How Should We Respond to Embassy Stormings?
Doug has already posted on the protests and stormings of our embassies in Libya and Egypt over the posting of a video the protesters found offensive to Islam. I’d like to ask a more pointed question than those Doug raised. How should we respond to these events?
I think that these events are very serious, indeed, and threaten the possibility of continued diplomacy with these countries. I’m open to other views but here’s what I think we should do.
I think that we should remind the host countries of their obligations under the Vienna Convention and request that they come into compliance within a reasonable timeframe, at most 24 hours. If the host countries fail to do so, we should withdraw our embassies, by force if necessary, and terminate diplomatic relations with them until such time as they have governments which will honor their obligations on responsibilities to diplomats.
I hope that other OTB editors, especially John Burgess, our resident diplomat, would chime in on this subject and update this post with their own observations.