Anti-American violence in the Middle East and Africa is spreading like a forest fire, if only a controlled burn. Protests at U.S. embassies began Tuesday in Cairo and Benghazi, more recently emerging in Yemen, Iran, Tunisia, Morocco, and Sudan—all in reaction to a poorly-made anti-Islamic film trailer with rather dubious origins.The New York Times reports that in countries like Yemen, the film is serving as fuel for existing anti-American rhetoric:
The protests came hours after a Muslim cleric, Abdul Majid al- Zandani, urged followers to emulate the protests in Libya and Egypt, Sana residents said. Mr. Zandani, a onetime mentor to Osama bin Laden, was named a “specially designated global terrorist” by the United States Treasury Department in 2004.The crowd gathered a day after the embassy warned Americans in a posting on its Web site that “in the wake of recent events in Libya and Egypt, there is the possibility of protests in Yemen, and specifically in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy, in the coming days.”
This is just one in a series of snags for Obama this week. With the elections less than two months away, it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the campaign.