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Sep-14-2012 16:46printcomments

Thoughts on the Violence in Libya and Egypt

Who made the film? The knee-jerk reaction by too many, "It must be the Jews." But we should have been extremely skeptical of the source of the movie.

The nation mourns the loss of Chris Stevens in Libya
The nation mourns the loss of Chris Stevens in Libya

(SAN FRANCISCO) - While the nation mourns the killing of J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and four others, there lingers misunderstandings of what happened in Libya and Egypt and why. Here is an accumulation of my comments on other Salem-News articles.

While anti-American feeling is strong in parts of the Middle East, the attacks in Egypt and Libya were really a case of political opportunism by the Salafist Islamic extremists who are unhappy with the success of the more moderate Islamist and secularist parties in Egypt and Libya. The violence was not spontaneous; rather it appeared to be well-planned and coordinated. The "Innocence of Muslim" film that mocks and insults the prophet Muhammad, was really just a pretext or excuse for the violence. Once violence begins no matter how well-planned, it can turn into mob, taking on a life of its own, spreading thoughtlessly. Even al-Qaeda is taking part.

Who made the film? The knee-jerk reaction by too many, "It must be the Jews." But we should have been extremely skeptical of the source of the movie. Initially, the word was that the film was made by an Israeli-American named Sam Bacile, cost $5 million, and was financed with money from "more than 100 Jewish donors." The filmmaker was later outed as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian and convicted felon. As the dust finally settles, it now appears that fundamentalist Christians were aided by a fundamentalist Islamic cleric in Egypt to stir up chaos in the Middle East, and then blame the Jews. The moral of the story is that we should wait until all the evidence is in before pointing fingers.

The filmmakers are protected from prosecution in the U.S. under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Of course, we all have a right to condemn filmmakers for making the film, the resulting violence, and the killings. I do not plan to see the film.

The film, by the way, was translated into Arabic and broadcast on Arab TV stations and talk shows, which sparked the violence. Why would Arab TV stations choose to show it if they knew or should have known it would spark violence? If it had not been shown on Arab TV, the movie probably would have slipped quietly into obscurity where it belongs. What were the Arab TV producers' motives in highlighting a film made by extremists? Yes, they had a right to show and discuss the film, but they could have chosen not to.

How will the film, the violence, and the death of Ambassador Stevens and four others effect American politics? Fox News used the killings to revive the long-debunked claim that President Obama apologizes for America. The U.S. embassy in Cairo issued a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims," which was released before the protests started. The embassy later denounced the "unjustified breach of our embassy." Hours later, this statement was disavowed by the Obama administration, quoting an official who said that "the statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government." President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton both strongly condemned the violence that resulted from these protests.

One thing the deaths have done is take the election focus away from the economy to foreign policy. It looks like Obama is coming away a winner in the short term. But then the violence is not over, and Iran's nuclear ambitions are ever present.

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Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address stonere@earthlink.net

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Agron Belica September 15, 2012 3:35 pm (Pacific time)

@Kiflu Hussain: Very good questions...thanks for sharing


Anonymous September 15, 2012 1:52 pm (Pacific time)

Amanda in 1940 the literacy rate in America was at 99%, which was a time when many began dropping out of school to work when the depression began in 1929. So having that high literacy rate is rather remarkable. Since the mid 1960's our literacy rate has been dropping. Our public school system started going PC, and standards were lowered in our colleges, especially to allow for lowering standards for teacher certifications. You may have noted that one of the major beefs for unions who represent teachers (currently Chicago strike), is that they do not want competency exams for their teacher members. The difference in tests by kids in public schools and private schools is considerable. The public school system (not all of course) is failing many of our students because of unqualified teachers. I expect our literacy rate to continue downward, which will only continue to increase an underclass population. It isn't just reading, writing, math and science, it is learning critical thinking skills. Many feel they have them...they do not.

Editor: What?  


Amandablack September 15, 2012 12:06 pm (Pacific time)

talking about illiteracy rates...What about the United States of America???


Erna Boldt September 15, 2012 12:02 pm (Pacific time)

"Even producing a film that caused violence in many countries, it cannot be considered a crime, because the United States has STRONG FREE SPEECH LAWS."
just imagine, I , as an 86 year old abused victim of elder financial exploitation was sued for Defamation by a crooked attorney and my son, because I went public with my story and was fined $55,000.00 for telling the truth to Salem News.com, an Oregon online News organization. WHAT ABOUT MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OR THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS?? Clackamas County Circuit Court, Oregon (Judge Rastetter presiding) when he did not protect me from Judicial Fundamental Attribution Error under ADA Title II Recommendation, and denied me access to fair adjudication. He allowed fraud and fraud on the courts to vitiate the proceedings.


Anonymous September 15, 2012 8:45 am (Pacific time)

Statements that are rather timely: “One of the proudest things of my three years in office is helping to restore a sense of respect for America around the world, a belief that we are not just defined by the size of our military.” Barack Hussein Obama// “If I don’t have this done (economy fixed) in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” Barack Hussein Obama// OBAMA FLASHBACK/2008: "The Day I'm Inaugurated Muslim Hostility Will Ease." Barak Hussein Obama


Kiflu Hussain September 15, 2012 12:49 am (Pacific time)

Yes,the writer,Ralph raised very good points.By the way,one thing I don't understand in the US these days, is many people seemed to have gone from making anonymous comments to making motion pictures in hiding.Why in a lnad that prides itself for guaranteed freedom of expression?Just take a look at the comments made on Salem-News.com anonymously.


Agron Belica September 14, 2012 7:29 pm (Pacific time)

@Ralph E. Stone: Very good points here...thanks for sharing


Anonymous September 14, 2012 6:28 pm (Pacific time)

Ralph FOX news was not debunked nor the legions of others who were disturbed by Obama's Apology Tour. Ralph I often ask those (over many years now) to cite some examples of the FOX Network news department of telling lies, so far no one has. Yes, like many news organizations, they have corrected reports, but like many others, those outfits often do not. Obviously the attacks going on around the world have been pre-planned. It all beginning on 9/11 is hardly a coincidence. Reports are coming in that Obama was warned on 9/4 of these planned attacks. So the spin will not work for them is my prediction. Currently Obama is behind by 3 points on a national level by Rasmussen. If you are familiar with pollster internals, those who have Obama in the lead over-sample democrats considerably. The last vote in Wisconsin certainly exposed the futility of attempting push polls to change voting patterns by reporting results that do not publically show those internals. When voters are motivated, they will vote their priorities, and it is the economy, jobs and national security. Unfortunately America is seen as weak by many who are rioting, and that is on Obama. Most of these countries have 75% of their population under 30 years old, and have an extremely high illiteracy rate. They are told what to believe and we can predict that things will not improve until we assert leadership, and not the Chamberlain approach of Obama and his cabal. Cheers

Editor: Ralph, this  is one of our regular detractors but since he isn't rude I thought I'd go ahead and approve this.

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