The damage domestic Islamophobia has on U.S. troops & diplomats abroad

The Arab Spring turned ugly in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday, as angry crowds stormed U.S. diplomatic buildings killing Christopher Stevens – the U.S. Ambassador to Libya – and three other American diplomats. The deadly attack occurred on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an angry mob firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades stormed the building and set it on fire. Stevens is the first U.S. Ambassador to be killed on duty in more than 30 years.

The attack in Libya occurred just hours after angry protestors stormed the U.S. Embassy in Egypt – climbing the walls, taking down the American flag, and hoisting up a black Islamic banner. Both attacks were prompted by a movie made here in the United States by a California filmmaker who claims to be both American and Israeli. The movie depicts the prophet Muhammad as a fraudster and womanizer – something that is deeply offensive to the Muslim faith. The film was promoted by anti-Muslim organizations and a trailer for it was posted on Youtube sparking the outrage.

According to the filmmaker, who is now in hiding in the United States, he made the film to show that Islam is a “cancer.” President Obama strongly condemned the attacks and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement saying, “we are heartbroken.” On the other hand, Mitt Romney and Republicans have used this tragedy to launch political attacks on the President – claiming that he sympathizes with the attackers. Of course Romney has employed the same foreign policy hacks and Islamophobes who served under George W. Bush.

This all demonstrates the damage that Islamophobia at home can do to our troops and diplomats abroad. And while we can’t make judgments on millions of Egyptians and Libyans based on the senseless acts of an angry mob any more than we can condemn Los Angeles for the riots after the Rodney King beating – we can say there are deep grievances that go way beyond religion in these nations that must be resolved before the dreams of the Arab Spring can finally be fulfilled.


KRITTERMAC 10 years 37 weeks ago

I feel as if my life has been a sham, as I am post-TBI by 23 years and whats the fuckin sense of even coming back for this shit, Ill tell you I have learned alot about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness over the past couple decades. Republicans are pure evil and they seem to think that its money that makes the world go round. well money, power and greed are all evil, and i know in my world, i dont have the time of day for it. I love everyone, and if I could go back and not have my brain injury, I wouldnt do it.

RLM8's picture
RLM8 10 years 37 weeks ago

This is the Bush legacy. Just another major malfunction that unravels. 19 Saudis hijack planes and fly them into the World Trade Center and America goes to Iraq and destabilize the whole region, simultaneously destabilizing America with burdensome debt. At some point America needs to free up the funds to launch an educational campaign. America is a land of the free and that means you are free to criticize others' religions. And they are free to criticize yours. But you don't kill innocent people. Anger the BULL take the horn. We've come full circle the destabilizing of the Middle East self fulfilling prophecy of devastating destruction. What year is it anyway? Thanks George!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 37 weeks ago

Is there really anyone who, after seeing what has been done to our economy over the last 30 years...and especially the last 12, still believes that a cabal of rich and powerful people would never do such a thing as 911? Then send our sons and daughters over to kill and be killed for some ridiculous, illegal war?

Obviously so. That is why these rich and powerful people are able to get away with it. They keep squeezing, little by little, and once in a while, if the public balks, they stage a really grand display of false flags to frighten the people back into their whimpering shadows....too afraid to challenge authority. Display your flags people and how about a couple of seig heils too?

Too afraid to really look at the facts or question authority? Too easily manipulated by patriotism, scare tactics, and other propaganda techniques like creating many other ridiculous conspiracy theories to compete among the more rational, scientifically oriented ones, in an attempt to destroy all but the officially sanctioned propaganda?

They are now implementing many paid sock puppets on blogs and other social media to attack and belittle those who do speak out against the ruling elite and their criminal deeds. Some don't even have to be paid to be sock puppet useful idiots that pretend to be liberal but really are not. Or think they are but just don't have that spark of rebellion against authority and find it much more comforting to be comfortably numb in what they think is more rational, officially sanctioned, conspiracy theories.

Vote for Obama? Obama is not liberal! He is even right of center, perhaps further to the right than many Republicans. Maybe he would be not as right wing as Romney. But then there is the "boiling frog" hypothesis..Romney would turn the heat on high and Obama may just increase it a little at a time. The ruling elite, in order to keep the people from rioting in the streets may use their guy, Obama, to pander more hope and then betray us in the end all the same. I think we are all up sh1t creek without a paddle.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 37 weeks ago

This is why North America has to become energy self sufficent. The only reason why anyone cares about anything in the middle east is because we need energy to keep our economy going. If we become energy self sufficent in North America which can easily be done, the middle east becomes a problem for Europe and China not us.

So much for President apology tour in 2009. I guess he didn't give them enough hugs because they still want to kill us I guess.

My condolences to the families of those who where lost loved ones.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 37 weeks ago

Glad to see you’re still the optimistic and non-conspiracy- minded individual that I have had the pleasure of reading your comments. It is obvious to everyone that voted for Obama, we were fooled into believing this guy was a Liberal. But, what are the choices we have to vote for. One guy who B.S.’d his way into the Whitehouse, but still cares somewhat about the Americans he represents or a guy we know will destroy the middle class and poor, for the benefit of the wealthy and privileged in our society. It would be great if the Green party had a chance in hell of winning, but the reality is they do no!! Hopefully in the future this will change and this country might find its way back from the edge of insanity we now live in. But this is not the future, it is today. So as bad of a choice that Obama is, the other guy is 100 times worse for our future and the future of our kids. Are both parties corrupt and will use anyway possible to lie and cheat their way into greater wealth and power for themselves, yes. But for now, we have to try to get the best of the pack for president and hope we can change the Supreme Court ruling concerning Citizens United. Are we only in the Middle East for the oil we need to survive for now, yes. But perhaps this country will wake up and realize it is in our best interest to get rid of these bozo's who rule us now and do it no matter the costs to us. But to give up and rant on that we are doomed and there is nothing we can do, is not in our best interest or that of our children. And, at this point isn't all about the future of our children, not just for us today....We need to choose wisely among those that we have to choose from. I hope to God we wake up, rebel and return this country to the people, not just the wealthy. We need to get the hell out of the Middle East, and let them rot in their own juices. The embassies are a necessary evil, so we can continue to spy on those who would do us harm. I know that sounds like crap, but that is one of the main reasons for having embassies everywhere during these days of peril. I just hope the future is better for our children, than it is for us today......

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 37 weeks ago

I couldn't vote there I am a Canadian. But if I was a American I would have to vote for Romey. I voted Conservtive here and they are doing a great job just last month there was 34,000 jobs created in Canada compared to 93,000 in the US. We have almost exactly 10% of your population so in US numbers that is 340,000 jobs to 93,000.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 37 weeks ago

I do blame the masses for rioting, both in the Middle East and in the Watts riots. These are acts of futile violence that does nothing to improve relations wherever they happen. The violence perpetrated against us would not be tolerated here. It should not be tolerated there either. It is up to the government to control violence in a society. The best thing we could do is just pull out and no more cash flow from America into the pockets of these politicians who are in charge. We should meet violence with violence where possible. We have become a joke all over the Middle East and they have lost all respect for us and our country. Stop the free aid and payments of tax dollars to help these people who intend to do us and our representative’s harm, and that includes our soldiers serving in the Middle East. I lived in the suburbs outside of L.A. during the riots or 1965 and the King riots of 1991 and I firmly believe the only way to deal with rioters, is with arms. I wish the Marines had all been armed with 50 caliber machine guns and ripped open the rioters that had the balls to enter into the grounds of our embassy, which is part of our country under terms of our agreement with other goverments. I have no sympathy for persons who take lives during any uprising.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 37 weeks ago

(From yesterday’s comments) Palindromeday, I would like to admit that reading something Minoru Yamasaki stated after the Towers were brought down would be impossible, since he died several years earlier. That was my error. The program that aired on PBS featured a member of the team that helped design the towers with their skeleton beams on the outside of the building versus the conventional design of having the support beams on the inside of the structure. Also there are two other points that you brought up, one being the quick removal of the debris from the fallen towers and the idea that the towers were designed to withstand a 727 crashing into them. First the debris that was quickly removed because it was a great health threat to any person that might be exposed to the debris dust that went everywhere in all the areas around the point of destruction. The second point is that the buildings were designed to withstand the impact, the design was a new design that had not been used before in buildings of this size and as we know from experience here in California, the architects can make mistakes. For example, the V.A hospital in Sylmar, Ca. was designed to withstand an earthquake greater than 7 on the Richter scale; the hospital did not survive the 7. earthquake that occurred in 1971. The floors came down upon each other, crushing many victims. After the quake, designs were changed to prevent the same thing from happening again. Mistakes have been made many times in the designs of objects that did not survive an event it should have. Isn't it possible this could have happened on Sept. 11th. to the Twin Towers, with the floors pancaking on top of each other? But I still feel the theory that the Bush administration and other groups of people from other nations brought down the towers with explosives still makes no sense. I will however read the material that was suggested by one of the theorists that believe it was done by Bush and others. Also, I did not state, or it was not my intention to state, that the only people involved were the terrorists that flew the aircraft into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. It is obvious that it was part of a terrorist attack planned by O.B.L. and his terror org... The FBI and other intelligence agencies had warned Bush that persons inside of the U.S. were planning an attack against America in the coming months. I still believe the theory that the American President and others planned this attack is no more than a conspiracy theory with very little too no facts that would make this theory credible. And, when I mention therapy might be needed by those who do believe it, it is meant as a joke, not an attack against ones mental state of mind...

Mickey Kossack's picture
Mickey Kossack 10 years 37 weeks ago

The West has placed tyrants in positions of leadership and paid them to control the people, then the US and whatever allies we garnered have systematically taken them down in the so called Arab Spring. We sent our military and paid mercenaries to destroy Afghanistan and Iraq and have treated the people of the Middle East like animals. And reflected that same hatred toward the Islamic faith and the people who are American citizens. In our ignorance, we did not remember that Iraq was divided by the West into three sections representing three branches of Islam.

Our goal from the Bush administration was to "Win the Hearts and Minds" of the citizens in Iraq by bombing the Hell out of the place, maiming and killing, humiliating Muslims in Abu Greib with dog collars and leashes, we imprisoned men indefinitely in Gitmo without a defense, and dislocated hundreds of thousands if not millions all in the name of our nation. We "didn't torture" but sent suspected terrorists "insurgents" to other nations to do our dirty work and commited "crimes against humanity" by water boarding. The American people accepted everything because,"war is messy" and we were kept ignorant until Julian Assange and Pvt. Bradley Manning attempted to tell the truth and were punished and made impotent. The people of the Islamic faith have long memories, whether in the Middle East or the middle of Dearborn, Michigan.

While Americans memorialised the memory of those injured and killed on 911; I was watching a film by Chris Busby on the horror that was brought upon the city of Fallujah. The chemicals used there have lasting damage to the DNA of the residents, not unlike the people in Fukushima and the nation of Japan, because of the ongoing leaking of radiation from the nuclear power plant. And there is another little secret, because the people of the US will eventually discover that our own government has been complicit in protecting the nuclear industry from negativity. The realization of radiation poisoning has already begun on the West Coast, the truth will come out eventually, it can not remain hidden. And the American people will be too sick to take to the streets with fire and pitchforks by then.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 37 weeks ago

I worked and lived in the middle-East, among everyone, all faiths and non-faith-based -- never any problem. Done the same here in the USA (home). I also know and have seen how the US has been used and abused for empire-building --"The New American Century"-- all over the world; while US citizens swallow the demoggogic crap that "We're just there to help them" -- Sure, Fools. Self-rightious USA-citizens are not innocent; nor are the nut-case extremists from any of the major Mid-Eastern religions, or fanatic political sects.

The whole human species is beginning to disgust me, religious and political fanatics the most; with war-mongering corporatist scoundrels next on the list. Fie on all of them and the know-nothing bozos that uncritically parrot their nasty drivel.

There's no way to make sense out of any of it, when black is white, up is down, lies are reality and truth is anything anyone says or wants, at the moment. It's beyond sorting-out, a fetid cess-pit filled with greased-pigs, snakes and offal.

I'm totally tired of this unmitigated bullshit. So now what? Where the hell do we go from here? But, don't get me started. . . .

fatfax's picture
fatfax 10 years 37 weeks ago

Zero effect here at home. We commit mass homicide on a weekly basis upon ourselfs here in the good ol U.S.A.

gallde's picture
gallde 10 years 37 weeks ago

I'm as much a first Amendment advocate as anyone, but I believe that a U.S. citizen's actions that directly cause violence against other U.S. citizens are not "speech", but terrorism, just as yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is terrorism. So, hate-mongering actions like burning a book sacred to a people or making a film intended to cause a violent reaction are terrorism, and could even be considered treasonous if they cause harm to U.S. citizens. I don't think I'm on a slippery slope there, it's a clear-cut issue: Protected speech ought not promote hatred.

You can dislike a bear in the woods, but if you throw your shoe at him and he comes after me, you've crossed the line. Keep your hate to yourself!

rbd171's picture
rbd171 10 years 37 weeks ago

it was a great health threat to any person that might be exposed to the debris dust that went everywhere in all the areas around the point of destruction.

ken, this statement is bs. i am a retired police officer and was a construction safety director for nearly 5 years.

quick debris removal is against all established forensic procedures.

silica and asbestos were the primary inhalant hazards and they did not have enough or proper respirators for most of the rescuers and clean up construction workers. everyone in the business knew the hazards but for what ever reason they chose to ignore the safety regulations.

i am telling you now. hazards presented by the debris was not the reason they hastily cleaned it up.

rbd171's picture
rbd171 10 years 37 weeks ago

ahhh, your waking up. welcome to our world. fyi - there is no goin back.

rbd171's picture
rbd171 10 years 37 weeks ago

a huge percentage of your jobs are created by the massive oil drilling going on in your country. you are also not buried in debt like we are. in fact alberta is debt free. there is no comparison. however, canadian conservatives are heading canada to self destruction, just like our conservatives are, its just you are a decade or so behind us.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 37 weeks ago

Since the 1950 and perhaps earlier America with the British conspired to over throw the Iranian government. If it was really reported honestly, we should recall our own CIA, kept secret at the time, successfully pressured local politicians, street thugs, clergy, and Iranian army officers to plot and take part to over throw that current government. This was sixty years ago America plotted to control Persian oil. Then one wonders why Middle East Islam hates Americans. All done by Republicans during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration.

Now, consider, the CIA, coupled with Black-Water contractors, or any other mercenaries, throw in any and all war profiteering combinations likely should include connection to our Congress or Senate, Bush hold overs for political goodie reasons to create chatter, noise, with wild displays in video u-tube stuff for political points. You don’t want to think some in our political party are actually the perpetrators of murder, or chaos to move a political agenda. But now I think that is exactly what is happening. Go out and whack somebody then blame Obama.

For decades the Saudi have been extremely cleaver to nurture a divisive culture in America. With Gays, Jewish, and Religious people. Especially telling are the Jewish hatred. For decades according to Gerald Posner in his book Secrets of the Kingdom, The Saudi ruling class continuously made very biased agreements with America political and business people. All the investing over the decades billions of dollars likely had the caveat, no Jews or gays would be in the deals. No Jew, or gays on the assemble line, no Jew technician or engineer to keep maintenance on expensive military equipment bought through our pentagon. Jews taken out of business period. Congress, Governors, and CEO’s complied. Took the bribes which then called commissions.

So you see over the years, jobs have been manipulated by politics. Still is and is and a difficult statistic to place into the political arena.

rbd171's picture
rbd171 10 years 37 weeks ago

Both attacks were prompted by a movie made here in the United States by a California filmmaker who claims to be both American and Israeli.

useful coincidence?

the religious war mongers, from Israel, Islam and the Christians will always find a reason to kill each other.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 10 years 36 weeks ago

Romney is simply showing us that he is an extension of Bush--the rich spoiled boy (draft-dodger) who didn't get to play cowboys and indians when he was a boy--now he wants to do it in the real world of which he has little understanding. (I personally don't know what qualifies him to be president; all he has done is destroy American jobs and send capital out of the country, which could be used to CREATE jobs--he's a pirate, pure and simple--he does not LOVE America.) And if Romney steals the election, we'll be in Iran and more of OUR children will die for more of THEIR oil--the rethuglicans sure do love perpetual war, as long as THEIR children don't fight in it.

I don't think the anti-Islamic film was a good idea and is, in fact, hateful, but why do religious people have to go crazy wild about it? They are just playing into the hands of the hateful, giving more fuel to their fire. It all makes me glad that I left religion in the 1990s. Religion and business: the cause of many wars since the beginning of monotheism.

Palindromery is right about the attacks online against those who speak out against the wealthy (and about the fear smoke and mirrors used by Bush & Co to divert attention away from the crime of the 9/11 attacks). I was heartily attacked for many days after I commented on Clint Eastwood's dumb speech at the convention. Come-on dudes get a life. Do you think some rich guy is going to jump out of the bushes and drop you a cool million for sticking up for them? You are their cheap TOOL. Brown-nosers only end up smelling like the sh%t they peddle.

Sally Wood McDonald 10 years 36 weeks ago

That movie maker should be publicly condemned & possibly tried for treason ... he is directly responsible for the deaths of these American diplomats & for the damage done to our property abroad. He deliberately incited Islam violence & provoked this disaster.

Grumpy 10 years 36 weeks ago

Is anyone watching Sheldon Adelson? Mr Adelson seems to have both the interest and the connections, to BUY scripted attacks throughout the Middle East. This man is a much larger

danger, than Romney/Ryan, who Mr Adelson can buy and sell both with little or no effort.

Just a feeling, but...what it it could be proven?

fjkapustka2's picture
fjkapustka2 10 years 36 weeks ago

The actions and reactions to terrorist events really underscores the necessity of the educational system. The stimulus should go to making existing government programs work and education. The reactions in Libya mirror moves by the US government and other governments as well. In the case of the 9/11 attacks, Iraq and Afghanistan were attacked without cause. The Soviets were attacked in Afghanistan in the 1980s without cause. Now morons attack the US Embassy over a nutter producing a hate film. The Iranians are still funding attacks on US troops. If the US government went after human traffickers and slave labor operations with such vigor, the world would be a better place to live. Instead there are insane conflicts that are no more than megatantrums. The Marines are being sent in over a minor attack on an Embassy while women and children all across the US are victims to rape, slavery and human trafficking. First, fix the problems here before taking a dump on the rest of the world. Attacks such as occurred on the embassy would either never have happen or would be resolved by internal security forces.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

Islam like Christo-Capitalism are cancers Islam is just slightly less virulent. In the west we see cruise missle and drone strikes without blood in the middle east they present the carnage which is a more honest depiction. We are in an asymmetrical war with Islam . The sooner people alibiing the Islamists recognize this sooner ths converstion can become coherent. You can't destroy countries and expect to be loved for it . The Hubris of the American Empire has been exposed here and it does not compute for most Americans . Their response is to limit their own free speech. Jail the Egyptian Coptic who triggered the latest waves of Anti-US violence. Every year on or around 9/11, in case no one has noticed, celibrations and/or riots happen across the middle east . Why would this year be different Thousands blown to pieces in Libya , thousands more in Syria most with US weapons and logistical support . What's not to love.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

You been poisoned by all the Kool-Aide the US media has fed you . Every year on or around 9/11 the mullahs arrange riots and/or celibrations The trailer maker, Has anyone actually seen the movie? was a Coptic Christian from Egypt with his own axe to grind. The State dept. failed to beef up security and limit travel during this period and are just as responsible for providing targets for the fanatics.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

Is this the same Gerald Posner, a well known plagerist. Who wrote a book for the repubs claiming Oswald shot Kennedy ? A dubious, and unfortunate source. Most of us who were around at the time know that was the original big lie that led us to where we are today. An Allen Dulles faction of The CIA did that job. The CIA is now the largest drug cartel on Earth, War in the middle east would hurt business. A little chaos on the other hand is always good for business. I don't disagree with the rest of your post however.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

That's an outrageous lie you are obiously a slimy troll

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

There is no such thing as a sacred book in US law. One of the great things about this country. Putting up a funny tralier on some 8th century religious nut is hardly a high crime , like say looting the US treasury is.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

Your such a product of American exceptionalism every one loves you ! Wait a minute isn't that what Stevens thought.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

The up side of 9/11 2000 banksters killed.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

Your are an idiot and not representative of Canadians.

jim mcdonagh's picture
jim mcdonagh 10 years 36 weeks ago

Actually it's the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama legacy .

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"In an age rife with media-inspired confusion and political cowardice, we yearn for a decent, caring, deeply human soul whose grasp of the problems confronting us provides a light by which we can make our way through the quagmire of lies, distortions, pandering, and hollow self-puffery that strips the American Dream of its promise. How lucky we are, then, to have access to the wit, wisdom, and willingness of Thom Hartmann, who shares with us here that very light, grown out of his own life experience."
Mike Farrell, actor, political activist, and author of Just Call Me Mike and Of Mule and Man
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen