On the murder of our ambassador to Libya and the shameless politicization of his death

    If you believe what we’re being told in the press, an Israeli real estate developer in California by the name of Sam Bacile, raised $5 million from 100 Jewish donors in order to make a film about the “cancer” that is Islam. That’s Bacile’s word, not mine. Before you get mad at Bacile, though, there’s something that you should probably know…. There’s a very good chance that he doesn’t exist. Given the information that has surfaced thus far, much of which is contradictory, I’d say it’s almost certain that Bacile is a character created by the individual, or individuals, behind the amateurish and deliberately offensive production. What remains to be learned is why those who created Bacile, and this reprehensible movie, did so.

    The film, called “Innocence of Muslims,” has yet to be released theatrically (and likely never will, judging by the production values), but, in preparation for the anniversary of 9/11, a 14-minute trailer for the film was released to the web a few days ago. “The trailer,” in the words of New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, “opens with scenes of Egyptian security forces standing idle as Muslims pillage and burn the homes of Egyptian Christians. Then it cuts to cartoonish scenes depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a child of uncertain parentage, a buffoon, a womanizer, a homosexual, a child molester and a greedy, bloodthirsty thug.”

    My sincere hope is that the film wasn’t motivated in any way by our upcoming U.S. election, but, these days, one would be naive not at least consider the possibility that such a film was created in order to set off a series of events that would dominate our election cycle and allow for certain candidates to capitalize on anti-Muslim sentiment and widespread fear of all things Islam. Regardless of the motivation, however, the film has been created, and we’re now living with the ramifications.

    Here, with a bit more on what’s included in the 14-minute trailer, is a clip from The Atlantic.

    …What exactly does the film say? It’s still not clear, but it appears to compare Mohammed to a donkey and Muslims, according to one translation, to “child-lovers.” The New York Times’ Liam Stack, offering some offhand translations of the scene shown above, called it a “doozy.” The man in the scene says of his donkey, “This is the first Muslim animal.” He asks the donkey if it likes girls; when it doesn’t answer, he bursts into laughter and says, “He doesn’t like girls,” according to Stack. Other scenes in the above clip seem to portray Muslim Egyptian characters, who for some reason all have strong New York accents, as immoral and violent, particularly toward the Christians whom they pursue with near-genocidal fervor. A number of Islam’s founding figures, including the prophet, are accused of homosexuality and child molestation…

    I don’t know that it qualifies as a legitimate news source, but someone on Metafilter, calling himself Slap*Happy has reason to believe that, “ultra-conservative factions in Cairo, opposed to the new government, translated and distributed the film to supporters, and then invited local soccer hooligans to riot.” These riots in Egypt then quickly gave way to even more bloody uprisings in Libya, where, lacking soccer hooligans, Muslim extremists (Salafis) relied on more sophisticated weapons to achieve their goals.

    Prior to these attacks, members of the American delegation in Cairo released a statement. Shortly after noon on Tuesday, in an attempt to mitigate the uprisings, which were clearly brewing, embassy personnel in Egypt posted the following message online: “The United States Embassy 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.”

    The attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya, as we would discover Tuesday afternoon, took place in spite of this preemptive measure.

    The Romney campaign, sensing an opportunity to have their candidate retake the offensive, and establish himself as a bad-ass foreign policy hawk, exponentially more America-loving than his opponent, jumped into the fray, in spite of having promised earlier not to make partisan attacks on the anniversary of 9/11. Romney, shortly before midnight on Tuesday, issued the following statement… “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

    Romney, one can assume, knew full well that this was a lie when he said it. He knew this statement of “sympathy,” as he called it, was made prior to the attacks, and that it didn’t come from the Obama White House, but from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, and yet he made the statement anyway, hoping to further perpetuate the ridiculously offensive, and false, narrative that Obama’s alliances lie more with the anti-American terrorists in the Middle East than they do with our own American representatives oversees. This blatant politicization of tragic events would have been inexcusable, even if nothing else had transpired, but, unfortunately, things then took a turn for the worse. A rocket attack on our embassy in Benghazi, as we learned shortly afterward, took the lives of Chris Stevens, the U.S ambassador to Libya, and three other embassy staff, making the statements by Romney come across as even more cruel, calculated and incendiary. And, to make matters worse, Romney, when later given an opportunity to correct his statement about the President’s “disgraceful” act, decided to double down instead, inferring not only that Obama sympathized with the terrorists that took the lives of Stevens and his staff, but that the attack happened because of our President. “We have seen a foreign policy of weakness, indecision, and a decline in American influence and respect – and yesterday we saw the consequences,” said Romney.

    Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus echoed his candidate’s comments on Twitter, stating “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.”

    President Obama, contrary to what Romney and Preibus would have you believe, did not begin with an apology to the terrorists when, after the attack, he addressed the nation. “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens,” Obama said this morning. He then went on to say… as any responsible leader would… “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”

    Chris Stevens, as I understand it, was the most stalwart champion that the men and women of Libya had, and it’s absolutely beyond me that these people who took his life could be so short-sighted. Say what you will about heavy-handed American foreign policy, and our motivations in taking out Qaddafi, the fact is that Stevens was instrumental in removing the brutal dictator that ruled over them for decades, and it absolutely sickens me to see his work rewarded in this fashion. But, I suppose this is what happens when politicians and demagogues set out to manipulate events for their own immediate benefit… Someone clearly, in my opinion, instigated this riot, by putting this film trailer into the hands of uneducated, painfully thin-skinned, easily manipulated young men. And they did so for their own personal gain, without taking into consideration what the result would be for the Libyan people. It’s terribly tragic. And the tragedy is compounded by the fact that, now, in our country, our politicians are doing the same damned thing. These men in power play their fucking games, and people die.

    As for Romney, I thought, yesterday, when we discussed his statements on global warming, that his campaign had reached rock bottom. Little did I know, however, that the descent was still in process. His behavior in this incident was absolutely loathsome, and, in my opinion, it demonstrates a clear inability to carry out the tasks that would be required of him as President.

    I know that he’s desperate, and he was praying for an opportunity to shift the conversation, and assert himself on the foreign policy stage, but, Jesus Christ, four Americans were just been murdered. This isn’t an “opportunity” to blame the President, and make unfounded claims about his refusal to condemn the attacks. This is a “travesty” for our country, and should be treated as such.

    Here, for those of you who are interested, is the President’s formal statement concerning the attack of our consulate in Libya.

    It’s also worth noting, I think, that the Libyan President Mohammed Magarief said the following on Al Jazeera, after the attacks: “We owe an apology to the US government, it’s people and in fact to the whole world.” I have no way of knowing if he was sincere, but I suspect he’s truly sorry to have lost an ally like Stevens.

    And, one more thing… According to On The Media, it would appear that all of the references to Islam that we made in the trailer for film in question were added in post-production. “I can’t help but wonder if the actors involved in the project were told what kind of film they were making,” says the author of the On The Media article. “If you remove all the references to Islam in the trailer, the movie reads like some cheesy Arabian Nights story, and it is quite possible that that is all the actors thought they were doing.”

    And, lastly, I don’t say it nearly enough, but I like living in a country where, in spite of how bad things may be these days, people still aren’t blowing each other up over items in popular culture that they don’t like. Or, at least, to my knowledge, the Mormons have yet to launch a rocket at anyone involved with The Book of Mormon, and the Scientologists have yet to throttle anyone associated with the film coming out about their spiritual leader, L. Ron Hubbard… at least as of today.

    [note: The photo at top is one of a series posted by The Guardian. I considered posting something with flames, but I chose this one instead. It says to me that, despite how bad things may seem, there are still intelligent people, even in the Middle East, who can see through the manipulation.]

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      115 Comments

      1. Edward
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        The truly infuriating this is that Romney would have handled it the same damn way if he were in power. The Bush administration did as much in 2006 when cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed brought on protests across Europe. “Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images,” which are routinely published in the Arab press, “as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief,” said Bush administration State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. This film was made to spark a reaction, and the administration was right to say that it’s offensive.

      2. The Real Real McCoy
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        “Chris Stevens, as I understand it, was the most stalwart champion the people of Libya had, and it’s absolutely beyond me that these people could be so short-sighted.”

        Well, considering he’s personally responsible for helping to destabilize a country and basically ruining the quality of life for hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, I’m sure quite a few Libyans would challenge the assertion that this guy is a champion of the people of Libya.

        Too bad we don’t have a litmus test for what happens when you remove a strong arm dictator from power over a country that can barely hold itself together…oh wait.

        Romney is right that Obama bears some responsibility in Chris Stevens’ death…but his reasoning is wrong. Obama bears responsibility not because of a “foreign policy of weakness” (whatever that means), but by participating in a coalition to overthrow Ghadaffi and destabilize Libya. Hell, even Chris Stevens bears some responsibility in his own death.

        Putting your life in the hands of folks you’ve “vetted” for a few weeks is like looking for the cheapest price you can find for your laser eye surgery.

      3. Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        There was some reporting on NPR this morning that suggested that “Slap*Happy” might be right: that is, it wasn’t so much this movie that caused these riots and these deaths as it was the ultra-conservative factions in both Libya and Egypt using this movie as an excuse to a) get the hooligans to riot and b) to launch an opportunistic attack on Stevens.

        What you’ve got here ultimately is one extremist group getting a lot more attention than they deserve and thus getting another extremist group a lot angrier than they ought to be.

      4. Kristin
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        I think Romney’s statement, despite the facts, was just one more of a steady stream of lies that politicians tell these days. WHy the American public stands for the advertising, on both sides, that is patently false is beyond me. It’s not hard to find candidates actual stances, but you do have to look. There was a time when politicial advertising was based in truth, exposing real differences between the candidates. And back to Romney’s statem,ent, why shouldn’t he say things like that? His constituency believes Obama is a Muslim and that Romney might be responsible for killing Bin Laden. There are no reprecussions for this stuff.

      5. Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Then of course there was the Ayman al-Zawahiri video which was released on 9-11 calling on Libyan al-Quida (sp) supporters to attack–just a coincidence ? With the murky history of the movie maker, it would not be a surprise if he was a Mossad (or rogue CIA) operative. Between now and election day expect more such attempts to destabilize our country and lead us into yet another mid-east war.

      6. Knox
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        My hope is that one of our remaining journalists will look into the origins of this film. I’m reluctant to wade into the waters of conspiracy theory, but there are several groups I can think of that stand to benefit from what has happened since the abbreviated version of film was released. I’d like to think that our Republicans would be above such things, but nothing would surprise me at this point. Whoever if responsible, they now have blood on their hands, and they should be made responsible.

      7. Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Personally, I think we should have gathering to protest the awful filmmaking of the American right.

      8. Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/12/did_the_innocence_of_muslims_cast_know_what_they_were_making

        This is going to get weird but I won’t be surprised to find out this is a calculated event.

      9. Meta
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        The conservatives have really upped the ante this time, and cost four men their lives in the process.

        From Peter’s link:

        Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from Bakersfield, Calif., has a small role in the Muhammed movie as a woman whose young daughter is given to Muhammed to marry. But in a phone interview this afternoon, Garcia told us she had no idea she was participating in an offensive spoof on the life of Muhammed when she answered a casting call through an agency last summer and got the part.

        The script she was given was titled simply Desert Warriors.

        “It was going to be a film based on how things were 2,000 years ago,” Garcia said. “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.”

        In the script and during the shooting, nothing indicated the controversial nature of the final product. Muhammed wasn’t even called Muhammed; he was “Master George,” Garcia said. The words Muhammed were dubbed over in post-production, as were essentially all other offensive references to Islam and Muhammed.

      10. Tommy
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Never trust a ‘journalist’ named Slap Happy. Can you say – false flag operation? Strange things happen in the shadows. Couple this with Netan-yahoo piping up about Iran and needing to act aggressively to stop them from building a nuke (which Iran has been 2 or 3 years away from building – for the last 25 years!) and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

        Being cautious is very prudent right now.

      11. anonymous
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        There is a photo making the rounds of Stevens being carried from the embassy over a man’s shoulder.

        http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c60bf53ef017c31d01309970b-600wi

        The right will no doubt use the image to illustrate the savage nature of our enemy. As I understand it, however, the man carrying Stevens was attempting to get him to the hospital, not celebrating his death.

        As many as 10 Libyans, it’s worth noting, also lost their lives defending the embassy.

      12. alan2102
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        The Real Real McCoy
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink
        “Chris Stevens, as I understand it, was the most stalwart champion the people of Libya had, and it’s absolutely beyond me that these people could be so short-sighted.”
        Well, considering he’s personally responsible for helping to destabilize a country and basically ruining the quality of life for hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, I’m sure quite a few Libyans would challenge the assertion that this guy is a champion of the people of Libya. … end quote

        ………………….

        Maybe you didn’t know it, RRM, but Mark has a long history of swallowing state department (and other) lies without even chewing them. Just visit this blog occasionally to get the idea; it is something to behold. On the other hand, maybe he is not stupid or gullible at all. Maybe he is CIA or ex-CIA, like “progressive” buddy
        (Markos Moulitsas) Kos of dailykos.com, who famously remarked that he thought the CIA was quite a liberal organization! When ex-Nazis and mass murderers become “liberal”, you know that things are getting weird.

      13. KKT
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        There are so many ways to go with this. Did the Israelis produce the video to inflame the region and set the stage for an attack on Iran? Did the radical Muslims do it in order to destabilize pro-American regimes? Did a Tea Party friendly billionaire bankroll it in order to sway the election? It’s certainly cheaper than buying off politicians, having people assassinated and engaging in electronic vote manipulation.

      14. alan2102
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-backed-terrorists-murder-us-ambassador-in-libya/
        US-Backed Terrorists Murder US Ambassador in Libya
        Murdered US Ambassador exposes Libya “progress” propaganda – provides a warning against US meddling in Syria
        By Tony Cartalucci
        Global Research, September 12, 2012
        “I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do it.” – Senator John McCain in Benghazi, Libya April 22, 2011.
        McCain’s “Libyan patriots” have now murdered US Ambassador John Christopher Stevens in the very city McCain spoke these words. An assault on the American consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the epicenter of not only last year’s violent subversion and destruction of sovereign Libya, but a decade’s old epicenter of global terrorism, left Ambassador Stevens dead along with two of his aides.
        The violence, Western media claims, stems from an anti-Islamic film produced in the US. In reality, the coordinated nature of the attacks on both the US Embassy in Libya, as well as its embassy in Cairo, Egypt, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, are most likely using the Neo-Conservative Clarion Fund-esque propaganda film as a false pretense for violence long-planned. The Clarion Fund regularly produces anti-Muslim propaganda, like “Iranium,” specifically to maintain a strategy of tension using fear and anger to drive a wedge between Western civilization and Islam to promote perpetual global wars of profit.
        [snip]
        [T]errorists are now not only the defacto rulers of much of Libya, but are leading death squads in Syria and arming militants in Mali, an exponential expansion made possible by a non-partisan effort including Republicans and Democrats, as well as Bush-era Neo-Conservatives who concurrently lead both anti-Islam propaganda while leading calls to arm the most radical sectarian extremist groups, including groups directly affiliated with Al Qaeda.
        Syria is Next
        Not only has US policy been exposed as not “promoting democracy” but purposefully spreading destabilization, violence, and terrorism, but the exact same militants behind the death of the US’ own ambassador are literally leading US efforts to visit the same violence, destabilization, and chaos upon Syria.
        [snip]

      15. Oliva
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I hate to be paranoid or wrongly accusatory too–but we could be in for shocking news when we learn who concocted and financed this project. Hard to believe otherwise, sad to say.

      16. Meta
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        We now know a little more about the filmmaker. His name is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. As his name is now public, I don’t imagine that he’ll be with us very long. Like most patsies, he’ll soon be gone and that will be the end of it.

        An inflammatory anti-Muslim film that has been blamed in this week’s deadly attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya was produced by a Duarte-based Christian non-profit, officials said.

        Media for Christ, which has its administrative offices south of the 210 Freeway in Duarte, took out a film permit for the production, according to City Manager Darrell George.

        The producers also used Blue Cloud studios in Santa Clarita, also known as Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, as the film’s location, George said.

        “It was filmed in Santa Clarita,” George said. He said he obtained the information from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

        The film negatively portrays the prophet Mohammed as a sex-obsessed, bisexual who thrives on acts of sadistic violence. Several scenes are fairly pornographic including one which appears to depict Mohammed engaged in oral sex.

        Much of the film was obviously shot in front of a green screen, several portions – especially where Islam is defamed – have been clearly overdubbed.

        Typically overdubs and green screen shots are done in post production studios.

        On Wednesday, protesters angered over YouTube trailers from the film fired gunshots and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, witnesses and the State Department said. In Egypt, protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and tore and replaced the American flag with an Islamic banner.

        George requested extra patrols from the sheriff’s Temple Station around the media company’s offices. He said there has not been any problems.

        A Media for Christ employee reached by phone declined participating in the production.

        “We didn’t film it and we’re against the movie because we respect all the religions,” said the man who declined to give his name.

        According to public records, Media for Christ took out a business license in 2006 at the Duarte location.

        Steve Klein, who claims to have consulted a Jewish filmmaker using the name Sam Bacile, said Media for Christ “had nothing to do with the filming of this movie.” But Klein also said he could not say where exactly the video was filmed.

        It was “somewhere in California,” he said. “I don’t know where.”

        The Associated Press reported that Bacile is actually a California Coptic Christian convicted of financial crimes who acknowledged his role in managing and providing logistics for the production.

        Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told the Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles that he was manager for the company that produced “Innocence of Muslims.”

        Nakoula however denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cellphone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula’s aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.

        Nakoula denied he had posed as Bacile. During a conversation outside his home, he offered his driver’s license to show his identity but kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley. Records checks by the AP subsequently found it and other connections to the Bacile persona.

        Klein said he has taped a television show called “Wake Up America” on The Way TV, which shares the same Duarte address as Media for Christ, according to public records.

        The Way TV offers Arabic Christian programming.

        “I talk about different current events, what’s happening in the Middle East,” Klein said.

        Public records list Steve Klein as director of Courageous Christians United. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center web site, Klein “has a long history of ties to militant Christian organizations.”

        Klein lives in Hemet.

        Both Media for Christ and The Way TV are run by Joseph Abdelmasih of Arcadia, who is listed as chief executive officer for both entities, and president of Media for Christ, public records show.

        Read more:
        http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_21530557/movie-that-set-off-violence-middle-east-produced

      17. Meta
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Nakoula, who was convicted of bank fraud in 2010, has now requested police protection.

        http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/384007/20120913/nakoula-basseley-innocence-muslims-producer-home-photo.htm

      18. kjc
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Juan Cole’s take.

        http://www.juancole.com/2012/09/romney-jumps-the-shark-libya-egypt-and-the-butterfly-effect.html

      19. Mr. X
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Stevens was our government’s liaison Libyan rebels fighting against Muammar Gaddafi, and, if you believe what people are saying about him, he was a decent man who cared about the region.

        I found this Brookings Institution video about Stevens, and the current situation in Libya, to be quite good.

        http://www.brookings.edu/research/expert-qa/2012/09/12-indyk-qa

      20. Mr. X
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        KJC, I’d read that Juan Cole article as well. Here are my favorite parts:

        ……Nakoula had Coptic and evangelical associates in the shooting of the film, including Steve Klein, a former Marine and current extremist Christian who has helped train militiamen in California churches and has led “protests outside abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques.” My guess is that most of the Egyptian Copts involved are converts to American-style fundamentalism……

        Then it turns out that the film was shot in such a way that there was originally no mention of the Prophet Muhammad in the script, and the cast had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and then the name of Muhammad was clumsily dubbed into the final edit.

        So, the film was from the beginning a fraud. It was directed by a fraud. It was promoted by a militia trainer. And Nakoula marketed it fraudulently as the work of a fictitious Israeli-American Jewish real estate agent, ‘Sam Bacile,’ and falsely said it had been funded by “a hundred Jewish donors.”

        The group behind the film, in other words, managed to evoke all the classic themes of anti-Semitism as a way of disguising the Coptic and evangelical network out of which the ‘film’ came. When they weren’t busy picketing Mormons and defaming Muslims they were trying to get Jews killed for their own smears of Islam!…….

        The bad, dubbed ‘film’ only had one theater showing in some dowdy place in LA. Then in July the group had the trailer for it dubbed into Arabic with subtitles as well, and put it on Youtube, where it was found by strident Egyptian Muslim fundamentalist Sheikh Khaled Abdallah, who had it shown on al-Nas television and caused the sensation that led to Tuesday’s demonstrations in Cairo and Benghazi. As I argued yesterday, the vigilante extremists or ‘jihadis’ have been left on the garbage pile of history by the democratic elections in Egypt and Libya, and are whipping up the issue of this film in a desperate attempt to remain relevant……

        In Benghazi, Hadeel Al Shalchi got the story. She talked to Libyan special forces members who explained that there were three stages to the events there. First, there was a demonstration. Then when the police and consulate guards tried to curb it, the demonstrators got angry and some of them went for guns and a rocket propelled grenade, so that the consulate was set on fire and looted. It was at that second stage that US ambassador Chris Stevens and another diplomat were killed (Stevens inhaled too much smoke in the fire and the other man was shot). Stevens’ death is a great tragedy and irony, since he was liaison to the transitional national council during the Libyan revolution and many Libyans lionize him. Why in the world he was in an insecure minor consulate in a provincial city on September 11 is a mystery to me…….

        It should be remembered that Libyan forces fought and risked their lives to protect Americans. In opinion polling in Eastern Libya, the United States has a 60% favorability rating, while the Salafis or hard line Muslims stand at only 28% favorable….

        In the end, the violence and extremism of the hardliners on both sides is a phantasm of the past, not a harbinger of the future. The wave of democratic politics sweeping the region has left the haters behind, reducing them to desperate and senseless acts of violence that will gain them no good will, no popularity, no political credibility.

        A little-noted major event of Wednesday was the democratic selection of a new prime minister in Libya for the first time in the country’s history. Mustafa Abushagur defeated the Muslim Brotherhood candidate handily. Abushagur for a long time taught college in the US, at the University of Alabama Huntsville. Libyans again showed themselves nationalist and non-fundamentalist. This remarkable achievement, and what it portends for the shape of Libyan politics, will be drowned out by the atrocity in Benghazi, but it is the development that is likely to be marked by future historians as a turning point in Libya and in the Middle East…..

      21. anonymous
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Not only does the liberal Brookings Institute have praise for Stevens, but so too does Republican Senator John McCain.

        excerpt:

        “Chris Stevens is one of the finest people I’ve ever known in my life,” McCain said. “He loved the Libyan people. They loved him. He and I were down there on election night and people were saying, ‘Thank You America.’”

        “I guarantee you the one thing Chris Stevens did not want is for us to abandon Libya.”

        McCain also met Stevens in Benghazi during the Libyan revolution that ended in the death and overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

        “He was living in a hotel room in Benghazi under threat of death every day,” McCain said. “He was a brave and wonderful man and he was down to earth. They loved him.”

        McCain, who is ranking member of the Senate armed services committee, said that Libya is a dangerous place, but emphasized that the “overwhelming majority” of Libyans voted for a moderate government and did not rise up with al Qaeda and terrorists. That is, the attacks on the consulate are an ill representation of the Libyan people.

        “It was a terrorist attack. It wasn’t the result of a mob being excited. It was a group of jihadists who were well-armed and well-trained and well-equipped, and they decided to attack the consulate in Benghazi and try and kill people. That’s far different from what happened in Cairo, where a mob was whipped into a frenzy by these people who were talking about this so-called movie that insults Mohammed.”

        As for the Obama administration’s handling of the crisis, McCain was almost entirely positive. “I think it was fine. By the way, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton gave a marvelous statement today,” said McCain. He did not offer such praise for the Romney campaign’s statements on the events.

      22. EOS
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        I think Obama just gave the election to Romney. His administration helped overthrow Qadaffi and then failed to protect our Ambassador to Libya. His administration’s first response to an act of war was to apologize for our first amendment freedoms. His administration stood by while the radical Muslim Brotherhood became the legitimate governing authority in Egypt. His administration has continued to give billions of dollars in foreign aid to Egypt, who is no longer our ally, who has withdrawn its position on Israel’s right to exist, and who is slaughtering the Coptic Christians daily by beheadings and crucifixions. Our embassies have been overrun and looted, our flag is being burned, and thousands of angry muslims are seen shouting “death to America” in wild street mobs. This isn’t the work of a few radicals, but an orchestrated response to the 9/11 anniversary. His administration is giving millions of dollars and military aid to Al Qaeda in Syria, in an attempt to prevent Iran from bolstering the legitimate government, the Shia, and the Hezbollah there. His administration has repeatedly snubbed the Israeli government, our lone ally in the Mid East and Obama has refused to even meet Netanyahu during his visit to the U.S. and has instead has a scheduling conflict because he decided to go on David Letterman’s show. He has lost the votes of the majority of Jewish Americans and because of his position on homosexual marriage has even managed to lose the votes of most African American Christians. Even during the lowest point of the Carter administration we were better off than we are now. Our economy is on the verge of collapse and Obama has no plan other than to spend more money and drive up the national debt. We won’t survive another 4 years as a nation if Obama gets reelected.

      23. Anonymatt
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        I think “Sam Bacile” was a misspelling of “Im Becile”

      24. Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        No offense EOS, but I think I’ll accept professor Cole’s interpretation of events over yours.

        And I love your comment, Matt.

      25. EOS
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted. The guards at the embassy fled from the mob and Obama went to bed. He doesn’t even bother to attend intelligence briefings.

      26. Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        The folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who make it their business to track American hate groups, apparently know a thing or two about the men behind this project. Here’s a clip.

        Steve Klein, the California ex-marine identified as a consultant for the anti-Islam film that apparently triggered violent protests in northern Africa and the Middle East, is finally seeing the fruits of his labor.

        For years, Klein has been cultivating relationships with Middle Eastern Christians in California – in particular, Joseph Nasralla, a California Coptic Christian who spoke at an anti-Muslim rally hosted by hate group leaders Pam Geller and Robert Spencer on Sept. 11, 2010.

        Now, Nasralla has been identified as president and CEO of Media for Christ, a California nonprofit that allegedly produced “The Innocence of Muslims.” An unnamed spokesman for Media for Christ told the Long Beach Press Telegram that his organization was not involved with the film, but area officials confirmed to the paper that the company did take out a permit to produce it.

        Meanwhile, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, another Copt from California, acknowledged that he has connections to the film as well.

        This is exactly what Klein has been hoping for. The Vietnam veteran, who says Muslims have “no choice but to hunt Jews and Christians down, torture us and murder us,” has been pushing Coptic Christians to join his anti-Muslim crusade for years. A hard-line Christian nationalist who conducts paramilitary trainings with Christian groups across the country, he believes that Copts have a divine destiny to “save” America from the twin evils of secularism and Islam…

      27. Bob
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        No one really believes this is just about some dumb movie, do they? There is no excuse for the violence and murder but at some point we need to ask the real question. At what point do we stop propping up Israel? Every problem we have in the region seems to be related to our support of that government, no matter what the cost.

      28. EOS
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Nothing in a lame 13 minute video clip can be justification for murder.

      29. EOS
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Bob,
        You can’t be so naive that you think eliminating Israel will bring us peace. It would only whet their appetites.

      30. Bob
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Who said anything about eliminating Israel? Whet who’s appetite for what? Stupidness. The fact that you can’t even question our support is a problem.

      31. EOS
        Posted September 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Ahmadinejad has called for the elimination of Israel on numerous occasions. I question our support of Egypt, who just freely elected the Muslim Brotherhood as their legitimate government. I question the billions we give them in foreign aid. I question our support of a government that is taking the lead in organizing street protests against America.

      32. Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        EOS, given your “questions”, I guess you support our President who no longer calls Egypt our ally. Would not have thought that EOS would have ever supported our first black president. Obviously we are gradually moving to a post racial USA

      33. Meta
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        I’m curious what EOS makes of this.

        Rumsfeld Tweets Embassy Attacks Due To “Perceived American Weakness” – Funny… because under Bush’s administration,there were 12 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities abroad — the most of any president in history.

        http://www.thedailydolt.com/2012/09/13/donald-rumsfeld-asserts-embassy-attacks-due-to-perceived-american-weakness-we-then-google-the-number-of-embassy-attacks-under-his-watch/

      34. Meta
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

        Also, EOS, despite what you hear on right wing radio, Obama receives his security briefings every day. Unlike Bush, however, he doesn’t always require that someone sit down and read the briefings to him. This is a non issue. You will find the facts here.

        http://eclectablog.com/2012/09/conservatives-rush-in-to-bail-out-romney-create-fake-controversy-over-obamas-presidential-daily-briefings.html

      35. EOS
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        Rumsfeld is an ass. Bush was an extremely weak president who had a personal agenda. He didn’t take out Osama after 9/11, but instead toppled the Iraqi government who hadn’t attacked us. Weapons of mass destruction was a ruse to provide Bush the opportunity to put troops on the ground in Iraq to prevent an Iranian takeover. And he did that after running on a platform that stated he was against nation building. Now Al Qaeda is in Iraq and there is no effective national government. Bush’s solution to the looming Medicare crisis was to add prescription coverage for seniors, thereby accelerating the insolvency of that program. He falsely claimed to be a fiscal conservative while running up the national debt to unprecedented levels. Whether we elect a Republican or Democrat, the policies never change. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama…Obama/Romney? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      36. anonymous
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        I hate to break it to you, EOS, but you were a supporter of Bush’s.

      37. EOS
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        I liked him more than Gore, Kerry, Clinton, Dole, or McCain but I didn’t vote for him.

      38. Bob
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        It’s pretty easy to slam the man when you choose never to vote for any candidate who isn’t some fringe wacko. I’m betting you’re all talk EOS. You probably don’t even vote.

      39. EOS
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        There you go Bob,

        Two choices essentially the same and everybody else is a fringe wacko.

      40. Bob
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Obama and Dems in general are far too corporate. I agree. The old line about there being no difference is so 2000. We now see that there is enough difference to matter. You skillfully ignored my point as usual. I suspect you are gutless lump who doesn’t vote at all, or do anything for that matter. I am dying to know who you did cast a ballot for in the last 20 years.

      41. Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Be forgiving.

        Romney and Obama likely seem the same to someone who doesn’t pay attention.

        Talk about “la la la”.

      42. Anonymous Mike
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Mohammed doesn’t like this.

        http://i.imgur.com/dO2Mg.jpg

      43. 734
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        You aren’t the only one wondering if there’s more to this story. The following is from Pam Martens (http://wallstreetonparade.com/2012/09/in-the-past-two-presidential-elections-an-anti-muslim-film-has-emerged-exactly-7-weeks-before-the-polls-open/):

        In the Fall of 2008, in the leadup to the Presidential election, approximately 100 newspapers and magazines in the U.S., including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, and St. Petersburg Times, distributed millions of DVDs of the anti-Islam documentary, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” Altogether, including a separate direct mail campaign, 28 million DVDs flooded into swing voter states.

        The newspapers, inexplicably, did not inquire into the details of who had produced the incendiary film or where the big money came from to place it in millions of big-name newspapers. The nonprofit organization named on the packaging of the DVD as the entity behind the film, the Clarion Fund, Inc., had no known history of operations and had a virtual office address in New York City with no physical presence and no employees on site. Documents submitted to the IRS to obtain its tax-exempt status show the Clarion Fund demanded total secrecy from its vendors.

        The film portrayed Muslims as violent people intent on killing Westerners. The first half of the film is filled with scenes of suicide bombers and human carnage; the second half intersperses clips of Hitler, Hitler Youth, or Hitler analogies intermittently with Muslim crowds and young children with fists in the air calling for death to westerners. Once at the beginning and again at the end, the film reminds us that not all Muslims ostensibly want to kill us but quantifies the amount that do as 100 to 150 million – without any effort to support this assertion.

        The newspapers that carried the DVD in the final days of a Presidential race, where one candidate was already being smeared for Muslim ties, were rebuked by outraged readers in letters to the editor and on-line forums.

        Margaret Lewis of Durham, North Carolina fired off a letter to The News & Observer of Durham, North Carolina: “I cannot believe that I was sent the hate-inflaming, fear-mongering video disk ‘Obsession’ in my newspaper! What will you enclose next? KKK robes?”

        In October 2010, I researched the backers of the film and wrote an article on the episode for CounterPunch. I found the following:

        “The 28 million DVDs were produced at a cost of $15,676,181 by Artist Direct Media which does mass manufacturing of CDs and DVDs with volume discounts. The big media buy for Sunday newspaper insertions ran up the tidy tab of $719,436 and was conducted by NSA Media, a unit of the global ad giant, Interpublic Group, parent of McCann-Erikson. That figure seems decidedly on the light side so there may be other funding sources involved that have not yet surfaced. (NSA Media is a powerful ad buyer, representing some of the biggest print buyers and consumer brands in the country, which might help explain why so few questions were asked by the largest newspapers about this unseemly project.)

        “The full tab, and then some, was paid by the super secretive libertarian nonprofit, Donors Capital Fund. In 2008, Clarion Fund became Donors Capital Fund’s largest grantee by a large margin, receiving $17,778,600. That sum constituted 96 per cent of all funds received by Clarion in 2008 and 9 times its revenue in 2007.

        “Donor’s Capital Fund is a ‘supporting organization’ to Donors Trust, a sister nonprofit. Both promise the pursuit of taking over social welfare needs with private funds rather than government solutions; they want small government…

        “There are shades of Charles Koch all over Donors Capital and Donors Trust. Two grantees receiving repeat and sizeable grants from Donors Capital are favorites of the Koch foundations: George Mason University Foundation and Institute for Humane Studies. Another tie is Claire Kittle. A project of Donor’s Trust is Talent Market.org, a headhunter for staffing nonprofits with the ‘right’ people. Ms. Kittle serves as Talent Market’s Executive Director and was the former Program Officer for Leadership and Talent Development at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

        “Then there is Whitney Ball, President of both Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust. Ms. Ball was one of the elite guests at the invitation-only secret Aspen bash thrown by Charles Koch in June of this year, as reported by ThinkProgress.org. Also on the guest list for the Koch bash was Stephen Moore, a member of the Editorial Board at the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Moore is a Director at Donors Capital Fund. Rounding out the ties that bind is Lauren Vander Heyden, who serves as Client Services Coordinator at Donors Trust. Ms. Vander Heyden previously worked as grants coordinator and policy analyst at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

        “Legal counsel for the Kochs has declined to respond to two emails with a week’s lead time seeking clarification of the relationship the Kochs have to Donors Capital and Donors Trust.”

        Prior to the mass DVD distribution in newspapers, the former lefty turned radical right head of the nonprofit, Freedom Center, David Horowitz, promoted the film through a college road show. Touring as part of an “Islamo-Fascism Awareness” program offered to 100 college campuses, Horowitz made the film “Obsession” available for viewing.

        It is now just seven weeks before the Presidential election. It was exactly seven weeks before the 2008 election when the 28 million anti-Islam DVDs saturated swing voter states. It’s time to get to the bottom of exactly who is funding and marketing these films.

      44. anonymous
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Thayrone X is reporting on WAAM that Stevens was sodomized and raped for up to 4 hours before being murdered. Has anyone else heard this?

      45. Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        What, is Thayrone X considered a reliable news source now? If so, that’s a pretty pathetic state of affairs.

      46. Oliva
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        He’s just Thayrone. A sorry case who is too full of himself and relishes being offensive . . .

        As for that revelation re. the DVDs with Koch brothers’ grime and slime all over them–now I don’t feel quite so paranoid as to have imagined somehow Dick C. had something to do with this. I keep thinking especially about his reliance on low-grade approaches, using Curveball’s made-up tales to make long-lasting war, his disdain for diplomacy, for the U.S. Constitution and international law, for U.S. intelligence workers . . . especially in light of the big news earlier this week that the administration had had stark, panicky warnings all summer long (maybe longer) by the CIA about an imminent attack and disregarded them and thus we got the horrible outcome on 9/11. His frothing, naked hatred of the current president . . . And also that Rumsfeld and Liz Cheney were very quick to condemn Obama even before we knew what was happening in Libya and Egypt–but where was their man behind the curtain . . .

        I know it’s paranoid thinking, the result of Cheney poisoning, alas.

        Much more brightly and sanely, I love the photo accompanying this post, was heartened to hear of a demonstration by Muslim Americans last eve in Royal Oak showing support for the men who were killed in Libya and for peace.

        Bigotry has been made a badge of honor (again) in this country. I hope that an unprecedented number of voters come out on Election Day and say, “Enough!”–and then keep up the necessary work of overcoming it forever and ever, Amen.

      47. EOS
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        A Washington Times story stated that it was reported in the Lebanese news organization Tayyar.org, citing AFP news sources, that U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was reportedly raped before being murdered. A news report made by the Libyan Free Press is also reported that Ambassador Stevens was sodomized before he was killed. It is not outside the realm of possibilities since is consistent with video footage of Qadaffi’s killing that show him being sodomized with a stick prior to being killed. Early reports said that the whereabouts of Christopher Stevens was unknown for several hours.

      48. anonymous
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        As quickly as the (U.S.) right wing noise machine can make up stuff about Stevens being raped–amplifying the propaganda of diehard Qaddafi supporters–the reality-based community shoots it full of holes:

        http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021342069

        Really, this whole thing feels like terrorism conducted through the airwaves (terrorism in the sense of non-state actors doing stuff with consequences far beyond what it seems like they should be able to accomplish with the resources at their disposal), with crazy right wingers in the U.S. relying symbiotically on opportunist factions in the Middle East to rile up a response.

        All I can say, I sure am glad Obama is President, the notoriously unflappable Mr. Cool–even if he is (on the right) a Muslim anti-colonialist Kenyan or (on the left, and imho) a bit too enamored of drones and other tools of irregular warfare handed to him by Bush.

      49. Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        More propaganda. I’ve read the report, and it is contrary in every detail concerning the death of Stevens. The report alleges to quote a Libyan official. According to this “official” Stevens died in the safe house. All other reports indicate that he died at the consult. The report originates in Lebanon ( long time home to many fascist within the Christian Phalange party) . The Lebanese report asserts that it is based on Agencie France. The Washington Times now says
        UPDATE 3:35 AM EST. – The Lebanon report on the murdered U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, in Libya remains unconfirmed by the AFP.

        Read more: PICKET: UPDATE – Lebanon news rape report on murdered U.S. amb. in Libya remains unconfirmed by AFP – Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/sep/13/picket-report-murdered-us-ambassador-libya-reporte/#ixzz26VHNEmAP
        Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

        The has all the hall marks of a provocation with Mossad and other “Secret State” operatives all over it.

      50. Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        What is the conservative end game here?

      51. MrMikesHardCoreSot
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        I would suspect that the domestic enemies of the United States may be colluding with the foreign enemies of the United States under the cover provided by the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. Karl Rove, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner. Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Sheldon Adelson, Koch brothers, and their ilk, are some of the domestic enemies of the United States who may have financed, encouraged, and provoked the attack on Americans in Libya. The Israeli Zionists are chomping on the bit for any flimsy excuse or chaos to bomb Iran’s nuclear capability. The domestic enemies want to destroy the Presidency because a black man is President in the White House. There may be some nefarious hate elements dovetailing here. The murky source of the anti-Islam film and the film maker have taken on a Jack Ruby/Lee Oswald mysterious, ghost like characteristic reminiscent of a Mossad/CIA spook operation. It is an election year and there is more than enough virulent hatred to suspect anyone or anything that appears “coincidental” or “spontaneous”.

      52. SparkleMotion
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

        OR, just maybe, and follow me here you Alex Jones mirror images, just maybe a bunch of pissed off minority of muslims do what they do.

      53. EOS
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Our embassies are under attack, college campuses are closed because of bomb threats, people are dying, and the lamestream news and blogs are filled with elaborate conspiracy theories blaming the party out of office. At what point does the sitting president shoulder any responsibility for our foreign policy? He was the candidate full of hope and change, and drastically different from Bush, yet has continued all of Bush’s agenda. La,La,La,La…..

      54. Posted September 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Wow, you are so right. I can’t believe I hadnt thought of it before.

        What was I thinking? I will have to vote Republican in November. Maybe I’ll have some more kids since its too late to home school the one I already have.

        Blessed be Jesus, creator of dinosaurs.

      55. Posted September 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        EOS, as intellectually vapid as she is, has taught me one thing. I now understand the term “the media.”

        “The Media” refers to all news sources that the speaker either disagrees with or ignores. In this case, Alex Jones, FOX news and a host of ither right wing news and media outlets would not be considered “the media.”

      56. EOS
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Is there even any evidence of a full length anti-Islamic movie? All that has been posted on the Internet is a 13 minute clip of poorly made YouTube video with overdubbed audio that wouldn’t fool a 12 year old. Who knows, maybe it was the work of a 12 year old using existing clips of another movie and Windows Movie Maker. And supposedly, this clip alone has sparked violence in the UK, Tunisia, Sudan, Nigeria, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, India, Germany, Australia, and the USA.

        Why this short clip and not Bill Maher’s Religulous, that was a far more sophisticated ridicule of Islam? It was high budget, released in the theaters, and Bill Maher himself is personally tied to the president with significant campaign contributions. Where was the “Media” condemnation of his bigotry? Why was there no mob protests of this widely released film that has been repeatedly broadcast on TV as well?

        I still don’t think the protests have anything to do with a YouTube video.

      57. Meta
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Someone on Reddit by the name of unrestrained_id commenting on why Muslims are “so mad”.

        So I live in Jordan and I’ve been arguing with people about this for days until I’m blue in the face. For the curious, my stance is: “well, you’re always saying you want freedom and democracy. This is part of freedom and democracy…”

        That said, Let me argue the other side by taking some common misconceptions:

        1. Don’t these idiots understand that the government has nothing to do with this?

        No. They don’t. And they’re not stupid for not getting that fact. Most of these people live in (or have lived in until very recently) authoritarian societies with close ties to the US. There are (as they say here in Jordan) “red lines” that are strictly enforced. At the moment, Jordan is experiencing a series of acts of civil disobedience that consist of the following: protesters convene peaceful assembly. Designated people raise up posters criticizing the king or chant a slogan criticizing him. The police then arrest these people and charge them with crimes carrying a sentence of up to ten years in jail.

        As for the ability to control the production and dissemination of content, I’ll stick with Jordan since it’s what I know best: the government is currently debating a new law to regulate the internet the way other media in the country is regulated which would, among other things, require websites to register with the government, save logs of all activity for six months and hold them responsible for all content including comments. So I think it’s fair to excuse people for refusing to believe that America (the chief patron of their own government) is incapable of exercising the degree of control over free speech that they’re accustomed to.

        2. Ok. But why are they so mad?

        Well, first we need to separate the people who are looking for an excuse to fuck shit up (soccer hooligans, Salafist political currents being shut out of government and looking to make things difficult for the moderates) from those who are just angry–most of whom just stew about it at home or at most complain on facebook and twitter.

        Having done that, you have to look at the power differential. If you’re already in a weak position, being demonized by people you perceive as more powerful than you hurts a lot more. Large swaths of the Muslim world are and have been for a while under more or less direct military, economic and cultural occupation. People feel this intensely and attempts to demonize and “other” Muslims are seen as (and probably are) directly tied to the willingness of western powers to accept a certain number of Muslim deaths as “collateral damage.” It’s the same reason a lot of blacks tend to get upset about racist jokes and a lot of women tend to get upset about rape jokes…

        Anyway, I’m off to go argue the other side of the issue to Muslims. I hope this is informative for some…

        http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/zxc7g/why_is_the_muslim_world_so_easily_offended/

      58. Posted September 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        I think I’ve figured it out.

        The protests have more to do with domestic politics and power struggles than this stupid movie, you are correct.

        I am thinking though that you, and right wingers like yourself are hoping to that extreme Christian groups in the US won’t have to be held accountable for all the intolerant nonsense that is constantly spewed.

      59. Posted September 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        As anonymous demonstrated, EOS is nothing but a mouth piece for Qaddafi loyalist. It makes since, the Bushites were attempting to rehabilitate Qaddafi before the Libyan people rebelled. Any lie that advances their divide and conquer strategy is worth repeating.

        http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021342069

        The above addy demonstrates just how the right wing goes about creating their alternative reality. Facts don’t matter–it is all about faith.

      60. Posted September 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        The great thing about this movie is that demagogues of every stripe can use it. It’s like a swiss army knife. It does everything.

      61. Posted September 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        To protect themselves, theNRA comes out to convince the world that easy access to guns have nothing to do with mass shootings after one happens.

        Savior EOS comes out and denies that bigoted Christians have anything to do with deadly riots in Islamic countries.

        Right wingers would do well to bow their heads and admit guilt.

        T

      62. Posted September 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        I do like the subtext:

        “Muslims are savage people that riot over bad movies. Hence, all of the stuff we’ve been saying about them, that pissed them off in the first place, is true.”

      63. EOS
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        http://www.politicalislam.com/blog/you-can-never-awaken-a-man-who-is/

      64. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        The thing your not grasping, EOS, is that many of us agree that radical, fundamentalist Islam is a problem. Fundamentalism is bad. Racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, terrorism, anti-science… it’s all bad. No one is defending the men who killed the four Americans in Libya. You seem to have got it into your head that, just because some of us want to discuss the complexity of the matter that we’re somehow on the side of the Libyan extremists, and that’s just nonsense.

      65. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Honestly, I’m quite disappointed with EOS. Her postings certainly suggest that she is a bigot of the highest order when it comes to blacks, gays and poor people though oddly not when it comes to matters of religion.

        Here though, she latches on to a conservative disinformation campaign where the sole objective is to demonize Muslims worldwide.

        I would have thought that she might know better, but clearly I have underestimated her nearly religious adherence to the online right wing press.

      66. EOS
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Read the link Mark. The whole point is that it isn’t radical, fundamental, extremists. It is the average practitioner of Islam. No one is defending the men who killed the four Americans, but everyone is blaming someone or something else. Many apologize for our first amendment freedoms and want us to adopt the sharia standard of not criticizing Mohammed, as if murder is an appropriate response to hurting someone’s feelings. Peter wrote that Right Wingers and Christians would do well to bow their heads and admit guilt.

      67. Posted September 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Just so I’m clear on this, EOS, are you saying that the next time a Christian fundamentalist blows up an abortion clinic, that we should hold all Christians accountable?

        Also, to my knowledge, Obama never said that we should curtail our first amendment rights. No one said that this group in California shouldn’t be able to make their videos. People have said, however, that they’re stupid assholes. That’s different, though.

      68. SparkleMotion
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        First off Mark, judging from the tone of comments from many of the commentators here, many people here would in fact use an abortion clinic bombing to judge christianity in general, and none would call it an extreme minority. Secondly, I believe there’s a reality disconnect when you compare rare isolated events (i.e. abortion clinic bombings, abortion doctor murders, etc) that happens once or twice a decade to what is currently happening. When embassies are being attacked in multiple nations across multiple continents, when leaders of these nations are only paying lip service to the idea that these attacks are wrong without actually doing anything, it becomes a bit more difficult to say that these are the minority fringe, no? Islam in America may be very moderate. But it certainly appears to be very different than Islam in say, Egypt. You know, the guys that bring RPGs to protests.

      69. Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        I wasn’t trying to equate the two, SM. All things being equal, I think radical Islam poses a bigger threat to mankind than radical Christianity. With that said, however, I believe that moderate Islam exists, and I think it’s ridiculous to suggest that Islam is some monolithic thing. Given the fact that a number of Muslims protested after the attacks in Libya, condemning the actions of the mob, I think it’s pretty clear that there’s a division. And, according to the article by Juan Cole referenced further up in the thread, “In opinion polling in Eastern Libya, the United States has a 60% favorability rating, while the Salafis or hard line Muslims stand at only 28% favorable.” I think we need to acknowledge that it’s a complicated situation, and I don’t think it helps to make blanket statements about all Muslims. Do I wish that moderate Muslims would do a better job of standing up to the hard-liners? Absolutely. But I don’t think that’s reason to write off millions of potential allies.

      70. EOS
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        There is no such thing as moderate Islam regardless of how much we might wish it were so.

      71. anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        I was just reading about the ex Muslim terrorist they brought out at the Values Voters Summit. The audience ate it up. Turns out, he’s likely a fake, though.

        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/ex-terrorist-walks-conservative-conference

      72. Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        There is nothing more important than hate and fear. EOS is simply doing her part.

      73. kjc
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        Do a better job of standing up to the hard-liners? It’s not like anyone here has ever changed EOS’s mind about anything. Fundamentalists don’t do discussion.

      74. EOS
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        Really? Do you know of a single mosque that teaches that Sharia should not be applied? Are you aware that killing anyone who criticizes their prophet is required by Sharia. Why don’t you do your part and educate me on the local mosques that follow moderate Islam. What book do they use?

      75. Posted September 17, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        What happened to you?

        When that controversial mosque in NYC was going up, you defended it as religious liberty. Now,you have done a massive about face.

        Sad, though unsurprising.

      76. KKT
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        EOS would have us believe that the people seen at the top of this post, holding the sign that says “thugs and killers don’t represent Islam” don’t exist. Maybe they’re actors, hired by George Soros and Michael Moore.

      77. EOS
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Al-Takeyya- The Islamic principle of lying for the sake of Allah. Falsehoods told to prevent denigration of Islam, to protect oneself, or to promote the cause of Islam are sanctioned by the Qur’an, including lying under penalty of perjury in testimony before the United States Congress, lying or making distorted statements to the media such as claiming that Islam is a religion of peace, and deceiving fellow Muslims when the one lying has deemed them to be apostates. The word literally means to protect or guard against and conveys the principle that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventative measure to protect themselves and Islam, especially in life or liberty threatening circumstances. It is important that the Muslim does not mean it in his heart, however.

        Further, the concept of Al Takeyya permits behavior of a Muslim that is contrary to his faith if pretending to befriend infidels, and may:

        Consume alcohol
        Skip prayers
        Skip fasting during the month of Ramadan
        Renounce his belief in Allah
        Pray to another diety in place of Allah
        Lie under oath

        The Hadith
        One of Mohammed’s daughters (Umm Kalthoum) stated that she never heard him condone or promote lying except under three specific situations:

        To reconcile the people of Islam;
        In times of war against the infidels;
        To a spouse to keep harmony within a family.

      78. EOS
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        I support the right to build mosques in America and I support the right of Neo-Nazi’s or KKK to march on Main St. Freedom of assembly, freedom to protest, freedom of speech, freedom of religion are ideals I defend. However, when it escalates to murder or lynching or vandalism then the perpetrators need to be prosecuted.

      79. anonymous
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        Wow. So any moderate Muslim is “lying for the sake of Allah”. Your ignorance is breathtaking.

      80. Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        “Prosecuted”

      81. W. Thompson
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        I have something that I’d like for you to comment on, EOS.

        http://imgur.com/IklC7

      82. EOS
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        W.-

        I would never think 4 people are a representative sample of any group.

        All Muslims are persons who follow the commands of Allah as written in the Koran. If a person claims to be Muslim, but does not accept the teachings of the prophet as written in the book, then that person is not really a Muslim. There aren’t different levels or degrees of Islam. Since it is against Sharia to criticize the Koran, a follower of Islam must accept the commands to commit violent acts as their duty. Go ahead and google “moderate Muslim”. There are a number of links to essays written by Muslims that have informed my opinion. To be called a moderate Muslim is an insult to many of these writers. Islam is not a religion to adherents, but a way of life encompassing all aspects of living.

      83. Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        What you are forgetting is that, like Christianity, people pick and choose the parts of it that fit their own lifestyles.

        But that would just be too reasonable. Maybe, you’re just ignoring it, since it doesn’t fit into your bigoted world view.

      84. Mr. Y
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        As I’m sure you know, EOS, the Bible is also full of violence and calls to genocide. Take, for example Book of 1 Samuel, when God commands King Saul to attack the Amalekites.

        “Utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them,” God commands. “Kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

        Is the difference then not that the Quran is more violent than the Bible, but that Muslims actually follow their sacred text, whereas Christians, such as yourself, do not? Is that what makes us better?

        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124494788

      85. Posted September 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Well, I must admit I’m no expert; but as far as I know, takeyya (or taqiyya) is an obscure Shi’ite term taken out of context and promoted by Robert Spencer and other anti-Islamic writers, and many Muslims have never heard of it. Similarly, antisemitic writers used to charge that a passage in the Kol Nidre meant that Jews were encouraged to lie to Christians.

        By the way, Christian and Jewish theologians also discuss when lying is permissible. Most agree that the question “Do I look fat in this dress?” need not be answered with scrupulous honesty.

        And, EOS, are you unaware that there are different sects of Islam? The fact that they are different means that they’re not all the same.

      86. Posted September 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        I don’t even think that EOS realizes that there are different sects of Christianity.

        Once, she referred to herself as adhering to “orthodox” Christianity. I wondered then, which sect she belonged to, Coptic? Eastern Orthodox? Greek Orthodox?, then I realized that would be intellectually too much for her.

      87. EOS
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Mr. Y,

        The Bible is full of historical accounts of violent acts. That God commanded Saul to attack the Amalekites is a true historical account. The Old Testament writes about commands to kill persons for some offenses during certain time periods. But nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to attack and kill anyone today. If I were able to follow every existing command found in the Bible perfectly, I would love my enemies and do good to those who harm me. I would forgive my neighbor, even if he sins against me over and over.

        That is not the case with the Koran. Sharia demands violence against offenses today. Sharia demands that Kaffirs be invited to become Muslim, and killed if they refuse. Sharia demands that apostates and infidels be killed. Sharia demands that a Muslim pay no interest.

        Of course I know that there are different sects. Which sect do you believe are the “moderate Muslims”: Sunnis, Shites, Salafist. Wahabi, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi, Ahmadi, Bahai, Ismaili, Zaydiyyah, Alawi, Druze, Ithna’ashari, or Nation of Islam?

        Just because a person calls themselves a Muslim or a Christian does not make it so. The Bible explains this in the parable of the wheat and the tares. At harvest time, God will separate the grain from the weeds and those who pick and choose only parts of the Bible to follow may be in for a rude awakening. “Depart from me, I never knew you.” I think Muslims have a similar teaching. If they follow the Koran, they endorse violence. If they reject the violent parts, they are not Muslim. That’s all I’m saying. Yes, there are many who self-identify as Christians and Muslims, but aren’t really.

      88. EOS
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        orthodox vs. Orthodox

        Do you know the difference?

      89. Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Your spelling, not mine.

      90. Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        I do know that there is no such thing as an “orthodox” Christianity. If Christians could agree on one interpretation, there wouldn’t be such a wide number of sects and churches.

        I like this:

        Romans 1:28-32
        American Standard Version (ASV)
        28 And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

        29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

        30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

        31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful:

        32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them.

      91. Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        What kind of god kills his own son and makes his followers cannibalize his body?

        That’s pretty fucked up, to me.

      92. EOS
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Jesus is alive. He has risen from the dead. God provided the perfect sacrificial lamb, once for all time, to take away our sins and guilt. That’s good news to me.

      93. Thom Elliott
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        If it is the duty of Muslims to kill every nonbeliever, why have they not done so for 1500 years? There are 1.5 billion of them. What would you propose be done about this? Should we abolish Islam? Should we convert them to xtiantiy by force like the Marrano Jews of 14th century Amsterdam? Should we kill those who don’t covert? Who will accomplish this religious war? Should it be done by the US government? Should Protestants have a special dispensation to round up Muslims for forced conversion? If it is as dire as your well researched paranoia suggests, why shouldn’t I smash the brains in of one of those Muslim women infiltrating the Special-ed program at EMU?

      94. Thom Elliott
        Posted September 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        That is good news EOS, if you’re killed by the girl who tutors in Arabic, you’ll presumably fly straight into Abraham’s breast, right? You’re washed in the blood of the lamb, what is the fear and trembleing about? What could you possibly care about what happens to the hell-bound sinners of this god forsaken pit when you’re looking forward to praising Him for a timeless amount of time? The US is already utterly damned, is this angst and loathing supposed to convert people to the cross of Calvery? What is it you’re doing right now to win souls for Christ? Is this arguing with secular humanists going to stop the Satanic stronghold of Islam?

      95. John Galt
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        It’s also true that all black people lie. It goes back to the time of slavery, when they made it a practice of lying to white people in order to avoid being tortured.

      96. Posted September 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        EOS — Unfortunately, I’m not up on the theological differences between all of the Islamic sects. I’m curious, though, how you would define “moderate.” Which are the moderate Christian sects? Even within one sect, Catholicism, there are many differences: Savonarola and Francis of Assisi were both extremists, but in very different ways.

        “If they reject the violent parts, they are not Muslim”: This sounds like the “no true Scotsman” fallacy to me.

      97. EOS
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        There are no “moderate” Christian sects either. Wide is the path that leads to destruction, but narrow the path that leads to life, and few find it. Yes there are differences – and everybody isn’t right.

        There is the one universal church that consists of all persons who are saved, regardless of their denominational affiliation. If you are not “all in”, then you’ll be left behind. There is no place for moderation.

      98. Posted September 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Please, please, please, leave me behind.

      99. Posted September 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        I just read that a Coptic text has been uncovered that suggests Jesus might have been married.

        I always figured he was gay.

      100. Eel
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I need to see some long-form documentation stating categorically that Jesus never had anal relations.

      101. Meta
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Conservative “news” organizations are reporting that the man behind the anti-Islamic film has be taken into custody by the “brownshirted” forces of our “thuggish” President. They claim that Obama had him rounded up in a late night raid because the film had offended his Muslim brothers. The reality is more likely that the man requested police protection after his identity became apparent.

        http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/150781/

      102. Mr. Y
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        In spite of EOS’s claim that moderate Muslims do not exist, there’s an event scheduled for today in Dearborn, during which local Muslims will be protesting the violence by radical Islamic elements in the middle east.

        From the Freep:

        “One of the largest mosques in the United States plans a rally against hateful speech and violent acts stemming from the privately made anti-Islam video that ridiculed the prophet Muhammad and triggered major protests across the Muslim world.”

        http://www.freep.com/article/20120921/NEWS02/120921004

      103. Flo
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        wow. Throughout this string I hoped to read a dialogue that would help me understand what the heck is going on right now. Instead I read a whole bunch of posts ganging up on one of the few people who was thoughtful and logical and able to back up what she said without name calling. EOS was called a “gutless lump,” a “fundamentalist Bigot of the highest order,” a mouthpiece for Qaddafi,” (really?).”

        When you revert to name calling, you’ve lost the plot.

        EOS – you are an inspiration and someone with backbone. I don’t know you but based upon what you have to say I have a great deal of admiration for you. Thank you.

      104. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        I like EOS’s comments, as they make the site more interesting, and get people more involved, but I think it’s kind of silly to suggest that he’s some kind of hero for anonymously spewing unsubstantiated nonsense about how, among other things, there’s no such thing as a moderate Muslim, which is clearly bullshit. If you want to side with him, that’s your own business. But don’t make him out to be a heroic champion of truth. The guy doesn’t even post under his real name.

      105. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it takes backbone to hate black people, gays and Muslims all at the same time.

      106. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of which, I heard a new story this morning on right wing radio about Obama being gay. (Apparently, he was really active in the bathhouse scene in Chicago in the 90′s.) So, he’s really got it all… He’s a gay, black, and Muslim.

      107. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        His dream is probably to enact Sharia law and then stone himself to death for being gay.

      108. EOS
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the kind words Flo.

        Mark, If it were complete bullshit, then any one of the posters here is free to present evidence to the contrary.

        Mr. Y,
        It was a “Rally against Hate” to protest the anti-Islam film, not a rally to condemn the widespread mobs with the associated violence.

      109. Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:36 am | Permalink

        Have you ever been to an area that is heavily Islamic?

        I’m not talking about Dearborn.

        What?

        Yes, I didn’t think so.

      110. Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        You have to actually read the articles, EOS. The Dearborn protest was in large part against the reaction to the film. As you’re requesting “evidence,” though, here’s another article about moderate Muslims standing up to jihadists.

        Hundreds of protesters in Libya have launched an attack on the jihadist militia responsible for killing the U.S. ambassador last week.

        The pro-American backlash on Friday night saw the Ansar al-Sharia Brigade driven out of its base in the city of Benghazi, where Chris Stevens and three other U.S. officials were murdered in an attack on the local consulate.

        The unprecedented movement suggests that ordinary Libyans are rising up against Al Qaeda fighters who seek to hijack the democratic reforms of the Arab Spring.

      111. SparkleMotion
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        As I read the comments, I can feel my brow sloping.

      112. Oliva
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Could be a more fitting post for this comment, but given EOS’s and Flo’s comments here, it fits well. From a stalwart conservative writer, Conor Friedersdorf, at the Atlantic site–the title of the post “Until Republicans Fix This Problem, They Can’t Fix Any Problems” and the headline beneath it: “The inability to judge arguments on their merits and separate fact from fantasy is what ails the conservative movement”:

        Yes, there will always be hucksters. And spending all one’s time fighting them is a foolish enterprise.

        On the right today, they are so numerous, prominent and shameless, their pathologies so ingrained in right-wing media and politics, their wealth so corrupting to young talent, and their pathologies so seldom challenged by those who know better, that Republicans are operating at a persistent information disadvantage. (Too many believe even their own bullshit.) The Bush Administration showed that it’s possible to win at the ballot box anyway — but that the victory isn’t worth much, save an ill-conceived war in the desert, exploding deficits, and a financial crisis. Improving on this metric won’t solve all the right’s problems, or answer every question about the right way forward, but it would go a long way toward mitigating its least defensible excesses.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/until-republicans-fix-this-problem-they-cant-fix-any-problems/262657/

      113. Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        “Moderate Islam” is like “moderate Christianity”
        Lets stop using the semantics of right wing extremists.

      114. Alexis
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Why couldn’t they have killed him in a more modern, respectable, technological way, like with a drone. These people are such savages.

      115. EOS
        Posted September 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Here’s one for Peter:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiUZ2qy90_I&feature=share

      3 Trackbacks

      1. [...] reason with people on the existence of moderate IslamBy Mark | September 22, 2012A few days ago, in a thread about the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens a conservative Christian reader of this site, who goes by the name EOS, proclaimed definitively, [...]

      2. [...] anything new. The Republicans, who apparently have no shame whatsoever, have been attempting to politicize the deaths of these four Americans since the night of the attack, when Romney took the stage and lied to the American people, saying [...]

      3. [...] anything new. The Republicans, who apparently have no shame whatsoever, have been attempting to politicize the deaths of these four Americans since the night of the attack, when Romney violated his pledge not to make partisan comments on the [...]

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