Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 10:36 am
The Obama administration has stepped back from remarks by the president earlier this week in which he suggested that Egypt was something less than a firm ally.
Following unrest in Egypt and the killing of four Americans in Libya that was sparked at least in part by a film seemingly aimed at stoking Muslim anger, Obama, referring to Egypt, told the Spanish-language Telemundo: "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy."
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 6:33 pm
Anti-American protests — some peaceful, some not — have been seen in many parts of the Islamic world today, as Friday prayers became an opportunity for many to express anger over a film produced in the U.S. that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.
The Atlantic Wire has a good map that shows where the protests are happening.
The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.
As U.S. embassies and consulates face protests in the Muslim world over an anti-Islamic film, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is walking a fine line. She is distancing herself and the State Department from the video that has sparked anger among Muslims, but stressed the US commitment to free speech.
"To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible," she said Thursday in Washington, D.C. "It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage."
One of the biggest questions still outstanding about the attack on a United States consulate in Libya is whether it was planned or whether it was the result of a protest against a U.S.-made film that criticizes the Prophet Muhammad.
The attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The bottom line is that nothing is firm. But NPR's Leila Fadel reports that Libya's Deputy Interior Minister, Wanis al Sharef, said this was a sophisticated two-prong attack.
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech is in the spotlight this week. If you haven't kept up, a U.S.-produced filmdepicting the Prophet Muhammad in a less than flattering way has inflamed the Arab world.
In a lot of ways, the story is showing how the sweeping nature of the First Amendment puts the United States at odds with most of the world.
That rift was perhaps most evident when you compare the statements of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.