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America's attempts to appease "Muslim opinion" are depraved and suicidal.

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[Free speech before appeasment!!!!! No nation should ever have to apologize for free speech.]

------

Monday, February 6, 2006

By: Alex Epstein

America's attempts to appease "Muslim opinion" are depraved and suicidal.

As Muslim groups express outrage and issue death threats over cartoons depicting Mohammad, many Western leaders are responding, not with condemnations of the death threats, but with condemnations of the cartoons--and of the newspapers that published them.

This is the latest example of the apologies and hand-wringing that occur anytime there is any widespread display of Muslim anger. To listen to most of our foreign-policy commentators, the biggest problem facing America today is the fact that many Muslims are mad at us.

"Whatever one's views on the [iraq] war," writes a "New York Times" columnist, "thoughtful Americans need to consider . . . the bitter anger that it has provoked among Muslims around the world." In response to Abu Ghraib, Ted Kennedy lamented, "We have become the most hated nation in the world, as a result of this disastrous policy in the prisons." Muslim anger over America's support of Israel, we are told, is a major cause of anti-American terrorism.

We face, these commentators say, a crisis of "Muslim opinion." We must, they say, win the "hearts and minds" of angry Muslims by heaping public affection on Islam, by shutting down Guantanamo, by being more "evenhanded" between free Israel and the terrorist Palestinian Authority--and certainly by avoiding any new military action in the Muslim world. If we fail to win over "Muslim opinion," we are told, we will drive even more to become terrorists.

All of this evades one blatant truth: the hatred being heaped on America is irrational and undeserved. Consider the issue of treatment of POWs. Many Muslims are up in arms about the treatment of prisoners of war in Iraq and at Guantanamo--many of whom were captured on battlefields, trying to kill Americans. Yet these same Muslims are silent about the summary convictions and torture--real torture, with electric drills and vats of acid--that are official policy and daily practice throughout the Middle East.

Or consider "Muslim opinion" over the United States' handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the United States is accused of not being "hard enough" on Israel--a free nation with laws that protect all citizens, Jew and Arab alike--for Israel's supposed mistreatment of Palestinians. Yet "Muslim opinion" reveres the Palestinian Authority, a brutal dictatorship that deprives Palestinians of every basic freedom, keeps them in unspeakable poverty, and routinely tortures and executes peaceful dissenters.

So-called Muslim opinion is not the unanimous and just consensus that its seekers pretend. It is the irrational and unjust opinion of the world's worst Muslims: Islamists and their legions of "moderate" supporters and sympathizers. These people oppose us not because of any legitimate grievances against America, but because they are steeped in a fundamentalist interpretation of their religion--one that views America's freedom, prosperity, and pursuit of worldly pleasures as the height of depravity. They do not seek respect for the rights of the individual (Muslim or non-Muslim), they seek a world in which the rights of all are sacrificed to the dictates of Islam.

The proper response to Islamists and their supporters is to identify them as our ideological and political enemies--and dispense justice accordingly. In the case of our militant enemies, we must kill or demoralize them--especially those regimes that support terrorism and fuel the Islamist movement; as for the rest, we must politically ignore them and intellectually discredit them, while proudly arguing for the superiority of Americanism. Such a policy would make us safe, expose Islamic anti-Americanism as irrational and immoral, and embolden the better Muslims to support our ideals and emulate our ways.

President Bush, like most politicians and intellectuals, has taken the opposite approach to "Muslim opinion": appeasement. Instead of identifying anti-American Muslims as ideological enemies to be discredited, he has appealed to their sensibilities and met their demands--e.g., sacrificing American soldiers to save Iraqi civilians and mosques. Instead of seeking to crush the Islamists by defeating the causes they fight for--such as Islamic world domination and the destruction of Israel--he has appeased those causes, declaring Islam a "great religion" and rewarding the Palestinian terrorist Jihad with a promised Palestinian state. Instead of destroying terrorist regimes that wage war against the West--including, most notably, Iran--he has sought their "cooperation" and even cast some as "coalition partners."

Such measures have rewarded our enemy for waging physical and spiritual war against us. "Condemn America," they have learned, "and American leaders will praise your ideals and meet your demands." "Attack America via terrorist proxy," terrorist states and movements have been taught, "and America will neither blame you nor destroy you, but redouble its efforts to buy your love."

Every attempt to appease "Muslim opinion" preserves, promotes, and emboldens our enemies. Every concession to angry Muslim mobs gives hope to the Islamist cause. Every day we allow terrorist regimes to exist gives their minions time to execute the next Sept. 11. America needs honest leadership with the courage to identify and defeat our enemies--"Muslim opinion" be damned. They should begin by declaring that militant groups and states that threaten anti-Western violence in response to free speech will be met, not with appeasement, but with destruction.

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"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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It's a shame we have to apologize for our free speech. "Sorry about that Declaration of Independence thing. It was one of those chain letters that got out of hand."

"Millions for defense, sir, but not one cent for tribute!"

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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We have nothing to apologize for. :no:

It would seem that all this rioting should also address the fact that the Middle Eastern Media is Awash in Anti-Semitism. But that seems to bother nobody over there. It would appear that offense is only wrong if they are the ones offended but quite acceptable to them if they are the ones offending. One cannot demand from others that which one is unwilling to afford to others and then expect to be taken seriously. :no:

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We have nothing to apologize for. :no:

It would seem that all this rioting should also address the fact that the Middle Eastern Media is Awash in Anti-Semitism. But that seems to bother nobody over there. It would appear that offense is only wrong if they are the ones offended but quite acceptable to them if they are the ones offending. One cannot demand from others that which one is unwilling to afford to others and then expect to be taken seriously. :no:

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Exhibit 3

Well said :thumbs: my sentiments exactly

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re article: I find myself in agreement also :thumbs:

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So to summarise this guy seems to be saying that we need to adopt a more isolationist approach to muslim countries?

Muslim opinion (from a western perspective) clearly is dominated by the views of extremist fundamentalists for a very simple reason. Extremist groups (those with strong political/ideological views) are generally more organised than most unaffiliated moderates.

For example, the UK, like most western countries has a problem with voter apathy at the polls. The result of this is that extremist parties make large gains, not necessarily because more people are voting for them, but because disenfranchised people are so turned off by 'the system' that they are not exercising their political opinion and right to vote.

In the case of muslim nations, the fact that they lack a muslim equivalent of say, the catholic church is I suspect part of the reason why there is no concensus or significant international debate between muslim communities. Those most vocal elements (i.e. the terrorists) inevitably dominate the discourse, because they are organised and they have belief.

Its sad that this cartoon issue became about free speech. Clearly we must protect freedom of expression but to protect opinions which are personally abhorrent leaves a rather nasty taste in the mouth. As important as freedom of express is, so too is responsibility for that freedom of speech.

Many 3rd world countries of course have little concept of a 'free' press, or a news media that is not controlled by the government. In that context, the reaction to these cartoons was not difficult to predict - one opinion in a single european newspaper swiftly becomes a general condemnation of the entire western world.

I just don't hold with modern political rhetoric that just because 'they' do it, its fine for us to do likewise. Missing the point IMO. As inheritors of western democratic enlightenment, you'd think we'd hold ourselves to a higher moral standard than the worst, most violent elements of humanity. But that's just my take.

As to the protesters themselves, I don't consider them to be any more religious than the average mob of European soccer hooligans in political. The obvious question to ask is "don't any of them have jobs - that they can spend their days rioting in the streets?". Its relatively easy to whip up mob hysteria among poor and uneducated people, by focussing their resentments and inadequacies on external factors.

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I agree with part of the article. Politicians are being weak when they condemn the papers. They should be denoucing the extremists' violent reactions. This violent overreaction is far too intense for the crime.

I believe that the cartoons were in poor taste and insulting to Muslims. No question about that. The papers that reprinted the cartoons a couple months later were just trying to stir up s**t, especially France, who had all those youth riots a few months back.

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The proper response to Islamists and their supporters is to identify them as our ideological and political enemies--and dispense justice accordingly. In the case of our militant enemies, we must kill or demoralize them--especially those regimes that support terrorism and fuel the Islamist movement; as for the rest, we must politically ignore them and intellectually discredit them, while proudly arguing for the superiority of Americanism. Such a policy would make us safe, expose Islamic anti-Americanism as irrational and immoral, and embolden the better Muslims to support our ideals and emulate our ways.

Please replace all Muslim references with "Soviet" and all terrorism references with communism, and lo-and-behold, the text reads like a relic from the Cold War.

I'm not trying to defend the Islamist reaction, but I'm equally appalled by the Western cries to war. What is superior about answering hate with hate? How are we showing our superiority when we are not even able to resist falling into the same trap of ideological trench-warfare? Who do we think we are to call for the killing and demoralization of other people?

Finally, what does this have to do with anti-Americanism??? Last time I checked they were attacking European embassies and burning European flags. If Americans feel somehow affected by that, then I wonder why? Who is projecting what on whom? It might be possible -if wrong- to see the whole uproar as a clash between Western and Middle Eastern values, but to view last week's "Islamism" as an attack on Americanism seems not only farfetched but unrealistically nationalistic. It is in fact a mirror demonstration of close-mindedness.

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The proper response to Islamists and their supporters is to identify them as our ideological and political enemies--and dispense justice accordingly. In the case of our militant enemies, we must kill or demoralize them--especially those regimes that support terrorism and fuel the Islamist movement; as for the rest, we must politically ignore them and intellectually discredit them, while proudly arguing for the superiority of Americanism. Such a policy would make us safe, expose Islamic anti-Americanism as irrational and immoral, and embolden the better Muslims to support our ideals and emulate our ways.

Please replace all Muslim references with "Soviet" and all terrorism references with communism, and lo-and-behold, the text reads like a relic from the Cold War.

I'm not trying to defend the Islamist reaction, but I'm equally appalled by the Western cries to war. What is superior about answering hate with hate? How are we showing our superiority when we are not even able to resist falling into the same trap of ideological trench-warfare? Who do we think we are to call for the killing and demoralization of other people?

Finally, what does this have to do with anti-Americanism??? Last time I checked they were attacking European embassies and burning European flags. If Americans feel somehow affected by that, then I wonder why? Who is projecting what on whom? It might be possible -if wrong- to see the whole uproar as a clash between Western and Middle Eastern values, but to view last week's "Islamism" as an attack on Americanism seems not only farfetched but unrealistically nationalistic. It is in fact a mirror demonstration of close-mindedness.

There are currently hate crimes being commited in the United States and Middle East by muslims who blame the US for ultimatly being responsible for the cartoons.

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP BELIEVE IT OR NOT !! :D Look it up for yourself, then look in the mirror, and rid yourself of you close-mindness and ignorance please !!! :P

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The proper response to Islamists and their supporters is to identify them as our ideological and political enemies--and dispense justice accordingly. In the case of our militant enemies, we must kill or demoralize them--especially those regimes that support terrorism and fuel the Islamist movement; as for the rest, we must politically ignore them and intellectually discredit them, while proudly arguing for the superiority of Americanism. Such a policy would make us safe, expose Islamic anti-Americanism as irrational and immoral, and embolden the better Muslims to support our ideals and emulate our ways.

Please replace all Muslim references with "Soviet" and all terrorism references with communism, and lo-and-behold, the text reads like a relic from the Cold War.

I'm not trying to defend the Islamist reaction, but I'm equally appalled by the Western cries to war. What is superior about answering hate with hate? How are we showing our superiority when we are not even able to resist falling into the same trap of ideological trench-warfare? Who do we think we are to call for the killing and demoralization of other people?

Finally, what does this have to do with anti-Americanism??? Last time I checked they were attacking European embassies and burning European flags. If Americans feel somehow affected by that, then I wonder why? Who is projecting what on whom? It might be possible -if wrong- to see the whole uproar as a clash between Western and Middle Eastern values, but to view last week's "Islamism" as an attack on Americanism seems not only farfetched but unrealistically nationalistic. It is in fact a mirror demonstration of close-mindedness.

There are currently hate crimes being commited in the United States and Middle East by muslims who blame the US for ultimatly being responsible for the cartoons.

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP BELIEVE IT OR NOT !! :D Look it up for yourself, then look in the mirror, and rid yourself of you close-mindness and ignorance please !!! :P

Hate crimes in the US? By Muslims?? Would you mind providing me with some evidence?? I have already watched the news 4 times today and I haven't seen anything...

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Hate crimes in the US? By Muslims?? Would you mind providing me with some evidence?? I have already watched the news 4 times today and I haven't seen anything...

From CBS news:

"Iranian protestors blamed America, reports CBS News correspondent David Hawkins, even though President Bush has condemned the cartoons.

"If America's seen as being indifferent or even attacking the prophet, a lot of Muslims are going to say it's an attack on Islam," Akbar Ahmed, head of Islamic studies at American University, told CBS News.

Afghan troops shot and killed four protesters, some as they tried to storm a U.S. military base outside Bagram "

There are many other examples. That was a simple search of the net. Yes, it is illogical to tie America to the Danish cartoons. It would seem impossible for humans to make that connection, but some have. Do not underestimate the hate some people in the world have generated tword Americans.

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Hate crimes in the US? By Muslims?? Would you mind providing me with some evidence?? I have already watched the news 4 times today and I haven't seen anything...

From CBS news:

"Iranian protestors blamed America, reports CBS News correspondent David Hawkins, even though President Bush has condemned the cartoons.

"If America's seen as being indifferent or even attacking the prophet, a lot of Muslims are going to say it's an attack on Islam," Akbar Ahmed, head of Islamic studies at American University, told CBS News.

Afghan troops shot and killed four protesters, some as they tried to storm a U.S. military base outside Bagram "

There are many other examples. That was a simple search of the net. Yes, it is illogical to tie America to the Danish cartoons. It would seem impossible for humans to make that connection, but some have. Do not underestimate the hate some people in the world have generated tword Americans.

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I wonder: Why is there even a debate about our media policies? Are we seriously considering caving in to an idiotic, criminal, violent mob in the Middle East? That's ridiculous. It's insane. I say let them burn their cities down. I'll send a box of lighters if need be. :P

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Hate crimes in the US? By Muslims?? Would you mind providing me with some evidence?? I have already watched the news 4 times today and I haven't seen anything...

From CBS news:

"Iranian protestors blamed America, reports CBS News correspondent David Hawkins, even though President Bush has condemned the cartoons.

"If America's seen as being indifferent or even attacking the prophet, a lot of Muslims are going to say it's an attack on Islam," Akbar Ahmed, head of Islamic studies at American University, told CBS News.

Afghan troops shot and killed four protesters, some as they tried to storm a U.S. military base outside Bagram "

There are many other examples. That was a simple search of the net. Yes, it is illogical to tie America to the Danish cartoons. It would seem impossible for humans to make that connection, but some have. Do not underestimate the hate some people in the world have generated tword Americans.

None of this happened in the US, did it? And where in the US is Bagram? You said that there were attacks by Muslims in the US.

I'm not doubting that the protests do have anti-American elements but they are not primarily and exclusively directed at American targets. Instead, for the first time in years, America is only a secondary target. My point is that the OP's article is twisting reality to suit supposedly American aims. Raising the spectre of anti-Americanism always works; the only problem is that it is not there, as much as people would like to see it.

I wonder: Why is there even a debate about our media policies? Are we seriously considering caving in to an idiotic, criminal, violent mob in the Middle East? That's ridiculous. It's insane. I say let them burn their cities down. I'll send a box of lighters if need be. :P

No, I don't think anyone's caving in here. Of course, the media in Europe are quite concerned about their own Muslim readers who are using the weekend to protest peacefully in the streets of Europe. It sort of sucks to piss of your clientele...

The debate over media policies is probably justified given the way in which the media are exploiting the current situation to make sure we all know who our enemy is. It's called propaganda and it works quite well... Or how often did you read in the last week about people on both sides of the "cultural divide" calling for reason and non-violence?

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