“They Hate Us for Our Religious Freedom”

As anti-American (and anti-Western) protest continue to spread across the Muslim world, the White House continues to claim the protests are all a response to the film, The Innocence of Muslims. Yesterday, Jay Carney said,

I think it’s important to note with regards to that protest

that there are protests taking place in different countries across the world that are responding to the movie that has circulated on the Internet. As Secretary Clinton said today, the United States government had nothing to do with this movie. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible. America has a history of religious tolerance and respect for religious beliefs that goes back to our nation’s founding. We are stronger because we are the home to people of all religions, including millions of Muslims, and we reject the denigration of religion.

We also believe that there is no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence.

[snip]

I would note that, again, the protests we’re seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.

And he said something substantially similar in a gaggle a short time ago.

There are two problems with that.

First, the evidence in Libya that the attack, at least, was planned in advance with insider help. The Telegraph provides more details on the compromised safe houses and some of the sensitive documents taken from the Consulate.

Then there are more specific contexts, such as President Hadi’s continued efforts to consolidate power in Yemen, as Iona Craig lays out. Plus, there is more opposition to US policy in Yemen than in some other countries in the region.

I’ve even seen credible questions about the role of increasing food costs–the same kind of pressure that contributed to the Arab Spring last year.

But ultimately, too, there’s the question of why in several countries local guards have apparently allowed protestors to access the targeted compounds. While that could be a response to the movie, there also seems to be a factionalism involved.

All that’s not to say this always reflects a widespread opposition to US policies in all the countries involved, especially Libya.

But it’s to say that the White House wants this to be about a response to a movie, rather than a more nuanced response to some of the challenges that remain in our relations to the Middle East, including some justifiable opposition to our policies, either present or past.

I can understand doing that to get through the immediate moment of protests. But if the White House continues to ignore these underlying issues after the riots die down, it will be a big problem.

Tweet about this on Twitter4Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook4Google+0Email to someone

26 Responses to “They Hate Us for Our Religious Freedom”

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel RT @peterwsinger: NJ man shot drone flying over his house, charged with unlawful *firearm use* https://t.co/WWA8py9D1I HT @burritojustice
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Think I'll write a short story abt a govt that times its security agreements to the life expectancy of men it has in indefinite detention.
22mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV After this bit of hand-made yumminess, the bread machine is headed for the donation pile. No turning back now. http://t.co/2qFnxCRWYv
32mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Once in a blue moon you really do need to find lipstick, but then all you see are batteries that need recharged.
33mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @DaveJonesUFbeat: Last time #Vols beat #Gators was 30-28 in Knoxville in 2004 ... Ron Zook was fired a little over a month later. Ahem. …
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Tide finally turning? Jordan Davis' murderer convicted! In Florida, no less.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @AP: BREAKING: Florida man convicted of 1st-degree murder for killing teenager after argument over loud music.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @alexisgoldstein: Shorter Eric Holder: "if only someone with power would do something about these oversized, unaccountable banks!" https…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV To be fair, that kind of arrangement (cough, Bandar) is prolly one reason our intel on Syria is so bad.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @pwnallthethings Yep. But their number one rec was ... to do what Apple is now defaulting to. And Apples about half of stolen phones.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV I understand that Louie Gohmert plans to hire the Khorasan Group as consultants to search for new head of SS.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @GreggJLevine: Ask not if sexism played a role in 30-year Secret Service vet Pierson's promotion; ask if it contributed to her ouster.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
September 2012
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30