Embassy Attacks in Libya and Egypt

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs Magazine and author of How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle, talks about the attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya and Egypt, the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, and how the violence has become part of the back-and-forth from campaigns overnight.


Gideon Rose

Comments [37]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Is Salman Rushdie free to write a book of fiction, free from death threats from a now deceased ayatollah in iran, or his blood thirsty followers.

Sep. 12 2012 12:38 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Who would have guessed that Obama supporters would be PRO-CENSORSHIP?

Sep. 12 2012 12:36 PM
Zemilio from Seattle

I don't get this...a movie sparked this riot? I think we need to follow Karl Rove money into these appears funding radicals to embarrass the President needs CIA scrutiny. CIA should have seen this coming. Mr. Unger any comments?

Sep. 12 2012 11:55 AM
Laila from New York

What happened in Benghazy is truly a tragedy and totally unacceptable. Unfortunately, Islamophobe groups continue to stoke the fires in order to get just this kind of reaction. Libya is coming out of 40 years of brutal totalitarian rule and I believe is trying to set up a democratic government. But regrettably they are not yet able to control their extremist groups. Even in the US, it is difficult to police myriad extremist groups such as survivalists and various anti-government militias, as amply documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center. I'm also sorry to say that most of those promoting such incendiary films and videos appear to be fervent Israel supporters (the producer of this particular film is an Israeli), as are most of the Islamophobe bloggers like Ms. Pamela Geller and others. Free speech is a right, but free speech is not absolute; for example, one cannot shout "fire" in a crowded movie theater, etc.

Sep. 12 2012 11:27 AM
Richard H. from Rockland County

"But I believe some values are universal. And I believe it is a universal right of individuals to be able to critical of a government or a belief system like a religion for instance...without being killed for it (or others being killed because of something someone else said)."

It is a universal right that one shouldn't be killed for a belief. However, it isn't a universal right that one can be critical of a belief system or religion. The latter isn't even a universal right in the USA. You will not be killed for believing in something in our nation, but you may experience social & economic consequences over it.

Sep. 12 2012 11:21 AM
The Truth from Becky

I could care less about romney's views, he is a candidate, he is a liar and his opinion is less than meaningless to me. The President's comments were sufficient.

Sep. 12 2012 11:17 AM

Netan-yahoo thinks he can direct American politics with dirty tricks the way he does in the Middle East. Well I wasn't going to vote for Obama, but now I am, I might even contribute to his campaign which is anathema to me usually. But I don't think we should have our foreign or domestic policy dictated by foreigners, whether they be enemies or "friends." If Israel doesn't like pressure from the US to behave in a sane, rational way, they shouldn't accept all that "aid" paid for annually with billions in American taxpayer dollars.

Sep. 12 2012 11:11 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ ladyjay

I agree but
1) That does not mean we must sacrifice our beliefs, values and constitution to appease the oppressive beliefs of others.

2) I understand that other cultures do not share out traditions,etc. But I believe some values are universal. And I believe it is a universal right of individuals to be able to critical of a government or a belief system like a religion for instance...without being killed for it (or others being killed because of something someone else said).

I don't care what the traditions or culture is some things are just plain wrong...this is just plain wrong.

Sep. 12 2012 11:03 AM

I'm just mad this distraction is going to make the iPhone 5 launch suboptimal. I thought this was supposed to be a capitalist civilization? Why do we give so much time and money to warmongers and religious troglodytes?

Sep. 12 2012 11:01 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

"Hate speech", Brian? LOL!
The film reportedly shows Muhammed engaging in sex...and that is "hate speech" to you?

The only hate speech here is the idea that "you made fun of my now I'm going to KILL you"

Sep. 12 2012 10:57 AM

@Dark Symbolist: I agree with your post. However, the idea of "free speech" is perceived differently around the world. You actually pointed in your post that it is "Our tradition and culture...." Key word their is "our" meaning American. Its NOT the tradition and culture to mock religion in the Middle East.

Most people in the world want political freedoms like democracy and due process, but want to conserve social mores.

Sep. 12 2012 10:56 AM
Gary from queens



Sep. 12 2012 10:55 AM

Even americans recognize IN lAW the concept of "fighting words". [Though it's rarely discussed publicaly as we taut our belief in freedom of speech]. This was an instance of a deliberate provocation,i.e. fighting words -resulting in a fight. Just like what happens on the streets of america between gangs going tit for tat say or in countless other instances of violence.The embassy representing the american film maker.I feel horrible that a truly noble american-this ambassador was killed. This too -like 9-11- 01, was blowback. The instigator was the genocidal anti arab/muslim war mongering rigt wing zionist who made the film.Surprise, surprise!

Sep. 12 2012 10:55 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

In the US you can produce whatever cockamamie video, rumor, innuendo (that's to you, gary), and you better believe I'm all for it and expanding the 1st Amend. At the same time, when you produce an intentionally inflammatory video, etc. everyone - including any presidential admin. - has that same 1st Amend. right to decry stupidity or whatever else they want.

Bottom line: Just because you are free to do or say something doesn't mean that you are free from denunciation.

@ gary - I read it and it's full of speculation and very, very few substantiated facts on the "relationships," an act that is known as reporting. No wonder the _American Thinker_ website is so low quality.

Also, ahem, the Washington Times is not exactly renowned for its non-partisanship.

Sep. 12 2012 10:55 AM
mck from NYC

The Rizuli affair the guest mentioned is the basis of the movie "The Wind and the Lion" staring Sean Connery as Rizuli.

Sep. 12 2012 10:54 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Actually Berkly & Art - a broken clock is right twice a day. Mitt was 100% correct on this one, I have to say. Like "Dark" - I have no idea what the Obama Admin was thinking, with that initial statement, it was far too weak and ambiguous on the murder and attempted murder of our diplomats.

Sep. 12 2012 10:54 AM
Thomas Pinch

Gary, today you say Obama is too muslim, and tomorrow you'll be saying he's too tight with Rev Wright, a baptist. Which is it?

Religious freedom vs. free speech - it's a difficult balance in instances like this, but whatever side you take the bigger issue is... violence makes your side dead WRONG!

Sep. 12 2012 10:53 AM
Gary from queens





Sep. 12 2012 10:53 AM

@Nick from UWS

Amen. Pun intended.

Sep. 12 2012 10:52 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I'll only say this. I suggest everyone read "Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror, 1801-1805" by Joseph Wheeler.

Read why Thomas Jefferson, the epitome of tolerance and reason with an aversion to America entangling itself in foreign wars, finally became determined to take America to war AFTER reading the Quran!

Nothing more needs to be said. Just read it. Very cheap on Amazon.

Sep. 12 2012 10:52 AM
Nick from UWS

Obama...for the love of all that is human and reasonable..STOP TALKING ABOUT GOD. STOP IT. STOP IT. YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT GOD? OK...GOD SAVE US FROM RELIGION.

Sep. 12 2012 10:50 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

...and Romney just came off as an insincere fool trying to get a political advantage from the ambassador's death. A true repiglican. Disgusting!

Sep. 12 2012 10:49 AM

Listening to Obama's speech... I suppose that a President cannot really express a strong opinion in these sorts of situations, but we can't have it both ways. We cannot say that we are both tolerant of religious beliefs and intolerant of religious criminality. Religion is the problem. Period.

Sep. 12 2012 10:47 AM

Events like this are the unfortunate consequence of the Arab Spring.

Sep. 12 2012 10:46 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

I'm going to vote for Obama because allowing the proto-fascist repiglicans in office would be an utter complete disaster for this country, setting us back...way back.

However, it struck me yesterday that the government reaction was way too meek and I was offended that our government was apologizing for the video. Sorry it is our tradition and culture to be able to poke fun at, criticize and mock religion. So long as we are not inciting violence or harm against members of that religion. It's called free speech. The statement yesterday should have just been a full throated defense of free speech....period.

Religious extremism must be fought and criticized harshly for what it is.

Sep. 12 2012 10:45 AM

I do not believe for a second that Mitt Romney actually believes some of the things that he says. Sometimes the best thing for him to do is SHUT UP.

Sep. 12 2012 10:44 AM
gary from queens

Those who find the speculation about Huma and Hilary should read the article. Personally, I find nothing offensive about anyone being a lesbian or a muslim.

I'm only concerned when it affects national security. THAT is what the article is about.

And now let's consider that Obama isa still a Muslim

He speaks with more passion about islam than his supposed adoped faith---Christianity.

Here's your proof. (and much more) --gary


Obama: ‘My Muslim faith’
President uses pious expressions with Muslims

By Daniel Pipes
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sep. 12 2012 10:43 AM
NJ Mom

QUESTION: is Sam Bacile a donor to Mitt Romney's campaign?

Sep. 12 2012 10:42 AM

We've removed several comments for violating the WNYC posting policy. Please refrain from personal attacks on both our guests and each other. This is a complicated subject, do your best to remain civil.

Sep. 12 2012 10:40 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Mitt Romney is completly lacking in moral character. For him to distort the Obama Administrations' response to try to take advantage of it in his pitiful campaign is repugnant. There seems to be no depth that the man won't sink to.

Sep. 12 2012 10:39 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

Paul's unsubstantiated opinion - not facts - simply means that burden of proof is on her and you for supporting them.

_Prove it_

Sep. 12 2012 10:37 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Gotta love religion. Attacking an embassy is beyond the pale. The White House/State Dept. screwed up with that initial statement. America should not be making excuses for religious fanaticism.

Sep. 12 2012 10:37 AM
John A

Please clarify. There was the Danish TV documentary on children drawing anti Muslim cartoons, and now a US "amateurish" video. These are two separate things? I almost feel for the offended, if not for this overreaction.

Sep. 12 2012 10:36 AM
gary from queens

Muslims in Egypt attacked our embassy and Obama apologizes TO THEM!!

Romney SHOULD say:

Mr. President, you must not enable and encourage intolerable criminal behavior. We Americans have freedom of speech. You need to stand up for our values and our citizens, no matter how they choose to criticize Islam. You should have condemned the violence against our citizens. Your failure to do this will guarrantee more of the same.

And Mr. President, showing images of mohammed is a prohibition FOR MUSLIMS. NOT Non-Muslims.

Sep. 12 2012 10:36 AM
Tom from Toronto

The State Department Security Chief needs to be fired. There has to be accountability.

It is well known that there are jihadi elements operating in eastern Libya, and while there has been no thorough investigation yet, it looks more and more like some of these radical elements used the pretext of the movie protests to get close to figures at the Consulate where they could do harm.

This was a failure of security, and should have been anticipated.

Sep. 12 2012 10:35 AM

From the Washington Post:

Hours before the attacks, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement saying that it condemns “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Come on people. Stop coddling ignorance. It seems like the world is headed into a new Dark Age of ignorance and religious insanity. Santa Claus is not real.

Sep. 12 2012 10:34 AM
John A

Is it even correct that the US would produce a Danish documentary?

Sep. 12 2012 10:32 AM

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