Sharp rhetoric, verbal gaffes highlight week of foreign policy turmoil

Anti-U.S. violence erupted in the Middle East last week, resulting in the death of four Americans in Libya. Politicos and pundits charged into the fray with statements, highlighting the power and dangers of rhetoric.

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Middle Eastern countries were already on edge about an anti-Muslim video, when pundits and politicos decided to aggravate growing tensions with statements even as embassies in Egypt, Yemen, and Tunisia have been attacked by mobs.

The culmination of the week’s international crisis was the unfortunate death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

The roundup below should serve as a lesson that reacting to foreign affairs issues is not the same as, say, domestic economic issues. It’s also a reminder that despite our political differences there should be a commitment by political parties to stand together when a good portion of the world is upset with us.

Lack of Facts: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was taken to task for earlier this week criticizing a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo attempting to calm outrage over the film. He told ABC news that the statement was “not directly applicable and appropriate for the setting.” Turns out that it probably was appropriate, since hours later crowds spilled into the Cairo embassy and news broke of the Libyan embassy deaths.

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