Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cartoons and Culture

I've come across a fair number of comments that the cartoon war was somewhat manufactured, and I have to say it is certainly plausible. By manufactured, I mean that the flames were purposely fanned by those with an interest in taking pressure off themselves and rallying their oppressed populations against a common enemy (read: Syria, and especially Iran). The cartoons were originally published last September, why all the fuss now? Additionally, when some Middle Eastern newspapers republished these recently, they also included some phony, extra offensive cartoons that were not created by the Danes.

Iran was just referred to the UN security council over their nuclear ambitions and secrecy. Might this be an attempt to distract?

Moreover, a Danish embassy was burned in Syria. Syria is not a free country, citizens are not allowed to assemble in protest without government permission - it had to be government sanctioned firebombing.

It is possible that the cartoon wars could turn this from a war on terrorism to a war of Muslims vs. The West, that would certainly serve the interests of the regional despots, and it was ultimately Osama's hope with 9/11. But I have my doubts. Rather, I think that in the long run this will help the cause of advancing freedom and defeating militant Islam, by forcing Europe to confront the problems now, we may avoid Total War in the future. Over the last several years, much of Europe has been able to stand on the sidelines and publicly denounce American action while privately cheering it in hopes of ingratiating themselves to the Arab street. London and Spain were bombed, and France saw riots, and now this. It didn't work. In his seminal work "Clash of Civilizations" Samuel Huntington identified the pervasiveness of multi-culturalism as the greatest near term threat to Western Civilization. With so many un-assimilated immigrants living in European enclaves, isolated, unemployed, and holding on to the most destructive aspects of their culture, the values of liberalism, free speech, free expression, tolerance, etc would be lost to political correctness. Somehow, Islam has managed to move its 'bloody borders' to the heart of the European continent. Europe now stands on the brink, if they allow Islamic clerics to determine what they can and cannot print in their own press through a process of intimidation and violence, then Europe will have ceded some of its sovereignty. I don't think they will do any such thing.


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