Tragedy in Libya
By Kathy Zager on 09/12/2012 @ 08:04 PM
We are deeply saddened by the recent killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three others at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. We are particularly saddened to see such violence committed in the name of faith, reportedly in response to a video promoted by a U.S. pastor that depicted and mocked the Prophet Mohammed. Those who created and proffered the offensive video do not represent the U.S. just as those who reacted with violence do not represent Libya (or Islam).
During his remarks Wednesday morning in response to the attack, President Obama said:
The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so […] Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.
It's especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi. With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya. When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy […] He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.
At FCNL, we believe violence is never the answer. We are saddened by this tragedy, and by its relationship to a more long-running Libyan tragedy--the tragedy of a 41-year-long dictatorship, a bloody civil war in which at least 25,000 people died, a violent transition from dictatorship, and continuing instability.
We should honor people everywhere who are working for peace in the face of violence. There are thousands of diplomats representing the U.S. overseas, many of whom are working for peace in conflict situations. This tragedy serves as a reminder of the bravery intrinsic to the work of diplomacy. Our diplomats need support, security, and strong recognition. Bigotry and hatred cannot be allowed to endanger those who have been sent out to engage with our neighbors.