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News Ticker from FNC

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Libyan Situation

{sorry this is late}
Mitt Romney's statement:

"Good Morning - American's woke up this morning with both tragic news and heavy hearts as they consider that members who have served in our diplomatic corps were brutally murdered across the world. This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous, its disgusting, it breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served during their lives the cause of Freedom, Justice, and Honor - we mourn their loss, and join together in prayer that the Spirit of the All Mighty might comfort the families of those that have been so brutally slain.
Four diplomats lost their life, including the American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in the attack of our embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
And of course with these words I extend my condolences to the grieving loved ones who have left behind as a result of these who have lost their lives in the service of our nation - and i know that the people across America are grateful for their service and we mourn their sacrifice.
America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies - we'll also defend our Constitutional rights of speech, assembly, and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America, we respect our Constitution, we stand for the principles our Constitution protects, we encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world.
Possibly the Administration was wrong to stand by a statement that sympathized with those who had breeched our embassy in Egypt, instead of condemning their actions. Its never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values -
The White House distanced itself last night from the statement saying it wasn't cleared by Washington, and that reflects the mixed signals they are sending to the world. The attacks in Egypt and Libya underscore that the world is a dangerous place, and that American Leadership is still sorely needed. In the face of this violence America can not shrink from the responsibility to lead, American leadership is necessary to ensure that events in region don't spin out of control - we can not hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests. Over the last several years we've stood witness to an Arab Spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region, but also poses the potential for peril if the forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events, we must strive to ensure that the Arab Spring does not an Arab Winter."

he then opened it up for questions.

a few notes: the tweets from the embassy - it might be that those came from the ambassador or his staff and not the WH, that is very plausible and understandable. after all the ambassador knows his region better than the president would - any president would - because he is there every day dealing with the people. and yes i can see them trying to defuse the situation by saying something about respecting the religion of the area they were in, the later tweet also came from the embassy and not the WH.
Criticisms of Romney's midnight statement making political hay out of the tragic death of the ambassador needs to be looked at under the scope that at the time Romney made that statement it was not known yet of the ambassador's death and that there was only speculation that some workers had been injured.
the "influence" he speaks of might bre a dig at the recent "cold shoulder" that Obama seems to be giving Israel - but it is quite vague.

In answer to questions (because the questions themselves were hard to hear - why don't they mic the reporters??)

" ... the embassy in Cairo put out a statement after their grounds had been breeched, protestors were inside the grounds - they reiterated that statement after the breech - I think its a [pauses to gather his thoughts and choose his words carefully] a terrible course to - for America to stand in apology for our values, that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breeched, that the first response from the United States must be outrage at the breech of the sovereignty of our nation. An apology for America's values is never the right course"

"the White House also issued a statement saying it tried to distance themselves from those comments and said it was not reflecting their views. - I had the exact same reaction, these views were inappropriate, they were the wrong course to take when our embassy has been breeched by protestors, the first response should not be to say, yes we stand by our comments that suggest that there is something wrong with the right of free speech."

"their administration spoke, the President takes not only responsibility for not only the words that come from his mouth but also for the words that come from his ambassadors, from his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department, they clearly they clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration - and the embassy is the administration - the statement that came from the administration was a statement which was akin to an apology, which I think was a severe miscalculation"

"we have a campaign for the presidency of the United States that is speaking about the different courses we would each take with regards to the challenges that the world faces - the president and I for instance have a difference of opinion with regards to Israel and our policies there, with regards Iran, with regards to Afghanistan, with regards to Syria, we have places of many distinctions and differences. We join together in the condemnation of attacks of the American embassies and the loss of American life, and we join in the sympathy for these people - but its also important for me, just as it was for the WH last night by the way, to say that the statements were inappropriate and in my view a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values"

"I don't think we hesitate when we see something that is a violation of our principles, we express immediately when we feel that the President and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of America - simply put, having an embassy which has been breeched, which has had protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty of the United States, having that embassy reiterate a statement, effectively apologizing for the right of free speech, is not the right course of the administration"

"I think President Obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy. My foreign policy has three fundamental branches - first confidence in our cause, a recognition that the principles that America was based upon are not supposed to be strinked [sic] from or apologized for, that we stand for those principles; the second is clarity in purpose, which is that when we have a foreign policy objective that we describe it honestly and clearly to the American people, to Congress, and to the people of the world. And number 3 is resolve in our might - that in those rare circumstances, those rare circumstances where we decide to apply military might that we do so with overwhelming force, that we do so in the clarity of a mission, understanding the nature of the US interest involved, understanding when the mission would be complete, what will be left behind us when that mission has been terminated. These elements I believe are essential to our foreign policy and I haven't seen them from the President as I have watched over the past 3 1/2 years the President has had some successes, he's had some failures, its a hit-or-miss approach but it has not been based upon sound foreign policy"

"I spoke out when the key fact that I spoke of was known which was that the embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles. That was a mistake - I believe that when a mistake is made of that significance you speak up."

Actually what he says does make sense - the ambassador is the voice/mouth piece of the President and a statement from from the ambassador is often seen as having come from the President himself unless it is otherwise clearly noted that the ambassador is speaking for himself and NOT the country/leader who sent them.

but I'm not so sure that this was an "apology" for American princeples on Free Speech as Romney keeps claiming - I think it was an attempt to calm things down which failed. While the Obama administration keeps trying to be all-things to all-people by not offending anyone who doesn't believe in the Judeo-Christian God - I really do not believe this is what that statement was ... while it would have been better for them to state that the video in question was put out by one individual residing in our country practicing his/her right to free speech ... I think the thought behind it was in fact just to try to calm things down.

It is also very very important to note that the statements about the tweets came from the CIARO attacks of their embassy NOT the one in Libya!! This makes a huge difference ... as far as we know, no one was hurt in the Egyptian attack.

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