Iranians Up Price on Rushdie's Head by $500,000; U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Condemns "Heinous and Offensive Video"

Here's Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, talking with Jake Tapper on ABC News' This Week about the cause of the anti-American violence taking place across the Middle East the past week:

RICE: ... What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region...

TAPPER: Tunisia, Khartoum...

RICE: ... was a result -- a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is -- that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.

More here.

On Fox News, Rice asserted

“We are of the view that this is not an expression of hostility in the broader sense toward the United States or U.S. policy. It's proximately a reaction to this video.”

There are many reasons to believe that the Obama administration, which has asked Google and YouTube to censor the video, is wrong about whether the video is at the center of Muslim rage at the United States. The incapacity to allow that American foreign policy is in any way a factor here is staggering. One needn't even be a critic of that foreign policy and the past decade-plus of military action to be insulted by the adminstration's position. Are we really supposed to ignore two major wars we've waged in Afghanistan and Iraq plus all sorts of other public and "covert" actions we've underaken in the 21st century?

Meanwhile, the Iranian foundation (!) that manages the fatwa against Salman Rushdie has recently upped its reward by $500,000, to a total of $3.3 million for killing the Satanic Verses' author. The book was published in 1988 and its Japanese translator was killed in an attack.

"I am adding another $500,000 to the reward for killing Salman Rushdie, and anyone who carries out this sentence will receive the whole amount immediately," said Hassan Sanei, the foundation's head, in a statement carried by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA)....

In 1998, under reformist President Mohammad Khatami, Iran's government distanced itself from the Rushdie fatwa, but hardline groups regularly renew the call for Rushdie's death, saying Khomeini's decree is irrevocable and eternal.

Reason interviewed Rushdie back in 2005. Here are some excerpts worth thinking about:

The idea of universal rights--the idea of rights that are universal to all people because they correspond to our natures as human beings, not to where we live or what our cultural background is--is an incredibly important one. This belief is being challenged by apostles of cultural relativism who refuse to accept that such rights exist. If you look at those who employ this idea, it turns out to be Robert Mugabe, the leaders of China, the leaders of Singapore, the Taliban, Ayatollah Khomeini. It is a dangerous belief that everything is relative and therefore these people should be allowed to kill because it's their culture to kill.

I think we live in a bad age for the free speech argument. Many of us have internalized the censorship argument, which is that it is better to shut people up than to let them say things that we don't like. This is a dangerous slippery slope, because people of good intentions and high principles can see censorship as a way of advancing their cause and not as a terrible mistake. Yet bad ideas don't cease to exist by not being expressed. They fester and become more powerful....

There is nothing intrinsic linking any religion with any act of violence. The crusades don't prove that Christianity was violent. The Inquisition doesn't prove that Christianity tortures people. But that Christianity did torture people. This Islam did carry out this attack.

Read the whole thing here.

Rushdie has said "The Innocence of Muslims" is an "idiotic...piece of garbage" but called the protests against it "an ugly reaction that needs to be named as such."

I do not quite understand the need to pass aesthetic judgment on a work before making a free speech argument, but that seems to be a minority opinion. Does anyone else find it puzzling, though? It's almost as if Theo van Gogh, murdered by an Islamist nut job in the streets of Amsterdam in 2004, would have deserved his stabbing death if the production values of "Submission" had been a bit lower.

Going back to Amb. Rice's comments, though, I guess the important thing is to recognize that President Obama has it all under control:

What we've seen is that the president has been incredibly calm, incredibly steady, and incredibly measured in his approach to this set of developments. And his interventions, his leadership has ensured that in Egypt, in Yemen, in Tunisia, in Libya, and many other parts of the world, that leaders have come out and made very plain that there's no excuse for this violence.

Does any of that make you feel better about the world and the United States' place in it?

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  • albo||

    What we've seen is that the president has been incredibly calm, incredibly steady, and incredibly measured in his approach to this set of developments

    Because he's petting the wolf, saying "nice doggie," while his other hand reaches for a rock Danegeld.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I thought he was just out fundraising and campaigning - no time to even look for a sack of Danegeld. Too busy stuffing trunks with O!geld.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I don't know how Tapper didn't burst out laughing upon hearing "a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated"

    Lots of YouTube hits from Sudan and the Nile Delta were there? Libyan IP melting down from overusage?

    What a clumsy liar she is.

  • wareagle||

    they've heard bullshit for the whole administration; they're immune at this point.

  • Drake||

    Fox is calling them on the lies. We'll see if the rest of the media stays loyal or reports it.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....consulate/

  • wareagle||

    nah..the others will just say it's Fox being Fox. Random acts of journalism are few and far between though, giving credit where it's due, Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper have tried a couple of times in the last month.

  • WTF||

    Faux News!111!!!!
    /derp

  • Brett L||

    To his credit, Tapper has been in that mix at WH press briefings.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "But a senior Obama administration official told Fox News on Monday morning that the Libyan president's comments are not consistent with 'the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community', which has been investigating the incident, and are accordingly not credible.
    'He doesn't have the information we have,' the U.S. official said of Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif. 'He doesn't have the (data) collection potential that we have.'

    The Libyan leader told CBS News' 'Face the Nation' on Sunday that the government in Tripoli harbors 'no doubt' that the Sept. 11 attack that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was 'preplanned, predetermined.'"

    Yeah, there's no way a Libyan could know more about what happened in Libya than the "U.S. intelligence community"

  • John||

    And even if he doesn't, lets call him out on it and humiliate him about it. That is called smart diplomacy.

  • SFC B||

    So... according to that statement from the "senior official"... I am left with two conclusions.

    Either the official is lying, and our intelligence folks know it was a planned operation and are insulting a person who we helped get into power... what... a year ago? Or Libya has enough RPGs lying around in civilian hands that they're willing to use them in a spontaneous riot sparked by a two month old YouTube video.

    I don't know which is more comforting.

  • Killazontherun||

    I get the feeling it is the man at the top who wont even consider the reality that his policies cause a counter reaction in the Muslim world. That is the fundamental nature of politics at all levels, and yet he is entirely aloof to it. Political officers on down are only conveying what the man at the top will allow to go out.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I cannot believe the administration is taking this stance. Surely even some of their fanboys are appalled by this?

    The administration should repudiate any concept whatsoever that the legitimate exercise of freedom of speech is responsible for irrational violence. Not that I think this is really about that film--another screw up by the administration, constantly republishing that pretext as gospel--but if that's what's being claimed, take it off the table.

  • Drake||

    Purely coincidence that the mob reach peak frenzy and killed the Ambassador on 9-11.

    Pure. Coincidence.

  • ||

    I agree that this reaction is utterly ridiculous, and to top that, it's completely overblown. They are acting like a shitty D-grade green screen piece of crap thrown together more shabbily than the senior project of Uwe Boll is the work of Satan. I mean, come the fuck on.

    And their total asskissing will just get them more violence. Have fun overseas, State Dept. employees!

  • Pro Libertate||

    What's funny is that Obama could've easily gotten away with a statement that this is ridiculous, and our belief in free speech is absolute and not on the table. Then issue whatever orders necessary to protect our people, most likely involving pulling them out and suspending aid to the offending host nations.

  • wareagle||

    I am less bothered by reaction that by the casual acceptance that greets it. All administrations spin if not lie. But when does a somewhat curious mind wonder how in the hell it is possible for 13 different countries to simultaneously have the same response to anything.

  • ||

    Mostly because no one gives a shit. "Oh noes, the Muslim animals are rioting again. Quelle surprise."

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's clearly a pretext.

  • sloopyinca||

    Agreed, Pro Lib and Epi. At first, I thought this was going to be Obama's Reichstag, but the more I look into it, it's all about the crazy fucks in these hellholes using whatever they can to attack us and our way of life.

    If the President had a pair of balls, he'd tell them all to go fuck themselves and pull every American government employee out of their countries. He'd pull every penny of aid as well and demand all of the hardware we've given them be returned.

    Those assholes want to live in the stone ages? Let them.*

    *Offer free passage to the US for any person who wants to come here and escape the oppression while we're at it.

  • John||

    Tarran explained it really well. Obama has to claim that it is the video that caused this because to admit otherwise is to admit that his foreign policy is a failure. He sold himself in 2008 as the guy who would get Muslims to stop hating us or at least hate us less. Here we are four years later and nothing has changed. He can't admit that, so he blames it on the video.

  • Paul.||

    That was my point last week. That the Dems are going to take the footing that this film has totally messed up Obama's foreign policy image... because up 'til now, he was just going so well!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Bad on foreign policy. Bad on the economy. Bad on civil liberties. Vote bad. Vote Obama.

  • ||

    "This time, why not the worst?"

  • John||

    Maybe if the Titanic had tried to hit that ice berg, things would have worked out better.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Maybe if the Titanic had tried to hit that ice berg, things would have worked out better.

    Strange as that may sound, I have actually heard that said. The theory being that instead of getting a huge gash down the side compromising the watertight compartments, it would have simply crushed the bow. Had this happened, the Titanic may have stayed afloat.

  • WTF||

    I saw a funny comment the other day about how voting for Obama for a second term would be like backing up the Titanic to hit the iceberg a second time.

  • tarran||

    Maybe if the Titanic had tried to hit that ice berg,

    You joke, but I read an engineering analysis that argued that the ship would have only flooded in compartments I and II, and would have remained afloat had they rammed the iceberg.

    I have my reservations, I think they would have ruptured a large number of rivets aft of the stern-most engineroom had they run aground on the submerged portion of the iceberg while traveling so fast, but it was an interesting argument.

  • Tim||

    In America, second best is still pretty darn good.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Typical President NotMyFault. When people talk about the shit economy, point the finger at Bush. When they complain about taxes, tell them that government is responsible for everything they have.

    When it's time to campaign and look tough, drone the shit out of everything that moves and make bin Laden and random Al Qaeda number 2's a centerpiece. When Al Qaeda and friends decide to strike back, blame some random bastard on the internet.

  • Killazontherun||

    I've even wondered into Blue enclave discussions blaming this very crises on Bush. For coddling Qaddafi! I'm quite willing to blame Bush for nearly damn everything between Jan. 2001 to Jan.1 2009, but those who take over the responsibility of government need to take responsibility for it. Without that, you get decision making without accountability.

    With this administration its like handing the keys to car to a teenager.

  • Brett L||

    Maybe we should start rioting and looting Federal buildings the next time Michael Bay releases a movie with his 27 patented cliches. I swear to Christ, if Bay made the mohammed movie, he would still put in the shot of lead female in front of the American flag.

  • Paul.||

    Even if legitimate free expression was the impetus for irrational violence, it falls squarely under the category of T.F.B. (Too Fucking Bad).

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I hate the equivocating. I'm waiting for the politician who comes out and says...

    "Absolutely no physical violence is justifiable in response to the written or spoken word. To even suggest otherwise is reprehensible and worthy of condemnation. The people who are committing these crimes and those who provide them with any justification or excuses are ignorant worms with no commitment towards freedom of religion or speech and therefore have no place in modern society."

  • sarcasmic||

    "Sticks and stones can break my bones but whips and chains excite me."

  • T||

    I predict you'll be waiting a long fucking time. Don't make any plans for what to do after you hear that.

  • R C Dean||

    I do not quite understand the need to pass aesthetic judgment on a work before making a free speech argument.

    I'm guessing that people think that it strengthens their argument, as in "I'm not a pot smoker, but I think it should be legalized."

    It doesn't though, at least to my ear. Instead, at least in response to violence, it makes you look craven and weak, and undercuts your free speech argument.

    What we've seen is that the president has been incredibly calm, incredibly steady, and incredibly measured in his approach to this set of developments.

    Which is a nice way of saying apathetic, detached, and cold.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Aid and comfort. Instead of entirely placing the blame on the idiots purportedly flipping out and murdering people totally unconnected with the film, they make it seem like it's the filmmaker's fault.

    I'm offended by stuff all the time. Doesn't mean I kill someone over it. It's the heckler's veto writ large, and that's something we supposedly oppose all the way to our core.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I'm outraged by the US politicians cowardice, but I have no plans to murder them, or a random assortment of people closer to where I am, either.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's not just cowardice. It tacitly supports the stupid overreaction in the first place. Just repudiate the whole idea of murder as a form of literary criticism.

  • Paul.||

    Even though the politicians' work has been disgusting, shoddy and offensive?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Material support. Put them all in jail.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Guernica looks like it was scrawled by an epileptic three year old.

    What were we talking about again?

  • Brett L||

    Saturn Devouring his Children, now that's what a talented Spaniard paints when depressed about his people dying en masse.

  • MWG||

    Just out of curiosity and, because I'm overseas, what has been the general reaction to comments such as,

    "What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region...was a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting."

    I know what the reaction is here at Reason, but what about the general population?

  • MWG||

    IOW, is the American public skeptical of such lame comments, or are the just eating up this shit as it's spoon fed to them by the administration?

  • The Hammer||

    If I happen to speak to anyone outside of Reason, I'll let you know.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I can't speak for any public, but I think some Muslims are riled up by the DNC passage of the "Jersalem" and "God" passages in their plank the week prior. It riled me and several commenters here, perhaps for different reasons.

  • WTF||

    I think some Muslims are riled up by the DNC passage of the "Jersalem" and "God" passages in their plank the week prior.

    Well, I think that is clearly the real reason the Muslims are rioting outside American embassies.

  • SugarFree||

    The causal news (Morning shows, Evening news) are taking the "film did it all" assertion and repeating it as fact. Football has started and the Fall TV season is upon us. I think you know what that means about what the average America thinks about the riots: nothing.

  • Lyle||

    Go read the comments on articles posted at Yahoo! I'd say they're reacting with disgust at the comments Rice is making.

    Democrats are also defending whatever the administration is saying.

    Most people probably don't care about any of it and aren't paying attention at all.

  • MWG||

    So the people that do "care" are pretty much divided along TEAM lines?

    ...makes sense...

  • wareagle||

    when in doubt, following Team is usually as reliable as following the money.

  • MWG||

    I've only been away for a month and I've already forgotten this golden rule.

  • Lyle||

    Well, what team are Independents on?

  • Loki||

    "Side? I am on nobody's side, because nobody is on my side, little orc. "

  • nicole||

    My bf, who is a libertarian (though unlike me, not an anarchist or complete hater of everything govt-related) has been arguing with me a bunch about this (or rather, I have with him). When I've argued it's unacceptable for anyone working for the government to say anything at all about the content of the film, he says things like, "Well, I think most Americans do find the film offensive" ("So what, I don't, and the government has no business creating an official US position on the content of a film") or "That's just diplomatic bullshit and doesn't mean anything" ("So what, it still has a chilling effect") or "Clinton/Obama/whoever is just saying his/her own personal feelings about the film" ("Well then why are they saying 'we,' and if Obama wants to say what he thinks of the movie he needs to make it very clear that he is speaking personally and not in his capacity as president, because I don't pay him to tell anyone what the president thinks about movies.") Etc

    I mean, obviously, the problem is that most people do find the movie offensive (I haven't actually watched it), so they are reluctant to come out swinging against statements like this unless they also believe that appeasement is a major problem here. I am undecided on that, and simply don't care anywhere near as much as I do that it should be extremely illegal for any of these people to be making any opinion statements, especially any opinion statements involving the word "we," about the content of the movie.

  • ||

    The thing, though, nicole, is that it's all irrelevant. It's just politicians spinning and being douchebags as they are wont to be. There will be no attempts to violate the First Amendment (because they know they will get slapped down hard), this is all just posturing. Yeah, it sends a really shitty message, but when haven't politicians sent a shitty message in everything they do and say?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Did I hear correctly that someone connected with the film was arrested? If that's the case, there's already a lawsuit waiting in the wings.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The filmmaker is currently on probation or parole. going on the Internet violated one of the conditions. So they ostensibly called him in for questioning regarding that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oh. Probably a pretext, too, but that's a little different. I only just heard about it.

  • Drake||

    No internet a condition of parole? WTF kind of job are you going to get if you can't go online? Janitor? How would you even find a job?

  • wareagle||

    someone was detained. Not sure about an arrest but there was questioning. Land of the free and all that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sorry, that's likely actionable. They detained him because of his involvement in a film that offended some people? Can you say chilling effect?

  • wareagle||

    but taking action has its own consequences, like putting your face out front for the whole world to see, nutballs included. I agree with what you are saying, but does it make sense for this guy to take action?

  • ||

    How could someone be arrested? What's the fucking charge, bad taste in the third degree?

  • Brett L||

    I believe the proximate cause was that the guy was on probation for some sort of fraud and posting (or allowing his film to be posted) on YouTube violated his probation conditions.

  • nicole||

    While I'm sure there are some untoward motives here, I do think he probably went pretty far into parole violations here. Ken at Popehat had a good post Saturday on why it's really less about having used YouTube and more about defrauding all the people who worked on the film after his previous conviction was for...fraud.

  • nicole||

    Oh of course. This sort of thing is one of my "serenity now!" issues. I always love being told what "we" think about something.

  • ||

    When I hear a politician say "we", I automatically change it in my head to "us scumbag parasites and our sycophants on our TEAM".

  • nicole||

    I say, "What team are you talking about?"

  • MWG||

    I agree 100%. The government should NEVER be in the business of making value judgements when it comes to basic rights.

    I'm surprised your BF, or any libertarian would think otherwise.

    Of course, no true Scotsmen, right?

  • nicole||

    It's more that he thinks the value judgments are meaningless platitudes, have no official power, no official standing, etc. My response is basically that if that's the case, they should STFU while they're speaking on my dime. If it's just blah-blah-nicey-nice, he's fine with it, while it's actually more likely to rile me, because I am not very nicey-nice.

  • Zeb||

    I think a lot of people say they find it offensive because they think that they should. I bet most Americans who go on about how awful it is haven't seen it and have no intention to do so.
    I've seen it. It is of poor quality and is clearly meant to be blasphemous to Muslims, but unless you are an insecure Muslim who is easily offended, it really doesn't seem particularly offensive. At least no more so than a hundred things you could see on TV any night.

  • Brett L||

    A) it was no more widely distributed of viewed than the average ego project on YouTube before this happened. Everybody was too busy dling "Gangnam Style".

    B) my liberal friends want to talk about how "Mitt Romney hurt America by criticizing Obama and is craven for scoring political points on the death of a US Ambassador" -- in other words, total memory hole of 2004-2008

    C) the non-politicals I know are mostly parents now, and they think its just fine, thank you, for the State to protect Americans from violence by censorship and arrest (no, really). Especially the moms.

  • Loki||

    the non-politicals I know are mostly parents now, and they think its just fine, thank you, for the State to protect Americans from violence by censorship and arrest (no, really). Especially the moms.

    Having kids makes women go full retard. Kind of makes me glad my wife can't have any.

  • nicole||

    That's why I've never understood why dudes want to have them. Scary!

  • Drake||

    Kids or women?

  • nicole||

    Kids.

  • Loki||

    It's not the kids that dudes want so much as the activity that leads to having them.

  • nicole||

    That's what I always thought, and that women kinda forced them into it. Seems like they actually start to want them when they get older though--my bf says he does, for example, and that is definitely not with any encouragement.

  • Restoras||

    I enjoy being a dad. Sometimes/lottatimes/allthetime I could do without being a husband.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "RICE: ... What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region...

    TAPPER: Tunisia, Khartoum...

    RICE: ... was a result -- a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is -- that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms."

    So, Rice is saying that that Muslims are prone to violent reactions over the most stupid thing?

  • wareagle||

    So, Rice is saying that that Muslims are prone to violent reactions over the most stupid thing?

    in a sense, yes, but more important, she is blaming some filmmaker for a gross lack of sensitivity in stirring up the peaceful religion of Allah.

  • wef||

    Yes, in her condescending, whiny way she is calling mohammedanists violent, childish, little brown people of whom one cannot expect more than reactionary stupidities.

    What irritates is that she and her fellow thug-state goons running the protection racket are signalling that they can be cowed by enough violence, and maybe won't hold up their end of the protection racket bargain. This is an unstable nash equilibrium here, and this present gang by their short-term attitude of gotta-get-mine are inviting all sorts of hurt for those they claim to be protecting.

  • Drake||

    When you put it that way, I have to admit she had some good points mixed in with the lies.

  • Lyle||

    I think Rushdie hasn't watched the YouTube trailer if his elite opinion leads him to articulate that it is an "idiotic... piece of garbage".

    Matt Welch on bloggingheads made a similar comment about the film before going on to defend the film. I think it was because of who he was speaking to. Same might be true for Rushdie as well.

  • ||

    I do not quite understand the need to pass aesthetic judgment on a work before making a free speech argument, but that seems to be a minority opinion. Does anyone else find it puzzling, though?

    It is a bien pensant reaction, a way of disapproving of the film so that the right people know that you mostly think the right thoughts, while still allowing you to have some principles and adhere to concepts of free speech. It's like saying that a particular wine is total shit, but people should be free to drink it if they choose. You've indicated that you have taste, but you also adhere to concepts of freedom.

    It's total weak sauce, but it's better than calling for free speech abridgments.

  • Lyle||

    I think you're right. Matt Welch himself did this on bloggingheads.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Here's the thing--the offensiveness of the video is irrelevant. If they're really being set off by it, well, we've got hundreds of other works that will piss them off, too. So that ship has sailed.

    If they aren't, then allowing the discussion to be about some absurd idea of Western guilt for allowing some Muslims to be offended is even dumber.

    Call these people out on what they want to claim as a motivation. Don't weasel.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Exactly.

  • Paul.||

    I have personally refused to watch the video. Because I have taken the firm stance that it doesn't matter, and I don't want to have any first-hand experience with the low production values, stilted dialog and unattractive actors.

    That way it at least partially insulates me from making inane comments like, "The film is horrible but..."

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's the position the administration should've taken. Along with denying that any video is offensive enough to justify killing people.

  • Paul.||

    I would like to know what the administraton's plan is to review the 106,000 hours of video uploaded to Youtube every 24 hours. Also, I'd like a detailed plan describing how and when they'll have reviewed the hundreds of millions of videos already uploaded to the site for material that may be seen as offensive to the Muslim world.

    In keeping with an even hand, I'd also like to know the criteria they will use to gauge offensive content directed at not only Muslims, but Christians, Jews, Mormons and Wiccans? ( to name a few)

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ever read Mein Kampf? It's quite offensive to Jews and non-Germans. Still being published, if you can believe that, even after a really big war and stuff.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not only that, but the current copyright holder is the Bavarian state government.

  • Pro Libertate||

    How did they acquire it? Are they Son of Hitler or something?

  • R C Dean||

    I'm guessing that Adolf's assets escheated due to the lack of a valid will.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Huh. That's an interesting question. He was a German citizen, of course, having been granted it in the 1930s, but that (just looked it up) was through the state of Brunswick, not Bavaria.

  • Paul.||

    I'm guessing that Adolf's assets escheated due to the lack of a valid will.

    I was under the impression that Hitler left only debts...

  • Not an Economist||

    I saw on television a few weeks ago, that Hitler the man was uber rich. He got royalties from Mein Kampf and a lot (if not all) the official photos of him. It added up.

  • SFC B||

    Bavaria wound up with the rights when they took over the company the Nazis used for most of their publishing after WWII.

  • Paul.||

    I once did an interpretive dance of Mein Kampf for me in-laws to be.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ... for me in-laws to be.

    Did you do it in a pirate voice? Or a leprechaun voice?

  • Paul.||

    Did you do it in a pirate voice? Or a leprechaun voice?

    Definitely the pirate voice.

  • OO=======D||

    No fucking way.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    the president has been incredibly calm, incredibly steady, and incredibly measured in his approach to this set of developments.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe the President is engaged in what fundamentally corresponds to taking a very deep breath and letting it out slowly prior to acting. I think he's doing what your average everyday garden variety deer does when staring into the headlights of a rapidly oncoming dump truck.

  • Tman||

    It's just incredible!

    Incredibly tone-deaf, incredibly ignorant, and incredibly leaderless.

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

    And for all that, he's still leading in the polls. Go figure.

  • pmains||

    The Romney people had better damn well STFU about how "electable" their own empty chair is. The man was an unpopular, failed governor of Massachusetts who came at the end of a string of GOP Massachusetts governors. So, already we know he's a brand wrecker. He is now running a campaign completely devoid of content, on the assumption that standing for nothing is the best strategy. That may have worked in the primary, but Anybody But Obama implies the GOP is not running Candidate Nothing.

  • Zeb||

    I wonder how many people talking about the "offensive, reprehensible" video have even seen it?
    I took a look over the weekend and while it is poorly made, stupid and obviously intended to be blasphemous to Muslims, it hardly seems vile, heinous or even particularly offensive to someone who is not already hyper-sensitive to cases of Islamic blasphemy. Basically it is the South Park episode about Mormon origins, but not very well done and using actors instead of animation. So are our supposed leaders opposed to any questioning of the foundation myths of major religions? Or have they not even bothered to watch the video? Or are they fucking pieces of shit who should kill themselves now? I'm guessing a bit of all three.

  • Pro Libertate||

    [Psssst] Don't mention South Park. I don't think the rioters have seen it yet.

  • Restoras||

    I think South Park is too subtle for them.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "So are our supposed leaders opposed to any questioning of the foundation myths of major religions?"

    Don't you remember our supposed leaders pointing out how "heinous and offensive" 'Life of Brian' was? This Muslim coddling "feel your pain" crap is ridiculous.

  • wareagle||

    but no one rioted over Life of Brian. Or over taxpayer-funded art featuring a crucifix in urine and a shit-stained painting of the Virgin Mary. They howled and protested, in equal parts religious furor and being pissed that the art was commissioned on the public's dime, but there was murder and no mayhem.

  • Loki||

    Don't you remember our supposed leaders pointing out how "heinous and offensive" 'Life of Brian' was?

    Or the uproar over the "All About Mormons" and "Trapped in a Closet" episodes of South Park? Oh wait, Mormons and Scientologists didn't riot and kill people over those.

  • Invisible Finger||

    When the Muslims decide to sue the US Govt in England, it's over for us.

  • ||

    Meanwhile, the Iranian foundation (!) that manages the fatwa against Salman Rushdie....

    So fatwas need to be managed after being issued? That’s weird.

    Do they just manage the money they intend to use to pay his murderer? And what do they do with it if you're not allowed to make interest bearing investments under Islamic Sharia?

    In any case, I strongly condemn the medieval barbarism involved in calling for someone to be murdered merely for writing a novel.

  • R C Dean||

    Makes perfect sense to set up a foundation for a big-ticket fatwa.

    People can make contributions to up the price, you've got somebody to keep an eye on the account, and you've got somebody to verify who carried out the contract and pay them.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Are donations to a fatwa foundation tax deductible?

  • T||

    Tax deductible and counts as material support! It's a two-fer!

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, no, you could do it to improve American-Iranian relations. Kind of like the bullshit the administration does.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    According to the IRS, maybe not.
    http://www.irs.gov/Charities-.....oundations

  • Pro Libertate||

    "We have redesigned the IRS.gov website to make it easier and faster to find the information you need. If you have reached this page by selecting a bookmark that worked previously, it is likely the URL has changed. To navigate to the new redesigned IRS website click on the homepage link. You may also Search the site for specific information. Once you have arrived at the desired page, please update your bookmark."

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Hahahahaha!!!

    Wouldn't it have been "faster" and "easier" if the URL which was working perfectly fine for me had worked when copy/pasted? What a fucking joke. Your tax dollars at work, inefficiently supporting the shitheels who take more of your tax dollars to pay for their inefficiencies.

    Govt fail!

  • Pro Libertate||

    By making regulations randomly available, the IRS ensures noncompliance by even the most advanced practitioners of tax metaphysics.

  • Paul.||

    We've got to get the money out of Fatwas!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    what about the general population?

    "Of course you know- THIS MEANS WAAAAAAR!"

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting"

    Makes me wonder if the majority of Muslims would even know about this movie clip if people like Rice didn't keep talking about it. Out of all the movies that can be considered offensive to a religious group, this piece of shit is the one causing riots and needs to be pointed out by the government as "heinous and offensive"?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    It is by the grace of The Prophet (PBUH) that I didn't kill EVERYTHING around me when I saw half of "Fame" (only movie I paid to see that I've ever walked out on).

    So I understand the "artistic" argument.

    /derp

  • Hugh Akston||

    I do not quite understand the need to pass aesthetic judgment on a work before making a free speech argument, but that seems to be a minority opinion.

    You don't want people to take your free speech argument as an implicit endorsement of the film or its message, especially if you didn't like the film esthetically or philosophically.

    Just try to say that Michael Bay has a right to free speech without condemning Transformers as an underwroght, overacted piece of trash that is an insult to anyone with a functioning mind. I dare you.

  • ||

    Michael Bay has no rights!!! NONE!!!

  • T||

    "It looked like a whirlwind fucking a GM plant from the inside."

  • Paul.||

    Except the Transformers actually ran...

  • The Hammer||

    If Rushdie dies of natural causes, I assume Hassan Sanei will be setting $3.3 million on fire or finding some other way to see to it that Allah gets his due?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm offended by stuff all the time. Doesn't mean I kill someone over it.

    Would you, if I gave you this BOMB? I have some automatic assault rifles, too. Need some walking-around money? Don't worry, I'm totally not affiliated with any government law enforcement agency, or anything. That black Ford Crown Victoria with the "Police Interceptor" badge on the deck lid- don't worry, I got that at an auction.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I thought John was supposed to be our resident agent provocateur, at least, since Terry left.

    I can't keep up with these things.

  • Pip||

    I've been a regular for years. Who is Terry?

  • tarran||

    A long time ago, this fellow named Terry showed up and kept demanding that everyone join him in something called the Libertarian Militia.

    We mocked him as an obvious ATF plant, and eventually he went away.

    What was amusing was that his solution to every problem of government over reach was this militia. Government mandates an unachievable fuel efficiency for cars? Fight them with a militia.

    The government engineers did a shoddy job in examining foam strikes on space-shuttles? Militia will fix that quickly.

    Fun times.

  • R C Dean||

    Seriously, those are some of the best cars for the money at auctions. You can pick 'em up with @100K miles for a few thousand bucks. Should be good for another 50K miles. Where else will you get that much mileage for that kind of money?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant; it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters, so it'll run good on regular gas.

  • Tman||

    Fix the cigarette lighter.

  • John||

    Shacks fist angrily.,

  • ||

    I get out of Joliet and my brother picks me up in a cop car?!?

  • Tim||

    Can you get the smell of vomit and beatings out the backseat?

  • ||

    Dude, they have vastly more than 100K actual miles on them because they idle for hours at a time. You ever check the cylinder compression on one of those? Fucking terrible.

    Plus, it smells like pig.

  • John||

    This was a bargain. I picked it up at the Mount Prospect City Police auction last spring. Its an old Mount Prospect police car. They were practically giving them away.

    Its got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant. It has got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks, it was a model made before the catalytic converters so it will run good on regular gas.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wow, it's like you knew what I was typing before I typed it! Maybe Mary was right about you. . . .

  • John||

    I can't live in Mary's head anymore. It was too crowded with all of the other voices and all. So now I will live in yours.

  • Paul.||

    Neither of you wrote, "It'll run well on regular gas".

    /Cavanaugh

  • Pro Libertate||

    I copied and pasted from IMDB, though I could almost do that one from memory.

    How much for the women?

  • Loki||

    Your wife, your little girls, sell them to me. Sell me your children!

  • John||

    My wife and I went to a restaurant in Philadelphia that I swear was just like the one in the movie. I sat through the whole meal thinking "how much for the little girls".

  • R C Dean||

    You don't want people to take your free speech argument as an implicit endorsement of the film or its message,

    Or, perhaps people who can't see that a free speech argument is not an endorsement of content will either (a) take your aesthetic condemnation as confirmation of their views or (b) ignore it altogether and say you are just another blaspheming infidel.

  • Tim||

    I actually tried to read "The Satanic Verses" and let me tell you that after a dozen pages of incomprehensible gibberish,I almost agreed that Rushdie should be terminated.

  • John||

    I am offended by how everyone has to start every statement defending free speech with "the video is awful and offensive". What does that have to do with anything? I don't care what the video is. The guy who made it has a right to make it. The value of its content has no place in the debate.

  • R C Dean||

    I am offended . . .

    Homeland Security would like a word.

  • Tim||

    It should share, it WOULD share the same fate as a million other vids posted every day, from raving commies to cats that poop in toilets-except for the idiots who make it famous by getting violent.

  • Loki||

    Are we really supposed to ignore two major wars we've waged in Afghanistan and Iraq plus all sorts of other public and "covert" actions we've underaken in the 21st century?

    Yes, and as always, Fuck You, That's Why.

  • GILMORE||

    #Wind power has plenty of potential and little risk as an energy source for the future

    The idea must be to capture these non-stop emissions from hack politicians. As windbags, they would suddenly serve some useful purpose.

  • Tman||

    What I don't understand is that if one really wanted to plumb the depths of Youtube videos there are far FAR more offensive videos out there that would upset muslims and they aren't exactly hidden. To somehow pick this one as the scapegoat just defies logic.

    But to compound this illogical conclusion, we have our own government actively supporting the idea that it's a single 15 minute video from the thousands available that suddenly caused this entire flare up. And then they send in the stormtroopers to take out the guy who made it.

    It's almost as if Obama and the administration care more about their reputation and re-election than they do about reality of the situation. And of course that can't be true because Obama said “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.” So we shold be all cool by now, right?

  • wareagle||

    It's almost as if Obama and the administration care more about their reputation and re-election than they do about reality of the situation.

    you don't say. And for once, a large chunk of the Beltway crowd has a Woodward book it is not happy with.

  • John||

    There are books out there that argue quite seriously that Muhammad never existed and was made up a couple of centuries later to justify the Arab empire. That strikes me as a lot more offensive to Muslims than this.

  • Tman||

    That's what makes this whole video a non sequitur. I mean, there are popular websites available for viewing in the Muslim world that aren't necessarily obscene but are just as if not more offensive to Muslims than that video.

    The saddest part of this whole thing is the laughable excuses that State and the Admin have given.

    I don't even think this is really a fault of the state dept or the Admin per se, as riotous violent muslim fanatics are and will remain outrageously outraged in order to hide their own massive cultural deficiencies, but the way they've responded has simply been embarrassing.

  • GILMORE||

    Tman| 9.17.12 @ 1:09PM |#

    What I don't understand is that if one really wanted to plumb the depths of Youtube videos there are far FAR more offensive videos out there...

    Links or it didnt happen

    We should run a Horribly-Offensive-Film Festival, consequently sparking a global freakout massacre-riot between all races, genders, religions, and soccer fans.

  • John||

    Since the administration is now so concerned about people's religious sensibilities, I am sure they will soon be asking Youtube to take down every Anti-Semitic video they have, right?

  • GILMORE||

    First, get rid of all the Lady Gaga

    Also, my religion is offended when it is Rickrolled.

  • nicole||

    My religion is offended by the horrid, horrid design of YouTube.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Someone going to host a public screening of this film? I called a local theatre to offer, they hung up when I asked.

  • Paul.||

    They're not idiots. These muslims are straight-up crazy...

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    What I don't understand is why they are lying. It's like it's just a reflex or something.
    What harm can come to the Obama Admin by just straight out condemning the people who attacked our embassies. Why the rush to blame the video and call this spontaneous when the video came out months ago and the attacks came on 9-11? How stupid do they think we are?
    So again, what is the benefit to Obama from these particular lies? What demographic's votes is he looking for here?

  • John||

    What harm can come to the Obama Admin by just straight out condemning the people who attacked our embassies.

    Doing that would require them to admit that there might be some moral or rational differences between us and our enemies. Doing that is like breaking the prime directive to these people.

    How stupid do they think we are?

    Pretty stupid.

  • ||

    Doing that would require them to admit that there might be some moral or rational differences between us and our enemies. Doing that is like breaking the prime directive to these people.

    If you assert that Muslim fanatics are rioting in large numbers in response to a YouTube video, you are implicitly conceding that there are "moral (and) rational differences between us and our enemies".

  • nicole||

    Doing that is like breaking the prime directive to these people.

    Any trekkie knows that the prime directive was practically made to be broken.

    This seems much more like the omega directive to me.

  • John||

    Yeah. They always talked a lot about it. But then every single episode consisted of Kirk breaking it.

  • wareagle||

    What demographic's votes is he looking for here?

    the one that believes in moral relativism. This is who Obama is; it's a variation of follow the money or follow Team loyalty. In this case, follow the trail to America for it is there where you will find the problem.

  • Lord Humungus||

    *chants* four more years! FOUR MORE YEARS!

  • WTF||

    How stupid do they think we are?

    Stupid enough for a majority of voters to elect Obama President. So, pretty fucking stupid.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Naïve and foolish to do so in 2008; fucking moronic to do so in 2012, even with his crappy GOP competition.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "How stupid do they think we are?"

    Look at the president's public approval rating. That stupid.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Rushdie also said:

    Rushdie had no sympathy for the filmmaker now embroiled in a violent backlash.
    "He did it on purpose," the author told TODAY. "He set out to create a response and he got it in spades."

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/.....today_news

  • wareagle||

    pot meet kettle. Seriously, Rushdie is different how?

  • Brett L||

    He's got a smoking hot wife?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Padma Lakshmi? I think she moved on quite a while ago.

  • GILMORE||

    Everyone in the media is completely confused about this = the video that has offended muslims to the point of death-rage-jihad-mardi-gras worldwide was in fact, Two Girls One Cup It just took a long time for it to be converted to Betamax. (the prophet says VHS is haram)

  • John||

    The media has been more mendacious than even usual about this. All last week there was story after story giving leaked quotes from the Obama campaign about how this issue was really going to help Obama.

    Now today in the Washington Post the leaked story is that Obama is no longer going to talk about foreign policy and focus on the economy. But I thought it was such a good thing for them?

  • OldMexican||

    I do not quite understand the need to pass aesthetic judgment on a work before making a free speech argument,

    It's nothing more than a way of saving face, so you do not pass for someone that agrees with the content of the work. However, it is still intellectual dishonesty, as it is a tacit acceptance of the underlying justification for those people's outrage.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sometimes it's preferable to be a bit dishonest than to be focus of those peoples' outrage.

  • A Serious Man||

    However, it is still intellectual dishonesty, as it is a tacit acceptance of the underlying justification for those people's outrage.

    Isn't it kind of insulting and condescending to act like it's unreasonable to ask that Muslims in the 21st century be evolved enough to tolerate the free expression of people in a country halfway around the world?

    I don't see Christians rioting everytime that Bill Maher takes shots at Christianity or any other comedian like Sarah Silverman or Kathy Griffin, nor do I think there was any substantial violence over Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ.

  • Pip||

    I know it's not the same film, but when South Park did Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, I giggled at the crucifixion scene because of the moaning. I giggle every time I remember it too.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Ms. Stack should take the original video and resync the vocals with our posts. Then we could become outraged!!!! ahem, OUTRAGED!

  • Fluffy||

    I am offended by how everyone has to start every statement defending free speech with "the video is awful and offensive". What does that have to do with anything?

    The model of western religious pluralism is built on a tacit agreement of all believers to refrain from pointing out that anybody else's religion is stupid, on the "people in glass houses" principle.

    The model doesn't gibe well with deliberate attempts to brutally criticize, which are "hateful" even when accurate.

    Islam's problem (like Mormonism's problem, or Scientology's for that matter) is that as you get more recent in the historical record there's more and more embarrassing stuff written down, and it's harder and harder to get away from it. Any serious look at the founding generation of Islam has to be either whitewashed ("Different times have different standards") or hateful by modern standards. These are men who sacked cities, raped virgins and owned slaves. They have the Jefferson problem times 1000. Our diplomats have to use verbal formulations like this to signal "Hey, we know all the shit about Mohammad too, but see how nice we are? We're agreeing not to talk about it."

  • John||

    The other issue is that Islam has never been subjected to the kind of historic analysis that Christianity, Judaism or pretty much every other major world religion has been subjected to. The whole religion is based on a mythical account written two centuries later. That is not necessarily a killer. Judaism and Christianity are based on the same thing. The problem is that there are references to Jews from other sources that pre-date the oldest known forms of the Old Testament. There are tons of Roman references to Christians and their, by Pagan Roman opinion, idiotic faith in a leader the Romans had crucified. No such evidence exists for Muhammad. The people who were actually getting conquered by the Arabs in the late 7th Century never mention anyone named Muhammad or the Arabs having any special leader or prophet. That all came much later.

  • Fluffy||

    The hadiths with the details of Mohammad's life almost certainly contain a vast amount of ahistorical material, but no credible historian or archaeologist thinks there wasn't a Mohammad.

    The main dispute in early Islam and the reason for its internal schism was a succession dispute - a dispute that took place within 20 years of Mohammad's death. Different players put forth alternative claims about who the appropriate successor to Mohammad should be. Those disputes are extremely well attested in the historical record, and the idea that they were concocted as a national myth within two decades of the death of the sect's founder stretches credulity.

    It would be like arguing in 2012 about whether there ever was an Ayn Rand. If Len Peikoff had conquered half the world, and the question of who was going to succeed him was the most important question in the world (literally) at that time.

  • GILMORE||

    If Len Peikoff had conquered half the world, and the question of who was going to succeed him was the most important question in the world (literally) at that time

    Why, his brother Leonard naturally! What, are you in favor of Ali, you donkey fucking blasphemer? I declare you apostate! You and your children are my enemy for the rest of time!

  • GILMORE||

    Oh, I meant his other brother. Or... I don't know.

    Piekoff wins mega-creepy award for his "wanting to nuke muslims writ large" before the idea was even *fashionable*

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoAWCwm-UXw

  • John||

    That view is changing. The only reason few people dispute it is that Islam has never been subjected to a serious historic analysis. There is no evidence of his existence beyond stuff written well after his time. The Byzantine sources of the time don't mention him. They speak of the Arabs as believing in an off shoot of Judaism. There is almost no historical evidence for his existence. Much less than Jesus. And really less than Moses, since Moses is so much older and the sources so obscure. It defies credulity that the 7th Century Roman Empire could have not noticed that the Arabs were coming out of the desert because they fell in behind some guy named Muhammad.

  • Tman||

    Stephen den Beste wrote a great piece comparing our defeat of Japan in WWII with the current struggle against Islamic culture. There are some interesting similarities, but I'm pretty damn relieved that Islam doesn't possess the same level of military might that Hirohito did.

    http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entr.....slam.shtml

  • ant1sthenes||

    "They speak of the Arabs as believing in an off shoot of Judaism. "

    Islam is an offshoot of Judaism, as much so as Christianity. Perhaps Mohammed himself later got elevated to a position of sanctification that he didn't have during or shortly after his life (much like any number of Christian saints).

  • John||

    There may have been a Muhammad. Chances are there were a lot of religious figures running around 7th century Arabia. But there is no evidence that there was ever an historic Muhammad who in any way resembles the figure portrayed in the Koran.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, obviously. You pretty much have to be a Muslim to believe that their prophet was chosen by and talked to God, after all. Same is true of every religion, of course.

  • Fluffy||

    Contemporaneous references are sparse, but such references to Abu Bakr and Umar I are not sparse.

    And Umar was caliph within 5 years of Mohammad's death.

    Believing that there was no historical Mohammad requires us to believe that Umar could conquer the Persian Empire and half the Byzantine Empire while claiming to act in the name of a guy who died 5 years before...but there was no guy, and he just made it up. Possible, but extremely doubtful in a literate context.

  • John||

    Umar existed. But there are no references to him ever claiming to conquer in the name of Muhammad. That is the whole point.

    We know Jesus existed because we know from Roman sources that there were people running around Rome in the 1st Century claiming to be his followers. But we have no such sources for Muhammad. There is no direct evidence Umar ever claimed to be a follower of Muhammad. That all came later.

  • Fluffy||

    Umar littered the landscape with mosques.

    He built the first mosque at the Dome of the Rock specifically in response to the claim that Mohammad ascended to heaven there.

    Umar also set up the tax policy whereby conversion to Islam was not required of new citizens of the empire if you paid the dhimmi tax. Conversion to Islam required direct affirmation of Mohammad's status as prophet.

    If you take the word "Mohammad" out of everything Umar did, none of it would make any sense. You'd have mosques signifying nothing, and tax policy based on whether or not you believed in...nobody.

  • John||

    Once again, no contemporary evidence that that was why the Dome was built.

    Yes, the Arabs had their own religion. It seemed to be some offshoot of Judaism. Thus it makes sense they would build a shrine on the Temple Mount. But there is no contemporary evidence that that religion was based on Muhammad as he is portrayed in the Koran. All of that came later.

  • John||

    And go look and find a single contemporary text of Umar where Umar ever put the name Muhamad on anything. He never did. That name was put there later. You assume he did because you are believing the later sources.

  • Calidissident||

    "The Byzantine sources of the time don't mention him."

    Not true. In Doctrina Jacobi, nuper baptizati (Teaching of Jacob), there are a few references to Muhammad, and that was written just a few years after his death. John of Damascus, who was born in the 7th century and died in 749, also wrote about him. So he obviously wasn't made up in the 800's, as you're suggesting

  • John||

    If Len Peikoff had conquered half the world, and the question of who was going to succeed him was the most important question in the world (literally) at that time

    But there is no evidence that it was beyond things written hundreds of years later by people who had a reason to believe. How did the Persians and the Romans manage to miss this? But there isn't a single source at the time who noted it.

  • Pip||

    he main dispute in early Islam and the reason for its internal schism was a succession dispute - a dispute that allegedly took place within 20 years of Mohammad's death.

    FIFY

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The model doesn't gibe well with deliberate attempts to brutally criticize, which are "hateful" even when accurate.

    Yes, but there is a little more to it than that. Remember than Arabic culture, and Muslim culture in general, is a honor culture. Even if something is true, if it causes embarrassment it is culturally expected that one must reclaim one's "honor". Compare this to modern Anglo-American culture, where the truth trumps all.

  • GILMORE||

    how this issue was really going to help Obama.

    really?

    Do you have one example of anyone claiming this was *a good thing*? I'd like to see how they baked that pretzel, because I'm not sure you can spin burning-embassies, dead ambassadors, and worldwide mayhem into a sign of 'responsible leadership and effective foreign policy'

  • wareagle||

    they baked the pretzel with Romney, that his defense of things like 1A shows how he cannot be trusted on the global stage. Come on, man; it's team first at all times. Enough folks believe Rice's bullshit about Obama being measured and thoughtful and all that, and Mitt as the crazy guy who thinks free speech matters.

  • John||

    Here is but one example in the Daily Beast

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....icans.html

  • GILMORE||

    Holy mother of stupid on a fucking stick

    Obama’s Team Sees Campaign Boost in Overseas Attacks on Americans

    President Obama’s strategists are convinced that the overseas attacks on U.S. diplomats are a major break for his campaign—as long as they are not viewed as politicizing the crisis.

    Get it? Its a great ++ politically, as long as no one thinks we're using it for political reasons!!

    thats some military-grade A+ dumb shit right there.

  • John||

    And that is Howard Kurtz who is Mr. Beltway conventional wisdom.

  • R C Dean||

    Pretty much the "Americans will support the Great Leader in times of crisis, not want to change horses in midstream" line.

  • tarran||

    I think he means that two weeks ago, Obama was planning to make foreign policy the centerpiece of his campaign - contrasting how he personally broke Osama Bin Laden's Neck after OBL had killed all the other members of seal team six, except for the hot-chick -merely wounded - that Obama would schtup except that he's loyal to Michelle back home, while Mitt Romney and the other members of Snooty House were busy mixing martinis and fretting about the damage Robot house had done to their servant quarters.

    Kind of like the way President Tug Benson defeated Saddam Hussein in Hot Shots Part Deux.

  • ||

    Dean Vernon: You robots are a disgrace to this university. Whenver a fire alarm is pulled, it's Robot House. Whenever the campus liquor store is looted, Robot House. Whenever a human corpse is desecrated...

    Bender: Now I can explain that!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Just re-watched The Outlaw Josey Wales. Vernon was great in that.

  • John||

    DON'T PISS ON MY BOOTS AND TELL ME ITS RAINING!!

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's such a great movie.

  • John||

    I can't get my wife to understand the great Eastwood flicks. I tried to get her to watch Thunderbolt and Lightfoot the other day and she was bored by it. It is terribly disappointing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can't comprehend that.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It basically went down like this.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    This reminds me of the drug laws in AmeriKKKa.

  • GILMORE||

    OK - unrelated complaint:

    WTF is it with the "submit" + "preview" buttons being on the right and the left of *this* text-box, but in "Reply" comments, its reversed...?

    I demand the head of the incompetent webmaster! it is insult to the prophet! aiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaialaiaiaialaiuaia

  • Paul.||

    Already been discussed... by me. Very annoying. My typo/grammar/nonsense factor has gone way, way up. And that's saying something...

  • Voros McCracken||

    I'm virtually certain that more people have condemned the film as 'worthless' and 'offensive' than have actually seen the thing.

  • T o n y||

    I think the thing is that violence as a result of religious sensitivity, or violence of any kind, is obviously condemnable. It goes without saying that the attacks are unjustified and wrong. But Rushdie and others are right to use their own free speech to condemn the video in any way they feel appropriate. The whole reason speech is protected is because speech is useful--it can lead to action. This particular form of speech can and has led to violent action in the Middle East. We must be careful not to find ourselves siding with censorship--which is what we're doing when we say it is inappropriate to criticize speech just because it's speech. What's anti-freedom about saying "this speech leads to violence"? There are bad kinds of speech! Propaganda, bigotry, and (literally) inflammatory speech can be called out as harmful. Nothing wrong or anti-free-speech about that. If some American jackass wants to piss on Muhammad, yes, he is free to do that, and the State Department is also free to say "your speech is doing harm to Americans."

    Without question, it goes without saying, obviously--the perpetrators of violence are the ones responsible for violence, and they need to reform themselves before we make censorship part of foreign policy. But speech can be and always has been able to be a weapon, and it is pro-free-speech to be able to talk about it when it is used as such.

  • Paul.||

    If some American jackass wants to piss on Muhammad, yes, he is free to do that, and the State Department is also free to say "your speech is doing harm to Americans."

    Which is a tacit admission that pissing on Muhammed is more dangerous than pissing on Christ. I'm glad we're finally getting some sunlight on this issue.

  • T o n y||

    That is evidently so. It's an idiosyncratic fact of the world. I've never found facts to be harmful by themselves, or shying away from facts to be useful.

  • Tman||

    There's is a difference between saying "your speech is doing harm to Americans" asking Youtube to remove the video as well as sending the guy who made the video to jail.

    A giant big honking 1st amendment difference.

  • T o n y||

    I agree.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Please provide a link to someone from the Obama Admin. condemning a piece of art that insults Christians or Jews.

  • T o n y||

    That's the entire point--Christians and Jews don't tend to commit violence when their religions are blasphemed. It's a fact that some Arab Muslim extremists do. The Medieval worldview of Muslim extremists in the Middle East is just a fact of the world. Not an easy one to contend with, certainly, and one that does test Western freedoms, and despite which I hope Western freedoms win out. But if your weapon is reason and Enlightenment you may be outgunned by those whose weapon is religious certainty.

  • Paul.||

    Once again, I have to give T o n y points for honesty here.

    For years I've been begging liberals to quit walking the fence on this issue and just come out and say, "Look, we're scared shitless of these loons, so please shut up!"

  • T o n y||

    I'm not scared of them. I'm not working in an embassy in the Middle East. I have far more to fear from Christian extremists than I do Muslim ones, given where I happen to live. I don't really have a point, but if I did, it would be that we need a more widespread deployment of secular education in this world than we have.

  • Paul.||

    I don't really have a point, but if I did, it would be that we need a more widespread deployment of secular education in this world than we have.

    Which of course would be... a form of blasphemous speech.

  • Restoras||

    I have that same problem with Christian Extremists. Why just the other day I miraculously managed not get killed by a mob of them who were demanding everyone convert and drink the Holy Water. I escaped by pointing to the sky and saying "Behold! The Rapture is Beginning!"

    What do you do to escape the mindlessly violent Christian Extremist mobs where you live?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'll bet Tony has a bulletproof vest just to keep Christian Extremist snipers from executing him on his way to work.

  • T o n y||

    Where I live the Christian extremists have a weapon more powerful than any IED: the state legislature.

  • Restoras||

    Those sneaky bastards! How dare they vote! If I were you I'd Vote back!

  • T o n y||

    I'm just saying it's orders of magnitude more likely that a Republican legislator will legislate a probe up my ass than a Muslim will blow me up. Just a quirk of geography.

  • Restoras||

    Well let's see, how many times in the past 100 years has that happened and to how many people versus how many times have terrorists killed people and how many were killed? I gonna go out on a limb and say answer to the first is Zero and, well, the answer to the second is soemthing I'll have to google but it's definately significnatly Higher than Zero.

  • Virginian||

    Outgunned? By what standard?

    We're outgunned because the leader of the free world is shirking his responsibility to offer a full throated, unequivocal defense of free speech. That's not outgunned, that's willfully disarming yourself.

    More people will die because of his weakness and fecklessness. For decades the radicals have known hostage taking doesn't really work. Because taking hostages means you have to keep them somewhere, and sooner or later men come in the night like djins of legend, kill the warriors of Allah, and free the hostages.

    The American government has apologized repeatedly, and arrested the offending filmmaker. The message the radicals learned is that if you kill Americans, they will apologize for offending you. There is no way this ends well. None at all.

  • T o n y||

    America has not apologized for anything and nobody's been arrested. Get facts, not factlike utterances.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "I hope Western freedoms win out"

    If so, why do you vote for Democrats?

    Or Republicans, if you happen to vote for them?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If some American jackass wants to piss on Muhammad, yes, he is free to do that, and the State Department is also free to say "your speech is doing harm to Americans."

    The State Department is made of individuals that swore to obey and uphold the US Constitution, so they're not free to let their opinions on aesthetic matters, concerning private speech, be known to everybody else.


    But speech can be and always has been able to be a weapon, and it is pro-free-speech to be able to talk about it when it is used as such.

    Not by those that swore to protect the Constitution, it is not. YOU have the right to opine on the matter but not government officials. If they don't like the contraint, they should look to work in the private sector.

  • T o n y||

    Wait a minute. I realize that speech is under certain circumstances restricted for government employees (same goes for lots of private sector employees with respect to their employers). But you seem to be saying that the constitution entails that government employees have no free speech rights.

    If all you're saying is that official government statements on the merits of private speech has a chilling effect, OK, that's reasonable. But I'm making the argument that a) speech can lead to action and thus b) the government can have a national security stake in matters of speech.

    (This is one of those times when I'm just throwing an argument out there to invite debate, not knowing for sure what I believe, so don't start calling names if you can help it.)

  • ant1sthenes||

    Except that the speech doesn't lead to violence for ordinary people. All of the people who react violently have a trait in common -- following certain strains of Islam. These people also react violently to many other things.

    The rational explanation would be that the Islamic radicalism was primarily responsible for the violence, but there are a lot more people in the government condemning a silly video than there are condemning a hate movement. And they call themselves liberal.

  • T o n y||

    Every single statement I've heard from anyone goes out of its way to first condemn the violence itself.

    Incidentally, buying the notion that liberals or the Obama administration care more about protecting Muslims' feelings than American values is to be a victim of that other kind of harmful speech: rightwing propaganda.

    Yes Muslim extremists reacting violently to blasphemy is a fact of the world. The only question at hand is how to deal with it. On one extreme is doing nothing--letting it happen as worth the price of American ideals. On the other is censorship as a means of prevention. I don't think the latter is remotely effective, but I don't think the former is acceptable either since Americans are, in fact, dying. Discuss.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Every single statement I've heard from anyone goes out of its way to first condemn the violence itself."

    "RICE: ... was a result -- a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is -- that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms."

    First: "was a result -- a direct result of a heinous and offensive video"

    Second: "We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence"

  • Col. Kurtz||

    "Yes Muslim extremists reacting violently to blasphemy is a fact of the world. The only question at hand is how to deal with it."

    Drop the bomb. Exterminate them all.

  • T o n y||

    I don't know about you but pretty much all Republicans I talk to essentially believe this.

  • John||

    Has it ever occurred to anyone at the State Department that maybe Muslim leaders such as the President of Libya is saying this is Al Quada not only because it is true, but also because they are embarrassed by the portrayal of Muslims as some kind of animals who would burn shit down over a video? It might be better for the US image to blame this on Al Quada rather than painting the entire Muslim world as a bunch of idiotic children. Just a thought.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Good point.

  • Paul.||

    It might be better for the US image to blame this on Al Quada rather than painting the entire Muslim world as a bunch of idiotic children. Just a thought.

    NPRs itinerant liberal minstrels, David Brooks and E.J. Dionne commented that it was unwise for Romney to be commenting on the tragedy when so little was known. Yet that is exactly what both the embassy and the President did.

    They bought into the early narrative that it was about the video, drew attention to it away from the coordinated nature of the Libyan attacks, and then it became about the video.

    The President and his professorial asshats appear to find it more useful to play into their hate-speech constituency than crossing over a bit by defending Americans rights (even in the face of violence-- the best time to defend your rights, by the way) and make it about terrorism.

    This could be Obama's undoing.

  • wareagle||

    Yet that is exactly what both the embassy and the President did.

    maybe the media folk are pissed that Mitt pre-empted their ability to praise Obama for his thoughtfulness and calm during the incident. In other words, he fucked up their narrative.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "maybe the media folk are pissed that Mitt pre-empted their ability to praise Obama for his thoughtfulness"

    That's exactly what he did. Obama didn't get a chance to disavow the embassy statement before Romney said it was a dumb thing to say.

  • R C Dean||

    It might be better for the US image to blame this on Al Quada

    That would be an admission that the administration has failed in its foreign and military policy.

    Really, their only option to keep from taking some responsibility for this is to blame the film-maker. That's why their doing it, and why Rice says idiotic crap like:

    We are of the view that this is not an expression of hostility in the broader sense toward the United States or U.S. policy.

    The disappearance of this hostility under the benevolent gaze of Dear Leader was the whole point of their foreign policy.

  • John||

    I understand why they are doing it. But doing it has effects too. Not every Egyptian or Libyan is some fanatic just like not every American is out of a Occupy Wall Street march. Basically the US government is saying that as Muslims are so stupid, prone to violent, and narrow minded, that everyone in the world must watch what they say in order to keep them from going on a rampage.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Susan Rice = Baghdad Bob. Sure, it was just a coincidence that the attack happened on 9/11. LOL.

  • Paul.||

    We are of the view that this is not an expression of hostility in the broader sense toward the United States or U.S. policy.

    The disappearance of this hostility under the benevolent gaze of Dear Leader was the whole point of their foreign policy.

    This is definitely the major factor here. Obama's "improving America's image" is a bust. And I was really glad Matt Welch took Hurlburt to task on this issue by declaring that Obama's improved American image in Western Europe was really due to shallow feelings and perception, having nothing to do with concrete policy...

    Obama is a true foreign policy novice. We (lulz) elected a community organizer to the most powerful office of the land, and what we got was a community organizer sitting in the most powerful office in the land.

  • R C Dean||

    Yet another campaign commercial we won't see:

    Opening shot of Obama's speech where he talks about improving America's image overseas.

    Continue the speech as a voiceover for image of the various riots, flags being burned, and the ambassador's corpse being dragged through the streets.

    That's it. You don't even need to say anything else.

  • Paul.||

    Obama's Willie Horton?

  • Col. Kurtz||

    Obtuse much?

  • Paul.||

    I'm thinking you misunderstood my comment. But I try to make it a point to never explain a joke-- because the jokes don't come with roadmaps.

  • Lyle||

    Progressives would never think of this though. Muslims are just victims of white supremacist bigotry.

  • Jena||

    So does this mean the administration will want the film depicting the Osama raid released prior to the election as planned or not? After all, if it's the video that is setting off all the protests, as Susan Rice insists, wouldn't that full-length feature film -- with its higher production quality inflame Muslim sensibilities even more?

  • Pro Libertate||

    And it's known that the government leaked previously classified information to aid in the production of the film. So noncomplicity will be tougher to claim there.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Yeah, but it's okay if they're White House leaks. Just don't leak anything if you're a SEAL.

    http://www.witn.com/news/natio.....59775.html

    "The Pentagon and the CIA are looking at a book that's supposed to be published next month, on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It's written by a former Navy SEAL who took part in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

    Officials want to know if he's releasing any classified information.

    The former SEAL didn't submit the book for review ahead of time, as the military says he is required to do. If it turns out there's classified information there, the Pentagon says it will turn the matter over to the Department of Justice. And the former SEAL could face criminal charges"

  • wef||

    Scanning the comments here and thinking of that silly woman rice's bull shit, I wonder if this isn't a bit of the old magician's hand waving and misdirecting the eye. I wonder if this is not more about Syria and Iran baring their fangs and getting a little revenge, and then administration trying to divert attention onto movies and free speech, away from the more dangerous throwing of the gauntlet.

  • Jena||

    "Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?"

  • Pip||

    WHERE THE FUCK IS TiggyFoo?

  • ||

    wow. that picture of van gogh is chilling, even considering how many dead bodies i see personally, it's a gut punch. an innocent victim, dead because murderous thugs responded to a perceived slight to their religion with murderous violence. the definition of savagery

    and what a lineage van gogh has: Theo van Gogh was born in The Hague, Netherlands. His father, Johan van Gogh, was a member of the Dutch secret service ('AIVD', then called 'BVD'). Theo's uncle, also named Theo, was executed by the Germans as a resistance fighter during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. Theo's great-grandfather was the art dealer Theo van Gogh, brother of the world-renowned artist Vincent van Gogh.

  • Restoras||

    Hey, just be glad you don't live in teh same 'hood as T o n y, where Christian Extremists are running around terrorizing the poor fellow at every turn.

  • ||

    i remain VIGILANT against the christo-fascist american taliban!!!

    clearly, they are to be feared

    right now, though, the primary threat is the mormo-fascists. the murders, arson and death threats they have engaged in over the "book of mormon" on broadway is chilling. these thugs need to be reigned in

    for FUCK'S SAKE. short sleeve shirt with a tie and NO irony?

  • Restoras||

    Crap I forgot all about teh Mormofascists. What kind of clever distraction am I going to come up with the next time I stumble across a marauding band of them??

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Every time I see that picture, I ask myself "what the fuck did van Gogh do to deserve that?".

    If only certain people would ask themselves the same question...

  • Restoras||

    The people that do need to ask themselves that don't ask themselves that because they are Mooselimbs and Mosselimbs don't question the Great Mooselimb Profit Almanian. Or something like that.

  • Copernicus||

    If ever there was a proper target of a drone attack:

    ""I am adding another $500,000 to the reward for killing Salman Rushdie, and anyone who carries out this sentence will receive the whole amount immediately," said Hassan Sanei, the foundation's head, in a statement carried by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA)...."

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