As I looked ahead on my schedule, today was supposed to be an easy and inconsequential day. Not too terrible a workload at the office. Apple was going to announce a new iPhone, and the weather was predicted as wonderful. Late yesterday though when I first started hearing rumblings about trouble at our embassies in Cairo and LIbya, I somehow knew today wouldn't quite turn out that way. When I got up this morning and heard that our ambassador and three others had been killed I was extremly concerned. Within a few minutes I also heard that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign had fired off a quick shot condeming the Obama administration late last night. Typical and sadly so, I thought. As sad as imagining that we still try to coop God into our fights with each other like he was some willing ally.
Then when I heard Romney double down on his previous statement those feelings of concerned turned into a downward spiral. Actually that sprial started when I heard that the coward who made the film that sparked the protest in Egypt and may or may not have been used as an opportunity by thugs to launch the attack in Libya said from his hiding place: We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.
Three points here.
While we still don't know what really happeend in Libya, it is becoming very clear that this is a tragic, messy and complex situation. One that more than defies any sort of quick response from anyone. To ignore the complexity of it and pander or posture is demeaning to those slain in service to our country and to all of us. Anyone on any side of our political school yard fight that seeks to do so deserves to be flushed out of the system with shame and opprobium.
Second, whoever the vile perpetrators of this slaugher are, they have not only harmed those killed and wounded, but done damage to the people of Libya and all of those in Arab countries who risked quite a bit in the recent past to gain an opportunity to build something better than they had before. It was never going to be easy, it might never have been what we wanted. I fear now that it is going to be even harder.
Third, if you can't see the parallel between those two previous statements and the thoughts behind making the film in the first place, and surmise something about the hearts behind the mirroring manipulative motives, then you need to open your eyes. The thirst for power is never sated and those desperate for a sip of power will apparently do anything to try and quench it.
I guess there's a fourth thing. Apparently the manipulators behind these cowardly acts have been joined not just by folks here at home. Powerful officials from Israel look to take advantage of a terribly tumultous environment to protect their interests. The way I'm reading it, they were going to take advantage of our schoolyard fight that we call a presidential election before these events happened anyway. I can't argue with anyone who seeks to protect themselves from an enemy who vows to wipe them off the face of the earth. I can and do however find myself less sympathetic when they don't just stand up and take care of business, instead seeking to drag their friends into the fight for them.
I'm thinking this election cycle's October surprise happened a bit early.