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  1. #1
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009

    Default US Ambassador to Libya murdered

    I'm surprised no one else is really talking about this here....

    From CNN:

    U.S. struggles to determine whether Libya attack was planned

    Washington (CNN) -- The United States is struggling to determine whether a militant group planned the attack that killed its ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, even as warships head toward the north African country as part of a mission to hunt down and punish the killers.

    Conflicting theories flew in the hours after U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, another diplomat and two State Department security officers were killed in Benghazi, eastern Libya, late Tuesday.

    They died amid a protest outside the U.S. Consulate over a film that ridiculed Muslims and depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer.

    The demonstration was one of several protests across the region that day.

    But U.S. sources said Wednesday the four-hour assault in Benghazi had been planned by militants, with the attackers using the protest as a diversion.

    State Department Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy offered his opinion Wednesday that the attack was planned because it was so extensive and because of the "proliferation" of small and medium weapons at the scene. He was briefing congressional staffers when he made the suggestion.

    And a London think tank with strong ties to Libya echoed the theory.

    The assault "came to avenge the death of Abu Yaya al-Libi, al Qaeda's second in command killed a few months ago," the think tank Quilliam said Wednesday.

    It was "the work of roughly 20 militants, prepared for a military assault," the think tank said, noting that rocket-propelled grenade launchers do not normally appear at peaceful protests, and that there were no other protests against the film elsewhere in Libya.

    Six things to know about the attack

    "Jihadists will want the world to believe that the attack is just a part of the protests against an amateur film produced in the U.S., which includes crude insults regarding the Prophet Mohammed. They will want the world to think that their actions represent a popular Libyan and wider Muslim reaction; thus, reversing the perception of jihadists being outcasts from their own societies," Quilliam President Norman Benotman said.

    But on Thursday, three U.S. officials told CNN that they have seen no evidence the attack was premeditated.

    The investigation and quest for justice

    The United States is deploying warships and surveillance drones in its hunt for the killers of the four U.S. diplomatic staffers, and a contingent of 50 Marines has arrived to boost the security of Americans in the country.

    The drones are expected to gather intelligence that will be turned over to Libyan officials for strikes, the official said.

    4 hours of fire and chaos

    Two American destroyers are en route to the Libyan coast, U.S. officials told CNN. Both the USS Laboon and USS McFaul are equipped with satellite-guided Tomahawk cruise missiles that can be programmed to hit specific targets.

    The move "will give the administration flexibility" in case it opts to take action against targets inside Libya, one senior official said. As of late Wednesday, the McFaul was making a port call on the Mediterranean island of Crete, while the Laboon was outside Gibraltar, a few days away from Libya.

    Mystery swirls around anti-Islam film

    "We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act," U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday. "And make no mistake, justice will be done."

    Obama called Libya's Mohamed Magariaf on Wednesday, thanking the newly elected president of Libya's parliament for his condolences on the deaths of the Americans.

    YouTube restricts access to video

    "The two presidents agreed to work closely over the course of this investigation," the White House said in a statement. Obama "reaffirmed our support for Libya's democratic transition, a cause Ambassador Stevens believed in deeply and did so much to advance. He welcomed the election of a new prime minister yesterday to help lead the Libyan government's efforts to improve security, counter extremism, and advance its democracy."

    Tuesday's attack took place on the 11th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. But White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said assigning any motive for the attack was "premature."

    Libya's response and ties to the United States

    Libyan leaders apologized for the attack, with Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib calling it a "cowardly, criminal act."

    Obama said that despite the inflammatory movie, the violence was unwarranted.

    "Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," he said. "But there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence -- none."

    Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities concerning Prophet Mohammed

    The United States and Libya have embarked on a new relationship since rebels toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi last year.

    U.S. and NATO warplanes helped the Benghazi-based rebellion against Gadhafi, who was wanted by the International Criminal Court for charges of crimes against humanity before the ruler was killed in October.

    The jihadists suspected in Tuesday night's attack "are a very small minority" who are taking advantage of a fledgling democracy, said Ali Suleiman Aujali, the Libyan ambassador to the United States.

    Sources tracking militant Islamist groups in eastern Libya say a pro-al Qaeda group responsible for a previous armed assault on the Benghazi consulate is the chief suspect. A senior defense official told CNN the drones would be part of "a stepped-up, more focused search" for a particular insurgent cell that may have been behind the killings.

    In June, a senior Libyan official told CNN that U.S. controllers were already flying the unmanned craft over suspected jihadist training camps in eastern Libya because of concerns about rising activity by al Qaeda and like-minded groups in the region.

    Townsend: Libya has been suffering "fragile" security

    How the attack happened

    On Tuesday night, protesters were outside the consulate in Benghazi, demonstrating against the film "Innocence of Muslims," which reportedly was made in California by a filmmaker whose identity is unclear.

    Eventually, a group of heavily armed militants "infiltrated the march to start chaos," according to Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif.

    Initial reports indicate the four-hour assault began around 10 p.m. as gunmen opened fire on the main compound of the U.S. Consulate complex. Within 15 minutes, the gunmen entered the building.

    A senior U.S. official said a rocket-propelled grenade set the consulate ablaze. American and Libyan security personnel tried to fight the attackers and the fire.

    As the fire spread, three people -- Stevens, Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith, and a U.S. regional security officer -- were inside a safe room, senior State Department officials said.

    Smith was later found dead, apparently of smoke inhalation, officials said. It's unclear how Stevens died.

    Glen Doherty, a guard, was also killed at the consulate.

    One other American, whose name hasn't been released, was killed, and another two were wounded during a gun battle between security forces and militants at the complex, a senior administration official said.

    Pro-al Qaeda group seen behind deadly Benghazi attack

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Stevens and his commitment to Libya on Wednesday.

    "He arrived on a cargo ship in the port of Benghazi and began building our relationships with Libya's revolutionaries," she said after his death was announced. "He risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to build a better Libya."

    Doherty's sister, Katie Quigley, spokes to reporters Thursday outside the family home in Woburn, Massachusetts, outside of Boston.

    "Glen lived his life to the fullest," she said. "He was my brother, but if you ask his friends he was their brother as well."
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  2. #2
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    The more info that comes out about this, the more the attack seems planned (and planned by people who know how).
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Mar 2009


    I read all about it yesterday. Seems too early to draw any hard conclussions.

  4. #4
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    Here's a fairly nuanced article from Foreign Policy:

    The Salafi Moment

    As the death of a U.S. ambassador in Libya demonstrates, the ultraconservative Salafi movement is pushing to the forefront in the politics of the Middle East. The West should be careful how it reacts.

    By now you've probably heard. Just a few hours after an angry mob of ultraconservative Muslims stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed during a protest in the city of Benghazi. Both riots were provoked by the news that an anti-Muslim group in the United States has released a film that insults the Prophet Mohammed. In Egypt, the protestors hauled down the U.S. flag and replaced it with the same black banner sometimes used by Al Qaeda. Shades of Iran, 1979. Scary stuff.

    Both attacks are utterly outrageous. But perhaps the United States shouldn't have been caught completely off guard. The rioters in both cases come from the region's burgeoning Salafi movement, and the Salafis have been in the headlines a lot lately. In Libya, over the past few months, they've been challenging the recently elected government by demolishing ancient Sufi shrines, which they deem to be insufficiently Islamic. In Tunisia, they've been attacking businesses that sell alcohol and instigating nasty social media campaigns about the country's female competitors in the Olympics. In Syria's civil war, there are increasing reports that the opposition's wealthy Gulf financiers have been channeling cash to Salafi groups, whose strict interpretation of Islam is considered close to the puritanical Wahhabism of the Saudis and others. Lately Salafi groups have been gaining fresh prominence in parts of the Islamic world -- from Mali to Lebanon, from Kashmir to Russia's North Caucasus.

    Some -- like journalist Robin Wright, who recently wrote a New York Times op-ed on the subject -- say that this means we should be really, really worried. Painting a picture of a new "Salafi crescent" ranging from the Persian Gulf to North Africa, she worries that this bodes ill for newly won freedoms after the revolutions of 2011. Calling the rise of the new Salafi groups "one of the most underappreciated and disturbing byproducts of the Arab revolts," Wright says that they're now "moving into the political space once occupied by jihadi militants, who are now less in vogue." "[S]ome Islamists are more hazardous to Western interests and values than others," she writes. "The Salafis are most averse to minority and women's rights."

    Others, like Egyptian journalist Mustafa Salama, dismiss this as hysteria. "The reality of the movement is that it is fragmented, not uniform, within Salafis there are various ideologies and discourses," Salama writes. "Furthermore being a Salafi does not boil down to a set of specific political preferences." The only thing that unites them, he argues, is their interest in returning to the beliefs and practices of the original Islamic community founded by the Prophet Mohammed -- a desire that, in itself, is shared by quite a few mainstream Muslims. (The Arabic word salaf, meaning "predecessors" or "ancestors," refers to the original companions of the Prophet.) This doesn't mean that they're necessarily opposed to freedom and democracy. During the revolution in Egypt, he says, some Salafis were "protecting Churches in Sinai and elsewhere from vandalism and theft" at considerable risk to themselves, though the fact wasn't reported in the Western media.

    If the first death of a U.S. ambassador in two decades is any indication, it's probably time that the world starts paying attention to this debate. I think there are several points worth mentioning.

    First of all, however we define them, these new "populist puritans" (as Wright aptly refers to them) are enjoying an extraordinary boom. Though solid numbers are hard to come by, they're routinely described as the fastest-growing movement in modern-day Islam. Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's Salafis barely figured in the political landscape during the Mubarak years -- then stormed onto the scene to capture a quarter of the vote in the country's first democratic election last year. Their share of the vote could well increase, given that the new Brotherhood-led government is likely to have problems making good on the ambitious promises it's made to Egyptian voters over the past year. Their rapid rise in Tunisia is especially startling, given that country's relatively relaxed atmosphere toward religion.
    Indeed, if the history of revolutions shows us anything, it's that transformative social upheavals of the kind we've seen in the Arab Spring don't necessarily favor the moderates. On the day that the Shah left Iran in 1979, it was by no means a foregone conclusion that the radical forces around Ayatollah Khomeini, who followed his innovative theory of clerical rule, would end up running the country. Secular socialists, communists, liberal democrats, democratic nationalists, moderate Islamists, and even other rival Shiite clerics were all vying for power. But Khomeini ultimately triumphed because he offered forceful, uncorrupted leadership with a simple message -- "Islamic government" -- that cut through the mayhem with the authority of faith. Lenin understood the same political dynamic: Hence his ruthlessly straightforward slogan "Bread, Peace, Land," which was perfectly calculated to appeal to Russians wearied by anarchy, war, and social injustice.

    The Salafi notion of returning to the purity of 7th-century Islam can have the same kind of draw for some Muslims exasperated by everyday corruption and abusive rule. Syria offers a good example. If you're going up against Bashar al-Assad's helicopter gunships armed with an antique rifle and a few rusty bullets, you'll probably prefer to go into battle with a simple slogan on your lips. "Power sharing for all ethnic groups in a liberal parliamentary democracy" might not cut it -- especially if you happen to be a Sunni who's seen your relatives cut down by Assad's murderous militias. This isn't to say that the opposition is now dominated by Salafis; far from it. But it's safe to assume that the longer the war goes on, the more pronounced the extremes will become.

    At the same time, the Sunni Salafis are a major factor in the growing global polarization of the Islamic community between Shiites and Sunnis. (The French scholar of Islam Olivier Roy argues that the intra-Muslim rivalry between the two groups has now become even more important than the presumed confrontation between Islam and the West.) The fact that many Salafis in various parts of the world get their financing from similarly conservative elements in Saudi Arabia doesn't help. Perversely enough, Iranian propaganda is already trying to portray the West as backers of Salafi extremism in order to destabilize Tehran and its allies. We'll be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing in the future, I'm afraid.

    In short, no one should count on the Salafis to go away any time soon. So how should the outside world deal with them -- especially if they're going to go around storming foreign embassies?

    I think the answer is two-pronged. First, don't generalize. Not all Salafis should be treated as beyond the pale. Salafis who are willing to stand by the rules of democracy and acknowledge the rights of religious and cultural minorities should be encouraged to participate in the system. With time, voters in the new democracies of the region will discriminate between the demagogues and the people who can actually deliver a better society.
    Second, don't allow radicals to dictate the rules for everyone else. This is why the outcome of the current political conflicts in Tunisia and Libya are extremely important for the region as a whole. In both countries, voters have now had the opportunity to declare their political preferences in free elections, and they have delivered pretty clear messages. Libyans voted overwhelmingly for secular politicians, while Tunisians chose a mix of moderate Islamists and secularists. But the Salafis in both places don't seem content to leave it at that, and are trying to foment instability by instigating a culture war.

    What's encouraging is that we're beginning to see some pushback from ordinary Libyans and Tunisians who don't want to submit to the logic of radicalization -- not to mention scholars at the Arab world's most prestigious university, also in Cairo. Don't be fooled by the rabble-rousers. The story in the Middle East is still more interesting than the stereotypes.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  5. #5
    Senior Member ms.behaving's Avatar
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    Jul 2010


    I think it was a deliberate slight for the 9/11 anniversary.
    - MB

  6. #6
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    This doesn't bode well...

    From The Daily Beast:

    Riots Erupt by U.S. Embassy in Egypt and Yemen

    Rioters hurled Molotov cocktails at the U.S. embassy in Egypt. Hundreds stormed the embassy in Yemen. Protests erupt in Iran and Tunisia. Vivian Salama reports on the escalating unrest.

    In scenes reminiscent from the earliest and most volatile days of the Arab Spring, Egyptian security forces clashed with rock-hurling protesters, firing tear gas around the U.S. Embassy complex and in nearby Tahrir Square.

    Dust-rich smoke plumes rose over the area as protesters used Molotov cocktails to ward off security attacks. More than a dozen people have reportedly been injured in the clashes, including several security officials. It was the third day of uprisings in the Egyptian capital. Protesters voiced anger over a low-budget film produced in the United States, which depicts the Prophet Muhammad unfavorably, as sex crazed and deranged, and places the character on trial. Any depiction of the prophet is a violation of Muslim beliefs.

    Nearby stores, already reeling from months of slow business, closed their gates as shielded security forces clashed with fiery demonstrators. The Muslim Brotherhood and other groups have called for a peaceful mass demonstration against the film after Friday prayers in Tahrir Square. The protests, which began outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo on September 11, have spread to several countries in the region, including Yemen, Iran, and Libya, where four U.S. diplomats were killed in attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, including Amb. Christopher Stevens.

    In Yemen, where popular protests last year toppled the country’s president of 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh, hundreds of protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Sana, scaling the fence, smashing windows and spraying graffiti outside its walls. They chanted “death to America!” as security forces sprayed tear gas to disperse the crowds. Yemen’s President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi said in a statement that he deeply regrets the attack on the embassy, and noted that the filmmakers are “demagogic groups.” He also said that “rowdy groups” seized this opportunity because the 2011 revolution weakened security forces, state-run Saba News Agency reported.

    The U.S. Embassy in Yemen issued a statement on its website warning expatriates to avoid large gatherings and take all necessary security precautions.
    Protests Outside of US Embassy in Cairo

    Egyptian protestors confront riot police at the United States Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 12. An Egyptian ministerial meeting held Wednesday demanded the U.S. government take a strong stance against a filmmaker whose movie they say insults the Muslim prophet. (Amru Salahuddien, Xinhua / Landov)

    On the outside walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, protesters scribbled graffiti slogans of battle. “Take care America, we have 1.5 billion bin Ladens,” says one.

    Saudi Arabia, the spiritual center to the world's one billion Muslims, condemned the anti-Islam film and violent reactions against U.S. interests, in a statement read on state television.

    “These Americans keep looking for trouble with their attacks on Islam,” said Egyptian Ashraf Mohammed, 19, a student and member of the Muslim Brotherhood from the Fayoum governorate. “Our religion is inside our hearts. If you hurt our heart of course it will make us angry.”

    On the outside walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, protesters scribbled graffiti slogans of battle. “Take care America, we have 1.5 billion bin Ladens,” says one. “Khaybar, Khaybar ... O Jews, the army of Muhammad is coming,” another reads. (Khaybar refers to a fortress town inhabited by Jewish tribes in Saudi Arabia until its fall to Muslim forces in the seventh century).

    “This is the end of our revolution,” said Ahmed Ali, who owns a small grocery store near to Tahrir Square. “These days there are too many people who want to cause trouble for no reason. These boys are looking for a fight and because of that we will all suffer.”

    In a televised address Thursday, Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced the attacks on embassies but said that he supports peaceful protests.

    “Expressing opinion, freedom to protest and announcing positions is guaranteed but without assaulting private or public property, diplomatic missions or embassies.” He also warned those who attacked the prophet Mohammed. In a separate statement on Wednesday, Morsi called upon the Egyptian Embassy in Washington to take legal action against the filmmakers, who include Los Angeles resident Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, as well as Florida pastor Terry Jones, who publicly threatened to burn the Quran in 2010, inciting deadly riots in Afghanistan.

    Morsi is in Europe on his first official visit there since taking office. EU leaders offered Egypt more than one billion euros in aid and better trade, praising Morsi for offering reassurances on his "unwavering commitment" to democratic values and fundamental freedoms. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said in a press conference Thursday that "Egypt can count on the European Union.”

    But President Barack Obama was of a different mindset during an interview with Telemundo Wednesday, admitting that the longtime friendship with Egypt is in flux. “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy,” he said. “Certainly in this situation, what we’re going to expect is that they are responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected.”
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    May 2007


    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #8


    Let them expose their necks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I'm surprised no one else is really talking about this here....
    I've been on my soapbox about this issue (this is simply the latest manifestation) many times on the forum (sometimes while using less than constructive language), and I figured many members would have simply passed over it as a consequence....I was waiting for someone else to do it.

    My position is, of course, the same as all the other times: stand up for free speech without equivocation, and do not be afraid to do so on account of political correctness or intimidation (either by Islamists or by the Western PC brigade).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    its their land. they have their own rules, however their rules on governing speech ends at their territories. i believe ambassadors make a conscious choice of giving up their own safety when living on foreign soil. its something that comes with the territory, like journalist who report close to fighting. for journalist its the story, find out whats going on and ambassadors sacrifice for peace.

    im curious about the guy that made the fine with the hating on religion and Mohammad but what sparked the purpose for creating the film?
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
    -Bruce Lee

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