The makers of an anti-Islamic propaganda video achieved what they apparently intended, inciting a violent reaction among Muslim and creating new tensions between Islam and the West. But the killing of four U.S. diplomatic personnel raises questions about whether legal lines were crossed, maintains Lawrence Davidson.
Exclusive: The new conventional wisdom, in the wake of angry protests roiling the Middle East, is that Muslims are either way too sensitive or irrational. How else to explain the fury over an offensive anti-Islam video? But the video was just the spark that ignited a long-smoldering fire, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Simplistic journalism, especially about misunderstood parts of the world and complex conflicts, can do grave harm by reinforcing biases or deepening anger. The U.S. news media has demonstrated this point with its coverage of the current Middle East unrest, writes Erin Niemela.
The neocon response toward the anger against the U.S. on the Arab and Muslim “street” is to lash out at those countries and to chastise President Obama for his early efforts at out-reach. But Middle East specialists Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett say the real problem was the lack of follow-through.
Exclusive: The major U.S. news media continues its biased coverage of the Israel-Iran standoff, tilting consistently in favor of Israel, in part, by ignoring Israel’s actual nuclear arsenal and hyping Iran’s hypothetical one. Even a rare wrist-slap from the Washington Post’s ombudsman has had no effect, writes Robert Parry.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding that President Obama set a precise “red line” regarding Iran’s nuclear program, meaning a commitment to go to war even if Iran is not actually building a nuclear weapon. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees a possible turning point in the U.S.-Israeli relationship.
Exclusive: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s latest distortion about an attempt by the U.S. Embassy in Egypt to calm Mideast tensions is not only renewing concerns about his honesty but raising new questions about his mental stability, writes Robert Parry.
Anti-Americanism remains strong in the Muslim world, exacerbated by the kind of crude bigotry in a video that stoked the latest violence against U.S. diplomatic outposts and the killing of the American ambassador in Libya. Cool heads are needed to manage this problematic relationship, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: The assault by radical Islamists on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three of his aides, underscores the under-reported risk of the U.S.-backed military campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, as Robert Parry noted in 2011.
Mitt Romney has articulated few substantive differences between himself and President Obama on foreign policy, but a Romney victory could dramatically change the U.S. approach to the world because he, like George W. Bush, is surrounding himself with neocon advisers, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.