Imperial troops would be rushed in and quickly put down the uprisings. In the 1920’s, Winston Churchill authorized the use of poison gas against “unruly” tribesmen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fast forward to the British Raj’s heir. This week’s attacks on US embassies in the Arab world were a deeply disturbing sign of the violent, anti-American fury boiling across the Muslim world.
The trigger for the latest spasm of violence was the tragic murder of Christopher Stevens, the new US ambassador to Libya, an Arabic-speaking career diplomat. He was just the kind of educated, experienced diplomat America so badly needs. Having myself almost joined the US Foreign Service many years ago, I feel particular sorrow.
We don’t know yet who killed Stevens but two suspects come at once to mind: anti-western jihadists of al-Qaida in the Maghreb, or Ghadaffi loyalists seeking revenge for the US-assisted killing of their late leader, whose convoy was blasted by a US Predator drone.