Diplomatic corps strive to make world better

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 15, 2012

The 24-hour news stations have fed Americans a constant diet of protests against America in the Muslim world.

At issue is an anti-Islam film that most Americans never would have heard of, but for the deaths of four American diplomats and the protests. The film was made by a man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who is said to have used multiple names and to have been previously convicted of bank fraud. Media for Christ, a nonprofit that raised more than $1 million last year “to glow Jesus’ light” to the world, was listed as the production company for the film.

No one involved in the film would likely be considered mainstream American. Critics called the film “most unprofessional.” Many who have protested it around the world – like the Americans who are being blasted for its existence – have not, and never will, see it.

In the midst of the “what about the Muslim attacks on America” retorts, it is important for us to remember that this film cost at least four Americans – and possibly more soldiers – their lives.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens; Sean Smith, an Air Force veteran who worked as an information management specialist for the State Department; Glen A. Doherty, a former Navy SEAL who worked for a private security firm and was protecting the consulate in Benghazi; and Tyrone S. Woods, also a former Navy SEAL who had served protective duty in various U.S. posts, all lost their lives on Tuesday.

The attack on the consulate in Libya was one of a series of assaults on U.S. outposts in Muslim countries blamed on the anti-Muslim video.

We should remember that those who enter diplomatic services do so to make the world a better place.

“This work, and the men and women who risk their lives to do it, are at the heart of what makes America great and good,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at a memorial service on Friday. “So we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and face the future undaunted.”

“The people Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of the mob,” Clinton said. “Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts.”

Each of us should be reminded that seemingly inconsequential actions – like a video spoof of Muslims – can have far-ranging effects, just as the dedication of those in the diplomatic corps can change the world.

We appreciate their lives’ work, and join their families and the nation in mourning their loss.