What's So Hard About Saying, "In the United States, we are not in the business of approving these messages"?

The U.S. State Department, and even its besieged embassy staff in Cairo, is receiving a barrage of criticism because of statements like this:

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

The criticism is well-deserved. As James Joyner succinctly put it,

In point of fact, making a movie commenting on the sexual proclivities of someone who died some fourteen hundred years ago in no way constitutes "incitement" under any meaningful use of the term.

I would add that my government has no business giving a whirl about "hurt[ing] the religious beliefs of others" (a standard both elastic and asymmetrical, virtually begging for a heckler's veto) and that there is no "universal right of free speech," at least in practice (as opposed to the philosophical principle, which I wholeheartedly endorse).

The fact is that the First Amendment, no matter how embattled, protects a range of expression unthinkable even in Western Europe. Because of that unique position, and because the U.S. seems doomed to play an outsized diplomatic and military role in the tumultuous Muslim world, it behooves the State Department to constantly explain the vast differences between state-sanctioned and legally protected speech in the so-called Land of the Free. If the U.S. government really was in the business of "firmly reject[ing]" private free-speech acts that "hurt the religious beliefs of others" there would be no time left over for doing anything else.

It's really not that hard. The values in that film (or "film") are not our values; our government respects religion, religious expression, and religious pluralism (including and especially that of Muslims, even in the wake of murderous Muslim-led attacks on American soil); and we are not in the business of approving or (for the most part) regulating the private speech of our citizens. To the extent that that message is not sufficient for rioters, the problem is theirs.

Some liberal Tweeters this morning are pointing out that, hey, the Bush administration condemned the Mohammed cartoons, too!, but this mostly goes to illustrate how bipartisan cravenness can be. We know that this issue will keep coming up; maybe it's about time the American government, and the rest of us, develop a more American response.

Reason's thick archive on Islam and free speech here.

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  • Hyperion||

    as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions

    How can I say this... ok.. FUCK THAT SHIT!

    We don't condemn free speech! You fucking morons! This administration is the stupidest of all time. There can't have ever existed any 3rd world banana republic in all of history that is as bumbling stumbling as out current administration. Joe Biden really is their poster boy.

  • ||

    I fail to see how my Christian beliefs give me the right to tell anybody else what to say or do. I can handle people being offensive; I don't need (or want) the government worrying about my feelings.

  • Hyperion||

    Well I guess the Christian god must be a whole lot more powerful than this Allah dude, because he doesn't need a bunch of screaming idiots to blow shit up every time someone calls him a bad name of something.

    The Muslims are looking like a bunch of babified luddites here and our current admin is not making things better by trying to appease them.

  • John||

    You snark but you make a more serious point. They don't do this shit because they are strong and confident. There is a school of thought that says Islamic extremism is the beginnings of the religion's death throws.

  • Fluffy||

    That would be my school of thought.

    Liberal capitalism crushes and dominates these a-holes so utterly that terrorism is their only possible method of response. They're outclassed in every other area.

    All we have to do to beat these guys forever is refrain from messing up liberal capitalism.

    Of course, we're doing our damnedest to do just that, unfortunately.

  • John||

    Two other things to consider. You don't hear about it much but Christianity is very much on the rise in Asia and Africa. It is a huge threat to Islam. It is going to places where it has never really been before. Muslims very much feel encircled by a hostile world.

    Second, Islam has never been subjected to the kind historical examination that other world religions have been subjected to. Until very recently there was no search for the historical Muhammad the way there has been for the historical Jesus or Buddha or writers of the Vedas. Turns out Muhammad doesn't stand up very well to such historic scrutiny. To give an example, all of the earliest Pagan sources that talk about Christians, all talk about them being a variant of Judaism and having a leader named Christ who was executed by the Romans. That doesn't directly prove the existence of Jesus. But it does show that Christians claimed to be his followers from day one. In contrast not a single contemporary source in the late 7th Century talks about the Arabs, who were in the process of conquering a large part of the known world, following a prophet known as Muhammad. They all talk about them as being an off shoot of Judaism. Muhammad doesn't come until a couple of centuries later when the Arabs needed a national myth to justify their empire.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    You know, these a-oles where also outclassed in every way imaginable by the Byzantine and Median empires, and they ate their lunch.

    It does not take a lot of smarts, or ingenuity to destroy a civilization. The Roman's got took by the Goths. The Goths were illiterate, unwashed euro trash with swords. In short they too where outclassed in every way imaginable by their Mediterranean counterparts. Ask the Chinese about Mongol culture and science.

    Just because they have nothing to offer other than violence, hatred, bigotry, and misogyny do not for a second think that there is nothing to worry about. There was a hole in Battery Park for 9 years because of these mouth breathing trolls.

    They have since committed over 19,000 individual acts of terrorism. Most of them against other Muslims. Still, over 40% of the Muslim world is at least sympathetic to the trolls committing the violence. Which makes them as a group, the stupidest mothers fuckers ever.

  • ||

    Just because they have nothing to offer other than violence, hatred, bigotry, and misogyny do not for a second think that there is nothing to worry about. There was a hole in Battery Park for 9 years because of these mouth breathing trolls.

    Nicely said.

  • Harvard||

    And not a moment too soon. When Daniel Boone had tried trading pelts and produce with indians and still couldn't leave the fort he decided they'd try killing every mother's son of them. Oddly that worked, and continued to work until the 1890's.
    Indians and Arabs have a lot of savagery in common.

  • Killazontherun||

    Depends on the tribe. It's the same story as elsewhere. Some tribes built communities that coexisted to serve the mutual interest of farming, ranching and hunting. Other tribes were roaming raiding parties living parasitically on those who produced. Along the Carolina riverbanks in the East were a series of towns built by the indigenous and later expanded when Europeans settled through assimilation. Lumbees and other tribes east of Cherokee nation here, up North Iroquois had a similar society.

  • ||

    Other tribes were roaming raiding parties living parasitically on those who produced.

    So you're saying some early Indian tribes were Democrats?

  • Eric||

    And how exactly do you think that any other administration would have handled this?

    Would George W Bush have personally flown his fighter jet and bombed those Aayrabs because he was such a manly man? Maybe Reagan would have just pulled down his pants and put the fear of god into them with one view of his massive gonads?

    It's called diplomacy Hyperion. My guess is that it was done in the (failed) hopes of protecting the lives of the consulate staff and their families...no more.

    And in case you've forgotten, W's State Dept condemned the Mohammed cartoons a few years back. I wasn't lurking on Reason at that time, but were the Righties on here hyperventilating then too?

  • John||

    but were the Righties on here hyperventilating then too?

    Yes they were. Bush caught hell over that.

    And how exactly do you think that any other administration would have handled this?

    Exactly what the article advocates. Is there any Obama fuck up that you losers won't excuse? He really is Jesus to you people isn't he?

  • Eric||

    What "Obama fuck up" are you talking about?

    The statement from the embassy went out before the attack. And it was the standard diplomatic message that we've been sending for years.

    After the attack, Obama condemned it and vowed justice.

    What exactly did he do that was so far out of bounds here?

  • John||

    Not issued the statement in the first place. And he only walked back on it because he was getting destroyed for it.

  • Eric||

    That is his "fuck up"??? That the State Dept issued a statement saying that they condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions???

    I don't plan on voting for Obama, but I may take some pleasure in his win, if for no other reason than to see you right-wingers completely lose your shit for four years.

  • John||

    See Nicole below. He made the same said the same thing again. Obama said

    "While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,"

    Really? What happened to that first Amendment thing. He said the same thing only in different words.

    I don't plan on voting for Obama,

    Sure honey. Whatever you say. Do you really think we don't know who you are?

  • Eric||

    Standard diplomatic speak...Nothing to see here. If I can put up with Christians staining the 1st with their interjection of religion in politics, you can put up with inclusive diplomatic speak.

    And who exactly do you think that I am?

  • nicole||

    What's inclusive about excluding people who hold different beliefs from yours (i.e., that it is right and proper to denigrate the religious beliefs of others)? He's not saying "we like Egyptians and Libyans" or "we like Muslims." That might be inclusive.

    And I'd prefer not to put up with either version of nonsense.

  • Eric||

    I totally agree. My point from the beginning is that all politicians do this. But for some fucking reason, Obama is getting nailed for it.

    I don't mind calling out bullshit, I wish people around the world understood how our 1st Amendment works, but they don't. So our diplomats, from the right and left, must say this kind of shit in order to be understood.

    This is not a case of Obama being an appeaser, or a pussy, or whatever epithet those who hate him want to use. It's the same basic fucking scene that has been playing out in the Middle East ever since we decided to stick our nose in their business. Here at Reason, I would expect this to be understood.

  • Killazontherun||

    The point is you don't have a point. We condemned Bush's faggotry in defending American values in the harshest terms then and we do so for Obama now.

  • Eric||

    Please read on Killaz. I do have a point, and, should he win, plan on mocking the shit out of everyone below who is stating that Romney "is a bit better than Obozo at least".

  • arhooley||

    @Killaontherun

    Exactly. In fact, that thing called the Tea Party is a rejection of both the Democrats AND the compassionately conservative Bushists.

  • Pinky||

    I wish people around the world understood how our 1st Amendment works, but they don't.

    So now Muslims are stupid?

  • Eric||

    False argument much?

  • ||

    Seriously Eric...go fuck yourself. As you already stated, you "lurk" and you weren't here when Reason readers dwere lighting up "compassionate, free-spending conservative" Bush was spending a shit load and butting in on everyone else's business.
    Stop the BS: You are "all-in" with your boyfriend Obama.

  • Blueman||

    "right-wingers"

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Bam!||

    Why would W's State Department condemn the Mohammed cartoons? That happened in Denmark, it had nothing to do with the US.

    I sure hope he caught hell over that.

  • arhooley||

    Not only Bush caught hell, even Fox News did. Michelle Malkin went on Bill-o's show with a big-ass POSTER of the cartoons to get around their wussy embargo.

  • ||

    "The actions of the perpetrators of this heinous act were unconscionable. We will utilize all available legal channels to prosecute the perpetrators and bring justice to the fallen."

    How fucking hard is that?

  • Hyperion||

    How hard is it to pull our embassy out of that country and cut off all relations and/or aid to them? Sorry, but if you cannot control your barbarian hordes, we are not putting our folks at risk, you are on your own.

  • Sudden||

    Cut the aid, keep the embassy. Put some fucking gatling guns around it visible for all to see, and dispatch PFC "Mother" to man the guns.

  • Loki||

    ^This^

    Pulling an embassy from another country is basically saying that you're cutting all diplomatic ties with that country, which is something that isn't done very often except in cases of a general uprising (which this isn't), or war. However, the embassy is considered "american soil", so you make it very clear to the host government that we will defend "our soil" with extreme prejudice. Tresspassers will be shot. Survivors will be interegated and sent to Hotel Gitmo. If the Egyptian government has a problem with that, then we close down our embassy and leave. Preferably flipping them all the bird on our way out of town.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I guess it's up to the American people to show both our own State Department and the Islamists in Libya what free speech is all about...

    Somebody in another thread suggested another Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, and that's probably a pretty good idea.

  • Hyperion||

    I like it. I am working on my Mohammad and Petunia Pig copulation cartoon as we speak. These need to go up in public in neighborhoods all around the country asap.

  • ||

    I like it. I am working on my Mohammad and Petunia Pig copulation cartoon as we speak.

    I suggest a male pig figure, such as Porky. In an encounter like this, Mohammed really, really needs to play catcher.

  • arhooley||

    Say. I think I'll tweet that. My 2 followers will get right on it, but you never know, it might take off to about 4 of us. Not quite the hit of Empty Chair Day, but we'll do our all.

    Off to twitter....

  • arhooley||

    Okay, let's get started.

    http://tinyurl.com/9gnlrh8

  • Fluffy||

    Absolutely.

    Nobody here would dispute that relative to our current policies I'm a Middle East dove.

    But even the Fluffy Administration's statement on this would be, "This administration has consistently stood for the right of the peoples of the Middle East to govern themselves without our interference and domination. But if you attack us in an attempt to make us abandon institutions and liberties central to our way of life, we will teach you the meaning of the word 'terror'."

  • Sudden||

    we will teach you the meaning of the word 'terror'.

    I wholeheartedly endorse this.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The American government exists to protect the rights of Americans. One of the most cherished of those rights is freedom of speech, no matter how offensive that speech is deemed by particular individuals. That does not mean that the US government approves of any speech but rather it is our sworn duty to protect the speakers. Attacks like those in Egypt and Benghazi are a direct attack on a founding principle of the American government and people. We will not tolerate any such attacks and the attackers are earning the enmity of both the American people and government

    And I'd add that any cocksucker that wants to meet Allah should raise their hand and we'll gladly send you to paradise.

  • ||

    Some liberal Tweeters this morning are pointing out that, hey, the Bush administration condemned the Mohammed cartoons, too!...

    Oh, well, if BUSH did it first, then it's all good.

  • John||

    I guess I missed the part where Bush did that after a mob killed a US Ambassador. It is almost like having a President people fear a bit makes it less likely for us to be attacked.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    They feared Bush so much they pulled a 9/11.

  • John||

  • Fluffy||

    It does seem a bit silly to assert that Bush made people too afraid to attack Americans overseas when there were dozens of attacks a day on American military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for years while he was President.

  • John||

    That was a war. It is like saying people never were afraid of Truman because we went to war in Korea. But did we have a hostage crisis? Did we have this kind of nonsense? No we generally didn't.

  • ||

    John, the State Dept "apology" was issued by the Cairo Embassy before the riots (in which no one was killed) there, in the hope that such a cave-in would prevent them.

    Based on what I've read, the statements under either administration are roughly equivalent.

  • Sudden||

    the State Dept "apology" was issued by the Cairo Embassy before the riots (in which no one was killed) there

    Exactly the problem. It's damn near pitch perfect cause and effect. You prove how much of a pussy you are, you apologize for shit you did not do when you are attacked instead of defending your territory with any means necessary, and you embolden further idiocy from the nuts of the world.

  • Virginian||

    Exactly. The response should have been something more like:

    "We're sorry you were offended. Please note the Marines are standing to their posts. Now, you might get us eventually, but there will be precious few of you left to enjoy your victory. Come over the wall, and you get to experience another great American tradition: firepower."

  • Zeb||

    Well, either that or they were going to riot no matter what.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    This ^^^ - The excuse was already present.

  • Loki||

    It's the classic "bully problem". If you appear weak and submissive, then you only encourage further "bullying". If you stand up for yourself and break the bully's nose, that usually solves the problem. Sometimes violence really is the answer. Especially if you're dealing with someone who only understands violence and intimidation.

  • SusanM||

    Or it only provokes further hostility and advances the retaliation cycle one step further.

  • SusanM||

    Seriously, what has violence solved in the Middle East?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Israel continues to exist - if they had given up fighting, would they still?

  • SusanM||

    How are they existing? If the West didn't subsidize them where would they be?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Americans know how to end a retaliation cycle. We did it with the natives.

  • Eric||

    You do realize that the consulate message in question went out before the rocket attack, right? It was not the administrations response to the attack.

  • Randian||

    So what?

    It was not the administrations response to the attack.

    What does the word 'administration' mean to you, exactly?

  • Eric||

    The point is that people are acting like Obama came out after the consulate attack and tried to placate the attackers. This is not true.

  • Ron||

    The consulate is the presidents representative in that country therefore any statement they make is then from the president.

  • Hyperion||

    So is Obowmao going to fly right over there and bown down to the leader of Libya and kiss his ass on international TV?

    Unrelated, but I just read what I think is one of the greatest lines ever regarding the proglodytes, in an article on another blog. From an article about the recently departed feminazi, Shulamith Firestone. Apparently, she went insane before she died. The quote is:

    Yesterday’s mental illness is today’s social policy

    Just got me thinking about how true that is. All of the progressive doctrine is derived from insane people who promoted such ideas as communism, eugenics, and feminism.

  • John||

    He is not going to do anything. He is just to hope things calm down and people forget about this before the election. After the election, when all bets are off, he will fly over and bow down.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He's going to use is as a teachable moment for Americans to learn how offensive we seem to the followers of the religion of peace.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    He is not going to do anything. He is just to hope things calm down and people forget about this before the election. After the election, when all bets are off, he will fly over and bow down.

    If Romney has an ounce of sense, he will hang this around Obama's neck. This and "you didn't build that" should sink this asshole.

  • Lord Rae||

    Except you didn't build that is such a skewed quote and so out of context that the only people who actually believe that was what he meant and what he said already swallow everything faux news says. It's horrible to hang your campaigns hat on a misquote. It's worse to hang your campaigns hopes on a blatant lie.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It isn't a skewed quote... it's what happened when Obama let the mask fall, and he shows how he truly feels about the private sector.

  • John||

    It is a lie only if you don't believe the video of him saying that.

  • Restoras||

    Also, "spread the wealth around" - that was out of context too, I suppose?

  • Randian||

    What is the lie here? What is out of context?

    I keep hearing that from Obama defenders, but none deign to provide a coherent explanation.

  • Killazontherun||

    Lord Rae| 9.12.12 @ 11:15AM |#

    Except Full stop. It is not possible that what you are about to say will reflect anything but absolute stupidity in its purist form.

    Obama's quote examined from the vantage point of context, grammar, meaning reveals one certitude. Obama is a Goddamned Communist.

  • ||

    Who do you believe, me or your lying eyes (or ears)?

  • ||

    Here's another beauty out of Obama's mouth (Can anyone throw me a bone...or at least a teleprompter?): “The private sector is doing fine.”

  • Ken Shultz||

    So is Obowmao going to fly right over there and bown down to the leader of Libya and kiss his ass on international TV?

    There isn't anything our government can do about this.

    Being partially beholden to Islamists, there probably isn't anything the Libyan government can do about this either.

    Still, in an election season, no sense in wasting an opportunity to make Obama look feckless and weak.

    Nope, there isn't anything our government can do about this--but we should demand immediate action now!

  • Hyperion||

    There isn't anything our government can do about this

    Fold up our tent and go home? Do they get any aid from us? Not sure, but I know that Egypt does. What we are doing is not working. Invading other countries and starting never ending wars doesn't work. Neither does kissing the ass of 7th century barbarian hordes.

    And fuck our government, they no longer speak for us. We can say whatever the fuck we want about any religion. the progs sure as hell don't have any problem insulting Christians and Jews, they go out of their way to do it. But they need to protect Muslims. I think because they don't fear that guys from the local synagogue will come over and beahed them in the middle of the night, or the Sunday school teacher from the local church will blow himself up in public and kill a lot of people. Progressives are a bunch of feminized pussies. We are done as a country until we get these assholes out of power.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep.

  • John||

    ^^THIS^^ You can't go to war over this. But you can just go home and cut off every dime of aid. Let them stew in their own shit.

  • Eric||

    And Romney will be different? How? How would the Romney administration have done this better? In the non-"feminized" way? Please tell me how a bad-assed, red blooded Amurican would handle this in a manly way.

  • John||

    Who cares? Is Romney President? Most people on here don't plan to vote for him.

    Sorry but "Romney is just as bad" doesn't count as a defense.

  • Eric||

    See Tuff Gai's (Hyperion's) message above:

    "Progressives are a bunch of feminized pussies. We are done as a country until we get these assholes out of power."

    My response was to him...

  • Hyperion||

    And his repsonse is, go fuck yourself until you learn the difference between Libertarian and GOP. What John said, Romney isn't POTUS and this is a Libertarian forum, not a GOP forum. 90+% of the posters here have said they are voting for Gary Johnson. Fuck off Troll.

    You don't need to be a tuff guy to know that everything I said is the truth. Progressives hate the truth.

  • Eric||

    Right. And conservatives love the truth...you...blind...fucking...idiot.
    The difference between you and me is that I don't carry water for either party. I simply hate group-think and the standard liberal straw man that you all beat to shit around here is so fucking off base it's sad. And it's a fucking shame that you don't see that you right-wing hack.

  • ||

    You really seem to be offended when someone writes "hurtful" comments about progressives.
    Makes one wonder if that's what YOU are.

    Also, fuck off.

  • ||

    This response is for Eric.

  • Eric||

    Nope. I can't stand progressives any more than I can stand conservatives. I do however realize that people are nuanced, and not all progressives (or conservatives) are stupid nor evil. In fact many would embrace many libertarian ideals if they were couched in the right way. However, the slanderous bullshit that is spewed towards progressives on this site goes way too far, and is way off balance. So I feel the need to stir the pot.

    Oh. And fuck you too.

  • Blueman||

    THIS IS NOT A CONSERVATIVE WEBSITE.

  • ant1sthenes||

    The word for a person who only attacks people they know won't fight back isn't "pussy", though that also works.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just for the record, that's probably what the Islamists want us to do.

    I'm all for cutting off aid to Libya at this point regardless.

    I don't think that's really going to be an effective way of making sure Islamists don't attack our embassies and murder our diplomats in the future.

    So, anyway, yeah, capitulation is always an option, but I don't think anyone here is advocating that. In terms of holding whomever was responsible for this responsible?

    I don't think there's anything the U.S. or Libyan government can do to make that happen. And cutting off aid is a good idea regardless.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    As someone who cherishes freedom of speech AND intentionally denigrates all religions I see no problem here.

    The administration may "reject my actions" in principal as long as they don't in reality.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Funny how you leave out the religion of the state when you talk about "all" religions...

  • ||

    Few things you say really piss me off.

    This does.

    An innocent US citizen was FUCKING KILLED by a bunch of hooligans who were pissed off at a FUCKING MOVIE and the American State Department officials in Cairo don't say A FUCKING WORD about the murder.

    And you support that.

    FUCK YOU SHRIKE. Seriously. I don't think I've ever been so offended by another poster in 10 years on this forum.

  • John||

    Shreek is a retarded little brownhshirt. In other times he would be putting people in ovens. Yeah, he is a sock puppet. But he really is a representation of what evil looks like.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony comes close. Read his pussy-boy post downthread.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama condemns death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya

    Lesley Clark - McClatchy Newspapers

    President Barack Obama has condemned the "outrageous attack" on a U.S. consulate in Libya's second largest city which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

    "Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers," Obama said in a statement. "They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not nearly good enough, shrike.

  • ||

    Listen, shit for brains, the post specifically referred to the State Department kumquat in Cairo.

    If you want to say you support the Messiah's statement. Fine. But you said you saw "no problem here" and "here" is those official representatives of the US Government completely ignoring the murder of their citizens over a FUCKING MOVIE.

    There's a BIG FUCKING PROBLEM HERE.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shrike will never stop supporting Obama, even long after his presidency is over.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Cairo is not in Libya and the statement was issued before the murders occurred.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Still not good enough.

  • Fluffy||

    To be fair to Shrike, there are lots of people who over the years favored a policy where the US supported local strongmen because the interest of stability was more important than the interest of democracy or right and wrong.

    If stability is more important than principle, then if stability is served by mealy-mouthed statements that placate the mob and slight free speech, you make the statements.

    I'd be perfectly happy treating principle as more important than stability in all instances, but then we'd need to change a lot more about our policies than just the type of diplomatic statements we make.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You have a point, Fluffy, but shrike never has one. Let your statements stand on their own merits, not his.

  • ||

    I'm fair to Shrike plenty. This particular position I find intolerable.

    Maybe I need to get back on my meds.

  • Zeb||

    This shit makes me want to exercise some free speech. Time for another Everybody Draw Mohammed Day?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd settle for a proper condemnation from this administration over these acts of barbaric, pointless violence.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But, but... if you draw Mohammed, you'll piss off his followers, who hate being pigeonholed and stereotyped as violent people who start fires and kill Danish filmmakers!

  • Eric||

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    see above (McClatchey)

    I notice the fake poutrage grows here commensurate with Obama's lead in the polls.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck Obama.

    Fuck Romney, too.

    And fuck you, shrike.

  • T o n y||

    Can't really disagree with this piece, but the sensitivities of diplomacy may not necessarily involve boasting about the legal protections of speech in the US. Should the US government arrest Terry Jones? No. Does the US government have an interest in condemning anti-Muslim speech when it leads to violence in the Middle East? Sure.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's up to the people of the Middle East to not get all upset and violent over stuff that bothers them.

  • T o n y||

    It's not the people of the Middle East, it's a fundamentalist religious sect. They don't do anyone good anywhere, whether in the Middle East or Florida.

    My only point is that the potentially violent sensitivities of Muslim fundamentalists in some parts of the world are and should be on the radar of US foreign policy. It's just a reality in the world.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's still up to the individual to not commit senseless violence. "The Jew filmmaker made us do it" is as hollow as "Westboro Baptist made us do it".

  • T o n y||

    Considering the level of violence inflicted on the Middle East by the US, I somehow don't think such an exhortation will have much of an effect.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    We're talking about the violent acts over a fucking fictional movie, Tony, and nothing else.

    If you want to support that violence, it's your right.

  • T o n y||

    I don't support any violence. Especially religious violence, as it is extra pointless.

    It's almost beside the point, though, whether the grievances against the US in the Middle East are legitimate (though there are certainly legitimate grievances to be had), since offending fundamentalist Muslims is known to lead to violence, and that's just a fact in the world. I'm just for less death rather than more.

  • KPres||

    "I'm just for less death rather than more."

    According to that logic, everyone should have ignored the holocaust given that more people died in WWII than did Jews.*

    * I submit that going Godwin is totally justified in this case, given the stupidity of Tony's shitheadedness.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sorry... I shouldn't have said "if".

  • KPres||

    "They don't do anyone good anywhere, whether in the Middle East or Florida."

    True, but they do a lot less bad in Florida than in the Middle East.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Right,

    Why should the American government defend American values.

  • John||

    Because people like Tony don't like those values. They are pathetic self hating westerners.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I wonder what he'll say when they're rioting to protest some homosexual depictions in culture.

  • John||

    Honestly, I think Tony and those like him would gladly go to the gallows. I really do. Read Darkness at Noon sometime.

  • T o n y||

    To people who hate America? What purpose does it serve?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    They can hate America all they want, but it's fair to refer to them as fucking barbaric thugs when they go ape-shit over stupid stuff like this.

  • T o n y||

    And that helps whom in what way?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It points out how fucking barbaric these people are, to commit violence over movies and cartoons.

    Shame and ridicule. We need to heap more of that on 'em.

  • T o n y||

    It's better than bombing their families, I suppose. Still not sure what it accomplishes except to affirm your obviously insecure masculinity.

  • Eric||

    ^^^This in fucking spades^^^

  • Sudden||

    Well, when you kow-tow to these assholes and apologize for some singular dumbshit in your own country, you end up with them storming yet another embassy and this time killing the diplomatic staff.

    Being a pussy does not stop bullies from picking on you, it makes you an even bigger target.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What the fuck does my masculinity... oh, wait. Why am I arguing masculinity with Tony?

  • T o n y||

    I assume diplomacy is a little more complex an enterprise than pussies vs. bullies; on the other hand, as the great Meryl Streep said, "You have been told that Real Life is not like college, and you have been correctly informed. Real Life is more like high school."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Diplomacy is the act of saying "nice doggie" while looking for a rock.

    This isn't about diplomacy, though... this is about a bunch of hyper-religious barbarians getting pissed off over a motion picture. It's also about the mentality of people who have more compassion for the hyper-religious barbarians than for their completely-innocent victims.

  • T o n y||

    Nobody here and nobody in the US government and nobody you could possibly be arguing with holds that opinion.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Nobody here", you say? Are you excluding yourself?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Fine, we all know they are barbaric thugs. Islam is utter garbage. Are you happy now?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Liberalism is utter garbage, too.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's fun to watch you pretend to condemn these acts, though, shrike.

  • Hyperion||

    This. And feminism is not a viable foreign policy in this world.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Demonstrating to savage thugs that we will not be intimidated.

  • T o n y||

    I'm sure the message will sink in and they will be cowered by the might of our freedom.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Look dumbfuck.

    The first step in defending yourself is deciding to do it.

    You'r just fucking pathetic. When the bullies were kicking your ass in school were you afraid of offending them? Did you try to buy their friendship? Suck up to them.

    Fuck these thugs.
    The government needs to tell them that we don't give a shit about their outrage. And if they attack us again we'll respond with overwhelming force and then do it.

    You don't change a bully's behavior by appeasing him. Period.

  • T o n y||

    That certainly was George W. Bush's theory of international relations. He was stellar at that particular endeavor, wasn't he?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Really?

    Please post the quote of GWB criticizing Islamic rioters.

    I remember lost of bullshit about the religion of peace and how the terrorists weren't real muslims.

  • ||

    Yeah! Booosh did it, too, so it's OK!!

    When will you get it through your moron skull that 99% of us hate Bush just as much as your God, Obama?

  • Eric||

    For a moment here I thought I was on a Libertarian website. But all of the dick-swinging makes me think I may actually have been rerouted to World Net Daily. Fucking internet!

  • Overt||

    'I'm sure the message will sink in...'

    The problem with your formulation is that you act as if there is some useful alternative. This whole thread was started because you began your mealy mouthed protestations about diplomacy.

    But what did diplomacy do? Nothing. These people went apeshit regardless of the shit spewing out State's mouth. So defending these asinine statements on grounds of diplomacy is stupid.

    If these assholes will hate us anyways, might as well not bend over.

  • Hyperion||

    Does the US government have an interest in condemning anti-Muslim speech

    Does the US government have an interest in condemning anti-Christian speech? What about anti-Semitic speech?

  • T o n y||

    The US government can condemn whatever it wants. As long as it's not arresting people or for or otherwise chilling speech it's abiding by the First Amendment.

  • ||

    I frankly don't have any issue making a statement that the movie was made by a turd and it in no way represents the official position of the United States Government.

    I don't agree that it should be said, but you are right that this is a political decision.

    But IN NO WAY should such a statement be at the forefront of the conversation, or even worse, simply be the only thing that comes out of some nitwit State Department in Cairo.

  • T o n y||

    You're basically paraphrasing the Obama administration. Do you get your opinions via email directly from the Romney campaign? Just curious.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Do you get your opinions via email directly from the Romney campaign?"

    Wow... talk about tinfoil-hat conspiracy thinking...

  • Restoras||

    He's not even that smart, FIFY.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But... but... he went to college, therefore he MUST be smart!

    /snark.

  • RickC||

    So what you really want is for the U.S. government to create an Office of Apology which would be issuing condemnations for stupid shit some individual or group within its borders said or did 24/7. Surely, a large number of diverse people right now in the U.S. are putting together YouTube vids that would offend easily offended people all over the globe. Or are you only concerned with appeasing certain easily offended, and violent, folks; a kind of protected class. You're pathetic.

  • T o n y||

    I'm for actions and statements having some purpose in life. We tried chest thumping and boasting about American freedom. It didn't work.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Then nothing will work.

  • T o n y||

    The only way to cure the plague of religious fundamentalism is to foster widespread education and higher standards of living.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's up to the people of those countries to educate themselves and raise their standards of living.

    One way they could do both, would be to stop setting fires and killing people over cartoons and movies.

  • ||

    So you agree with the Bush policy of bringing American prosperity to the backward savages of the world?

  • ||

    The only way to cure the plague of religious fundamentalism is to foster widespread education and higher standards of living.

    Look! Shithead **nods to Sevo** is advocating Laissez Faire capitalism... whodathunk?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Can't really disagree with this piece, but the sensitivities of diplomacy may not necessarily involve boasting about the legal protections of speech in the US.


    "At least not when MY guy is in office. Otherwise... why, I would be outraged!"

  • ||

    Well said Matt, well said

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So HRC in her speech said that violence is no way to honor religion. How shocked will she and Barack be when a large number of Islamists respond that violence is exactly how they honor their religion.

  • Timon 19||

    Meanwhile, the head of Egypt's senior national soccer team is American Bob Bradley, who is apparently pretty well-liked so far.

    Kind of an interesting twist on all this.

  • John||

    I have known a lot of Americans who have lived in Egypt. They all loved it. Egyptians are generally not religious barbarians. Sadly, they are letting the animals take over.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Wow, I had no idea that's where Bradley ended up. How are their chances for qualifying for Brazil 2014 out of the African Federation?

    Glad the U.S. took one from Jamaica recently.

  • Hyperion||

    We are living the Carter years all over again. It is like a nightmarish TV re-run in real life. Only there is no Reagan to save us this time. Well, there was someone even better but our idiot population rejected him.

  • John||

    There is no Reagan to save us now and even if there was we might be too far gone to vote for him. I can't believe this wouldn't adversely affect the re-election chances of any President. But I bet it doesn't.

  • Sudden||

    The only two differences between this and that Carter years is that the interest rates in the Carter years were 10x higher and the popular disco music of the Carter years was 10x better than the trash that gets popular today, and that says something profound about how bad today's pop music is.

  • Mike M.||

    Also Jimmy Carter Senior (to his credit) actually deregulated a couple of significant industries, whereas Jimmy Carter Junior wants to regulate every industry in the country and bring it under his heel.

  • Sudden||

    I will always have a semi hard-on for Carter for what he did for beer. Homebrewing thanks him.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You mean there is no Reagan to illegally aid Iranian hostage takers?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Show us on the doll where Reagan touched you, shrike.

  • T o n y||

    I love it when supposedly nonpartisan independent-minded libertarians are parroting the Romney campaign hours after the attacks they're parroting have been universally acknowledged as erroneous and having left egg on the Romney campaign's face.

  • John||

    No one here things they are erroneous. Are we not part of the "Universe"? Shut up sock puppet.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What Romney said is worth reading. Doesn't mean we're all going to go vote for him, though.

  • T o n y||

    What he said was knee-jerk and tasteless, and erroneous. He's the only one politicizing this event.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's because he's not a pussy like you are, Tony. So of course you're going to describe it as "knee-jerk, tasteless, and erroneious".

  • T o n y||

    Mitt Romney's not a pussy? By what definition? I bet dude gets manicures.

    You're not understanding. The Romney campaign knows they fucked up. They know this and you don't even as you parrot their fuckup.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm not voting for Romney, but I'm not going to condemn what he said.

    "Dude gets manicures"? Really? A liberal, saying that??

  • Harvard||

    A liberal, saying that??

    Better yet, a queer.

  • Restoras||

    Romney at least has enough sack to take questions from reporters. Obama is such a coward he hasn't taken questions form reporters in months - or, perhaps he is just smart enough to know he can't answer any questions without sinking himself further?

  • Randian||

    The Romney campaign "messed up" if you get all of your news from The Atlantic.

    Us proles here in the Hinterlands are still pretty pissed at the apologetic response.

  • Hollywood||

    Well you would know what it's like to have an egg white-like substance left on your face.

  • wef||

    ...and because the U.S. seems doomed to play an outsized diplomatic and military role in the tumultuous Muslim world,...

    Passive voice alert. I realize that this clause was not meant to carry too much of a rhetorical burden, but it jumps out as an example of what might be the biggest problem underlying this latest steaming pile of trouble. Here is a rephrase:

    ...because U.S. politicians, and the political class generally, seem hellbent on playing an outsized diplomatic and military role in the dysfunctional muslim world,...

  • Isaac||

    I was living in Yemen when the Mohammad cartoons hit. Just about everyone I talked to was angry at the goverments tolerating them. Of course that didn't make any sense to me and I tried to figure out why they felt that way.

    It turns out that the idea of free speech the way Americans think of it doesn't make any sense to them. Sure, you can say what you want, but anything printed or distributed is different in their minds. That's probably due to the fact that all of the governments over there have strict control over that sort of thing. Folks over there have never known a time when anything could be put in a paper or film without at least tacit approvel from the government. This is why whatever statements are made by the embassies fall on deaf ears, they already "understand" how things work and the only reason people would do it differently is because those people are evil.

    People in the midle east have become so dependant on their governments that it is inconcievable to them the the government doesn't have a stance on an important topic like religion. The general populace has been conditioned to accept that all things flow from the government including moral decrees. In so many ways they have been infantalized. It was one of the more important lessons I learned over there and one of the things I worry about most in this country.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No wonder the American left kisses their asses. They both hate freedom of speech, deep down.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Isaac,

    The general populace has been conditioned to accept that all things flow from the government including moral decrees.


    I hate to break it to you, but so do most Statists here in the US. Have you read Tony's screeds, for instance?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shrike's, too. They both snuggle up to the statist teddy-bear.

  • T o n y||

    Isaac made an interesting contribution to the conversation. You guys are just being idiots as usual.

    There is no greater victim of propaganda in the West than he who takes every Matt Drudge eructation as gospel.

    Just because we recognize the usefulness of having a state--in debate with quasi-anarchist radicals--does not mean we worship the state.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Having a state" is one thing... wanting to make it even more socialist and nationalized, however, is going too far.

  • Restoras||

    Shit-for-Brains is trying to backpeddle from his love of the all-powerful state here. He is a liar and deep down is a fascist fellating simpleton.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Just because we recognize the usefulness of having a state -- in debate with quasi-anarchist radicals -- does not mean we worship the state.


    So, do you mean you have been fooling us all this time?

    For shame.

    By the way, asserting that there's a greater moral good in collective decisions compared to individual decisions is not concomitant to NOT loving (or worshipping) the state.

  • OldMexican||

    Some liberal Tweeters this morning are pointing out that, "hey, the Bush administration condemned the Mohammed cartoons, too!," but this mostly goes to illustrate how bipartisan cravenness can be.


    "It's the stupidity of the State, stupid!"

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "the sensitivities of diplomacy may not necessarily involve boasting about the legal protections of speech in the US"

    We should do exactly that. It's up to the backwards fools in other countries to learn how legal speech protections are GOOD things, and that it is not necessary to set fires and kill people over mere words.

  • RG||

    For f-ck sake, the government feels the need to apologize for its citizen's freedoms, but actively brags about drone bombing civilians?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yes, drone-bombing is bad, but these people have the same reaction over cartoons of Mohammed.

  • T o n y||

    THIS IS NOT THE POSITION OF THE US GOVERNMENT.

    Christ Romney knew exactly what he was doing. Another day, another lie to fire up rightwing idiots.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The left is more upset over what Romney said, than they are with the violence and the killings.

    How fucking pathetic.

  • John||

    They are as they always are being dishonest pieces of shit. The Obama administration said just what Romney is saying they said. They only took it back after it became a political embarassment. It is a pretty interesting game they play.

    1. Take idiotic and offensive position

    2. Watch the world and political opponents point out your idiotic and offensive position.

    3. Walk back from said position

    4. Claim your opponents "fucked up" because you don't hold said idiotic position anymore.

  • John||

    THIS IS NOT THE POSITION OF THE US GOVERNMENT.

    It was just a statement put out by a US Embassy. this was the position of the US government until there was a riot and it became a political embarrassment.

  • T o n y||

    Case in point.

    I wonder if Romney felt bad after the meeting where he and his advisers decided that shameless lying and pissing off hypersensitive FOX News viewers was an acceptable path to winning elected office.

  • John||

    It wasn't a lie. It was the truth. Obama only walked back on it after he got destroyed for it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The more I watch Romney and Obama go at it, the more "Shit Sandwich/Giant Douche"-y the battle looks.

  • T o n y||

    John it seems to be the consensus of everyone that the Romney campaign blundered. The Obama administration did not put out that statement; it explicitly rejected it and made it's own statement, which was after the killings in Libya, unlike the Cairo embassy statement.

    It's one thing to shamelessly lie to promote a politician. It's quite another to continue harping on something that has been universally assessed as a political blunder. You're not doing Romney any favors.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "It's one thing for a politician to shamelessly lie."

    Someone should remind Obama.

  • John||

    So the State Department is not part of the Obama Administration? That will be news to Hillary.

    Stop lying and pretending the State Department and the Embassy are not the Obama Administration.

  • T o n y||

    There are facts here John. Just because they don't always align with the caricature of Obama you get downloaded into your brain daily by rightwing websites doesn't mean they are wrong. Show where someone in the White House approved the Cairo statement. And for that matter, explain why what the Cairo embassy said was wrong considering they were under an imminent threat. If someone is at your door threatening to tear your house down, do you lecture to them about American freedom, or do you try to calm them down?

  • John||

    Show where someone in the White House approved the Cairo statement.

    I don't have to. The "Administration" is more than just the White House. Either the White House approved it or they have a rogue Ambassador who needs to be fired. Since I don't see anyone getting fired over this, clearly Washington approved at least at the State Department level. Do you expect Hillary's head for this? If not why not?

  • Restoras||

    Exactly, and as Tony was kind enough to point out yesterday the Bush administration was incompetent at every level - just like the current administration. Since Bush gets the blame/credit for whatever his lackeys do, so does Obama.

  • Randian||

    Even further, and if I may conject for a bit, it would appear that a certain attitude has permeated the State Department, and the culture of the organization is the direct responsibility of its leaders.

  • T o n y||

    Because the statement, while not approved by Washington, was hardly an offense worth firing the secretary of state. There's nothing wrong with the statement in fact. Only in the minds of creepy morons who watch too much FOX News was there something wrong with it in context.

  • Overt||

    There is nothing wrong with the statement? Yes there is. It is a statement that assumes we can placate fanatics. It assumes that if we disown the diversity of freedom, we might get ass kissing points.

    It is craven and feckless- and a direct manifestation of State's used car salesman culture.

  • ||

    it's the fucking heckler's veto.

    state dept. doesn't condemn movies, etc. that criticize those who do NOT respond with violence to criticism

    it creates perverse incentives

    it says - react to criticism with violence and you will get the tacit support of the state dept. and those that criticize you will get their (pansy-assed) condemnation.

    we see this all over the 'civilized world'.

    in england, we see people punished for daring to proselytize christianity in a majority muslim neighborhood.

    we see english beat cops being allowed to refuse assignment that offend them - specifically a foot beat protecting the israeli consulate (or was it embassy) because the london metro cop was a muslim

    could you imagine the london metropolitan police allowing a pro-life constable to refuse a detail protecting an abortion clinic during a demonstration?

    um, no

  • Mr. FIFY||

    http://egypt.usembassy.gov/pr091112.html

    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.

    Italics for emphasis.

  • T o n y||

    Which was the precise statement rejected by the Obama administration.

  • John||

    After it became a political embarrassment. And who do you think runs the embassy if not the Obama administration? You half wit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Re-read the italicized part. It explains a lot.

  • RG||

    I remember the gov't issuing a similar statement after Piss Christ. Oh, wait.....

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If Christians had started setting fires and killing people over "Piss Christ", you'd have a point.

  • RG||

    My point was the empty phrase "believers of all religions" was tossed in there. This was specifically issued to appease one religion.

  • ||

    yes.because they know damn well it's pretty much just followers of ONE religion that pull this bullshit

    and yes,one can bring up extremely isolated examples of christians, jews, and even buddhists (i found one)reacting with violence to criticism of their sacred symbols/beliefs.

    but scorcese,serrano,etc.didn't even consider that they would be placed in physical danger for the last temptation and piss christ respectively

    matt and trey knew they had nothing to fear from mormons when writing book of mormon

    leftists love to claim that satire (like book of mormon)is only famous and only justified when used against the "oppressors" and those with a lot of power.mormons are still a tiny niche religion in the US, and certainly in NYC have about as much power as zoroastrians do.but you won't see them change their stance

    if there was a muslim equivalent of book of mormon,it never would make it way off broadway theatre.no theatre owner in their right mind would allow it, no actors would dare act in it,etc.

    these fucksticks have already "won" with their heckler's veto shenanigans in that we don't even see this kind of shit.

    we actually see PROSECUTIONs in europe for MOVIES that dare offend them.

    let's remember,even reason.com let discretion trump valor/freedom when it came ot the mohammed cartoons

    and last i checked, the mohammed episode of south park is the only episode of south park ever produced that cannot be accessed at southparkstudios.com .it's like it never happened

  • ant1sthenes||

    Did the fire the people responsible for it, or reassign them to Antarctica?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    The U.S. State Department has a history of emanating noxious stupidity. The culture in that place is clearly from another planet. I'm of the opinion thick bureaucracies create stables of self-replicating clone simpletons imbued with a contempt for logic, common sense, and the Open Society. So much of what I've viewed and studied over the years has left me disconnected from the American concept in its governance form.

    Hurting the feelings of people is a natural occurrence called life and expression and, sometimes, just being a dick. None of this should be responded to with brutal physical violence. It is insane to even recognize that feelings have been hurt when these same offended kill or physically injure in response.

  • T o n y||

    The statement by the Cairo embassy came while the embassy was under assault, so while it's easy to say the correct response is chest-thumping boasting about American values, nobody on this board advocating that response was having his life threatened from within the embassy. Their statement was perfectly reasonable given the position they were in. It was not, however, the statement of the Obama administration. Romney was wrong on at least two counts: they were wrong to bitch about people at the embassy trying to protect their own lives, and they were wrong to ascribe their statement to the Obama administration. Romney desperately wants to reinforce people like John's incorrect view that all Obama does is go around apologizing for America. And his statement has been almost universally considered a tasteless blunder.

  • John||

    The statement by the Cairo embassy came while the embassy was under assault

    That is a lie, it came the day before the assault.

    Their statement was perfectly reasonable given the position they were in. It was not, however, the statement of the Obama administration.

    For the fifth fucking time, the State Department is part of the Obama Administration. The Ambassador is appointed by the President. That statement wasn't made by some GS9. This was a important matter. That statement came straight out of Washington.

    Stop fucking lying and tell your handlers to give you better talking points.

  • ||

    Not only is the Ambassador appointed by the President, but he is the President in Egypt. He is the President's direct representative and his proxy.

    I said last night that the best move would be for The Obamessiah, He Who Can Do No Wrong, to disavow that bullshit statement, and he did. Kudos.

    But Romney would be an idiot if he didn't take political advantage of both the Embassy's statement and Obama's lack of control over his own damn proxy.

  • John||

    The is why being an ambassador is a really important job and maybe shouldn't be given to the highest bidder.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Admittedly, biddable ambassadorships are usually to places that kinda' run themselves, like the U.K., or have great shopping. Places like Cairo got long-time State employees, I thought.

    I'd be pissed if I was some trial lawyer PAC head, and got rewarded with Cairo for my multiple millions in campaign contributions.

  • John||

    True. The current Ambassador is apparently a career Foreign Service Officer

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_W._Patterson

  • ||

    The current U.S Ambassador to Egypt is a career FOreign Service Officer. As was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.

  • ||

    (BTW, I should have said "she" when referring to the Ambassador to Egypt)

  • Randian||

    I do not know what planet people live on where they say that high-level diplomats in the State Department are not part of the current "Administration".

    Tony, what do you think the word "administration" means in the context of "Obama Administration"?

  • T o n y||

    It wasn't approved by Washington. And it wasn't a statement worth getting panties twisted over. It made perfect sense given the situation the people in the embassy were in. I'm perfectly happy for Mitt Romney to keep embarrassing himself. I don't know why you're helping.

  • nicole||

    How about the president's statement this morning, then? That "the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others"?

  • Eric||

    You, and everyone else on this board are being selectivly and deliberately pedantic nicole.

    The U.S. Government has so many codified religious practices, that to call out this one statement as evidence of Obama's disrespect to the Constitution is pure bullshit.

    I'll give two shits in this case when "In God We Trust" is removed from my coinage, and I don't have to pledge my allegiance to "One Nation Under God" anymore.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Why is he even mentioning it, Eric? It seems the thing to be concerned about is the smoking ruin in Benghazi where our embassy used to be, as well as the invasion of our embassy grounds in Cairo.

    Why even issue that mealy-mouthed statement? Who gives a shit? The problems are the riots that lead to the U.S. losses above, plus the dead ambassador. Not some Israeli film-maker. Making the statement implies that the film-maker bears responsibility for the attack.

  • Eric||

    He's mentioning it because he's a standard politician who's reading a carefully crafted statement by his national security team. It's the same mealy mouthed garbage we hear from all presidents.
    But you'd think, based upon the comments above, that he'd just burned an American Flag on national TV.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    No, we just know that he is not change we can believe in, the culture of Washington has not changed, the planet has not healed, phanatiques still hate us despite previsous "we suck and we know it" statements. O! sat around, stuck a finger in the wind and came out and dribbled a few words and ran off to a fundraiser. Bah.

    R! came out and said some standard stuff and stuck around to take hostile questions. Whoopie.

    O! = D-
    R! = C+

    You want an "A" - see above commenters on simple statement that our rights are non-negotiable, hand over the murderers and maybe we'll reopen relations and start some of that sweet US taxpayer foreign aid $ flowing again...maybe.

  • Gray Ghost||

    You want an "A" - see above commenters on simple statement that our rights are non-negotiable, hand over the murderers and maybe we'll reopen relations and start some of that sweet US taxpayer foreign aid $ flowing again...maybe.

    Like this, Eric. Seriously, it's not that hard. Can you imagine Churchill, Roosevelt (either of them: the Japanese eventually settled up for attacking the Panay), or Eisenhower acting this way?

    The thing is, I actually agree with you (I think) about the propriety of the statement pre-attacks. Even on 9/11. It's a callow bit of appeasement, but as you note, that seems to be how State does things these days.

    After the attacks? No. The time for appeasement and understanding is over, and both of their speeches should have reflected that. As ProL pointed out above, for once, the U.S. is actually in the right, according to international law. Stop apologizing.

  • Eric||

    In response to both Gray Ghost and LTC.

    It is easy to be an armchair quarterback analyzing the play that just took place. However, it's much harder to be the play caller. None of us know the full situation on the ground in Libya and Egypt. I'm guessing that the president's National Security Team might have a better handle as to what we're dealing with.

    For example, we don't know what assets we have on the ground in either country, nor do we know how many diplomats (or their families)are still in country that may be in danger. Gung Ho talk is all well and good to make the knuckleheads back home feel good, but it does absolutely nothing for those in harm's way. The point I'm making is that there is no need for Obama to publicly inflame the situation at this time. Remember W's "Bring it On" statement? I remember people applauding that statement at the time, but what the hell did it do for our soldiers in Iraq?

    You mention Churchill, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower, but I've always preferred Teddy Roosevelt's proverb of "Speak softly and carry a big stick"

  • Restoras||

    Wait...so, it wasn't approved in Washington so therefore it isn't a reflection on the head of the administration? That's not what you said yesterday.

    T o n y| 9.11.12 @ 1:41PM |#

    It's just that the Bushies were so godawful at executing government at every conceivable level.

    So, only when someone youdon't like is in charge, then? I'm not surprised but just looking for a consistent view from you.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "I'm not surprised but just looking for a consistent view from you."

    Hope you have plenty of oil for that lamp, Diogenes. It might be a while.

  • Ted S.||

    My understanding is that the career foreign service types de jure part of the administration, but they they spin on their own little axis that may have no relationship with reality or any current administration.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The statement by the Cairo embassy came while the embassy was under assault,

    It actually came just as the trailer of the anti-Mohammed movie came out, in anticipation to an attack. Which tells you where the State Departments has its priorities set. Clue: Not with individuals' rights.

    Their statement was perfectly reasonable given the position they were in.

    It was just as reasonable as the bishop's recommendation in Kingdom of Heaven: "Convert to Islam, repent later!"

    It was as reasonable as anything that could've come from a bunch of cowards who are facing the results of their actions, after decades of intervention in the affairs of others.

  • ||

    exactly. fucking cowards. and perfectly willing to cede principles like free expression when it comes to shit like this

    it's fucking cartoon-gate all over again.

    i recall the state dept. doing the EXACT same thing in that case.

    tut-tutting somebody for daring to upset people's deeply held religious convictions, but i don't recall a single phrase let alone statement supporting the right to do so.

  • nicole||

    Why are people saying Obama disavowed the objectionable part of this statement? He did not--he pretended to, and then he made it again himself this morning. From here:

    While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

    There is no difference between "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims" and "rejects the efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others."

  • ||

    Thanks for pointing this out, Nicole. Some of us haven't read or heard the speech, so all we know is the little snippets that the media give about how he condemned the attacks.

  • ||

    exactly, there's always a "yea, but" with this fucktard (obama).

    we should we reject effort to denigrate the beliefs of others?

    should obama be condemning the book of mormon? it's meant in good fun, and clearly not malicious, but the entire (very successful) play is based on the premise that the mormon stories are silly, and hilarity ensues.

    so frigging what?

    what about monty python? should they be condemned for mocking the concept that every sperm is sacred and great?

    what if obama had said "here in the USA, we respect the right of anybody to criticize anybody, or anything, even if that criticism concerns beliefs that others hold sacred. we believe in a free marketplace of ideas, and that when people are free to express ideas, even those that may offend others. "

    god forbid we get a president with some FUCKING sack

    he has no problem bombing the fuck out of people, brown, or otherwise... and w/o congressional approval

    but god forbid he be seen in any way shape or form in supporting the idea of freedom of expression

  • ||

    the state dept, the "puzzle palace" etc. has long been renowned amongst the beltway set as the place where careerist, mostly left leaning types live.

    some president, god knows it won't be obama, needs to lay down the law and establish that from now on, the state dept. will NOT in any way, shape, or form take the side of those that punish, censor, threaten, riot etc. over some perceived slight to their religion

    PERIOD.

    over and over again, they do the opposite. they place respect for the concept of freedom of [removed]i'm not using "1st amendment" since these are other nations we are talking about) BELOW concerns of sensitivity for religion

    the mohammed cartoon fiasco was a perfect example.

    if we are not going to come out and outright support the rushdies, etc. than at least lets not support (and we have been) those who are fighting against free expression

    multiculturalism has backfired. as predicted

    sensitivity is not more important than freedom

  • Big Boy||

    "this mostly goes to illustrate how bipartisan cravenness can be."

    No, it goes to illustrate how craven American diplomats are.

    The Embassy statement was drafted by state department pros, it may have been "cleared" by other state department pros in Washington but, since it was unremarkable whithin the DoS cluture, it attracted no rewriting. Cravenness has always been the prevailing state of mind at State.

  • ||

    again, they don't call it the puzzle palace for nothing

    iirc, it was in parliament of whores where PJ quoted somebody as referring the state dept. as "conscientious objectors in the war on drugs"

    im agin' the war on drugs, but i think they are also conscientious objectors in the war to respect the rights of speech, self defense, and basic liberties of people across the world.

  • Lisa||

    Regarding all the suggestions of "cutting off aid", are there any libertarians that don't believe that spending less money is the solution to every problem? I can see wanting to spend less money in foreign aid, but pretending like that would make us safer is just stupid.

  • John||

    So continuing to send billions of dollars to a government that cannot control mobs who attack us is smart?

  • Lisa||

    Not A does not = B

    Proposing cutting aid as a reaction to an attack on us is like a judge sentencing a serial killer to a reduced welfare check. I mean, I would agree that the serial killer shouldn't get welfare but it doesn't prevent him from killing again.

  • Paul.||

    would agree that the serial killer shouldn't get welfare but it doesn't prevent him from killing again.

    Of course it doesn't. But I sleep better at night knowing the tools of his grisly trade weren't financed by monies forcibly taken from me.

  • ||

    I don't understand what's so wrong in a government condemning religiously offensive materials such as the film in question. If they don't ban it or shut down distribution or anything, then pontificate away. I do wish I had got to see Mohammed's face on South Park though, although Mohammed in a bear costume is probably funnier.

  • Paul.||

    The united states, more accurately the president is not the fucking Art Critic In Chief.

    When some bunch of crazed dipshits attack an embassy and kill your Ambassador, and claim a non-existent film as their reasoning, you don't stand aside, shake your head and point to the filmmakers while shrugging and saying, "Sorry dudes, but that shit was kinda rude."

    You go on national television and explain carefully that we are a nation of 360 million people who enjoy the unqualified freedom of speech. Meaning that things will be said by any one of the 360 million or so residents of our great nation which may, from time to time, offend the sensibilities of peoples of other cultures which don't enjoy this basic right. However, regardless of what is said, or whether or not this administration agrees with what is said, we will defend, jealously and vigorously, the rights of our citizens to exercise that right in the full light of day.

    Signed,

    President Paul.

  • Karl F||

    Censor versus censure. Learn the difference.

    No one in the administration, including the Cairo mission, has argued for censorship of the "film." That would violate our constitution vis-a-vis free speech. Conservative arguments that anyone did so look like a straw man argument.

    However, there is nothing in the US constitution that says we cannot condemn or censure offensive speech. This does NOT violate American values, whether the offensive speech is racial vitriol or, in this case, religious vitriol. What the Cairo embassy staff did is totally consistent with American values and the constitution.

  • Paul.||

    See my post above.

    What was served by making the obsequious, apologetic remark? What exactly was served by it?

    Obama is my president, not the president of some killers storming the American Embassy in Libya.

    His job is to defend my rights and make a case for why we have them to those nations around the world that don't enjoy them-- especially when our sovreign territory is attacked.

    Not criticize the artistic value or merit of how I exercise that right to a foreign nation who's calling for the imprisonment of these non-existent filmmakers. Because criticizing the use of that right is a violation of American values.

  • Paul.||

    Let me try and make it real fucking simple for you.

    If the protesters/killers/terrorists had attacked one of our embassies and claimed our continued legalization of abortion as the reason, and the president had gotten in front of cameras, and the first thing out of his mouth was, "We as a nation believe that all life is sacred and are uncomfortable by the callous use of abortion as a form of easy birth control, but hey that's still not really an excuse to kill our Ambassador and stuff..."

    Imagine how ball-bustingly off-the-fucking-chain unhinged liberals would be at the president for those remarks.

  • Francisco||

    Epi's Movie Snob Club for Movie Snobs snubbed me.

    *runs away in tears*

  • nomoss||

    "...condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims..."

    A direct reflection of Obama and the OIC's UN Resolution 16/18. Can we expect the film maker to be arrested now for inciting violence? Does this resolution make it possible to charge the guy with murder?

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