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article imageUS elections: Obama stuck in the Middle... East

By Eric Deville     Sep 17, 2012 in World
The demonstrations that rose last week in the Middle East are putting the Obama administration in a complicated spot: Legally, very little can be done, except taking in the punches from muslim protestors and being sorry about it.
The tension is climbing in the Middle East, following the anti-american protests that sparked after the anti-islamic movie “innocence of muslims” went viral on the Web. Last tuesday, US ambassador Christopher Stevens lost his life in an attack on the US Embassy of Benghazi, Libya. Since then, riots started in Libya, Egypt, India and Indonesia. The US army sent an additional 100 Marines to embassies in the Middle East. The Hezbollah called for a week of protests, requesting that the US government takes legal actions against the producers of the anti-islamic film.
Unfortunately, taking legal actions against the “perpetrators” of the film is impossible because the first amendment allows such a freedom of expression.
The filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old resident of Southern California, is the member of the non-profit Media for Christ, which raised $1 million last year to “glow Jesus’ light” to the world. The script adviser is Steven Klein, and the writer and director is Sam Bacile (pseudonym). All three of them are free today. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula may face jail time as he was condemned for bank fraud in 2010 and is living on parole.
Since the authors of the film are in their legal rights, the companies responsible for broadcasting the film are hiding behind the same principles: Google censored the video in Egypt, Libya, India and Indonesia to comply with local laws, but declined the White House’s request to remove the video from Youtube (and search engines?) on a global scale.
The pressure is rising for president-elect Obama, who has to handle a major international crisis just a few weeks before the presidential elections. Mitt Romney criticized the Obama administration for apologizing in the name of American citizens instead of “fighting back”. This Bush-like stand did not find an echo in the media, but surely enough the runner-up to Obama’s presidency has and will hit below the belt despite the diplomatic crisis.
The film is online, its producers are free, Muslim representatives are calling for justice, US embassies are under siege, Romney tries to create a national division, and Obama is stuck in the middle. The way he handles this delicate situation will greatly influence the voters' choice in November.
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