On Fox News, Charles Krauthammer suggested that “under other presidents, particularly Bush,” there was “no storming of the U.S. embassy in Cairo.” In fact, there were seven attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates during the Bush years, and numerous other such attacks have happened under recent presidents.
Krauthammer Implied Attack On Cairo Embassy Is Historically Unique
Krauthammer Suggested That “Under Other Presidents, Particularly Bush,” “There Was No Storming Of The U.S. Embassy In Cairo.” During the September 13 edition of Fox News' Special Report, as images related to the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo played, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said: “What we're seeing on the screen is the meltdown, the collapse of the Obama policy on the Muslim world.” He continued:
KRAUTHAMMER: The irony is that it began in Cairo, in the same place where the speech he made at the beginning of his presidency in which he said he wanted a new beginning with mutual respect, implying that under other presidents, particularly Bush, there was a lack of mutual respect, which was an insult to the United States, which had gone to war six times in the last 20 years on behalf of oppressed Muslims in Kuwait, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
So to imply that we somehow had mistreated Muslims, which was the premise of his speech, and how the Iraq war had inflamed the Arab world against us -- well, there was no storming of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo in those days.
What we're seeing now is an Al Qaeda stand developing in Libya, a meltdown of our relations with Egypt. We've got riots in Yemen, attacks on our embassy in Tunisia. This entire premise that we want to be loved and respected, we're going to apologize, has now yielded all of these results, and these are the fruits of apology and retreat and lack of confidence in our own principles. [Fox News, Special Report, 9/13/12]
But Seven U.S. Embassies And Consulates Were Attacked Under George W. Bush
2002: U.S. Consulate In Karachi, Pakistan, Attacked; 10 Killed, 51 Injured. From a June 15, 2002, Chicago Tribune article:
Police cordoned off a large area around the U.S. Consulate late Friday and began combing through the carnage and debris for clues after a car explosion killed at least 10 people, injured 51 others and left Pakistan's largest city bleeding from yet another terrorist atrocity.
No Americans were among the dead, and only six of the injured were inside the consulate compound at the time of the blast Friday morning. One Pakistani police officer on guard outside the building was among the dead, but many of those killed were pedestrians or motorists in the area at the time of the explosion.
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad reported that five Pakistani consular employees and a Marine guard were slightly wounded by flying debris.
Suspicion for the attack immediately fell on Islamic militants known to be active in Karachi. [Chicago Tribune, 6/15/02, via Nexis]
2004: U.S. Embassy Bombed In Uzbekistan. From a July 31, 2004, Los Angeles Times article:
Suicide bombers on Friday struck the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan, killing two local guards and injuring at least nine others in the second wave of attacks this year against a key U.S. ally during the war in Afghanistan.
The prosecutor general's office also was hit in the coordinated afternoon attacks in the capital city of Tashkent. It sustained more damage than either of the embassies, where guards prevented bombers from entering.
The attacks came as 15 Muslim militants linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist network went on trial in a series of bombings and other assaults in March that killed 47 people.
The explosions Friday caused relatively little physical damage but rattled a country in which the U.S. has maintained an air base crucial to the battle against Islamic militants in neighboring Afghanistan. [Los Angeles Times, 7/31/04, via Nexis]
2004: Gunmen Stormed U.S. Consulate In Saudi Arabia. From a December 6, 2004, New York Times article:
A group of attackers stormed the American Consulate in the Saudi Arabian city of Jidda today, using explosives at the gates to breach the outer wall and enter the compound, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement. At least eight people were killed in the incident, in which guards and Saudi security forces confronted the group, according to the ministry and news agencies.
Three of the attackers were killed. Five non-American employees were killed, an American embassy spokesman, Carol Kalin, told Reuters. She declined to provide the nationality of those killed, but said they were members of the consulate staff.
Reuters reported that Saudi security officials said four of their men also died in the incident, which would bring the death toll to 12. [The New York Times, 12/6/04]
2006: Armed Men Attacked U.S. Embassy In Syria. From a September 13, 2006, Washington Post article:
Four armed men attacked the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday, killing one Syrian security guard and wounding several people in what authorities said was an attempt by Islamic guerrillas to storm the diplomatic compound.
Just after 10 a.m., gunmen yelling " Allahu akbar " -- “God is great” -- opened fire on the Syrian security officers who guard the outside of the embassy in Damascus's Rawda district, witnesses said. The attackers threw grenades at the compound, according to witnesses, and shot at the guards with assault rifles during the 15- to 20-minute clash, which left three of the gunmen dead and the fourth reportedly wounded. [The Washington Post, 9/13/06]
2007: Grenade Launched Into U.S. Embassy In Athens. From The New York Times:
An antitank grenade was fired into the heavily fortified American Embassy here just before dawn today. The building was empty, but the attack underscored deep anti-American sentiment here and revived fears of a new round of homegrown terror.
Greek officials said they doubted the attack was the work of foreign or Islamic terrorists, but rather that of regrouped extreme leftists aiming at a specific, symbolic target: a huge American seal, of a double-headed eagle against a blue background, affixed to the front of the boxy, modern embassy near downtown. [The New York Times, 1/12/07]
2008: Rioters Set Fire To U.S. Embassy In Serbia. From The New York Times:
Demonstrators attacked the U.S. Embassy here and set part of it ablaze Thursday as tens of thousands of angry Serbs took to the streets of Belgrade to protest Kosovo's declaration of independence.
Witnesses said that at least 300 rioters broke into the embassy and torched some of its rooms. One protester was able to rip the American flag from the facade of the building. An estimated 1,000 demonstrators cheered as the vandals, some wearing masks to conceal their faces, jumped onto the building's balcony waving a Serbian flag and chanting “Serbia, Serbia!” the witnesses said. A convoy of police officers firing tear gas was able to disperse the crowd. [The New York Times, 2/21/08]
2008: Ten People Killed In Bombings At U.S. Embassy In Yemen. From The New York Times:
Militants disguised as soldiers detonated two car bombs outside the United States Embassy compound in Sana, Yemen, on Wednesday morning, killing 16 people, including 6 of the attackers, Yemeni officials said.
No American officials or embassy employees were killed or wounded, embassy officials said. Six of the dead were Yemeni guards at the compound entrance, and the other four killed were civilians waiting to be allowed in.
It was the deadliest and most ambitious attack in years in Yemen, a poor south Arabian country of 23 million people where militants aligned with Al Qaeda have carried out a number of recent bombings. [The New York Times, 9/17/08]
And Attacks On Embassies And Consulates Happened Under Other Previous Presidents
1979: Iranians Seized Hostages After Storming U.S. Embassy In Tehran. From a November 6, 1979, Washington Post article:
The United States yesterday firmly rejected Iranian demands for the extradition of deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and insisted on the safe release of the approximately 60 Americans held prisoner at the occupied U.S. embassy in Tehran.
But U.S. officials said privately there is no sign of a break in the impasse caused by the decision of Iran's ruling powers to condone making U.S. diplomats physical hostages to their demands.
The United States, the officials said, is facing a situation in which the Iranian government is unwilling or unable to honor the norms of international law and diplomacy.
That situation, the officials added, has created grave obstacles to solving both the immediate problem of securing the hostages' release and the longer-range question of future U.S. relations with a country whose oil wealth and strategic geographic position are potentially major factors in maintaining world peace and stability. [The Washington Post, 11/6/79, via Nexis]
1979: Pakistanis Attacked And Burned U.S. Embassy In Islamabad. From a November 22, 1979, Washington Post article:
Thousands of Pakistanis, inflamed by rumors that the United States had invaded Mecca, burned the U.S. Embassy here, trapping about 100 Americans and embassy employes [sic] for five hours in the heavily secured top-floor code room. One Marine guard was shot and killed during the attack.
With the brick embassy building burning around them, the employes [sic], who had gathered in an upper floor room, escaped tonight through a steel hatch to the roof. Pakistani Army troops had just cleared the roof of demonstrators, who had been firing rifles down the ventilator shafts.
The burning of the embassy, still blazing at midnight, was the worst episode in a wave of anti-American violence that swept through Pakistan today.
Mobs attacked the consulate in Karachi, destroyed the American Library in Lahore and burned the American Center and British library in Rawalpindi. The Amrican [sic] Library in Hyderabad was reported to be “in trouble.” The Bank of America office in Islamabad was also set on fire. [The Washington Post, 11/21/79, via Nexis]
1979: U.S. Embassy In Tripoli Was Attacked And Burned. From a December 3, 1979, Washington Post article:
An estimated 2,000 Libyans chanting support for Iran marched on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli early yesterday then broke down the door and set fire to furniture as 14 Americans and others inside escaped unharmed through a side door.
The mission was the third U.S. Embassy in a Moslem country to be invaded in less than a month, following the Nov. 4 seizure in Tehran and an attack that destroyed the embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 22.
State Department spokesman said the first floor of the four-story building was “destroyed” by fire, and the second floor was “damaged.” They said Libyan authorities had made no attempt to disperse the demonstrators or protect the mission despite repeated appeals by embassy officials during the hour-long attack. [The Washington Post, 12/3/79, via Nexis]
1983: Bomb Blast At U.S. Embassy In Beirut Killed More Than 60, Including 17 Americans. From an ABC News article on the 25th anniversary of the April 18, 1983, bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon:
Beirut was arguably the most dangerous city in the world. Car bombs inside the city were common, and extremist elements plotted in the nearby Bekaa Valley.
It was exactly 25 years ago today that a bomber detonated 2,000 lbs. of explosives in front of the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon and killed more than 60 people, including 17 Americans. Forty-four people inside the embassy survived.
Among them was the man who leads the U.S. Embassy in what is now considered the most dangerous place for American diplomats: Baghdad. Ambassador Ryan Crocker was serving as a political officer in Beirut and survived the blast.
It was at the time the deadliest terror attack on Americans abroad; six months later another bomber killed 241 in an attack on the U.S. Marine barracks near the Beirut airport. [ABC News, 4/18/07]
1983: Car Bomb Damaged U.S. Embassy In Kuwait. From a December 12, 1983, New York Times article:
Bombs exploded outside the United States Embassy in Kuwait, a residential complex used by Americans and other foreign personel [sic] and at the airport there early this morning, the State Department said.
There were conflicting reports on the number of deaths and extent of injuries, but a State Department spokesman said that ''to the best of our knowledge'' no Americans were injured.
Initial reports said that a number of people had been killed at both locations and that there was great damage at both the embassy and the airport, where the control tower was destroyed.
Diplomatic sources were reported as saying that the explosion at the residential complex was near the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the outskirts of the town.
The spokesman, Brian Carlson, said the damage to the embassy from the explosion at 9:40 A.M., Kuwait time (1:40 A.M., New York time) was ''extensive.''
Two people were killed and 20 injured, according to the Associated Press. Reuters said there were heavy casualties at the embassy and at least one death at the airport caused by the explosions. [The New York Times, 12/12/83, via Nexis]
1987: Car Bomb Exploded Outside U.S. Embassy In Italy. From a June 9, 1987, Associated Press article:
A car bomb shattered windows and set fire to parked cars near the U.S. Embassy today, and bombs exploded on the grounds of the U.S. and British embassies. An anonymous caller linked the attacks to the seven-power summit in Venice.
A woman who was near the car that blew up was hospitalized for shock, police said. There were no other reported injuries.
A caller to a news service in London claimed that the attacks were the work of the Anti-Imperialist International Brigade. The man, who spoke English with a slight accent, said the bombings proved “that the revolutionary will is stronger than the high security measures taken for the protection of the so-called seven giants of the world.” [Associated Press, 6/9/87, via Nexis]
GEORGE H.W. BUSH
1990: Palestinian Guerrillas Attempted To Attack U.S. Embassy In Tel Aviv. From a June 21, 1990, New York Times article:
Israel's new Police Minister said today that an investigation had found that the Palestinian guerrillas who tried to assault a Tel Aviv beach last month actually intended to attack the American Embassy.
Several guerrillas were captured in the attempted attack, which prompted President Bush to suspend the American discussion with the Palestine Liberation Organization today until the organization clearly disavowed the attack.
This afternoon the Police Minister, Roni Milo, said, ''After the capture of the terrorists, it's clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that one of the targets of the P.L.O. terrorists was the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv,'' which is on the beach front. [The New York Times, 6/21/90]
1998: Terrorist Bombs Near U.S. Embassies In Kenya, Tanzania Injured More Than 1,000 And Killed More Than 60, Including Eight Americans. From an August 7, 1998, Associated Press article:
Terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart outside the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania Friday, turning buildings into mountains of shattered concrete and leaving burning hulks of buses and cars. More than 67 people were killed and 1,100 injured, officials said.
At least eight Americans were among the dead in Kenya and seven more were missing, U.S. Embassy spokesman Chris Scharf said. In Washington, a State Department official could confirm only six dead, but said there may be more.There were no immediate claims of responsibility. [Associated Press, 8/7/98]