MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Call it a "shameful" statement, as Salon does, or call it contemptible and opportunistic, but Mitt Romney attacking Barack Obama for the US embassy deaths in Libya renders Romney unfit to be commander in chief.
“It’s disgraceful,” Romney’s Tuesday night campaign statement charged, “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.”
In a news conference on Wednesday, Romney tripled down on the appeal to anti-Islamic sentiment by stating, before President Obama's appearance, that "The statement that came from the administration is akin to an apology."
The statement Romney is referring to was one made by the US embassy in Egypt before the killings in Libya. It was a diplomatic effort to dampen down isolated Islamic frenzy over a curiously timed promotion of an American Islamophobe YouTube video – and to stall the momentum of the protests.
According to the New York Times,
The trigger for the anti-American outbursts was the amateurish, American-made video that opens with scenes of Egyptian security forces standing idle as Muslims pillage and burn the homes of Egyptian Christians. Then it cuts to cartoonish scenes depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a child of uncertain parentage, a buffoon, a womanizer, a homosexual, a child molester and a greedy, bloodthirsty thug.
The trailer was uploaded to YouTube by someone identified as Sam Bacile, whom The Wall Street Journal Web site described as a 52-year old Israeli-American real estate developer in California. He was quoted as telling the Web site he had raised $5 million from 100 Jewish donors to make the film. “Islam is a cancer,” Mr. Bacile was quoted as saying..
Meanwhile, the right wing "war against Islam" contingent started fanning the flames to "commemorate" September 11th. Although no one can say for certain, it does appear curiously timed for an election day flare up, just as the Reagan campaign used the Iranian hostage crisis (almost certainly negotiating with the revolutionaries there, through Willliam Casey representing the Reagan campaign, to delay release of the hostages until after the 1980 presidential election.)
What's important to remember here, beyond Romney's flame throwing opportunism, is that the statement Romney claims Obama apologized in -- which he didn't -- occurred before news of the killings were received by the White House. Yet, when questioned Wednesday morning by journalists about the timing of the original diplomatic statement (which was trying to cool things down, we remind you), Romney basically said that it didn't matter.
This is consistent with the recent statement of a Romney campaign aide who said that facts wouldn't get in the way of the campaign (paraphrased).
After Romney's ignominious political theatrics of last night and this morning, President Obama appeared before the press at the White House.
He stated that "Yesterday (9/11) was already a solemn day." Obama praised the diplomats who died and condemned the killings, as is appropriate. He acted entirely presidential in representing the digniity and mourning of the nation.
Romney will continue to repeat the lie about the original and diplomatically strategic foreign policy statement (aimed at defusing the situation in Egypt) because he is lashing about for some Hail Mary demagoguery to save his foundering campaign.
The cost of his irresponsible behavior may be an explosion in the Middle East.