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« Respect, always. Submission, never. | Main | "Let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark" »

February 18, 2006

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"Our goal here is presumably to avoid a clash of civilizations..."

Apparently he completely missed the fact that flying airplanes into buildings and killing several thousand people IS a clash of civilizations.

Yet another reason to avoid Harvard at all costs... and I thought it was bad at the state schools where the incoming inner city kids were getting remedial math and English education!

Harvard says it's home to some of the best and brightest minds - yet this young man is unable to grasp that there is an enemy trying to kill him. I can see it now... if a terrorist walked onto campus with a bomb belt on, and the firing pin got stuck - this guy would probably stop to help him get it unstuck!

Not the kind of person I'd want to pay a small fortune in fees to sit next to in class. And I'm thinking Harvard probably doesn't offer much in the way of remedial logic classes.

As a friend and fellow blogger of Josh Patashnik, naturally I'm irked at your characterization of him, but I respect your right to that opinion. (Thanks for the link back, by the way - no such thing as bad publicity and all that.)

What gets me, both with your reasoning in particular and so much of the right's reasoning in general, is how you so easily throw out words like "enemy" and "adversary." Now, there is no doubt that we are in a war and there is an enemy (OK, a few of my radical-lefty friends doubt that, but that's beside the point). But you seem to have forgotten: Islam is not our enemy. Terrorists are our enemy. Would we fight the KKK by publishing cartoons of, I don't know, Jesus masturbating? Of course not. It might serve to start a debate about free speech among fundamentalist Christians, which would be a good thing, but it would probably not be worth the anger it would spark among the fundamentalist community, and it would do NOTHING to deter the crazy racist Klansmen. Similarly, I fail to see how these Danish cartoons are even remotely productive in the war on terror.

Hey, little guy, check out my next post, featuring Fleming Rose, culture editor of the Danish newspaper that published the cartoons that launched a thousand calls for self-censorship, in a Washington Post op ed that catches the conscience of the thing. All best.

Markus - no one said the cartoons were productive - I find them annoying... just as annoying as I found "piss Christ"... but once again you have found a way to escape logic.

The problem with your argument is that it implies without actually saying it - one of two things. Either - Islam is so delicate it can't take being ridiculed without turning into raving, murdering, lunatics... OR that because these are cartoons about the Islamic religion, they have a perfect right to murder and burn things.

Neither of these views would be acceptable if applied to a Western Christian - therefore I can NOT abide them just because the perpetrators are Muslim and have a beef with some drawings.

As I noted - you all need to take classes in logic. It's perfectly alright to be angry about the cartoons - it is NOT alright to react violently to them. Civilized people resort to other means to show their displeasure. (i.e. these murderous arsonists are not civilized... figured you might need that conclusion spelled out)

Teresa: I'm pleased to read a reasoned engagement of the liberal argument on this issue. I think the disconnect is here: I, along with most of my liberal compatriots, approach this issue from a practical & utilitarian perspective. If these cartoons are not productive - as you seem to agree - then to my mind there is no point in publishing them, and doing so is simply dangerous and foolish. But a conservative such as yourself approaches it from an absolutely ideological perspective, viewing the correctness of the principle of free speech (with which I agree) as an end in itself. I respect that. This is a basic difference of philosophy, and if we try to resolve it by talking about intricacies of geopolitics, we might as well be banging our heads against brick walls.

Markus - Okay, I understand what you're trying to say, but I think we will have to agree to disagree.

You think that we shouldn't publish because the results are dangerous therefore calling down this danger on the heads of newspapers, etc is a foolish thing to do. Have I got it right?

Unfortunately, you are operating under the assumption that if we don't "anger" these cretins (and I'm talking about those who will violently counter the publication of this junk) then they'll leave us alone.

This assumption is a time tested, proven, fallacy. Just sticking with these people and no other historic examples... If you look at the escalation of violence from them during the 80's and 90's - you will note that the withdrawal from confronting them on the parts of Reagan and Clinton did nothing to stop them. They wait for capitulation and then go for the next goal. It's a slow steady progression. once you give in to this - they will be back to ask for more.

Also, news media have now set themselves in a corner. They've given in to the Islamo-fascists... the next time they get critical of another religion - start to make fun - publish outrageous cartoons - and tell the practitioners to "suck it up it's free speech"... they may now end up in court. There is empirical evidence that they did NOT follow these guidelines with regard to Muslims - so why should anyone else have to put up with it? You see the problems you've begun?

There is a reason for talks about slippery slopes. Appeasing violence rather than confronting it - has never ever worked. It always ends with the appeaser having to give more and more - until they are useless - then they end up despised and dead. It's a losing proposition with extremely dire consequences for our country and our way of life.

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