It's Always Our Fault - Revisiting the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’
by LESLIE SACKS
September 21, 2012
I've been following the sad news out of Benghazi. The late ambassador Stevens was a courageous man committed to uplifting the Libyan people who, together with the Egyptians, are our new "allies." Seeing photos of his corpse being dragged like garbage through the streets of the city by those who demand the niceties of Sharia Law, those who wish to establish the worldwide Muslim Caliphate and enforce the subjugation of women - I had nothing pithy left to say, only sadness to feel.
Yet it took the American Embassy in Cairo, Hilary Clinton and the Vatican to raise my hackles. The embassy tweeted: "we condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims"; whilst Hilary, parading the endemic White House political correctness, called the obscure video by a crackpot "reprehensible" saying "we absolutely reject its content and message." The Vatican's Father Lombardi did not condemn the killings in Benghazi; rather he condemned "provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers."
Yet, the attack in Benghazi was more an act of war than a spontaneous protest - 400 showed up with mortars and RPGs.
Why? Why does the most powerful government in the world apologize to a rioting rabble, murderers of ambassadors, avowed followers of Bin Laden, pillagers of sovereign American property, whilst at the same time equating the obnoxious and isolated video with the iniquitous violence, as though the two were in any way comparable? The allure of the freedoms guaranteed by our Bill of Rights seems lost to the White House; the integrity of moral judgment has become clouded amongst our leaders.
Yes, this obscure and largely unseen video may indeed hurt the feelings of some devout Muslims, and may inflame some habitual anti-American hatred. But so will every Hollywood movie, every porn site, every political statement that's deemed impure and insulting to the Islamists who have zero tolerance to Western mores and traditions. This 14-minute video by some Egyptian Copt in California about the prophet Muhammad, "Innocence of Muslims," has been on YouTube since June - yet the propagators of these riots waited until September 11th, that infamous anniversary, to fan the flames. (On September 8th a major Egyptian TV station aired this largely ignored short film).
The real question is not the volatility of millions of Middle Easterners taught from birth to hate America and to despise Israel (as any excuse is usually enough). The real question is why we feel the need to pander and apologize to the most radical, violent and intolerant extremes around the world, to let them set the tone; a tone designed to stifle all criticism of Islam, to declare as blasphemy any attempt to reform radical Islam. (To Islamists, free speech does not extend to defamation of Islam and democracy merely another avenue to implement their 7th century theology).
There were indeed in the past other isolated incidents - Geert Wilders' "Fitna" movie in Amsterdam, the now infamous cartoons in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark, a few pages of a discarded Koran burnt in error in Afghanistan. In the whole scheme of things, it's remarkable that there are not many more of these criticisms of Islam as we experience some of its radical manifestations today.
When Saudi citizens murdered 3000 innocents on 9/11, no embassies were burnt in America, no ambassadors murdered, no riots started. Yet a video of no value seems to bother the Muslim World more than these 3000 victims. Apologies seem to go only one way - that is the real quandary. We are irrevocably always the Infidels, and they are always the revered protectors of Muhammad.
Ignored yet more relevant is the proliferation, by contrast in the Middle East, of daily anti-West, anti-Semitic propaganda. It's everywhere, all the time - it's the staple of much of the media, the education system, the Madrassas and the Mosques.
A 41 episode series (Horse Without a Horseman) based on the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion has been running on Egyptian TV presenting the Jews as a cabal of conspiring demons taking over the world.
In Syria, a government-supported TV series trotted out the ancient blood libel, that of Jews murdering Muslim children, then using their blood to bake Passover Matzos. Strange also, since Kosher laws expressly forbid blood residues from meat.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority regularly equate Jews with the sons and daughters of monkeys, deserving of death and banishment. The PA pay convicted and jailed suicide bombers $3000 per month using American government subsidies.
Ahmadinejad talks of destroying Israel. Huge crowds danced, celebrated and handed out sweets in the Middle East capitals on 9/11.
The list is endless as are the calls to violence, rage and vengeance.
Does anyone from that world apologize for these daily genocidal exhortations? Does anyone from the West demand it? None that I have heard. Why? At MSNBC a consensus from a talk show advocated jailing the videographer as an accessory to murder, but not jailing the murderers themselves, not any lynch mobs. The murderers are granted victimhood in our upside-down world.
US Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, had forbidden the embassy's security to carry live ammunition - talk about a misguided attempt not to antagonize the Muslim Brotherhood, after all, talk about a more direct accessory to murder.
Where's the outrage when in the Middle East homosexuals are tortured, women stoned, acid thrown into the faces of young girls, Coptic Churches burned, IQ deficient kids used as suicide bombers? The silence is more than deafening.
We now apologize for our unique freedom of speech, the core bastion of our society; we apologize for the words, cartoons and photos of a few independent individuals exercising their inalienable right to free expression, to differing opinions for which we have no control over or responsibility for.
Our ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, and White House spokesman, Jay Carney, insist unwaveringly, against all evidence, against the findings of the Libyan and Egyptian authorities, that the violence was not premeditated, that it was entirely due to the obscure YouTube video. Reports also note that the brother of Al Qaeda's current leader, namely Mohammed Zawahiri, was instrumental in the Cairo attack.
Yet we seem to take the hate speech in the Middle East for granted, the beheadings, kidnappings, rapes, murders, suicide bombings. We cowardly choose to respond by subsidizing these supremacist and fanatical leaders, these anti-American entities. We now show every variation of weakness and pandering, any apology we can muster in spite of the immutable reality that the Middle East only respects the strong horse and mocks the weak horse. Logic and morality be damned.
We, and our ambassadors, should not be anywhere in which we cannot engender respect or elicit appreciation. Skype as an alternative really works very well nowadays. The White House ignores the green revolution in Iran, that hugely deserving opposition to a viciously anti-American regime, in a country of people primarily pro-American. Yet this same White House supports Egyptian President Morsi who demands the release of the first World Trade Center bomber, blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. This same White House supports the Muslim Brotherhood, who has refused to recognize the State of Israel and whose leaders reaffirmed Jihad on Israel.
We apologize when we should stand firm; strangely, we draw our enemies close and alienate our friends.
I don't understand - do you?
Leslie Sacks is an art dealer and gallerist in Los Angeles. Before that, he founded and operated Les Art International in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was active in opposing apartheid and in supporting the Johannesburg Jewish community.