Well, as many of you already know by now two American Embassies were attacked yesterday, one in Libya, and the other in Cairo. It is suspected that these attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda operatives, as their way of marking the September 11th attacks eleven years ago. It is also suspected that they were also inspired by a movie trailer that depicts the Prophet Muhammad in a disparaging way; this film was made by an alleged Israeli-American, Sam Bacil. I say “alleged” because there seems to be some mystery and confusion over who this person really is, as this article demonstrates.
To my knowledge there have been no reported injuries to the American personnel in the Cairo attacks, and as this article seems to prove, those attacks do appear motivated largely by the existence of the movie made by that mysterious fellow above.
Unfortunately, and sadly, the Libya attack on the American consulate, in Benghazi, seems to have more the hallmarks of a coordinated assault by well-armed militants, using rocket propelled grenades, and the effect of this assault has left four Americans dead, including the US ambassador Christopher Stevens.
As this is an election year, these attacks have of course turned into political sparring, with Mitt Romney launching criticism towards the current administration, as being American apologists. I am not going to get into all of that mess, because quite honestly I don’t agree with either, what the Cairo Embassy released <read here>, nor do I particularly agree with Mitt Romney’s statements which allude to sabre rattling and a desire to put more of our troops in the middle of an ideological conflict that cannot be won – because we would be fighting against ideologues, and religious fervor, which simply do not surrender, as I think the entire middle east has demonstrated since the beginnings of recorded history.
We often hear from our government officials that “they” the terrorists, specifically Al Qaeda, hate our freedom, and that they hate our values, and hate our principles. In short they just simply hate America. Well, it is hard to argue against these statements when events like what happened yesterday, on September 11, 2001, and in 1993, and the embassy bombings in 1998, and in 1983, and there are more examples.
Given that sampling one can easily conclude that it is America which these extremists hate, but could some of it be a little more nuanced than that? Please do not take that as an apologist attitude towards senseless and unreasonable acts of violence, because it isn’t. No one can, or should condone any act of terrorism, or violence, particularly when the vast majority of these acts are targeted against innocent civilians. I am simply asking questions, because I don’t profess to have all the answers.
If the film is the cause of these attacks, I, as a person who does believe in free speech, and freedom of religion, cannot comprehend why a movie (which is not endorsed by our government, and was apparently made by our own particular brand of intolerant zealots) would lead people to lay blame on our government, attack our embassies, and demand an apology from our government, for the “work” (I’ll use that term lightly here) of private citizens. My brain just can’t compute the logic in that scenario, but there it is.
I also find it a tad ironic that because the terrorists, hate our freedoms so much, as to resort to these mindless acts of pure hate, that in order to protect these freedoms we are asked (more like told) by our government, that some of these very same freedoms we hold dear, must be curtailed, diminished, reduced, impinged, and erased. Again, my brain has a hard time wrapping around that concept. That in order for us to remain free, we must be less free … Is it me, or does that make any sense whatsoever?
Regardless, what happened yesterday, on the anniversary of one of, if not the worst, day in American history, does show that there are still those out there who, for whatever reason, wish to inflict pain, misery, and death upon America, and American’s. My fear is that these continued attacks will eventually lead our country into more and more conflicts, where more and more of our soldiers will be put into harm’s way, in either retaliation for these attacks, or to try and prevent them. Unfortunately though, as mentioned earlier, because these are by and large religious extremists the use of force only emboldens them. Equally unfortunate is that because the perpetrators of these kinds of attacks are fueled by a religious zeal, this also means that there can be no reasoning with them either. So, to ask another question, what, or how do we as a nation deal with such a predicament, where neither force, nor reason appears to be the solution?