Politics: U.S. Ambassador to Libya among those killed in attack

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Dan Calabrese

By DAN CALABRESE - Christopher Stevens, 52, was among four killed. This story is developing.

We've now learned that one of those killed in yesterday's raid was Christopher Stevens, 52, the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Stevens and three of his staff members were trying to get to safety when rocket fire took them down, according to a Reuters report.

Prayers are going to be needed for the families of Stevens and the others killed.

I don't want to get into the political implications of this. The more important point is that this requires a very strong response from the United States. Killing our ambassador is an act of war. There's no two ways about it. Mealy-mouthed statements of apology certainly won't do, but neither will strongly worded statements. This requires action. I'm sure this is not the sort of thing Obama wants to deal at any time, but especially in the midst of an election campaign. But that doesn't matter. His first responsibility is to lead the nation, not to lead his own re-election campaign.

We'll keep on this story and update it throughout the day.

UPDATE: Obama "strongly condemns" the attack. Let's hope he doesn't seriously think that's all he needs to do.

Also, a good point from a commenter: These are protesters acting in defiance of the Libyan government, which has already apologized for the murders of Stevens and the others. So the commenter raised the question, how do you respond to such people? Good question, but there are many potential good answers. We need to learn the lessons of history. Remember, the mob that took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 was supposedly a group of "students," and not the government. We responded to the situation as if there was nothing we could do to them. How did that work out?