New York Fashion Week happened this week. X Factor debuted this week.
Do you know what else happened this week? Multiple Middle Eastern nations experienced severe turmoil, riots, and the deaths of American diplomats.
Here’s the 30,000-foot summary of what went down:
And here’s what else you need to know:
- A total of four Americans were killed in the Benghazi embassy raid.
- Protests at US embassies have erupted in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Similar protests have risen at the Swiss consulate in Tehran, Iran (the Swiss office looks after US interests in that country). This article gives a good look at the spread of protests, in geography and intensity.
- Romney’s statement was in response to the press release made by the embassy in Cairo - and not in response to Barack Obama’s statement (which can be found here). Romney has not apologized or taken back his comments – rather, he and his campaign stand by them.
- On the American stage, what Romney and Obama have said about these tragic events have made headline news – the actual riots are secondary headlines (just my observation from watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all day today).
- This is believed to be in response to an awful video denigrating Islam, posted on YouTube. The identity of the filmmaker is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Egyptian-born Christian living in Los Angeles. (Here’s a link to the controversial flick)
- As events unfold, the Benghazi protest is believed to be a planned attack, linked to al-Qaeda.
And here’s my take on the issue:
Regardless of how one feels about the President, he is the commander-in-chief of our armed forces and is privy to intelligence data that no one else has access to. We should let President Obama and his team do their job in managing this rapidly developing unrest, and without our judgement.
Secretary Clinton has been nothing short of exemplary in her statements (focused on denouncing the film) and her dedication in resolving this situation. Props to Hil. She’s the (wo)man.
The acts of protestors and extremists should not reflect the actions of all citizens in the regions. These photographs brought a tear to my eye and a glimmer of hope that democracy, with careful nurturing and diplomacy, can flourish in the Middle East. And that the people are willing to work for it. (more images can be found here)
And if the Benghazi embassy attack was indeed a planned operation, we have much larger problems than who gets kicked off in X Factor, or that two celebrities named their son Camden. Who we elect as president is as crucial of a decision as ever.
UPDATE (12:37 pm EST, 9.14.2012): Protests have spread to Iraq, Israel, and Somalia, for a total of 11 countries. Protestors have assembled outside the US embassy in Cairo for the fourth straight day.
We will continue to update this post over the weekend as the news develops.
How do you feel about the situation unfolding in the Middle East? Share in the comments below. And if you enjoyed or learned from this post, please share it with your followers!