To hear Republicans explain it, the protests at US embassies around the world and the attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead are a result of the Obama administration "projecting weakness."
"When we project weakness abroad, our enemies are more willing to test us, they are more brazen and our allies are less willing to trust us," said vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan at an event in Colorado last week. "[T]hat will not happen under a Mitt Romney administration because we believe in peace through strength." Ryan was referring to potential defense cuts, so if Al Qaeda pays enough attention to American budget politics to base its strikes on funding cuts then they probably know Ryan projected weakness by voting for them in the first place. Romney adviser Richard Williamson went so far as to suggest to the Washington Post last month that under a President Romney, no protesters would dare defile an American embassy. "In Egypt and Libya and Yemen, again demonstrations—the respect for America has gone down, there's not a sense of American resolve and we can't even protect sovereign American property," he said.
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