Yesterday the US Ambassador to Libya was assassinated. Not long afterwards our embassy in Egypt was attacked.
Neither was provoked by the actions of the US Government.
Sadly, a small band of radicals struck us because they saw an opportunity to ignite the passions of people frustrated with the pace of progress.
Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of our country; it is a time for all of us to pause, reflect, and think before we do anything else.
We cannot give in to our enemies.
We cannot abandon our friends.
We cannot ignore our interests.
And we cannot forfeit our legitimate role in facilitating a more peaceful world.
Today all Americans must set-aside partisanship and thoughts of elections.
Today is a solemn moment for our nation.
We have been attacked, we will respond.
Ironically, these attacks came on the anniversary of 9/11. But it is critical that we understand the differences between correlation and causation.
Al Qaeda, at least by all public accounts now available, does not appear to be responsible in any way for the killing of Ambassador Stevens, the senior diplomats with him, or the assault upon the US Embassy in Egypt.
It is a time for clear-eyed thinking, not emotional or instinctive reactions.
It is an opportunity for the US to demonstrate a rational, measured response to a series of events that cannot be tolerated - to outcomes that cannot be ignored.
Let us pause today and reflect upon the path ahead. Let us support President Obama and diplomatic, military, and political actions that must come.
Let us remember that reason and restraint are not retreat, that justice - the real kind - is the result of patience, perspective, and purpose.
Let us seek out those responsible and hold them accountable, but let us not plant the seeds of a new conflict in our attempts to resolve an old one.
And let us pray for our fallen, for the wisdom of leaders on all sides, and for the men and women unfortunately caught in the middle.