If there is one lesson from the tragedy in Libya, it is that extremists need each other. Anger at terrorist attacks done in the name of Islam causes some extremist in the United States to post an extremely hateful anti-Muslim video, which then is promoted by anti-American extremists in the Arab world to whip up anti-American sentiment, and thereby cause another violent attack on an American embassy. Extremists feed off of each other to justify their own extremism. Racist Muslim Imams and racist Jewish Rabbis in the West Bank quote each other’s statements of intolerance and hate to justify their own statements of intolerance and hate–which then get quoted by the other side to justify yet another round of heated rhetoric. And it’s all fun and games until some men sneak into a house to poison a Jewish family or some teenagers beat a Palestinian boy nearly to death on the street.
But of course, here in America, we must be above this kind of violent extremism, right? Ari Fleischer says so! Well, except for the Mosque in Joplin, MO which burned to the ground earlier this year, less than a year after suffering an arson attack. Or the shooting at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. Or the Mosque in Tennessee which was repeatedly vandalized, set on fire, and suffered a bomb threat.
And you know what? Those attacks on mosques in middle America get really good coverage in the Muslim press. It would not surprise me at all if the sermons and speeches which drove those extremist kids to attack the American embassies in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen didn’t mention at least one of those acts of arson and vandalism on a house of worship in the Midwest; which were in turn probably justified by the actions of Arab Islamist Imams and the kids that they seem to be able to get to do their bidding.
Extremists need each other.