Murder in Benghazi
by Eric Margolis: The
GOP Becomes the Party of the Bible Belt
used to call it the "cost of Empire:" occasional attacks
on Her majesty’s troops and legations by enraged, sword and spear-wielding
would be rushed in and quickly put down the uprisings. In the 1920’s,
Winston Churchill authorized the use of poison gas against "unruly"
tribesmen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
to the British Raj’s heir. This week’s attacks on US embassies in
the Arab world were a deeply disturbing sign of the violent, anti-American
fury boiling across the Muslim world.
spasm of violence resulted the tragic murder of Christopher Stevens,
the new US ambassador to Libya, an Arabic-speaking career diplomat.
He was just the kind of educated, experienced diplomat America so
badly needs. Having myself almost joined the US Foreign Service
many years ago, I feel particular sorrow.
We don’t know
yet who killed Stevens but two suspects come at once to mind: anti-western
jihadists of al-Qaida in the Maghreb, or Ghadaffi loyalists seeking
revenge for the US-assisted killing of their late leader, whose
convoy was blasted by a US Predator drone.
answer, more violence seems likely. The vile anti-Muslim film from
California that sparked protests in Egypt, Yemen, and North Africa
is only now beginning to be seen in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and
I watched 15
minutes of this crude piece of amateur propaganda. It slandered
the Prophet of Islam and his faith in the most disgusting fashion.
As of now, the real makers of this vile film are uncertain: a Coptic
Egyptian convicted of bank fraud, a group of American pro-Israel
businessmen, a fanatical Christian-fascist hate-monger and gun-lover.
blamed the US government for the film. In fact, Washington does
not appear to have any link to the film; nor could it have prevented
it under US laws.
candidate Mitt Romney lost not a moment to absurdly denounce President
Barack Obama for "sympathizing" with the Benghazi attack.
The stumbling Romney gave yet another example of why he may not
be ready for the presidency.
The big question
here is who set off this firestorm? If we were in the good old days
of the Cold War, I’d say the film was made by KGB’s special disinformation
department to enrage the Muslim world against the United States.
most likely culprit are far right Christian fundamentalists, who
hate Islam with religious passion, and a group of neconservative
businessmen trying to promote war between the US and Muslim world
– and namely, Iran. A network of Evangelical broadcasters, publishers
and schools churns out a steady stream of anti-Islamic fulminations.
anti-US riots across the Mideast further convinced many Americans
that all Muslims are violent extremists. The hate film reinforced
the mistaken notion held by many Muslims that the United States
is bent on eradicating their faith.
All this fits
nicely with efforts by right wing ideologues to push the US into
war against Iran. President Obama has so far stoutly refused to
give in to war-mongering, no mean feat in an election year in which
he is neck-a-neck with Romney.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, demanded Obama openly
define the conditions under which the US would attack Iran. Netanyahu’s
American supporters accuse Obama of "throwing Israel under
a bus." At times, it appears there are three candidates for
office in Washington: Obama, Romney and Netanyahu.
and rebuked Obama for not sending American troops and spending American
treasure to attack Iran because it is a potential rival or threat
to Israel. Netanyahu is now openly backing Romney for president.
Yiddish, such behavior is called "chutzpah," a mixture
of brazen nerve and outrageous presumption.
Add all this
up and we have evil memories of the hysteria and military posturing
of August, 1914, the lead-up to World War I, a totally unnecessary
conflict that ran out of control and wrecked Europe.
the Muslim world, America and Canada is being manipulated by those
seeking war. A few more killings, a clash in the congested Gulf,
a bombing in the west, and a wider Mideast war could erupt.
One in which
PM Netanyahu thinks he will be the winner. Unfortunately, he may
well be right.
him mail] is the author of War
at the Top of the World and the new book, American
Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the
West and the Muslim World. See his
© 2012 Eric Margolis
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