Defense of embassies

I gather from events that heavy machine-gun fire isn’t allowed in defense of an embassy. Why not exactly?

For one thing, it would likely result in the host country deciding to hell with diplomatic privilege and using artillery to reduce the embassy to rubble. How would America react if a foreign embassy machinegunned American citizens, regardless of the provocation?

I’m getting a little bit annoyed by several of the news and reports of this incident, the ambassador was killed at the **consulate **in Benghazi. Not the embassy, the embassy located in Tripoli was better protected and armed and was not invaded even though it is located in the area that contains the most people opposed to the revolution.

Consulates are less secure affairs and considering the history of the insurrection, Benghazi was deemed to be safer than the capital city. That was wrong, and I wonder if the perpetrators knew that the ambassador was in the least secure of the USA compounds, I still have my doubts that in the Libya case it was all due to protests from a movie.

It’s not that it’s not allowed – it’s generally not safe. Embassies --and consulates – are usually office buildings in residential neighborhoods. They aren’t armored camps.

Stop bothering us with the facts.

They had it coming, assuming the americans were shot inside the foreign embassy.

Wouldn’t machine guns be a poor choice for use inside an embassy (or consulate) anyway?

…because that would be a stupid idea. Do you think the Syrian Embassy should be allowed heavy machine gun defenses? Or would it be a right reserved for US embassy’s abroad only?

Ignorance fought, thank you.

When the Libyan embassy did this in the UK in the 1980s diplomatic relations were broken off but the diplomats (including presumably the perpetrator) were allowed to leave the country.

In the 1984 London incident, the Libyans shot into a group of peaceful protesters that had gathered outside the embassy (or the “people’s bureau”, as they actually called it). An English policewoman was killed.

There was no danger for the embassy whatsoever, the Libyans were simply annoyed by the protesters.

Nitpick: The host nation can presumably use whatever weapons in defense of an embassy (or consulate) that its domestic law permits.

What does “Sharia” law say about self-defense? Is a Christian or Jew allowed to use deadly force to protect himself from a mob of raving lunatics?

Also in the London incident Libya made it pretty clear some 12 British diplomatic staffers in Libya would not be coming home if the UK didn’t allow the Libyans out of the country. The UK did end up kicking Libya’s entire diplomatic corps and closing the embassy afterward…don’t know if they ever re-established formal diplomatic relations during Qaddafi’s regime.

But Embassies aren’t generally designed to be fortresses, even a heavy machine guns won’t change the fact embassies are staffed by relatively small numbers of trained soldiers and are deep in another country’s territory. If they’re serious about getting inside, they’re getting inside.

The new American Embassy in Iraq on the other hand was apparently built as a military installation in many respects, and could probably withstand a relatively determined attack. But for practicality and diplomatic purposes America wouldn’t be permitted to build an embassy that size in most countries.