Dear Readers: A bit of Egypt in the news today. Courtesy of the ever-awesome Tammy Bruce, there is a story out that discusses a new theory of King Tutankhamen’s death: Epilepsy.
Sadly, the hard news I need to cover about Egypt is not as fun. In the wake of some small-scale film made my some attention-seeking pastor, the insane passions of Islamic extremists were worked into a frenzy and a mob attacked the American embassy. The action, which occurred on the internationally-recognized anniversary of the American tragedy of the attacks on the the World Trade Center and Pentagon, was paired with a similar event in Libya. This morning there are reports that the American ambassador to Libya has been killed.
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) – The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades. He was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
President Barack Obama ordered increased security to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel around world.
“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” Obama said, adding the four Americans “exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe.”
The attack in Libya came hours after Egyptian protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, pulling down the American flag and temporarily replacing it with a black Islamic banner.
The brazen assaults – the first on U.S. diplomatic facilities in either country – underscored the lawlessness that has taken hold in both Egypt and Libya after revolutions ousted their autocratic secular regimes and upended the tightly controlled police state in both countries. Islamists – long repressed under the previous regimes – have emerged as a powerful force but new governments in both nations are struggling to achieve stability.
Egypt’s police, a onetime hated force blamed for massive human rights abuses, have yet to fully take back the streets after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011. On Tuesday, riot police stood by the embassy’s walls but continued to allow protesters to climb them for several hours.
UPDATE: Here is an image that will haunt: Ambassador Chris Steven, who was killed by strangulation (according to reports coming out). Mercifully, reports indicate that it looks like the people around him were actually trying to help.
As an amateur Egyptologist with connections to the professional community, I have had good view of how “Arab Spring” has stunk up the efforts to do serious research and excavation in the region. Arab Spring Impacts Archaeology – Libya/Egypt/Tunisia/Syria
Egypt appears to have been affected more than its westerly neighbor. After the revolution erupted in late January, then Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs Zahi Hawass offered assurances that all sites and artifacts were safe. Later, however, this proved not to be true. Looters had attacked dozens of sites and broke into storerooms throughout the country, including in the delta region, Abydos, Abu Sir, Giza, Dashur, Lisht, Saqqara, and Quntara. Thieves also pilfered artifacts from Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, while protests and street battles went on outside in Tahrir Square.
Archaeologists in Egypt now say security has returned, but organization has faltered since the Mubarak regime fell. In an attempt to stabilize the situation, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is no longer part of the Culture Ministry, and instead is part of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf’s portfolio. “The SCA is going through a very painful auditing process,” says Tamar Teneishvili, a UNESCO specialist in Cairo. “And the treasury for cultural heritage management, funded by tourism, is empty.”
MUT RANT: So let me get this straight — just because some attention-getting pastor makes some stupid film about the prophet, it is OUR fault that our EMBASSY gets attacked by rioting extremists. WTF???? That was the initial take by Obama’s Embassy staff! Happily, it seems there was such an outrage that Team Obama had the Embassy staff delete an apologetic tweet and issued a clarification:
The Obama administration is attempting to walk back the damage done by the apology issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for criticisms of Islam made by American citizens. In the wake of condemnations of the embassy’s shocking statement, which seemed to justify the violence that was directed at the United States, administration officials have now said the apology was not vetted by Washington. Responding perhaps to Mitt Romney’s outrage about the apology, last night Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued her own statement in which she also condemned critics of Islam but added, “There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.” But with the attacks on posts in both Libya and Cairo now having left four Americans dead and with anti-U.S. rioters acting with impunity, the problem here is bigger than one retracted apology.
It seems that, despite the fact such an apologetic tone was the hallmark of Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech, the Embassy staff was thrown under the bus!
Not too much room left under that puppy!
The Professor over at Legal Insurrection had a great, initial take on the story: Remain calm, all is well in Egypt, ALL IS WELL!!!I suspect that our elite media will whip-up an abortion/contraception distraction so that we don’t pay attention to the chaos across the globe. These troubles are very likely to impact us dreadfully (even though Obama doesn’t want to hear the news from Israel’s Netanyahu.). Chuck Devore had a great tweet, which ties into my theme about the media yesterday:
Fellow SLOB Word Warrior ties these news items together, and relates them to the upcoming election:
Rather than meet with Netanyahu and answering the tough questions the Prime Minister will likely ask, Obama is dodging Netanyahu. Using the lamest of excuses, that his campaign schedule allows no time for such a meeting, Obama is fobbing Netanyahu off to the Secretary of State to meet with.
This is outrageous; and seems to bolster the Romney Campaign’s charge that Obama is no friend of Israel, and that given the chance a Romney Administration promises to do much better by our ally. A promise underlined by Romney’s committment to stop the Mullahs in Tehran from aquirering nuclear weapons.
Getting back to the rioting Egyptian Muslims: Using the US Embassy’s logic, I guess it’s just aces if the Egypt’s Copts go nuts!
Christian Copts in Upper Egypt are under attack, hours after a call for their eradication appeared in the form of leaflets calling on Muslims to kill Copts, specifically naming regions of Upper Egypt.
A report by Fady Talaat, for Al Akhbar News, published August 14, has the details. In Al Gallaweya Village, Sohag, Upper Egypt, Christians are being beaten, their stores destroyed, and their properties plundered. The attackers are declaring that “any Christian who dares to leave his house will be killed”; and the Copts are complaining that the police only arrive after the damage has been completely done.
Spare me the “sensitivity lectures”. Three things I esteem, American pride, Egyptian archeology and the Coptic Church, are being obliterated. Arab spring has truly turned to the winter of Obama’s discontent, as people are starting to refer to 1979.
Via Tammy Bruce, Charles Krauthammer says it best: Awesome. Krauthammer To Muslim Protestors In Egypt: “Go To Hell”. Indeed!
The fact the elite media was more upset about Romney’s critique of the White House than our dead ambassador says all there needs to be said about our press.
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And here is my latest piece at College Insurrection: New Prager University Course — The Laffer Curve