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  • Morning Bell: New Wave of Attacks on U.S. Embassies

    Protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen today and set fire to a building. Like the mob in Egypt on Tuesday, they tore down the American flag. Reports are also circulating of a separate protest in Tehran today with about 500 Iranians chanting “Death to America.” Meanwhile, a onetime mentor of Osama bin Laden called on his followers to replicate what happened in Libya and Egypt.

    Following the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff, it is realistic to fear other attacks on U.S. diplomats. “Our men and women—in and out of uniform—are out there every day, protecting us and our interests. And that will always make them a tempting target,” Heritage expert Jim Carafano reminds us, commenting on the attacks in Libya and Egypt. Heritage’s Jim Phillips wrote in June about a larger Iranian campaign to assassinate foreign diplomats, including Israeli and Saudi diplomats, in at least seven countries over 13 months.

    At this time, America’s first priority is the security of our personnel, and President Obama has ordered heightened security at America’s posts around the world.

    We cannot allow terrorists and rioters to dictate U.S. missions and policy, and Washington must avoid knee-jerk reactions, such as yanking foreign aid, before we know the facts on the ground. As Phillips explained, the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt reflects the internal divisions in that country. At the same time, while there are dangerous anti-American factions in Libya, there are also many that appreciate the U.S. assistance and, and according to some reports, fought to help protect the U.S. compound before it was overrun.

    There are still too many questions to be answered about the origins of the attacks, the state of security at the U.S. facilities, and the responses of the host governments. We should get the facts before we draw too many conclusions about what happened and why, much less what this should mean for the future of U.S. policy.

    That said, this is no cause for declaring a moratorium on debate about U.S. policy in the region. There is plenty worth debating.

    President Obama has consistently shown more enthusiasm in engaging hostile regimes in the Middle East than in protecting the interests of allies such as Israel. He has shown more concern about restraining Israel from acting than stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

    In fact, this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. is “not setting deadlines” for Iran and still considers negotiations “by far the best approach” to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public response was that “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”

    President Obama made matters worse by declining an offer from Netanyahu to meet when Netanyahu visit the U.S. later this month—despite the fact that Obama found time in his schedule for an appearance on David Letterman’s late-night comedy show and an interview with Miami rapper and radio personality DJ Laz.

    The United States’s dysfunctional engagement with Israel and Iran is not the only problem. From North Africa through sub-Saharan Africa, al-Qaeda and its affiliates seem determined to plant the flag for new Afghanistans. Across the Middle East, the Arab Spring is far from unfinished business. Current U.S. policies clearly aren’t working. It is time to change course.

    Quick Hits:

    • An al-Qaeda leader has “called on all Muslims to back the rebels in Syria, saying the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad would bring them closer to the ultimate goal of defeating Israel,” Reuters reports.
    • The Chicago Teachers Union strike continues, though negotiators say they may agree on a deal and have students back in class by Friday.
    • The Environmental Protection Agency is spending between $250,000 and $350,000 a year to fund the Chesapeake Bay Journal, a newspaper that covers environmental issues.
    • A federal investigation concluded that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius illegally campaigned on the taxpayers’ dime. Heritage’s Lachlan Markay broke the story yesterday.
    • Today on the Istook Live radio show, broadcasting from Heritage from 9 a.m. to noon ET, hear Zundhi Jasser—a Muslim and first-generation American—talk about his book, A Battle for the Soul of Islam. Listen live here.
    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Morning Bell: New Wave of Attacks on U.S. Embassies

    1. Not a good time for knee jerk reactions? I agree in some respects, but as to yanking foreign aid??? Can you please detail the benefit to the US to be providing any foreign aid to Egypt or Libia… I don't see it.

      • ThomNJ says:

        I agree with you – no benefit to giving either one foreign aid.

        On a separate note – so is it time for all the Christians, Jews, aetheists, animists, Buddhists, whatever in the USA to go around a burnin' and a stompin' at the respective embassies or mosques in the USA? Do the muzzies want to see us behave like them?

      • V. B. Morra says:

        The purpose of the aid is to have some, even though weak, allies in the Middle East…

    2. Must be time for O to get back to golfing. Seems to be the best way he figures out how to solve problems.

    3. Jim Uberti says:

      The Administration, through the Egyptian Embassy, would have us believe that these embassy attacks were caused by a Muslim-derogatory movie made in this country.
      No one dared suggest that perhaps it was all the "BinLaden is dead" celebrations at the Democrat Convention. Or the amazing number of times that Obama "spiked the football" while saying he wasn't.
      This was not a spontaneous reaction to an amateurish movie. Folks, they occurred on 9/11!!!!
      Can ANYONE in the Administration connect the dots??
      Also, do you think the MSM noticed that Obama responded to Romney's remarks BEFORE he addressed the attackers??

    4. Fedup says:

      Close the embassies and cut off every penny to every damn muslim country in the Middle East. Let 'em rot in their own filth.

    5. glynnda says:

      I think the incredible Sarah Palin said it best when she stated "he's got the "speaking softly" part down, if he doesn't have the big stick to accompany it, perhaps it's time he grows one…."

      Very nicely put and she would make a hundred times better president than Barack Obama on her worst day.

    6. I agree that it would not be wise to cancel aid to these countries in a knee-jerk reaction. That removes all negotiating power. But, to maintain such negotiating power, we need to temporarily spend that aid, and put a hold on all transactions and shipments pending apologies and proper actions by the host countries saying that we need reaffirmation of their friendships. That puts their nuts in the wringer. Either side with us or side with them.

    7. Palrak says:

      The last two sentences say it all!

    8. Fergus says:

      In your article you say the follwoing, we should get the facts before we draw too many conclusions about what happened and why, much less what this should mean for the future of U.S. policy. Then you proceed with this, from North Africa through sub-Saharan Africa, al-Qaeda and its affiliates seem determined to plant the flag for new Afghanistans. Across the Middle East, the Arab Spring is far from unfinished business. Current U.S. policies clearly aren’t working. So clearly your article is drawing conclusions one of which seems to be a war with Iran, and you completely failed to mention what sparked all of this in the first place.

    9. Jimmy says:

      I say take ALL funding from them. They don't want us there so why should we waste MY money on them. We have WAY to many problems here, like over 16 TRILLION dollar debt……

    10. sdfultz says:

      Washington must avoid knee-jerk reactions, Romney should be advised on this issue,
      GOP neocon legislator talking points such as yanking foreign aid, before we know the facts on the ground.

      Israel is a sovereign state, if they want to act like a sibling child that try's to push pass the elder sibling, then they will bear the cost.
      America will still be there, but there's a lesson to be learned if our advice is not heeded.

    11. Spinoneone says:

      The Administration has it's head in the sand, conveniently sticking to the stupid film on Mo's life as the reason for the attacks. What we are seeing is a carefully orchestrated and well coordinated series of attacks throughout the Islamic world. They are designed to embarrass the U.S. politically by demonstrating the total fecklessness of the Obama administration in the face of Islamic radicals. If their actions damage a few buildings and/or kill a few Americans, so much the better for them. The organizers in Tehran, Cairo, Benghazi,and elsewhere are surely celebrating their success.

      Mitt Romney is right to stand up against this insanity.

    12. Boogalie says:

      Very measured approach IS in the ultimate interests of the US. This POTUS has engaged folks with the 'hope' of enticing them to be lured by his personality, and with a shallow message driven by aid. In the 'real' world, that is the rough and tumble world of 'the street'( where 'the street' intimidates politicians, and finds itself in political power for the first time in decades), they only read POTUS as being an enabler, and feckless in his leadership. In truth, the US is seen as not being active, and thus, vulnerable to bullying. Our Nation would be well served by solid leadership at this time, and we are absent that. My true fear at this time is: Is this POTUS capable of allowing if not encouraging a military engagement to propel him to re-election? I pray he is not. November cannot get there soon enough. Semper Fi.

    13. David says:

      This is what is wrong. Our president enjoys his title but runs from his duty. He would rather hang with celebs than try and solve problems. How dare he neglect his duty this way.

    14. toledofan says:

      Another example of the lack of leadership on Obama's part and the main reason why a strong foriegn policy is needed intodays world. Terrorism is alive and well and just think what these extremists would do if there was something bad that we actually did, I mean all this because of a movie. It just shows why it's so important to be on guard and to be prepared because it's only going to get worse. As long as we maintain our current path, we will be vunerable to outbreaks all over the world.

    15. tom says:

      A great deal of the fault lies at the feet of Obama and Hillary Clinton who both are way above their competense level.

    16. Martin Baker says:

      "and Washington must avoid knee-jerk reactions, such as yanking foreign aid, before we know the facts on the ground"

      Huh??? How about this knee-jerk reaction: Yank all foreign aid, figure out who deserves it, and where it will go and how it will be used, and then, and only then, reinstate it.

      Or more wryly stated: How about the "facts IN the ground"? Like the body of our Ambassador. Do they count?

      And I thought you guys were fiscal conservatives?!? I think you've mentioned in these posts a few hundred times: "WE'RE BROKE". Why can't you apply that "guiding principle" to foreign aid.

      Sorry, that was my knee-jerk reaction.

    17. Larry K White says:

      History repeats…Weak, confused world leaders have a way of messing things up. This "mess-up" may cost hundreds of lives.
      What a Terrible, Terrible shame.

    18. mac says:

      How convenient Hillary gives Egypt 2 billion a year so they can buy missiles to kill our diplomats..

    19. Rev. Lynn Ward Moore says:

      Our weakness in foreign policy is disgusting! When will people(leaders) in this country learn that there is no "talking" with those who consider themselves at war with us. At this point, it would be refreshing to actually see and hear from those who wish to work with us politically in other countries. They seem to be imaginary because they fade into the shadows at the moment we need an ally. Of course, Obama is rude to our true ally Israel, and treats them less than allies and friends. Netanyahu said it right,"Why refuse to draw red lines in the sand against Iran while placing a red light for Israel?" Why, when and for what are we waiting–extremely weak of our Administration–our ally Israel is waiting and our enemies throw rocks, shoot guns, start fires, and murder our ambassador and his staff. Peace is gained through strength!

    20. Rev. Lynn Ward Moore says:

      The weak response from the current Administration does not help when dealing with people who consider themselves at war with us. I appreciate Gov. Mitt Romney standing and responding to the climate of apology we find ourselves in these days. We, as Americans should stand proud for who we are. And, we should be very aware that there are those who always seek to bring harm to America and her citizens because these people from other countries do not understand the meaning of freedom or free speech. May God Bless America!

    21. Dr. Pete Kleff says:

      1. Under international law, breaching the walls of an embassy is an invasion of the state in question, in other words an act of war. 2. Under international law, a host state is obligated law to protect embassies and persons therein. 3. Under international law, a state has an obligation to protect its embassy, ambassador, staff, and visitors from hostile invaders, including by deadly force if necessary. With these points in mind, two things are abundantly clear. First, two host states (Libya and Egypt) have failed their obligations under international law. There should be significant repurcussions from the U.S. Second, the Obama regime has failed thus far to assert the rights of the U.S. under international law.

    22. will says:

      Yes… it is time to change course. Perhaps George Washington should be heard… again.
      "If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
      Please see the following comment with a course we might choose that would address the major threat to our survival.

    23. will says:

      The new course:
      Washington clearly understood the connection of peace to rising prosperity, and to securing that peace by it being known that we are at all times ready for war. And he suggested this course:
      "Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel."
      Right now we have neither the peace nor the prosperity to create new opportunities for all Americans. We are dying from the threat within. Let's choose peace; and make absolutely clear, to "friend and foe alike" we are ready to choose war with any threat from without.

    24. Sue01 says:

      President Obama off fund raising for 9th time in Colorado…..doesn't get personal briefs from his "experts" and only reads the national security threats…..then he goes and play golf. However, his Ambassador in one of the Middle Eastern countries mobbing and killing will not LET THE MARINES HAVE LIVE AMMUNITION!!! Did Obama in his "reading" discover that?

    25. Ron W. Smith says:

      Whatever the reasons for the current problems in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, our presence around the world is not universally accepted. We look and often act like meddlers to those who live there. Worse yet, our open support of Israel ("Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel" just the latest installment) over the years exacerbates the bad feelings, the hostile reactions by extremists, and who knows what yet to come. The message continues to be clear: Get out of our back yards; you're not wanted (even though our strings-attached money, nowadays borrowed, is).

      American Jewish alternatives to Zionism, a now defunct organization, saw the handwriting on the wall early. Zionism would always be an irritant in the Muslim world, AJAZ people said repeatedly in the years following 1948 and the displacement then of more than a million Palestinians. Some in the Middle East will never let it go and regularly offer proof positive that they won't. America, to them, looks controlling and quite willing to support Israel regardless the perceived offenses of Zionist Policy.

      Being SuperPower on Call and dancing to the tune played by the Israel lobby in this country is guaranteed to produce bad outcomes short and long-term. It's time for national discussion and debate of our foreign policy instead of steamrolling ahead at all costs without consulting the people in America and the costs to them in lives and dollars. Flush times here have been replaced by lean ones, and with domestic needs going a-begging, the luxury of foreign policy extravagance needs very open and close inspection by taxpayers footing the bills.

    26. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Welcome back, Carter.

    27. O2BMe says:

      I don't know the ins and outs of aid to these countries, but I bet most of it is wasted. what I don't understand is why the diplomats and staff were not evacuated before this got out of hand. There must have been some warning trouble was afoot as it was the anniversary of the Nine Eleven attack.

    28. Sharon says:

      All foreign aid should be cut off to Egypt. Egypt is run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Contrary to what the Obama administration says the are a terrorist organization. They are hell-bent on destroying the U.S. and Israel. This is exactly what EVIL Obama wants. His goal is to bring down America.

    29. Lou Trebus says:

      Where are the Marines that are supposed to defend the embassies? What are the rules of engagement? If we are too timid to protect our own embassies from attack – whatever the source or reason – it is time to close them down and let the Swiss handle our diplomatic affairs!

    30. Rick_in_VA says:

      Where did the term Islamic Republic come from?
      Sure sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    31. Matt Nestor says:

      This is no cause for declaring a moratorium on debate about U.S. policy in the region. There is plenty worth debating. Amen!

    32. gayle says:

      Deja Vu…………..Carter all over again.

    33. michaeljbeglinjr says:

      We should definitely stop all forms of foreign aid to Egypt from America, and do it now. We should stop foreign aid to every country that votes against us in the U.N. We should actually get out and get rid of the U.N., it is a disgrace. Why do we keep sending money to people so they can buy weapons to use for killing our soldiers? None of this makes any sense.

    34. George says:

      Obama and Clinton leading the USA's foreign policy efforts is breathtakingly tragic. Carter "The Incompetent" betrayed the Shah of Iran resulting in the ayatollah and other Middle East fanatics seeing weakness in our resolve. Obama and Clinton have profoundly surpassed Carter's absence of courage, character, competence, and commitment to allies.

    35. Patriot53 says:

      And why would it be a "Knee jerk action" to cut off all aid? It isn't like these subhuman characters haven't spent the last several YEARS shouting "Death to America!". Muslims hate America, Americans, and all we stand for. Cut off every single penny to all their countries and let them rot – and murder each other. Don't do one single thing to help them until they retract every thing they've ever said about the U.S., and put in a non-negotiating treaty that they will be our friends forever with the penalty of full war against them if they renege! That ought to shut them up.

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