Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims. Patrick Kennedy, Under-Secretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons.
An eight-strong American rescue team was sent from Tripoli and taken by troops under Captain Fathi al- Obeidi, of the February 17 Brigade, to the secret safe house to extract around 40 U.S. staff. The building then came under fire from heavy weapons. "I don't know how they found the place to carry out the attack. It was planned, the accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any ordinary revolutionaries," said Captain Obeidi. "It began to rain down on us, about six mortars fell directly on the path to the villa."
Other media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, Russia Today and The Washington Post quoted U.S. officials saying that they believe the attack was planned in advance. CNN's source claimed "Tuesday's attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was planned in advance, and the attackers used the protest outside the consulate as a diversion." Intelligence officials also reportedly said the attack on the Benghazi consulate was too coordinated or professional to be spontaneous.
If the attack on the embassy in Libya was planned at least 48 hours in advance, then that means it was planned prior to the international publicity that the inflammatory video received. Furthermore, the U.S. government acknowledges that rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and heavy machine guns were used in the attack. Who brings those to a spontaneous protest about a YouTube video?
So, now we have a film that may not even exist for which no one wants to have their name associated with and a planned, coordinated attack. The facts suggest that the video is a contrived piece of propaganda. Some suggest that it is a pretext for more "U.S. boots on the ground." The U.S. government and corporate media, after acknowledging the attacks may have been planned in advance, is back to the official story line that the current global situation is all over a YouTube video. Apparently, Americans are supposed to believe that Muslims are just overreacting.
Blowback from years of civilian deaths and meddling in other nations
Protests are occurring all over the world right now. The consistent theme, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, is that America must leave. The amount of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan last month should have given our leaders the same message. The rage seen across the world has very little to do with the video. People in nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, etc. do not hate Americans for our freedoms, or for our religion.
Both Libya and Egypt witnessed drastic political upheavals in the past year, in which the United States played a crucial role. The "war on terror" turned Iraq into bloody chaos, causing tens of thousands of civilian deaths and casualties, with millions of people displaced. Drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen kill civilians, then first responders are targeted. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been invaded on the basis of lies, their governments subverted to serve foreign interests, their women and children killed or maimed, their places of worship bombed, their cultural history buried under rubble. Some photos of that are available here.
The people in the nations invaded and subverted by the U.S. through a decade of overt and covert wars, as well as in neighboring nations, are rioting because they hate America. And that is because every time they see their friends and neighbors blown to bloody bits before their eyes, the shrapnel is stamped: "Made in the USA."
Do the citizens of those invaded nations have reasons to hate America, other than that silly little video?
Well, yes, they do.
The attacks and protests should serve as a reminder that it is time for the U.S. government to rethink its policies toward the Middle East or it will face a dead end there. It is time to bring our troops home and stop meddling in the internal affairs of other nations.
Update: Sunday, September 16th. NATO has admitted that eight Afghan women were killed and seven more wounded in an airstrike. Great way to soothe tensions around the world!