September 11, 2012, is a sad day for the United States. The mob attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the death of four American diplomats, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, is a tragedy.
As the United States mourns these deaths, there are many questions with few answers. Protests are spreading through the Muslim world against the anti-Islamic documentary made in the United States of which our government has no involvement. There are many layers of issues involved with this attack and other protests, but my focus will be that of the protection of diplomats.
Anytime an American is killed overseas, concerns about safety arise, particularly with our diplomats. They are representatives who serve as the eyes and ears of the visiting country. They act on behalf of their home country to solve international issues. They are the fuel for international relations. Without their service, the whole foreign policy machine would not function properly.
Historically, personal protection for diplomats has been viewed as a fundamental principle from which all diplomatic privileges and immunities have evolved. This principle was codified in Article 29 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.