There is much confusion about what actually triggered protests and assaults on U.S. embassies and embassy staff members in a number of Mideast countries, but U.S. spokespeople — President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton — should not hesitate to make a strong statement and take strong actions.
Trying to win friends and not anger militants, protesters or religious sects is a wrong and dangerous reaction.
A U.S. ambassador has been killed, along with three staff members. Mobs have torn down and burned the American flag and tried to damage other embassies. They are thugs, killers, and the longer the U.S. tries to be nice and suggest they understand the frustration or anger of the terrorists, the greater the incentive for these outlaws to become bolder in their efforts to show their disdain and hatred of the U.S.
At this time, there is no way of knowing how long the protests may last or the eventual consequences of these lawless actions. Nor is it possible to know how these assaults on U.S. embassies will affect the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Nevertheless, it seems safe to say the majority of Americans want a tough but reasoned response from the White House. There is nothing to be gained by showing weakness or suggesting these actions reflect the feelings of only a handful of misguided thugs or religious zealots.
They hate America and what it stands for, and many are willing to die for their cause.
A turn-the-other-cheek approach cannot and should not be the response from the White House.