“This should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world.” Hillary Clinton
I have been watching the developments in Libya and Egypt with great sadness. It is not just the violent actions which have taken four lives and placed peace prospects in the region in jeopardy which are saddening. But the conversion of these losses of life into a political platform for “Big Stick” and “military might” policy speeches on the part of Mitt Romney and his supporters that can only further ignite the region and inflame hate here at home.
However, I am proud of the measured and deliberate approach that our administration has taken. Instead of grasping for old irrational policy tools which have historically only been destructive in nature, our adminstration has chosen a realistic, humane and forward-thinking approach in that it has emphasized the role that Libyans played in trying to protect our officials. Further emphasized was the need to not let these events destroy the collaborative foundation that has been built between our countries… a foundation that Chris Stevens fought for on the ground in Benghazi during the Arab Spring, promoted in his policy recommendations and believed in at the expense of his life.
I would also like to touch upon the “values” that Mitt Romney liberally peppered his speech with. I believe in free speech. That’s why I blog and cross-reference almost everything I read and write. But what I find confounding is what was blatantly ommitted from his speech in that he did not call into question the catalyst of hate in the form of a film denigrating the beliefs and faith of Muslims that was propagated and disseminated through free speech mechanisms that took the lives of these four people.
Free speech to me does not equal a free pass to hurt the dignity of any particular group or individual. With free speech comes responsibility and it is up to the person voicing their beliefs to be aware of the consequences and take responsibility for what they advocate. In his silence in connection with this catalyst and its subsequent events, Romney is clearly an advocate for division and non-reflective exclusion; i.e. a proponent of aggression and the spiritual and social repression of those who have different beliefs and circumstances.
The world needs more Chris Stevenses.