It’s a pretty complicated world – and sadly a lot of conservatives see international issues in black and white – without any gray areas – and certainly not in the rich, vibrant tones that color our world.
I got a note today that was written in shorthand, like a poorly constructed telegram:
Terrorists attack US embassy in Egypt. Stop. US issues apology. Stop.
Okay, please – just stop. I think what you’re confusing, is the statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which condemned in the strongest terms the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya and the official statement of the US embassy in Cairo, Egypt. There’s a world of difference; unless you’re a conservative.
Someone made a propaganda film, in which the prophet Mohammed was denounced or ridiculed. Who did this? I have no idea, but international political dramas can be intriguing – just ask Jimmy Carter about the Iranian hostage crisis. He did the hard work to get the hostages released – Reagan took all the credit. Muslims react violently to propaganda targeting their religion. This isn’t news.
The embassy staff in Cairo, rightly, “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Pretty straight forward stuff – and we’d be fools to think or say otherwise. Our founding fathers thought it important enough that it’s right there in the First Amendment. But to a conservative who loves his gun-toting, Muslim-hating Republican-Jesus, this is entirely the wrong thing to say if you’re ever going to stop those ‘mooslims’ from making our kids live under Sharia law. And that could happen. Maybe.
Sec. Clinton said: “I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.”
We assign blame where it belongs and look to take care of our own. Unless you’re a conservative. Then you believe President Obama just told our diplomatic team to apologize for getting one of our own killed in a violent protest. Please note, that the original staccato burst of information contained no news that we had lost a American. The only goal, as it has been since he was sworn into office, was to hurt President Obama politically.
That this U.S.-released film pops up this close to the election is suspect. As was the second portion of the note – decrying President Obama’s “canceled appointment” with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, choosing instead to book an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Except, of course, that’s not what happened.
Netanyahu is a hard-liner who is all in favor of taking his nuclear arsenal out for a test-drive in the desert. I have to believe that he wants to do this, to demonstrate to Israel’s enemies on all sides, that if he’s willing to torch the Iranian nuclear facility, he’s just crazy enough to melt the sands their cities are built on into glass, too. Again, an election-year push as we come to the polls, which does nothing more than gin up emotions artificially.
Netanyahu is a politician. And Willard M. Romney went to Israel and refused to even mention the Palestinian people, let alone recognize their right to a homeland. When you’re running for President, who needs to be seen as an impartial moderator in these talks, you’ve just disqualified yourself from the job, Willard M. Romney. Of course Netanyahu is going to try and break into the American news cycle. But, and this is important, THERE WAS NO MEETING. He requested a meeting with the President just weeks before election day. The President’s schedule is a little cramped, Benjamin – and besides you really don’t have anything new to say. No meeting - no “cancellation.”
Yes, President Obama is going to appear on Late Night. I’ll bet Willard M. Romney is going to try to get into the chair, too, but he might be afraid of left-leaning Dave – and just stick to the right-leaning Leno.
We play a lot of games in the political arena, but these really are life and death conversations we’re having. Yesterday Christopher Stevens was a patriot who chose to travel to foreign lands and represent his country ably and proudly – a living demonstration of what’s good and just in our society. And I’m not hearing a lot about him from the right. But conservative commentators have been quick to pick up the mud next to his lifeless body, so they can throw it at the President.
– Tom Joad is a fictional character who resides on Facebook.
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