A scramble in the next room yesterday evening and then freeze-frame motion as Baby and Tiny move in on Tuck's belt sander, where their terrified quarry had found temporary asylum.
"The French newspaper that set off Muslim riots this week by republishing Danish editorial cartoons implying a connection between Islam’s founder and modern acts of terror, announced today it had reached a negotiated settlement with a leading Islamic group to end the controversy which has sparked boycotts, violence, gunfire and hostage-takings," writes Scott Ott of Scrappleface. Straight reportage or satire? It's hard to tell:
We should not have portrayed this peaceful religion, or its Prophet (peace be upon him), as angry, violent, or reactionary,” said an unnamed editor of the French daily from his bunker in an undisclosed location. “Starting tomorrow, we will atone for our insults to Mohammed (peace be upon him), and demonstrate that we are fair and balanced.”
Under the terms of its agreement with the group, Bond of Muslim Brotherhood, the paper will run a series of cartoons portraying Jews as “greedy deceivers who control the world from their headquarters in the territory they stole from the Palestinians.”
Meanwhile, reports The Brussels Journal, "Mullah Krekar, the alleged leader of the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam who has been living in Norway as a refugee since 1991, said that the publication of the Muhammad cartoons was a declaration of war," prompting the usual appeasers to stumble all over themselves to make nice:
Peter Mandelson, the EU Trade Commissioner, has criticized those papers which publish or republish Muhammad cartoons. According to Mr Mandelson they are "throwing petrol onto the flames of the original issue and the original offence that was taken." The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned that the decision by newspapers to republish the cartoons could encourage terrorists. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he is worried about the cartoon issue. His spokesman said that Mr Annan believes freedom of expression should always be used with respect for religion.
Taking our cue from Sherif Ali's "Truly, for some men nothing is written unless THEY write it" in "Lawrence of Arabia," we decided to tempt fate by playing God. Plucking the sander from under the predators' noses, we lifted the towel, and sure enough, there was the prospective prey, cowering within. While the Chelsea Grays were still sniffing around the place on the floor where the sander had been, Tuck took the sander outside, where the tiny mouse dashed off into the night. Like Gasim, whose life Lawrence saved, only to have to shoot him later on to settle an inter-tribal dispute, the mouse will probably find its way back into the house, where Tiny and Baby will take care of unfinished business. Is it written? We've always been taken with the irony of the Howeitat Auda Abu Tayi's "Ah, it was written, then. Better to have left him."
The Brussels Journal continues:
Meanwhile the Muhammad cartoons have been published in a number of newspapers in various European countries. The BBC broadcast them in the news so that its audience would understand what the fuss is all about. The French newspaper Le Monde published its own cartoon of Muhammad on yesterday’s front page. On Wednesday the editor of the French daily France Soir, Jacques Lefranc, was fired because he had republished the Muhammad cartoons. Journalists at France Soir defended Mr Lefranc’s decision yesterday by publishing a front page and an editorial defending freedom of speech. In Tunesia and Morocco, however, the sale of France Soir has been prohibited.
The French newspaper Le Monde published its own brilliantly conceived and drawn cartoon of Muhammad on yesterday’s front page. The copy -- repeated over and over as if the artist were an unruly student required to write "I was a bad boy" on the blackboard 100 times" -- "Je ne dois pas dessiner Mahomet," translates "I must not draw Mohamamed."
The reviews are mixed on this side of the pond. Our own resolute Donald Rumsfeld roused our fighting spirit yesterday with his no-nonsense words to a National Press Club audience:
They will either succeed in changing our way of life, or we'll succeed in changing theirs.
But the State Department [via Michelle Malkin] appears to be in full appeasement mode:
The United States blasted the publication by European newspapers of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as unacceptable incitement to religious or ethnic hatred. "These cartoons are indeed offensive to the beliefs of Muslims," State Department spokesman Justin Higgins said when queried about the furore sparked by the cartoons which first appeared in a Danish newspaper.
"We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility," Higgins told AFP.
Michelle cuts to the chase:
To Denmark and the European newspapers that published the cartoons: I just want you to know that the State Department does not speak for me and countless other Americans.
The fine, broad highway to Hell that is political correctness . . . has achieved the opposite of its intent: not the universal chorus of harmony but religious conflict at its most primitive level.
As Goomp told one of our gentleman callers way back when:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Goomp wasn't born yesterday.
Update: It is written that the best collection of links to members of the red-in-tooth-and-claw community -- cats, dogs, "other vertebrates," invertebrates et al -- are now boarding the Friday Ark at Modulator.
Update II: InstaLanche! The professor comments on State Department appeasement: