Monday, February 06, 2006

Embassies burning 

If you are seeing photos of burning embassies and wondering what the heck is going on, read Sisyphus Shrugged - shouting fire in a crowded theater, Piss Christ, Der Sturmer and other speech issues. Here's part of her sensible overview:
. . . full-metal hell didn't break loose until various newspapers in Europe, giving reasons ranging from support of free speech . . . to anti-religious principles (France, of course), went ahead and reprinted the cartoons again. One brave soul printed them in Jordan. He's been fired. The boycott, largely a pipe dream before last week, is now severely damaging danish industry. Meanwhile, the original newspaper, which apparently has more sense than the Prime Minister does, acknowledged that although the publication of the cartoons was completely legal, they were offensive, and apologized for causing offense. European leaders (with, of course, the exception of Denmark and Norway) have pointed out that while free speech is a basic human right, the material printed in this case was deeply offensive and to be condemned.
By this time, of course, the culture warriors of the anti-islamic right had succeeded in attracting enough attention to their antics to draw the attention of the violent extremist wing of the muslim world.
So now embassies are burning and (while mainstream islamic leaders condemn the riots) there is lovely juicy footage of islamic mob violence on every station and in every newspaper just as the effort to escalate against Iran ramps up.
Quel coinkydink.
If you want a real educational experience, go look at the Google hits for this, and read what the LGF wing of the blogosphere has to say about it, and how few facts about the situation they give you (among other things, they uniformly suggest that the boycott and the violence have been going on since the original publication of the images in September rather than since late December or mostly in the past week).
If you want another educational experience after that, Google what the same sites had to say last week about free speech in the matter of Cindy Sheehan's tshirt . . . Free speech means that you have the right to express yourself. You even have the right to be protected by law from people you've offended who want to express their offense in illegal ways. It does not mean that if you act like a dumb [fuck] you're really a brave warrior for truth and the rights of man or anything but a really, really dumb [fuck]. Congratulations, o culture warriors of the right. You've gotten the deep offense and the highly-telegenic violence you wanted. You must, although resembling them closely in many other significant ways, be much happier than pigs in shit . . .
Thanks to Steve Gilliard for the reference.

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