Chaff Launch

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Of course, the "Long War" hits U.S. presence in Egypt and Libya

Now, let's play a little game of probabilities.

What do you think the odds would be of near simultaneous attacks on both a U.S. consulate and a U.S. embassy in two different countries occurring "spontaneously" on 9/11/12?

If you smell a rat, then welcome to the "Long War."

How do you intimidate modern societies?

Riot - and claim it's the modern society's fault for not being sensitive enough to your "civilization."

And,yes, it is time for you to go get a copy of Samuel Huntington's book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order and read the darn thing, if you want to have clue as to what sort of asymmetric war we've got going on.

 And the ability of the opponents in this war to use our own "fairness" against us is judo-like. We are beating ourselves by being useful idiots.

UPDATE4: What follows is a discussion of the sideshow issue in this matter that pertains to who said what when about "abuse" of "the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

You can read it below the break, but the point of my post was (1) the attacks were unlikely to be spontaneous and (2) how we shouldn't let the use of riots cause us to restrict the free speech rights of even useless human detritus like the clown who made the movie that was used as an excuse to stage the riots.UPDATE: See here:
But the mob violence and assaults should be seen for what they really are: an effort by Islamists to garner support and mobilize their base by exacerbating anti-Western sentiments.
***
Protests orchestrated on the pretext of slights and offenses against Islam have been part of Islamist strategy for decades. Iran's ayatollahs built an entire revolution around anti-Americanism. While the Iranian revolution was underway in 1979, Pakistan's Islamists whipped up crowds by spreading rumors that the Americans had forcibly occupied Islam's most sacred site, the Ka'aba or the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Pakistani protesters burned the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

Violent demonstrations in many parts of the Muslim world after the 1989 fatwa—or religious condemnation—of a novel by Salman Rushdie, or after the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, also did not represent spontaneous outrage. In each case, the insult to Islam or its prophet was first publicized by Islamists themselves so they could use it as justification for planned violence.


Enough of my prattle, go read the Diplomad (UPDATE: What folllows is a quote from the original Diplomad post - which as been update - see below), Narrative Fail: The Libs on Libya and Egypt:
Remember this idiotic statement was issued AFTER the mob had commenced its attack on the diplomatic compound. It criticized not those attacking the Embassy but unnamed persons "who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." Secretary Clinton followed up with her own statement which repeated the criticism of those who would criticize a religious faith. It was only after the outrage in the US began to pour in, including the very sharp statement by the Governor, that the Obama White House did what it does best: throw its supporters and servants under the bus. The White House disassociated itself from the Embassy and the State Department statements as though neither Embassies not the Secretary of State have anything to do with the administration. Those statements, by the way, are cleared at many levels in the Department and at the NSC.

We have journalists, as seen at Governor Romney's September 12 press conference, criticizing Romney for criticizing the President's foreign policy, "politics stops at the water's edge." I guess nobody ever criticized George Bush? John Kerry and candidate Obama never said anything critical of the Bush foreign policy? Besides what the Governor was criticizing was the outrageous (that word) philosophy present in the State Department statements.

UPDATE: The Diplomad corrects the record:
Remember this idiotic statement was issued and then reaffirmed even AFTER the mob had commenced its attack on the diplomatic compound. It criticized not those attacking the Embassy but unnamed persons "who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." Secretary Clinton followed up with her own statement which repeated the criticism of those who would criticize a religious faith. It was only after the outrage in the US began to pour in, including the very sharp statement by the Governor, that the Obama White House did what it does best: throw its supporters and servants under the bus. The White House disassociated itself from the Embassy and the State Department statements as though neither Embassies not the Secretary of State have anything to do with the administration. Those statements, by the way, are cleared at many levels in the Department and at the NSC.

UPDATE2: Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy on this mess:
"In an effort to cool the situation down, it didn't come from me, it didn't come from Secretary Clinton. It came from people on the ground who are potentially in danger," Obama said. "And my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they're in that circumstance, rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office."

But Obama's remarks belie the enormous frustration of top officials at the State Department and White House with the actions of the man behind the statement, Cairo senior public affairs officer Larry Schwartz, who wrote the release and oversees the embassy's Twitter feed, according to a detailed account of the Tuesday's events.

The official noted that the statement was posted at exactly 12:18 p.m. Cairo time -- 6:18 a.m. Washington time -- well before the protests began. Romney has said, wrongly, that the statement was the administration's first response to the protests, but the official said that the demonstrations did not begin until 4 p.m. Cairo time and protesters breached the wall about 2 hours later.

After the breach, as public criticism of the statement grew, the Cairo Embassy Twitter account continued to send out tweets defending it, some of which were later deleted. One deleted tweet, originally posted at 12:30 a.m. Cairo time, said, "This morning's condemnation (issued before protests began) still stands. As does condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy."

Before issuing the press release, Schwartz cleared it with just one person senior to himself, Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Sievers, who was the charge d'affaires at the embassy on Tuesday because Ambassador Anne Patterson was in Washington at the time, the official said.

Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.

"The statement was not cleared with anyone in Washington. It was sent as ‘This is what we are putting out,'" the official said. "We replied and said this was not a good statement and that it needed major revisions. The next email we received from Embassy Cairo was ‘We just put this out.'"

A heated discussion ensued among State Department and White House officials over e-mail as the controversy over the statement grew Tuesday evening, even grabbing the attention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, those same officials were dealing with a more serious attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four American officials, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

"People at the highest levels both at the State Department and at the White House were not happy with the way the statement went down. There was a lot of anger both about the process and the content," the official said. "Frankly, people here did not understand it. The statement was just tone deaf. It didn't provide adequate balance. We thought the references to the 9/11 attacks were inappropriate, and we strongly advised against the kind of language that talked about ‘continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.'"

Despite being aware of Washington's objections, the embassy continued to defend the statement for several hours, fueling the controversy over it, a decision the official again attributed to Schwartz.

"Not only did they push out the statement but they continued to engage on Twitter and retweet it," the official said. "[Schwartz] would have been the one directing folks to engage on Twitter on this."

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Washington time, Clinton issued a statement on both the Libya and Egypt attacks that included a reference to religious tolerance as well as an emphasis on the administration's condemnation of the embassy attack.

"The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," she said. "Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

Despite his disregard of Washington's instructions and his actions throughout the day Tuesday, Schwartz has not yet been disciplined in any way and is still the lead public affairs officer at the embassy.
It seems, regardless of the timing, I am but one of many (to include POTUS, the SOS and a host of others) who were unhappy with the Tweet (and all the subsequent defending Tweets, too).

I hope Mr. Schwartz is vested in his retirement plan or has some good fallback skills in welding or locksmithing.  That is, one he crawls out from under the bus.

In the meantime, it doesn't seem his Tweets had the desired effect of calming the situation.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:07 AM

    "Remember this idiotic statement was issued AFTER the mob had commenced its attack on the diplomatic compound. It criticized not those attacking the Embassy but unnamed persons "who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.""

    In fact the statement was made BEFORE the attack. It could not have been criticism of those attacking the Embassy because the Embassy had not been attacked at that point.

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  2. Anonymous8:26 PM

    "Remember this idiotic statement was issued AFTER the mob had commenced its attack on the diplomatic compound."

    You don't pay much attention to the news, do you? This BS might have been excusable two days ago amidst the confusion, but to post it now means you are either supremely dense or willfully misleading people. You might want to take this post down, or a least revise it to reflect reality.

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  3. Speaking of reading clearly, the section quoted was from the Diplomad. Take your complaints there.

    But maybe I am too supremely dense to not willfully mislead people by quoting someone else.

    On the other hand, perhaps you could explain to someone as dense as I am why on earth the phrase in question is not just as "idiotic" if made before the attack - as a ploy to stave off the attack? Use small words.

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    Replies
    1. Updated the post to reflect the Diplomad's internal correction.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:27 PM

      Only because it invalidates your entire premise. You're awfully indignant for someone who just published a complete falsehood. I shouldn't have to congratulate you for admitting facts.

      Delete
    3. Let me state what I did. I inadvertently had left out the words "and then reaffirmed even." That was my mistake caused by writing on an IPAD while in a moving vehicle, which I will not do again. This correction, however, in no way invalidates the stupidity of the tweet from the Embassy. They issued it trying to avoid an attack, when that failed they REAFFIRMED it. They stood by it even as the mob was dancing on the Embassy walls. Days later they were forced by the State Department to take it down because it was embarrassing the administration.

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  4. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Don't want to seem an ass, I obviously enjoy your blog. Credit due for your correction, and for not doubling-down on a false premise.

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  5. Happy to have you drop by.

    ReplyDelete