THE BLOG
09/17/2012 10:14 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2012

American Diplomats and Interests Attacked: The Right Time to 'Double Down'?

Last week was a week of crisis, tragedy and remembrance for our country. It was also a week when true political colors were shown.

As our nation was observing the 11th anniversary of the day when America was attacked by terrorists, other attacks on America were unfolding -- this time nearly halfway around the world.

One attack appears to have been triggered by a fatuous film insulting Islam and those of Islamic faith, a film that was concocted under false pretenses by a misguided, perhaps disturbed person, and certainly not representing America and Americans.

The other attack, the more serious one, the one that claimed four American lives, the one that may require intervention to "bring to justice those who took them from us," appears to have been planned well in advance and executed to coincide with the anniversary Americans were observing.

Americans, American interests and American property have been attacked abroad before, regardless of whether the administration back home was Republican or Democrat.

Every time America was so attacked, Americans back home showed national unity and rallied behind their leaders, Democrats or Republicans, condemning the attacks.

Something very unusual, sad and disturbing occurred this time, after the Cairo and Benghazi attacks.

Even before all the facts were in, even before the solemn 11th anniversary of the dastardly attack was over, even before the bodies of our four fallen heroes returned home and while our government was strongly condemning the outrageous attack on our diplomats and diplomatic facilities, the long knives came out, shamelessly mischaracterizing the events and politicizing a national tragedy.

I take that back. One politician, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, did have the "decency" to wait until one minute after the stroke of midnight of 9/11 -- 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 12 -- before attacking, not the rioters and the murderers, but the President of the United States alleging that the president "sympathizes with attackers in Egypt," and calling it "sad and pathetic."

It was different for the other politician, the man who aspires to be president of our country, the man who one day could have his finger on the nuclear trigger. That man could not wait till the 9/11 anniversary was over to pull the "gotcha trigger."

On the night of 9/11, Romney approved his campaign's statement accusing the president of sympathizing "with those who waged the attacks."

And the attacks on the president continued unabatedly -- "doubling down" -- during the following days, while American diplomatic facilities continued to be attacked, while American lives continued to be at risk.

Even on the day when our four slain patriots came home, the Republican vice presidential nominee was accusing the president of "indifference bordering on contempt" for Israel, attacking his leadership and suggesting that a Romney-Ryan administration would solve our problems abroad.

Over the weekend, the anger and violence sparked by the anti-Islam film spread to several other countries and against other Western nations such as Germany.

In Sydney, Australia, protesters attacked the U.S. Consulate General carrying signs that read: "Obama, Obama, we like Osama" and "Behead All Those Who Insult the Prophet," in demonstrations that turned violent after protesters were pushed back from the building, according to CNN.com.

It will be interesting to see how the GOP manages to pin these anti-U.S., anti-Obama demonstrations in Australia, one of our staunchest allies, on President Obama's alleged lack of leadership and on his alleged "sympathizing with those who make these attacks."

In what has become conduct unwarranted, unprecedented and unbecoming the candidates for the two highest offices in the land, no doubt there will be a way.

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