Conservative

Happenings in Libya signal time for different leadership in the United States

Speech does not justify murder.

Yet, Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed last week amid the furor of Libyan protesters. The protesters were rallying against an anti-Islam film that was produced in the United States.

Violent Islamic extremists across Northern Africa and the Middle East, emboldened by the killing of Americans, have escalated their protests against freedom, targeting U.S. embassies across the globe. The unrest shows no sign of letup, according to CNN.

The U.S. Consulate in Libya, where Stevens and three other Americans were killed, was hit last week on Sept. 11. Rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire were used in a coordinated assault that targeted the consulate building and a once secretly located U.S. safe house near the consulate.

The safe house was subject to mortar fire, and in the aftermath of the attack, secret documents were discovered missing from the consulate. These factors suggest the attack was carried out by Islamic militants who used the protest as a smokescreen.

This is not to say that protester participation was lacking. Many protesters went home to get guns after hearing a rumor that one protester had been shot from inside the consulate, according to The Daily Mail.

Regarding this, one protester said, “We started shooting at them. And then some other people also threw homemade bombs over the fences and started fires in the buildings. There was some Libyan security for the embassy, but when the bombs went off they ran off.”

Nevertheless, there is hope for the region. Despite these extremists, Libyan leaders apologized for the attack. Some Libyans gathered to speak out against the killing of the Americans.

According to USA Today, a peaceful crowd of Libyan counter-protesters held signs written in broken English that said, “Sorry People of America this not the Pehavior of our ISLAM and Profit” and “Chris Stevens wasa friend to all Libyans.”

There is hope for peace and friendship in the Middle East, but we must not squander this hope because there are people in the region with this sort of understanding.

President Barack Obama’s foreign policy cannot cultivate this potential because it lacks consistency. The militants that killed the ambassador share a basis of thought with the leaders of Iran. Namely, their mentalities are both rooted in hate.

On the other hand, the group of Libyans who spoke out against the violence and the Israeli leadership both hold mentalities rooted in peace. Yet, Obama’s support for Israel is hesitant and wavering at best.

If peace in the Middle East is of any value to us, than we must opt for new leadership because it is difficult for our nation to certify the non violence of the Libyan counter-protesters without standing firmly with Israel, a target of undue violence.

Michael Stikkel is a junior computer engineering major. His column appears online weekly. He can be reached at mcstikke@syr.edu.

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