They Didn't Riot over This Video
After nearly a month of cringing and getting lost in its people's own contradictions, the Obama administration is finally clinging to an elliptical mention by the president of "acts of terror" that he claims won't deter us from doing whatever we are supposed to do in the Mideast. What was it we were supposed to be doing over there?
Oh, supporting democracy, of course. But democracy in a country where "freedom-fighters" roar into town shooting their rifles in the air is going to be hard to achieve. All those celebratory bullets have a nasty way of coming down again. And they can hit local voters as they are lining up to cast their ballots.
Consider the ever-so-discreet caption for a photo of one of our purple-fingered frenzied friends. Against a lurid background of the U.S. Consulate in flames in Benghazi, we see a trim young man in jeans and tee-shirt. He's holding his rifle menacingly. And Reuters labels him a "protester." Indeed. He was surely protesting something.
It must have been that nasty U.S.-made video that few even here have seen. As if reading from scripted talking points, speakers from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the podium of the U.N. General Assembly, from the side of Amb. Stevens's casket to the White House Press Room, have been blaming that "offensive" video for the riots, the torchings, the embassy takeovers, and, finally, for the murder of Amb. Stevens and his three American colleagues.
It was an offensive video. But it's interesting to consider the video the street protestors didn't riot over. More than a year ago, the Israeli satirical group Latma produced this video.
The Israelis lampoon the mullahs of Tehran and the flaccid response of this administration to the existential threat of Iran becoming a nuclear power. There were no recorded riots anywhere in what President Obama obligingly calls "the Muslim world" over this Israeli video.
Why not? Watch the video and note the caricature of the mullah. Note his smirking and mugging for the camera. Note, too, the burka-clad Iranian damsels and their come-hither batting of their eyes. Shouldn't the Arab Street have rioted over that one?
They didn't. And the reason they didn't is because they knew that it would do no good. The Israelis don't quail. They don't quiver. They don't quake. And they never cringe.
That's why they have the Obama administration. Contrast the Obama administration's official spokespersons -- Jay Carney and Victoria Nuland -- with this defiant Israeli posture, as evidenced by the Latma video.
Day after day, Carney and Nuland come before the world press and grovel. There is virtually nothing that happens on the Arab Street that makes either of these capital cringers angry. For such a relentlessly pro-abortion administration, it is positively weird to see how often their spokespeople go into a fetal position.
We recall that President Obama went out to Osawatomie, Kansas, last year to channel the spirit of Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. Obama celebrated TR's embrace of national health care in his famous New Nationalism speech of 100 years before. Many of us admirers of the first Roosevelt think that run-up to his Bull Moose candidacy in 1912 was the greatest error of TR's life.
Still, Mr, Obama might have been inspired instead by Theodore Roosevelt's reaction to the seizure of an American Consul in North Africa by Muslim kidnappers. It was 1904, and, like Obama, TR was running for re-election. The hostage-takers, led by a desert bandit called the Raisuli, demanded ransom for the captured American Consul, Ion Perdicaris.
President Roosevelt's response was terse. "We want Perdicaris alive or the Raisuli dead."
We got Perdicaris alive. And afterward, TR even won the Nobel Peace Prize. Those were the days when Peace through Strength still echoed throughout the world.
Mr. Obama claimed Amb. Stevens as a friend. Yet as the ambassador's broken body was being flown home, the president did not convene an emergency meeting of his National Security Council. Instead, he flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser. We might say his actions were biblical: "Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!" (Ecclesiastes 10:16).
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council. Mr. Blackwell was a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1991 to 1993.