to be trying to stay on the sane side and there are indication Libyan government forces fought to defend our ambassador (although security seems to have been generally inadequate). And the supposed offending film keeps getting more mysterious.

But I’m beginning to think the film is a red herring. This seems to be more of a generalized anti-US sentiment spurred by radical Islamists.

Updates as events warrant.

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  1. Argive

    But I’m beginning to think the film is a red herring. This seems to be more of a generalized anti-US sentiment spurred by radical Islamists.

    Michael Totten points out that the Salafists who attacked the embassy in Libya were waving the al-Qaeda flag. So yeah, the film probably had little to do with anything. Though I do like this bit from his post:

    Salafists find just about everything offensive, not only “blasphemous” videos made by Islam-haters in Florida, but even mainstream Islam as practiced in Egypt. The only way to make such people happy is by shutting off the entire Internet. And that’s just for starters.

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    The whole “let’s not offend the Salafists” thing is chasing a dead end. These people thrive on being offended and angry. They will always find something. If it’s not a film, it will be a book. If not a book, a tweet. If not a tweet, then having a smart look on your face. They’re looking to be offended.

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  3. Thrill

    They’re looking to be offended.

    And it’s amazing to me that 11 years into this war that we’re still struggling with understanding what motivates the enemy.

    These people are still offended about all those Crusades and the whole losing Spain thing. How do you handle that? Is there any way you can avoid offending people who are bent toward perpetual grievance?

    It’s one of those concepts in life where the Hitchiker’s Guide nails the point:

    “So, like I said, these are a bunch of really sweet guys, but you wouldn’t want to share a Galaxy with them, not if they’re just gonna keep at it, not if they’re not gonna learn to relax a little. I mean it’s just gonna be continual nervous time, isn’t it, right? Pow, pow, pow, when are they next coming at us? Peaceful coexistence is just right out, right? “

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  4. Mississippi Yankee

    A blog friend has taken to calling these creatures iSlamopithicus. And believe they should take a much needed break of a couplafew centuries to work things out among themselves, maybe have a Reformation and a Renaissance of their own and maybe join the rest of Humanity on a more equal footing.

    Seems reasonable to me.

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  5. salinger

    I’m currently working in Kuala Lumpur – we’ve been advised to avoid the embassy areas this afternoon – it is Friday morning here now. I’ll let you guys know if I see anything.

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  6. Xetrov

    There’s more info coming out that the attack was coordinated, and at least partially an inside job.

    The part that boggles my mind…

    Wissam Buhmeid, the commander of the Tripoli government-sanctioned Libya’s Shield Brigade, effectively a police force for Benghazi, maintained that it was anger over the Mohamed video which made the guards abandon their post. “There were definitely people from the security forces who let the attack happen because they were themselves offended by the film; they would absolutely put their loyalty to the Prophet over the consulate. The deaths are all nothing compared to insulting the Prophet.”

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    It’s not just the Independent from the UK that claims these attacks Tuesday were premeditated and came with prior warnings but now the Jerusalem Post has similar fore-warned intelligence.

    And from Breitbart site:

    One day before September 11, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri posted a 42-minute video on Jihadist forums urging Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the terror organization’s second-in-command, whom U.S. drones killed in June of 2012 in Pakistan.

    In the video, al-Zawahri said al-Libi’s “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders,” leading up to a date heralded and celebrated by radical Islamists.

    Another version of the video was actually posted on YouTube on September 9 and yet, President Barack Obama, who has not attended an intelligence briefing since September 5, and his administration did not beef up security at the embassy and consulate on September 11. There were no Marines present to protect Americans abroad, as the Islamic mobs overwhelmed what little security presence there was.

    I wonder if Her Filthiness even reads email from Panetta.
    Not sure, but something stinks like treason and betrayal, here.

    And even though Occum Razor suggest we look to the simplest answer when incompetence and treason both explain things, go with incompetence but just how incompetent can an administration be?
    Now can you just imagine if this were all to take place 55+ days before one of the most important elections in your life time? Oh wait a minute, it did!

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  8. salinger

    Turns out the expected protest drew about thirty people according to news reports – people seemed much more interested in Kate and Williams visit whose outdoor party I walked by on my way back from dinner tonight.

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  9. Poosh

    Hearing rumbles that the murders were not related to the “protests”, but rather planned and acts of assassination – using the protests as cover.

    2 Navy Seals btw?

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  10. Poosh

    I’m currently working in Kuala Lumpur

    Was there last month. Supposedly “muslim” but all the girls were wearing hotpants and clothes that would make a Brit say “hold on now, that’s too much, miss”. Condoms at every til in every chemist. Women, at least on the service, seemed to be very much in good status. Lots of female shop owners etc.

    Capitalism in all its beautiful glory.

    Sal has more to fear from heroin-addict thieves than Islamists (i’m sure you’ve heard the police reports). Stay frosty Sal.

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  11. Hal_10000 *

    Poosh, both the LIbyan and US authorities now believe this. Four arrests today in Libya. And we’ve got drones going now. I suspect Obama will play this close to the vest until it’s over.

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  12. Poosh

    And we’ve got drones going now.

    So nothing then. What are these magical drones going to do exactly? This is a paper tiger show of strength (you sent two warships as well, I believe… are the terrorist’s base of operations on some sort of Tomorrow Never Dies type stealth boat?) Our enemies know America is weak. These are empty gestures from a useless Drone President who sold out his country to the tyrant Putin for four more years.

    Obama will only do what he thinks will get him elected.

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  13. CM

    So nothing then. What are these magical drones going to do exactly? This is a paper tiger show of strength (you sent two warships as well, I believe… are the terrorist’s base of operations on some sort of Tomorrow Never Dies type stealth boat?) Our enemies know America is weak. These are empty gestures from a useless Drone President who sold out his country to the tyrant Putin for four more years.

    Obama will only do what he thinks will get him elected.

    What do you think is a proportional response to the Ansar al-Shariah extremists and these protests?
    IMHO the appropriate response is to continue to act calmly, work to diffuse the situation, and work behind the scenes with the relevant governments.
    Ramping things up is completely the wrong thing to do. It’s exactly what the nutjobs want.

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  14. Poosh

    I don#t really want to respond to your list of “no shit sherlock” statements … as if our preference is to respond irrationally. However ROMNEY had a good speech down, not too sure how his writers came up with it so fast. Obama should have used a very bold, POWERFUL defence of free speech and why you have no right to NOT be offended.

    That being said, it would have been no good overall, because we’re not dealing with people working from the same premises. But it may well have got the western world in gear and made us grow some balls and stand up for the Enlightenment.

    And that being said a defence of the freedom of speech is not very progressive these days. America is possibly the only country with maybe a few commonwealth countries (but NOT the UK) that has actual free speech.

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  15. CM

    I don#t really want to respond to your list of “no shit sherlock” statements … as if our preference is to respond irrationally.

    That seemed to be the implication. Which is why I sought clarification. Some people actually believe that ramping things up would be rational.

    However ROMNEY had a good speech down, not too sure how his writers came up with it so fast.

    Where was that?

    Obama should have used a very bold, POWERFUL defence of free speech and why you have no right to NOT be offended.

    As I say, I think the idea is to try to diffuse tensions. That can be done in a way which still makes it clear where America stands.

    That being said, it would have been no good overall, because we’re not dealing with people working from the same premises. But it may well have got the western world in gear and made us grow some balls and stand up for the Enlightenment.

    And how would that manifest itself? Again, what specific actions are you advocating?
    IMO the words and actions should naturally be aimed at leaders and moderates. The last thing that should happen is that the US buys into what the nutjobs are trying to sell, and gives them what they’re after.

    The UK doesn’t allow free speech now? Huh? Since when?

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