into American winterI feel like Yogi Berra. “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Is this Nov. 4, 1979, when in support of the Iranian Revolution, a group of Islamic students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran? Fifty-two Americans were held hostage for 444 days. Prior to the revolution, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was the leader of Iran. He was a totalitarian ruler but was allegiant to the United States and brought stability to the area. It is common knowledge that the radicals developed the courage to challenge the United States because they perceived weakness with our foreign policy and President Jimmy Carter.
It is surreal, but we are dealing with almost the same scenario. Our embassies are being attacked again, but this time an ambassador was killed. In the eyes of the Obama Administration, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, very much an autocratic leader, was seen as dispensable and was allowed to be ousted. Other nations followed suit and the apparent “democratization” of the region became known as the Arab Spring. Once again the world is left with no stability in the region.
At first President Obama was perceived as bringing a breath of fresh air to the Muslim world. He spent his childhood living in Muslim countries and said there is nothing more beautiful than the Muslim call to prayer in the evening. In May 2011 President Obama praised the Arab Spring cities of Cairo and Benghazi. “In Cairo, we heard the voice of the young mother who said, ‘It’s like I can finally breathe fresh air for the first time.’ In Benghazi, we heard the engineer who said, ‘Our words are free now. It’s a feeling you can’t explain.’ Those shouts of human dignity are being heard across the region.”
It is now summer. President Obama is seen as the appeaser, and we are seeing the fruits of the Arab Spring. There is complete upheaval in the area. After protesters were inside the grounds of the Cairo Embassy, an early statement was put out on Twitter. The Cairo senior public affairs officer, Larry Schwartz, tweeted that the Cairo embassy “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”
Gov. Romney immediately sent a press release condemning the mayhem when he learned about the upheaval. The press criticized Gov. Romney for jumping the gun. Their reasoning was that the press release about a tweet was issued before the actual attacks in Benghazi and Cairo.
The Arab world wants us to believe that the conflagration occurring in the Middle East is the result of the video, “Innocence of Muslims” produced by a Coptic Christian now residing in California. Both ABC and NBC claim that these horrible uprisings are the result of clips from that video viewed on YouTube. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice claims that the video is the reason and that the “embassy attacks are not premeditated.” Ditto remarks from White House Press Secretary, Jake Carney.
One wonders if the initial tweet was sent because of the Obama Administration’s support of U.N. Resolution 16/18? That resolution, passed on Dec. 19, 2011, is against religious intolerance and condemns stereotyping people based on religion. At first glance this seems very appropriate but more detail reveals that the anti-blasphemy resolution is not to protect religion but to clamp down on freedom of expression. This embraces anything negative about Mohammed to include any cartoons or films.
As far back as 1999, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been pushing this anti-blasphemy U.N. Resolution and every year since 2005, it has passed the U.N. Human Rights Commission but has received fewer votes each year from the Western democracies because it is seen as a threat to free speech. Last December the Obama Administration brokered a compromise which allowed it to pass the U.N. General Assembly unanimously.
I am ill and fatigued when I witness the press criticism of Gov. Romney. Prior to the press conference to explain his annoyance with the Obama Administration’s “apology,” RightScoop.com gathered audio evidence of the press collaborating on the questions they were going to ask Gov. Romney. Is this proof that the “drive-by” press (media) wants to help re-elect President Obama? What about the questions that were not asked regarding the Obama Administration’s tepid response? Even though the press is trying to besmirch Gov. Romney, he did indeed act very presidential. Will these be the same people running the debates?
The president of Libya, Abdel-Rahim al-Keeb, said there is no doubt that the violence was a planned and criminal attack. Isn’t it curious that these attacks occurred on 9/11? The Arab Spring has been high-jacked by extremists, but they are not worried because actions by the Obama Administration signal that we are leading from the back. Since we have moved troops out of Iraq and have announced the date when we are leaving Afghanistan, the U.S. footprint in the region is almost nonexistent. We are perceived as a weak super power just like we were in 1979. We have moved from the Arab Spring into an American winter.
WILLEE COOPER is a former teacher and military spouse. A Hopkinsville resident, she is past president of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women. Her column runs on the first and third Friday of each month. Reach her at email@example.com.