Two Wrongs Do Make A Right

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Jyllands-Posten editor Flemming Rose wants to publish the Iranian paper Hamshahri's upcoming Holocaust cartoons. "My newspaper is trying to establish a contact with the Iranian newspaper, and we would run the cartoons the same day as they publish them," Rose tells CNN.

Hamshahri yesterday announced a contest calling on cartoonists to depict the Holocaust, with art director Farid Murtazawi saying, "They published caricatures insulting the Prophet Mohammed with the excuse of freedom of expression… We will see whether they do what they say; whether they will reprint these pictures of the holocaust." One of Murtazawi's cowering henchmen might want to tell him that Holocaust cartoons not only get printed in the west but win Pulitzer prizes.

Is Flemming Rose a tool of the neocons? is Jyllands-Posten a right-wing rag? I don't know, but I wish daily papers in America were half as willing to provoke controversy over ideas (especially when they do it with beautiful full-page, full-color spreads).

NEXT: Guiltless in Gitmo?

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  1. Guess that answered the question! The “holocaust cartoon contest” WILL keep the riots going!!

    The neo-trifecta is on. To paraphrase Reagan.

    “Iran has been outlawed, bombing will commence immediately”.

  2. I don’t think American newspapers publishing cartoons about Art Spiegelman’s parents’ survival of the Holocaust holds quite the same “offense” to Jews as cartoons of Muhammad with a bomb for a turban do. Those cartoons seem a bit racist as well, do Arabs even wear turbans like that? As long as it’s “controversial” I guess they can racistly equate all brown people.

  3. This is why one neocon told Woodward when asked about how history would view this administration, “We make history!”

  4. “amazing”drx, do you post anything here that isn’t a Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V from Democratic Underground?

  5. I don’t think American newspapers publishing cartoons about Art Spiegelman’s parents’ survival of the Holocaust holds quite the same “offense” to Jews as cartoons of Muhammad with a bomb for a turban do.

    And yet Mohammed is a symbol for a religion whose members do have a greater-than-average number of bombers. I doubt you’d have to look hard to find examples of Jesus used in cartoons to criticize racist-Christian groups like the KKK or Christian Identity; had there been political cartoons in the 16th century you’d likely have seen pictures of Jesus torturing a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition on the rack. And when the United States does bad things elsewhere in the world you’ll see cartoons of Uncle Sam doing evil things. Why should Mohammed be any different?

  6. If you’re going to troll, drx, could you at least make sense?

    Put a little effort in. What you’re posting now sounds like the taunts in Howard Dean & Cindy Sheehan vs. Don Rumsfeld & Dick Cheney tag match.

  7. mediageek, it’s getting to be like network television around here. A commercial every five minutes. Except here, our commercials are all for crazy left-wing crap. Didn’t Jason Bourne get temporaily banned for less? I’d rather be insulted than constantly annoyed. Isn’t spam a federal felony or something now? I may call the FBI. I also may vote straight GOP next time in retaliation. Twice. While emitting CFCs.?

    ?Sponsored by the Coalition of Reasonably Annoyed People

  8. Why should Mohammed be any different?

    Because he has a lot of followers who are violent barbarians, that’s why.

  9. Incidentally, I’m fine with well-reasoned left-wing crap :)?

    ?Sponsored by the Organization to Restrict Abuse of Lefties

  10. Hell, if I could draw I’d make a cartoon right this second, showing a bunch of KKK members setting fire to a cross that still has Jesus hanging on it. And another cartoon with Jesus telling a bunch of black kids “When I said ‘suffer little children to come to me’ I didn’t mean niggers!” And anybody who thinks these cartoons are about anything other than the racist acts that have been committed in Jesus’ name is too stupid to have opinions worth caring about, let alone worth defering to.

    But they’re more than welcome to respond by drawing cartoons insulting me. I’m tough enough to take it. Too bad the Manly Men of the Middle East are not.

  11. When Cartoonists Go Bad. Fuckin’ unbelievable.

    Even as an atheist, I must say that this imbroglio has all of the hallmarks of intervention by a malevolent, but witty god.

  12. You know, I’m wondering how much support this has cost Muslims among the non-Muslims in the world? Take me, for instance: I’ve gotten a lot of flak here because I oppose the Iraq War, I think Muslims DO have some legitimate foreign-policy beefs with the US, and I even sympathize with insurgents who try to blow up American soldiers (though not civilians) in their occupied territories.

    But this–this insanity of starting a vertiable anti-Western pogrom over ten cartoons drawn by private individuals–finds me slightly more sympathetic to those people who run around saying things like ‘We’ve got nukes. Turn the Middle East into a glass parking lot!’

    Not that I agree with such people, of course. But to hell with people who have the idea that the whole entire world has to tiptoe on eggshells to spare their stupid feelings. Fight fire with fire, yes, but don’t fight CARTOONS with fire.

  13. Jennifer,

    I don’t know why’re you’re addressing that to me. My point was only to show Cavanaugh was being disingenuous when he said ” One of Murtazawi’s cowering henchmen might want to tell him that Holocaust cartoons not only get printed in the west but win Pulitzer prizes.”

  14. Dude-

    Mea culpa. I cut and pasted the wrong part of your statement; I disagree with your assertion that it is racist to make cartoons showing Mohammed wearing a bomb in his turban, given things that have actually happened in the world. Nor do I think it would be anti-Christian to draw Jesus standing next to Fred Phelps shouting “I hate fags! I lied when I said I loved mankind!” or anything of that nature.

  15. “But this–this insanity of starting a vertiable anti-Western pogrom over ten cartoons drawn by private individuals–finds me slightly more sympathetic to those people who run around saying things like ‘We’ve got nukes. Turn the Middle East into a glass parking lot!'”

    Speaking of people “too stupid to have opinions worth caring about.” Sounds like Dr. X isn’t so far off after all. Some people riot and all of sudden people are more at ease with bombing countries full of those “barbarians.”

  16. I didn’t mean it was racist for having Muhammad with a bomb for a turban, I meant it was racist for depicting Muhammad with an Indian/Sikh style turban.

  17. I didn’t mean it was racist for having Muhammad with a bomb for a turban, I meant it was racist for depicting Muhammad with an Indian/Sikh style turban.

    The Sikhs don’t seem to care.

    Some people riot and all of sudden people are more at ease with bombing countries full of those “barbarians.”

    Actually, it’s more like “some people riot and make others consider the possibility that calling them ‘barbarians’ maybe isn’t all that inappropriate.” I still think that when it comes to certain foreign-policy matters, the US should try diplomacy rather than bombing; on the other hand, diplomacy is the art of compromise, and how can you compromise with people who will commit acts of arson and murder over a cartoon?

  18. Fight fire with fire, yes, but don’t fight CARTOONS with fire.

    Well put.

  19. I may be in the minority, but I think the cartoons are racist and were designed to provoke exactly the type of reaction that we are seeing. It is just wrong to portray a religious figure in a way that indicates they support any type of violent act committed long after they are gone. The bomb turban on Mohammed was way over the line. I would like to see the right wing fundie reaction to cartoons depicting Jesus holding the leash at Abu Ghraib or dropping white phosphorous on the citizens of Fallujah. Perhaps Jesus smiling as he stands over the bodies of the women and children he just killed with bombs from the US military. After all, Bush claims that God/Jesus told him it was time to go kill some brown skinned heathens that don’t worship the same way he does, so Jesus is actually an accesory to every murder that occurs during the War on Terror.

  20. If I were Muslim, I’d draw cartoons of all of my people rioting. Thus, honor is protected.

  21. Is there anything in thsoe cartoons remotely as offensive as Jesus invading iraq and knifing dudes to death to save Santa? Or have a statue of Mary bleed out its ass and have people wipe their faces with it, but then it’s turned into a non issue by the pope saying that it’s not a miracle when a women bleeds out her snatch?

    It’s offensive to a lot fo people, but it was also pretty funny.

    I’m hoping the South Park guys turn their attention to Mohammed and Islam!

  22. You got it dude. “It’s all about the (petro) dollars.”

  23. The bomb turban on Mohammed was way over the line. I would like to see the right wing fundie reaction to cartoons depicting Jesus holding the leash at Abu Ghraib

    I’m not right-wing, but I think that would be a BRILLIANT way to demonstrate the insanity of Bush saying that Jesus told him to invade.

    The caption on the cartoon can say “What Would Jesus Do,” of course.

    I’m also trying to figure out some way to draw the Abu Ghraib nude pyramid while using the comment about “turn the other cheek.” Dammit, where’s Stevo Darkly when I need him?

  24. Jennifer,

    You truly are a feral genius. People committing acts of arson = justfies US foreign policy of bombing civilians! What foreign policy matters involving said barbarians and the US require us to make a decision between “diplomacy” and “bombing?” Here’s some foreign policy, get the fuck out of the middle east.

  25. People committing acts of arson = justfies US foreign policy of bombing civilians!

    No, it’s “people rioting over cartoons = others more likely to bomb them rather than try to work out a diplomatic solution with people who will riot over cartoons.”

    Here’s some foreign policy, get the fuck out of the middle east.

    I agree 100%. But these cartoons aren’t even a foreign policy matter; they were published in Denmark for a Danish audience and only got to the Middle East because some devout followers of Mohammed chose to bring them there.

  26. If everybody hates postmodernism, why is everybody becoming a postmodernist around here?

    Guys, these folks ran a contest. Two of the cartoons were racist. They had the guts to run them anyway. ( I don’t think they are actually endorsing the one with the Bomb Turban.)
    Some of them are pretty good–like Muhammed at the blackboard, or the one with the virgins, or even the very sympathetic one of a guy leading a donkey in the desert. (Presumably the latter is inspired by the original topic, a chilrden’s book.)

  27. Link from Drudge:
    PARIS (Reuters) – A French satirical weekly reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday and published one of its own on its front page…
    “When extremists extract concessions from democracies on points of principle, either by blackmail or terror, democracies do not have long left,” Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val wrote.

    Philippe got it right.

    I didn’t mean it was racist for having Muhammad with a bomb for a turban, I meant it was racist for depicting Muhammad with an Indian/Sikh style turban.

    http://www.modernmuslima.com/hijabsource.htm
    has turban instructions for Muslims.

    Beside the facts that Muslims wear turbans and that Muslims, Indians and Sikhs aren’t “races,” is it “racist” to portray a Chinese guy wearing a western suit?

  28. If I was in art school, I’d take a copy of some of these cartoons and display them in a jar of piss.

  29. Brought them there with enhancements, Jennifer. That really torques me. “Oh, this is so offensive. Especially the ones we did ourselves.” (“Well, we did do the nose.”)

    Given the sodomization cartoons along with the fact that some of the 9/11 hijackers hung out at nude bars, I’m beginning to suspect that the decadent culture may not be us (sorry, gaius).

  30. I wish this story were true, but unfortunately it is not.

    Rose apparently said he would consider this, but the editor of Jyllands Posten has now categorically denied that they will consider printing this.

    But maybe Reason could publish a link?

    Full details in Danish here:
    http://www.jp.dk/indland/artikel:aid=3545834/

  31. Given the sodomization cartoons along with the fact that some of the 9/11 hijackers hung out at nude bars, I’m beginning to suspect that the decadent culture may not be us (sorry, gaius).

    I agree. Marjane Satrapi, in her book “Persepolis” (about the Iranian Islamic Revolution) explained why the ayatollahs make women wear the veil: “Women’s hair emanates rays that fill men with uncontrollable sexual excitement.”

    American men may be decadent, but I’ll give y’all this much credit: you’re quite capable of looking at a woman’s hair, face or even legs without suddenly losing your mind and rutting uncontrollably like a dog that hasn’t been trained. Hooray for our side!

  32. On a more serious note: American men generally understand that if they see a woman and have sexual thoughts, it’s up to the MAN to control himself, not the woman to make herself un-enticing. The men who don’t understand this are called “rapists” and locked in prison, rather than called “men of God” and allowed to run the country.

  33. Yo Scott,

    The point is not that the cartoons might be offensive or “racist” (FYI, all Muslims aren’t Arabs and vice versa). I have no problem with them being offended, protesting, boycotting products, etc. It’s the rioting, destruction of property, arson, and threats of murder that disturb me.

    And any of this false equivalence of “oh, imagine what the Xians would do if the shoe was on the other foot” is bullshit. For example, the above referenced South Park episodes, Andre Serranno, etc. certainly did not result in even the craziest Opus Dei members rioting and threatening people.

  34. Jennifer – your post @ 3:22pm is fucking awesome!

  35. Slightlybad,
    You must have missed the God’s Lightening rally after that ‘sode. Atlanta Hope had a rousing speech.

  36. American men may be decadent, but I’ll give y’all this much credit: you’re quite capable of looking at a woman’s hair, face or even legs without suddenly losing your mind and rutting uncontrollably like a dog that hasn’t been trained.

    Er, most of the time.
    I’m also trying to figure out some way to draw the Abu Ghraib nude pyramid while using the comment about “turn the other cheek.” Dammit, where’s Stevo Darkly when I need him?

    Thank you, but I actually try to think about Abu Ghraib nude pyramids as little as possible.

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  37. Sorry, Stevo. How about “What cheek would Jesus turn?” Too subtle? Too obvious?

    Nah, just too unfunny.

    Thank you, Lowdog. It’s sad because it’s true.

  38. RAW,

    WTF is that? I googled it, but got some confusing hits regarding “anarchist fiction”, a genre I’m admittedly unfamiliar with. At least I hope it’s fiction…

  39. Jen, you provoke a hardon and somehow YOU are the victim??

  40. “WTF is that? I googled it, but got some confusing hits regarding “anarchist fiction”, a genre I’m admittedly unfamiliar with. At least I hope it’s fiction…”

    it’s an illuminatus reference. (robert anton wilson)

    heavily recommended if you like batshit crazy genius.

  41. This statement by Jyllands-Posten is a little confusing. It seems to say that they will not publish any Holocaust cartoons from Iranian newspapers, but that they might.

    http://www.jp.dk/english_news/artikel:aid=3546222/

    BTW, does anybody besides me think “Death to Denmark” is just the funniest, most unlikely slogan they’d ever expected to hear out of the mouths of angry fundamentalists?

    What’s next? “Death to Pancakes”? “Death to Carrot-Top”? “Death to Koala Bears”?

  42. I have no problem with them being offended, protesting, boycotting products, etc. It’s the rioting, destruction of property, arson, and threats of murder that disturb me.

    Yes, what I been saying myself.

    And it’s why I think talk about freedom of expression actually confuses the issue. Yes, we believe in freedom of expression, but not because it’s something exalted or sacred in and of itself, but because it doesn’t HURT anyone, not unless that person allows it to. People are offended by others’ speech all the time. You actually have a RIGHT to be offended. I don’t think the point to Muslims should be take it like a man or understand that the West has different values, it’s that nothing justifies violence except defense from violence.

    Of course, sigh, maybe that’s too esoteric for most of the world, too….

  43. I cannot understand how the editor of the Danish paper could have failed to know how explosive those cartoons would be, and I cannot understand how the Europeans, or any Americans either – sorry, Jennifer – could be so shocked and appalled at the rage and the rioting. I know they’ve been watching TV and reading papers for the last 25 years or so. Have they not noticed the noticeable lack of self-deprecating humor among fundamentalist Muslims? Have they not discerned some tetchiness about dirty infidels dissing their faith? Have they missed the beheading, the exploding, the Kill the Infidels, Kill the Jews, Kill the Women, All the World’s a Caliphate, etc. etc.? Did they all really believe that all that beheadin and bombin and fatwa flingin was purely the result of W’s lack of sensitivity? Maybe they did…

    Everyone who’s been paying attention to the cartoon affair has pretty much agreed that the outrage was not spontaneous, was at least somewhat organized – by whom, take your pick – and was manufactured at this particular moment for a reason.

    Now, some people have posited – and I tend to agree – that this moment was chosen to show Europe that it (Europe) is Islam’s bitch, and not to go forgetting that, and not to quit funding the Palestinians, and not to keep playing hardball with the Great Satan against the mullahs. All these years the Euros have been shoveling money into the Middle East so that they could feel safe from terrorists and superior to the US. Forgetting that some folks, once bought, won’t stay bought. Or what Winston said about the crocodile eating you last.

    I agree with everything Jennifer has said about this affair, I just don’t understand the shock I sense she and some people are feeling.

  44. I don’t think the point to Muslims should be take it like a man

    No, that’s exactly what the point is–take it like a man, or rather like a grown-up, rather than taking it like a spoiled two-year-old who has a temper tantrum whenever things don’t go exactly her way.

    I pretty much outgrew my “the whole world revolves around me” mindset by the time I reached the first grade. It’s high time the fundamentalist Islamic world reach at least the same minimal level of maturity I had back when I was still young enough to sleep on Mickey Mouse sheets and occasionally write some letters backwards.

  45. “But this–this insanity of starting a vertiable anti-Western pogrom over ten cartoons drawn by private individuals–finds me slightly more sympathetic to those people who run around saying things like ‘We’ve got nukes. Turn the Middle East into a glass parking lot!'” – Jennifer

    Ok Jennifer, color me befuddled…

    You’re saying that attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon (not to mention various embassies, etc) aren’t sufficient to make you think that these are people who follow a barbaric form of a religion as an excuse for bloodshed, but pogroms over cartoons with far lower body counts and property destruction makes you think going nuclear might be an option???

    Is it because as long as it’s a complaint about US foreign policy that is claimed as the rationale for attacks it’s OK, but cartoons just aren’t a weighty enough cause?

    (What color equates to “befuddled” anyway?)

  46. Death to danishes. Death to Legos. Death to hot blonde chicks whom those American men can control ourselves around but we can’t. Death to Great Danes. Death to Carlsberg. Death to open-faced sandwiches. Death to kolde bord. Death to Greenland.

  47. You’re saying that attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon (not to mention various embassies, etc) aren’t sufficient to make you think that these are people who follow a barbaric form of a religion as an excuse for bloodshed, but pogroms over cartoons with far lower body counts and property destruction makes you think going nuclear might be an option???

    I am not IN ANY WAY justifying the attacks on the WTC, but those acts, while horrible, were in response to some legitimate complaints concerning some rather scuzzy things America has done in the Middle East. That is wildly different from acts in response to a goddamned cartoon.

  48. “Control themselves around.” Type slower, think faster.

  49. I agree with everything Jennifer has said about this affair, I just don’t understand the shock I sense she and some people are feeling.

    I think, for me, it’s because the previous actions were inappropriate responses to legitimate complaints. If people were rioting like this in Iraq after the Abu Ghraib photos came out, I’d be hard-pressed to blame them. But cartoons, for Allah’s sake. A fucking set of cartoons.

  50. Too bad none of this will convince the neocons that imprinting classical liberal values on these societies is a fool’s errand.

  51. Not that I’m a neocon, but why is it exactly that you think that these people are incapable of understanding some simple logical truths such as classical liberalism?

    That’s one of the most racist things I’ve ever heard.

    Oh, I’m sure that those Huns and Celts and…even Japanese people who currently live under “westernized democracies” adopted all of those ideas instantaneously? Hmmm?

  52. but why is it exactly that you think that these people are incapable of understanding some simple logical truths such as classical liberalism?

    Maybe because violent riots over an offensive cartoon are incompatable with classical liberalism?

    Nobody is genetically incapable of classical liberalism, but these people sound culturally incapable of it.

  53. No, that’s exactly what the point is–take it like a man, or rather like a grown-up, rather than taking it like a spoiled two-year-old who has a temper tantrum whenever things don’t go exactly her way.

    I disagree. I couldn’t care less if they kicked and screamed and wailed like banshees and told us all how much they hate us. Just as long as they don’t commit crimes of violence and destruction.

  54. If people were rioting like this in Iraq after the Abu Ghraib photos came out, I’d be hard-pressed to blame them. But cartoons, for Allah’s sake. A fucking set of cartoons.

    This follows the same pattern Randolph Bourne identified almost 90 years ago, when he noted that an attack on the symbols of the nation is always punished more harshly than an attack on the nation itself.

  55. Point taken, Fyodor. Though I meant “tantrum” to describe these riots.

    On a related note, I hope the Danes cut off every penny of foreign aid they’ve been sending to these countries.

  56. This follows the same pattern Randolph Bourne identified almost 90 years ago, when he noted that an attack on the symbols of the nation is always punished more harshly than an attack on the nation itself.

    I’m not familiar with this or with him, Tim. Was he talking about the Arab or Muslim nations in particular, or commenting on human nature in general? If the latter, I’m inclined to disagree.

  57. Oh, I’m sure that those Huns and Celts and…even Japanese people who currently live under “westernized democracies” adopted all of those ideas instantaneously? Hmmm?

    We had to slaughter Japanese soldiers en masse and nuke two of their cities before their society said “Hey, let’s reconsider our core values”.

  58. We had to slaughter Japanese soldiers en masse and nuke two of their cities before their society said “Hey, let’s reconsider our core values”.

    Ehhhh. Wouldn’t this argument actually prove those “neocons” right? That it is possible to take over a country through warfare and “convert” them?

  59. Wouldn’t this argument actually prove those “neocons” right? That it is possible to take over a country through warfare and “convert” them?

    Well, it is certainly possible; my beef with the neocons was and is that in the case of Iraq, it wasn’t necessary, and it was done under false pretenses. Japan and Germany actually started a war with us; fighting them was a matter of survival. I STILL don’t know what the hell the Iraq War’s genuine motivation was. Misplaced anger? Desire for oil? Presidential desire to succeed where Daddy failed? Beats me.

  60. Ehhhh. Wouldn’t this argument actually prove those “neocons” right? That it is possible to take over a country through warfare and “convert” them?

    By “fool’s errand”, I meant to imply that it would take WWIII to actually accomplish what they want, with all the tremendous costs associated with it. Believing they can do it simply (and this is only simple relative to a full frontal assault) by replacing a dictator with a democracy is just plain dumb, as the democracy is going to lean strongly towards theocracy due to the current cultural status of the Middle East.

  61. OK Tim, you called it. There were 900 related articles this morning compared to 4000 two days ago. Iran is forced to stretch to keep the story going. It’s over now.

  62. Re: Iraq. Yes, Jennifer and MP you make good points.

    However, I do not believe that ANY culture is ultimately incompatible with classical liberalism. You might know why if you notice I called them “logical truths”. Any person on this earth can grasp truths, if truths they be. Including Muslims. And the culture of Islam is not such that it makes these truths impossible to grasp. I point to the fact that western ideals of liberty already HAVE spread all over the world as proof that no culture is an absolute barrier to these truths. (Again, we’re running into the place where we should distinguish between the radical and/or insane factions and the culture at large.)

  63. However, I do not believe that ANY culture is ultimately incompatible with classical liberalism.

    I have to disagree; certain cultures are incompatible with liberalism (though this does NOT mean that people raised in such a culture are incapable of it). To make one extreme example, do you think the old Aztec culture, which revolved around huge amounts of ritual cannibalism, could have been converted to liberalism? The Aztec people certainly could have been (had the Spaniards bothered to try), but not without turning their old traditional culture into something completely different. If the old Aztecs were still alive they could possibly be converted to liberalism, but they wouldn’t be able to take their culture with them.

  64. You can have a classical liberal culture, and you can have a culture that starts pointless wars for the sole purpose of getting large numbers of prisoners to kill and eat in the Temple of the Sun God, but you can’t have them both at once.

  65. Jennifer…the Aztecs WERE converted to classical liberal culture (or, to some extent are still in that process)!

    Their descendants met up with some Europeans and continue to live in Mexico. That was part of my point.

  66. Jennifer, just yesterday you were pointing out that smoking pot is worse than murder. Your 4:35 post contradicts that. Not that you shouldn’t be allowed to change your mind, but you were right yesterday.

  67. Yes, Linguist, Aztec PEOPLE survived, but Aztecf CULTURE did not, at least not in any recognizable form. That’s what I’m saying–individuals can be converted to classical liberalism, but certain cultures cannot.

    Hell, Germany became a classical liberal society, but they were not able to keep their vile Nazi culture in the process. Germany isn’t incompatible with liberalism, but Nazism is.

  68. Jennifer, just yesterday you were pointing out that smoking pot is worse than murder. Your 4:35 post contradicts that.

    What?

  69. Jennifer, just yesterday you were pointing out that smoking pot is worse than murder. Your 4:35 post contradicts that.

    What?

  70. Perhaps the solution to this debate is that a culture can indeed be incompatible with liberalism, but a culture can change, given enough pressure. And perhaps the type of cataclism WWII was for Germany and Japan was what was needed to change an entire culture. Especially in favor of what was being imposed by those who wrought the cataclism. And perhaps the fact that the wroughting was righteous and justified (because it was clearly defensive) played no small part as well. So yes, perhaps Iraq could embrace democracy, but what would it take?

  71. Johnl, were you talking about my post yesterday in which I speculated that the reason we treat drug criminals worse than actual murderers is related to the way governments that establish a class of political crimes treat political prisoners worse than actual harmful criminals?

    If so, I’m not sure that relates to Tim’s comment about “attacks on national symbols” being treated worse than attacks on the nation itself; America has more than its share of problems, but at least we don’t start wars for the sole reason that people in foreign countries burn our flag.

  72. the Aztecs WERE converted to classical liberal culture

    Ha-ha, yeah, and look what THAT took!!

  73. He came dancing across the water, Cortez, Cortez
    What a killer…

  74. Jennifer

    Tim: …Randolph Bourne … an attack on the symbols of the nation is always punished more harshly than an attack on the nation itself.

    Jen: … Was he talking about the Arab or Muslim nations in particular, or commenting on human nature in general? If the latter, I’m inclined to disagree.

    Are you the same Jennifer pointing out that pot smoking is punished in ways violent crime isn’t? Chem y is our national

  75. … Chemical purity is our national religion.

  76. Yes, Jennifer and fyodor. I agree. Huns, Celts, Vikings and Goths have all been absorbed into the great western culture, as have Aztecs.

    The point I was originally arguing against was MP’s claim along the lines that “these people” are hopeless because their culture makes them unable to grasp or convert to those truths. And I think I was right in calling that racist. It reminds me of the old paternalistic arguments that “African slaves need the institution of slavery because they can’t handle/don’t know what to do with freedom as it’s not part of their culture”.

    Of course cultures change over time! And Islam, contrary to popular belief, has already changed drastically in the few hundred years it’s been around (including incorporating not a few western ideals along the way).

    Of course, we still have a few people in this country who’d rather see Africans back in chains. There are PEOPLE who will never really believe in equality.

  77. Let me put all of this more succinctly.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”

    Well, do we? If so, they remain truths others can grasp, even if they’re not immediately self-evident. No matter what culture you’re brought up in.

  78. The point I was originally arguing against was MP’s claim along the lines that “these people” are hopeless because their culture makes them unable to grasp or convert to those truths.

    There was a reason I used the word “societies”. Furthermore, the neocon reference was a reference to the concept of molding a society via a surgical use of force and a simple political reorganization. I stand by what I said. The neocons should view this episode as evidence that they should stop fishing and cut bait, because it would take a boatload more $$$ and lives to ramrod our values into these societies as they are presently formulated.

  79. No matter what culture you’re brought up in.

    I submit it’s *religion*, not culture, that’s the driving force here. Islam is currently being used as a tool to repress minorities and restrict freedoms in countries with many different cultures, from northern Africa to Malaysia.

  80. “..your post @ 3:22pm ”

    Yep, the best policy is to scroll til you hit a J post. Then start reading. Never disappointing.

  81. Are you the same Jennifer pointing out that pot smoking is punished in ways violent crime isn’t? Chemical purity is our national religion.

    Yes, that was me. Maybe this is a semantic argument, but drug crimes are more political crimes than political symbols. The flag is a political symbol–making it illegal to burn the flag would be a political crime. I think the US readiness to punish drug crimes more harshly than violent crimes is more akin to the Chinese tendency to punish pro-democracy or Falun Gong people more harshly than murderers, or the old Soviet tendency to punish anti-Communist people more harshly than actual criminals, as opposed to being related to the current fundie ideal of going batshit insane over a cartoon.

  82. The cartoons were designed and intended to cause offense and to lead to precisely the outcome we are now witnessing. The protestors need to realise that their behaviour is only playing into the hands of the puppet-masters’ grand schemes.

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