Monday, September 17, 2012

The Innocence Of Muslim Riots

"A new CNN poll shows that President Obama now has a six-point lead over Mitt Romney. You can tell Romney's depressed – last night he just sat on his couch and bought the Häagen-Dazs corporation." – Jimmy Fallon

"A recent poll found that most Americans believe President Obama would be a more loyal friend than Mitt Romney. In other words, Obama is the guy holding your hair back in the bathroom while Romney uploads the drunk photos to Facebook." – Jimmy Fallon

"Actually, members of Mitt Romney's own party are starting to criticize him for being too vague. When asked if that bothers him, Romney said, 'Maybe.'" – Jimmy Fallon


Notice incredibly cheap fake beard...
Well, what a long, strange week it's been. In the aftermath of the political conventions, Republicans had to pretend that Clint Eastwood's Alzheimer Moment with an empty chair was actually an inspired piece of acting,  while Bill Clinton showed why we should have hired him to give weekly fireplace chats to explain policy to the masses. Then, this weird anti-Muslim film trailer surfaces...

The Middle East is home to most of the bizarre conspiracy theories, with Texas and Florida a close second. Yet, turning one of the more twisted ones into reality shows that truth can be stranger than fiction... It seems that a strange combination of people got together to help write and finance a movie based on the life of the Prophet, yet showing him in an unfavorable light. The folks were a wimpy, self-proclaimed preacher in Florida, whose past claim to fame was burning a Koran in his church, another right-wing anti-Muslim from Texas, with ties to many other right-wing Christian militias around the country, and a Coptic Christian, originally from Egypt and now living in Southern California, with a record of credit card identity theft and creating 15 other false aliases with paperwork for himself...

Nobody knows if a whole movie was made, the only thing that has shown up is a 14 minute trailer, where the anti-Muslim slurs were dubbed in after it was made. It didn't catch on, was mostly ignored for about a year, until someone translated the whole thing into Arabic, re-posted it on Youtube, then made sure that relatives and friends in Egypt got the ball rolling and have people begin watching it. The idea was to piss off as many Muslims as possible so that the resulting riots and protests would show the Middle East in an unfavorable light in time to celebrate 9/11...

 At one point, the US government asked Google to take it off Youtube, but Google refused. The American Embassy in Cairo issued a statement hoping to calm the situation down, but six hours later a bunch of emotional young men stormed the Embassy, threatening the workers inside. In Libya, another group hit the US Embassy grounds at Benghazi, and ended up killing the American Ambassador. To date, there have been protests in Tunisia, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Phillipines...

When asked by the news media why they were protesting, many people said that they didn't understand why the US government didn't censor the film, that it showed lack of respect for their beliefs. I think that they are right about the need to have more respect, but it's also a two-way street: respect can be freely given, but so often it has to be earned. It also shows an unfamiliarity with American culture and what we mean when we debate free speech. We may be the dominant culture in the world right now, but most people get their impressions of us from television shows, movies, and music gossip, a rather two-dimensional representation with a base in the dramatic and sensational... In the Middle East, most of the current population is under the age of 25, and are not very educated. The lack of jobs and depressed economies will only make these kind of demonstrations worse and more commonplace, especially when food and water gets more scarce in the next few years...

Mitt Romney tried to turn this tragedy into politics, and issued a statement that the Obama administration was handling things badly, that the calming statement from Cairo was as good as an apology, and we should never apologize for who we were... Besides misunderstanding and getting the situation totally wrong, he never apologized himself and kept up the tough-guy facade, saying that if he were President, no-one would have dared kill one of our ambassadors because they would all be overwhelmed by his Integrity and Resolve, feared the overwhelming response that he would have unleashed on their unwashed bodies... The GOP distributed talking points for those who felt like supporting him, like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld did... The rest stood around and looked embarrassed... Even Rush Limbaugh said that ultimately, if you vote, you don't have to vote for Mitt Romney the man; you are actually voting to keep Obama from a second term.

I keep reading these articles saying what a smart man Romney is, two graduate degrees, a law degree, a successful businessman, etc. But what I see from his speeches, commercials, and writings, is someone who has skated through life with little effort, and has become mentally lazy, at that age when the brain cells are killing off the important ones. There really isn't an interior intellectual life, and he consistently shows no interest in understanding foreign policy or any complex issue... Ronald Reagan was our first president to come down with Alzheimer's while in office, Mitt Romney, if elected, will be the second...






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