The Spectacle Blog

Re: Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.4.06 | 1:30PM

Guys: Volokh can't explain away what Cooper said. State is getting this wrong, badly so. It's only made worse by the fact that their spokesmen are only clear when they're on the wrong side, as is Cooper. So where is Condi? Why isn't she simply saying that freedom of religion goes hand in hand with freedom of the press? And that religious rules of one group do not, will not and can not restrict the free speech and free press rights of all?

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Barbarians at the Gates

By on 2.4.06 | 12:44PM

The Danish Embassy in Damascus has been set ablaze as part of the Cartoon Intifada. And don't miss the painfully clear message sent by Muslim protestors in London -- just read their signs.

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By on 2.4.06 | 12:39PM

James, Jed: as Eugene Volokh points out, Reuters made Foggy Bottom's position look much worse than it is. But our diplomats should be able to speak much more concisely and clearly than they did.

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Re: Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.4.06 | 12:33PM

James: Sorry, pal, but State is doing what it usually does. Backing the bad guys. Here's the latest from State spokesbeing Kurtis Cooper (reported with enthusiasm by both Reuters and al-Jazeera):

"These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims. We fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression, but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable."

What is not acceptable is the State Department impliedly agreeing that Sharia law should be substituted for the First Amendment. I'm not saying Condi should go. Yet. But Cooper, and whomever supposedly supervises him, should be getting pink slips before sundown.

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Re: Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.4.06 | 11:34AM

Let's not go calling for the head of State just yet. Courtesy of Powerline, which posted the transcript, Scott McCormack puts the official line like this:

"Our response is to say that while we certainly don't agree with, support, or in some cases, we condemn the views that are aired in public that are published in media organizations around the world, we, at the same time, defend the right of those individuals to express their views. For us, freedom of expression is at the core of our democracy and it is something that we have shed blood and treasure around the world to defend and we will continue to do so. That said, there are other aspects to democracy, our democracy - democracies around the world - and that is to promote understanding, to promote respect for minority rights, to try to appreciate the differences that may exist among us."

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Australia John Howard scandal

By on 2.3.06 | 11:06PM

Spoke Australia source that the Oil for Food scandal has now washed onshore to damage the John Howard government. The allegations are graft, skimming, kickbacks, bribery and conspiracy to conceal with regard trading with Baghdad as late as 2002; and the tale points to a bevy of plutocrats and also toward Howard and his able, popular Foreign Secretary Alexander Downer. It is smoke for now, but there is noise of documents linking Howard directly, at least as someone who should have known of the schemes earlier than now. Worse ahead. Downer and Howard are ducking questions thrown at them each time they appear without buffers.

Not resigning weather, now now.

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Re: Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.3.06 | 6:52PM

(a) Wish I'd originated that headline; (b) the State Department, siding with the Muslims against Europe, means the inmates are still running that particular asylum; and (c) the more these protests continue, the greater the risk of permanent damage to freedom of the press here as well as in Europe. This began as farce, and now may end as tragedy. For freedom of the press, and us all.

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Those Toons

By on 2.3.06 | 4:14PM

I had missed this: The Islamic Society of Denmark apparently ginned up this controversy by mixing in with the images that were actually published three cartoons that are much more offensive than the others -- and obviously created by a Muslim. (Who else would think to use "unclean" animals like pigs and dogs for maximum shock-value?)

Meanwhile, the US State Department is siding against Europe. Bernard Vanden Bloock, a Belgian Instapundit reader, has apt thoughts.

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Taboos and Old Reliables

By on 2.3.06 | 2:07PM

You didn’t think you’d see the day when the European media was taking a harder stand than the U.S. on an important issue in the Islamic world, but that’s what appears to be happening, as major U.S. media outlets are refusing to run the offending cartoons. "I don't think we would run a cartoon in this newspaper that would be deemed offensive to any religious figure," says a foreign editor of The Detroit Free Press. "We're very careful in terms of any photo or any caricature that we run." Can someone do a check and see if this paper has ever run Ted Rall cartoons?

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India waking

By on 2.3.06 | 1:50PM

Report from Gujarat province in India that the national strike by government employed airport workers that has paralyzed India air travel and commerce is a sign of India transforming itself into a 21st century economy. The Singh-led Congress Party created a welfare state of indolence from the 1950s to 2000, and the Congress Party must now lead the struggle to dismantle the sloth machine.

The airport strike is called because the Congress Party-led government wants to privatize the airports. This certainly means up to half their workers will be out of a job in three years. The Communist-led Calcutta governent fights back by supporting a shutdown in the Calcutta airport. But the Congress Party is adamant.

India is the dozing tiger of Asia; it will match and surpass the late start Chinese when Mother India finally finds the will to shed its fantasy of Marxism and fatalism and sentimental indolence. Sooner or later?

Note that the future prosperity of the United States depends upon its alliance with India, and upon India's ability to discover that supply-side capitalism works and works and works.

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