The violent outburst of anti-Americanism that started around 9/11/12 continues to spread eastward across the Muslim world. At first a Sunni Arab phenomenon, the riots have now spread as far as Pakistan and Indonesia. Even Shia Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has come out in favor of the violence, in what appears to be a sad unity of intolerance across sectional boundaries. The Wall Street Journal rounds up the recent violence:
[I]n Pakistan, hundreds of protesters clashed with police for a second day in the southern city of Karachi as they tried to reach the U.S. Consulate. . . . One protester was killed and over a dozen were wounded in similar clashes in Karachi on Sunday.In Jakarta, hundreds of Indonesians clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy, hurling rocks and firebombs and setting tires alight, marking the first violence over the film seen in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
One of Obama’s first speeches as president, the highly touted Cairo speech in 2009, emphasized Islam’s proud history of tolerance. This was a good way to start. But with U.S. embassies under siege, diplomats being murdered, and the president’s pictures being burned even in Indonesia, it appears that the Middle East policies following up that speech didn’t get the job done.