Our view: In Libya, violence follows liberation
September 17, 2012 9:08AM
THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Updated: October 18, 2012 6:07AM
After Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. citizens were killed in attacks at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, angry mobs went after embassies in Egypt and Yemen.
What exactly happened — was it the culmination of anger over a film made in the U.S. that mocked Muhammad, or was it a coordinated terrorist attack, or was it some combination? — was still being sorted.
But one thing’s clear: The Arab spring most of the world celebrated a year ago doesn’t mean Arab contentment with the U.S. today. That’s nothing to apologize for, but it’s something to deal with.
“How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asked in a State Department address Thursday. “This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be.”
So confounding, in fact, that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney used initial news of the attacks to issue a statement taking President Obama to task for how Obama reacted to the Libyan situation. Problem was, Romney picked up a quote out of context and left his camp twisting in an ill-advised campaign moment.
No matter that autocratic despots have been cast out; the divide between those Arab nations and the United States stands. The White House swore it would work with Libya to bring the attackers to justice. How much effort the Mideast nation puts toward that effort will be telling.
(Lafayette) Journal and Courier