The tragic consulate killings in Libya and America's hierarchy of human lifeThe murder of American staff over a hate film is an unmitigated wrong. But so are deaths caused by the US that go unremarked
Sep. 13, 2012
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Protesters attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday night and killed four Americans, including the US ambassador, Chris Stevens. The attacks were triggered by rage over an amateurish and deeply hateful film about Islam that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as, among other things, a child molester advocate, a bloodthirsty goon, a bumbling idiot, and a promiscuous, philandering leech. A 13-minute trailer was uploaded to YouTube and then quickly circulated in the Muslim world, sparking widespread anger (the US embassy in Cairo was also attacked).
The anti-Islam film was written, directed and produced by an Israeli real estate developer living in California, Sam Bacile. He claimed, in an interview with Haaretz, that the film "cost $5m to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors". Its purpose, as described by the Israeli newspaper, was to show that "Islam is a cancer" and to provide a "provocative political statement condemning the religion". It's hard to believe that the film -- which is barely at the level of a poorly rehearsed high-school play -- required $5m to make, but the intent seems clear: to provoke Muslims into exactly the sort of violent rage that we are now witnessing.