KGS Nightwatch had some comments about the attack on the US embassy in Cairo, which was triggered by the same event:
This is starting to look like 1979 all over again, although in Libya's case, the government immediately issued an apology. This isn't Iran, where Khomeini lauded the embassy attackers and supported them. However, Egypt is the real issue, as the stakes are much higher there. The Muslim Brotherhood has made no attempt to prevent these acts, and is most likely responsible for them. Morsi will use this as a pretext to consolidate even more power and purge pro-US members of the military, and may even permit an embassy takeover, a la Iran, if he perceives an opportunity. The big question for our media is, did Obama's policies of "leading from behind" in Libya and throwing Mubarak under the bus, as Carter did with the Shah, lead to the same kind of attacks on our embassies? Don't hold your breath for detailed coverage of that.
Egypt-US: Protesters scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and pulled down the American flag during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said. In place of the US flag, the protesters tried to raise a black flag with the words "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger," a Reuters reporter said. Once the U.S. flag was hauled down, protesters tore it up, with some showing off small pieces to television cameras. Then others burned remains.
A statement by the US embassy blamed the makers of the film for, essentially, bringing this violence down on the US embassy. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others," the U.S. embassy said in its statement.
Comment: The mainstream news services have covered the details about the storming of the US Embassy compound in Cairo. Several points are worth comment.
- The first is the US Embassy's statement either is a meaningless personal statement by a scared staff or a poorly informed misrepresentation of US law. It is settled US case law, for example, that neo-Nazis can march in Jewish suburbs in any city in the US under specified conditions. No religion gets a pass. An ambassador should know that. He also should have denounced those who use religion to justify venting their anti-American sentiments in violence and destruction. The result is the US embassy appears to be apologizing to misguided, out of control rioters who were allowed by Egyptian authorities to violate US sovereign territory.
Apologies by the innocent victims of violence are acts of submission that stoke demands for greater acts of submission, even in US culture. To some Muslims, including groups in Pakistan, the very existence of the US or Israel is an affront to their interpretation of Islam and "hurts their religious beliefs." There is no way to avoid hurting their religious sensibilities.
- Finally, no news services reported the presence of the Egyptian police or paramilitary security forces or any effort to control the rioters. No news clips showed Egyptian security personnel. Some news services in the past have reported that the civil disorders of the past year have resulted in the destruction of the Egyptian civil police as an effective force for civil order.