The murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens was made more tragic by the irony that he was one of that country's biggest fans, and thoroughly committed to helping its democracy blossom.
Initially, the attack Tuesday on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which left Stevens and three other Americans dead, was believed to be a spontaneous response by Muslims to an independent film made in America that depicts the prophet Muhammad as a sexual deviate. That film was also blamed for a similar attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo; no one died in the Egyptian incident.
By Wednesday, however, Mideast experts were speculating that the two-stage Libyan attack was well planned in advance, with an initial wave designed to draw the Americans out of the consulate and a second wave in which they were exposed to a rocket-propelled grenade blast. The Cairo attack, too, experts said, might have had little to do with the anti-Muslim film and more to do with jihadists' trying to destroy the U.S. relationship with two struggling nations.