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Reader comment on item: Another Islamist Assault, Another Western Cringe

Submitted by Michael (Egypt), Sep 13, 2012 at 17:44

A justifiable comment. I can only add two remarks, then a conclusion:

1- Since the whole "Islamism" issue was brought to the international scene in the aftermath of 9/11 (the older one of course, for now we got a fresher, equally-memorable one), a tangible, effective change in US's foreign policy has not yet been seen.

I say this as an outside viewer, for perhaps inside the US -- with all that partisan spiel spun endlessly around the clock -- Americans might not notice that the actual movement their country is taking is not at all to its rhapsodizing politicians' promises. Can one forget George W. Bush's assertion that "Islam is a religion of peace" while radical Islamist groups slaughtered, kidnapped, and forced thousands of people around the world to convert to Islam?

Can one connive at the American-Saudi alliance maintained -- yet even strengthened -- during the Bush administration? The unbelievable continuous slamming of a Lone-Ranger country in the East like Russia, which is probably our best buffer against Islamism in that part? To say that the Obama administration did it differently may hold true only in regard of cutting edges. While the Bush administration was ostensibly strong, but actually a crypto-dhimmi one, the Obama administration came over a stark, undeniable one. Maintaining strong ties with fascist Islamist regimes in the gulf was one of the Bush administration's top (hidden) priorities; now the Obama administration has practiced it in broad daylight, to the full.

So, again and again, one shouldn't build any hopes on the upcoming presidential elections. I think we have seen it all, every four years in a different color.

2- A decade of topsy-turvy politically correct propaganda seems to have taken on a life of its own (it's really worth noting that nowadays, in the West, people who stand up for freedom of speech and freedom of belief are actually the Right-wingers, not the nice humanistic liberalists; but that's another issue). I have been following people's comments on CNN.com and Fox news.com ever since the events erupted. The most worrying thing was not how the Obama admin was reacting, but how Westerners came to think in our times. Here are some examples, from the comments published on CNN.com:-

- bigdakine2 –– This country does NOT have unlimited "free speech". There are many limitations on speech. One of the limitations refers to "hate speech" which is intended to incite violence against or on behalf of a group of people. Many of the speakers at Republican campaign rallies have walked a fine line here. Sharron Angle talked about "2nd amendment remedies", which is a clear threat of violence. She wasn't prosecuted because it would have been interpreted as a partisan act. Still, it is not protected speech when you threaten people OR say things that you know will incite others to violence.

- Rightened -- "Klein told The Los Angeles Times that the movie was shown in Hollywood in hopes of drawing Islamic extremists..." Well, mission accomplished, genius. You drew your Islamic extremists out into the open. You wanted to stir up trouble, and you've done it, all right! Now if the U.S. goes in to WWIII and thousands MORE innocent American lives are lost in the Middle East, I hope your "freedom of speech" was worth it! Go and apologize at the next funeral of a U.S. serviceman killed in Afghanistan over this "expression of creativity" of yours.

- JLav – In reply to some of the replies: the freedom of speech has exclusions and one of those is referred to as 'fighting words'. This exclusion specically refers to speech that is made to induce listeners to be violent. It is well known that depicting Mohammed, especially in a negative unfounded light, WILL induce a huge uproar in the Muslim community. It is akin to yelling 'FIRE!' in a crowded theatre (another area of exclusion in the first amendment) and watching the aftermath. Granted, it's hard argument to make that this is the same thing, but it's close enough in my opinion.

If that is the way how Westerners think nowadays it's no wonder the president of the strongest (Western) country in the world is cringing and appeasing like a milquetoast.

My conclusion, diplomacy is absolutely necessary to get the best outcome of this messy situation. I do not expect the US president to call for a retaliatory strike on Egypt of Libya, or to withdraw the US mission in Yemen, for example. That would be insanity and rashness. But, on the other hand, not delivering the right message to terrorists – that America is, and will be strong in the face of all those who try to abuse its tolerance and assail its values – can, and will lead to dire consequences both on the global and the national levels.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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