Robert Winner


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Is the killing of a ambassador from any country ever justified

On 9 September the Consulate in Banghazi, Libya was attacked and overrun, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens, by Muslims that were offended by a film that allegedly ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad. The last Ambassador killed was also American, Adolph Dubs after being kidnapped by Muslim insurgents in Kabul in 1979 demanding release of three captured Muslims. Yesterday the US embassy in Egypy was overrun and the flag tore down and replaced by a black flag. Again by Muslim supporters.

Historically diplomats have been considered peacemakers and not combatants as they work with other nation to resolve differences.

The diplomatic mission and the staff are invited into a nation to establish relations as the need for exchange has been recognized by both leaders. When religious leadership overrides the countries leaders decisions and wage religious wars where the only resolution is death to the infidels why continue the mission of diplomacy?

When incidents of extreme nature occur on embassy grounds and are contributed to a specific group is that an indicator that the diplomatic efforts to resolve differences is falling on deaf ears and that the countries should remove the diplomats.

That our foriegn policy is in the toliet is not a secret. However, that can change with new and strong leadership.

Therefore the debate is directed toward the effectiveness of the diplomatic mission in countries where the radical religious leaders who wish to wage war are the ultimate power. Should we continue diplomatic mission in such countries where US non-combatant citizens are put in harms way.

  • Sep 14 2012: Yes it is and why don't you ever consider staying out of other people's countries and other people's business?

    If any American ever broaches the subject or idea that perhaps one reason for attacks is the fact we are constantly going into other peoples' lives and disrupting them completely, sometimes ruining their countries, while raping them of their resources, enslaving them in poverty, corralling them in decades of unrest, horror, death, sadness and other atrocities, while telling our fellow citizens and ourselves just how good we are and how much good we are doing, because we want to and have all the power, we label them a traitor, a pariah, someone who is against AmeriKa and they should shut up and be a good citizen!

    Yes it is very justified.
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      Sep 14 2012: That you consider murder of anyone OK is appalling. That you do not understand the purpose of diplomatic stations is distressing. That you, a German citizen, who has had a good and solid education could come to this conclusion is amazing.

      I am sorry that you hate America so badly that you wish death on their representatives. This is obviously very personal to you. Are you an American citizen living abroad?

      Would you feel the same if the German Embassy was stormed and the German Ambassador was killed?

      Your reply shows much hate inside. I wish you peace within.
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    Sep 19 2012: "It's no problem for them to protest and have their demands ... but it doesn't mean you need to (inflict) any harm on the embassy here," said Dina Zakaria, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    "Just because you are against something doesn't mean you have to kill," she said. "I think it's really a disaster."

    "This wasn't a riot. It was a deliberate attack," said a Defense Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

    The protest in Egypt was a riot, planned by extremist Egyptians known as Salafists, anti-Western clerics and political representatives who used the video ridiculing Mohammed to gain supporters, said Eric Trager, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

    He said the protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was announced Aug. 30 by Jamaa Islamiya, a group the State Department has designated as a terrorist organization. The demonstration was to protest the ongoing imprisonment of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

    So... No... but, neither do most muslims.
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    Sep 15 2012: I noticed this in the news:
    The top religious authority in Saudi Arabia, Grand Mufti Sheik Abdel-Aziz al-Sheik, condemned the movie on Saturday but said it "will not harm" Islam or Muhammad.

    "Muslims should not be dragged by wrath and anger to shift from legitimate to forbidden actions. By this, they will unknowingly fulfill some aims of the film," he said.

    The head of al-Azhar, Sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb, called on the United Nations to take a stand against hate speech, pointing out that the world body has done so in defense of Jewish people.

    He said that while defending the Prophet Muhammad is a duty for all Muslims — it should be "not only through peaceful protests ... but also through reviving his teachings in all walks of life and spreading his moderate ideas."

    I'm seeing this call for calm within the Nations where most of the protests are occurring. I hope this is a sign that the Middle Eastern and Islamic nations are evolving socially to embrace the concept of Religious tolerance and emotional refrain.

    We don't see such violent behavior in the United States. Our Islamic, Christian, and other religious citizens have embraced and adopted the Western Idea of tolerance for a level of undisciplined, selfishly motivated, attacks on their religious philosophies; but we do have our history of such encounters.

    I remember a time in the 80"s when Jesus was being attacked by film and social groups of simple minded Atheists. There was much protest from the religious community but nobody burned down the city about it.
    • Sep 18 2012: "I'm seeing this call for calm within the Nations where most of the protests are occurring. I hope this is a sign that the Middle Eastern and Islamic nations are evolving socially to embrace the concept of Religious tolerance and emotional refrain.

      We don't see such violent behavior in the United States. Our Islamic, Christian, and other religious citizens have embraced and adopted the Western Idea of tolerance for a level of undisciplined, selfishly motivated, attacks on their religious philosophies; but we do have our history of such encounters."

      With respect John, I think you are looking at this through a faulty lens.

      First, the Middle Eastern and Islamic nations have no need to "evolve." Religious tolerance has been a part of their way of life for a long time. The small group of violent people responsible for the recent attacks are CLAIMING that their motivation is religious. We have no reason to believe this claim.

      Second, following the 9/11 attacks the USA experienced a big increase in hate crimes against people perceived as Arabic or Muslim.
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        Sep 18 2012: I'm sorry Barry, I can be so inexplicable at times. What I mean is on a social level (not religious), the intracellular social groups are adopting attitudes within the protest organizations (they are mostly organized as opposed to spontaneous) are evolving or moving towards the understanding that the eyes of the world are upon them and if they want to be taken seriously, they need to change how they organize these protests and the duration and intensity of the calamity. We see the same thing happening closer to home with the occupy wall street protesters through the messages in their tweets to one another. They understand they can't go too far and the push and pull between them and the police is a test of just where that pristine point is. I did a little research before posting that comment and it appears that the number of people killed and wounded by the police organizations in the Middle Eastern region has fallen dramatically. between 2001 to 2012.

        Barry, you said, "We have no reason to believe this claim..." (that their motivation is religious) in my words for better clarity.

        A quick look at the headlines around the world indicates your wrong Barry. They specifically claim that they are protesting the Wests lack of tolerance for their religion by "allowing" such films as the one that created these riots to be produced and distributed via our social networks. Very specific.

        Barry, you state, "Second, following the 9/11 attacks the USA experienced a big increase in hate crimes against people perceived as Arabic or Muslim.".

        I don't see how this relates to your initial inference. The points don't jive. How does Second, relate to First? I took the time to clean my lenses and the view looks the same to me.
        • Sep 18 2012: The fact that their claim is specific does not make it true. They can claim any motive at all, but what they say is not necessarily their true motive. We know for a fact that these people are murderers; if they are willing to commit murder to advance their cause, we must conclude that they are also willing to lie. The media have accepted their claim. I believe this is a major mistake, and the media are being used by murderers to advance the cause of murderers. Only the murderers know their true motivation, and we have no reason to believe anything they say.

          My second point above is in response to your statement, "We don't see such violent behavior in the United States."
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        Sep 18 2012: I understand Barry. I sent you an email. Did you notice I deleted some of my posts?
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    Sep 14 2012: Reports coming in say that the identity of the person who put the video up is still unknown.

    The hallmarks of the attacks match AL Qaeda style planning.

    It's starting to look like a typical terrorist attack trying to disguise itself as Muslim unrest. Even the movie is thought to be planted by Al Qaeda operatives.

    Obama is threatening to bring the hatchet down.

    It's looking like a reaction to a reaction to a reaction. The simple answer is there is not enough evidence, yet, to identify the attackers other then the style of the attack. It's very different from the Embassy take over in Iran because the students were in mass and had an agenda. Creating mayhem appears to be the only agenda of these attacks.

    Everybody take a seat. It is not a Muslim uprising. We shouldn't attach more speculation than the situation merits.
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      Sep 14 2012: Good advice. All sorts of comments and finger pointing.
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      Sep 14 2012: I understand that perhaps we do not have enough evidence for who the attackers were, but you can bet the president has a list of names with matching photos and bios.

      American citizens have been killed on American soil. Long ago that would have compromised an act of war. I think they call it an act of aggression now and the UN gets involved somehow.

      Do not underestimate the possible underlying motive of the attacks only days after 9-11.
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        Sep 14 2012: I'm sorry Linda. I don't bet on anything.

        Id like to add that the last time this president was passed the photo of a terrorist, he made a mess of the terrorists house and his face. :) I expect no less in this matter.

        The original name of the film in question is:

        "One of the actresses, Cindy Lee Garcia, told KERO-TV in Bakersfield that the film was originally titled "Desert Warriors" and the script did not contain offensive references to Islam." ~USA Today.

        The movie was hijacked, cut up and heavily dubbed to become the one that caused all the stir.

        As I said. The whole event has all the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda style terrorist attack that was well planned to occur around or on Sept. 11. The original film maker is in hiding and hasn't a clue how things became what they are with his film.

        Long ago, people were less educated and less involved with the whole planet. But we can't offer that excuse can we Linda? We are on TED analyzing and objectively discussing a very serious international event with calmness, and clarity, digesting the evidence as it becomes available. I'm proud of all of you. :)

        What amazes me is how fast the countries involved are responding and taking charge of the situation to quell the anger and frustration. That wouldn't have happened last year.

        When I read how the president of Egypt is trying to reconcile the matter of freedom of speech and dealing with protestors I had to say to myself.... "My how the world has changed in such a little time".

        Even Yemeni apologies to the US. When is that last time that happened?

        It's a job for diplomats not common citizens like you and me.

        I think Al Qaeda was expecting a big blast from this bombshell but it's starting to look like a little pop (no disrespect for those harmed or killed). Al Qaeda has egg on their face.
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          Sep 14 2012: Really? So you don't think with all the security video, satellite imaging, special ops intelligence that the president does not have names, photos, bios, makes and models of vehicles and license plates of the operatives? According to AP some have already been arrested.

          This was an act of aggression. Not some movie protest that got out of hand. I may be a common citizen but even I know better than that.

          What it has done is risked many embassies and personnel in many countries.
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        Sep 14 2012: Don't know what "It" is you are talking about Linda. Everyone is working as hard as they can to plug all the holes, look ing at past Intell streams to find markers they missed. Etc. it's starting to look like an inside job, the knew about the safe house.

        Somebody gave out info about Embassy security that only a few people would have known about.
        There is some problem with the timing of the video which was released in Egypt first, even before it was release in the USA. The video appears to follow the Attacks which make the video not the source of the protests. It looks like the first protest was staged to allow the terrorists to get into position (slow things down in the Embassy, creating confusion as to what was going on outside).,
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        Sep 14 2012: What paranoia are you talking about Linda :)
        Maybe you misread the post.

        Old soldiers never die Linda they just get spooky.
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          Sep 14 2012: Skillful editing Mr. Moonstroller. Skillful editing;)
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    Sep 13 2012: I thought the FBI had legal attachés in all U.S. embassies.
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      Sep 13 2012: I do not know. Say they did have a lawyer assigned. What is the point?
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    Sep 13 2012: Murdering another human being, including a member of the embassy staff, is a criminal act punishable by the laws of the land in which the act occurred. If murder is not a crime in Lybia (a condition I cannot imagine is true) then the killings of American embassy staff does not need to be legally, or morally justified. Otherwise all of the suspects should be apprehended, tried, and, if found guilty, punished for their crimes. I think Muslim law demands extremely severe punishment for offenses like infidelity, improper head coverings, and petty theft, so I would imagine the penalty for murder is even more severe. As for continuing diplomatic relations with Lybia, Egypt, etc. . . . . are you insane? Of course not! Withdraw immediately and prep a SEAL team for possible deployment.
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      Sep 13 2012: Nice to agree with you again Mr. Long:)
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        Sep 13 2012: I am astonished, Ms. Taylor, at how infrequently someone agrees with me! Yes, it is nice.
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    Sep 13 2012: F No, People who are trying to assuage violence should not be attacked and imo what ever the penalties are for such crimes should be tripled for acts against a person of good will.
  • Sep 12 2012: It is the responsibility of the host government to provide security for the embassies in its country.

    If they cannot keep foreign embassies secure, we should have no personnel there. Neither should any other country.

    We must demonstrate with actions that these outrageous attacks are not acceptable. Stop all aid, trade, tourism etc.

    If a country cannot meet the responsibilities of civilization, they should not have the benefits.
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    Sep 12 2012: I think security around embassies and diplomats needs improvement; especially in countries where terrorists and extremists are known to be always on the prowl.
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    Sep 12 2012: Pull your people out of the middle east everywhere,begin a campaign of making the ME an unsafe tourism area,it would be a nice message sent when business goes down though not in any significant numbers but it will be felt.
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      Sep 13 2012: Good idea but only one word prevents this from happening.

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        Sep 13 2012: Thanks Linda,you just took the wind out of my consular airs,i was hoping to cross the floor resplendent in senate ovation,oil,horrible stuff,can't even eat it.(sigh)
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    Sep 12 2012: Back in the day we would be at war now. I am not sure what is going on but aggressive actions like this on US soil should not be tolerated. Probably the only thing keeping us from military retaliation is that these actions are not sanctioned by the governments of the countries where this happened. But, as you can see, if it is allowed in one place, it will happen again. Perhaps we should pull all embassy personnel. But that would leave many Americans without resources. Not an easy situation.
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      Sep 12 2012: I once asked the question of why the US embassys were violated but not the Russian embassys. This is the answer I got. A Russina Embassy was attacked once and the Russians immediately killed ten diplomatic representatives of the offending country. They issued a statement , "That if one of our diplomats is killed we will kill ten of yours." Diplomacy at its highest. However, it worked.

      We could pull our people and make a pact with NATO countries with embassies there to accept american issues and forward them to the state department for action. Wonder if that would work. If we pull our embassy from the country then would we issue passports for Americans to be in that country? So many questions and as you say not an easy situation or a simple solution.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Sep 14 2012: Russian Embassy and the former soviet Union Embassy have been the target of many attacks since 1969. In fact. Most Embassies have been attacked at one time of another in many countries. Almost all these attacks took place in the host country.

        That old Rumor about the Russians killing ten diplomats is as old as the Soviet Union, which doesn't exist anymore.

        List of Embassy attacks occurring since 1900 :

        There is no easy answer because the countries of the world become more globally intertwined with economics these days.

        Better protection is the only clear answer.