Embassy attack

Update 11 AM Central: Mitt’s cynical ploy is starting to blow up in his smirking over-privileged face. Romney was already a touch behind in most polls, in retrospect this may turn out to be the day that sealed his electoral fate.

Most people around the world and especially at home are deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the death of four Americans inside our own embassy in and near nations we helped freaking liberate. Hell, even some of the more radicalized Egyptians and Libyans know this was a first class fuck up.

But you better believe there will be one group here in the US who will barely be able to contain their glee at the massacre:

Salon— “It’s disgraceful,” Romney’s statement, which was released late Tuesday night, read, “that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

That’s not at all what happened, of course. The actual chronology goes something like this: As anti-American protests inspired by a crude Terry Jones video began gathering steam, the U.S. embassy in Cairo – and not the Obama White House — put out a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

The obvious intent was to cool the passions of the protesters. As Marc Ambinder explained, it was “exactly what Americans inside the embassy who are scared for their lives now and worry about revenge later need to have released in their name.”

So the asshole who didn’t even mention the wars started by his predecessor and barely touched on foreign policy at his jamboree in Tampa is, per usual, lying his smarmy Mormon ass off trying to paint the guy who cleaned all that shit up as sympathizing with the terrorists who killed our guys yesterday.

I didn’t think my opinion of Romney could go much lower, I was wrong.


  1. busterggi says

    Hooray, now the Repubes can add Egypt and Lybia to their ever-growing list of countries to invade if Romney gets elected.

  2. StevoR says

    As anti-American protests inspired by a crude Terry Jones video began gathering steam,

    Okay, can I just note here that some Libyan / Egyptian Muslim extremists are killing people over a flippin’ video they dislike?

    Over reaction a bit don’t ya reckon?

    Can we maybe not overlook this and the fact that people should be able to freely call “prophet” Mohammad a whatever they want (especially if its true) *without* this name-calling or whatever supposedly justifying the followers of this “Religion of Peace” (Bwah-ha-ha-ha! they say that like they mean it?!) actually committing murderm, arson, riot, racial hatred et cetera?

  3. StevoR says

    AArgh! Too tired, too drunk, blockquote fail.

    First sentence = quotation from OP.

    Rest of that = my opinion, comment on that.

    Point is – they’re murdering and more because they don’t like a video. Maybe we shouldn’t ignore and excuse that hey?

  4. StevoR says

    Do people here think that we should – all of us globally – not say a bad word or think to criticise the “prophet Mohammad” – yes or no?

    Is it okay to draw a cartoon, make a film, write a book, name a teddy bear or basically do anything that might offend devout Muslims – yes or no?

    Are threats of beheading, murder and religious war ever acceptable whatever the supposed “provocation” – yes or no?

  5. says

    I guess if I kneww for a fact or reasonable certainty that a particular snide word or video would threaten lives, I’d hold off on posting it. I’d be uncomfortable making that a rule though, or a law. Too much potential for abuse.

    Free expression comes with risk, just like the 2nd amdnt does. ,In this case the risk came to life, or death: Four Americans paid for our collective right to free expression with their lives last night, let’s not lose sight of that.

  6. dean says

    Romney’s minions have been interviewed several times this morning on the cable news sites: I’be been writing exams and have had MSNBC on behind me. Andrea Mitchell was interviewing one minion: he kept insisting that the formal US comment Romney was aiming at had been re-issued after the attacks: when it was pointed out that
    * it had been issued without Washington’s approval
    * it had been issued prior to the uprisings and attacks
    * it hadn’t been re-issued, it had been on an embassy website and was removed after the attacks

    his response was that her motives had been attacked in the past, and that Romney’s comment was about setting out the difference in position between his campaign and that of the President. He also disagreed with her comments, and reminded her that facts were important.

    There were a couple more comments, in which she repeated her statements: then, when she signed off, she said “And I agree with you: facts matter.”

    The willingness of folks in Romney’s campaign to lie not just about what was said, but about a sequence of events for which timing can easily be checked, is amazing.

  7. johnhall says

    If there is a pool of gasoline and you drop a lighted match in it, it will explode into flame. You can insist all you want that gasoline shouldn’t burn but the fact remains that it does. The person who lights and drops that match may not be legally culpable but there is no way for them to escape the fact that they are morally responsible for the results. They should be reminded of this and treated accordingly.

  8. says

    What else are they gonna do? I have no doubt Romney would just as soon tell the truth. But the GOP has painted themselves into a corner of lies. There’s no way out of it except to win in Nov and begin frantically rewriting history with the power of the oval office behind it. And it’s not even clear if that would do it.

    If the GOP loses this election, I’m not sure what happens to them. But it’s hard to see how they remain intact as currently configured.

  9. lorn says

    How low can they go?

    Did anyone here think that when the GOP, the party that coined the entirely apt term: “ratfucking”, talks about ‘going negative’ they were just talking about being insulting? These depth have no bottom.

    With a little more than fifty days to go, hundreds of millions in the GOP war chest, and because they don’t mind damaging the national interest or its people for the good of the party is above the good of the nation, we can expect to go “where no man has gone before” in cravenly destructive and vitriolic negativity.

    It is going to get ugly.

  10. trucreep says

    It’s starting to look like this was actually a coordinated attack that’s been in the works for awhile now…

  11. johnhall says

    I think Romney is grateful for any distraction that will keep people from saying it’s one thing for him to hide what he does with his own taxes but quite another to hide what he plans to do with ours.

  12. had3 says

    Johnhall @ 9, what are you actually saying here? Is the irrational Islamic response the gasoline?
    Sorry I’m slow on the uptake of what you mean.

  13. johnhall says

    @had3 Sorry, I was responding to SteveO above. He seems to be saying that the responsibility for the violence lies entirely with mob at the embassy. I disagree with that. I don’t mean to say that the perpetrators aren’t culpable. In a legal sense they are the only ones to blame for it. But morally, Terry Jones has to bear moral responsibility. If you set the woods on fire you can’t know or control what will run out of them. I apologize for not making it clear what I meant. And what’s with the fire metaphores? I’m not a fire-bug I swear.

  14. Randomfactor says

    We should send Romney to Libya to get the guys who fired the RPG.

    After all, didn’t he get bin Laden? That would certainly make him the expert.

  15. Trebuchet says

    Romney’s problem is that he’s a CEO, not a leader. Now it’s true that a few CEO’s are genuinely leaders — Steve Jobs may be an example. Most, however, are simply bosses. They surround themselves with yes-men and rule by edict. They like to fire people.

  16. d cwilson says


    You ask if it’s okay to criticize Mohammod or Islam. In the abstract, yes. Any belief system should be subject to criticism and examination. But that video wasn’t meant to be a serious criticism. It was meant to provoke and inflame. I’m sure Terry Jones is delighted that it has triggered riots and violence.

    Let me be clear on one point, though:

    Jones and the others behind the video have the right to express their opinions. There is no dispute there.

    With that out of way, look at the situation from the Cairo embassy’s POV: The video has triggered anger and protest. It has stirred up anti-western/anti-US sentiment in an already volatile region. Whether you or I or Stephen think it should, those are the facts on the ground.

    So, with angry mobs in the streets, can you really blame them for issuing a statement that was an attempt to diffuse the situation? Again, no one has taken away anyone’s free speech. All they did was say, that this video is bad and it doesn’t reflect our views or US policy Period, full stop.

  17. Midnight Rambler says

    Have any of you actually seen the video? It’s painfully stupid. It’s hard to even call it offensive or insulting, it’s just horribly bad.

    This whole thing seems deeply fishy to me. The guy who supposedly made it, Sam Bacile, has given out only fake information. He also seemed to go out of his way to make it look like a Jewish production, calling himself an Israeli Jew and saying it was “made in three months in the summer of 2011, with the help of 59 actors and 46 people behind the camera, at a cost of $5 million, and with financing by more than 100 Jewish donors.” Now it’s come out that he’s a convicted fraudster with multiple aliases (incidentally, Jones was supposedly not involved).

    So the question is, was this guy just using this project to fleece money out of right wing nuts? Or is he a front for something else?

  18. sawells says

    Gasoline and dry forests have no choice but to burn when lighted, but adult human beings have a choice whether to go and murder people, no matter how offended they may be feeling.

    Jones is an asshole and deliberately trying to be offensive, yes. He gets to use his freedom of speech to do that; we get to use ours to say “that guy’s an asshole”.

    Since nobody is beaming his video directly into anybody’s brain, any rioters claiming offence are either offended by something they chose to go look at, or offended by the existence of something they haven’t even seen; I’m not very sympathetic to either of those positions.

  19. johnhall says

    @Sawell. I agree with your position except to say that basing actions on an expectation that people will behave rationally or reasonably is beyond naive and in this case I would say is deliberately foolish. Pragmatically and morally the people who made and promoted this idiocy bear some responsibility for the aftermath.

  20. jakc says

    I’m doubtful of the idea that this is really a response to a movie. The people who have attacked our embassies weren’t looking for a reason; they were looking for an excuse. They would have found one sooner or later. We certainly can’t manage things in such a way as to protect free speech and protect the right of people not to be offended. Even if you don’t pour gasoline on the ground so that the vapor can ignite, people with matches will still start fires.

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