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Cole writes: "Mitt Romney may want to rethink his 'visceral' reaction to the US embassy in Cairo's tweet condemning the group's hate speech."

Young Egyptian holds sign apologizing for the Benghazi attack. (photo: Reuters)
Young Egyptian holds sign apologizing for the Benghazi attack. (photo: Reuters)


Romney Jumps the Shark: Libya, Egypt and the Butterfly Effect

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

13 September 12

 

he late science fiction writer Ray Bradbury authored a short story about time travelers. They were careful, when they went back to the Jurassic, not to change anything, but one of them stepped on a butterfly. When they got back to the present, the world was slightly different.

When scientists studying complexity put forward the idea that small initial events could have large effects in non-linear, dynamic systems like the weather, they chose the term 'butterfly effect." One of the images students of weather instanced was that a butterfly flapping its wings might set off minor turbulence that ultimately turned into a hurricane. (In the older model of Newtonian physics, small events have small effects and large events have large effects, so you wouldn't expect a minor action to produce big changes).

So the Associated Press did a careful investigation of the 'Sam Bacile' who supposedly directed the hate film, 'The Innocence of Muslims.' And AP found that probably he does not exist, but is a persona used by a convicted Coptic Egyptian fraudster, Nakoula Bassely Nakoula.

But the story gets more complex. Nakoula had Coptic and evangelical associates in the shooting of the film, including Steve Klein, a former Marine and current extremist Christian who has helped train militiamen in California churches and has led "protests outside abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques." My guess is that most of the Egyptian Copts involved are converts to American-style fundamentalism.

The Egyptian Coptic church has roundly condemned the hateful film they made smearing the Prophet Muhammad.

Anyway, the bigotry of the edited film, directed at Muslims, is part of a movement of religious prejudice that also targets . . . Mormons.

Mitt Romney may want to rethink his 'visceral' reaction to the US embassy in Cairo's tweet condemning the group's hate speech.

Then it turns out that the film was shot in such a way that there was originally no mention of the Prophet Muhammad in the script, and the cast had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and then the name of Muhammad was clumsily dubbed into the final edit.

So, the film was from the beginning a fraud. It was directed by a fraud. It was promoted by a militia trainer. And Nakoula marketed it fraudulently as the work of a fictitious Israeli-American Jewish real estate agent, 'Sam Bacile,' and falsely said it had been funded by "a hundred Jewish donors."

The group behind the film, in other words, managed to evoke all the classic themes of anti-Semitism as a way of disguising the Coptic and evangelical network out of which the 'film' came. When they weren't busy picketing Mormons and defaming Muslims they were trying to get Jews killed for their own smears of Islam!

Of course, given the strident hatred of Muslims promoted by a handful of Jewish American extremists such as Pamela Geller, David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes and others, in which they gleefully join with white supremacists and Christian fundamentalists, it was only a matter of time before their partners in hate turned on them and used them.

The bad, dubbed 'film' only had one theater showing in some dowdy place in LA. Then in July the group had the trailer for it dubbed into Arabic with subtitles as well, and put it on Youtube, where it was found by strident Egyptian Muslim fundamentalist Sheikh Khaled Abdallah, who had it shown on al-Nas television and caused the sensation that led to Tuesday's demonstrations in Cairo and Benghazi. As I argued yesterday, the vigilante extremists or 'jihadis' have been left on the garbage pile of history by the democratic elections in Egypt and Libya, and are whipping up the issue of this film in a desperate attempt to remain relevant.

Aware of the building sensation about the film, an employee of the US embassy in Cairo condemned it as hate speech before the rally began outside its premises.

In other words, this is a non-film and a non-story, a fraud, promoted by the worst people in each culture.

In Cairo, the rally allegedly got out of hand because the Ultras or soccer ruffians joined in, and they were probably the ones who tore down the American flag and ran up a black Muslim-fundamentalist one. Ultras are not fundamentalists but they are mischievous and resent authority, so a superpower that backs the army and police they hate might be a target of their wrath. There may have also been a handful of al-Qaeda supporters there, not surprising on the anniversary of September 11. The crowd at the American embassy was tiny by Egyptian protest standards.

In Benghazi, Hadeel Al Shalchi got the story. She talked to Libyan special forces members who explained that there were three stages to the events there. First, there was a demonstration. Then when the police and consulate guards tried to curb it, the demonstrators got angry and some of them went for guns and a rocket propelled grenade, so that the consulate was set on fire and looted. It was at that second stage that US ambassador Chris Stevens and another diplomat were killed (Stevens inhaled too much smoke in the fire and the other man was shot). Stevens' death is a great tragedy and irony, since he was liaison to the transitional national council during the Libyan revolution and many Libyans lionize him. Why in the world he was in an insecure minor consulate in a provincial city on September 11 is a mystery to me.

Then 37 embassy personnel escaped to a rural safe house. The Libyan special forces commander charged with evacuating them to Tripoli at first was stymied by not having enough vehicles for so many people. Then the safe house came under fairly precise mortar fire from members of an al-Qaeda affiliate operating in Benghazi, which must have been surveilling consular personnel. Finally, the Libyan government forces got the Americans to the airport and they flew back to the capital of Tripoli.

It should be remembered that Libyan forces fought and risked their lives to protect Americans. In opinion polling in Eastern Libya, the United States has a 60% favorability rating, while the Salafis or hard line Muslims stand at only 28% favorable.

It was while all that was going on in Cairo and Benghazi that Mitt Romney took it into his head to condemn Barack Obama for the tweet issued by the Cairo embassy before the demonstration. He alleged that Obama had *reacted* to the embassy attacks by showing some sympathy for the attackers. This allegation is untrue and absurd, but Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan went on repeating it all day Wednesday.

Romney was caught on camera walking away from that shameful performance with a shark-like grin on his face. Since he was talking about matters of life and death, the expression was inappropriate. But a darker theory is that he was grinning about having stuck it to Obama.

Romney's politicization of September 11 and of the horrible events in Benghazi was poorly received among opinion leaders, including prominent Republicans, and some observers suggest that this miscalculation may have been a decisive nail in the coffin of his sputtering campaign.

Meanwhile, the Libyan government apologized for and vehemently condemned the attack on the consulate and the killing of its personnel. And, on Wednesday Libyans staged pro-American demonstrations in several cities.

In Egypt, in contrast, small demonstrations were held again in front of the US embassy, until police pushed the activists back. When, on Thursday morning, protesters set two cars afire with Molotov cocktails, police arrested 12 of them. The police have the embassy surrounded and have closed the roads leading to it in Garden City.

Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, fell short of strongly condemning the Cairo and Benghazi attacks. Late on Wednesday the Muslim Brotherhood finally retweeted comments of one of its other leaders, Khairat al-Shater, in condemnation of the attacks. Nevertheless, the Brotherhood is sponsoring rallies protesting the film on Friday, a 'day of rage.' Morsi is no doubt worried that religious and political currents to his right will outflank him on the issue of the blasphemous film and its American provenance. But Morsi has a Ph.D. from the US and surely knows that the US government cannot suppress films, and it is shameful that he did not condemn forthrightly the killing of Ambassador Stevens and the others.

In Tunisia, Salafis rallied on Wednesday in front of the US embassy, but were fairly quickly dispersed by police deploying tear gas. Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki denounced the killing of Stevens and the others as an "act of terrorism."

So the Butterfly Effect set off by a low-budget bad propaganda film gotten up by two-bit frauds and Christian supremacists, and then promoted by two-bit Egyptian and Libyan fundamentalists, has provoked some squalls and cost the lives of four good men.

The storm provoked by this butterfly has revealed character on an international scale. The steely determination of an Obama to achieve justice, the embarrassing grandstanding of a Romney, the destructive hatred of a handful of extremists in Cairo and Benghazi, and the decency and warmth toward the US of the Libyan crowds, all were thrown into stark relief by the beating of the butterfly's wings.

In the end, the violence and extremism of the hardliners on both sides is a phantasm of the past, not a harbinger of the future. The wave of democratic politics sweeping the region has left the haters behind, reducing them to desperate and senseless acts of violence that will gain them no good will, no popularity, no political credibility.

A little-noted major event of Wednesday was the democratic selection of a new prime minister in Libya for the first time in the country's history. Mustafa Abushagur defeated the Muslim Brotherhood candidate handily. Abushagur for a long time taught college in the US, at the University of Alabama Huntsville. Libyans again showed themselves nationalist and non-fundamentalist. This remarkable achievement, and what it portends for the shape of Libyan politics, will be drowned out by the atrocity in Benghazi, but it is the development that is likely to be marked by future historians as a turning point in Libya and in the Middle East.


 

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+63 # dkonstruction 2012-09-13 11:51
where are all of those on this board now who were so sure and repeated posting ad nauseum that they knew for sure that the film maker was an Israeli/America n Jew and then got all uppity when some raised the anti-semitic language/implic ations/tone of some of the posts?
 
 
+30 # Rick Levy 2012-09-13 22:03
Where cowards like that always go: back under the rock from which they crawled when the truth comes out.
 
 
+7 # doneasley 2012-09-14 18:54
Quoting Rick Levy:
Where cowards like that always go: back under the rock from which they crawled when the truth comes out.


Oh they haven't crawled under a rock yet, Rick. They've retreated for the moment waiting for Rmoney and Ryan to cook up other stupid conspiracy theories that they can espouse in these posts. And, for sure - as services for the fallen diplomats are being carried out at Andrews AFB - the cowardly R & R boys have gone on the campaign trail doubling down on their original statements that the President somehow supports the groups that are attacking embassies.

The Regressives know full well how to turn their problems into yours. With the exception of the attack on the Libyan embassy, all the other demonstrations were in response to the Right-Wing video meant specifically to inflame Muslim societies. Rmoney's chief adviser says it wouldn't have happened if Rmoney were the Commander In Chief. I agree! If Rmoney were in charge, we'd have troops on the ground in all of these countries, and especially in Iran. Remember he wants to add 100,000 troops to our military - for what he hasn't yet said.

And, during this sad moment for our country, it's business as usual for Rmoney. I haven't seen any respite from attacks on the President, nor any time taken for expressions of grief from the the Regressive "leader" - the man who would be president, or, better yet, KING.
 
 
+3 # MJnevetS 2012-09-14 09:30
Well, dkon, it seems that sometimes we are actually in agreement. My guess is that I was wrong in thinking (to myself) that you are a troll. Perhaps you are just an independent thinker who speaks his mind and conscience. In that case, I applaud you, although I often disagree with you (though not on this!)
 
 
+4 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 10:32
Quoting MJnevetS:
Well, dkon, it seems that sometimes we are actually in agreement. My guess is that I was wrong in thinking (to myself) that you are a troll. Perhaps you are just an independent thinker who speaks his mind and conscience. In that case, I applaud you, although I often disagree with you (though not on this!)


NJnevtS, thanks for your comment. I have no problem with honest disagreements and never assume or believe that this means the other person is not genuine or somehow a bad person because of it. Depends on what they have to say and how it is said.

I have been dismayed at the number of comments i have seen recently on RSN in response to the recent events in the middle east (and including the recent anti-islamic video) that i have taken to be sometimes veiled and sometimes not so veiled examples of anti-semitism.

I would always hope that i live up to your description of me as (perhaps) "an independent thinker who speaks his mind and conscience"...i would surely accept the moniker.
 
 
+3 # Barbara K 2012-09-14 12:23
dkon: Right now, on C-Span, the bodies are returned and the SOS is speaking and the President will be speaking too. Very somber service.
 
 
0 # ericlipps 2012-09-15 11:21
Quoting dkonstruction:
where are all of those on this board now who were so sure and repeated posting ad nauseum that they knew for sure that the film maker was an Israeli/American Jew and then got all uppity when some raised the anti-semitic language/implications/tone of some of the posts?

Well, I for one am right here.

I wouldn't have been surprised had the filmmaker turned out to be Jewish, even Israeli, despite the anti-Semitic element: there is, after all, such a thing as misdirection.

But I remember Oklahoma City, and how in the first few days right-wingers gleefully attributed that bombing to Muslims. When it turned out that home-grown "Christian" crazies were responsible, the response of some of them (yes, former Rep. Helen Chenoweth of Idaho, I'm talking about you) said President Bill Clinton had done it to divert attention from Whitewater. I don't recall any apologies being issued to anyone on that occasion either.
 
 
+46 # Maxwell 2012-09-13 20:57
It's very telling that even many leading Republicans are expressing dismay -- and in many cases outright disapproval -- over Mitt Romney's shameless politicizing of this tragic event, even resorting to lies and distortions to do so.

One can only hope that intelligent, informed people of all political persuasions will see Romney's actions for what they are: pure political grandstanding with no regard for the consequences to the people of the US and the people of the entire world.

My wish is that we can all join together in hopes of healing for the survivors and their loved ones; and in hopes of bringing to justice the multiple perpetrators of these atrocities.
 
 
+26 # Bill Clements 2012-09-14 07:15
Romney's only care and concern is to enflame his base with red meat partisan politics. Those people don't know what's really happening; they get all their news from Limbaugh and Fox.
 
 
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-09-28 22:18
Quoting Maxwell:
It's very telling that even many leading Republicans are expressing dismay -- and in many cases outright disapproval -- over Mitt Romney's shameless politicizing of this tragic event, even resorting to lies and distortions to do so.

One can only hope that intelligent, informed people of all political persuasions will see Romney's actions for what they are: pure political grandstanding with no regard for the consequences to the people of the US and the people of the entire world.

My wish is that we can all join together in hopes of healing for the survivors and their loved ones; and in hopes of bringing to justice the multiple perpetrators of these atrocities.


Obama is so much better than Romney, but Obama should know better and understand much better than he does.

Carter got an October Surprise, and the attempt to give it to Obama didn't work.

Obama has no business talking about freedom of religion, any more than praising freedom of expression if some Republican hired ear plugged porn stars in front of bright lights to have sex on a highway ramp causing a traffic jam preventing the Libertarians from turning their ballot petitions in on time,

http://readersupportednews.org/pm-section/212-212/13706-insulting-muslims-contrasted-with-the-n-word-and-shouting-vicious-p-at-a-police-officers-funeral
 
 
+14 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-13 20:57
Thank you Mr. Cole for setting the record straight.
Bottom line, does this mean that Mitt Romney is planning to go water skiing real soon, and proceed at full speed up an inclined plane that is floating in the water, with the intent of making that jump into space while the cameras are rolling, the perfect photo-op?
 
 
+30 # darryl 2012-09-13 22:51
Is the David Horowitz mentioned above the same D.H. who's infamous as a Holocaust denier?
Am I the only person who sees the evil hand of Karl Rove behind this YouTube film?
 
 
+19 # 666 2012-09-14 05:31
No darryl you're not alone; i didn't think it was appropriate to start pointing fingers before seeing facts. For me this has all the hallmarks of a fundy/true believer/ "christian taliban" strike--and I would not be shocked to learn the GOP was taken in by it too and with possible advance knowledge thought to capitalize on it as a "sept surprise" (thus romney's quick response & shark grin). the timing just seems too scripted.

How many times have we seen this shit (in Israel & US in particular): people in the middle begin having peaceful dialogues, the warmongers, murderers, & haters on BOTH sides feel left out, so they do everything possible to restart a war, any war.

such people are the mire of the world.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 06:07
Quoting darryl:
Is the David Horowitz mentioned above the same D.H. who's infamous as a Holocaust denier?
Am I the only person who sees the evil hand of Karl Rove behind this YouTube film?


No, the David Horowitz to whom he is referring is an ultra-conservat ive academic who has been going after "liberals" particularly in academia for years (since he abandoned his early left perspective as shown in his first book The Free World Colossus...stil l a very good book despite the fact that Horowitz now disavows it).
 
 
+7 # Barbara K 2012-09-14 09:50
darryl: Absolutely not, it is so obvious that Karl Rove has his hands all over this film. He's just stirring up hate everywhere so they can blame the President for not being in charge of the entire world. What a bunch of hateful cowards Romneyhood and his Rove bunch are. I hope that the government turns the guy over to Egypt.
 
 
+1 # bingers 2012-09-16 05:37
Quoting Barbara K:
darryl: Absolutely not, it is so obvious that Karl Rove has his hands all over this film. He's just stirring up hate everywhere so they can blame the President for not being in charge of the entire world. What a bunch of hateful cowards Romneyhood and his Rove bunch are. I hope that the government turns the guy over to Egypt.


While there is no doubt Romney and Rove are hateful cowards, I doubt Rove had anything to do with the film other than possibly inspiring it. It's so ineptly done and Rove puts out high quality garbage.
 
 
+39 # paula schramm 2012-09-13 22:53
This is an excellent article, full of information and giving a much more nuanced picture than anything else I've read. Thank you, Juan Cole
 
 
+5 # vicnada 2012-09-14 07:26
Quoting paula schramm:
This is an excellent article, full of information and giving a much more nuanced picture than anything else I've read. Thank you, Juan Cole

I concur. Comparing the extremes of Christian and Muslim fundamentalism, it would seem that the latter does far greater damage on an international scale when the "crazies" are unleashed. Where is the world-reach of Westboro Baptist Church, by comparison? But then I sit myself down and ask whether Mitt Romney's smirk isn't a reflection of the Smirking Chimp who preceded him in a bid for the Presidency. How may World Fires are still burning as a result of the "Christian" fundamentalism of Bush and his cronies?
 
 
+11 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 08:29
So, Muslim fundamentalism "does far greater damage" than christian fundamentalism? How about the up to 20 million people killed during the crusades; the 50,000-100,000 burned at the stake for being witches during the middle ages (some put this figure as much higher) or the 6 million Jews (not to mention the Gypsies, homosexuals and others) killed by the Nazis.

Fundamentalism is fundamentalism and it serves no useful purpose to start saying in effect "their fundamentalism is worse than ours."

And, in an era that includes the internet and things like Facebook and Twitter "the world-reach of WEstboro Baptist Church" or those that made the recent anti-Islamic video are indeed world-wide as their hateful message is immediately transmitted around the world. So, it no longer matters how many official members or followers they have; their impact can and is still be felt globally.
 
 
+2 # doneasley 2012-09-14 19:08
Quoting paula schramm:
This is an excellent article, full of information and giving a much more nuanced picture than anything else I've read. Thank you, Juan Cole


Paula, Right-Wingers don't believe in nuance. Remember Bush, "I don't do nuance" in response to a Kerry statement. For these guys it's black or white, with me or against me. There is no in between for these Neanderthals, and Rmoney - in his efforts to shore up his creds with the Regressives - is all in, hook, line and sinker.
 
 
+19 # ER444 2012-09-13 22:57
It is time for the Coptics in Egypt to join thier Muslim brothers in the streets in peaceful demonstrations against this hateful film. Extremism and fundamentalism have no place in a modern world. The only answer to it is peaceful solidarity among all nations and creeds.
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 06:28
Quoting ER444:
It is time for the Coptics in Egypt to join thier Muslim brothers in the streets in peaceful demonstrations against this hateful film. Extremism and fundamentalism have no place in a modern world. The only answer to it is peaceful solidarity among all nations and creeds.


One of the great things that happened during the revolution was that Muslims came out to defend Coptics who were being attacked and Coptics participatedin the protests in Tahir Square and other places...hopefu lly, the right-wingers in both the Muslim and Coptic communities will totally destroy these alliances and continue to press for genuine economic, political and social democracy for all Egyptians.
 
 
+25 # Joe6pK 2012-09-14 01:09
Nonsense, foolisness, plain stupid!
This whole incomprehensibl e drama points to one clear fact, religion, all religions are a man-made curse on the entire human race. A human that had become civilized would band this rediculus foolishness, this waste of life. Each of these modern cults only serve a ancient male dominated subculture that contributes nothing to the advancement of mankind! But it actually does just the opposite, it try's at every turn to drag us back to a more primitive, cruel time and mankind.
It is also plain where all this fundamentalist rage comes from, the masses have been leaving the religions in droves for years as some civilazation has happend in spite of all the money and conspiracy's to stop it in the world and these cultists feel they have to force the end of mankind soon, to fit with the end of the human race that match their prophesy's.
And in the process take all of us, welling or not along. Killing men over a stupid movie constructed by clowns, so stupid, so wasteful, especially when the human race has so many real problems to solve and needs energy and modern thinking creatures to solve them. As someone, Shakespear in one of his roman plays related, "The trouble dear Brutus is not in the stars, but in us"!
 
 
+17 # flippancy 2012-09-14 04:39
I would have liked to give you a thumbs up, but while religion has had devastatingly bad effects for sure it has also had wonderful successes for helping people. It's a mixed bag, and you went way past thoughtful criticism, so I won't be giving a thumb up or down.
 
 
-23 # RLF 2012-09-14 04:48
The moslim religion seems to have progressed right up to the point cristianity was at during the spanish inquisition. What did the magical thinkers in Wash. think they would get after all of these revolutions? Loving democracies from stone age tribalists. We will have 30 years of fundamentalist governments in these countries and then they will change by their own volition...like Iran was before we attacked Iraq. So the interventionali sts in Wash. better keep they hands clean or we'll have this shit around forever.
 
 
+12 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 06:34
Quoting RLF:
The moslim religion seems to have progressed right up to the point cristianity was at during the spanish inquisition. What did the magical thinkers in Wash. think they would get after all of these revolutions? Loving democracies from stone age tribalists. We will have 30 years of fundamentalist governments in these countries and then they will change by their own volition...like Iran was before we attacked Iraq. So the interventionalists in Wash. better keep they hands clean or we'll have this shit around forever.


Does your assessment of the "moslim religion" include the democratically elected, secular Mossadegh gov't in Iran (before we overthrew it in 1953) or what about Egypt under Nasser or the early days of the Quaddafi gov't in Libya where, among other things, a guaranteed national income was established and the revenues from their oil were distributed to the Libyan people? Your lumpting together of all Muslims is not better than those that lumb all Israeli's together or all Americans for that matter.
 
 
+12 # Bill Clements 2012-09-14 07:27
This is Psalm 109 from the Bible, just one example of the obvious superiority of Christianity over Islam (please note the irony!):


Let his days be few; and let another take his office

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.”


BTW, this "prayer" (for the assassination of Obama) was sent out to all his Republican colleagues by Kansas Republican Speaker of the House Mike O'Neal.
 
 
+7 # Doctor J 2012-09-14 09:29
Quoting Bill Clements:
This is Psalm 109 from the Bible, just one example of the obvious superiority of Christianity over Islam (please note the irony!):


Let his days be few; and let another take his office

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.”


BTW, this "prayer" (for the assassination of Obama) was sent out to all his Republican colleagues by Kansas Republican Speaker of the House Mike O'Neal.

In my community, some cars are sporting a bumper sticker which says "Prayer for Obama" and follows with a reference to this psalm. It's sickening.
 
 
+3 # Maxwell 2012-09-14 14:02
Sigh. Without commenting on the relative faults or virtues of any religion, let me point out a couple of useful facts.

This is not the entire text of Psalm 109.

"...His office" is just one translation. Others say "his charge" or "his hoarded wealth".

Both Hebrew and Christian Biblical scholars consider Ps 109 to be one of several "imprecatory" Psalms, that is, Psalms that wish for God to bring down terrible punishments on certain individuals. Most Jewish and Christian Biblical scholars believe that these Psalms serve as examples of an individual baring his or her soul to God -- just letting it all hang out. There's no saying that God agrees with the Psalmist's angry desires, but that God accepts that in their most desperate moments, people just fully open themselves up to God, "warts and all," as the expression goes.

When people try to interpret various scriptures -- Hebrew, Christian, Muslim, any others -- they may honestly reach different conclusions. I just hope that the guiding principle in their interpretations is to find the intended meanings rather than twist things to suit personal agendas.
 
 
+4 # Bill Clements 2012-09-14 16:11
What an odd interpretation for a prayer wishing the worst for someone and their family, i.e., "baring his or her soul to God --letting it all hang out?" Isn't that a rather benign way of putting it? Basically, to wish for the destruction of someone and their family, your mind has to be filled with extreme anger and/or hate.

In an ideal world, perhaps, we would have people searching for "intended meanings," but that wouldn't generally be anyone in the GOP, the Tea Party, or Evangelical Christians.
 
 
+20 # overanddone 2012-09-14 02:08
Excellent detailing of the the facts Dr. Cole, and highlighting the shoot first aim later ramifications. There may be an opening in the Romney camp for someone who has an ounce of understanding about the middle east.
However you would be over qualified by a ton.
 
 
-15 # John Somebody 2012-09-14 02:39
dkonstruction.
As someone who is frequently accused of being anti-Semitic, because of my determination to expose zionasty racially motivayed murder, (genocide),I am concerned by your post. I am sensitive to your repeated attempts to confuse people about the nature of criticisms about zio-thugs, with racial motives.
The fact that involvement of a Copt has been exposed in this instance, does not diminish the points about hypocrite supporters of state practititioners of racially motivated murder, (natzis), who defend Israel. Critics of racially motivated are not being anti - Semitic.
 
 
+14 # flippancy 2012-09-14 04:39
What's a natzi? 8^)
 
 
+11 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 04:58
Quoting John Somebody:
dkonstruction.
As someone who is frequently accused of being anti-Semitic, because of my determination to expose zionasty racially motivayed murder, (genocide),I am concerned by your post. I am sensitive to your repeated attempts to confuse people about the nature of criticisms about zio-thugs, with racial motives.
The fact that involvement of a Copt has been exposed in this instance, does not diminish the points about hypocrite supporters of state practititioners of racially motivated murder, (natzis), who defend Israel. Critics of racially motivated are not being anti - Semitic.


Ok, let's break down your comment and reaction to my post.

1) you claim that i have made "repeated attempts to confuse people about the nature of criticisms about zio-thugs with racial motives." How so? In my other posts i have identified myself as an anti-zionist jew who is completely opposed to the policies of Israel regarding its treatiment of the Palestinians as well as the indingenous Sephardic Jews and have opposed any attack on Iran (as well as opposing all US military intervention in the Middle East as a whole (including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria).

To be continued....
 
 
+13 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 05:04
2) My initial comment here was in reference to all the posts that so quickly jumped to the conclusion that the maker of the anti-Islamic video must have been an Israeli-America n Jew so the fact that it now seems like the film maker was in fact a Coptic Christian. Is this not a relevant fact? Some Coptic Christians in the US have come to ally themselves with the most right wing forces in the US including US fundamentalist Christians that now "support" Israel (i.e., Israeli state policies...some thing I am opposed to) when in fact they have no love for Israel or for Jews (whom they still consider the "christ killer" and who's "support" is based on the hopes that there will be a war between Israel and the Arab states in which both will be wiped out in the biblical apocalypse which is necessary to usher in "the rapture". In other words this is fundamentally an anti-semitic movement masquarading behind its supposed support for Israel.

still more to come...
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 05:09
3) I have repeatedly posted comments responding to right-wing supporters of Israel; critiquing their comments and citing scholarly works on Israel that present a very different narrative than the one typically told here about the history of Israel and their treatment of the Palestinians (e.g., Benny Morris' book on the Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem; Zeev Sternhal's Founding Myths of Israel and Tom Segev's book 1967 to name just a few...what scholarly works have you read or would you recommend to people to learn more about these issues?

4) So, clearly, i have never said that critics of Israeli state policies are anti-semitic -- in fact, i have pointed out that due to my own views and the fact that I am Jewish, consersavtive Jews here in the US label me as either a "self-hater" or an "anti-semite."

5) At the same time, I am fully aware that much of the left here in the US has not critique at all of the Arab gov't's and thus their criticisms are levelled only at the policies of the Israeli gov't and not at the samet time of the anti-democratic , repressive and reactionary Arab gov't's (though i have also been clear that there have been exceptions including the democratically elected gov't in Iran which we overthrew in 1953; Nasser's Egypt and Libya in the early days of Quaddafi). do you have any anaysis or critique of the Arab gov't's or only those of the Israeli gov't.
 
 
+11 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 05:13
Finally, my other main point has been that it is wrong to brand any country or any people as politically monolithic and that there is now still a sizable minority of Israeli Jews that oppose the policies of their gov't and that we need to support these progressive forecs (as we need to do in other countries as well but which for the most part we have not because these often tend to be leftists and our gov't has shown repeatedly that it prefers supporting right-wing religious fundamentalists rather than secular leftists (which is why for the most part the Arab populations have had no political alternative other than the fundamentalists given that these gov't's have first gone after and completed suppressed/repr essed their own secular leftists groups.

So, again, what is your "concern" and how am i trying to confuse people. It is all to easy to make unsustantiated accusations and to appear to be the "voice of reason" but it takes more than just calling folks natzis (sic) or accusing everyone who disagrees with you as being "hypocrite supporters of state practitioners of racially motivated murder".
 
 
+2 # MJnevetS 2012-09-14 09:35
Well, John Somebody, sometimes, if it looks like a turd and feels like a turd and smells like a turd, that's just what it is (by the way your note is the exclamation point on this comment)
 
 
+1 # Anarchist 23 2012-09-15 14:41
Good and Evil are Equal Opportunity Employers. Couple that with 'By their fruits shall you know them' (no endorsement of a particular religious point of view-just a darn good saying)and you can get a better idea of the configuration of the present world.Onward against the windmills.
 
 
+33 # Susan1989 2012-09-14 03:03
Mitt has shown himself to be the same immature child who dragged a classmate through the dorm of his prep school and with the aid of his classmates cut off his hair. This most recent impulsive behavior was intended to humiliate Obama on the national and orld stage...but thankfully it seriously backfired. The people of our country canot afford to have a President who fans the flames of hate under the guise of "strong and decisive leadership."
 
 
+14 # angelfish 2012-09-14 03:20
Will any of these fools be held accountable for the deaths at the Embassy? Nah. Didn't think so. Pathetic.
 
 
+11 # humactdoc 2012-09-14 04:28
I don't know which is worse: Romney's comments being his own and visceral or the msnbc report last night that his comments were made informed by his staff advisors who conferred during the preceding 4 hour flight.
 
 
+28 # flippancy 2012-09-14 04:33
Romney is more Moron than Mormon.
 
 
-5 # awro 2012-09-14 04:35
dkonstruction - as one of the left, I remind you the rhetorical left has always employed its own antisemitism, which in these times is manifest as arch-antiisrael ism (apparently there's only ONE tiny country causing problems for the rest of us-sounds like a variation of centuries-old traditional antisemitism to me). Look how easy it is to get the left to buy that Jews (especially with the qualifier, Israeli) are in on this fraud. Look at all the leftist Jews falling all over themselves to agree. The "zelig" effect - ANYTHING to fit it, anything to be loved by the majority (even as they are silenced and reviled for willingness to condemn anything Israeli just to be accepted). I have plenty of criticism of especially current Israeli government (I AM of the left), but come on...every Arab (even from the West Bank and Jordan - before the treaty - and Saudi Arabia - without a treaty - are treated at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem without distinction or discrimination (IF the Arab state will allow their ill citizens to travel). Just one example of what many Israelis attempt to promote peace, and yes acceptance, in the Mideast, the denial of which did not originate with Israel. There's enough real to criticize of Israeli policy. Do we really need to believe every horse's ass dark fantasy about Israelis? And you're right. Where the hell are the apologies for knee-jerk antisemitism on the left AND the critical essay examining that knee-jerk antiisraelism and antisemitism?
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 06:05
Awro,

Sadly, it is very telling that your comment regarding anti-semitic elements/perspe ctives in the American left has received (as of when i'm writing this) 6 thumbs downs. It is also telling that these thumbs down come with no response or comment regarding the substance of what you wrote. I think this proves your point.

I agree with what you write though, while I believe that there are many Israeli's that oppose the policies of their gov't (even today polls show that 20% oppose any attack on Iran and up until the suicide bombers went inside the "green zone" the majority consistantly supported the two-state "land for peace" solution along the lines of the pre-1967 borders) i don't think that there has ever been an israeli gov't (i.e., either Labor or Likud) that has genuinely sought peace along these lines or to put it another way there has never been a serious "offer" from Israel to create a viable contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank despite the propaganda regarding the "generous offer" that Barak supposedly made and which Arafat rejected (rightly and understandably in my view).
 
 
+4 # MJnevetS 2012-09-14 09:50
awro, I gave you a thumbs up. I don't understand how your statement, to look at facts individually and make an informed decision (as opposed to laying blame on one country for all middle east problems) garnered such negative responses other than antisemitism. I am vehemently against the hard right coalition currently driving Israel's policies, just like I am against some of Obama's continuation and even extension of many of Bush's policies. Nonetheless I don't HATE the United States, nor its people, nor do I deny its right to exist; nor do I feel that way about Israel and its people. You are correct, that a blind hatred of the ENTIRE COUNTRY and its PEOPLE (which includes a large Arab population) can only be ascribe to antisemitism. When you paint an entire nation with a broad brush because of the actions of SOME of its people, you have acted as a bigot. It is no different that the hard right Islamophobes who believe that all Muslims are 'evil' grow up people. (Oh, and despite this being a somewhat enlightened website, I think the proof of awro's point will be on whether this comment gets a major number of thumbs down)
 
 
+2 # Rick Levy 2012-09-14 16:58
Well stated, awro. Legitimate Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have become so conflated that it's almost impossible to tell the difference, even when a critic of Israel makes valid points.

But scratch a critic of Israel who uses who uses terms like zionazi and you will likely find a Jew-hater underneath.
 
 
+9 # myungbluth 2012-09-14 04:40
In a recent interview, an actress in the controversial film in question APOLOGIZED for any harm it caused. She was tricked when her words were overdubbed with inflammatory rhetoric. Still, an apology is an apology. Shouldn't Romney condemn that actress, like he condemned our embassy staff in Libya?
 
 
+13 # walt 2012-09-14 04:55
What a tragedy that those claiming to be "Christians" see fit to make a video that stimulated hatred against Muslims while claiming the producers were Jews. This a an act of hate-mongering that deserves the scorn of all. The clearest admonition of Christ was to make peace and to love one another. This shows what some of the fundamentalist "Christians" stand for, nothing different than the Taliban.

Another tragedy here is that Ambassador Chris Stephens was a friend to the Libyans, the people we helped to overcome a tyrant dictator.

There are two serious needs here: 1. People claiming to be "Christians" need to stop spreading hatred; and 2. Muslim fundamentalists need to stop killing innocent people because of actions of a shameful few.

It's time that reason prevailed and some real Christian charity along with it.
 
 
+11 # dick 2012-09-14 05:29
Mitt is turning out to be the Palin of this campaign.
 
 
+4 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-14 12:55
The ridiculous fact about comparing Mitt to Palin is that the GOP 'picked' the 'Palin' character to head the ticket rather than backup the ticket. It just shows exactly where their 'values' really take them. Their contempt for the America their claim to love, is boundless.

Just today, Romney (the liar-in-chief), accused the President of the United States of being a liar, and he further predicted that Obama will be using the well placed lie in all the upcoming debates. Hollywood can't come up with anything close to the things Mitt and his 'home crew' have created.
 
 
+14 # fredboy 2012-09-14 05:36
What was most revealing during Romney's statement was his shaking, his stuttering, and his seeming confusion and uncertainty--ab out as close to panic as I've seen a candidate.

I think this guy has been a little prince his whole life, and now he's stepped in the ring for the first time. He appears scared shitless.
 
 
+8 # bmiluski 2012-09-14 06:36
I don't think it was panic. I think it was over-enthusiasm for what he thought would be a good punch to Obama's gut. Pity that he has NO sense of graciousness.
 
 
-19 # 2wmcg2 2012-09-14 05:43
As a Romney supporter, I think the Republican candidate made a mistake but, from his standpoint, it was an honest mistake. Romney thinks the U.S. should project strength to prevent incidents such as the murder of the American diplomats. The Egyptian embassy statement condemning the film seemed to be excusing the murderous behavior and was therefore projecting weakness. But, of course, President Obama had nothing to do with the embassy statement. Regardless of how much "strength" the U.S. projects, there will always be terroristic acts of as this if the opportunity presents itself. In my view, it would be a mistake for the U.S. government to try to control everything. The embassy did the best it could in difficult circumstances.
 
 
+16 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 06:14
Quoting 2wmcg2:
As a Romney supporter, I think the Republican candidate made a mistake but, from his standpoint, it was an honest mistake. Romney thinks the U.S. should project strength to prevent incidents such as the murder of the American diplomats. The Egyptian embassy statement condemning the film seemed to be excusing the murderous behavior and was therefore projecting weakness. But, of course, President Obama had nothing to do with the embassy statement. Regardless of how much "strength" the U.S. projects, there will always be terroristic acts of as this if the opportunity presents itself. In my view, it would be a mistake for the U.S. government to try to control everything. The embassy did the best it could in difficult circumstances.


Romeny's comment was hardly just a "mistake" since it was claiming that the statement put out by our Embassy in Cairo regarding the video was in response to the violent reaction of people in Egypt and the attack on the Embassy in Libya when in fact the comment put out by the Embassy was before any of this happened. This was hardly an "innocent" mistake but rather a calculated attempt to make the current administration appear to have been making excuses for violent attacks that in fact had not even yet occured.
 
 
+2 # robniel 2012-09-14 10:36
Quoting 2wmcg2:
Romney thinks.


Were it only true.
 
 
0 # bingers 2012-09-16 05:47
Quoting robniel:
Quoting 2wmcg2:
Romney thinks.


Were it only true.



8^)
 
 
+2 # charsjcca 2012-09-14 06:07
At the end of the day the question to be asked is WHY are Americans in Libya and Egypt, except as visitors with visas. When peace corps volunteers, missionaries and 'teachers' go to various locations they arrive as Americans first. What I suggest is that they are agents when called upon and the world knows that. At times they morph into 'diplomats' and carry other papers. This is a common event known around the world. it is time for Americans to come home and end the charades. Want to help them others, leave them alone.
 
 
+6 # bmiluski 2012-09-14 06:41
Diplomats are the oldest form of any of the foreign policy institutions of the state, predating by centuries foreign ministers and ministerial offices.
The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and friendly relations.
It would be self-destructiv e to employ your isolationistic ideas.
 
 
-6 # charsjcca 2012-09-14 06:32
The biggest issue in America may be that
the last president who served in our armed forces was George Herbert Walker Bush. Service provides a perspective that is unique. These missteps may continue forever. Service is more important than being a Harvard lawyer like Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Setting a minimum standard such as two years service might be considered unfair to some. It is worth considering.
 
 
+1 # Anarchist 23 2012-09-15 14:47
I don't think a more militaristic approach would be wise.we need to see through and around the many calls and incidneces for violent response. Asa country, we don't even acknowledge publically that the assassination of JFK was a political act, not that of the usual suspect the 'lone gunman'. We need to think more inclusively about the world and its countries-peopl e are really not that different. Almost all-99%?- want a good world for their children, some happiness for themselves. So very little really. It is the Greed-Heads that are destroying everything everywhere. Time to wake from the dream and look around. 2012 is here.
 
 
+10 # fredboy 2012-09-14 07:14
Calling Romney's REPEATED comment a "mistake" is like calling the Bush team's failure to protect our shores and people on 9/11 an "oversight." And again proves my point: This GOP slate is composed of prissy, rich, silver spoon attaboys who have taken zero responsibility for their actions. What Romney did was clearly anti-American. His mouth and mind are dangerous. He should step down.
 
 
+10 # DerProfessor 2012-09-14 07:24
Curious, that Islam is now about 1400 years old. What was European Christianity like when it was 1400 years old? Well, one monocultural religion (Roman Catholicism) was dominant, and corrupt. In the name of a loving Christ several crusades had gone butchering up and down the eastern Mediterranean seaboard for two centuries. A few heretics attempted to translate the Bible into the common tongue, and were burned at the stake. Anything written or spoken--ANYTHIN G-- that smacked of blasphemy or unbelief was met with prison, torture, and execution, usually by fire. Does any of this sound familiar?
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 07:59
Quoting DerProfessor:
Curious, that Islam is now about 1400 years old. What was European Christianity like when it was 1400 years old? Well, one monocultural religion (Roman Catholicism) was dominant, and corrupt. In the name of a loving Christ several crusades had gone butchering up and down the eastern Mediterranean seaboard for two centuries. A few heretics attempted to translate the Bible into the common tongue, and were burned at the stake. Anything written or spoken--ANYTHING-- that smacked of blasphemy or unbelief was met with prison, torture, and execution, usually by fire. Does any of this sound familiar?


Exellent point DerProfessor to which I would add the expulsion of "heretics" and "infidels" such as the the Jews from Spain and England or the persecution of the Puritans in England (who, of course, once they escaped persecution in England then wanted to force others here to conform to their views).
 
 
0 # Sallyport 2012-09-14 10:07
I think it unlikely that Romney's hoof-in-mouth will have much effect on voters. The complicated timeline of who did (said) what, when, why, & where, make it difficult to compress into an effective slogan or other campaign tool. On the other hand,the acts & facts themselves may very well stir up prejudices& hatreds enough to affect not only the election but the whole prickly arena of our relations with the Middle East. That despicable movie will have a lot to answer for.
 
 
-3 # John Somebody 2012-09-14 11:42
Well dekonstruction, for one thing,your words, "where are all of those on this board now who were so sure and repeated posting ad nauseum that they knew for sure that the film maker was an Israeli/America n Jew", is indicative of a zionasty looking to pin the anti Semite slur, on people who simply accepted, (wrongly in this case), that the Copt was what he claimed to be.

Having now read some more of your stuff, I must admit you don't seem to be such a rabid zio-nasty as some. But a few times now I have come across imitation liberals, who are right on the freedom thing,(even about Israel), until someone exposes zio-thug brainwashing, imitation democracy and eagerness to label people, as in your post,

"and then got all uppity when some raised the anti-semitic language/implic ations/tone of some of the posts"

Such as where ?
 
 
+4 # dkonstruction 2012-09-14 14:04
John Somebody,

I don't believe my initial post was in any way "indicative of a zionasty looking to pin the anti-semitic slur" on anybody. I was responding both to the many comments over the last few days by people who were so quick to say essentially "see, we knew a jew/the jews/israel had to be the ones that made this video" (which i believe betrays anti-semitic assumptions and belief) and then to the very noticable lack of posts to the new article saying that in fact this was not the case.

If i read a comment i think is racist against any group i say so so it's not about pinning anything on anyone but rather responding to what people say and how they say it.

As for those that i thought "got all uppity" when the issue of anti-semitism was raised just go back and read the posts in the articles on this stuff over the last several days. you will also see there that i have as many posts responding to and criticizing those that were bashing Islam or Muslims as i did to those making comments that i thought were anti-semitic.

Finally, since you now believe that i am not "such a rabid zio-nasty as some" i take it that you think i am still a "zio-nssty" (though just less so than others) so if you would please tell me in what way(s) am i in any way a "zio-nasty"?
 
 
-1 # psmall 2012-09-14 15:33
Ron Cole himself bears responsibility for damage created by this film. Here is what he wrote in a previous article on this site. And I quote

"The pretext for the demonstrations/ attacks was a youtube film by Muslim-hater Sam Bacile, an Israeli-America n ‘produced' by provocateur Rev. Terry Jones, he of the Qur'an-burning fame."
He choose to not even use the term "alleged" The anti-semites on this site jumped on his bandwagon and accused the Israeli government of all sorts of conspiracies. Your readers deserve a more objective writer than Cole has proven himself to be. His biases are obvious.
 
 
+2 # Grumbler 2012-09-15 03:01
I disagreed with the Bush administration' s decision to go to war against Iraq, but I am not anti-American.
I disagree with the Catholic bishops about birth control and women's rights, but I am not anti-Catholic.
I disagree with Pat Robertson, Jim Robison, the late Jerry Falwell and their fundamentalist beliefs, but I am neither anti-Christian nor anti-Protestant.
I disagree with European nations about austerity as the cure for recession, but I am not a Europhobe.
AND, I disagree with the government of Israel about its unwillingness to negotiate in good faith for peace with the Palestinians and their building settlements in the West Bank, AND no way am I anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli.
These are not difficult distinctions. It is baffling to me that so many people conflate disagreements about policy with hatred of peoples.
 
 
+3 # psmall 2012-09-15 10:55
when you disagree with everything the Israeli government does:When you interpret their every action in a negative way: When you rush to judge any action in a manner to demonize Israel, regardless of the absence of creditable data: When you cannot give Israel credit for all the good it has done for forsaken people: Then my friend you are an anti-semite
 
 
-1 # bingers 2012-09-16 05:55
Quoting psmall:
when you disagree with everything the Israeli government does:When you interpret their every action in a negative way: When you rush to judge any action in a manner to demonize Israel, regardless of the absence of creditable data: When you cannot give Israel credit for all the good it has done for forsaken people: Then my friend you are an anti-semite


When the Israeli government is run by fanatics like Bibi, then it's hardly anti-semitic to rail against their actions. I care deeply about the people of Israel who have to be some of the bravest on earth with what they have to deal with. And if Romney is elected (proving there is no God) I won't hate the American people of which I am one. But I will justifiably detest the government under him.
 
 
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-09-15 13:10
I would like to go to Charles Manson who was far less successful in fermenting hate between Blacks and Whites.
 
 
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-09-16 05:33
The sex scenes in “The innocence of Muslims” were under clothes as if it was wrong to show a nude body but not insult a religion, a woman not wanting to show her face to an unknown man until the word God was mentioned. The children wore masks so no one could change the subject to children being exploited, It seemed to me to be double exposure where adults were dressed as children then shrunk in size. The anger reminded me of the Catholic anger and picketing over the movie “Hail Mary” which asked, if Jesus wasn't Joseph's child then whose child was it pointing to a dog but ending up pointed to the sky to say not the dog's child the sky’s child.


This was nothing but hate and deceit, even the actors did not know what was going on, the hate comments dubbed. The 100 Jewish donors didn't exist. Nakoula Basseley the so-called director never was involved in photographs much less an entire film, who specialized in fake Social Security accounts and probably was paid well for lending his name. He may not have know he was the only real name on the film trailer and that the people calling him with offers of money might have been using a cell phone near his house.
 
 
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-09-16 05:34
So Muslims were pressured to be more angry at Jews, Coptic Christians and of course the US who doesn't allow children to be exploited, but does allow false charges against a religion to not even be called slander. No one had a thousand wives and Islam originally thought modest women cover their hair, not showing ones face is more recent.

If Basseley is assassinated we will never know which group had the most to gain and Romney's election might be assured.

In Syria there is a rash of atrocities committed in such a way as to seem the other side did it. Now the whole world is unsafe from provocateurs pretending to be what they are not. Charles Manson was charged with ordering the murder of several people not in trying to sponsor a world-wide catastrophe, perhaps he should face new charges.
 

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