“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 Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+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
bmaz RT @DVNJr: The shocking human toll of #FIFA’s corruption: http://t.co/uYkpDQTjvl http://t.co/RHihVjzBve
48mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @NYTBen: Jolani: "There is no such thing as the Khorasan group. This is something we only heard about from the Americans."
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Live by the Beard, die by the Beard
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Things people say when you are circling down the toilet into the Sepptic tank: https://t.co/lpfKLjhvXp
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nbilka @CNN Oh crikey, don't set standards I am on the far side of the sun from.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Still a number of emergency vehicles at site of San Diego Fish Market fire as sun sets. News says everyone is ok. http://t.co/W6Hhac27ii
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nbilka Brilliant of Ficker to have gone on @CNN to yak about the former client then. [I may need to hari kari now...]
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nbilka Heh, "vouching for your client". Cause, you know, there are no stop signs that come attendant to that idea.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nbilka I mean, if the best you can do is make people ask what form of dope you are, you ought not have gone in front of media #MediaRuleOne
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nbilka Yes, apparently may have been. Irrespective, that was a clown job making that media appearance. Jeebus.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joshua_eaton They've said they were updating their systems. That's not nec storage, 215 part of whole. @AliWatkins
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joshua_eaton Remember, 215 was only ever a fraction of the metadata they get, which is less storage than content bulk. @AliWatkins
6hreplyretweetfavorite
September 2012
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30