Photo Credit: Screen shot
Sec. Clinton in apology clip.
Sec. Clinton in apology clip.

On Thursday, September 20, President of the United States Barack Obama and Hillary R. Clinton, the US Secretary of State, were featured in a thirty second television spot paid for by American taxpayers that was intended to make clear to angry Pakistanis that the US government disapproves of the cheap, artless film that portrays the Islamic prophet Mohammed as a pedophile and a womanizer.  That film is blamed by many as the source of more than a week of rioting and violence by Muslims around the globe in which at least 30 people in seven countries are dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people died in protests in Pakistan.

The ad, which cost some $70,000,  aired on approximately seven different television markets in Pakistan, according to U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

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The statement includes clips of the President saying, “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation of respect – that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

Secretary Clinton then refers to the film, saying,  “Let me state very clearly that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its contents.  America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”

In what is eerily reminiscent of the cowed population’s response to the evil villain in the Harry Potter series, the name of the offending film, “Innocence of Muslims,” is never mentioned.  The ad featuring Obama and Clinton is labeled: “President Obama and Secretary Clinton remark on the video circulating on the internet.”  There is also a series of videos with ordinary Americans explaining that the offensive video does not reflect the views of Americans.  That series is titled: “Americans Condemn the YouTube video.”  The ads were subtitled in Urdu.

Despite the official efforts to stem Muslim anger, thousands of Pakistanis attempted to storm the American Embassy in Islamabad on Thursday.  When riot police were unable to hold off the crowds, the Pakistani military was called in.

The Pakistani government has proclaimed Friday, the Islamic day of prayer which is when Muslim riots tend to be most extensive and violent, to be a national holiday so that the expected demonstrations can proceed “peacefully.”

The American officials did not film their statements for this advertisement, instead clips were taken from statements condemning the film each official had made earlier.  President Obama’s remarks were recorded in Washington, D.C. on September 12 and those of Secretary Clinton’s remarks were from September 13 in Morocco. The ad ends with the camera fixed on the official seal of the United States of America.

In other action taken by the US government on Thursday, all US citizens were warned to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan until further notice.  American consulates throughout Pakistan have been closed to the public all week.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

34 COMMENTS

  1. It is really difficult for me to wrap my brain around this effort by the Obama administration. Have they lost all self respect? Are they running in fear for their lives? Beyond that, it is a bald faced lie, which it why it was broadcast abroad rather than here, where it would be immediately recognized as such. Of course there are no Muslim riots happening hear in the land of cushy comfort.

    The film itself is not even of a quality worth mentioning. The statements merely give it more advertising. I didn't see any presidents condemning "The Last Temptation of Christ," but then they probably weren't trembling over the prospect of Catholics rioting in the streets. There have also been films belittling Judaism, again no Presidential pleas for calm in the Jewish populations of America or Israel.

    The Harry Potter allusion was a good'un, but it reminds me of a line from one of my grandson's favorite movies, "Marv, we been scammed by a kindergartner," and that also shows the level of intellectual acumen, and prowess exhibited by our fearless leaders…nada.

  2. I can't believe that anyone would object to this. The video is hate propaganda and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the President and Secretary of State condemning religious bigotry. Furthermore, support from Pakistan, a country where the US was widely hated even before we violated their sovereignty to kill Osama bin Laden, is essential to the safety of the sixty thousand US soldiers still in Afghanistan. The US has for decades created propaganda to attempt to move public opinion around the world and this is no different.

  3. Gee chuckie,…and not one condemnation by you or the "g-d in his own mind' about the DAILY attacks on Jews and JUdaism in the islamic media. Why is that chuckie?? I wholeheartedly object to the continued apologetics tour of the "g-d in his own mind" to appease terrorists. Maybe it is time for Jews and Christians to raise the responses a notch and react the same way when we are talked about. Do you really think messiah barack would apologize and demand an end of freedom of speech then chuckie? Well, we know he won't and neither will you!

  4. and not one condemnation the "g-d in his own mind' about the DAILY attacks on Jews and Judaism in the islamic media. Why is that? I wholeheartedly object to the continued apologetics tour of the "g-d in his own mind" to appease terrorists. Maybe it is time for Jews and Christians to raise the responses a notch and react the same way when we are talked about. Do you really think messiah barack would apologize and demand an end of freedom of speech then? Well, we know he won't and neither will any of his lemmings!

  5. Spin it as a true obamaton c huckie. ALL obama ever does when confronted with terrorism via islam is obfuscate and apologize. Even during his appearance on Spanish TV yesterday – he REFUSED to term the benghazi massacre an act of terrorism. FACT is it's ok when Jews are attacked violently by the islamists, but posting facts about islam is – by you and chairman barack – inherently offensive. Keep drinking the hallal kool aid. And you don't have to use the terms "I'm sorry" to be an apologist. chairman barack routinely uses the terms "America is wrong" when speaking to islamist audiences – as he did in Cairo. Apologies, by any other words, are still apologies. If the islamists are so upset with US beliefs and our beloved FREEDOM OF SPEECH that they and the "g-d in his own mind" object to so strenuously, they should then – as a matter of conscience – refuse to accept the tens of billions of US TAXPAYER DOLLARS the chairman signs over so freely (and more promised when they kill Americans)

  6. Their little speech accomplishes absolutely nothing in that regard. The lie is in the statement that Americans are against religious intolerance, and the implicit promise that the U. S. President and Secretary of State are ready and willing to condemn every nonsensical youtube event that belittles the founders of the Heinz 67 varieties of religion that could be attacked in this way. If the 60,000 troops and their Generals, Colonels, and on down, cannot formulate a plan in their own defense, this little speech won't accomplish your stated goal. It only appears to make the U. S. appear to be groveling in appeasement.

  7. @Chuckie: We are ALREADY invading pakistan with daily drone strikes. It is one of several wars STARTED by the chairman:Pakistan; Libya;Central Africa Republic; Somalia; Mexico; and soon Cairo. We should immediately cease ALL funding to countries that exploit our good will. Pakistan gets $7billion a year; iraq billions'egypt billions. Even Hezbollah gets $100million a year since the reign of the profit barack began. Shut the spigot!! And the President NEVER condemned terrorist attacks since he doesn't believe "terrorism" exists. And he has NEVER apologized to the Jews for any attacks or murders. Spin it anyway you want chuckie: chairman barack is simply a product of chicago thug politics resulting in a carpet bagging race baiting opportunist who doesn't care who dies (ie: the four murdered by him in Benghazi) as long as he strives in his goal to be the first "President for life" in the US.

  8. Gil Gilman One thong overlooked: While chuckie and his ilk doubled down alleging it was by an "Israeli and 100 Jew financiers" fact remains who had the most to gain from the video? The MB and salafisst!

  9. It does not do any further damage, and is worth it if it is to save a single soldier's life as long as out also accompanies strong language towards terrorist who attack civilians and US personnel & diplomats. In general there is a lack of appropriate balance with this administration, as it is reflected in their attitude towards Israel. They took us back over 30 years to Carterian times. Unfortunately the guy running against him is no Reagan. Sigh.

  10. Chuck, this is about free speech. Obama or Hillary have no right to make apologies about this film. Nothing I saw contradicted anything in the hadiths or the Koran. Yes, it's amateurish. Yes, it is vile but only because it accurately conveys the character of Mohamed.
    The name of the place where work creates a delightful irony juxtaposed with your comment.

  11. Charlie Hall Carter not hositle? Recheck your facts. He, like chairman barack, used their VPs as the attack dogs. BOTTOM LINE: the VPs do nothing without the presidents' approval. Don't rewrite history

  12. In the US, they are issued daily. Here, by the kapos and anti-Jews; on open media like CNN and NBC; in the NY times written by their publishers. Nope, no problem with canards…..although perhaps we Jews should burn down a mosque the next time one is issued and let's see how the chairman abd his band of lemming stay quiet. It's call FREEDOM OF SPEECH! And the muslims will not be the only ones exempt from being subjected to it. But then, they can always fight back and refuse US TAXPAYER funding. How's that for a compromise?

  13. why does obama apologize to the muslims about this video, yet He never asks for an apology, when the Christian churches are ravaged and Bibles burned. He seeems to favour the muslims or is afraid of them.

  14. Since before Obama was elected I have thought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were a mistake. Neither Washington or the Pentagon knew, understood or acknowledged who was the enemy and, to this day, that willful ignorance persists. Al Quaeda was the face, a relatively small faction, of that segment of the Muslim population that follows the ancient, traditional, inviolable interpretations of the Quran. It may be a small segment in percentage terms but even 5%, probably a very low estimate, of 2.1 billion is about 100 million, not an insignificant number by any measure.

    One could irrelevantly conclude that 'W' may or may not have eventually reached this conclusion but it should now be obvious that Obama and his entire administration, especially including the Secretary of State, have doubled down and actively suppressed even the consideration of this fact. We've got "man caused disasters" and "workplace violence" and all reference to Islamic terrorism purged from released documentation that attempt to describe these acts of obvious Islamic terrorism. Since when do ordinary criminals or violent extremists shout “Allahu Akbar”, “death to Israel” and “death to America” during the commission of acts of violence. Name one other sect, organization or political cult, not affiliated with Islam, guilty of shouting these chants during the commission of violent acts. Yet, as so often is the case, heard time and time again, it goes unremarked, even among the majority of an equally, willfully blind and complicit press, and any suggestion of a connection is met with loud, public accusations of Islamophobia usually initiated by the representatives of the Islamic community; CAIR, ISNA, IIIT, MSA, MAS, etc., experts at portraying Muslims as the victims in every instance.

    These shameful statements by Hilary R. Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama are gross acts of appeasement in a lopsided effort to appease Muslims, no matter how humiliating, weak, deferential and apologetic the effort or how obviously diametric to the cavalier treatment of all other religions and will only inspire more of the same as the Muslim world revels in its ability to humiliate a toothless tiger. Any American, regardless of political, racial or religious affiliation or preference, should be ashamed for their country in the face of this obsequious spectacle.

  15. Arie Rosenrauch "In the US, they are issued daily. Here, by the kapos and anti-Jews; on open media like CNN and NBC; in the NY times written by their publishers."

    You've just defamed the memory of the victims of actual blood libels. You really are a case!

  16. It is really difficult for me to wrap my brain around this effort by the Obama administration. Have they lost all self respect? Are they running in fear for their lives? Beyond that, it is a bald faced lie, which it why it was broadcast abroad rather than here, where it would be immediately recognized as such. Of course there are no Muslim riots happening hear in the land of cushy comfort.

    The film itself is not even of a quality worth mentioning. The statements merely give it more advertising. I didn’t see any presidents condemning “The Last Temptation of Christ,” but then they probably weren’t trembling over the prospect of Catholics rioting in the streets. There have also been films belittling Judaism, again no Presidential pleas for calm in the Jewish populations of America or Israel.

    The Harry Potter allusion was a good’un, but it reminds me of a line from one of my grandson’s favorite movies, “Marv, we been scammed by a kindergartner,” and that also shows the level of intellectual acumen, and prowess exhibited by our fearless leaders…nada.

  17. I can’t believe that anyone would object to this. The video is hate propaganda and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the President and Secretary of State condemning religious bigotry. Furthermore, support from Pakistan, a country where the US was widely hated even before we violated their sovereignty to kill Osama bin Laden, is essential to the safety of the sixty thousand US soldiers still in Afghanistan. The US has for decades created propaganda to attempt to move public opinion around the world and this is no different.

  18. and not one condemnation the “g-d in his own mind’ about the DAILY attacks on Jews and Judaism in the islamic media. Why is that? I wholeheartedly object to the continued apologetics tour of the “g-d in his own mind” to appease terrorists. Maybe it is time for Jews and Christians to raise the responses a notch and react the same way when we are talked about. Do you really think messiah barack would apologize and demand an end of freedom of speech then? Well, we know he won’t and neither will any of his lemmings!

  19. Since before Obama was elected I have thought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were a mistake. Neither Washington or the Pentagon knew, understood or acknowledged who was the enemy and, to this day, that willful ignorance persists. Al Quaeda was the face, a relatively small faction, of that segment of the Muslim population that follows the ancient, traditional, inviolable interpretations of the Quran. It may be a small segment in percentage terms but even 5%, probably a very low estimate, of 2.1 billion is about 100 million, not an insignificant number by any measure.

    One could irrelevantly conclude that ‘W’ may or may not have eventually reached this conclusion but it should now be obvious that Obama and his entire administration, especially including the Secretary of State, have doubled down and actively suppressed even the consideration of this fact. We’ve got “man caused disasters” and “workplace violence” and all reference to Islamic terrorism purged from released documentation that attempt to describe these acts of obvious Islamic terrorism. Since when do ordinary criminals or violent extremists shout “Allahu Akbar”, “death to Israel” and “death to America” during the commission of acts of violence. Name one other sect, organization or political cult, not affiliated with Islam, guilty of shouting these chants during the commission of violent acts. Yet, as so often is the case, heard time and time again, it goes unremarked, even among the majority of an equally, willfully blind and complicit press, and any suggestion of a connection is met with loud, public accusations of Islamophobia usually initiated by the representatives of the Islamic community; CAIR, ISNA, IIIT, MSA, MAS, etc., experts at portraying Muslims as the victims in every instance.

    These shameful statements by Hilary R. Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama are gross acts of appeasement in a lopsided effort to appease Muslims, no matter how humiliating, weak, deferential and apologetic the effort or how obviously diametric to the cavalier treatment of all other religions and will only inspire more of the same as the Muslim world revels in its ability to humiliate a toothless tiger. Any American, regardless of political, racial or religious affiliation or preference, should be ashamed for their country in the face of this obsequious spectacle.

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