After tracing in considerable detail his analysis of the journey of the initial flapping of the butterfly wings to the death of four U.S. diplomats, Juan Cole offered this word of hope:
"So the Butterfly Effect set off by a low-budget bad propaganda film gotten up by two-bit frauds and Christian supremacists, and then promoted by two-bit Egyptian and Libyan fundamentalists, has provoked some squalls and cost the lives of four good men.
"The storm provoked by this butterfly has revealed character on an international scale. The steely determination of an Obama to achieve justice, the embarrassing grandstanding of a Romney, the destructive hatred of a handful of extremists in Cairo and Benghazi, and the decency and warmth toward the US of the Libyan crowds, all were thrown into stark relief by the beating of the butterfly's wings.
"In the end, the violence and extremism of the hardliners on both sides is a phantasm of the past, not a harbinger of the future. The wave of democratic politics sweeping the region has left the haters behind, reducing them to desperate and senseless acts of violence that will gain them no good will, no popularity, no political credibility."- Advertisement -
In less than two months, American voters will have their moment to choose between two visions of how to respond when "violence and extremism" strikes.
The picture above of Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama is by evan Vucci of the Associated Press.