Yesterday’s assaults on American Embassies in Libya and Egypt following a Christian movie brought apologies to the Muslims by Obama — though maybe he actually apologized before the attacks — then a condemnation by Romney of the President’s apology — then a criticism by Obama of Romney’s condemnation of the apology — then and only then a condemnation by Obama of the attacks themselves.
The attackers scaled the embassy walls in Cairo and burned a US flag, and torched the embassy in Benghazi, where they also killed four Americans, including envoy J Christopher Stevens, 52. Stevens is the first American diplomat killed in the line of duty in 33 years. Fr. Z’s Blog (WDTPRS?) has a heartbreaking picture illustrating how the rioters feel about Americans.
They fired machine guns and grenade rockets at buildings and threw bombs into the compound. By the end of the day, the embassy building was a charred shell. According to an AP story,
Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
A Libyan doctor who treated Stevens said he died of severe asphyxiation, apparently from smoke. In a sign of the chaos of during the attack, Stevens was brought alone by Libyans to the Benghazi Medical Center with no other Americans, and no one at the facility knew who he was, the doctor, Ziad Abu Zeid, told The Associated Press.
The film the rioters were reacting to is called “Innocence of Muslims.” The trailer was posted on You Tube. The work of a Coptic Christian from Egypt who made the film in the US, it is intended to expose the flaws of Islam. The Egyptian Muslim government has persecuted Copts for a long time.
Stevens was practically dead when he arrived close to 1 a.m. on Wednesday, but “we tried to revive him for an hour and a half but with no success,” Abu Zeid said. The ambassador had bleeding in his stomach because of the asphyxiation but no other injuries, he said.
The attacks occurred on the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon by al-Qaeda in Washington, D.C. in 2001. Yesterday was Patriot Day, a holiday declared in response to those incidents, and was a Tuesday, like the day of the al-Qaeda crimes.
Obama increased security around American diplomatic personnel globally, and finally spoke against the attackers, saying, “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” and adding that the three security guards and the diplomat who perished in the assault represented our “commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe.”