Libyans are turning out in large numbers to apologize and to condemn the attack on our consulate and the killing of J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya, and to express their disgust with what happened in Libya.
These protestors want you to know that what happened does not represent the people of Libya.
Egypt appears somewhat to be a different story and it is very unclear what is happening in Egypt. Analyses of the crowd in Tahrir Square does show however that the crowds are not displaying the Egyptian flag; banners that were present in the crowds from last year when Mubarak’s government was overturned are also missing.
Unrest in the Middle East
We need to blame the perps. We need to track them down and send them directly to hell.
However, we do not need to turn these incidents into ‘blame Islam’ … no more than blaming Catholic Christians when the IRA went crazy for several decades or Christians when Hezbollah goes crazy — yes, MANY Hezbollah are Christians and not just Muslims.
The Middle Eastern/northern African Muslim world has gone a bit crazy. A lot crazy. We need to dial down on the emotions of the situation. We do not need to further incite hate by giving hate.
Yes, we should be mad and angry and we should make it known in no uncertain terms that we want those that attacked our consulate in Libya and our embassy in Egypt. What we don’t need to do is to fuel the situation so that it gets out of control and we end up sending troops to stabilize the region. We don’t need another 40,000 wounded and 8,000 of our troops dead (as in Iraq and Afghanistan) as we bomb the region back into sensibility.
One pundit today said that we need to rid ourselves of the cancer of Islam. So what we need is a Jihad of our own, eh? If that is what you want — and quite a few folks talk that way — then let’s just go ahead and push the limits of taking these provocative, deadly incidents and turning them into full pledged wars. It will be good for business and for our economy … it just will not be good for our sons and daughters and for those that go off to fight while you and I head off to the movies and to the nearest mall.
I am not a pacifist. I spent 20+ years wearing a military uniform. It has never bothered me to go after America’s enemies.
A Thurst for Violence
We have supported dictators and military governments in the Middle East for almost a century, and we supported imperial governments for a century before that.
Those that live in the region have huge chips on their shoulders and almost no recent tradition of how to cooperatively coexist with others or how to exist within the framework of self-government. Poor education, poverty and ignorance is a prime cause of many of the region’s ills — and resentment against our own policies will take time for us to mitigate.
We need to get beyond war and get into whatever comes next. It won’t be easy but throwing gasoline into the mix is just not a bright idea. We need to neutralize those that would harm the U.S. and our interests, and we need to douse talk at home which has no purpose other than to inflame the situation or to serve political agendas.
We should deal with this situation quietly, swiftly and with deadly force if necessary. Our response needs to be seen as one that targets evil, and not as a policy response that condemns an entire people as evil.
Let’s not create the next generation of terrorists by condemning a billion or more people for the actions of several hundreds, possible several thousand violent provocateurs. That is what the provocateurs want and provocateurs are what we dealing with.