Libya, Egypt must 
respond to attacks

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In contrast to Mitt Romney’s craven “shoot first, aim later” partisan opportunism, today’s editorial – “Libya, Egypt must respond to attacks” – strikes the right tone, but failed to consider the implications of related information found in accompanying AP reports.

The anti-Islamic video that precipitated protests in Cairo and Benghazi was produced by a criminal “Coptic Christian” in California, but supported by Evangelical “Christians” across the U.S. (including the “pastor” who previously threatened to burn Korans).  The video debuted on-line on July 1, but was covered on Egyptian t.v. only two weeks ago.

On September 11, anticipating demonstrations, the Cairo embassy issued a statement appropriately disclaiming the video – attempting to proactively pacify irate Egyptians.  While the angry mob breached the embassy perimeter six hours later, fortunately the headlines from Cairo did not read:  “Dozens of Unarmed Muslim Protestors Killed While Scaling Embassy Walls”.

In a display of unpatriotic ineptitude (conflating events in Cairo with the still unfolding terrorist attack in Benghazi), Romney falsely accused the Obama Administration of issuing the Cairo statement in response to and/or during the Cairo protest (not six hours before) – thereby purportedly “sympathizing” with an “attack on American values”.

Contrary to the Sentinel’s assertion, the White House did not “reject” the embassy’s statement, but—correcting Romney’s false premise – pointed out that it was issued (as a matter of established routine) by threatened personnel “on the ground” in Cairo, had not been cleared in advance, and thus “did not reflect the views of the U.S. Government” – a subtle diplomatic distinction now lost in the ensuing political conflagration.  Embassy staff in Cairo are now properly asking what part of their statement was objectionable.

Meanwhile, in Benghazi, 10 Libyan security personnel were killed/wounded defending our consulate, locals mourn Ambassador Stevens’s murder, and the “manhunt” for Al Qaeda terrorists has begun.

                Bill Hugenberg

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