missing one thing: an understanding of the terrible ruthlessness of consequences.
Give President Obama credit for at least taking a momentary verbal swipe at the looney-tunes hate video that helped ignite this hellfire before he settled into the conventional righteous American narrative of condemning such violence as senseless, incomprehensible, unforgivable, and so on. (We can, however, safely ignore Mitt Romney's laughable snipe at Obama for supposedly "sympathizing" with the attackers.)
But lost amid the roaring American condemnation of the awful attacks and murders in Egypt and Libya is any sense that there is a pattern here, that this sort of thing has happened before, and that there is a terrible logic connecting a history of American racism and bloody American recklessness in the Arab and heavily-Muslim world with the stream of horrific hatred aimed at Americans from some in those nations. From the shocked outrage issuing from American megaphones in the past 24 hours, you'd think there had never been an American-orchestrated overthrow of Iran's democratic government in 1953; disproportionate American support for Israeli brutality and apartheid over the decades (again, a nod to Obama for his at least refusing to parrot some recent lines in the script); a succession of American invasions carried out with brazen dishonesty and racist hubris; and a tradition of American persecution and exploitation of brown-skinned non-Christians here and abroad.
The Independent's Robert Fisk provides a good moral and political accounting here.
The point is not that American diplomats deserve to die, but that we as a nation will never get out of the crosshairs until we stop engaging in willful amnesia about how we got there.
(Thanks to Tina at The Agonist.)