September 12th, 2012

PK Icon

Reaction To Yesterday's Events in Libya and Egypt

I find the idea that a crowd of protesters coalesced on their own to mobilize to strike our embassies in Egypt and Libya highly suspect -- especially when it occurs on 9/11. I note that in previous outbreaks of violence in response to perceived insults to Islam some years back, the protests were widespread across the Arab world and much less focused. This bears all the hallmarks of a deliberate and organized attack by terrorist organizations seeking to destabilize U.S. relations with countries where the government remains in flux following transition.

The U.S. reaction must therefore by carefully calculated to demonstrate both our implacable resolve to protect our diplomats and citizens abroad and our refusal to allow others to manipulate us. Our enemies believe we are like children who can either be goaded into reckless violent tantrums or frightened into appeasement and flight. Far more terrifying to our enemies, and heartening to our allies, are measured words followed by decisive action against those truly responsible. As the wisdom of the sages tells us: "Say little, but do much."