Middle East violence puts foreign policy at center of U.S. politics

This thread is for any comments related to this week’s assassination of Christopher Stephens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and the violent protests at the U.S. embassy in Egypt. Here’s a timeline of events and statements from various officials and politicians. The diplomatic community is mourning Stephens, who became the eighth U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1950. There were some pro-American and anti-terrorism rallies in Libya on September 12. The U.S. has warships en route to Libya and is tightening security at embassies around the world.

Yesterday several commentators lambasted Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney for bungling his “3 a.m. phone call” moment. While events were unfolding in the Middle East, Romney criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the incidents. As Matt Vasilogambros reported here, the facts do not support Romney’s claim that the president’s “first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” President Barack Obama told CBS correspondent Steve Kroft, “Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as president, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that.”

  • Wow..

    We are at war.

    Terrorists are killing our ambassadors and embassy employees.

    Terrorists are raising their flag on American property and soil.

    Obama is not attending intel meetings.

    The Libya embassy burns and Obama goes to Las Vegas.

    Reports today state our marines were not allowed live rounds to protect our embassy staff.

    Yet 60% of your post is devoted to Romney’s critical response.  Really?

    • Wow is right

      This is definitely the silly season on all sides, but you can’t be serious. Because naturally there have been no anti-American provocations abroad under R presidents. R’s would have said nothing about Romney-like speedy comments by a D prez candidate when an R was president. The polls are showing the Romney/R handling of foreign policy to be far more popular than the Obama approach. – Yeah, right.

      Plus, apparently daily in-person intel meetings were only instituted under W, as he was not keen on reading too much. Clinton and Obama seem to be able to read their stuff much of the time.

      • Facts...

        Evan a cursory google search shows even President Truman valued his daily intel meetings…and expressed that the personal meetings with the staff were far more valuable than the written summarys.

        In addition, this is hardly a “provocation” or “pollworthy” event as you might relagate it to.  Ask Israel how they feel about their ally’s support now, or pole your nose in Syria now.  Egypt was an ally….right?

        • Senseless attacks

          Every article that you read about the people who were murdered in this attack were committed to expanded hope, freedom and lifting people out of poverty in the Middle East.  I consider myself an interventionist and I do not regret the fact that the United States has gotten involved in Libya.  

        • some people prefer daily meetings with staff

          Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the only appropriate way for the chief executive to obtain information from staff. Some people absorb and retain information better from reading than from listening anyway.

    • if the president prefers

      to read his daily intelligence briefing, rather than listen to a report delivered verbally, what’s the problem? Reading the briefs is probably a more efficient use of his time. I’ve seen no evidence that Obama is out of touch with what’s going on globally, and I think his administration has responded appropriately to this crisis.

      Romney’s reaction shined an unflattering light on his temperament. When the Republican presidential candidate loses people like Peggy Noonan, you know there’s a problem.

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