What does the pathetic short film which stirred-up anti-American protests world-wide, that terrorist attack on the Libyan consulate in Benghazi which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recent attack on President Barack Obama’s response to the riots and assault, and this past week’s “Values Voter Summit” have in common? Answer: Right-wing extremist ideology running amok. (Due to the length of this article, I’ve divided this piece up into two parts).
This all started when what is reported to be an Egyptian born Coptic Christian Right-wing extremist living in the U.S. created a hateful anti-Muslim “film” (if you can call it that) which depicted the prophet (if you want to call him that) Mohammad as a bumbling idiot behaving in the most depraved manner imaginable. I’d provide a link to the video but the entire 15 odd minute video clip is so completely demented and clearly meant to be provocative that it is not worth watching. However, if you feel the need to watch this video clip you can easily search YouTube or Google and find it. Needless to say, the obvious purpose of the film was to incite anger amongst the most extreme factions in the Muslim communities. Soon after an Arabic translation of the film was released, anti-American protest broke-out. In Egypt, hours before the protests begun, the U.S. embassy in Cairo released a statement:
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
Hours later, as protests in Egypt and attacks on Libyan consulate were still underway, Republican leader Mitt Romney condemned President Obama for the early morning statement made in Cairo, falsely claiming the statement was the presidents “first response” to the ongoing assaults on Americans abroad. Romney stated in a press release: “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
While many politician and pundits criticized Romney for attacking the president of the United States for a response Obama had not yet made public, many in the Right-wing mainstream media continued to spread the bigger lie woven into Romney’s statement. Romney suggested that the Cairo statement, and thus the Obama Administration, was sympathizing with “those who waged the attacks”. The next day, Romney went on the airways can continued the attack on Obama, claiming the Cairo statement was “akin to an apology”. The next day, Politifact.com pointed out Romney accused the President of the United States of “apologizing” five times in his brief statement. Romney called the Cairo statement an effort to “apologize for American values,” said it was “effectively apologizing for the right of free speech,” and described it as “what appeared to be an apology for American principles.”
Politifact determined that the Romney, the screeching Right-wing, and the Republicans were all engaged in a “pants on fire” lying campaign. More than ever before, lying has become an acceptable “family value” for religious Right-wingers of all strips (more on this at the end of the article). Numerous “apology experts” looked into Romney and his henchmen’s rhetoric to see if the Cairo statement and the Obama Administration were actually apologizing. Overwhelmingly the experts disagreed with the Right-wings attacks on the U.S. Embassy and the President of the United States. Here is just one of the comments made by the “apology experts”. Again, I quote Politifact:
“Lauren Bloom, an attorney and business consultant who wrote The Art of the Apology, said that Romney is “once again allowing his emotional allergy to apology to interfere with his judgment.”
Bloom said that “if there’s anything more central to American values than respecting each individual’s right to worship as he or she pleases, I’d be hard-pressed to say what it might be. The statement that ‘respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy’ not only is true, but is as clear an expression of one of our most cherished values as I can imagine.”
She said the embassy statement is “not an apology — quite the contrary, it’s a confirmation that the American people recognize the right to worship freely and will not accept religious bullying in the name of free speech. To say that someone who deliberately insults others in the name of religion has acted wrongly isn’t an apology — it’s simply a recognition that those insults go too far.””
During the last few days, America’s Right-wing mainstream media, primarily Fox News and talk radio, have been scrupulously spreading this lie about the Cairo statement across our national airwaves. In blind support for Romney Fox has featured prominent anti-Muslim bigots. The most notorious Right-wing bigot featured nationally on Fox this week was Pamela Geller. Geller has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center (an organization that tracks hate groups) as the “anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead…Geller has mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps”.
While fact-checkers and honest Americans condemned Romney’s attack on Obama and the Cairo embassy personal, Geller and Fox News doubled-down on their inciting rhetoric. This time, their intended audience was not Muslims extremists in the middle-east, rather the Right-wing extremists that follow Fox News across America. Geller belligerently declared the Cairo embassy’s statement an example of president Obama “sanctioning the blasphemy laws under the Sharia. Under the Sharia, Islamic laws, you cannot insult or offend Islam. And Obama is submitting the United States to that”.
Of course Geller’s deranged comments on Fox News comments have proven by experts and fact-checkers to be completely baseless. But that doesn’t stop Fox “news” form promoting extremists propaganda. Unfortunately, since Obama’s election, Fox News has specialized in giving voice to demented, racist Right-wing bigots who are openly willing to promote false attacks on the president of the United States, provided they further the political agenda of their fascists leaning oligarchic overlords.
For years now, Right-wing extremist media, including Fox News, have continuously pushed the lie that Obama is a secret Muslim. Credible fact-checkers have looked into this deception have repeatedly ruled Fox News, Geller and company, and other racists shamelessly continue to spread yet another “pants on fire” lie. Whether Christian, Muslim, or Jew, the truth never stops Right-wing religious extremist from spreading lies and fear in the interest of advancing their radical political agendas.
And that is the common thread between all the big events that have occurred in this past week. Yet this common thread was not highlighted by any in the mainstream media. Never once was the fact that religious Right-wing extremist ideology was woven into every one of the main events. Whether it was the film, the protests, the attack in Libya, Mitt Romney’s comments, or the so called “Values Voters Summit”, religious Right-wing extremist played a significant role in the story. In part two of this article, I will continue to expose the common thread with the Libyan attacks that killed a U.S. Ambassador, the recent so called “Values Voters Summit”, and Romney’s campaign strategy in the upcoming election.