You may have heard about the death of the American Ambassador to Libya, but not necessarily who killed him, or what happened next. The news cycle on this has been really cluttered. So in the spirit of short attention spans, and to show how ridiculous this whole crisis is, here’s a quick guide.
Who’s getting killed again?
The American ambassador to Libya was killed yesterday in a rocket attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Three others were killed as well.
Protests are happening across Libya and Egypt right now due to a stupid video. The video—which is really, really stupid—makes fun of Islam and is generally pretty racist. Muslims in Egypt are not happy. And since Muslims in Egypt are next to Muslims in Libya—well, y’know.Who made the video?
A mysterious individual* directed it last July, and an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian publicized it this past week, which spawned the protests. Both the Israeli government and the Coptic community have quickly distanced themselves from the film—which is, again, quite stupid.
So the entire Middle East hates us again! Knew it.
Eh, not so much. Well, protesters did just storm the US Embassy in Egypt, and burnt the American flag. And they also shot up the consulate in Libya. And also the regional media is really unhappy. But we love the idea that a complex multicultural society such as Egypt can’t be reduced to a blanket statement like “they hate us.” The Libyan interim government apologized, while Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has yet to condemn the attacks. But yeah, some people are definitely pissed.
Does it have anything to do with 9/11?
Indirectly. The protests are not due to anti-American vitriol re: September 11th. However, racist pastor Terry Jones—you know, the one who was going to burn the Koran just cuz—co-opted that stupid movie for his stupid anti-Muhammad protest for 9/11 this year. That made the protests even worse.
But c’mon, you’d think the masses of Egyptians would know that yesterday wouldn’t really be a day to storm the American embassy.
Yeah, we know. So maybe there is a little anti-American sentiment. And truthfully, the video might be a kind of proxy for some political outrage. Depends who you ask.
Bet Mitt Romney isn’t using this as cheap political fodder.
Well, you’d be wrong. Romney is “outraged.” His words: “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.” He didn’t know that the Ambassador had been killed at that point, which makes that statement look sort of rude.
The President of the United States did that?
Before the Ambassador got killed, the US Embassy in Cairo released a statement saying, “The United States Embassy 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.” Meanwhile, it tweeted about condemning religious violence. Naturally, this was translated as being sympathetic to people breaking your windows, so they deleted the tweets. (Buzzfeed found them.)
Did Romney’s comments go over well?
Unsurprisingly no! Nobody is happy with Romney’s comments—especially ill-timed since he took a cheap shot at the President on September 11th. Romney backpedaled a tiny bit today, but it still looks bad for him.
So basically everyone sucks.
Yep. Americans are dead for no reason, and all the campaigns can do is yell at each other.
[UPDATE: This article initially called the director of the stupid video Israeli-American, however new information has come to light that "Sam Bacile" is probably not Israeli, and might not even exist.]