American laws apply only in America. Beyond the jurisdiction of the United States, different rules apply. And sometimes, Americans are mistreated. That where diplomacy comes in.

If an American tourist is tortured by the police in a foreign country, our ambassador in that country makes a protest. If an American missionary there is arrested for being an American missionary there, our ambassador protests. If an American businessman is kidnapped for a ransom, our ambassador protests.

A diplomatic protest by the American ambassador carries weight because everyone knows that military force is the last resort of foreign policy. And everyone knows that American military force is to be taken seriously.

So when an American ambassador is killed in a foreign country by the locals, there are no protests to make. This is a picture of J. Christopher Stevens, American Ambassador to Libya, on September 11th:




A well-coordinated attack began at 10 pm on 9/11, local time (3 pm 9/11 Chicago time) that resulted in four dead American diplomats.  This is a picture of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens on September 12th:





He was killed during a 4-hour battle at our Benghazi consulate because, we are told*, Islamists in Libya were annoyed by an obscure 2-hour movie made in California. 14 minutes of clips are here:





But even granting that this was about the video, this is still not about the video.  Since the beginning of our republic, we have had a cultural inclination and a constitutional tradition of religious tolerance. We forget that it is not binding beyond our borders.

In some places, beyond the jurisdiction of our Constitution and our culture, Muslims kill Christians just because they are Christians. They don’t think that it is wrong to do that. They think it is right.

They think we should give up the First Amendment cornerstone of our culture and submit to Islam, so we are confronted with a choice:

(1) We can submit, or

(2) we must explain to them, in the only language they understand, that we will not.







*repudiated during the second presidential debate


P.S.  What I tried to say, Newt says much better.  Naturally.


P.P.S.  “We had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”