In the merciless struggle since the fall of the dictator that has pitted the assassins of cities and their supporters, the urbiciders and the local citizens, it is the latter, the civilized citizen city-dwellers, who have marked the decisive point -- and that, also, is irrevocable.
The White House is blaming the controversial anti-Muhammad film The Innocence of Muslims for the topless photos of Kate Middleton recently published in the French magazine Closer.
The violent riots that have been going on at U.S. embassies and other places in the "Arab Spring" countries in particular are certainly cause for alarm, but what's really going on here?
Let's say that either we Christians or we Americans could get to the bottom of who "they" are and are able to figure out the true enemy or enemies, who exactly do "they" think they are fighting?
Let us remember that, just like the Libyans who today denounce the killing of Ambassador Stevens, there are those in the new Arab world who we can work with to build a better future.
To the extent that they do engage, Americans are primarily concerned with protecting US jobs from overseas competition and fighting terrorism. But there is clearly little appetite to pursue these or other interests in a manner that would require the large-scale intervention that defined the Bush years.
Somewhere in the gap between these two phenomena -- the overheated news about our violent, irrational enemies in the Middle East and the silence surrounding our war and occupation of the region -- lies American politics.
In an interconnected world, the only chance we have is a common life together. If we are to build it, we must insure the bridges between us are strong enough to withstand the bombs of the extremists.
Momentum stayed with the Obama campaign, for the first time winning back-to-back weeks.
There will never be a world where fanatics don't exist. But could there be one where they don't matter so much except to their own fringe?
It was perhaps predictable that the Iranian government would take advantage of this moment of unrest to renew their attack on both new and old heretical foes.
President Obama on a number of occasions has publicly stated, "I have Israel's back." I don't know what that means in practice. I believe he should publicly state that an attack by Iran on Israel would be considered an attack on the U.S.
But if we are unyielding champions for freedom of expression, do we not also have a responsibility as a society to ask how are we using that freedom? Is it OK that Terry Jones and "Sam Bacile" are our ambassadors?
We must go beyond the facile media explanations about intolerant Muslims and start to explore the complex political, economic, historical, and cultural circumstances that have contributed to these particular protests that are taking place in these particular geographies.
When you step into the Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina--at the heart of the Islamic world, shoulder to shoulder with people of every ethnicity on earth--the deep subtle brilliant beauty is resounding. Everything is in perfect balance.
If history is any indication, travel will almost certainly flatline. Americans are concerned about being targeted abroad. Totally understandable.