By: Rob Kall/Opednews
The Romney campaign demonstrated highly disturbing poor judgment yesterday, when they knee-jerk responded to rapidly unfolding events in the Middle east that led to the death of Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others.
Egyptian and Libyan protesters responded to an Arabic dubbed version of a 14 minute trailer of a two hour movie produced by Sam Bacile. Bacile is an Israeli who reportedly raised $5 million to make a cartoonishly amateurish movie that is hatefully critical of Islam, suggesting that Mohamed was a bastard, a thief, a philanderer and child molester.
The movie received greater visibility when media-whore pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville Florida, who, previously gained attention and set off riots that led to deaths in Afghanistan, when he threatened to burn Korans and then burned one.
Egyptian media publicized an Arabic dubbed version of the trailer and rumors in Egypt had people there believing that the movie was going to be widely released as a major motion picture in the US. As the response on the street in Egypt started to build, but before any attacks on embassies, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement, unauthorized by the White House:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney responded to the rapidly unfolding news by attacking President Obama, saying he was outraged by the embassy attacks and the killing of the ambassador to Libya, saying, ” It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt denounced Romney, saying, ” We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack.”
NBC News reports,
Sarah Palin also weighed in on her Facebook page , beginning her remarks by saying “apparently President Obama can’t see Egypt and Libya from his house.”
“On the anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks ever perpetrated on America, our embassy in Cairo and our consulate in Benghazi were attacked by violent Islamic mobs,” she said.
“The Islamic radicals claim that these attacks are in protest to some film criticizing Islam. In response to this, the U.S. embassy in Cairo issued a statement that was so outrageous many of us thought it must be a satire,” she added. “The embassy actually apologized to the violent mob attacking us, and it even went so far as to chastise those who use free speech to ‘hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.'”
Addressing Obama, Palin asked “How’s that Arab Spring working out for us now?”
“It’s about time our president stood up for America and condemned these Islamic extremists,” she said.
And, taking the Romney lead, making worsening the incompetent gaffe of the Romney campaign, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus tweeted ” Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.”
Now, the Romney camp is saying it stands by the statement it made. Romney doubled down on the attack against Obama, saying, ” The administration was wrong to stand by a statement issued by
Asked if he regretted his comments, he replied.”I t is a terrible course for America to stand for apology for our values.”
Romney totally distorted what the Obama Administration said, misquoting, accusing the Obama administration of saying ” There’s something wrong with the right of free speech,” which is not close to what Obama said.
Asked if he regretted making his statement. He replied, “I don’t think we hesitate when we see a violation of our principles…. apologizing for the right of free speech is not the right course for the administration.”
ABC News commented, before Romney’s Wednesday speech, “It could expose Romney’s own weaknesses and gaps in experience on these issues. The president has an advantage in that he has access to report and information that no one else will get. That puts any challenger at a disadvantage.”
Romney’s response, distorting and misquoting the statements made by the administration is a continuation of the pattern that emerged at the Republican National convention– making attacks at so-called statements that were never actually made.
Romney failed to acknowledge the American value of respecting other people’s religious faiths through religious tolerance.
Vermont congressman Peter Welch commented, immediately after Romney’s press conference, “He’s trying to politicize a tragic event that resulted in the loss of life.”
Romney also spoke about the use of American power– a warlike veiled threat that reinforces his chickenhawk backing of attacks and war on Iran.
The trailer below is an example of hateful bigotry. It appears to have been made to incite hate. Now, the producer, Sam Bacile, is reported to be in hiding. Huffingtonpost reports that Bacile was warned before making this despicable production, by a consultant for the film, Steve Klein, that, ” “you’re going to be the next Theo van Gogh.” Van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was perceived as insulting to Islam. “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen,” Klein said.”
Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
Mediate ranks Rob Kall among the top 150 print/online columnists, often ahead of NY Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post columnists.