This Week in “What the Funk Just Happened in the Middle East”. A quick recap: things got wacky.
Getting the stories on recent Mideast uprising developments is tough. Everyone has a version, everyone has a spin, and everyone has one more detail that no one else can collaborate. Essentially, however, there are two sides: the explanations from POTUS (abbrved POS) mouthpiece Jay Carney, and the side I will be summarizing. And I have three things on my side that Carney’s missing out on: some common sense, a pot of coffee brewing, and the truth (I’ll be relying heavily on number two).
In Libya, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens died in an attack of the American Embassy to Libya in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012. The attack lasted four hours, leaving two other Americans dead. The official story is that Stevens died of smoke inhalation while our Libyan friends heroically carried him to a hospital. However, that heroic carry may also been parading. Reports have also been leaked that Stevens may have been sodomized before death. (Outside the Lost universe, I don’t know any smoke that could pull that). This story has largely been denied but not completely extinguished. It is missing from the official reports and I am doubtful that we will ever know for certain.
The allegation is that the protests stemmed from an anti-Muslim movie trailer to a film that probably doesn’t exist which has been on YouTube since July. Because that is apparently how you respond to things in the Middle East. Four months late. At an Embassy. With an RPG. (Similar to complaining to Wall Street for an undercooked burger made in China at someone’s house. Of course they’re to blame!) And oh yeah, that whole thing that it was on 9/11? Not on purpose. No one even checked their calendars that morning.
I’m not paid to think that there are coincidences out there (psyche, I’m not paid at all!) And a whopping one is sitting in front of us. Sure, I know that extremist muslims hate when we talk about the Prophet Muhammad (crap, I think I just got fatwa’ed) or draw pictures of him (remember those Danish cartoonists? Lest we forget), but who shows up to a protest with an RPG? To complain to an embassy about what their people do? And think that, by the same double-standard, we shouldn’t just bomb Libya in retaliation? (we shouldn’t, by the way, but how ironic would that be?)
While the Obama administration and State Department denied that the attacks were preplanned, the President of Libya, Mohamed Magariaf, says that it is clear they had been premeditated for months by an outsider group and that the Libyan intelligence agency had warned of a potential attack up to three days before.
The Egyptian consulate had the foresight to apologize for the video before the attacks (spoiler, they were still attacked). In a disturbing statement, the embassy said 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.” Three prong reaction.
1. Why is it their duty to apologize or condemn these statements? These are Americans who understand that other Americans have the freedoms to do whatever the funk they want, even stupid stuff. The movie (if it was really made) was probably a waste of money. Do I condemn him for making it? No #1stamendment.
2. Continued efforts? What, by stupid people? Like all these people who have mentioned the Prophet Muhammed (oops I did it again!) are in a league together (Muahahaha, we’ll get those Muslims’ religious feelings! And their little dog, too!).
3. When has the Egyptian embassy released a statement condemning the treatment of Jesus Christ in anything? Or Moses? Watch an episode of Family Guy, tell me how many religious jokes I should be bringing an RPG to their studios over (answer? #1stamendment). If they claim that they are as sensitive to all religious sensibility, then they better back it up. In all reality, I don’t really care, because I know that other people’s opinions about my religion have absolutely no bearing on anything. As long as I have the freedom to worship it, I don’t need the state interceding and condemning anything.
The American Embassy in Egypt was breached, the American flag was torn down, replaced with the black flag of Al Qaeda. It seems like coming out and saying “Hey, no, we’re on your side, we’re just as mad as you!” doesn’t really do much.
Protests, riots and attacks have continued on embassies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and as well as others. Al Qaeda has come out in a statement encouraging more attacks on embassies (Al Qaeda… don’t I know that name from somewhere? Those are those extremist film critics, right?) One thing has become indelibly clear, however: killing Bin Laden did not cripple the terror network. As much as we all bought into the hype, as we heard about Osama’s plan to assassinate Obama and leave bumbling Joe Biden in command to wrought his own chaos, about how well stocked the compound was and how much information was filtered in and out through OBL, the clear fact is that it was a moral victory, not a strategic one. Osama’s death does not even have the weight we intended because those dedicated to his cause make his death more of a rallying cry than a caveat emptor.
What the Anti-American Protests in the Middle East reveal (omg he said the title!) is simply that there is still strong Anti-American sentiment in the region, and it hasn’t been mollified by the current administration. In fact, it might have gotten worse, because a good number of Middle East countries bought into the Hope and Change rhetoric and assumed it would mean a cessation to American interventionist policies. With the Obama administration’s choices to arbitrarily back winning horses in “popular uprisings” in Libya and Syria while leaving the Green Movement in Iran to themselves (and a very angry Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), with their classic double-speak calling the clearly-undemocratic illiberal Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt part of the “Arab Spring” while Obama says that Egypt is neither a friend nor foe, it has taken four years for them to shape a foreign policy as clear as mud.
Essentially, the Middle-East is the ex-girlfriend we really really really funked over. No matter what we try or say, we’re never making that one right. There is always going to be some resentment, so getting drunk and leaving her message at 2:33 am telling her we’ve changed will only get you a restraining order from the state of Illinois… I mean, will only lead to future disappointment.
At the risk of being honor-killed, I’ll lay out the real problem between America and many extremist Muslim-dominant countries: different ideologies. The Obama administration has carefully tried to present this situation as an abnormality in an otherwise improved relationship. I suggest that the instability stemming from the Arab Spring led to the calm in protests geared towards America (because they were too busy with each other) and that many of these groups recognized that Uncle Sam loves backing underdogs in revolutions. That doesn’t mean they like us. In fact, with some semblance of calm in the region these countries have returned to their favorite past-time: burning American flags and calling us the Great Satan.
Don’t blame some Youtube video (which is really hilarious, by the way) for the fact that Muslims from Middle Eastern countries have a very different interpretation of free speech and religious freedom than Americans. And don’t try to pawn that off as the reason someone shot an RPG at an embassy; reactions to the video are a symptom of a deep, longstanding hatred for American values that has not been ameliorated by some spotty assistance to revolutions and by a paltry couple of billion dollars we’ve been sending in aid. If anything, it just reminded a few people “oh yeah, hate America today.” And unfortunately, despite the fact that President Obama promised that the day he’s inaugurated Muslim hostilities will ease, he’s been more talk than action on that change.
It just took a few years for the Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and countless other Middle East countries to realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Brian is a devout Satirist living in the Great Satan who really really really really doesn’t want to be fatwa’d. Promote his pro-humor, anti-honor killing agenda by recommending him to someone you know who needs a little Republican Funk in their lives.