US embassies in Egypt and Libya swarmed

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BBC[/url]]Protesters have breached the wall of the American embassy in Cairo and torn down a flag over a US-made film which they say is insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. The American flag, which was flying at half mast to mark the 9/11 attacks, was replaced by an Islamist banner. Thousands of protesters had gathered outside the embassy.

LA Times[/url]]The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were reported killed as a mob sacked the U.S. Consulate in eastern Libya in a rage over an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States, according the State Department.

I've read that warning shots were fired in Egypt, and that may have helped keep the crowd at bay, but where was the protection for our consulate in Libya?

I'm guessing these protestors don't see the irony in using violence as a response to a video that calls Islam dangerous.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

I'm guessing these protestors don't see the irony in using violence as a response to a video that calls Islam dangerous.

Know many ultraconservative religious fundamentalists of any stripe to have a fine sense of irony?

Here's an idea. If Sam Bacile and Pastor Terry Jones want to get their jollies poking a hornets nest of sociopathic fundamentalism, let's just throw them to the baying mob to be torn limb from limb so the rest of us can live in peace without having to die for anyone else's beliefs.

I just want to know when we're going to disappear Terry Jones, the same hick Florida preacher that caused riots in Afghanistan for his Koran burning party back in 2010, and Sam Bacile, the rich idiot and self-identified "Israeli Jew" who spent $5 million to make the film at the heart of these riots, to Gitmo on terrorism charges. Their actions led directly to this mess.

Maq wrote:

Here's an idea. If Sam Bacile and Pastor Terry Jones want to get their jollies poking a hornets nest of sociopathic fundamentalism, let's just throw them to the baying mob to be torn limb from limb so the rest of us can live in peace without having to die for anyone else's beliefs.

I'd rather not live in a country that tolerates religious violence in response to mockery. To live in a free society includes the risk of dying because we have free speech rights, even though we know there are people who will try to intimidate us into abandoning them.

Keep the blame where it belongs: on religious nutjobs who would kill someone over a movie or political statement.

BTW, next time someone makes fun of some religious idea on this site, please remind them that it's critical not to offend religious feelings, because some of these religious people take this stuff very seriously and may shoot some innocent person.

I agree with Quintin. Where the hell was the Marine protective detail? Have we gotten so strapped for manpower that we are pulling the Marines from protecting our embassaies and hiring contractors instead?

Nothing I've read has listed the security as Marines, yet traditionally don't Marines guard our embassies?

The California-born ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was trying to leave the consulate building for a safer location as part of an evacuation when gunmen launched an intense attack, apparently forcing security personnel to withdraw.

From Link

There's more than enough blame to go around, Funken.

I would be much more in your freedom of speech camp if this was purely an internal matter for the US; if the riots had taken place in say Dearborn, Michigan.

But that's not the case. This is a matter of national security where our own religious nutjobs are f*cking up our country's interests around the world and putting other Americans at risk. That shouldn't be tolerated. Nor should Jones or Bacile be allowed to hide behind the 1st Amendment. What they are doing is very much the international equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

Nevin73 wrote:

I agree with Quintin. Where the hell was the Marine protective detail? Have we gotten so strapped for manpower that we are pulling the Marines from protecting our embassaies and hiring contractors instead?

Nothing I've read has listed the security as Marines, yet traditionally don't Marines guard our embassies?

The California-born ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was trying to leave the consulate building for a safer location as part of an evacuation when gunmen launched an intense attack, apparently forcing security personnel to withdraw.

From Link

I've got $5 that says we've contracted Blackwater USA to replace the Marines at embassies.

Funkenpants wrote:

Keep the blame where it belongs: on religious nutjobs who would kill someone over a movie or political statement.

I'm pretty sure if an Islamist made a film called "Christ is a C**t" then acted all surprised when someone firebombed a mosque I'd be laying a nice basket of blame on their doorstep as well.

A pox on both their houses.

OG_slinger wrote:

There's more than enough blame to go around, Funken.

I would be much more in your freedom of speech camp if this was purely an internal matter for the US; if the riots had taken place in say Dearborn, Michigan.

But that's not the case. This is a matter of national security where our own religious nutjobs are f*cking up our country's interests around the world and putting other Americans at risk. That shouldn't be tolerated. Nor should Jones or Bacile be allowed to hide behind the 1st Amendment. What they are doing is very much the international equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

So, freedom of speech unless you disagree with it.

"It's dangerous" is always the rationale behind such restrictions.

OG_slinger wrote:

That shouldn't be tolerated. Nor should Jones or Bacile be allowed to hide behind the 1st Amendment. What they are doing is very much the international equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

That's a very limited exception, and it's not intended to apply to broad ideas, however offensive to some people those ideas may be. Yelling "fire" in the hope of starting a panic has no expressive content. There's very little reason to protect speech like that. But you can't apply that to mockery of Islam.

However, we can't spend the rest of time eliminating criticism of religious beliefs based on the idea that someone somewhere may riot or kill someone. You may not agree with the line I'm drawing around expressive content, and I recognize that some people may die someplace when we operate our system the way we've decided it should operate. But if the alternative is to start telling people not to express ideas because someone will commit an act of violence someplace in the world in retaliation, then I'm going to stick with free speech principles.

Maq wrote:

I'm pretty sure if an Islamist made a film called "Christ is a C**t" then acted all surprised when someone firebombed a mosque I'd be laying a nice basket of blame on their doorstep as well.

What if a band of female punk rockers mocked the Russian Church and the Russian government responded by imprisoning them? Are they to blame for their own imprisonment because they knew that offending the Russian church could lead to outrage by church leaders?

Well my understanding is that the first amendment means that he can make that film and that it not be illegal to do so.
It does not mean that he was right to make it.
It does not mean he was justified in making it.
It does not mean he is not an irresponsible loudmouth with blood on his hands.
It does not mean that every time some gutless idiot makes a film or statement likely to put innocent people in harms way of other gutless idiots that we throw up our hands and say "oh well, yay for free speech".

Maq wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:

Keep the blame where it belongs: on religious nutjobs who would kill someone over a movie or political statement.

I'm pretty sure if an Islamist made a film called "Christ is a C**t" then acted all surprised when someone firebombed a mosque I'd be laying a nice basket of blame on their doorstep as well.

A pox on both their houses.

No one died as a result of Chris Ofili's infamous porn & elephant sh*t rendition of the virgin Mary.

Funkenpants wrote:

What if a band of female punk rockers mocked the Russian Church and the Russian government responded by imprisoning them? Are they to blame for their own imprisonment because they knew that offending the Russian church could lead to outrage by church leaders?

Effin ay. How are they not to blame? Did they trip and fall into the church? Pussy Riot weren't protected under any law that allowed them to do that and fell foul of laws they specifically set out to flout.

Funkenpants wrote:
Maq wrote:

I'm pretty sure if an Islamist made a film called "Christ is a C**t" then acted all surprised when someone firebombed a mosque I'd be laying a nice basket of blame on their doorstep as well.

What if a band of female punk rockers mocked the Russian Church and the Russian government responded by imprisoning them? Are they to blame for their own imprisonment because they knew that offending the Russian church could lead to outrage by church leaders?

Were they operating under the impression that they actually had Free Speech? I don't support people getting jailed or killed for mockery, but if you do something that you know is illegal, expect to be jailed. They did what they want and paid the price, the people who made this movie are in hiding. Still not illegal, but damn cowardly.

Funkenpants wrote:
Maq wrote:

Well my understanding is that the first amendment means that he can make that film and that it not be illegal to do so. It does not mean that he was right to make it. It does not mean he was justified in making it.

Do you think the principle of free speech should only apply to people who say things that other people don't find distasteful? If I was to say right now that by expressing your opinion, you've made me angry enough that I'll go out and kill someone. Maybe find someone from Britain and shoot them in retaliation because "I don't like what this guy Maq in London said to me."

Go watch the short version of the film on youtube, then come back to me with a straight face and say it's a case of difference of opinion and not an out and out hate tract.

edit to add: your censorship point is a straw man. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to say it. I'm saying they're gutless and irresponsible, and need to man up to the bloodshed they've incited.

Maq wrote:

Well my understanding is that the first amendment means that he can make that film and that it not be illegal to do so. It does not mean that he was right to make it. It does not mean he was justified in making it.

Do you think the principle of free speech should only apply to people who say things that other people don't find distasteful? If I was to say right now that by expressing your opinion, you've made me angry enough that I'll go out and kill someone - maybe find someone from Britain and shoot them in retaliation because "I don't like what this guy Maq in London said to me" - does that mean you won't say that again?

How much am I allowed to censor you by threatening to do bad things to someone from Britain?

Agree with me, or the kitten gets it:

IMAGE(http://alexzola.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/cat-tax-cat-holding-hands-up-gun-pointing-at-him-788789.jpg)

Maq wrote:

Well my understanding is that the first amendment means that he can make that film and that it not be illegal to do so.
It does not mean that he was right to make it.
It does not mean he was justified in making it.
It does not mean he is not an irresponsible loudmouth with blood on his hands.
It does not mean that every time some gutless idiot makes a film or statement likely to put innocent people in harms way of other gutless idiots that we throw up our hands and say "oh well, yay for free speech".

It does not mean we should seize them and hand them over to people who want to kill them either.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

So, freedom of speech unless you disagree with it.

I'm not sure how you jumped to that conclusion.

I said it should be treated as freedom of speech if it only involved other Americans. If it was only Muslim Americans who were rioting I would support Jones' and Bacile's right to say stupid, hateful things about Islam.

But this isn't a case where it's an internal, US matter about freedom of speech. This is a case where certain religious nutjobs are hiding behind the 1st Amendment and saying things from the safety of American soil that are specifically designed to spark violence half way around the world. That is most definitely yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. It just so happens that that theater is in Libya and Egypt, not on Main Street.

Beyond that, Jones and Bacile are saying things that are completely counter to American interests in the region and that are putting other American citizens in danger. I don't know about you, but I really don't want our foreign policy driven by some redneck failed preacher or a Jewish real-estate developer with money and an axe to grind.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Maq wrote:

Well my understanding is that the first amendment means that he can make that film and that it not be illegal to do so.
It does not mean that he was right to make it.
It does not mean he was justified in making it.
It does not mean he is not an irresponsible loudmouth with blood on his hands.
It does not mean that every time some gutless idiot makes a film or statement likely to put innocent people in harms way of other gutless idiots that we throw up our hands and say "oh well, yay for free speech".

It does not mean we should seize them and hand them over to people who want to kill them either.

We shouldn't. I'd like to see it, much like I'd like to see a lot of politicians punched in the mouth. Shouldn't do that either.

Funkenpants wrote:
Maq wrote:

Well my understanding is that the first amendment means that he can make that film and that it not be illegal to do so. It does not mean that he was right to make it. It does not mean he was justified in making it.

Do you think the principle of free speech should only apply to people who say things that other people don't find distasteful?

Free speech allows you to say what you want; it doesn't say you're absolved from all responsibilities or consequences of what you said.

Maq wrote:

edit to add: your censorship point is a straw man. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to say it. I'm saying they're gutless and irresponsible, and need to man up to the bloodshed they've incited.

You are saying they should engage in self-censorship. I'm saying that people shouldn't feel the need to engage in self-censorship just because someone is threatening violence. I would say we are not living in a free country if someone demands you "man up" (what does that even mean?) and not say something because somewhere in the world someone disagrees and will kill someone in response.

OG_slinger wrote:

But this isn't a case where it's an internal, US matter about freedom of speech. This is a case where certain religious nutjobs are hiding behind the 1st Amendment and saying things from the safety of American soil that are specifically designed to spark violence half way around the world.

If you say something in the U.S., it's an internal matter unless you're planning on giving anyone overseas veto power over what it's acceptable for an American to say.

Wow, this doesn't make any sense. No shots were fired by our people? What?

1) Where were the marines?
2) Why were the protesters not shot by these marines the second they jump the walls?
3) If the order was given to not fire, who gave it?

If anyone has an update on what our people did, please share. I have yet to read "...and our military opened fire, killing some invaders before the embassies were overwhelmed." anywhere.

OG_slinger wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

So, freedom of speech unless you disagree with it.

I'm not sure how you jumped to that conclusion.

I said it should be treated as freedom of speech if it only involved other Americans. If it was only Muslim Americans who were rioting I would support Jones' and Bacile's right to say stupid, hateful things about Islam.

But this isn't a case where it's an internal, US matter about freedom of speech. This is a case where certain religious nutjobs are hiding behind the 1st Amendment and saying things from the safety of American soil that are specifically designed to spark violence half way around the world. That is most definitely yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. It just so happens that that theater is in Libya and Egypt, not on Main Street.

Beyond that, Jones and Bacile are saying things that are completely counter to American interests in the region and that are putting other American citizens in danger. I don't know about you, but I really don't want our foreign policy driven by some redneck failed preacher or a Jewish real-estate developer with money and an axe to grind.

Just WTF are you advocating here? A crowd of violent thugs blame their murder at the feet of Americans for something they said in America and you think the US government should, what? Arrest them? Censor them? Execute them? Deport them?

Our foreign policy is not driven by these yokels any more than it is driven by the speech of America's endless sea of idiotic opinions. Our foreign policy's not even driven by Mitt Romney's claim that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Should we arrest everyone moron on Twitter that claimed the US gold medal victories over Japan were retaliation for Pearl Harbor? You haven't even thought about the words you're typing. It's embarrassing.

DanB wrote:

Free speech allows you to say what you want; it doesn't say you're absolved from all responsibilities or consequences of what you said.

I just shot a puppy because you said this. You know whose fault that is? Yours. Not mine. If it wasn't for you saying that, the puppy would still be alive.

I know this sounds absurd, but it's how I view the reasoning here. (edited out something that was coming off the wrong way) Many muslims abroad find all sorts of western ideas unacceptable, and that certain ideas we propose for muslims abroad- like rights for women- are also the source of friction. Should we stop suggesting that women have more rights in muslim society because it might cause resistance or blowback in Afghanistan?

I think there should be a very clear rule: No violence in response to free expression is reasonable or acceptable, whatever the content of that expression may be.

This crap makes me sick.

Seriously. Go watch the video then pretend Bacile didn't know what he was going to incite. We're not talking a reasonable satirical critique of radical islam here. We're talking "Raghead Blackface Theatre".

Funkenpants wrote:
DanB wrote:

Free speech allows you to say what you want; it doesn't say you're absolved from all responsibilities or consequences of what you said.

I just shot a puppy because you said this. You know whose fault that is? Yours. Not mine. If it wasn't for you saying that, the puppy would still be alive.

I know this sounds absurd, but it's how I view the reasoning here. (edited out something that was coming off the wrong way) Many muslims abroad find all sorts of western ideas unacceptable, and that certain ideas we propose for muslims abroad- like rights for women- are also the source of friction. Should we stop suggesting that women have more rights in muslim society because it might cause resistance or blowback in Afghanistan?

I think there should be a very clear rule: No violence in response to free expression is reasonable or acceptable, whatever the content of that expression may be.

If you incite racial hatred I think that should be a crime, pretty sure it is a crime in most western nations because we accept that free speech doesn't give you the right to put other's lives or health in danger.

Personally I see this issue more like a hornets nest. A hornets' nest is a pre-existing thing full of evil little gits. If I smash it with a stick I only have myself to blame, I knew what would happen when I smashed it with a stick but I went right ahead and did it anyway.

Funkenpants wrote:
Maq wrote:

Seriously. Go watch the video then pretend Bacile didn't know what he was going to incite.

Oh, I'm sure it was offensive. But I follow a philosophy that people should be free to express themselves, even if what they express is vile. If a KKK member put out the most vile racist video on youtube, I know it's hateful. But that doesn't mean I think it's okay for someone to kill the guy, or worse, someone who is not that guy but shares the same ethnic background.

Hey, I agree he's allowed to do it. I've never said anywhere he's not allowed to do it. I've said he's a f***ing c*** for doing it.

Bacile may have inflamed these tensions, but no one made these people do what they did. They are responsible for their own actions. Bacile has the right to say what he wants.

Maq wrote:

Seriously. Go watch the video then pretend Bacile didn't know what he was going to incite.

Oh, I'm sure it was offensive. But I follow a philosophy that people should be free to express themselves, even if what they express is vile. If a KKK member put out the most vile racist video on youtube, I know it's hateful. But we live in a culture that believes it's not reasonable to kill a guy because of what that guy says.

DanB wrote:

If you incite racial hatred I think that should be a crime, pretty sure it is a crime in most western nations because we accept that free speech doesn't give you the right to put other's lives or health in danger.

We may have wider protections of speech than other nations, and my own view may be wider than many people's even in America. It could be because I often find myself expressing opinions that are unpopular and just assume that what people can do to an extremist they will happily do to anyone else who disagrees with them.

I agree that Bacile (and Jones) were assholes and douchebags. That said, any response other than a verbal or written "This is offensive to us, and you are a jerk" (I may be paraphrasing) on the part of the Muslims is not proportional. Using violence, and killing people who had absolutely nothing to do with the video or bookburning only confirms the point that Islam is a religion of hatred and violence. If I call someone something offensive, they are absolutely within their right to be offended, and if what I said was libelous then they can bring the law down on me. They cannot, however, punch me on the nose, or kill someone, or otherwise use violence.

You were offended? So what? Grow a thicker skin. Anything else just shows what a destructive force religion really is.

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