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September 24, 2012

Romney was right

When a U.S. embassy gets stormed by protesters overseas, it's usually a matter of public concern. And it might even occasion debate between presidential candidates.

Unless one of the candidates is President Barack Obama and the other is Mitt Romney. Then, everything changes.

In the immediate aftermath of the deadly attacks on U.S. diplomatic installations in Egypt and Libya, the political debate fastened on the propriety of Romney criticizing the administration for its initial response. You know, the important stuff.

The glowing media reports from earlier this week about how President Obama would use foreign policy as a cudgel against Romney had barely faded when the press pack turned around and declared politics must stop at the water's edge, thank you very much.

The old complaint about Romney was that he didn't talk about foreign policy; the newly minted complaint about Romney was that he did talk about foreign policy.

As demonstrators gathered - supposedly in response to an anti-Islamic film promoted by Pastor Terry Jones - the embassy in Cairo released a statement that was craven and dumb. It rebuked "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."

The first thing to say about this is that it shamefully aped the reasoning of efforts to restrict free speech in order to protect Muslim sensibilities. The second is that it failed to appease the mob. American-hating thugs usually don't check out the websites of their targets on the off chance that something posted there might dissuade them from trying to burn the place down.

The embassy reaffirmed its statement via Twitter even after protesters had stormed the compound. At one point the embassy had to tweet, pathetically, "Of course we condemn breaches of our compound, we're the ones actually living through this." These people work for the world's lone superpower?

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