White House Can’t Conceive that Embassy Violence Might Be About More Than a Movie

As protests grow across several Middle Eastern nations, and evidence suggests the killing of an ambassador and three others in Libya was not the result of spontaneous reactions to an anti-Islam movie trailer showing the prophet Muhammad to be some sort of sociopathic gay pedophile surfer, Jay Carney told reporters this morning that, no, it’s totally because of the movie:

"This is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, not to, obviously, the Administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video, a film, that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting, that in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at US policy, this is in response to a video that is offensive, and, to Muslims. Again, this is not in any way justifying violence, and we've spoken very clearly out against that, and condemned it."

I think it’s fair to say that certainly many of the protesters are actually angry about the movie, but that’s a pretty damned superficial way of looking at this situation in toto. The irony here is that the subtext of these comments has the administration buying into the “they’re all savages” argument of some on the “bomb them all” portion of the far right.

If a group of Americans got this violent and destructive about one particular incident, we would know better than to attribute it to just that one thing. Nobody thinks the Los Angeles riots of twenty years ago were just about the Rodney King trial verdict, do they?

Right before the Democratic National Convention earlier this month, the United States reportedly killed 10 civilians in Yemen in a drone strike. It received very little coverage in the West, but was almost certainly in the backs of the minds of the protesters who climbed the fence of our embassy there.

And it’s remarkable that the right is trying to paint Barack Obama as some sort of appeaser or apologist on Islamic terrorism, but that’s the administration’s own fault as well. I’m surprised Obama’s not campaigning on his drone strikes at this point. Whose vote would he lose?

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  • VG Zaytsev||

    Is there any evidence that the protests are about the movie?

  • ant1sthenes||

    There is evidence that the administration loves to use a crisis to gain power, and where better to push the fascist agenda than in attacking the 1st amendment? If they can eat away at that, the whole freedom thing comes crashing down.

  • Robert||

    No, we're not far enough down the road to make that work. If we were, this would be about canceling the elections and making Obama a dictator for, if not life, at least until he could be overthrown.

    Since it's not, considering the same timing, this is probably about just the opposite: getting Obama out at this election. It appears the terrorists would prefer Romney. So would I.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I said "eat away at", not "suspend". Poke a little hole here, a little hole there, until there's nothing left.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "(CNN) -- A pro-al Qaeda group responsible for a previous armed assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is the chief suspect in Tuesday's attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, sources tracking militant Islamist groups in eastern Libya say.
    They also note that the attack immediately followed a call from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri for revenge for the death in June of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a senior Libyan member of the terror group."

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/12/.....index.html

    Hellooooooooooooo

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They like to pick a narrative and stick with it, God bless them.

  • Drake||

    I can only hope they don't cling so tightly to their delusions behind closed doors.

  • John||

    If this doesn't stop, and I don't see it stopping any time soon, this is the complete implosion of the Obama Presidency. If you can't protect Americans, what exactly are you doing as President?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He's protecting the Flukes of America from paying for their own birth control.

  • Drake||

    1. A couple more days like this and Romney will win a 1980 style landslide. I wonder if the Islamic crazies want Romney to win?

    2. If Obama wanted to BE President instead of just campaigning, he probably would have done so sometime during the last 3 and a half years.

  • RyanXXX||

    Sorry, but most people have no idea this is going on

  • Caleb Turberville||

    This administration would've crushed Ed Wood's career in the 1950s.

  • ||

    The White House has already asked YouTube to "review its copyright policies" with regard to some of the videos posted showing the violence.

  • WTF||

    If events make you look bad, at least try to control the narrative.

  • John||

    Right before the Democratic National Convention earlier this month, the United States reportedly killed 10 civilians in Yemen in a drone strike. It received very little coverage in the West, but was almost certainly in the backs of the minds of the protesters who climbed the fence of our embassy there.

    It is like the Obama administration doesn't understand that the other side in a war might fight back once in a while. I really think they have gotten so addicted to painless drone strikes, they forgot that war is a two way street. I am very much on record for being in support of the drone program. But even I understand that the enemy will occasionally try to do something in response.

  • WTF||

    No, John, it was the movie, the MOVIE! It is Not. Obama's. Fault.

  • sarcasmic||

    But even I understand that the enemy will occasionally try to do something in response.

    Like flying airplanes into buildings?

  • John||

    We were at war with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in 2001?

  • tarran||

    With the people, yes.

    The secret police in both regimes use weapons made by the U.S. paid for with money given as "aid".

  • John||

    So do the secret police in a lot of other places. Yet, those people don't seem to do this kind of stuff. And we helped them throw out Mubaric and cheered them on. And clearly that has gotten the people of Egypt to love us.

  • MWG||

    "And we helped them throw out Mubaric and cheered them on."

    We did? Because, if I remember correctly the Obama administration was criticized early on for 'doing nothing' in either direction.

  • Restoras||

    We wanted him to stay, we wanted him to go, we wanted him part of an orderly transition. Our policy shifted with the whims of the Muslim Brother...I mean, mob.

  • Restoras||

    That word, "love". I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Saudi Arabia gets foreign aid?

  • sarcasmic||

    A quick google search found that to be an affirmative.

    Here. Try it yourself.

    http://www.google.com/

  • VG Zaytsev||

    A quick google search found that to be an affirmative.

    So selling somebody something is now giving them aid.

    Great, I'm a fucking humanitarian then.

    Oh, but I'm also responsible for what they do with the property that they buy from me.

    This topic makes some libertarians as retarded as socialists.

  • sarcasmic||

    What I found led me to believe it was more than just selling them stuff.
    Discretionary aid from the State Department, whatever that means. But it sounds more like "aid" than "selling stuff".
    Like I said, it was just a quick search.
    You could try it yourself if you really wanted the answer to your question.
    You know, looking with your eyes instead of your mouth?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The Feds are idiots but even they aren't stupid enough to give shit to Saudi mega billionaires.

  • sarcasmic||

    Still not doing your own research, I see.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Maybe you missed the sarcasm so I'll spell it out.

    SA does not get US foreign aid.

    It's up to you to provide evidence that it does, not me to prove a negative.

  • sarcasmic||

    It looks like they were getting aid in 2007 when there was a vote to cut it off.
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....7920070622
    As far as today goes, I can't find anything either way.

  • Invisible Finger||

    We sell the Sauds lots of stuff at deep discount. Nobody beats the Wiz!

    Except Chevy Volts. Those they have to buy at MSRP.

  • pmains||

    Oh, look. Anthony Weiner proposed banning foreign aid to Saudi Arabia in 2011. That took me seconds to discover on Google.

    From the article: "But Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) argued that Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the U.S. and that they had helped stop a package bomb sent to the U.S. last year."

  • ||

    US Overseas Loans and Grants from USAID. The first table shows anywhere from $476,000 to $1.8 million every year from 2005-2010.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And Saudi Arabia would be a freedom loving paradise if it weren't for those damn USAID loans

  • ||

    It's up to you to provide evidence that it does, not me to prove a negative.

    I think it's proven. Eliminate it or quadruple it, there won't be a freedom loving paradise.

  • Invisible Finger||

    And Saudi Arabia would be a freedom loving paradise if it weren't for those damn USAID loans

    No, it would still be an authoritarian shithole, but WE wouldn't be hypocrites.

    They hate us for our arrogant hypocrisy, I think.

  • ||

    US Overseas Loans and Grants from USAID: http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.go.....ocode=3SAU

    The first table shows anywhere from $476,000 to $1.8 million every year from 2005-2010.

  • Restoras||

    The Feds are idiots but even they aren't stupid enough to give shit to Saudi mega billionaires

    Oh I think the Feds are quite stupid enough to give all maner of free stuff to the Saudi government, in the name of "stability".

  • John Thacker||

    I believe we mostly sell the Saudi gear, not give them stuff. Egypt we do a mix of selling and giving.

  • sarcasmic||

    Straw man / moving the goal posts.

    Thank you for playing.

  • John||

    You sound like Shreek.

  • sarcasmic||

    You sound like Tony.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    We were at war with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in 2001?

    Duh,

    We waged war on Egypt by giving them $100billion dollars over the last three decades and we waged war on Saudi Arabia by protecting them from Arab fascists and Persian theocrats.

  • MWG||

    We gave money to the Mubarak regime and we protect a repressive monarchy in SA. Gee I wonder why the average citizen is so pissed off?

  • John||

    The Soviets did the same in Syria, Iraq and Egypt under Nasser. But I don't see them going after Russia, do you?

  • MWG||

    Um... Syria's in the middle of a civil war right now, so I'm guessing its citizens are somewhat busy. Iraq received money from just about everyone at some point, including the US and Egypt under... Nasser? Seriously? How long ago was that?

  • Restoras||

    UKRAINE IS STRONG!!

  • tarran||

    Two points:
    1) The Russians aren't doing it anymore, the U.S. is

    2) The Russians are far more savage then the U.S. at going after the families of people who mess with them - see the time Hezbollah attempted to kidnap some Russians in the 1980's

    I'm kind of tired of this implication that blowback can't be happening merely because we don't remember it in the past.

    People think, for example, that suicide bombings are something new, yet I read a short story in my Turkish government-run school in first grade extolling the virtues of a kid who conducted a suicide bombing attack against the Greeks in the war of independence! Nobody remembers that shit anymore because it didn't make it into the history books here. But there it was - I still have the text-book telling the six-year old me the glories of martyring myself for the Turkish people!

    People innovate and modify their strategies and tactics all the time. Nobody tried hijacking airplanes until the Palestinians did it in the early 70's, for instance. Now every pissant group with grievances considers doing it.

  • Calidissident||

    Russia doesn't have Islamic terror attacks? Hahaha I can't believe you typed that

  • R C Dean||

    But I don't see them going after Russia, do you?

    Perhaps this has something to do with the Russian's carefully cultivated reputation as pipe-hitting bastards if you cross them.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Gee I wonder why the average citizen is so pissed off?

    Are they?

    I've seen a bunch of irrational religious psychos attacking us. People that have brutalized 'their own people' worse than the governments that we support, whenever they've had the chance.

    US support moderated the Egyptian government over what it otherwise would have been and our defense of Saudi Arabia was about protecting the world's supply of oil. The Saud regime predated that defense.

  • MWG||

    Yea I'm sure that's what the average political prisoner thought under Mubarak. "Man this torture is bad, but at least it's being financed by the Americans, otherwise it could be worse for me."

    As for the Saudi's, I'm sure the average prisoner, think, "Wow! This US backed monarchy is really brutal, but at least our oil is protected!"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I think both people are probably pissed at the people torturing them.

    And Egypt's middle class no doubt yearned to be free of the American yoke like their bretheren in Syria, Libya and Sudan.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Aren't they supposed to love quantitative easing like the plebes in the US do?

  • nobody||

    Reports that the US Embassy has been stormed in Tunis - at least 3 dead.

  • WTF||

    Because they had no reason over the past few days to reinforce security?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Let's not rush into this whole 'protecting American territory and lives' thing.

  • WTF||

    Well, yeah, we wouldn't want to offend anybody.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    It's strange how desperately some people fight against the idea that the actions of the U.S. government have consequences. What is so radical about that idea?

  • nobody||

    Traitor!

  • WTF||

    Actions have consequences!? The hell, you say!

  • sarcasmic||

    Intentions!
    Those consequences weren't intended, therefor the actions of the government couldn't have caused them!

  • Restoras||

    You fogot to add that since the unintended consequences were unintended the current administration is not responsible. Tony said so.

  • sarcasmic||

    Did I forget, or did I give you an opportunity to expound?

  • Restoras||

    I dunno. Funny how that little twit hasn't been around recently.

  • sarcasmic||

    We still have Red Tony.

  • Calidissident||

    Well for some reason, some people, who on domestic issues have no problem differentiating the US government from America the country or American society, for some reason equate the two when it comes to foreign policy. These same people would never argue that criticism of the government's domestic policy is unpatriotic, but if you criticize it's foreign policy, you're "anti-American"

  • Cytotoxic||

    Some people think intervening in people's lives is the same as intervening in foreign countries. It's not.

    You guys fail to make a convincing case that's all. You have a myopic view of the world that does not even consider government's much bigger and badder than America's.

  • Invisible Finger||

    No, it's easy to CONSIDER governments bigger and badder. It's just that there's no NEED to CONSIDER when you can just get actual facts.

    Certainly there ARE governments badder than the US. There was a time when ALL OTHER governments were badder, now that's no longer the case.

    There was also a time when almost ALL governments were bigger than the US. Now the US is the biggest government.

  • tarran||

    Here is where the Obama administration's insistence that they are always right, and that everything that goes wrong is other people's fault leads them.

    1) They can't admit that this was an Al Queda operation aimed against State Department facilities throughout North Africa and the Mid-East, because that would imply they're not on top of Al Queda.

    2) They can't admit that they failed to properly react to actionable intelligence, because that would imply they messed up.

    3) They can't admit that the view of the U.S. in the Arab/North African Street is in the toilet, since that would imply that Obama isn't a healer of conflicts but yet another non-transofrmational U.S. president in a long line of them.

    4) They can't admit that the view of the U.S. in the Arab/North African Street is in the toilet, since that would imply that Obama's grudging support of the Arab Spring was a surrender to an Alinksylike irresistable movement that will eventually cause great problems for the security of Israel rather than a brilliant Great Leap forward to bring peace to the middle east.

    They are reduced to holding press conferences where they tell the most incredible lies to people who they know know they are lying - as silly a charade as anything Baghdad Bob did - while emboldening the very enemies they want to pretend don't exist.

    I'm telling you, before Obama is out of office, the people behind this attack will be taking hostages.

  • WTF||

    Well, I do recall some people saying that an Obama presidency being a second Jimmy Carter term was actually a best-case scenario.

  • John||

    I have a real sick feeling about this. I would like to think it will all blow over. But I doubt that is the case. I think we will be lucky if the people behind this are only taking hostages before this is over.

  • WTF||

    Am I being too paranoid in thinking this is being allowed to spiral out of control to the point where it ends up a real war situation, and Obama campaigns on the old FDR "you don't change horses in mid-stream during a war/crisis" canard?

    I know, don't attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity and incompetence, but still, never let a crisis go to waste, and all that.

  • John||

    I think it is the opposite. I think they are shitting their pants in the White House right now. This is politically devastating to Obama if it continues.

    And that canard only works if you are actually successful at protecting the country, which FDR was in 1940 and 1944.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yeah that's paranoid.

    I wouldn't put it past Obama to bomb Iran as a way to gin up political support. But thinking that he's an evil genius manipulating the whole world is kind of nuts.

  • WTF||

    Not manipulating the whole world, since I believe they really didn't anticipate this, but they are not averse to exploiting a crisis if the opportunity arises. You and John are probably right, though, they aren't doing anything because they're shitting their pants without a clue.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I think that Obama's gang really believes in the feminized conflict resolution world view that's predominate in the bubble that they've lived in.

    They literally can't process the fact that its blowing up in their faces. That's why they keep saying it's about an offensive movie, or Romney's fault etc.

  • R C Dean||

    Don't forget, this is the same crew that could barely bring themselves to pull the trigger on frickin' Osama bin Laden.

  • tarran||

    John, I feel sick too.

    I think you are spot on. The Iranians held the hostages as bargaining chips for political purposes (+ a little revenge).

    Any hostage taken by Al Queda will be lucky to ever be free again or even to see another birthday.

    The Obama administration thinks they are placating these people - instead, they are emboldening them to even more brazen attacks. This is greater obliviousness than anything that came out of the British Foreign office in the halycon days when they carved up the remnants of the ottoman empire.

    I keep being reminded of that aeroflot passenger jet that crashed after the captain let his kid take the controls, and the kid put it into an unrecoverable spin.

  • John||

    But so many Americans always dreamed of voting for a black man for President.

    My God, why the fuck couldn't have Colin Powell ran for President to give these dumb shits their "see I am not really a racist" fix?

  • WTF||

    Because he was republican and therefore not authentically black.

  • John||

    He could have ran as a Democrat. I don't think Powell would have been a particularly good President. But my God he wouldn't have been this stupid.

    It is clear that retard America had to have itself a black president. And it chose the worst one possible. Fuck Jeremiah Wright would have been a better choice.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    In 2008 I'd get laughs by saying that I thought Al Sharpton would be a better president than Obama. I think the last four years have validated that opinion.

  • Robert||

    Actually I thought Powell would be pretty darn bad, but I never imagined Obama or anyone else who had a serious shot at the presidency would be this bad.

  • sarcasmic||

    So much power has been centralized in the office of the presidency that no human being is capable of doing a good job.

  • Robert||

    The British weren't oblivious. Look at the past few centuries and you'll see a history of British manipul'n of the world to benefit themselves for a time and then stick someone else with trouble.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The Iranians held the hostages...

    Decent article in The Atlantic about 6-7 years ago (when it was a magazine worth reading) about the original hostage taking.

    The original couple guys that took the hostages said they basically did it because they were bored college kids looking to make a statement about something they had long since forgotten. But they got looked on as folk heroes and kept upping their demand because their egos got the best of them. By the time they had gotten tired of the whole thing (a matter of weeks) there were enough outsiders trying to "get in on it" that they basically took over the whole mess and ran with it for another 400 days.

    When I first read that I thought they were telling some white lies to the reporter about their motivations and how the thing actually went down, but after seeing the whole Occupy Wherever thing the story holds a lot more water for me now.

  • Cytotoxic||

    When tarran says you are appeasing the enemy...

  • Restoras||

    It would only "blow over" if the clown car in the WH Situation Room were at this moment garrisoning our embassies in the region with Marines and issuing ultimatums.

    Not. Holding. My. Breath.

  • R C Dean||

    Best summary I've read of the bind they are in, t.

  • The Hammer||

    God, I hope not. Because there are already commenters at HuffPo saying that the riots protests are a Right-Wing conspiracy to make Obama look bad. The Koch Brothers have been mentioned.

  • John||

    Because right wing conspirators are so tight with crazy Islamists.

    For them to even start concocting conspiracy theories means they know this is bad for Obama. And if they think it is bad for Obama, it must be devastatingly bad.

  • The Hammer||

    God I hope not. There are already commenters at HuffPo saying that these riots protests are a massive Right-Wing Conspiracy to make Obama look bad. The Koch Brothers have been mentioned.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Some reports were saying that the same crowd that attacked the ambassador's car and killed the other three Americans took the ambassador to the hospital. The only way that scenario makes the tiniest shred of sense is if they wanted him alive as a hostage. Not that any reporting on this shit is especially trustworthy.

  • Lyle||

    And the media says Romney is not ready to be President.

    Oh. My. God.

  • Chris Mallory||

    No worries, the Cosmotarians will keep letting these 3rd world savages immigrate so they can kill and burn over here. Maybe they can move to Michigan and live with the Indian immigrant, Shikha Dalmia.

  • Calidissident||

    It wouldn't be a Reason thread about non-Europeans if there wasn't a comment about immigration by Chris Mallory

  • Joe R.||

    Drink? Yeah, sure, what the hell.

  • The Hammer||

    Can this idiot not be banned? He has never said anything substantive, or even coherent. Are we entirely sure he's not Mary Stack?

  • Spoonman.||

    He's the Anon-Bot of bigotry.

    Hateon-bot.

  • JeremyR||

    What, for telling the truth?

    Multiculturalism doesn't work. Ask the American Indians how it worked out for them.

    Muslims don't want to integrate, they want to conquer. It's the whole point of their religion. Denying it just helps them.

  • Drake||

    It does look like Israel will have a war on its hands when the MB finishes consolidating power in the "Arab Spring" countries. Might be why they are itching to do Iran sooner rather than latter - they will be real busy with other stuff later.

  • John||

    If the people of Egypt are dumb enough to want to die at the hands of the Israelis, that is their problem. The Israelis will kill them by the thousands.

    Maybe they should have thought twice about putting a bunch of murderous fuckheads into power.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Please nuke a major Egyptian city. Please.

  • RyanXXX||

    ^Glad to see you finally come out of the closet as a psychopath

  • JeremyR||

    The trouble is that the conflict will likely expand, most likely drawing the Turks in.

    The current regime in Turkey isn't the MB in name, but is essentially the MB in practice.

    And the Turks can likely give Israel a run for their money.

  • db||

    Let the Turks have that mess. I visited Istanbul a decade ago and it was a beautiful place. The Turks could probably straighten out the rest of that clusterfuck.

  • Cytotoxic||

    If the author or others would like to demonstrate that this is 'blowback' for America's Drone Warriors, then he should provide you know evidence to that effect. Others are welcome to.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Someone should invent journodrones, so reporters can try to interview people in enraged mobs without being ripped apart.

  • MarkVShaney||

  • JeremyR||

    I think this is a case of projection. Having seen signs some of these protesters are carrying, it really is about the film, not drone attacks.

    Reason doesn't seem to understand the concept of cultures. Islam is as much a culture as a religion, and as it is strong and vibrant, it does not like any sort of affront or challenge to it. Thus is gets upset at even the slightest criticism, be it cartoons or a really bad movie.

    It's a way of demonstrating its strength and intimidating people, so as to prevent criticism.

  • blubi||

    Sounds like a Guardian article...Scott is unwilling to tell us why they really hate us but mentioned drones. F*ck, Obama went to all that trouble with his apoligizé tour incl Cairo..if only he had known..

    Seriously I don´t get it with you hand-wringers - when they say they want to kill you because you are infidels why do you assume they think otherwise and make up all these bs excuses?

  • MarkVShaney||

    If a Republican had pounded his chest and declared that OBL is dead and GM is alive a few weeks ago the press would have done a better job at connecting the dots.

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