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Radical Libyans in Benghazi shout, 'We are all Osama!'
Mohammad Hannon/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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PHILADELPHIA--The gardens of the Arab Spring are being watered by the blood of innocents.
This week, American blood was added to the flow. U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy staffers were murdered by Muslim jihadists presumably angry at a film that "defamed" Muhammad. The consulate in Benghazi, site of last year's anti-Gadhafi insurgency, was set on fire, and the American victims were killed by a hail of rocket projectiles while attempting to flee to safety.
The fact that this happened in a country that was famously "liberated" by American air power last year was lost on no one. That the embassy in Cairo was attacked on the same day by raging Islamists was also troubling. And that this assault on U.S. sovereignty occurred on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 was a chilling reminder of those who cheered the incineration of 3,000 Americans.
Some will look at these incidents through a strictly political lens and charge Barack Obama with naivete, hostility toward Israel, or worse. Others will take that same lens and focus it on Mitt Romney, a man with little foreign-policy experience but a significantly different world view.
There is something even more fundamental that we have to address. There is simply no bargaining with madmen. Muslim extremists are not a small and geographically limited group of sociopaths. They are legion and have sprung up in as many corners of the world as there is discontent, anger, and resentment against the West. The political scientists can try to paint these criminals as the victims of poverty and the regressive policies of their leaders, but their anger derives not from material discontent but from hatred of the "other."
There is great beauty in any religion that advocates tolerance, moral coherence, peaceful intercourse, and a love for God and the god
We do ourselves no favor as a nation to ignore this simple fact. The administration's initial responses to the attacks in Cairo was not only inappropriate, they were deplorable in their obsequious tone and character.