Poll Position: How should Obama respond to embassy attacks?

The big story this week was the series of attacks on U.S. embassies across the Middle East and North Africa: from Libya, where our ambassador was killed, to Egypt, Yemen and, today, Tunisia and Sudan. In Libya, the government is cooperating with the investigation into the murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The responses from the other countries have been mixed, but they have been rather tepid on the whole.

How should Obama respond to the attacks on our embassies?

  • Cut foreign aid (255 Votes)
  • Pursue the killers in Libya; otherwise, lie low (173 Votes)
  • Stop issuing travel visas for people from those countries (130 Votes)
  • Bomb 'em (108 Votes)
  • Economic sanctions (106 Votes)
  • Too soon to say (102 Votes)
  • Cut diplomatic ties (91 Votes)
  • Increase foreign aid (5 Votes)

Total Voters: 517

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President Obama made a mistake Wednesday evening when he said of the Egyptian government, which has been in place less than three months, “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.” It was a mistake because the White House on Thursday had to walk back the statement; later Thursday, the State Department had to walk back the walk back, clarifying that Egypt retains the official designation of Major Non-NATO Ally it has held since 1989.

But this post isn’t about criticizing Obama for shooting first and aiming later. (OK, maybe it’s a little bit about that.) It’s really about the question most of us have been pondering since the attacks in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of 9/11: What is the proper response?

Some of you took my first post on the subject to imply a military action is needed. As I tried to make clear in the comments, that’s not the case. Things would have to spiral much further out of control before we were talking about military action.

Unless, of course, you include drone flights and a possible targeted strike on the terrorists responsible for the ambassador’s death, which the Obama administration appears to be considering at the very least.

Otherwise, there are a range of options here. We could pull our diplomats from their capitals. We could expel their diplomats from Washington. We cut cut or eliminate foreign aid to these countries. We could, I suppose, increase our foreign aid to them and use it to promote and educate them about our laws and values (such as freedom of expression). We could officially remove them from our list of allies. We could stop issuing travel visas from their country to ours. We could impose some form of economic sanctions. Or we could essentially do nothing more than pursue the people who killed Stevens and the other Americans.

What should Obama’s response entail? That’s this week’s Poll Position question. Answer in the nearby poll — NOTE: unlike most of my polls, you can select more than one answer in this one — and the comments thread below.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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949 comments Add your comment

getalife

September 14th, 2012
7:20 pm

When did the Arabic version of the movie hit YouTube?

cpandy

September 14th, 2012
7:21 pm

Tiberius etc – what do you mean “the checks were deducted from their taxes” next year? Are you trying to say the money was deducted from a tax refund? Whatever it is you’re trying to say, the Bush rebates didn’t affect one’s taxes the following year.

getalife

September 14th, 2012
7:23 pm

Did Egypt. Libya, Tunisia, Sudan and other countries attack our embassies or consulates (yes there is a difference) before the film aired?

What happened to politics ends at our water’s edge and what happened to unity and patriotism after a attack?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

September 14th, 2012
7:23 pm

“Whatever it is you’re trying to say, the Bush rebates didn’t affect one’s taxes the following year.”

Oh, yes they did, cpandy. You were asked on your tax program if you received one of those checks, and your refund / payment changed as a result.

Ronknewall

September 14th, 2012
7:25 pm

I think Obama should respond to the attacks the same way Reagan responded to the killing of almost 300 Marines and Sailors in Lebanon on his watch. Just bomb some random place in the desert and then leave. I don’t recall people saying Reagan was soft just because he had the US pull out. Heck, we could even invade Grenada or something to show everyone how effective our military is.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

September 14th, 2012
7:25 pm

What happened to standing up for American rights, getalife?

Not that you’d know what that is like . . .

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

September 14th, 2012
7:28 pm

I’m sorry, ronknewall, I didn’t realize that Reagan was still alive and is still the President. I didn’t realize this was the 1980’s and not the year 2012.

getalife

September 14th, 2012
7:29 pm

What happened to standing up for American rights, getalife?

We still have him them he gave us six dead Americans so far.

Not that you care…..

getalife

September 14th, 2012
7:31 pm

The stupid movie aired the day before 9/11 and they knew what would happen.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

September 14th, 2012
7:32 pm

CNN is now reporting that in fact Libya did warn the Obozo administration about security at the consulate in Benghazi.

Heckuva job, Obozo.

getalife

September 14th, 2012
7:34 pm

They sent the consulate a warning about the movie.

getalife

September 14th, 2012
7:35 pm

Way to attack America like aq con.

independent thinker

September 14th, 2012
7:39 pm

Ronknewall”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”I think Obama should respond to the attacks the same way Reagan responded to the killing of almost 300 Marines and Sailors in Lebanon on his watch. Just bomb some random place in the desert and then leave. I don’t recall people saying Reagan was soft just because he had the US pull out. Heck, we could even invade Grenada or something to show everyone how effective our military is.”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"
Best post I have seen on here all day! Romney wants to build the military back up like Reagan did so he can find some island like Grenada and invade it like Ronnie did and claim he is a war hero.

Lil' Barry Bailout - Vote American

September 14th, 2012
7:40 pm

Attacking Obozo is the precise opposite of attacking America.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

September 14th, 2012
7:43 pm

We knew last night, through a UK story that they had warning, but the libs spent all day saying that the story was in some British tabloid and was not true. I saw, the Carney Barker talking tonight about how this was all just a protest that got out of hand. Then Sen. Liberman says he was briefed today, that it was a pre-planned military style assault, coordinated by Muslim extremists to happen on 9/11.

Sure, sounds like Obama is covering his rear, with whatever is handy. Who is coordinating the coverup? They need to get their act together.

I thought that Obama had talked with Morsi and it was all cool now in Egypt. Just saw some violent looking live action from Cairo. Time to admit, this is over the Mistake’s pay grade.

Linda

September 14th, 2012
7:47 pm

gm@7:00, You don’t know a darn thing about the Romneys’ private life from decades ago, but even if Mrs. Romney did hire a nanny, that’s one more net job than Obama has created in almost 4 years. Last I heard, nannies are women, so what do you have against a woman having a job? And what do you have against a woman who has multiple sclerosis & breast cancer getting a little help around the house?
I took your suggestion & actually counted the I’s in my statement. There were 6 within a pretty long statement. How else could I have defended your attack on me personally?
If you don’t think I have not “defended” this nation by paying my fair share of taxes for decades, you are barking up the wrong tree. It’s not my fault that Democrats have a spending problem & have just about bankrupted the country, spent every cent of money in the SS & Medicare trust funds on junk.
The only issue the Tea Party has is borrowing & spending money we do not have for junk we do not need. If you have a problem with that, may God rest your soul.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

September 14th, 2012
7:47 pm

“Romney wants to build the military back up like Reagan did so he can find some island like Grenada and invade it like Ronnie did and claim he is a war hero.”

Really? Care to cite the speech or position paper where he has claimed this, “independent” “thinker”?

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

September 14th, 2012
7:55 pm

gm

Since you pointed out that I didn’t know anything about women, being an old white conservative, I will not respond. I think Linda has kicked your butt, enough today on the same subject anyway, and she does know something about being a woman.

I do want to ask you, as a great lover of strong independent women, and a supporter of free birth control and abortion on demand, why do you not care about Muslim girls not being allowed to go to school, being sold to their husbands, not being allowed to show their face in public, being required to be covered from toe nail to hair in 100+ temperatures, being stoned to death when they are caught having sex outside marriage, not allowed to vote or drive, blah, blah.

Dems seem so consumed with hate for the right, because we don’t want to force uncle Wilbur and Aunt Susie to pay for their employed grand niece’s birth control pills, but don’t seem to be able to muster much concern for Muslim women. Why is that? If GOP has war on Women, how would you describe the treatment of women in Muslim Countries, gm?

kayaker 71

September 14th, 2012
7:55 pm

linda 7:47,

gm is an idiot. Got a dinner date for tomorrow night?

smc

September 14th, 2012
7:59 pm

How should Obama respond to embassy attacks?
– go to Las Vegas to Campaign
– give statement that you are going to continue to give taxpayer dollars to Islamic terrorists (circumventing congress of course)
– boycott yet another security briefing
Wait a minute — that IS how Obama responded to embassy attacks.

Linda

September 14th, 2012
8:06 pm

Cally@7:10 & others who have said much the same thing all day:
The dead are Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith (Air Force) & Navy Seals Glen Doherty & Tyrone Woods. These guys sacrificed their lives for decades in various ways all over the world & ultimately gave their lives for our country, specifically our Constitution, in all, not in part, which includes our right to free speech.
Americans do not apologize for our rights, not even our right to free speech.
Everyone on this blog today & on other days & on other blogs & at any time & in any place are free to speak. We must not criticize, condemn or wish harm to others for speaking, no matter how much we disagree with them or each other, not even the person responsible for the video.
What is happening in the Middle East has nothing to do with a video from months ago. It is no coincidence that this violence happened on 9/11 & is continuing. Blaming the violence on a video is nothing more than a mere distraction.
The truth will come out. In the meantime, stand for our rights, to honor those who defended them with their lives.

Michael H. Smith

September 14th, 2012
8:06 pm

ATLien

September 14th, 2012
8:12 pm

Kayaker71

“No fanatic Muslim thinks on his own. He is controlled like a puppet. That’s the game”

*********************************************************************************************************
I suggest you also rephrase to the following

“No fanatic Conservative thinks on his own. He is controlled like a puppet. That’s the game”

Speaks to the logic and complete disregard for facts that I see articulated on this blog

Just Saying..

September 14th, 2012
8:16 pm

“What does time have to do with anything?”

md: Apparently it means something to you, as you introduced that element with this comment:
” …but let’s say it turns out the kid was a criminal…”

And my response is, might be time to let go of that possible outcome. Given the notoriety and attention this case received, I’m pretty sure we would have heard by now if Trayvon was a gang thug, dope dealer, habitual offender, Kenyan…

But that’s cool. We got you down as a Nobama man.The President was wrong to inject a personal observation into a topic of great national attention.
I’m just happy the President knew better than to say, “After all, George Zimmerman tried to kill my father”.

Michael H. Smith

September 14th, 2012
8:17 pm

jay carny, obama’s answer to Baghdad Bob, is lying through his teeth.

Michael H. Smith

September 14th, 2012
8:30 pm

Logic and facts have no meaning to the socialist liberals. They only have a proclivity to regurgitate DNC talking points.

David R. Boag, DDS

September 14th, 2012
8:42 pm

Cally @ 7:10

My biggest objection with Islam is that they SAY that there is no compulsion in religion. It is in the teachings of the Koran. Nor do they allow the Koran to be criticized, unlike the Bible which, in contrast, has been criticized more than any other book in history and stood the test of time. But if you ask Islamic leaders what they would do if their own sons or daughters chose to renounce their Islamic faith and, say, become a Christian, they will say (and have said) that they would kill them. Islam is not the fastest-growing religion in the world; it is the fastest-growing FORCED religion in the world. In many of the primarily-Islamic countries, renouncing your Islamic faith is cause for a tribunal at best and death at worst. Take your feet off the necks of those people and let them choose freely without fear of consequences and see what happens!

One of the fundamental beliefs of the Judeo-Christian worldview is the right to DISbelieve. That right is given by God. Had that right not been given, then we would all be robots, which doesn’t allow free will. One truth about love is that you can’t love someone unless you can do it having chosen to do so freely. Otherwise it is compulsion, and that isn’t love at all.

The most obvious difference between the Islamic worldview and that of the true Christ-follower is that as Christ-followers, if someone makes a film attacking Jesus, we are to renounce the film, call for the filmmaker to make amends while still loving the filmmaker, because Christ loves him/her just as much as He loves each of us. The difference is that there is no relationship, because as any divorced person can attest, there IS no relationship–even if you love a person with ALL OF YOUR BEING–if they choose to not love you back. There are few experiences in life tht are more painful than that reality.

They can be upset about the film if they want. They can protest the film. There is ZERO justification for killing anyone over it–even the film’s producer or filmmaker. The filmmaker should not be held accountable so long as what the film shows is truth. If there are fabrications, he/she/they should be held accountable for those. But if not, they cannot be held accountable for those deaths any more than anyone on here should be held accountable if someone reads one of our posts and goes out afterwards and shoots up a theater or some other similar heinous crime.

Our government should not be calling for the accountability of filmmakers if they speak the truth. They should be denouncing the killings (and perhaps more), because they are not even justifiable if there ARE fabrications in the movie.

getalife

September 14th, 2012
8:42 pm

Not uniting to show patriotism like your party is a great way to get marginalized..

“JUDGE STRIKES DOWN WISCONSIN UNION LAW” Aol.

Busing unions is how the gop help the middle class.

getalife

September 14th, 2012
8:44 pm

Busting. oops.

Linda

September 14th, 2012
8:45 pm

kayaker 71@7:55, If you want to come over for a home-cooked meal with everything made from scratch, my husband & I would welcome you. I ground my own flour before I bake bread. Breaking bread is our treat. Ya’ll come!

cc

September 14th, 2012
8:53 pm

gm @ 6:37 pm:
Hussein saved nothing, and certainly not OUR money on this foolish bailout of the UNION. GM will go belly-up in the near future and all that money will have been spent for nothing more than buying votes for the Kenyan.

gm @ 6:42 pm:
So far as can be detected, Hussein has ‘passed’ no good legislation. Hell, in IL as well as the U. S. Senate, he voted ‘present’ often when he was actually present for a vote.

gm @ 7:00 pm:
If this blog is allowed a ninny, as in ‘nincompoop’ like you, Mrs. Romney’s is allowed all the nannies she wants and can afford. This blog could very well do without its ninny.

getalife @ 7:02 pm:
Good idea, why don’t you?

Michael H. Smith @ 8:17 pm:
Has he ever stopped lying? To cover Hussein’s backside, he must be a perpetual liar!

Del

September 14th, 2012
8:58 pm

This is boiling out of control now we have Marine Corps fast teams in Yemen and the Sudan as well as Libya. Obama’s appeasement policies have not been working. Israel is now saying that the U.S. can’t be depended on to help them with Iran and they will need to take action on their own. Not good.

getalife

September 14th, 2012
9:06 pm

Del,

It will be okay.

Israel does not need our help or permission.

Del

September 14th, 2012
9:09 pm

getalife,

Agreed but an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could trigger a World War. That we don’t need.

Libtards ahoy

September 14th, 2012
9:10 pm

People we have a president with a Nobel peace prize . I think he cAn handle a few angry people.

Just Saying..

September 14th, 2012
9:10 pm

And in Jan 1, 2013 Sequestration News:

“United States embassies and consulates abroad, diplomatic programs and embassy security would be cut $1.2 billion.”

Really, I’m certain we could cut more than that…

Linda

September 14th, 2012
9:10 pm

Why does Israel want to meet with Obama? Is one of the reasons that they are afraid he will actually retaliate against them if they attack Iran?
How far will Obama go against Israel?
Does anyone believe that the US will not be dragged into a war/conflict with Iran, sooner or later, with or without nuclear weapons?

ATLien

September 14th, 2012
9:10 pm

Del,

what about all the embassy attacks that took place under bush? Was he appeasing?

Hillbilly D

September 14th, 2012
9:14 pm

Israel does not need our help or permission.

Actually, when it comes to these sort of things, we probably need them more than they need us. They do our dirty work for us.

Just Saying..

September 14th, 2012
9:15 pm

” I ground my own flour before I bake bread.”

That’s impressive. Lucky husband. But I trust he already knows that…

cc

September 14th, 2012
9:16 pm

Del @ 8:58 pm:
“we have Marine Corps fast teams in Yemen and the Sudan as well as Libya”
First in, last out, and sometimes sacrificed for the stupidity of the Commander-in-Chief (IF we really had one at this time).

“Israel is now saying that the U.S. can’t be depended on to help them with Iran and they will need to take action on their own.”
We can’t blame them for they have no other choice. It is sad that Hussein has shown so much disrespect to Netanyahu and has, for all practical purposes, abandoned a staunch ally. We can be very sure that other American allies also see this and reevaluate their relationship to the U.S.

Libtards ahoy

September 14th, 2012
9:17 pm

If that video had not been made then none of this would have happened. A stupid YouTube video has ruined three years of fence mending.

Del

September 14th, 2012
9:17 pm

ATLien,

It doesn’t matter what Bush did or did not do, we’re dealing with the here and now. This isn’t a good situation not just in the ME but Central and S.E Asia as well.

Just Saying..

September 14th, 2012
9:18 pm

“Agreed but an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could trigger a World War. That we don’t need.”

Uh, Del? You think there should be some daylight between Mitt and Bibi?

Michelle obama

September 14th, 2012
9:20 pm

I think if the Arabs ate better and excercised they would stop

cc

September 14th, 2012
9:21 pm

Libtards ahoy @ 9:17 pm:
Surely you are joking?

getalife

September 14th, 2012
9:21 pm

Del,

I remember when South Korea was free and it got messy. They chanted death to America and now sell us Samsung crap. It is up to them to chart their destiny. Friend or foe, it is up to them not us.

You might be right about Iran because China and Russia will protect their interests there. I think if they did have nukes, the warmongering would stop and gas prices would drop. Like Hillary, I don’t think they are suicidal because Israel has many nukes and they would be history too. Israel will need proof they have nukes and are ready to use them to attack legally. Nukes are a deterrent of war.

Hillbilly D

September 14th, 2012
9:24 pm

If that video had not been made then none of this would have happened.

I’d disagree. The attack in Libya obviously wasn’t planned overnight. It was a careful plan and it came on 9/11 for a reason. Film or no film, that one would’ve happened.

Del

September 14th, 2012
9:25 pm

cc,,
I think the president has not provided a strong enough voice on the world stage to deter our enemies. He’s projected weakness and that can be dangerous as recent events seem to be proving themselves out.

JamVet

September 14th, 2012
9:25 pm

Without Brother Bruno here on Friday nights, this place just remains a con cesspool 24/7, huh?

Enjoy…