Thursday, September 27, 2012

Libyan Leader: Anti-Islam Film Had "nothing to do" with Embassy Attacks

Libyan President Mohamed Magarief gave invaluable insight to the American government through an interview with NBC last night. I hope people were listening.

Both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have blamed a shoddy anti-Islam film trailer for the recent violence against the US Embassies throughout the Middle East; President Magarief disagrees.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Ann Curry, President Mohamed Magarief discounted claims that the attack was in response to a movie produced in California and available on YouTube. He noted that the assault happened on Sept. 11 and that the video had been available for months before that. 

"Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September," he said. "They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message. 


"It's a pre-planned act of terrorism," he said, adding that the anti-Islam film had "nothing to do with this attack."

Magarief has an excellent point. How has the political establishment and the main stream media even managed to get away with blaming a B-movie trailer for the Middle East violence?

The cause of the violence in the Middle East is blowback against the interventionist foreign policy of the United States. The film trailer may offend Muslims in Egypt, Libya and Yemen but what causes people to take up arms against the US is not a reaction to a movie but to an overbearing and unwanted role in the region. The US has been deeply involved in the recent conflicts in both Egypt and Libya and the residents of those nations are fed up. The Yemeni people are likewise sick of US drone activity throughout their country. One particularly horrible incident occurred earlier this month where innocent civilians were killed after a US drone strike completely missed its original target.

In his recent speech to the UN, President Obama exposed the real US role in Libya, saying:
[Ambassador] Chris [Stevens] went to Benghazi in the early days of the Libyan revolution, arriving on a cargo ship.  As America's representative, he helped the Libyan people as they coped with violent conflict, cared for the wounded, and crafted a vision for the future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected. 
Wonder why the Libyans are upset? Perhaps it is because, as President Obama said, the United States is the one "crafting a vision for the future" for Libya and not the Libyan people. The United States must accept that this foreign policy of intervention and nation building is the root of the violence against her throughout the Middle East; not a violence of reactionary anger to a film but, as President Magarief correctly notes, violence that carries "a certain message."

That message? Leave us alone.

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