White House Can't Conceive that Embassy Violence Might Be About More Than a Movie
What else could the people of Yemen possibly be upset about?
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?
If you're looking to keep up with all the protest activities, the violence, and the political responses, check out our Reason 24/7 page, bookmark it, or subscribe to the RSS feed.