Diana West

Two historic attacks on U.S. territory marked the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and what happened? The Obama administration surrendered our constitutional principles.

The first was a "blasphemy" riot that breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, whereupon thugs burned the American flag and hoisted in its place the traditional black flag of Islam that flies over al-Qaida and other jihad movements.

The second was a military-style assault against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, believed to have been mounted by a militia known as Ansar al-Sharia ("Partisans of Islamic Law"), which formed in the U.S.-supported anti-Gadhafi revolution. Christopher Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya and former point man to the al-Qaida-linked revolutionaries, and three staff members were killed. Five more Americans were wounded, and the American outpost burned under another black flag of jihad.

An obscure, made-in-the-USA movie critical of Muhammad has been blamed for "causing" these attacks. In fact, it is people in Egypt and Libya who committed these two unprovoked acts of war to mark the 9/11 anniversary. The official response?

The first response actually preceded the mayhem in Cairo when the U.S. Embassy, having suspended regular business in anticipation of the planned movie protest, posted on its website on Sept. 11: "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." (As Middle East and Islamic expert Raymond Ibrahim pointed out, the embassy expressed no such solicitude for the "feelings" of a Christian on trial in Egypt for "insulting" Islam, "even as a throng of Muslims besieged the courthouse, interrupting the hearing and calling for the man's death.")

Noting the 9/11 anniversary, the embassy statement continued: "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

Here we see Uncle Sam conceding the First Amendment to safeguard the "feelings" of Muslims, and accepting the basis of Islamic laws against criticizing Islam.

In response, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney issued an initial statement expressing outrage over the violence and the Cairo embassy statement, which the embassy Twitter feed would underscore in both English and Arabic messages. (Both the statement and subsequent tweets have since been removed.) In the meantime, the White House disowned the embassy statement as unauthorized.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).