On the frontier of decency tonight, the barricades of self-deception are collapsing. The aged illusion of supremacy as man's wicked surrender to feral bigotry crumbles before the visage of primal depravity. Revealed in the chaos of this violent moment is the recollection that virtue is the currency of life, traded among civil men, in the market of common respect where value is earned, not bestowed.
A fundamental recognition of worth had long been concealed behind the barrier and hence forgotten by the sentinels of civilization. Only in its notable absense is it now seen. The truth is that decency is the substance of humanity, defined by action not lip service. And that worthlessness reveals itself through the bankruptcy of esteem, whereby fundamental self-loathing relents to violent self-destruction.
Supremacy in the mores of Man, we recall, is defined by the recognition that liberty is superior to tyranny... the tyranny of governments, kleptocracies, thugs or mobs.
At the beginning of this so-called 'Row,' as the talking-point-addicted media has it labelled, I lent a certain degree of empathy to Islam. The juvenile reprobates of European delinquency had violated the frontiers of decency, yet again. Only this time, ignoring their preferred doormats of Christendom, they wiped their feet on the cherished linens of Islam... heretofore sacred as a protectorate of the templars of progressive multicultural hypocrisy. Mohammed had joined the 'Piss-Christ' among the filth of modern degenerate nihilism and the vaccuum of propriety that envelops it. The Muslims were not pleased.
And they were right to be offended. Offended!
Liberty affords freedom of expression of unimagineable variety. Tolerance is however the burden of all who enjoy it. Liberty does not afterall, provide protection from offense inherent to its mandate. That is why decency is a prerequisite of human interaction. Mutual respect is the mechanism by which men earn trust and lend good will. Liberty is not license to defecate on another's sensibilities figuratively nor in fact.
Just because you can do a thing, does not mean you should. Here I agreed with Hugh Hewitt,
Indeed. Decency begets respect. That being said, this issue has now transcended the boorishness of European adolescence. Offense has given way to violence, and blood is being shed over the issue of...
[The items] were in bad taste, an unnecessary affront to many of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, just as Joel Stein affronted the military, the families and friends of the military, and as Toles did the same to the wounded, and their families, friends and admirers. Of course each of them had the absolute right to publish their screed, and the Danish (and now Norwegian) governments must reply to demands that these papers be punished with a steely refusal to be dictated to as to their culture of free expression and the protection of the vulgar and the stupid.
But don't cheer the vulgar and the stupid.
It was a series of cartoons,in fact. Originally appearing back in September of last year in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten, the toons caricaturing Mohammed have resurfaced four months later as part of a tuned propaganda campaign... another artillery barrage of mis-information directed through the nation of Islam at the West, as Austin Bay notes today...
Four months after their publication, however, we witness waves of orchestrated, coordinated violence -- war and information war directed at the West but also designed to deflect domestic challenges to Middle Eastern dictatorships. Vicious anti-Muslim cartoons -- not published by the Danes -- now circulate with the originals (suggesting a calculated act of propaganda designed to further inflame). Syria's secular dictatorship made cynical use of the cartoons. Mobs burned the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus. The attacks would not be possible without the tacit permission or connivance of the Syrian government. At the moment, Syria faces U.N. censure for its role in the murder of Lebanon's Rafik Harari. across the Arab a little more than a week ago, tempting reciprocal obstinance from the whole of Europe and subsequent reprinting of the toons across Europe and the blogosphere. Boycotts ensued. Threats were unleashed. Danish flags replaced Old Glory as the favored fuse of Islamic furor staged for audiences around the world, complete with the usual banners... written in English.Powerline concurs...
Thomas Lifson elaborates on this point in "The cartoon crisis conspiracy." Fred Siegel also draws out the stakes to similar effect in "Dropping the veil." Siegel writes: To read the New York Times or listen to intimidated European politicians you might think that the current angry demonstrations calling for death to the cartoonists were spontaneous eruption of anger. The demonstration in reaction to the cartoons in September of last year may have been spontaneous. But the campaign in the last two weeks to bully tiny Denmark has been funded by the Saudis and other Arab governments.
Riots ensued, threats flowed, and the Danish flag replaced Old Glory as the favored fuse of Islamic furor in convenient supply at every location, along with gasoline and matches. Europeans reciprocated with their own brand of honed obstinance by reprinting the original cartoons and more, in various newspapers across the Continent. The provocative graphics subsequently spread throughout the blogosphere. And Islamic anger swelled before the world's cameras complete with repugnant banners, conveniently printed in English. The rhetoric and the violence intensified.
Embassies in Syria and Lebanon have since been burned to the ground over this issue in the name of the religion of peace. Coalition troops in Afghanistan have been attack, purportedly by the same people they are liberating. Over the weekend, Italian Catholic priest Andrea Santoro was murdered by a Muslim teen who claimed he was influenced by cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad. Children of Islam have become both victim and criminal. Looking at the images of Muslim youth and their slogans, is there any question as to the nature of influence the elders of Islam are providing their progeny? Theirs is truly a legacy of inferiority among Men - worthless as an asset and liable in their barbaric fury.
Cleary, a new front has evolved for the fanatic opportunists of Islam, seeking to spawn global armageddon on behalf of their collective psychosis, manipulating an entire culture to their ends. Yet such is the nature of human liberty that frees each to act according to one's will, and to the limits of their ethical imperatives until such time as they clash with another's. The initiation of force being abhorent to Men of esteem, no one may be compelled to submit to another's will or whim. Self determination is a fundamental imperative of human existence. And the love of self is in fact, the only mechanism of genuine Humanism. Therefore, any people who submit individually or collectively to manipulation for the purpose of tyrannical oppression demonstrate a malevolent degree of worthlessness and inferiority that precludes tolerance of any sort. The offense hurled upon Muslims by the denigration of their cherished sensibilities at the hands of moronic juveniles pales now and in comparison to the atrocities inflicted on humanity by the irrational fury of the estranged savages that amusingly claim affiliation. The requisites of Mankind beg more than bipedal locomotion and the ability to abuse the promethian gift.
It should be noted that the fanatic fringe of the Islamic world is not unique in its manner of inferiority. Soviet Russia like Fascist Germany established a modern historic model of institutional depravity. Communist China, North Korea and Cuba, and the criminal abominations of The Sudan, Somalia, and Zimbabwee are deserved of little more than similar rancorous scorn. Even the Socialist States of Europe share a comparable degree of worthlessness in many respects. It is quite ironic, indeed, to see the Leftists of Europe stand now in defiance of collective compulsion when they have themselves indulged a similar mob insanity directed toward the United States for the last four years... even under the influence of the same propagandists puppeteers they now resist. Capitalism in fact, has been the subject of their misdirected rage for decades, propelled by a specious ideological agenda every bit as vitriolic as that of fanatic Islam, albeit better concealed.
Indeed, we see that even the political Left in America is little different in this respect than the fanatic hordes of manipulated rage. Beyond the frontiers of decency, they cannot resist making a disgusting mockery of a funeral for the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Overlooking Coretta Scott King's life of service to liberty, opportunists fanatics like the former President Jimmy Carter play on the moment to spit the venom of his own self-loathing upon another guest and President, manipulating mobs of sneering and jeering reprobates to ignite a conflagration before the cameras. Like the Wellstone Memorial of 2002, the lunatic fringe of Leftist polity, in absense of all manner of propriety, found a way to turn another funeral into an orgy of ideological idiocy right before our eyes. They, the purported champions of tolerance cannot rise above their own hatred and bigotry for a momentary celebration of unity at the passing of a champion of heroic perserverance and human dignity.Superiority is not a product of race, creed, nor religion. It is not a condition of birth bestowed inconsequentially on individuals and cultures by manifest of destiny. It is secured and maintained by the manner of values respected by peoples and the integrity with which they adhere to that respective philosophy. And it is the responsibility of each and every individual to uphold that virtue accordingly.
In her latest contribution at National Review Online, Claudia Rosett makes the point...
If statehood, citizenship, and civilization itself are to mean anything, we are all in the end accountable for our own actions. When people riot and brutalize and burn, there are individuals in the crowds who are responsible. And in the places where this is happening, if the governments will not call these individuals to account, we need to hold those governments themselves responsible. Cartoons alone, to quote another line from Hamlet, are in a class with nothing more than “words, words, words,” and those are grounds on which newspapers, nations, and religions may have their disagreements and their dialogues. But when violence enters the picture, that is a matter for governments to settle, and in the free world the job of government and politicians is not to opine upon cartoons, but to lay down the law that no one may with impunity threaten our liberty and lives.At least with respect to legitimate Democracies, those governments are the people. In fact no other government is morally legitimate. So ultimately the people of any nation must resist continued incursions beyond the frontiers of decency. The West faces an incredible struggle both now and in the years to come. And in order to prevail, we must first recognize our fundamental right to exist. We must re-learn to celebrate the superior nature of life... our lives. And we must refuse to allow the surrender of our virtue to indecency expressed in any form, be it figuratively or physically.