Rewinding the clock back to the original protest in Egypt.
It sounded to me like the American embassy statement was defending Americans' very strong value of freedom of religion (over the filmmaker's freedom of speech).
What I read was that U.S. diplomats in Cairo had issued a statement shortly after noon local time Tuesday — about 6 a.m. in Washington — as crowds began to gather near the embassy. The statement, commenting on anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube, said the embassy opposed "continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
Basically saying, this video is the work of one (misguided?) person and is NOT representative of US views or US values.
In other words, hey Muslim extremists, we get that you don't like people to trash your religion. We don't like anyone to trash anyone's religion.
The unspoken subtext being .. back off. This guy may be an American but he doesn't speak for America and he's wrong.
I honestly am not seeing the leap from that statement to:
.. it's "a terrible course to — for America to stand in apology for our values."
Am I the only one who sees what the diplomats said here as actually in DEFENSE of our values?
I haven't seen the film and know little about it, but there have been numerous movies that "hurt the feelings" of Christians. Christ and God have been made fun of many times in the USA. Some were pretty popular mainstream films, too. I dunno...where does free speech end? Maybe this film was worse than the ones I'm referring to here. ? Like I said, I don't know much about it except that it "offended" some extremists.
No I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
I think the statement's main purpose was to head of a problem.
Our Diplomatic corps has two main jobs and The definition says it all
: the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations
: skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility : tact
To work in the assigned countries diplomats have to understand the mindset of the people and be able to identify potential problems. They did their jobs.
I think the fact that a Christian(?) Pastor promoted it just to put down Muslims and had done this before and knew it would probably have another violent outcome says clearly the embassies reaction was the right one.
This thread is offensive to me, the government should condemn it.
It seems to me the film is made by one person, not an official statement by the government. So that is a point worth making.
Totally agree. The personal point of view of an individual does not reflect the official policy of a country. In this case, America can have it both ways - defending the free speech of an individual and condemning the message
These people do not distinguish between government and indivduals rights. They like theocracies as run by their Mullahs as it is their culture. You cannot place your American values on someone who does not share your values or political separation from the individual. If the film was even being hinted at being made in their country they would have already lost their heads. They don't understand nor do their mobs wish to understand freedom of speech.
This was such a bad choice of film content and one has to wonder what the intent was from the outset. There are reports that the film maker originated from North Africa.
The only way to change that would be to try and explain it, methinks.
It would be easier if your reading included some books on the Arab mind and cultural. Then you would not need my interpretation of my statement.
I don't know, MM. The radical Muslim groups aren't concerned with or care about any other culture; they are ONLY concerned with their power and their religion. Islam MUST be spread throughout the world using any tools possible, and violence is not only accepted but glorified in their thinking.
For the embassy to explain that the movie must be protected because of freedom of religion is an obvious falsehood. There is only ONE true religion - Islam - and only ONE religion that has any right to exist - Islam. Any statement to the contrary must be stamped out, and when America (through its embassy) declares differently, then steps must be taken to shut down evil speech and evil attempts to promote false Gods.
The ONLY acceptable answer to this movie was for America to destroy it and destroy the maker as well. Any other answer to the heresy and sacrilege only means that Islam must destroy America as it has actively promoted such desecration of Islam.
The embassy has to know this, and to know that acknowledgement of any other belief will "activate" the hatred of the radical groups. They have to know that the radicals aren't out for, and won't accept, any other religions on the planet. Why, then, make a statement that they know will infuriate these whackos? To appease the rest of the world? To make our actions and decisions acceptable to everyone except the Muslims that are already incensed?
Such a statement was, IMHO, almost designed to produce the violence that occurred. Braying out that America accepts ALL religions equally isn't going to appease these madmen; only anger them and provide more proof that America must be destroyed per the orders of their God.
"The radical Muslim groups aren't concerned with or care about any other culture; they are ONLY concerned with their power and their religion. "
The same can be said for the fundamentalist, far right Pastor involved in this scenario. The religions are not the problem on either side, but the fundamentalist views of them are.
That is absolutely correct. The only real difference is that radical muslims will kill over it, others mostly won't. Mostly - there have been murders by Christians over abortion - but it fairly rare. It is a nearly every day that the Allah directs his followers to kill someone for him.
"I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,"
Sometimes members of government make asinine statements which do nothing but inflame the situation!
You are right and my post, really had nothing to do with the subject of the tread.
Do you think the diplomatic corp was out of line?
I am not sure how many hubbers, especially those here, were around in 1979. I was in the Army and thought I was on my way to Iran. This is very much like that.
I can tell you that the people protesting and murdering right now are of the mindset they don't care what the triggering event actually was, they have been waiting for a reason. I am not certain who produced the offending video. There is freedom of speech but you can't yell fire in a crowded movie house. There is such a thing as common sense.
As this is ostensibly a private citizen the government has probably done all the apologizing they need do.
However this is Iran in the 70's times ten because multiple cities are now involved. The Administration has stated that Egypt is not our friend nor are they our enemy. That is a Sphinx-like statement. As much as the Administration wants to avoid conflict they may, and likely will, find it necessary to show various militant and terrorist groups such as The Muslim Brotherhood that they still have a big stick. And will actually use it. Maybe. If they think it will help their election chances.
Here's his chance.
I think it's also worth pointing out that 10 Libyans also died-- trying to DEFEND the American consulate. The film was designed to provoke a violent response, from its deliberately imflamatory content, to its (false) promotion as being "financed by 100 Jews," to the right wing Christian zealots and Tea Party activists who promoted it on web sites and message boards. It was all designed to happen as it did. Knowing the nutcases attached to its making and promotion, it's pretty certain it was intended to affect the American election. Is that was right wingers have come to? Wait... I forgot Nixon did a lot of this kind of thing 40 years ago, and George W. Bush manipulated the terror threat level in 2004, so it's really a sort of Republican "tradition" that we all probably should have expected.
The statement from the US embassy in Egypt did NOT defend the American filmmaker's right to free speech.
It does not mention free speech at all.
It only reiterated America's stance on freedom of religion.
Muslims do not value freedom of religion.
But we do.
I will ask again. Where in the statement from the US embassy in Egypt is there even a hint of an APOLOGY for ANY American values?
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,”
Condemns an individual for exercising their right to free speech!
No one has the right to not have their religious feelings hurt! Just ask the believers here at HP!!!!!!
Muslims have also been bombed, murdered and displaced. Maybe attacking their religion too is just the icing on the cake. Was it not you, RB, that described the Mid East as a powder keg? Will adding insult to injury, even if defined as free speech, really help any of us?
Americans' free speech is not protected around the world.
I understand this. I also understand that it was inappropriate to acknowledge the movie at all by our diplomats. The U.S. government was not involved in the production and should have disregarded it rather than validating the offense.
I also understand that the decision to release the statement was more than likely made at the Embassy level and not at the Presidential level. Romney erred by calling out Obama on this one, although ultimately his responsibility in the long run, but in the daily decisions, he had no part.
That may be true MM, but neither is the free speech of the world protected in America. We too take offence with others if they criticize our values. I guess is just human nature to defend what you believe in - whether right or wrong
That's my understanding as well, RB.
Embassy statement was not cleared with Washington. No idea if that is typical or violation of diplomatic protocol.
Perhaps they felt they could contain the situation. Which in Egypt, they did.
Libyan embassy staff issued no statement that I know of, yet look what happened there.
Romney's statement reminds me of his London/Olympics preparedness gaffe.
Sometimes a positive or neutral statement is the best course.
Hey -- I just realized.I should take my own advice on that, shouldn't I?
We have the right to free speech we don't have the right not to have that free speech condemned. Neo Nazis have every right to proliferate their message and I have every right to strongly condemn that and so does the government, they do not have the right to punish it.
There is therefore nothing wrong with the US government saying that what certain people are saying is wrong and repugnant, indeed the US government is excersizing it's rights to free speech and thus expounding American values!
It was a validation to the protesters that indeed an offense took place. This acknowledgement would create animosity towards the entity releasing the statement (United States) for not punishing those responsible for the offence itself. Deflecting anger away from an anonymous entity and placing it on the United States government. Not for the contents of the movie, but for the inaction of the Justice department.
Repugnant and reprehensible are not crimes.
But even if they were, I don't imagine the protestors would be satisfied with any US-imposed punishment.
I've been struggling to think of an analogous situation from history.
Every storming mob scenario I can think of is the result of real persecution, not perceived offense.
Closest I can come is the mafia or gangs.
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