Monday, September 17, 2012
Varying versions of embassy-attack crisis incidentsI'm struck by a couple of variances in major parts of the story last week about the embassy attacks. One is that it seems to have become a general meme the President Obama's comment about Egypt not being an ally but not being an enemy either was a "gaffe".
Juan Cole has a different and realistic view in Obama Plays Hardball and Egypt’s Morsi Folds Informed Comment 09/14/2012:
Egypt is among about 14 countries designated at “major non-NATO allies” by US presidents. This status recognizes that they do joint military exercises with the US, and gives them special access to advanced US weaponry. However, some of them are not allies in the precise legal sense. That is, there is no obligation of mutual defense. A true ally, as with NATO states, is one that the allied country is pledged to defend from attack. Still, US officials typically have referred to Egypt as an ally, and the State Department made clear that it continues to do so.The Obama Administration is going with the story that the Libya consulate attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens was an outgrowth of a protest of the Innocence of Muslims YouTube trailer and (alleged) film. Our UN Ambassador Susan Rice reiterated that position Sunday. (Ambassador Rice: Benghazi attack began spontaneously NBC News US 09/16/2012) The Libyan government is taking a different position, as Brad Knickerbocker reports in Libya attack: US doubts that Al Qaeda planned ahead 09/16/2012:
Rice’s comments put her at odds with Libyan officials, who continue to insist that the attack that killed Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans was planned well in advance of the protests that began on the anniversary of 9/11 and spread around the world.Nancy Youssef and Amina Ismail report for McClatchy Newspapers (Anti-U.S. outrage over video began with Christian activist’s phone call to a reporter 09/15/20012):
Whether the Benghazi attack was linked to anger over the video remains uncertain – witnesses have said there was no protest preceding the attack – but the trauma of those deaths will likely scar U.S. perceptions for years, and while Saturday seemed calm across the region, the U.S. State Department made clear it fears the violence has not ended.Tags: egypt, embassy attacks, libya
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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