“There is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence—none,” says Barack Obama, speaking of the slaughter last night of the American ambassador to Libya and three of his colleagues in the streets of Benghazi. And, he adds, “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”
But of course there is a justification: It’s the justification of an unhinged mass of primitive savages kitted out with modern weaponry who stand upon their religion to justify horrific acts of violence against innocents at every turn and in every land, spilling blood indiscriminately—the blood of their own children and their own women, when it happens to suit them, as well as that of “the enemy”—when “their religious feelings have been hurt”: here in defense of their prophet, Muhammad, when they feel he has been maligned, and there in their own defense, when they feel modern Western thought has leered at them lasciviously. This is the Arab Spring in Fall.
As for justice: What is it? It’s said we’ll hunt the killers down and drone them. But who are we hunting down, exactly? Will the CIA identify individuals in a book of al Qaeda mug shots? Will this reluctant, apologizing president order the droning of them from behind the skirts of the re-Islamifier of Turkey, Recep Tayyip “bonds of trust” Erdoğan? Will he “shoot first and aim later,” as his vice president and foreign-policy guru has so often and so proudly done? What if we capture one or two of them? What will we do with them? Who will defend them at their trial when we “bring them to justice?” (And what, for that matter, will justice look like in the case of the two thousand Islamist jihadis threatening the U.S. embassy in Cairo and desecrating the American flag with the full knowledge and cooperation of their Muslim-Brotherhood head of state?)