Karzai Denounces Filmmakers for the Murder of Americans in Libya

Our erstwhile ally in Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is responding to the brutal murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff in Benghazi on Wednesday. Stevens was reportedly suffocated to death by the attacking mob which attacked the consulate because of a small film shown in the United States that was deemed as insulting to the Muhammad. Karzai then offered his own take on the murders by denouncing the “inhuman and abusive act” of the . . . filmmakers.

President Obama heralded Stevens as someone who “[t]hroughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi . . . and supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai then stepped forward to denounce the “inhuman and abusive act” of the filmmakers and criticized them for causing “enmity and confrontation between the religions and cultures of the world.” I have not seen this film and have little interest in doing so. However, those filmmakers have a right to portray Muhammad in any fashion that they wish. It is the basis for free speech. The continued pattern of Muslim extremists killing people as a protest to intolerance is facially absurd and little more than a rationalization for violence. For Karzai to pick up on that theme demonstrates his fundamental disagreement with key free speech and free exercise values. It also shows the dangers of the Obama Administration’s effort to create an international blasphemy standard with its Muslim allies.

The Obama Administration has been working to develop an international standard for blasphemy prosecutions. The West has steadily yielded to the demands of religious groups that free speech must be curtailed in the name of faith. At the same time, Western governmental and religious leaders have denounced agnostics and atheists as one of the greatest threats facing the West (here and here and here and here). President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been facilitating this trend by working with Muslim nations to develop an international standard allowing for the prosecution of those who insult religion. The Administration has drawn a dangerous line with Muslim countries in first supporting the concept of an international blasphemy standard. As I have mentioned before, the efforts of the Obama Administration to work with these countries on an international blasphemy standard is a threat to free speech around the world. After first supporting an international blasphemy standard, the Administration sought to get Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries to adopt the Brandenburg standard as the basis for such prosecutions. This case also shows why the use of the Brandenburg standard is so dangerous in the hands of such officials who view free speech as the cause of imminent violence. Past cases show that even the suggestion of blasphemy is enough to trigger violent riots in some Muslim nations. Because any joke or image of the Prophet can trigger violence, the standard is immediately satisfied in countries like Egypt and Pakistan, which can then claim some legal legitimacy under the standard created with the United States.

Secretary of State Clinton continues to push for the implementation of the new international effort to criminalize certain forms of anti-religious speech as our Muslim allies expand their definition of blasphemy.
Source: Guardian

The death of our ambassador and these other Americans was simply murder. It was not caused by a film or the exercise of free speech. It was caused by the continued failure of leaders like Karzai to stand up to extremists who believe that violence is warranted whenever people insult your faith or a religious figure. There is a global struggle today over free speech, not just in the Middle East but in the West. The solution is not to enable or legitimate efforts by people like Karzai to prosecute those who “cause” violence by engaging in unpopular or blasphemous speech.

Source: National Journal

132 thoughts on “Karzai Denounces Filmmakers for the Murder of Americans in Libya”

  1. Speaking of amateur videos and official American proclamations commemorating the deaths of uncooperative Muslims, how about:

    “We came. We saw. He died.” — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s glib, cavalier quip about the death of the captured, wounded, and unarmed Lybian Moammar Gadhaffi here.

    Some acts of mob violence by enraged Muslims American officials fund, arm, and celebrate. Others, not so much.

  2. Woosty = ^..^, and the DOD has never had a complete. accurate audit. It’s just impossible t do. That gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I think about it sucking up 50%+ of the nations discretionary budget.

    Regarding your posting and link on the movie proper (and Gloria’s posting on the producer): yea, I read those stories and saw what is billed as the movie- or a 10 minute excerpt of it, and you just have to wonder what the point was, what was the agenda, If he had backers who were they?

    I still have a fundamental problem with blaming him and the movie though- he made a movie, a (sub)culture of reactionary, violent ideologues with a twisted and dangerous set of morals are to blame for the violence. There’s too little recognition/examination of that in the media. We have argued here that the best disinfectant is sunshine and that when people start talking crazyshite calling them on it is the best response. I think that goes for religion too. More public discourse (or downright insult) regarding the failings of all religions should be the norm: ‘You can believe it but it’s nuts and destructive’.

    The film in itself is in a dead-heat with “Plan 9 From Outer Space” for worst movie ever made- at least it’s short

  3. ID707: “Seems that I bought it in 2009. Never read it. !!!!!”

    LOL, I do that all the time, or buy multiples (generality from the library or seconds tables or by the box at a garage sale on my way to the grocery store) rather than look through stacks and stacks of uncategorized books- ran out of shelf space. Last time I looked for a specific old Sci-Fi book I found 7 copies in paperback in the ‘un-archive’.

    It’s worth the read- kinda’ dry and old news now though.

  4. Who, other than lawyers, are taught to think critically. Most of them are pre-selected or self-selected long before law school, I believe.

    The problem even here is that here they are not professional analysts in non-law areas. Do we have any researchers here at all?

    The CIA has half of its activity in the analytical part. The Op side stays in Washington and builds careers and multi-layer bureacracies. Going to the field ops dooms your career possibilities. Getting on a tangent. Just making cred through exhibiting “advanced” knowledge.

    The process of “managing consent” began in WW ONE. They were not novices before that. Now, 95 years later, Goebbels would be proud of our “leaders”. And as Goering said: War and patriotism will create enthusiastic consent by any folk. (paraphrase)

    Refreshing yes, that’s why I am here. But change originates not here. Although some ideas do.

    Some very few voices here say, as I do, forget democracy. It is war we are fighting. And is anybody prepared to die, or send their children to do it?

    Meanwhile vote for Obama. Will give us more time to organize, I hope.

    I regard myself as the perfect judge of all things, since I am so unemcumbered by facts. Ha!

  5. Woosty,

    Agreed. I said yesterday, that we feed on the misinformation/propaganda daily from corporations and media re-hash formed in guaranteed emotionally suggestive bites. Naming even some sources as examples.

    The greater part of the pop grew up from childhood looking at propraganda labeled “truth”. How are they to be regarded and function as discriminating people.

    The rest of the “primitive” world regards us with disdain, yes they do, shocking as it may be. Disdain because we are so naive.

    We believe so much false information without corroboration from independent sources. Can anybody name a reliable source that Noam Chomsky? And he is not on very often.

    If we follow up this with correct thinking it may awaken some. Otherwise, keep living in your matrix.
    They will definitely keep on milking you.

    Could have ended better, but gotta eat my stew. Suppertime.

  6. The outtake, said to be from the YouTube version is on Buzzfeed.

    The dubbing is incredibly badly done in one simple matter. The sound from the original is of poorer quality tham the dubbed sound. Opposite of what you would expect. The original sound is with clear echoes from hard surfaces, but even in what appears to be outdoor takes.

    Likely they were done on a small cheap set, with no echo suppression, and using background produced by blue drape technique using stock footage. Sand dunes, palm trees etc. Standard USA faces with bad fake beards.

    As alleged in the CM and Buzz feed articles, the dubbed sound does not match, and voice quality changes in different parts of the same “line” ie they don’t always dub the whole line, as CM claimed they did.

    Conclusion: It is a fake in that it did not cost 5 million, but it is good enough to fool muslims of poor understanding, and the purposes of someone.

    Is the unknown producer a Coptic Christian, a jewish person, a CIA operative, or your guess is good as mine.

    Why “produce it in America”? Well, you need clean typical American kid actors to give it an authentic American source appearance. Two, is that the production was available for a cheap price. Bought on the black market.

    Anything to do a runup to the election and action in Syria and Iran.

    Make your guess.

    1. The AP uncovered the identity of the man behind the YouTube film. He’s a Coptic Christian (probably non-observant), Arab name, lives in San Francisco, and he has a criminal history. His identify was confirmed by federal agents.

      He’s the type to take a gun and shoot up a fast food restaurant. In effect, isn’t that what he did?

      Oh, and that nutty preacher in Florida expressed his glee.

      As to your comment about most of the population in the US feeding on misinformation and propaganda, that’s one reason this blog is refreshing. But it is worrisome that those who think critically number so few.

  7. this is just personal musing but it seems to me that the majority of Americans are not very worldly. Hard working, mostly intelligent, but salt of the earth and not as aware of the rest of the world as they may think. We have become used to the kind of tolerance of free speech that is akin to calling your brother a name or something of that ilk. The repercussions are mild in comparison. The global picture is not so tolerant and I wonder how much preparation the kids in school are getting regarding this fact? We can’t expect the World to respond to our behaviours that may be perfectly within our rights here….but cross a thousand lines over there. The video on Youtube has been cloaked….now. But Youtube is nOT a private channel and that video had apparently been dubbed by a party not related to the making of it. It stinks of possible manipulation of events. If we want to lose our free speech, we need only become so intolerant that its very existance becomes more of a threat than a freedom. Like anything else….the user needs to exhibit responsibility!

  8. FYI, re USA nuts:

    In NC slone, 160 wives were murdered by their husbands the last calender year. I wonder how many wives dare sass their husbands there. How was it in your state?

    Of course I would choose NC over Saudi Arabia., but not sure if Morocco is much worse for woman. The tales from their are interesting, shall we say.

    However muezzin calls 5 times a day might be tiring.

  9. Woosty,

    Haven’t checked out your link, yet. But the only link I had from the articles linked from here, lead to one which YouTube had blocked off, BECAUSE it was PRIVATE. Can you explain what that means?

  10. I was startled to read that Secy. of State Clinton is negotiating with the oil nations for a blasphemy resolution. I agree–this violates our First Amendment–and I found it shocking. But also I know little about international diplomacy. I wonder if this is not a way to educate these leaders who know nothing other than oppression?

    So I looked it up to see if anyone else was reporting on this. I found UNwatch ( http://www.unwatch.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=bdKKISNqEmG&b=1330815&ct=1995233 ). Apparently, this is an amendment under the rubric of Human Rights, proposed by the oil nations. That made me wonder if there were subliminal reasons for Clinton’s efforts, reasons not made public.

  11. I guess I’ll have to start reading Jonathan Hughes more often. Did he really write that? Must be confused—-as usual.

    That is what I have been saying for months. And Jesus
    did 2000 years ago. “Ye who are without sin, cast the first stone. (My paraphrase).

    If we had reliable figures, I bet the number of nuts in the USA are at least the same per thousand as in the muslim world. And they kill each other, and so do we, but less seldom on religious grounds. For the moment!

  12. “Today, there are more than 113,000 private contractors in Afghanistan, while there are only 90,000 troops, Manchin said.

    “For Iraq, we can’t get accurate numbers. But there are between 20,000 and 30,000 contractors still in Iraq,” Manchin said.

    Bowen said, “The Department of Defense has never seen a complete audit of its contractors. They say it is impossible to do. That is unacceptable.”

    and there is the nail, which you, lottakatz, once again hit right on the head….

    and this is not a free speech issue…if anything it is a ‘tolerance’ issue. Because as long as members of the USA feel a need to push mockery and extremism against those they perceive as ‘different’ or ‘intolerant’ into the language of free speech….then intolerance will remain the button that can be so easily pushed from a distance. And we will continue to be the global fodder of continued manipulation by those whose political interests trump their humanity.

    Free speech does not exist in the US and will not until Julian Assange is able to walk the streets un harrassed and unharmed and Bradley Manning is freed and compensated for his torture and detainment. Until then, we ARE NO DIFFERENT than those ‘”Muslims are desecrating, defecating, mutilating, annihilating, pulverizing, pounding, mashing chopping , blasting, incinerating, pissing,and shiting all over morality with a proud justified smile trying to call their acts moral. ” (Jonathan Hughes)

    Also, Youtube is a Global entity

  13. With every breath Romney takes…. He is helping Obama get reelected….. Romney calling out Obama for his reaction to the embassy siege is stupid….. Obama so far has handled himself well….

    If mike rogers from Michigan can denounce Romney by his statements….. You know the gop is in trouble…..

    Questioned…. I wonder if the us is still encouraging the British to over run the equdaor embassy…….

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