“innocence of Muslims” inflames countries

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor in Chief

The late U.S Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens is seen dring an interview with a team of Libya Hurra TV., July 4, 2012. Photo courtesy of MCTCampus.com


A film released online over the summer has set the world afire in recent months. “The Innocence of Muslims” film, which portrays the prophet Muhammad as a womanizing child abuser, has sent countries around the world into an uproar, resulting in deaths, most notably that of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, former Navy SEAL’s Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Air Force veteran Sean Smith.


The global death toll as of Sept. 24 reached a total of 51.

ansfer cases are carried into a hangar during the Transfer of Remains Ceremony marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya, at Joint Base Andrews, Friday, September 14, 2012.
Photo courtesy of MCTCampus.com

The backlash of the film reached its precipice on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks when militants attacked the lightly defended U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and protesters stormed the embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

As anti-Western protests continued in the Middle East, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been speaking with leaders of those countries to lessen the blow.

The response from these leaders has been mixed.

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, he denounced the film but spoke for the solution to be in a human atmosphere, as “we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason, anywhere in the world.”

Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, a Pakistan government minster has personally offered a $100,000 reward for the death of the director of the film. He said that he has invited the Taliban and al-Qaida to carry out the attacks, as well as making clear he was speaking for himself, not for the Pakistani government and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf condemned the bounty offer.

The repercussions have been felt outside the political world. The Iranian culture minister has said his country would be boycotting this year’s Academy Awards. Iran won an Oscar in the foreign film category at the event in February 2012, the first for Iran, and the minister said they would not put forth an entry to the category for the 2013 ceremony.

Internet users have also reported Google blackouts in Tehran and other Iranian cities over the Sept. 21 weekend, after Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, a member of the body responsible for Internet oversight, reported they would block use to Google, who owns YouTube, where the video was posted.


By 15th Street News Posted in Features Tagged Black Outs, Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Google, iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad, Libya, , Sean Smith, The Innocence of Muslims, Tyrone Woods,

U.S. Rep. Cole sees 20112 presidential election as a referendum on Obama

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-Chief

On March 13, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole met with members of the Student Senate to field questions relating to the political season and government policy.

Cole talked about the President’s tax plan. “People will be waiting on the election,” Cole said, “The winner will determine the course for this country.”

No one wants to make any sweeping changes in Washington, until after the election, resulting in what is known as a “lame duck” Congress.

“The lame duck session is sort of like the Mayan calendar,” Cole said, “Everything’s coming to a head in 2012.” The Bush tax cuts are among the policies ending this year.

Slashing spending across the board

The reduction of spending has been a focus of Congress in recent years. Their goal was to cut $2.2 trillion in spending by the end of 2011. Having succeeded in cutting only $1 trillion, the remaining amount will be cut from all departments.

“If you care about the military, these cuts will be enormous,” Cole said. Between cuts this year and last year, the military will have sustained $1 trillion in reduced spending. These cuts are an attempt to reduce the impact of the stimulus package passed in 2009.

Political Predictions

Cole talked about the political season, with Obama being the de facto Democratic nomination, and the Republicans deciding between Romney, Gingrich or Santorum.

“It’s going to be a very close presidential election,” Cole said, “People forget that it was also close last time with 46 percent of the vote going to McCain.” As it is with most elections, it all comes down to the swing states.

The presidential election is not the only hotly contested race. “The Senate’s going to be close,” Cole said, “Control will be split 51/49 percent either way.” Cole felt more confident about the Republicans retaining control of the House. “It’s unlikely the House will shift control,” Cole said.

In this presidential election, Cole acknowledges an edge for the incumbent. “I would make President Obama the favorite,” Cole said, “The election will be close, but favor Obama.”

Cole emphasized what was at stake this year. “This is probably the most important election in America since 1980,” Cole said,” I really think it will be that important.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole addresses RSC students in an open forum format. Photo by Logan Pierce

Questions from the Senate
Following these remarks, Cole took questions from the Student Senate and guests.
Maryann Scroggins, student senator, asked, “Who would you like to see be the Republican nominee?” “All the guys who didn’t run,” Cole said, eliciting laughter from the crowd, “I didn’t endorse anyone, but Romney has the edge.”

Win or lose, the outcome of the 2012 election will be a referendum on Obama. “If America thinks the president has done a good job, he’ll get reelected,” Cole said.

One question Cole answered pertained to Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony, with students wanting to know if Washington planned to step in.

Cole said that America is doing things to help, but can always do more. Broadening the topic to foreign aid in general, Cole discussed U.S. relations with the Middle East. “We give money to places like Egypt and Israel to prevent war,” Cole said. As high as gas prices are now, unrest in the Middle East will only continue to drive the price up.

Not holding Obama’s energy policies in high esteem, Cole cites that the administration is hostile toward oil and natural gas production. “When you’ve got energy secretary Chu saying ‘higher gas prices are a good thing,’ the opposition remembers comments like that,” Cole said.

When asked which of today’s issues will have the biggest impact on future generations, Cole replied excessive long-term spending. “We’re going to spend you guys into bankruptcy unless we come to grips with this.” The Student Senate meets Tuesdays at 2 p.m. in SC 123.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Bush tax cuts, Egypt, energy secretary Chu, Gingrich, Israel, Joseph Kony, lame duck, Mayan calendar, McCain, , President Obama, , Santorum, stimulus package, , , Tom Cole

New Years Revolutions 2011

People around the world make New Year’s resolutions at the close of each year. In December of 2010, the Middle East set a course of New Year’s revolutions, which directly affected more than 15 different countries in that region throughout 2011. While not desirable, history has shown time and again that revolution is essential to the preservation of freedom and liberty.

Arab Spring forward, regimes fall back

What came to be known as the “Arab Spring”, resulted in protests throughout the Middle East; with revolutions occurred in both Tunisia and Egypt and a bloody civil war in Libya, all of which resulted in the fall of their respective governments.

While these three countries are considered “success stories” of the Arab Spring, other countries that saw civil uprisings, such as Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, are still unstable.

Major protests occurred in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, with minor protests occurring in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Western Sahara.

Taking it to the streets

Inspired in part by the Arab Spring, American protestors took to the streets, specifically Wall Street. Beginning in September, Occupy Wall Street protests occurred from coast to coast.

Do people have a right to be angry in this country? Yes. But if changes need to be made, as many believe they do, then let those changes be made through the proper channels. Some will decry and say, “The system is broken. What other recourse do we have?” Things must be kept in perspective.

Say what you will about America, but right now a whole section of the world is engaged in a bloody revolution to eke out a standard of living which will still be leagues below what the average American takes for granted. What constitutes poverty in this country compared to the rest of the world is laughable.

For many, 2011 will be remembered as the year of revolution. The world needs to change, but it has to start with us; how we live our lives and how we treat others. Let us make 2012 the year in which resolutions are remembered. We are nothing but the promises we keep.

Remembering 9/11 one decade later

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Another attack is believed to have been coordinated on either the Capitol Building or the White House; the location is unknown, because the passengers aboard Flight 93 managed to overtake the hijackers and foil the attack, at the cost of their lives. The overall casualty count of the attacks was nearly 3,000 people, a vast majority of those being in the World Trade Center. The loss of such a large, not to mention iconic, amount of office space and the eventual loss of more structures surrounding the towers caused economic damage in Lower Manhattan. Firefighters that responded to the attack were subject to large amount of smoke inhalation, which caused many adverse health effects on those who survived. Initially al-Qaeda denied any involvement, but later claimed that U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, support of Israel, and sanctions against Iraq were the reasons for the attack. In 2003, the War on Terror began. After the invasion, the Iraqi government and military crumbled, marked symbolically by the tearing down of a statue of Saddam Hussein. The subsequent manhunt for Hussein lasted nearly a year, ending in December 2003 with the dictator’s capture. He was turned over and tried by the interim government of Iraq.  Although challenges were posed by the defense, the trial ended with Saddam Hussein being found guilty of multiple counts of crimes against humanity, and sentenced to death. He was hanged December 2006. Throughout this time, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden continued, without much result. It would be the year of the 10th anniversary that he would be found and killed in a compound near Abbottabad, Pakistan. Throughout three presidential administrations he had been number one on America’s Most Wanted List, with a $25 million dollar bounty on his head.

A flag containing all the names of the people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks hangs in remembrance at the 9/11 chapel at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo courtesy of mctcampus.com)

Many of us may only vaguely remember the events that sparked the War on Terror. I remember sitting in front of my TV with my family, watching everything unfold in front of us. Later that year, a large amount of bomb threats were issued across the country, creating a feeling of mass paranoia. There was the announcement of war, and then that infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner aboard a U.S. ship. We never found the weapons of mass destruction that served as the reason for invading Iraq, and al-Qaeda acts like a hydra. Cut off one head, there’s another waiting to take its place. We have helped Iraq transition into a democratic government, trained and worked alongside their military in keeping Iraq stable, and assisted Afghanistan in their efforts against the Taliban. At this point, it’s time to call it good. While there has been more attempted terrorism, our security and knowledge of the signs has proven to be our best defense. Hussein is dead. Bin Laden is dead. It’s been 10 years. It’s time to bring the troops home.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial, News Tagged 10 year anniversary, 11th, al- Qaeda, , mission accomplished, Most Wanted List, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Taliban, war on terror