With the recent killing of Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, the state of American diplomacy with Libya and its neighbors is quickly falling apart. In response to an extremely anti-Muslim video made by an American citizen, Libya started a wave of protests across the Islamic world against the United States.
In light of the situation, the withdrawal of other ambassadors from neighboring countries is exactly what would please the protestors. Though the death of any Foreign Service member is never acceptable, one random act of violence should not derail U.S diplomacy. While the violent reaction of Islamic nations toward an ignorant video is flat-out wrong, the United States would be just as wrong if it were to withdraw its ambassadors.
The response from the Islamic nations has been weak. Although Ambassador Stevens had no connection to the film, he was the target of protestors in Libya. The root of the protest comes from anti-American feelings in these countries, but in this day and age, the anger is misdirected.
Unfortunately, the radical members of all nations often speak the loudest, and, in some cases, can even influence diplomacy. As we move toward election season, it’s crucial to create a new era of foreign policy. Though the violence may be an overreaction and a misdirected reaction, there is an important lesson to be learned. Beneath the finger pointing by the State Department and the governments involved, something must be done to address the feelings of hate toward the United States.
Along with creating new policies to lead this country, foreign policy will play a huge role in the next few decades. Regarding the violence, American diplomats should hold their positions and show Islamic nations that the United States will not step down to reckless violence. The response to Libya should be focused on the death of the ambassador and isolated to the events that happened. Acts of violence should not determine diplomacy with all Islamic nations. By pulling out ambassadors in the countries that are being effected by riots, like Egypt and Sudan, the U.S is backing down would be seen as a sign of weakness. To mend relations with countries in the effected region, the best possible option for the U.S is to continue its diplomatic relations instead of causing an international dilemma.