When Mitt Romney blasted the Obama administration for apologizing to Muslims before our Libyan embassy was attacked, the left raised a huge screech about his “politicizing” the event. Actually, we have heard that charge many, many times, and not always from the left. Like charges of “radicalism,” “extremism,” or being an “ideologue,” this one is completely bogus and devoid of content. All these phrases can be translated into, “I have no idea how to repudiate your argument, so I’m going to attack you, personally.”
Let’s look at “politicizing” first, and in the present context of the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. The word is not in my 1954 Oxford Universal Dictionary, so I went to 5 on-line dictionaries. Averaging out the verbiage, the word is taken to mean discussing something in the context of politics, or adding a political tone or theme to something. Pretty straightforward, right?
Embassies are political institutions; they represent a nation, which is a geo-political institution. They are staffed by people from that geo-political institution who are appointed by politically-elected entities. The purpose of embassies is to project the presence of the parent geo-political institution on the soil of the host geo-political institution. Ambassadors, especially, are politically powerful entities whose task is to provide a positive impression of the parent geo-political institution, to represent its interests in the host geo-political institution, and give other citizens of the host geo-political institution a focal point for issues they may have with the host geo-political institution.
The people who appoint ambassadors are elected in political events, often after intense discussions of political ideas and principles. Their activities are governed by political instruments like constitutions, in the case of the USA, or parliaments, which are also political institutions. When the president, Secretary of State, or the Congress – all political entities or institutions – makes changes in the foreign policy of the parent geo-political institution, it is the task of the ambassador to present, explain, and often justify or rationalize that change to the government of the host geo-political institution.
Embassies and their staffs, especially ambassadors, are political entities from start to finish, inside and out. When an embassy is attacked and an ambassador murdered by a mob or paramilitary organization in the host geo-political institution, and the mob is shouting slogans that defame or condemn the parent geo-political institution, I believe it is safe to say their actions are politically motivated, and may be taken as a statement of the political principles to which they subscribe. (There are exceptions, such as Somalia, where the motivation may be more or less piratical.) When the political appointees and representatives of a given geo-political institution are murdered by politically motivated thugs of another geo-political institution, HOW THE BLOODY HELL CAN ANYONE INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO FIND THEIR OWN FEET SAY IT ISN’T POLITICAL?
Rebsarge - 15 Sept., 2012