questionsdid you see the us ambassador to libya was…

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@zapp brannigan: not "rebels" ser....terrorists. Call a spade a spade.

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@wootfast: "Look at these beautiful people."

Thanks for the link. The misspellings make the signs even more touching.

Last year I obsessively listened to and watched BBC's gripping coverage of the Libyan civil conflict. I was overwhelmed by the incredible courage of embattled civilians taking up arms against a brutal, entrenched dictator. I was proud of the American/NATO role in helping them achieve their goal. Chris Stevens was a friend and ally of the Libyan rebels and their fledgling democracy. The attack on the embassy does not represent the Libyan people, just as neither the Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones nor the provocative anti-Islam video represent Americans.

The Arab Spring brought new tensions as well as new freedoms to the Mideast. I believe in democracy, so I am hopeful about the changes. Increased political uncertainties make thoughtful diplomacy ever more necessary. RIP Chris Stevens; as Hilary Clinton said, we need more like him.

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@dmaz: Thanks grammar nazi god forbid!

I see you left out that they were until this year costsing $100 a grenade, do you really think rebels wait until they need something to buy it? No they stockpile. At $100 a grenade all they need to do is sell some opium and call it a day.

Even at $500 a pop it's still cheap for the amount of damage they do, guns and ammo are cheap but don't do as much damage as 1 well placed RPG. Most of the rebels are using money they get from selling drugs which brings in a lot of money so it's just a small drop in the bucket.

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@zapp brannigan: "Because that worked so well for Iraq and Afghanistan am I right?! Punish the mass for the actions of a few."

That might be the problem. We haven't. We have tried our best to avoid civilian targets and limit damage. 90 years ago war was dirty and messy and people were scared of it. It was so horrific that people went out of their way to bend backwards to a man who was elected as the head of his government when he decided to pursue an agenda. It took a lot to get rid of that man, but it was obvious we had done the right thing after the true horror of that man's agenda came out. We relearned the horror of war.

Later in southeast asia, due to fear of a power seemingly bent on something worse than imperialism, we fought again. In those places, some of our men ended up doing things no one would be proud of be it by orders or choice. Every few years people seem to need to be reminded that war is hell. But now it is a video game, so expect no punishment for the masses.

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It has been shown that increased violence in the Middle East goes back much further than any current conflict. It predates Christianity by thousands of years: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/342366/title/Mideast_violence_goes_way_back

Something about the place clearly makes people violent.

So yeah: Turn it to glass. And I'm no hawk. I hate violence and I hate war. But that part of the world has never had peace and never will. You want world peace? You're gonna have to start by excising the part of the world that cannot experience it. Melt 'em.

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Just an addition to my comment above.

The embassy staff in Benghazi, felt pretty comfortable with their neighborhood and the city. It was a quiet neighborhood. It was an older embassy, without the best security features, but deemed adequate. The staff felt comfortable with just local police protection. They dispensed with the normal marine detachment, deemed more disruptive than helpful.

Everyone involved felt security was sufficient for any foreseeable threat. Someone else took advantage of that complacency.

Over a few days, news outlets aired the offensive film clip along with inflammatory commentary. Tens of thousands saw or heard about the film. Rumors started. But some guiding force rallied several thousand Libyans to show up at the embassy, at the same time, blocking streets, immobilizing the police. That took planning and coordination. Someone had RPGs!

This was not the typical Libyan, this was a terrorist attack, disguised as a mob.
It should be dealt with that way.

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With the perspective of a few hours, we hear a bit more about the timeline of events. Instant responses should be tempered with consideration for the consequences. Attacking and bombing either Egypt or Libya for the actions of of a mob just escalates the violence, polarizes the sides and has an irretrievable impact.

Our embassies are protected by Marines and designed to be hard to breech. The embassy can also call on the local police and military to help support the internal forces. It is pretty clear that this was a huge flash mob, something that required some coordination and planning. The planning had to include equipment designed to defeat the built in protections.

The fact that it occurred on or around Sept. 11 is an interesting coincidence. I think the more reasoned response would be targeting the planners and instigators. The people in the street, were for the most part, dupes. No need for bombs. But a few well placed 50 cal head shots might send a stronger message.

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I knew that box of used pinball machine parts was going to haunt us.

(Just trying to extinguish the hate with a little levity)

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@zapp brannigan: I never said or implied that! I said I don't agree with punishing the masses for the actions of the few.

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@zapp brannigan: "RPG's are dirt cheap in 3rd world countrys"

I have to butt in here to point out two mistakes in this statement.
1. ^countries
2. I don't know where you get your numbers, but in 3rd world countries, especially those under, or teetering near, political instability (Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc) RPGs are not cheap. Try $2,000 per, plus another $500 for each grenade.

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@cms1776: RPG's are dirt cheap in 3rd world countrys.SAMs are a bit more but I haven't heard of too many rebels using SAMs

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Let's find the individuals that did this and have the Marines give them a religious experience.

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Ask your selves how do these rebels afford rocket launchers&weapons and live like peasants? Some organization out there is supporting them to pull a Coup De Tat. No one asks where they are getting these weapons! especially rocket launchers and surface to air missiles.

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@gatzby: Yes, I agree. It's definitely my spasticness that just wants to see something done after a tragedy. I'm blessed to be marrying someone who is a stroke more rational than I am sometimes.

@zuiquan: Good points...I, for one, need to practice these a little better :/

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@dmaz: The government can't help you when you're overseas. You have to watch your own butt and surround yourself with people you can count on. I personally am extremely on-guard when out in public and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't carrying anything besides my fists and my feet. People are always going to hate Americans no matter what.

It's like all the anti-terror training classes: blend in with your surroundings, don't stick out, don't make yourself a target by declaring out loud where you come from, change your travel habits regularly, and keep your eyes open. The SEALs are not coming to bail you out so take care of yourself.

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@dmaz: That may be true, but that's the politics of nations, not individuals, really. It's like blaming the president for a law: most of the time, it's gone through the house, the senate... which are supposed to be representative of the nation... you know, the government by the people thing. It is, of course, different in dictatorships, monarchies, etc. Ultimately, it comes down to a group of individuals being dicks, regardless of politics. Murder is murder, you know? The reason doesn't particularly matter.

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@thebopster: So us as a first world country with high morals should stoop down to their level?

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@gatzby: I think it's a little tough because politics are so entangled into these kind of situations :/

I'm worried about those of us who are abroad, especially countries who aren't so fond of US citizens, and what can be done/changed to help us out a little more.

On your other topic, I have always looked at online communites positively, because of this reason. It's really nice to feel understood by people of similar interests, and having the ability to do it from the other side of the world! It allows really great people who may have never been remembered, merely because of their possible, physical disconnection with their home, get recognition and good thoughts after they pass

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It's disappointing to see this being used as a way to politick. I mean, let's condemn the people committing violence, terror, and war -- not each other for "allowing this to happen" or whatever other reason is dreamt up to profit by this. =\

Here's a good article about the guy that was lost: http://themittani.com/news/rip-vile-rat

He was an avid gamer and part of the SomethingAwful GoonFleet. It's good to know that he will always be remembered by the folks there.

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One of the embassy personnel killed by the attack was also active on the EVE mmorpg, and has children:
http://themittani.com/news/rip-vile-rat

A fundraiser for his children is currently being organized here if you're so inclined, on the something awful forums:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3506424

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@figgers3036: I hope things cool down too... the idea of changing free speech to not include Islam worries me a little too...

I did some research on what our country's early leaders thought about free speech concerning Islam.

John Quincy Adams:
"He [Mohamed] poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust: To exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature."

Thomas Jefferson:
"They are mere usurpers of the Christian name, teaching a counter-religion made up of the deliria of crazy imaginations, as foreign from Christianity as is that of Mahomet."

Our founding fathers' beliefs are their own, just like we have our own. What I find though, is they had no problem with free speech, and most likely necessary action, against it.

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@zapp brannigan: "Punish the mass for the actions of a few."

That's just what the Muslims do, and I don't agree with that.

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@gerthdynn: Because that worked so well for Iraq and Afghanistan am I right?! Punish the mass for the actions of a few.

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@zuiquan: I'm sorry too, I completely missed that meaning and misinterpreted that statement. Let the silliness die with us!

Unless it's cat pictures. I like cat pictures.

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@figgers3036: OK, now that I re-read my crack about McCain's heroes I can clearly see that what I was thinking is not what went out on the keyboard. I wasn't saying that these people were his heroes because of what they did yesterday, but rather that they were his heroes when they were fighting Qaddafi and it was an allusion to what I thought was a completely ridiculous statement that he made at the time. The enemy of my enemy should not be your hero unless they're actually your friend. Which these people clearly are not and never were. That'd be like saying the guy that killed Jeffrey Dahmer is your hero just because you didn't like Dahmer and forget about the part where the guy is also a convicted murderer that killed someone for $15.

So, my apologies for being unclear and also for being a prat.

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@meh3884: I never said we need to take military action. The Marines are going to Libya only to protect innocent people and our property. If this happened here in the U.S. to the Libyan consulate, think of the repercussions. We cannot back down or cower in a corner. Let's hope the true diplomats can quell the situation, since the Libyan leaders seem to be apologizing for the actions of the mob. Too bad Egypt hasn't apologized . . . at least I haven't hear of one as of yet.

I did a lot of work in the Cairo area in the '90s, and it wasn't quite as bad then, but it was dangerous enough for us that we had armed guards with us any time we were in the cities.

And, we should never, ever allow our flag to be torn down, burned, and replaced with another. That's our property, and we need to defend it. End.

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@meh3884: Well ok...but in the real world we've been attacked, killed and then apologized for it. I'm not too pleased with our response to say the least.

"Tolerance it a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness." --James Goldsmith

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@misterron: I'm certainly not saying that there is not a serious problem with the ideologies being bred in that region. It's disgusting and it is a sham. What I'm saying is that America and its allies are not in a position right now to support the absolute hell that would be taking further military action in one of these countries. Another enemy whose ties are to this that and the other group with loyalties to several different countries, governments, and organizations that lives among innocent citizens, hiding in plain view - it's been a disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and we all know it.

I'm not sure the "diplomatic charade" you are mentioning. Of course this is clouded in politics, and it would - and will continue to be - regardless of what administration is running any involved country. The fact of the matter is, these situations, these attacks, these potential wars are political in nature. We can't get around that nor can we ignore the political consequences.

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Let’s cut through the diplomatic blather and the Obama State Department’s charade. This isn’t about ordinary Egyptian Muslims being offended by defiling the Koran, some outcry for religious tolerance, or anger over Mohammed's portrayal in a film. It’s about Egyptian imams and the Muslim Brotherhood concocting any excuse for a violent anti-Western conflagration and the killing of innocent people. Dragging the dead body of the U.S. Ambassador through the streets is just the beginning.

And, the all-day tweeted apologies from the U.S. embassy in Cairo are sickening.

Here's one: We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—
US Embassy Cairo (@USEmbassyCairo) September 11, 2012

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@inkycatz: I'm just going to go ahead and delete my response.

@psuclaus1 I'll leave it at - Sorry, I'm here to advocate my opinion on real world solutions. Not down-home, no consequence, forget political, economical, and security ramifications, go kill 'em solutions. Because they're not real, they don't work, and they ignore - that's right - the real world. Since I don't live in a pretend bubble where everyone quivers at the thought of American might.

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@figgers3036: I take issue with your lack of knowledge about Sen. McCain's position re: Libyan rebels. Do you think that these people are all Qaddafi supporters and are just mad that he got kicked out of power? You do know that the rebels were rife with fundamentalists right? So, six months ago these people were our buddies and now they hate us because we're still America. Seems like we've played this game and lost before, kind of reminiscent of Afghanistan.

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@psuclaus1: Don't start making this personal, please. That way leads to dark places and deleted posts/threads.

Yes thread, that was your general warning to stay cool.

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@meh3884: So you advocate calling them "naughty" for invading our embassy and murdering our citizens? Wow - you sure know how to deal with evil.

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@figgers3036: I don't see where I accused any "conservatives" of anything. I don't know that dmaz is conservative, he might be or he might not, I don't know and it doesn't make any difference either way. My initial point was that I didn't get the whole "open season" bit. If you don't threaten all involved then you don't care and all Americans everywhere are on their own?

Now on to my personal opinion: talking tough to these people is like going down to the local bus station and telling all the crazy people there that if they don't stop being crazy and take a shower you're going to kick them all in the junk. Some of them are going to laugh at you, some of them are going to ignore you, and some of them might try to stick a knife between your ribs. It doesn't do a bit of good. These are not state-actors, they're individuals. All you can do is hunt them down, freeze their assets, and either kill them or put them in prison.

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The following should have been done immediately, instead of within the last few hours: A Marine fast team of about 50 is being sent to Benghazi, Libya, to secure the consulate, where US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three staff members were killed.

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@figgers3036: "So then the question becomes, what WILL keep them from attacking us?" Exactly, we don't know. Let's not try and say half the comments here are not advocating violent retaliation, because that is bogus and you are well aware.

This broad brush you just talked about - where in either of our comments did you get that? I have no idea what agenda @zuiquan is pushing, but I'm just stating how I see it. (edit: As a note I don't understand the John McCain comment?). I think you're seeing what you want to in our comments and that is an excuse to make this a liberals vs. conservative argument.

Just like me, you don't have the answer. Where we differ is that I advocate no further retaliation beyond a condemnation until we have answers and solutions and " you" (representing several commenters) advocate politicians inventing some form of as yet unknown retaliation to be doled out in short order. And clearly several people here are advocating military retaliation.

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The second they started running their flag up OUR flagpole....a cruise missle should have exploded in the yard.

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@meh3884 @zuiquan: Honestly the issue I had was the broad brush with which you seemed to be accusing conservatives of instantly wanting to invade, nuke, and destroy. Not very many conservatives are advocating for that, just like not very many liberals are advocating apologizing. It's silliness on both sides that makes US politics so broken.

Now on to personal opinion... historically we've seen that this region of the world doesn't respond well to doing nothing. The Barbary Pirates only stopped enslaving US citizens after we invaded, and more recently we have the Iranian hostage crisis, various bombings, USS Cole, etc. We're seeing time and time again that sitting back and not doing anything doesn't really accomplish anything, and we see that an Iraqi invasion didn't solve anything either. So then the question becomes, what WILL keep them from attacking us?

@zuiquan: I take issue with your comment about Sen. McCain. By that logic, Viet Kong are Sen. Kerry's heroes.

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@figgers3036: I agree with you that it's an attack on Americans on American soil. I don't think you can formulate any kind of response other than: you'd like to see the people brought to justice. Same as if this happened in Los Angeles or New York or Detroit. After all, people get murdered in those places and everywhere else around America for (arguably) more stupid reasons than insulting someone's god/prophet. You'd like those responsible caught, tried in a court of law, and put in jail if found guilty. That's the rational response. However, when things like this happen, it often becomes an Us v Them situation and people scream for blood or a tough, take no prisoners approach. Now, understanding the chaotic situation in these countries, asking for lawful justice may be a bridge too far, and asking for anything tougher than that is asking Santa for a new car under the tree. Also, a lot of these people are probably John McCain's heroes. You can't go kill his heroes because you're mad.

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@figgers3036: The thing is, is that I can't come up with any form of retaliation that would be reasonable. The way I feel is that their attack was taking revenge for something as silly and menial (to us) as some American's renouncing their faith.

An American is dead, and that is terrible. But to retaliate and give them more reason to seek "revenge"? I don't have the answers, but right now I hope the focus is on finding a real solution to the overarching problems in that region without being consumed by thoughts of revenge for one event. Again, I don't have the answer, but threatening retaliation - with what? What do we have to throw at them? The repercussions would be much more terrible than the crime we are trying to avenge. And that's just what it would be doing - stooping to their level to avenge a wrongdoing.

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@figgers3036: "I'm don't think anyone's really advocating here for carpet bombing here, or turning any nation into a glass parking lot"

I am. I'm sure our friends in Israel wouldn't mind a little bit of radioactive fallout. The world needs a bit more parking space.

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@meh3884 & @zuiquan:

Well, in the end this boils down to an attack on US citizens on US sovereign soil, and then the parading of the corpse through the streets. I think we can all agree that doing absolutely nothing is not really an acceptable response. Hopefully the US state department is working on something here, and since it's still pretty soon after the event they just haven't fully coalesced their plans.

I'm don't think anyone's really advocating here for carpet bombing here, or turning any nation into a glass parking lot, and certainly not an invasion. I'm hoping we can stay reasonable and not put words into anyones' collective mouths based on our own biases and sadness at the events that just happened.

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I'm not sure what folks would like us to do for retaliation. Threatening war in another predominately muslim country in the midst of intense turmoil in the most volatile region of the world?

Were you going to pay for that? The balance is extraordinarily delicate in countries like Libya and Egypt. We can't just go throwing around our mighty threats because we're pissed off. The attack was terrible, but to threaten further than the condemnation would likely make it worse for those living abroad, not better. Do you think these people committing these heinous crimes fear going to war with us?

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@dmaz: Yeah, I don't get where he said it's open season now. Should he have said, "We're going to carpet bomb the streets of whatever nation this might happen in if it happens again."? Seriously, you go to one of these lawless countries and you know it's dangerous and you know the risks before you go. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to work for the State Department. They're all volunteers, every last one of them.

It's sad and ridiculous that people are still this mental about made up nonsense but they are. You're not going to be able to make them see reason by talking tough. They're crazy people, and without reason. They believe wholeheartedly in one person and that's the end of it. Also, it's awfully hard to bring to justice an unruly mob. Now, if the Libyan army was the perpetrator of the incident that's a completely different story. You can't go bomb a bunch of civilians just because it makes you look stiff to the rest of the world.

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@figgers3036: I saw this too and I almost puked. As a veteran who's seen what these savages are capable of doing, I'm sure their last breaths of air were anything but the romantic deaths you see in the movies. I'm glad our president condemned the actions. If he were to even at the very least threaten payback for those responsible, I'd be a little bit happier. Heck I might even vote for him. But nope! That'd be like if my wife divorced me and left me with nothing and all I did was send her a text message saying "Ok." I'm going to reiterate what @dmaz said, when foreign diplomat to any nation is murdered that is bordering on an act of war, and all we got was a 30 second email from our president. He must be too busy trying to get re-elected to care about the safety of Americans living abroad.

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Just saw there is now a video posted of the perpetrators of the attack parading the corpse of the US ambassador in the streets.

I will not post a link, though it's accessible.

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I'm not big on the idea of killing ANYONE, but I really don't understand why "A-hole fundie preacher" offends you, so you kill "Upstanding foreign diplomat trying to help your country".

It's like stubbing your toe on your dining room table, so in retaliation you go next door and kick your neighbor in the nuts.

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@dmaz: I was disappointed in the response also, an attack on consulates and embassy personnel has been understood since the medieval ages to be an attack on the country whose personnel or embassy/consulate was attacked.

I really hope this doesn't blow up into an Iranian hostage crisis situation. Losing an Ambassador to violence is a big deal, and I was hoping for a more forceful response, especially as this seems to be from a disagreement in Libya and the US on the issue on how far the right to free speech goes. Should the US allow free speech on the issue of Islam or not?

Here's hoping this isn't another hostage crisis really. Prayers to the families of those personnel and the families of the other US representatives in Libya, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern nations where these riots have broken out.