Over a dozen embassies across the world are under siege or attack from protestors. Four United States citizens including a U.S. Ambassador are dead in Libya as the result of a coordinated attack, arguably slaughtered in an act of war. Most news agencies as well as our government act surprised that this could have happened and are seemingly blaming these actions on a stupid, junior hack job “movie” that has been out for months. The President denounced the act only under duress, and in the mildest terms possible, naming the attack an act of “senseless violence” – elevating this attack to roughly the same level of international importance as a gang shooting.
Why are we acting surprised? We all knew what was happening when the “Arab Spring” was underway, replacing one set of oppressive dictators for possibly even more oppressive leaders. Even more interesting, the United States had advance warning that something was happening and our people across the Middle East were possibly at risk. Other than campaigning, what the heck was the President doing? Perhaps this was one of the security briefings that he allegedly misses on a regular basis?
Why are we even giving credence to the possibility that these incidents are as a result of the “Innocence of Muslims” movie? This isn’t about a movie – most of these protestors probably haven’t even seen it. And why the double standard? Muslims can post videos of decapitating a man with a penknife and we are supposed to be ok with it? This has nothing to do with the film – the film is a convenient excuse to disguise an open attack on the United States.
We must make a clear statement – we stand for freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Get over it. It is a movie. Regardless of whether you think it is offensive or not, it is a movie. Don’t watch it…you have that option. We will continue allow people to make statements and movies, even though we may not like them. We will continue to allow people to criticize our government and other governments around the world. In the United States, you can practice the religion you wish, or speak out against any religion you wish. That is what happens in a free democracy. Are some of these groups and their statements rude? Maybe. So here is the deal – we aren’t about to apologize for Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Mel Gibson or anyone else who might be off center or ruffle feathers. And you need to get over it. Sodomizing and killing a peaceful Ambassador and dragging his body through the streets is not an acceptable response. Ever. You want to kill your own people? We wish you wouldn’t, but that’s ok. Mess with a U.S. Embassy or the United States – there should be consequences. Period. A clear message backed up by serious and uncompromising consequences is what is required. Not apologies.
Our inaction and appeasement have only encouraged countries in the Middle East and radical Islamists by appearing to show weakness. Lets be clear – this attack is an act of war. Peaceful protest outside any embassy should be tolerated as free speech. However, acts of destruction or violence against the embassy or any of the occupants should be considered an attack.
We must reestablish appropriate diplomatic guidelines for the treatment of embassies. First of all, as a host country we consider you responsible for the safety of our people. Aggression against our embassy will result in consequences beginning with the immediate loss of U.S. aid up to and including massive counterattack on the area and the country’s capital. No government or terrorist agency takes us seriously right now, and will not until we clearly communicate what our expectations are and demonstrate that they are not simply empty words and that we will not tolerate this type of activity. Once this happens once or twice, I can assure you, people will lose interest in that game. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Please do not debase the memory of all those people who have died defending our freedoms by apologizing for those freedoms.
I know there will be some people out there who still argue for appeasement. You can actually see some of them on television now. They will argue that we cannot hold the people accountable because they don’t have the weapons to stand up to the terrorist. In the meantime, these same people “stand up” to the police, take pictures and videos, and then go boast in the Hookah lounges afterward, but they cower in their houses when the terrorist are around. That leaves us two conclusions: they are either terrorist sympathizers, making them legitimate military targets, or they are actually afraid that the terrorists will actually do something to them and their family. Clearly communicate your expectations and your consequences. Whether you agree or disagree with the message or consequences, it is obviously well understood.
Another argument for appeasement is that Israel has used a tit for tat strategy for years, but it does not appear to have any real impact, thereby demonstrating that this strategy is ineffective. Why doesn’t this work in Israel? Mainly because the responses are too restrained. On an international level, the expectation is that the response is to be measured and not excessive, effectively equalizing the antagonists in the Israeli conflict. Most peace loving countries build an arsenal in order to discourage any aggression against their country’s interests. You hope to never use them, but understand you may have to do so. If you merely stockpile weapons but never use them, or only use them to match the level of your aggressor, there isn’t much point in the stockpile, is there? In fact they aren’t even a deterrent any longer.
Some will argue that these are the actions of a small minority – I don’t think so. But if it is, then this will be easy – the host country can easily take care of the issue with the majority of the people supporting them. I am sure the alleged vast majority world wide will lend their vocal support to the host governments.
Finally, we have the argument that then “they” will hate us and want us dead! Really? Hello! They already hate us and want us dead!
And what about Iran – do you think they will be emboldened? Don’t you think they will see the wide level of protests and believe the U.S. will make no response to anything they might want to do. Do you think they might want to use that nuclear weapon?
The policies of our country must change to protect our people, our country and our freedoms. That includes the art of diplomacy, clear communication and the will to act when we must. Diplomacy is more than the act of agreeing and apologizing. This administration has failed miserably in the both the finesse of diplomacy as well as the actions required to protect the freedom we stand for.