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western governments unprepared

Reader comment on item: Another Islamist Assault, Another Western Cringe

Submitted by myth (Germany), Sep 17, 2012 at 09:46

Listenening to the reactions of the US government as well as my own I am surprised. Western governments sound unprepared to me. Given that attacks on western embassies by islamists occur at least since the days of the Tehran hostage crisis, I would expect a well-prepared response.

Such a response should focus on the primary job of our governments, that is protecting our citizens. With respect to embassies I see three options: enhance protection, evacuate temporarily or be done with a diplomatic presence altogether.

I expect the islamists to ignore any verbal response from the us president regardless of content. A death of an ambassador asks for an action of retaliation. In order change islamist behavior such a retaliation needs to come within a day or two. Since the islamist movement is international, there are lots of targets to choose from across the region.

Downsizing the killing of an ambassador to a freedom-speech-issue is inappropriate. While this is certainly the islamist's perspective, it should not be ours. Escalation, a disproportionate response, sends and understandable message.

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