Let me recycle a few lines from the post on Martin Dempsey phoning Terry Jones because this is where I think we’re headed, at least as long as American troops are stationed in large numbers in the Middle East:
Loyola’s right that military leaders phoning citizens to ask them to pipe down for the sake of the troops sets a bad precedent. If more copycats do emerge, will Dempsey phone all of them? Will the Pentagon set up a special phone bank for officers to phone critics of Islam and let them know that they’re hurting national security by giving fundie nuts a pretext to make trouble? If we’re going down this road, let’s just establish a PR bureau inside the Defense Department to issue official statements of patriotic disapproval anytime a U.S. citizen says something that’s unhelpful to the wider strategy in the Middle East.
What you’re about to see is, essentially, an official statement of patriotic disapproval, not from the Defense Department but from State. They’re spending $70,000 to air this on Pakistani television in the naive hope that the lunatics who were throwing rocks at the embassy in Islamabad this morning and who are planning massive — and state-sanctioned — “protests” tomorrow might be placated. It’s a hostage video, with American diplomats in Pakistan and American soldiers in Afghanistan as the hostages. And, as always when the government strains to show respect for Islam, there’s nothing genuinely respectful about it. The thought of Hillary cutting a video like this for the Israeli market in response to some U.S. citizen’s anti-semitic propaganda because she “respects” Judaism is unimaginable. The motive here is fear, not respect. And bizarrely, the embassy seems proud enough of it that it’s willing to advertise this clip on its own Facebook page.
Note to Team Romney: If you’re serious about pushing the “apology tour” narrative vis-a-vis Obama’s foreign policy, here’s exhibit A. And if you do pursue it, don’t forget to remind voters that the target audience for this is the same country that’s driven us to grief in Afghanistan and the same country that’s almost certainly going to end up starting the world’s first nuclear war. That’s where the Foreign Policy President is at these days.