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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » US diplomat killed in Benghazi attack (Page 2)

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Author Topic: US diplomat killed in Benghazi attack
Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... Do you think that's entirely to do with (compared to the US, at least) China's minimal involvement in the Arab world?

No,
it also has to do with China's largely positive and growing commercial ties with the region in addition to the fact that they're not militarily involved.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/06/13/chapter-4-rating-countries-and-institutions/

This shows that not only is China favoured in all polled Middle Eastern countries, it particularly enjoys a 24% to 33% advantage in Tunisia and Egypt.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... Or does it also have something to do with the belief-the certainty, really-that if a Chinese embassy were blown up or attacked, the consequences would shall we say be bad?

Eh?

Both countries may pull back tourism and foreign investment if their embassies are attacked, so that's a tie. The Americans might toss a few drone missiles at some Muslims, kidnap a few more to torture. China would probably whine about the incident hurting the feelings of the Chinese people or some such.

Consequences don't seem to be a factor favouring attacking the American embassy.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
The Boxer Rebellion was a formal civil war fought by large-scale militias and regular armies.

Are we talking about the same event? The Boxer Rebellion is rarely considered to be a civil war, formal or otherwise.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Crowds are not homogeneous, Rakeesh. That is my point. The crowd is not one thing. It is many different people doing different things and, in the heat of the moment, it can be hard to tell the 14 year-old yelling and waving arms from the 17 year-old next to him who may have just thrown a rock, or a bottle, or a grenade. Or the idiot protestor shooting in the air (not uncommon) from the ones shooting at the embassy. Especially as they are likely (at least to Western eyes) to look similar and be wearing similar clothing.
This seems to be-I'll let you clarify, if you like-suggesting that if a small but coherent group of radicals began to, say, storm the embassy from multiple points amidst a wider more or less peaceful (though angry) protest, even then lethal force should not be used in an effort to protect the embassy and its people, because the premeditated militant may be standing next to the sky-shooting (which, by the way, is profoundly stupid anywhere, much less next to an embassy) who in turn stands next to the angry teen carrying a sign taught for years to hate America.

How, then, do we or anyone else protect our embassies, or is the answer simply not to under certain circumstances?

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kmbboots
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Rakeesh, did you not understand KoM's reference?
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Ron Lambert
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But Romney's criticism did come at the right time, because the administration's offense was apologizing for anyone who would make Moslems "feel bad," rather than standing up for American values of free speech and free expression. That apology, if anything, only made America look weak, and emboldened the terrorists in thinking they could get away with killing the U.S. ambassador. Obama's subsequent claim that the apology was not run by the White House for approval is just another instance of Obama trying to avoid responsibility for yet another blunder by his administration.

Latest word is that U.S. warships are headed toward Libya. What exactly are they going to do? Shell Tripoli? Finding the people who killed the ambassador is a job for the CIA, not the navy. Sending the warships toward Libya is just posturing. Maybe Obama thinks he can win votes by looking tough. But it is too late for that. The time to be tough was back when rioters first tried to make a public display of violent protest against an American made movie that simply told the historical truth about Mohammed. That was when a true leader would have stood up for American ideals, and warned protestors not to violate our values and sensitivities.

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BlackBlade
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Gosh, I sure wish President Obama had thought to telepathically tell the embassy security force to open fire. Also, as chief diplomat, he should be personally directing all work every embassy across the world does at any given moment.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The thing is, I don't really care if it's intentionally provocative.
I care. I don't care as much, but I care.

As an example: I have two daughters. They're lovely girls, and generally very kind, but sometimes one of them will get it in her head to start some trouble and will start poking the other one. Maybe it'll be literal poking; maybe it'll be some pushing of well-known emotional buttons. Either way, the goal will be to provoke the other one.

And then the other one lashes out, often after repeatedly asking her sister to stop, and somebody is struck and both of them start crying and I'm called in to intervene.

Israel -- the entire country -- operates at the emotional level of a giant, floundering, blubbery five-year-old. The Arab states are worse; they're like, three, because they haven't figured out sarcasm yet.

So here's my problem: yeah, free speech guarantees you the right to call your sister's favorite doll a doody-head. And if she lashes out and hits you, it's her fault. And then you say something like, "Sophie, it's never nice to hit anyone, no matter how mad their words make you." And then you say something like, "Haley, Sophie asked you to stop calling Mohammed (assuming that's the name of her favorite doll) a doody-head. Twice. And you knew it was going to make her mad. Tell her you're sorry."

And then maybe Haley responds with, "I'm not sorry! I did it just to demonstrate to the international community how irrational her response would be! And it's a shame my face hurts where she slapped me, but that was just acceptable and predictable collateral damage that I'm not responsible in the slightest for provoking!"

And then you'd send them both to sit in the corner in their naughty chairs, except it turns out that all the pizza is in that corner and you're really hungry.

This is a poor analogy, Tom.

In reality, it's a poorly made, obscure film made by an American director and some Egyptian immigrants, and is mostly about the oppression of Christians in Egypt. It wasn't created by the U.S. government. It wasn't endorsed by the U.S. government. I didn't even know about it until the attacks yesterday.

The people who were killed yesterday had no part in the making of the film. And they are in no way responsible. I don't really think you can argue that the U.S. as a nation has a policy of blaspheming Mohammed - the worst we usually do is NOT jail or silence people who choose to do so. It doesn't make the murders that happened yesterday any less immoral.

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Rakeesh
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Which part? About the Riot Act which would literally be read before crowds unruly and unlawful (not necessarily threatening, I might add, freedom of assembly being not quite the done thing in places where it was read), so on and so forth? Yes, I did. You didn't answer my question, though, and this is now the second or third time you've shifted the discussion.

-----

Once more Ron offers political analysis not just dissociated from the facts of the sequence of events, but even from what most of the far right of his own party has to say on the matter.

------

You know, it occurs to me, with all of this talk about 'responsible free speech', how familiar is everyone with how this film's trailer came to the attention of the Libyan and Egyptian public? The answer may surprise.

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Thesifer
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My understanding was that it was shown (in parts at least) on Egyptian T.V.

Frankly, I don't see how Romney is going to blame Obama, he is posturing, and it shows he won't know how to be diplomatic ever.

Being diplomatic doesn't mean you apologize when your people are attacked, which Obama did not do.

The comments Romney attributed to him, that came out before the attack, which condemned the disgraceful attack on Islam were the right thing to do, under the circumstance.

The Administration or the State department didn't release the statement while under attack, it was released by something (I believe at the Embassy) knowing there would be blowback once the video became a big deal over there. From my understanding it seems like the Ambassador was a decent man, and knew what he was doing.

You can't really expect idiots like those attacking the embassy to understand that "All of America" isn't YouTube, and all Americans aren't the enemy - They see something from America, and stupidly they attack the biggest grouping of Americans they can get to, there's no defending their actions, it's not all of Islam, but there are definitely militant wings of Islam that need to be stopped.

They get told left and right that all of their troubles are from "Americans." That's a problem. It's also not an easy fix as the radicals recruit young impressionable children. But it's not something we can solve by automatically moving to violence in response.

Also there is no defense to be had for Romney, he obviously politicized it, he didn't have to. He could have condemned the attacks and left it at that, he probably could have even gotten away with saying he would be a "strong leader" or something to that effect, while it would get a few grumbles from the left, it wouldn't get condemnation.

He came out, intentionally misled the American public on how the events happened, and tried to score political points. Probably because he already sees the writing on the walls, and knows he will most likely lose the election, so he's throwing out all stops.

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Thesifer
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Images from Libya
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Thesifer:
Images from Libya

Nice.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
In reality, it's a poorly made, obscure film made by an American director and some Egyptian immigrants, and is mostly about the oppression of Christians in Egypt. It wasn't created by the U.S. government. It wasn't endorsed by the U.S. government.
In my analogy, the U.S. government is not a child; it is the parent. A certain breed of whiny, ultra-conservative Jew is one of the children.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
In reality, it's a poorly made, obscure film made by an American director and some Egyptian immigrants, and is mostly about the oppression of Christians in Egypt. It wasn't created by the U.S. government. It wasn't endorsed by the U.S. government.
In my analogy, the U.S. government is not a child; it is the parent. A certain breed of whiny, ultra-conservative Jew is one of the children.
There's strong evidence that there wasn't actually any Jewish involvement. Rather, while significant questions remain, it seems more likely the work of "the Coptic Christian diaspora". There's some evidence that the film maker, pseudonomously named Sam Bacile, is actually Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian. Nakoula admits he manages the company that produced the film, but denies he directed it. However, the Bacile name associated with the director appears to be a common alias of Nakoula, who seems to have a rather fluid identity. He has at least two known aliases and was convicted of financial crimes (essentially check kiting using stolen identities) in 2010.

There's also significant doubt about the claim that he raised $5 million for the film, largely from Jewish donors. All evidence is that it was a low-budget affair, and no Jewish groups or individuals have, to my knowledge, been associated with the movie. Instead, it's conservative American Christians (like Steve Klein and Terry Jones) and Coptic Christians (like Nakoula and Morris Sadek) who have been positively associated with the movie's production and promotion.

[ September 13, 2012, 09:48 AM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
But Romney's criticism did come at the right time, because the administration's offense was apologizing for anyone who would make Moslems "feel bad," rather than standing up for American values of free speech and free expression. That apology, if anything, only made America look weak, and emboldened the terrorists in thinking they could get away with killing the U.S. ambassador. Obama's subsequent claim that the apology was not run by the White House for approval is just another instance of Obama trying to avoid responsibility for yet another blunder by his administration.

Latest word is that U.S. warships are headed toward Libya. What exactly are they going to do? Shell Tripoli? Finding the people who killed the ambassador is a job for the CIA, not the navy. Sending the warships toward Libya is just posturing. Maybe Obama thinks he can win votes by looking tough. But it is too late for that. The time to be tough was back when rioters first tried to make a public display of violent protest against an American made movie that simply told the historical truth about Mohammed. That was when a true leader would have stood up for American ideals, and warned protestors not to violate our values and sensitivities.

Bullshit, on so many levels.

Check the actual freaking TIME STAMPS on the statements that were made. The first statement was made in an attempt to avoid violence BEFORE it happened. Not after, excusing it. And the freaking SoS's FIRST WORDS were to condemn the violence.

And that "film" was a piece of trash at best.

Once the walls were breached, we should have mowed them down, plain and simple.

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Kwea
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quote:
a statement in the name of cast and crew was issued, distancing them from the footage. "We are 100% not behind this film, and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred."

Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from Bakersfield, California, who had a small role in the video, told Gawker she had no idea she was participating in an offensive spoof on the life of Muhammed when she answered an agency's casting call last summer. The script was titled Desert Warriors, she said, and contained no mention of Islam."It was going to be a film based on how things were 2,000 years ago. It wasn't based on anything to do with religion – it was just on how things were run in Egypt. There wasn't anything about Muhammed or Muslims or anything."

From this article.


Looks like the actual "film" may not exist, only a 13 min trailer, and the whole trailer was overdubbed. It wasn't even a religious movie when filmed, or at least the actual lines they read weren't.


Disgusting. It doesn't justify the violence, of course, but disgusting none the less.

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Rakeesh
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Our embassy in Yemen breached, though thankfully without the same results and even without much in the way of bloodshed amongst the protesters and would-be breachers.

It's also not known so far whether that embassy was occupied, or if the staff had been moved to a different location. I wouldn't be surprised. Protests are spreading too at other US Embassies in the Arab world, with one smaller protest being reported as far as Bangladesh. It's interesting what Egypt's President has to say about the attacks-some unsurprising (given his constituency and necessary politics) double-talk. Condemnation of insult or assault on the Prophet, but also an appeal to respect the law and not attack embassies. Nothing about how if God is so irritated at insults to the Prophet, we're sure to burn in hell for eternity of course, so maybe don't burn us early.

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Dr Strangelove
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quote:
Originally posted by ricree101:
To those who are at all familiar with Eve online, one of the other casualties in the attack was Vile_Rat, a fairly prominent player.

ricree, do you play? In all honesty, I first found out about the attacks by reading an Eve website. At first I felt kind of bad about that, but now that I've encountered multiple people today, days after the initial riots, who haven't heard about them at all or the death of the ambassador, I'm ok with my decision to check Evenews24 before CNN yesterday morning.
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Kwea
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Doesn't seem like double talk to me. "They are idiots but don't try and kill them" is not unreasonable.

Hell, I live in FL, and I think of that every single time Terry Jones makes the TV. The fact that he carries a loaded gun has no bearing on if I kill him or not. The only thing keeping me from doing so is my sense of morals, and my beliefs. The world would be better off without him, to be sure, but violence and intolerance only adds to the fire, it doesn't prevent it.


Which is something he isn't able to comprehend.

Article mentioning his gun, and his improper discharge of it last year. [Big Grin]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Which part? About the Riot Act which would literally be read before crowds unruly and unlawful (not necessarily threatening, I might add, freedom of assembly being not quite the done thing in places where it was read), so on and so forth? Yes, I did. You didn't answer my question, though, and this is now the second or third time you've shifted the discussion.


I was referring to the Wellington quote, "pour la canaille, la mitrailleuse" - "for the rabble, the grapeshot". Not "for specifically targeted violent people in the crowd, specially trained snipers who will miraculously kill only the bad people" but pretty much fire randomly into crowds because they are rabble so who cares. KoM even acknowledged that non-violent protesters would be harmed. I realize that their lives aren't as valuable as our are but what is the exact ratio?

And do you want to create more places where freedom of assembly is "not the done thing"? Should the US be on the side of suppressing freedom of assembly? Ambassador Steven, by all accounts, was a brave and compassionate man who cared about Libya. Do you think he would want that legacy?

I even gave an example of how that attitude backfires. I am pretty sure that there were some armed and possibly violent folks among the protestors in Derry but the folks that were killed were innocent. Rather than quelling violence and unrest in N. Ireland, Bloody Sunday escalated the violence.

I am not shifting the conversation at all; you are continuing to miss the point.

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King of Men
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quote:
I realize that their lives aren't as valuable as our are but what is the exact ratio?
The use of machine guns does not rely on any particular life being less valuable. It relies on the idea that there will actually be less bloodshed in the long run. Now that may be empirically false, but it is a statement about future facts and events, not about values.

Incidentally, Wellington had 'mitraille', which is, as you say, grapeshot. The quote is brought up to date by making it 'mitrailleuse', machine gun.

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Ron Lambert
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Kwea, the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi did not have any marine guards. So when the crowd attacked, they could not just "mow them down."

Rakeesh, it was announced yesterday on FNC that the Amabassador and several staff members had been removed from the consulate to another location, and there are suspicions that someone in the Libyan security tipped off the terrorists where they were.

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kmbboots
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I did notice that. The weapons may be updated but the attitude of disregard for "rabble" was preserved. There is no indication that overall violence would be lessened, just the attitude that violence against rabble is not all that big a deal.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I was referring to the Wellington quote, "pour la canaille, la mitrailleuse" - "for the rabble, the grapeshot". Not "for specifically targeted violent people in the crowd, specially trained snipers who will miraculously kill only the bad people" but pretty much fire randomly into crowds because they are rabble so who cares. KoM even acknowledged that non-violent protesters would be harmed. I realize that their lives aren't as valuable as our are but what is the exact ratio?

To speak of missing the point and then to post this...well. Their lives are as valuable as ours (and thanks, by the way, for that despicable implication, don't think I missed it), which is why I've asked the question at least twice now: how is an embassy to be protected when people attempt to storm it?

It appears your solution really is that if after a demonstration turns violent and the embassy is breached, guards and soldiers there should simply permit themselves to be overrun. I do wish you'd skip ahead to the part where you simply come right out and say so.

As for Derry-this isn't Derry. And I'm not talking about firing on a protest. I'm talking about using lethal force when an embassy is attacked. Not protested, attacked. Let anyone who wishes wave signs, shout, use bullhorns or ladders or pulpits or even lynch American politicians in effigy in front of an embassy. But when the embassy itself is actually attacked, use lethal force on those attacking and the minimal necessary force to disperse the wider crowd.

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TomDavidson
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Interestingly, the development of non-lethal area effect weapons, while chilling to contemplate for scenarios like non-violent protest dispersal, is ideal for things like embassy defense.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Thesifer:
They get told left and right that all of their troubles are from "Americans."

Especially in Egypt, how quickly we forget the Arab Spring, they clearly don't think that all of their problems come from the US, although it's probably high on the list.

Also has implications for the promoters of firing indiscriminately or "mowing them down." I'm sure that would work, of course the American people are going to need a strength of will that surpasses, well Hosni Mubarak's.

Edit to add:
To clarify, I'm thinking about a long term solution re: "I'd rather have a violent end than unending violence." as opposed to simply mowing people down on the way to evacuating the embassy, which would be much easier.

[ September 13, 2012, 01:07 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Interestingly, the development of non-lethal area effect weapons, while chilling to contemplate for scenarios like non-violent protest dispersal, is ideal for things like embassy defense.

That was pretty close to my thoughts.

What would people think of a low tolerance for non-lethal crowd control when dealing with embassy protests that turn violent?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I was referring to the Wellington quote, "pour la canaille, la mitrailleuse" - "for the rabble, the grapeshot". Not "for specifically targeted violent people in the crowd, specially trained snipers who will miraculously kill only the bad people" but pretty much fire randomly into crowds because they are rabble so who cares. KoM even acknowledged that non-violent protesters would be harmed. I realize that their lives aren't as valuable as our are but what is the exact ratio?

To speak of missing the point and then to post this...well. Their lives are as valuable as ours (and thanks, by the way, for that despicable implication, don't think I missed it), which is why I've asked the question at least twice now: how is an embassy to be protected when people attempt to storm it?

It appears your solution really is that if after a demonstration turns violent and the embassy is breached, guards and soldiers there should simply permit themselves to be overrun. I do wish you'd skip ahead to the part where you simply come right out and say so.

As for Derry-this isn't Derry. And I'm not talking about firing on a protest. I'm talking about using lethal force when an embassy is attacked. Not protested, attacked. Let anyone who wishes wave signs, shout, use bullhorns or ladders or pulpits or even lynch American politicians in effigy in front of an embassy. But when the embassy itself is actually attacked, use lethal force on those attacking and the minimal necessary force to disperse the wider crowd.

Yes. And KoM was talking about mowing down rabble with machine guns. You also seem to think that it is easy to tell the bad guys from the good guys in this kind of situation and I think that is unrealistic. I am not saying that embassies should be undefended; I am saying that what KoM suggests is bad as well as being historically unproductive and that it isn't as easy as you seem to think to do what you suggest without it becoming what KoM suggests.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I had to look it up...I had thought that everyone was talking about Monty Python alum Terry Jones and am glad to understand it's a different bloke all together.
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Samprimary
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The event has been pretty surreal. One of the killed was Vilerat from SA/EvE, many libyans were killed trying to PROTECT the embassy and I think the event shows an opportunity to really close gaps in solidarity with libyan people (for the most part), and — depending on how much actually gets talked about in regards to the incident — Romney seems to have wanted to end his campaign in earnest, earlier on than anticipated.

quote:
Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist to Sen. John McCain in McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, told CBS News Wednesday that Romney's "comments were a big mistake, and the decision to double down on them was an even bigger mistake."
"There are legitimate criticisms to be made but you foreclose on your ability to make them when you try to score easy political points," he said. "And the American people, when the country is attacked, whether they're a Republican or Democrat or independent, want to see leaders who have measured responses, not leaders whose first instinct is to try to score political points."


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Tuukka
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I don't see any point in killing protesters, when tear gas can do what is needed: It makes the mob go away. The majority of them is not going to come back with gas masks. I don't know how easy it is for an average person to get gas masks in Libya and other countries, but probably not that easy?

I'm just saying, when there are other obvious non-lethal options, they should be used first, before machine guns are fired into crowds that might or might not have dangerous people in them.

I also don't believe that blindly killing large protester crowds will mean less killings in the long run. If anything, it will just increase the cycle of violence. Fanatics don't care if people get killed, they want it to happen, because it will make them more powerful.

If people attack you with guns and grenades, of course you can shoot them.

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King of Men
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quote:
a strength of will that surpasses, well Hosni Mubarak's.
I rather suspect that Mubarak was perfectly willing to order the use of machine guns. The question is whether the Egyptian army would have obeyed. Observe that he did attempt to use violence to disperse the protesters, bringing in his own little mobs of counter-protesters armed with rocks and clubs and mounted on camels. This improvisation suggests to me that it wasn't a question of his will, but of his ability to enforce it on the rest of the army.

Observe further that Mubarak is gone, but the colonels and generals who refused, presumably, to take his orders are still there, and could likewise refuse to take the orders of the new democratically elected politicians. I suggest that the events at Tahrir Square will not serve as a demonstration of the power of protesters to bring down well-armed regimes. They are much better viewed as an example of the ability of political factions within an army to use demonstrations to gain leverage in internal disputes.

So, we would not need willpower exceeding Mubarak's, we would need Marines or other armed forces willing to open fire on protestors not of their own citizenry, and not serving any sort of political purpose for the officers. Moreover, our objectives would be much more limited. Mubarak wanted to stay in power and transfer power to his sons; he had to impose his will on a whole country including its armed forces. We would just want to keep people out of an embassy and its immediate environs for a few hours or days, until we could evacuate. Limited objectives can be accomplished with way more limited means, including willpower.

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Blayne Bradley
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It's strange for me how the full emotional weight of the tragedy only felt real for me when i heard vilerat was one of the casualties. [Frown]

Community makes the difference I guess.

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AchillesHeel
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I found this on a humor site, just so happens to be the most uplifting thing I've seen in sometime.

There does not seem to be much if any American coverage of this.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
It's strange for me how the full emotional weight of the tragedy only felt real for me when i heard vilerat was one of the casualties. [Frown]

Community makes the difference I guess.

Funny, my first thought was "WW1 started over less."
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I found this on a humor site, just so happens to be the most uplifting thing I've seen in sometime.

There does not seem to be much if any American coverage of this.

I wonder what they might be risking being so public.
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SenojRetep
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A profile from a local paper of one of the victims of the attack.

In further "things may not be what they seem they are" news, NPR's coverage this morning and the profile piece above suggest the attack may have been a pre-planned militant action that used the chaos created by the crowd protesting the anti-Muslim film as an opportunity to assault the consulate in Benghazi. This suggests exactly how complicated the interplay between peaceful protests, civil unrest and militant actions can be. I don't really have a position on the broader question of how to balance security with the right to assemble, except to trust the trained professionals to act appropriately and recognize that it's not always possible to satisfy two objectives that are frequently in opposition.

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Rakeesh
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That seems to be in line with what I've been hearing too-especially when you consider recent past violent attacks on American personnel in Libya.
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Kwea
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ABC News just confirmed that 4 people were arrested in Lybia for the attack. Link to an article.


Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a convicted felon who has served time for producing Meth andcheck fraud, is now confirmed as the producer, director, and finceer of the movie that started all of this. He initally claimed to distribute it, but denied it was his film. He also claimed that it had a budget of 5 million, and was financed by Jews, when in fact he is a copic Christian (or claims to be) and the movie was finaced by his wife's family for a small budget.

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Kwea
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Ron, I just saw the news and the security was horrible.

It's fairly simple...if someone climbs the fence, or storms the building, they are fiar game. I wouldn't fire on protesters, but once they are inside the perimiter they aren't protesting, they are attacking.

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Kwea
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FBI links him to the film.

quote:
Nakoula, who talked guardedly about his role, pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Leigh Williams said Nakoula set up fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers; then, checks from those accounts would be deposited into other bogus accounts from which Nakoula would withdraw money at ATM machines.

It was "basically a check-kiting scheme," the prosecutor told the AP. "You try to get the money out of the bank before the bank realizes they are drawn from a fraudulent account. There basically is no money."

Prior to his bank fraud conviction, Nakoula struggled with a series of financial problems in recent years, according to California state tax and bankruptcy records. In June 2006, a $191,000 tax lien was filed against him in the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds office. In 1997, a $106,000 lien was filed against him in Orange County.


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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
... We would just want to keep people out of an embassy and its immediate environs for a few hours or days, until we could evacuate.

I think I pretty much said that evacuating was easy here.

quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
To clarify, I'm thinking about a long term solution re: "I'd rather have a violent end than unending violence." as opposed to simply mowing people down on the way to evacuating the embassy, which would be much easier.

What I'm addressing is what you were talking about on the first page, which is much more long term.

quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Establish, once or twice, that the side with the near-monopoly on actual military force is not going to put up with it, and it'll end ... That will still mean fewer dead than will occur from having a riot every few months for years and decades on end.


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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
... the attack may have been a pre-planned militant action that used the chaos created by the crowd protesting the anti-Muslim film as an opportunity to assault the consulate in Benghazi.

Yep, "[the] Koran burning and film are probably better viewed as convenient triggers for getting people riled up all at once but if they didn't exist, I wouldn't be surprised if some other reason came up."

That's why I think/thought the free speech thing was kind of a redundant discussion. Even if Americans tossed away their free speech principles, it probably would only have bought a little bit of time till the next big distraction.

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Thesifer
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As more information comes out its looking more and more like the attack in Libya was a 9/11 timed planned attack. While the protests going on in Egypt are unrelated events.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
That's why I think/thought the free speech thing was kind of a redundant discussion. Even if Americans tossed away their free speech principles, it probably would only have bought a little bit of time till the next big distraction.
That's one of the big reasons I'm so unsettled when talk turns (in tone, though not necessarily in content) to 'giving an inch' so to speak on the subject. I feel that way because the sorts of people and groups who are offended by such films to the extent they want ambassadors ejected, charges filed, or even endorse violence, they are not people with whom it is possible to compromise on the subject, because to them there simply is no compromise so long as any right to speak in unapproved ways on religion is on the table. And of course it doesn't stop there, but starts.
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Rakeesh
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Oh, also wanted to mention before I forget for like a sixth time: your points on China and embassies and protests are well taken. I didn't mean to suggest that the only reason there is a difference in treatment was because of the promise of harsher responses-I agree economics plays a huge role there. As for the rset, I was speaking as much about domestic as well as foreign critical speech, but I'm nit sure how you would'ce known that. Sloppy posting on my part.
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Thesifer
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It appears (directly from interviews) a lot of this comes from undereducated people believing the US government funded the video, and promotes anti-Islam sentiment. Now I'm not sure its all ignorance, I've seen many a politician publicly stating their hatred of Islam. Including some really dicey stuff from Bush years ago.

They see things that people do (including a small subset of politicians) and believe the US hates Islam. They might be right for a lot of Americans, but sadly they're only going to make it worse attacking our (empty) embassies.

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ricree101
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr Strangelove:
ricree, do you play? In all honesty, I first found out about the attacks by reading an Eve website.

No, but I've followed the game on and off for a couple years.

In this case, I first heard about it from the Escapist. But since I'd been following The Mittani's writings for a while, I had a very rough idea who Vile Rat was.

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Thesifer
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Apparently wingnuts have been spreading false rumors about the Ambassador in Eqypt requiring the Marines stationed there to not carry ammunition. People seem to eat that crap up.
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I found this on a humor site, just so happens to be the most uplifting thing I've seen in sometime.

There does not seem to be much if any American coverage of this.

I wonder what they might be risking being so public.
Considering everything that has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last ten years, I would say it is about 50/50 that Pro-American protests would kill them as opposed to not being vocal and representing that Libya does not hate America. Nonetheless I think they are quite brave for doing it.
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