It is not surprising that America will take this personally. After intervening to save Benghazi they have been rewarded with such a savage attack. The question here is who is responsible. We have all known that there was a jihadi element to the Libyan revolution and that this faction have been trying to exercise greater control in Libya since the fall of Gadaffi. There is a very good chance that this attack was directly organised by them. The other possibility is that it was a spontaneous mob that snowballed into a deadly attack. Either way, the issue of the youtube video is deceptive. Any idiot can make a youtube video or burn a Koran. If it is always understandable that such incidents can set Muslims off rioting (as many commentators imply) then we much accept that violent and deadly riots are normal and acceptable because similar anti Islamic displays will happen again and again in the internet era. Frankly, Muslims must learn to live with these type of provocations. It is time the narrative is changed from "it is wrong to insult Islam" to "it is wrong to burn down buildings and kill people in response".
I sincerely hope this incident does not convince the US to withdraw diplomatically and politically from Libya. I know many right wingers are highly sceptical of the unrest in the Middle East and dislike the phrase "Arab Spring" which evokes images of the noble uprisings in central and Eastern Europe. Personally at no stage did I expect Libya to become a western style democracy. But at least it is not being run by a mad man. And it may have a decent shot at becoming a quasi democracy, one with a parliamentary democracy that accommodates for Islamic laws and customs. And let us not forget that the moderate party in Libya did win a comfortable majority in elections last July. The Libyan people deserve a chance at democracy. This incident should not deny them that. In this moving video below Christopher Stevens himself alluded to the fact that Americas road to democracy was not an easy one.
Lets hope that the sentiment expressed in these picture below is the one that dominates the Libyan street over the next number of days.