Is This What America Stands For?

I intended to launch this blog with my reflections on the Republican National Convention, and would have done so but for two unforeseen events: the attacks on American diplomatic posts in Cairo and Benghazi, and an excellent article by Jack Hunter that summed up much of what I was thinking with regard to the RNC better than I could have. The embassy attacks and the tragic deaths of four Americans in Libya have dominated the news for the last forty-eight hours or so. The reckless hawks who thumped their chests when we got Gaddafi and the silly idealists who polished their halos when Libyans got democracy now have an opportunity to reflect on what else we, Libya and the world got in exchange for our meddling.

Not that many of them will. The embassy in Cairo issued a press release Tuesday morning (in anticipation of the protests) repudiating the moronic “movie” that provoked the attacks and criticizing those who produced and promoted it. But popular conservative leaders, from Romney and Palin to local talk radio hosts, reacted in typically shrill and thoughtless manner, accusing the Obama administration of sympathizing with “terrorists” and responding apologetically to the attacks. As usual, any acknowledgement of our enemies’ grievances, or curiosity about their real motives, is seen as weakness at best, maybe even sympathy. Frankly, I am amazed at how quick so many have been to opine about free speech and to defend those responsible for the film.

Several years ago, a friend of mine recounted a trick he and his brother played on an elder relative during a camping trip. While the old man was using the outhouse, the boys captured several bees in a glass jar. They shook the jar violently for several seconds, then placed it against the air vent and removed the lid. Serious consequences ensued. While this rather humorous story isn’t a perfect metaphor, there is a lesson we can apply to the Libyan tragedy.

Ambassador Stevens was a victim of a heinous, entirely unjustified attack by criminals who believe that religious insults are grounds for murder. But we do not justify these criminals by acknowledging that others are also to blame. The Libyan government is to blame for failing to meet its basic obligation to ensure the security of foreign diplomats. Our own government is to blame for inserting America into a Libyan civil war in support of the criminals who have now turned on us. And yes, the imbeciles who produced the film in question are certainly to blame for deliberately provoking Muslims without any useful or constructive purpose.

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About Patrick G. Kocher
Patrick G. Kocher is a liberty minded Republican activist from southeast PA. He is a constitutionalist and history junkie whose political thinking is heavily influenced by Jefferson, Madison, Bastiat, Hayek and, most recently, Ron Paul. A committed Christian, Patrick is a member of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He and his wife, Georgina, live in Chester County, PA with their four children.

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