Gingrich: Attacks on U.S. Embassies in Libya, Egypt "exactly like 1979 in Iran"

Yesterday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, perpetrated by demonstrators protesting some film they felt offended by, was joined by an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed, reportedly in a rocket attack as he and other staffers were headed toward a safer location.

On CNN this morning, Newt Gingrich called the situation at the two embassies "exactly like Iran in 1979".

He continued:

Maybe it's because I'm a conservative, maybe it's because I come out of a different background, but when the American flag is torn down and destroyed, when an American Ambassador and three other Americans are killed, my reaction is not to find some way to be pleasant and understanding and caring about the people who are killing Americans, tearing down our flag and assaulting our country. My reaction, frankly, is pretty militant: we ought to stand up for America.

Gingrich was referring to a controversial statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, disowned by the Obama administration, that the Embassy "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."

The CNN anchor noted the statement came before the storming of the embassy and that it was disowned by the Obama administration. CNN's State Department correspondent Elise Labott called Gingrich's assertion "stretching just a bit."

Later, Fran Townsend, a CNN National Security Contributor, insisted the incident in Libya showed that the NATO operation in Libya was not enough: "It's not enough to help people actually get their freedom, overthrow an oppressive government. You're gonna have to the clean behind them and help them as a fledgling democracy," she said. 

You could also probably say if there had been no NATO operation in Libya, this might not have happened. Expect a lot more to be said about yesterday's shocking series of events by talking heads on the tubes.

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  • Fluffy||

    It's also difficult to know if we have a totally accurate picture of the political facts on the ground. It's being reported that this demonstration was all about this movie, but how do we know that's the case?

    It's not like Khadafi had no support. He had the support of a sizable percentage of the population. Benghazi probably didn't hold a lot of his supporters because of the ethnic divisions in the country, but the number's not zero. There have to be people at that demonstration who are still fighting the last war. Since the dead ambassador apparently for all practical purposes personally led our effort to topple Khadafi during the revolution, I bet former Khadafi supporters are celebrating this morning.

  • Drake||

    My guess is that some cynical hardcore anti-western types use this silly movie to fire up their cannon fodder.

    The movie itself sounds fairly factual - Mohammed got laid A LOT, and he got pretty rich after going into the prophet business.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Aren't those the reasons to start a religion?

  • GILMORE||

    L Ron Hubbard Says = "Some of them"

  • Drake||

    Sure they are. I just don't understand why Muslims get insulted when you point it out. It's all right there in the Hadith and Koran that they supposedly read so often. Do they actually think about what they are reading?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    I can explain Egypt.

    It's Egypt.

    13th-century troglodytes with 20th-21st century technology.

    Rape, murder, and warfare are a justifiable response to a movie they don't like. Pretty cool dudes, eh?

  • ||

    Abandon them. Pack up, get up, and get out. Let them obliterate themselves. Why should we give a fuck? Why is it our business whether they drown in their own blood?

  • Mike M.||

    Pretty sad to say, but Gingrich is a lot closer to the truth on this than all the brain dead cosmotarian idiots who actually thought that the so-called "Arab Spring" was wonderful.

    Enjoy the conflagration, idiots. Burn baby, burn!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The so-called Arab Spring is commendable. People rose up against oppressive regimes without us marching in with 150,000 troops like with the Iraq Debacle.

    The fact that an Islamist government sprung up in each of these vacuums is to be expected. If Alabama were "freed" from the Feds you can bet a Christian theocracy would assume power.

  • GILMORE||

    groan...

    do you get stupider?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're opposed to citizens overthrow of dictatorship?

  • R C Dean||

    I'm see no reason to support the replacement of an authoritarian dictatorship with a theocratic totalitarian state.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    If Alabama were "freed" from the Feds you can bet a Christian theocracy would assume power.

    Peak Derp is approaching!

  • ||

    That's some of the stupidest shit I've ever read anywhere. Ever.

    Fun fact for Shrike: Arkansas is the only state that has already made arrangements for the prohibition of abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Not about abortion.

    You're pissed that I compared our conservatives with their conservatives.

    Same shit - different asshole.

  • Mike M.||

    If only you could be the next guy to be captured and decapitated by one of these Islamist animals.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I'm surprised. I thought if was going to be any state, that it would have been South Dakota.

  • SugarFree||

    Peak Derp is a myth. Derp is the zero point energy of the Internet. limitless, renewable, and eternal. Derp has been, is, and shall always be with us.

  • dbcooper||

    You've got to get rid of Samantha Power. Deport her back to Ireland if you have to.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The anti-genocide State person? Yeah - what a crazy lady.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    At least she is consistent, which is why she is demanding intervention in Syria!

  • DJF||

    So when is she going to parachute in with a Bowie Knife between her teeth and a M-16 strapped to her back?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    She requested intervention in Darfur, so what?

    You don't think she makes these decisions, do you?

  • Randian||

    She requested intervention in Darfur, so what?

    You don't think she makes these decisions, do you?

    Do you only reserve your condemnation for those who make decisions?

    I wonder why you go on and on about Santorum, then.

  • R C Dean||

    You don't think she makes these decisions, do you?

    As much as anybody, yeah.

    What, you don't think Obama does, without her approval, do you?

  • Brian from Texas||

    Another draft-dodging, neocon chickenhawk who thinks we should be fighting a 20-front war.

  • Fluffy||

    BTW, I just have to say that Gingrich is a douche when his primary concern, even before the death of the ambassador, is that someone tore down a flag.

    I know that's just a rhetorical device, but the fact that it's a rhetorical device in the first place, the fact that someone would politically choose to construct a sentence this way expecting it would be effective, proves that people are fucking retards.

  • ||

    I'm not so sure. Doing this to a consular structure flying the flag of a sovereign nation and then defacing it is a potent and direct statement from these shitspawn.

    By "standing up for America," I wish he meant that we should censure the stupid fuckers and leave them to burn in their own sociopolitical cesspool, but an interventionist he is, so that's not likely.

  • Fluffy||

    No, I think Gingrich thinks he's Cato the Elder.

    He fancies himself a great political speaker.

    He sat down and tried to craft a statement that would generate maximum possible anger and outrage, and disdain for the Obama administration's response, and these sentences are the conscious product of that process.

    Anyone who would let themselves be angered into precipitate action by some dopes tearing down a flag is a yokel and a fool. If I was setting up a hegemony over a bunch of desert savages, I would have one of my henchmen toss a flag or two to the savages once a week so they could tear it up like pit bulls and work off some nervous energy. What the fuck do I care? It's a fucking flag.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Throw them an effigy too. Those tend to excite the idiots.

  • ||

    It's Gingrich. What more is there to say?

  • Randian||

    The fact that we do not go to war or get the Rhetorical Machine spun up whenever a group of Arabs burns a flag in a demonstration sort of puts paid to the notion that Gingrich is actually outraged about the flag itself, does it not?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It's a fucking flag on what I am given to believe is deemed sovereign American territory.

    I haven't yet read much about this, but it sounds like they killed Americans on American land. Is that not correct?

  • Randian||

    NEF,

    Fluffy is taking issue with the fact that the use of the flag qua flag is sufficient to get people angry.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yeah, some people do. That's why people do it.

    Maybe flag qua flag is just a dogwhistle I'm not hearing, but I think Fluffy is blowing that particular issue out of proportion.

  • ||

    Yep. It disgusts me, and fuck them all sideways. But I think what Fluffy's saying is that Gingrich is just using the flag-burning as one of his points for indignation and outrage for the sole purpose of stirring up the shit.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Not picking nits, but U.S. embassies are not sovereign American territory.

    "U.S. embassies abroad, as well as foreign embassies in the United States, have a special status. While an embassy remains the territory of the host state, under international rules representatives of the host country may not enter an embassy without permission—even to put out a fire.

    Because an embassy represents a sovereign state, any attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents."

    http://diplomacy.state.gov/dis.....170537.htm

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Because an embassy represents a sovereign state, any attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents.

    Fair enough, but when your "not picking nits" leads to exactly the same outcome as the item with which you are not picking nits, it sounds like nit picking.

    My point is that this is seen as an attack on America.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "My point is that this is seen as an attack on America."

    Okay, I'll pick nits. You asked:
    "I haven't yet read much about this, but it sounds like they killed Americans on American land. Is that not correct?"

    The answer is no, it is not "American land".

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Again, that's fine. They killed Americans in an attack on America. The meaningful difference is what, exactly?

  • R C Dean||

    Did they drag them out of the embassy before killing them?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Because an embassy represents a sovereign state, any attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents."

    This is the relevant part, along with the fact that they killed Americans. I wonder why the marines did not open fire on the assholes when they came over the wall?

  • SugarFree||

    Early reports are that they started the attack with RPGs. It looks like the guards retreated to a safe room and the ambassador died of smoke inhalation after the building caught fire.

    I think the suggestion that they are Kadafi loyalists might turn out right, considering they were fairly well armed. I doubt this had anything to do with the Muslim video at all, and they might have used the 9/11 celebrations (let's call them what they are) and the video protests as cover.

    /evidence-free prediction time

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Nearly a dozen Americans were inside the consulate at the time, guarded only by Libyan security. For nearly 20 minutes the Libyan guards exchanged fire with the attackers, who hurled a firebomb inside."

    Don't know about the accuracy of this, but if true, it looks like there was very little, if any Marine presence at the Libyan embassy.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Internat.....FCLtrJmTng

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "... Gingrich is a douche when his primary concern, even before the death of the ambassador, is that someone tore down a flag."

    So, if he had given the opposite sequence it would have been acceptable? Maybe he stated it that way because it was the sequence of events. Parsing statements to find some offense in the way they are ordered is not much less douche-like.

  • Fluffy||

    The Gingrich statement is way too consciously crafted for anyone to say that I can't take issue with the sentiments its craft reveals.

    Maybe it's because I'm a conservative,

    Start with a personal identification.

    maybe it's because I come out of a different background,

    Set up a negative personal identification for your political opponent.

    but when the American flag is torn down and destroyed,

    List a grievance, couched in terms designed to make your audience feel outrage.

    when an American Ambassador and three other Americans are killed,

    List an additional grievance.

    my reaction is not to find some way to be pleasant and understanding and caring about the people who are killing Americans, tearing down our flag and assaulting our country.

    Demonstrate to your audience that your opponent is allowing the grievances to go unpunished in a way they should find humiliating.

    My reaction, frankly, is pretty militant: we ought to stand up for America.

    Contrast this with your own proposed reaction, that will respond to the grievance in a way that will satisfy your audience's wounded pride.

    Quintilian would give Newt an "A" here. There's no way it's accidental; there's no way Newt didn't intend this.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "The Gingrich statement is way too consciously crafted"

    As opposed to those unconsciously crafted statements?

    "There's no way it's accidental; there's no way Newt didn't intend this."

    It doesn't require any sentence parsing to know what Newt intends. He's pissed off about the events in Egypt and Libya, and thinks Obama is a pussy.

  • Fluffy||

    Did you even read my original post?

    He wants his listeners to be pissed off and to think Obama is a pussy.

    But he also assumes his listeners will be particularly pissed off at an outrage to the flag and will particularly blame Obama for not adequately defending the flag.

    I was observing (and lamenting) that the fact that he would craft his statement like this and be confident that it would be effective because it is evidence that people are retarded.

  • Tim||

    Have we won in Libya yet?

  • SugarFree||

    We haven't even got started.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    We are still leading from behind.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're gonna have to the clean behind them and help them as a fledgling democracy," she said.

    When did "gonna" become a word? I see it in news articles all the time now. It pisses me the fuck off.

  • Rich||

    Not only this, HM. What does the whole utterance even mean?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You've never had the cleaned behind someone?

  • Rich||

    Well ... maybe *once*. But I was just a kid.

  • ||

    You think that's bad? Wait until 1337 becomes acceptable journalistic practice. That's the sort of situation cyanide pills exist for.

  • SugarFree||

    I say we invade, occupy the country, get thousands of Americans killed while killing hundreds of thousands of them, say we won, but not leave, install a puppet government, claim it sovereign, say we won again and still not leave, and then insist that they love us and it all had to be done and if anyone objects call them a commie faggot pinko cosmotarian.

    I think that will clear all this up and teach the region never to do anything like this again until it does.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • Tim||

    You forgot democracy. We have to justify all this.

  • SugarFree||

    A few heavily-veiled women holding up purple fingers will prove the sunshine of freedom illuminates every corner of the place.

  • ||

    IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY.

    HOORAY.

    HOORAY.

    HOORAY.

    Was that good?

  • Tim||

    We need to develop a democracy firing robot.

  • GILMORE||

    I thought that was Coca Cola?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    A Coke Drone?

  • SugarFree||

    Personally, I would not want to be hit by a can of Coke fired from a drone.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    A bottle would be even worse.

  • SugarFree||

    What would be the energy release of a bottle of Coke coming down at orbital speeds? OUTER SPACE COKE DRONE!

    Rods of God

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    12 oz * 17,450 mph = 198,008 ft/lbs

    .45 230 gr * 845 ft/sec = 365 ft/lbs

    It would hurt; to say the least.

  • Gray Ghost||

    With one gram of TNT having 4184 J of potential chemical energy, our coke bottle comes in with about 2.25 oz of TNT's worth of energy. (Assuming it doesn't lose any speed in the atmosphere) About 1/3 of a hand grenade or 3 times the explosive within one of the 30mm rounds Gojira mentioned.

    What Ptah-Hotep said.

  • Drake||

    I sometimes think that Democracy may not be the right form of government for a country full of childish uneducated zealots.

  • R C Dean||

    But enough about the US.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Sug, have you not learned anything from history. The correct way to handle this is to find the general who has the support of the army. Take him aside and "suggest" that if something were to happen to the elected government that caused the army to have to impose , um, law; that we would not look askaince at that. Then give him $$$Billion to help him "maintain peace." For decades if need be.

  • Drake||

    Sadly, that is probably the best solution for all parties involved. Being Libya, a Colonel might suffice.

  • Randian||

    Except we kind of went back on our word on that one, eh?

    We can't even get a good strongman anymore.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Nah, they tried a colonel last time. Try the West African route - like Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings or Sargeant Samuel K. Doe or somesuch.

  • Randian||

    His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Muhammaed Q'tab, Lord of All the Goats of the Earth and Pirates of the Seas and Conqueror of the American Consular in Africa in General and the Consulate and One Piece of Cloth in Particular

  • ||

    Ensign Harry Kim?!?!?

  • Randian||

    We'll never speak of this again, RPA.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Sadly, that is probably the best solution for all parties involved. Being Libya, a Colonel might suffice.

    Actually the best solution is for us to say that if you want your country to be a shithole, enjoy. But the first goat-fucker that climbs a wall and attempts to harm our people dies. As does every one who follows.

  • Drake||

    I thought Reason readers were opposed to border walls?

  • SugarFree||

    I consider that "Plan B." And then when they rise up in 30 years and kill him, we can profess shock how it all turned out.

  • Drake||

    Then wait a few months, rinse and repeat.

  • SugarFree||

    Ultimately, I think the cycle is what is important.

  • Tim||

    Where were are valiant drones?

  • Tim||

    our.

  • ||

    Do the drones bear the image of Emperor Barack I?

  • SugarFree||

    "Ultima Ratio Regum, Bitches" and a picture of Pelosi at orgasm to provoke horror in our enemies.

  • ||

    Holy shit. Now THAT's cruel and unusual punishment.

  • SugarFree||

    In some alternative universe, I was the first psywar op dragged before The Hague to answer for my crimes.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    If they adopted that, I would profer charges myself - eugh!

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    "Ultima Ratio Regum, Bitches" and a picture of Pelosi at orgasm to provoke horror in our enemies.

    FIFY

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh please. No emotion penetrates that veil of botox.

  • SugarFree||

    That's the horror. Gee, you can't see that? See, amateurs really shouldn't try to step to experts.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But, that means... that means she could be climaxing at any time! OMG!

  • SugarFree||

    Mexican border. Keeping cheap lettuce out of grocery stores is an urgent national priority.

  • Fluffy||

    We need to summon some drones to testify before Congress about this failure.

    Hey - that might not be a bad idea.

  • Rich||

    Not to make light of the situation, but the film snippets on YouTube would probably cause many *critics* to storm an embassy or two.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Links?

  • Rich||

    Enjoy.

    I'm gonna have to it's NSFW.

  • SugarFree||

    Oh, the comments...

    The JEW brought the original cancer into this world.
    svalarn 13 minutes ago

    no sympathy for the jewish animal that were killed in the holocaust.
    Hitler was right!!
    FedayeenAlIraq 4 minutes ago

    fuck freedom of speech assholes
    your freedom ends when overs freedom begins
    ahmad jabr 32 minutes ago

  • Randian||

    Forget it, Sug. It's Youtube Commentown.

  • SugarFree||

    It's the slum of Internt comments, no doubt. The incoherence, misspelling, blind hate and fractured English can't be beat. For a little while, IMDb comments got close, but they monitor those now.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Obama should give Jimmy Carter a call to hash out a response.
    Probably something like - lose to the republicans.

    I was out in the woods so my first news of this was the news feed on facebook (read on my smartphone) from the online game 'EVE' (I used to play fanatically). One of the killed (vice-consul) was a high ranking Eve player named 'Vile Rat'.
    http://www.evenews24.com/2012/.....i-attacks/

    the 21st century is turning out weird.

  • Mike M.||

    No kidding. Just when you thought that Obama couldn't become any more Jimmy Carter-like than he already was! All he needs is for these Egyptian psychos to take some Americans hostage and the cycle will be 100% complete.

  • SugarFree||

    And no one is talking about taking the fight to the real enemy: YouTube.

  • Rich||

    First Rebecca Black, now this.

    Those fuckers at YouTube are ruining the planet.

  • SugarFree||

    And google said they weren't evil. [head shake]

  • Tim||

    Wait till they see the Sandra Fluk translations: " In this video American whore demands that her mosque pay for her whoring and that of her sister whores."

  • Tim||

    Youtube is a democracy firing robot. Sort of.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    AM I the only one who first read that headline as Gingrich Attacks U.S. Embassies? That misread coupled with the picture had me imagining that giant head towering above embassy compounds in burning ruins a la Godzilla. Spewing fire and talk of minority janitors on the moon.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "Minority Janitors on the Moon"

    I think you have a late night sci-fi show right there.

  • R C Dean||

    Soundtrack: Bow chicka wow wow.

  • John Thacker||

    The statement by the Embassy in Cairo may not have been cleared by the Administration, but I'm not sure this clarification by the Secretary of State is much better:

    "Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation."

    Really? The United States officially deplores South Park? People denigrating the Fred Phelps loonies, etc.?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    I also note that Egypt and the US were close to giving Egypt $1 Billion of debt releif - last week.

    This is not going to look good on their credit rating score.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Timing is off a wee bit, yes.

  • Chris Mallory||

    No worries, this will cause the Feds to start importing Libyans and Egyptians even faster. Nothing says diversity like hordes of 3rd world savages diluting the native Western European, Christian culture that forms the bedrock of our freedom and liberty. Then the cosmotarians at Reason can hold hands with them and sing happy songs.

  • BarryD||

    Whether or not to intervene in places like Libya is a philosophical question. Most of us probably align with the paleo-conservative "let the bastards kill each other if they want to, we don't even really understand what's going on over there, certainly not well enough to get involved and get our people killed" philosophy.

    But whether our intervention was a success or not, given that we did intervene, is a tactical and strategic question. I think it's true that we failed on that front.

    One can oppose intervention generally, but still criticize a particular military action because it was a strategic and tactical failure.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    My reaction, frankly, is pretty militant: we ought to stand up for America.

    Isn't this basically the same thing the embassasy attackers did? Respond to a percieved symbolic slight to their pride with enraged violence?

  • 0x90||

    I say we take these governments out and consolidate the whole area under a new one, with Sheriff "50 Cal" Joe at the helm. He already knows something about ruling over a tent city.

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