What We Can Learn from the Attacks on U.S. Embassies

This week's U.S. embassy attacks are the product of intense jockeying for power in an Arab political landscape riven with both new and familiar challenges. Here are five key lessons to take away from an ugly week

  • Share
  • Read Later
AHYA ARHAB / EPA

Yemeni protesters storm the U.S. embassy in the capital, Sana‘a, on Sept. 13 2012

3. Post-Gaddafi Libya Is, at Best, a State in the Making

The speed with which Libya’s elected leaders raced to condemn the deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and promised to crack down on those responsible may have appeared to be a stark contrast with the apparent paralysis of their Egyptian counterparts. But Libyan leaders’ determination to respond in a manner appropriate for a country seeking to build relations with Washington may not be matched by capacity. The monopoly of organized force that in most countries defines the nation state was shattered in the war to bring down Gaddafi, leaving a void that has been filled by a patchwork of competing militias.

(MORE: Libya: Killing of U.S. Ambassador Highlights Country’s Post-Gaddafi Struggles)

“Because the country lacks a fully functioning state, effective army or professional police, local actors have stepped in to provide safety, mediate disputes and impose cease-fires,” says William Lawrence of the International Crisis Group (ICG), which on Friday issued a new report on Libya’s security challenges. “But ultimately, these actors cannot take on the state’s role in implementing ceasefires and ensuring conditions of peace. Truces remain fragile, and local conflicts are left frozen or fragile rather than truly resolved.”

The debacle at the Benghazi consulate was a graphic illustration of the fact that militias armed with rocket launchers and mortars are able to operate with relative freedom in the new Libya, with the national army and police force more of a notion than an established reality, as security remains dependent on the sometimes tenuous relationships between different militias. “Until now, central authorities have acted chiefly as bystanders, in effect subcontracting security to largely autonomous armed groups,” says Robert Malley, ICG’s Middle East and North Africa program director. “This is not sustainable. The new government needs to take concrete steps to reform its security forces and establish structures of a functioning state. Anything less will perpetuate what already is in place: local disputes occurring in a fragmented and heavily armed landscape with the ever present risk of escalation.”

PHOTOS: Protesters Scale U.S. Embassy Walls, Tear Down American Flag

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
84 comments
Fatesrider
Fatesrider

What we can learn: 

1. Build in a square.

2. Place vulcan cannons at the corners with overlapping fields of fire. (An alternative is five miniguns per corner)

3. Invest heavily in 20 MM ammo. (or .30 cal ammo)

4. If more than one unauthorized person is on the grounds, use the items in point 2 until none are moving.

5. Release a press statement after #2 has been used to excess that expresses regret over the loss of life but remind everyone that when they invade an embassy, they are invading sovereign territory and that the country of that territory is entitled to defend themselves.

 

Any questions?  Class dismissed.

parid555
parid555

im tired of hearing muslims say that this behaviour is solely the work of extremists who r not following the true teachings of islam and that islam is a religion of peace when the Kuran is full of lines encouraging the death of infidels, non believers and jews

Guest
Guest

And men that wear skirts (Scottish kilts)?

n009
n009

It really sickens me to my stomach and I find what some of you are saying, really hurtful.

Extremists are not following the true teachings of Islam.

They are people who are brainwashed and angered by the different ways the US has screwed them over (killing hundreds of thousands of their people, supporting dictators and instilling them as government authorities, etc).

And as if you don't know by now that the U.S. supported Osama Bin Laden, by supplying money and weapons to him and Al Qaida.  Its the US government also who is brainwashing all you hateful Americans. 

The recent attacks/deaths were from Al Qaida, they were not from the protestors of this recent disgusting video that was made- which I surely believe the directors or whomevers' intention was to set them off. Read up and and watch more than just FOX news or CNN. 

And for those of you who are speaking from hateful Christian (or any othe religious) terms- YOU are just as awful as these extremists. You give a bad name to Christianity and should be ashamed of yourselves. Like if you want to compare religions, please share your thoughts of the many Christian or Catholic priests that have raped young boys.  Have we every stereotyped all Christians as rapists? No. It wouldn't be fair to anyway.

And of course the US media would never allow for that, since Christianity is the religion of  choice of the Republicans and many Americans.

And its obvious the US media loves depicting muslims as the way they do.  There are many that speak up and against these attacks- why are they never shown?

On the topic of the US providing money to those muslim countries- they are giving it to the governments that they have instilled or bribed- not to the people. 

I am Muslim and I have no hate towards any other religion- even though I read and hear many hateful things from Christians, Jews, etc about Muslims.  But you are not representatives of your religion.  Your God would be so ashamed of you.  Go read what your religion and Islam for that matter- before you judge. 

Do your own research to educate yourself.

And by no means am I supportive of any extremist activity, and one that claims it does so in the name of its religion. 

We always laugh at those pageants when the girls are asked what their one wish would be, and they say "world peace." Well I would wish for that.  And for each of us to be treated respectfully and not judged. 

PaulFertig69
PaulFertig69

We must wait . What the Moslems really have in store for the rest of us can not be determined

right now . It may be, by chance that the  leaders of these factions want us to attack

them so as to confirm that they are justified in their hatred for the U.S . and there for

must make war to protect themselves. If these protests are made by a minority we need

only wait for the moderates to turn this state of affairs back to normal.

YehudaElyada
YehudaElyada

Eileen,

You're so good at finding the Israeli aspect in anything, so you could blame the special relations between the USA and Israel for every atrocity committed againt humanity, you must be a paid professional propoganda queen! Actually, you sound as a star in the We Hate Israel Jewish choir. Have fun, but may I suggest to try a more productive way of making a living.

rory2012
rory2012

What USA should learn: do more concrete thing to achieve peace rather than undermined,show the world your justice side rather than the dark side,learn to be humble rather than being a loud mouth even you did a good deed.

Joseph Essien-Obot
Joseph Essien-Obot

No.1 Lesson: America should learn to mind its own business. For goodness' sakes the Cold War is over!

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

American should learn to mind its own business except when you need to BEG for our AID whether it is in the form of money or military.

Abe
Abe

THE DOOR IS WIDE WIDE OPEN    :)

Let me start saying this: I am sorry for the death of the US ambassador and 3 other officials.

Let me put few things in perspective to Americans.  Religion is very important in the middle east and we don't like anyone insulting our prophet or any prophet for that matter of fact.  Nevertheless there are people who react extremely when their religion is affronted and unfortunately this is not going to stop now or in the future.  This is how it is here so it is very simple matter: if you don't like it just LEAVE and take your embassies and staff with you.  As far as your freedom of speech when used to derogate and offend people and their believes to reflect your civility then keep it for yourself.  I don't go around in the streets in the US insulting people for their beliefs and if I did I know I would  be in trouble.  Or find a way to curtail offenses to religious beliefs if you decide you want to stay here.

Now as far as the extreme reactions we see, I assure they are not just related to the video (innocence of muslims) which is just the tip of the iceberg.  These extreme reactions are the result of anger, frustration and outrage at US foreign policy in the middle east and have been brewing for decades.  First and foremost Israel occupation of Palestine and its defiance of UN resolutions regarding Palestine.  Then the invasion of Iraq  over a WMD lies: casualties in the 100 of thousands and Afghanistan is not over yet.  Also you are interfering in Syria's internal affairs in the name of democracy when it is none of your business and on the other hand you sleep with despotic regime in the Persian Gulf!  Now whether be it religious offense or turban heads or whatever else that offend others you will get that sort of extreme reactions. Again I reiterate that if you don't like it then you know where the door is and it is wide wide open.  Can you take a hint?

Now I hear all sort of comments here: stop aids, stop this and that … Frankly the US takes more from the middle east than it will ever give back.  All the proceeds from gas and oil going to despotic regimes are channeled back to the US and the west to support your economies. How big is your debt to saudi arabia? How much of US goods flood our markets from cars to computers to prescription drugs and food stuff like Kellogg West?  How about all the business and oil contracts the west is getting now from Libya int the name of democracy? Frankly you need us more than we will ever need you.  Other nations and more respectful cultures are more happy to take your place here such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa, and many others all competing for a place here.  So again the doors are wide wide open!!!!!!! SO  do us a favor either shut up or leave, WE JUST DON'T NEED YOUR HYPOCRISY!

Now as far as the american religious zealots, evangelicals nuts and crusaders, please do give me a break. You have got nothing christian about you.  You drool with hate and anger more than those men rioting. If only you stick to what Jesus said : "love thy neighbor"  and when he was asked who is thy neighbor he said "mankind."  Now remember Jesus was born in the middle east and not in America and if we are to take his words literally then your neighbor is middle easterner. So if we middle easterners happen to be wrong at times, please do show us some love and good examples and stick to the 10 commandments.  Finally remember what Jesus said:"let those without sin throw the first stone."

Yaaalif
Yaaalif

Just bcoz the new rulers dont bend as per your rules...u called them weak......u claim freedom of speech..yet when one questions the holocaust he is taken to court...what a double standard?

Plumbline
Plumbline

Revelation 16:16......

And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

18235
18235

another lesson: american liberals, and obama,  dont care if a muslim LYNCH MOB kills a white ambassador to USA...only black victims of a LYNCH MOB count.

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

Really?

How about the death of 100,000+ Iraqis killed as a result of a war based on LIES of the American red necks (the conservatives, republicans and the tea baggers). That is worse than lynching. It is genocide by the RepubliKLAN party president GWB.

18235
18235

yeah, iraq was a paradise where the rivers flowed gumdrops prior to the evil usa.

and blacks were treated like 2nd class citizens in usa in 1930s, so usa shouldnt have bombed nazi germany?

right now iraqis are killing other iraqis, with iran, no doubt your favorite country, involved.

I BET YOU HAVE EXCUSES TOO FOR THE NAZI LIKE CONCENTRATION CAMPS RIGHT NOW IN NORTH KOREA.

Kajua
Kajua

Making such a movie which is intended to create hate and blood shed should be considered act of terrorism.

18235
18235

how about, instead, wanting to bring a LYNCH MOB to justice?

was a lynch mob that killed the ambassador.

so, i guess you are ok with lynch mobs?

mustafaelsahli
mustafaelsahli

Islam as a religion is to be blamed because it,s words are clear ,,Muslims are the best,,Muslims are the only pure ppl,,the fate of Muslims is to paradise others to hell,,the Muslims are sacred while others are profane and dirty,,,the  Quran is just a book of insults to the others who r not Muslims,,this is the fact The only way out for Muslims is to consider the Quran as a man work rather than a divine one because it is impossible that God  tells this absurd notes or discriminate his creatures ,,,Quran is just a point of view of Muhammed ,,and it is a work of man and not a divine one ,,,God the omnipotent and his words can be found in the book of the multiverse ,,when we look at things under the microscope we find God as though he is talking to us ,,when we look at the galaxies amp;clusters of galaxies we find God is talking to us and say i am your lord 

n009
n009

You know NOTHING about Islam.

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

Very well said.

You have very succinctly described what most non-Islamic people do not know about Islam. What Muslims do not realize is that it is their HATE of infidels as taught by Quran and their religious clergy has turned the whole world against them. In fact that is what the mullahs of Islam want. They want a war between Islamic and non-Islamic nations. But what they do not know is, it is the Islamic nations that will be annihilated in such a war. The mullahs don't care, they will send all their followers to death. Have you ever seen a mullah ever become a suicide bomber? Never. He finds innocent, ignorant young boys and girls to do their dirty work. I hope the moderate, educated Muslims open their eyes and come into the 21st century instead of being forced to live in the 7th century dark age life style.

atticus451
atticus451

We saved Kosovo from the Serbs (although we had no economic interest in that region); armed the Afghans against the Russians; arm-twisted Egypt to get rid of Mubarak (who was always a good friend to the U.S.); and provided military support for the Libyan revolutionaries.

THIS IS THE THANKS WE GET!  Murdering one of the most capable diplomats we ever sent overseas along with another staff member and two SEALS. First, who sends these people in harm's way without adequate defensive support?  Why didn't this administration learn from Reagan when we had a barracks blown up in Lebanon? At the very least, a platoon of heavily-armed SEALS should've been there to protect our ambassador.

Second, why are we risking life and treasure over there?? Oh yeah, Israel. Oh, and Libya has some oil.   

SixSixSix
SixSixSix

Oh wonderful, Salafism - the Tea Party of the Middle East. Misdirected grass roots anger manipulated by the same kind of super-billionaire. In the end Religious Fundamentalism and its political manipulators are all the same, just the brand names differs.

Craig Davis
Craig Davis

Maybe we should learn not to brag about killing their heroes.

18235
18235

lesson # 6....liberal media said last month that dark knight rises massacre, in which 20 movie goers were killed, had nothing to do with the movie.

lesson #7....muslims are celebrating sept 11 2001----by killing.

lesson #8....liberal media protecting obama, who months ago was friends with these rioters, by coming up with bullst story of an OLD youtube video being blame.

mustafaelsahli
mustafaelsahli

Liberalism which is defined as freedom of thought is an apostasy in Islam ,,now because of this film that expresses and embodies the liberalism ,the whole world is unbelievers in the eye of Islam or Muslims,,,,liberalism gives the right to the human being to imagine ,but imagination is strongly banned in islamic religion ,,the stupid and arrogant muslim orders to the whole world ,either the world stop to imagine or they kill it 

Winston Blake
Winston Blake

'If I were to tell the press millions of Americans would be blown up by an Iranian nut job or that Democrats have stolen their entire life savings with bailouts and Obamacare, nobody panics because it is all part of the plan... 

But if I say a few homosexuals in San Francisco are upset over their little wee wees, why, everyone just loses their minds!'

 Sincerely, 

 A. Joker

ali
ali

To make it clear, these thousands of people protesting are just sheeps following shepherds who in this case are political parties, just raging and smashing what ever they are told, mob, mob mentality and plain ignorance. Seeing all the comments here about Islam hurts the my feelings. See, these people are doing against the teachings of Islam. After learning Islam and its teachings I CAN VERY SURELY TELL ISLAM IS AGAINST SUCH ACTIONS, and even has punishments for such violent actions and behaviours. Even if someone has to be prosecuted It is the responsiblity of the Islamic state do that in Shariah Law, not an induvidual. These parties are just manipulating the situation in name of Islam to their own agendas. Its just like saying Nazis = Christanity!

mustafaelsahli
mustafaelsahli

The Islam is refusing political parties establishment and the construction of any democratic state ,the only political system accepted by Islam is the Caliphate or the anti-choice system,,that is on one hand ,but on the other hand if moslems find out that establishing political parties will serve their cause and make Islam spread where Sharia laws are implemented by force amp;that the state of caliphate can be brought into being, then they accept what has been already banned by Islamic religion

Marwa Dosoky
Marwa Dosoky

BTW : America Doesnt apply the democratic system , it is a republic country.. 

just a side note 

SixSixSix
SixSixSix

 The death penalty is against Christ as the King of Peace. But try telling that to Christian Fundamentalists. They hate what they want to hate because it was all forms of Fundamentalism fill the moral void in their lives and hearts with blind dogma supercharged with hate. They really believe that without their god shoved down your throat you would behave like they want to. Why else kill the mother if the pregnancy is life threatening...no exceptions to anti-choice, not ever. It is the official platform of the Republican Party. The party that bans Sharia law because it will tolerate no competitors.

TheMovingFinger
TheMovingFinger

This article, despite its apparent erudition, takes the time-worn Western approach to the Islamic rising: the problem is within Islam and  not with the Western approach to engagement with Islam. We support a  state in their  midst that is increasingly and stridently refusing to engage in meaningful negotiations over land for the natives whom it evicted, we play politics with their region in order to secure our fuel supplies so we can drive ever more ugly and monstrous vehicles, we freely export our ideals of democracy to peoples unused to those ideas, we engage in regime changes at will, and in general act in a manner easily perceived as anti-muslim. When it comes to understanding why they hate us, its is all about Salafism, brotherhoods, repressive clan-rules, Wahabbism,  sunnism and shia-sm. There's one more fact: for good or for bad, the US had taken on the mantle of the global policeman after WW II. The police are hated everywhere, despite the useful role they do play!

It is time to not just recalibrate our views of Islam and Islamic states, but to adopt and entirely different viewpoint and evaluate our actions from their perspective. Failing this, we will only feed the Islamic phobia for all things Western and indeed non-Islamic. Given Islamic world view they will never lack for volunteers willing to die for their cause  which they perceive as being endangered. Let us not forget that while we look for rewards in this world, Islam promises rewards in the next and as such dying for their cause is preferred to living in the hope of a better life here on earth.