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In 1941 and 1942, the Allies were losing hundreds of ships and millions of tons of cargo to German U-boats in the North Atlantic. With England at risk of starvation, the United States faced the real prospect of losing the war in Europe before even having a chance to fight it. The massive Allied mobilization of resources to fight the Nazi submarine threat included the civilian population, which was urged to keep secrets about troop movements and departure times secret. "Keep mum" and "loose lips sink ships" became the order of the day.

Now as angry crowds swarm U.S. embassies throughout North Africa and the Middle East, it is a different kind of talk that is putting American lives at risk. The slandering of a great global religion, one with over a billion adherents worldwide including millions of our family members, friends and neighbors here at home, is helping to jeopardize the nascent democratic movements of the Arab Spring. Eleven years after the carnage of Sept. 11, rolling back the threat from Al Qaeda and its offshoots still requires limiting the appeal and ability of extremists to recruit new members and find sympathizers in Muslim nations worldwide. As we learned once again this week, the disrespect, mockery and outright hate talk towards Islam by some in the United States is making that task much, much harder.

As both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton adamantly declared this week, there is no justification ever for the attacks and mob violence that claimed the lives of four Americans this week. But Americans don't just have free speech rights; they also have duties to their nation and each other. So when ideologues here produce and distribute a film clip denigrating Islam and its prophet, when they desecrate its holy book and holy places, and mock the practices and practitioners of the faith, they aren't just betraying the precious American value of religious freedom and tolerance. They are betraying their fellow Americans.

But you don't have to take Hillary Clinton's word for it that the video at the center of the recent unrest is "disgusting and reprehensible" with the "deeply cynical purpose to denigrate a great religion and provoke rage." You can instead, as conservatives are so fond of demanding, listen to the generals.

Take, for example, Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey. As USA Today reported, General Dempsey personally called Florida Pastor and provocateur Terry Jones to request that he withdraw his support of an anti-Islam online film that may have triggered riots in Egypt and Libya:

"The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, spoke by phone this morning with Pastor Terry Jones. In the brief call, Gen. Dempsey expressed his concerns over the nature of the film, the tensions it will inflame and the violence it will cause. He asked Mr. Jones to consider withdrawing his support for the film."
This isn't the first time the top brass has worried that incendiary rhetoric and inflammatory actions would literally get Americans killed. As the Wall Street Journal documented in an April 2011 story titled "Petraeus Says Quran Burning Endangers War Effort," the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan David Petraeus called Jones' plans to burn copies of the Koran "hateful, extremely disrespectful and enormously intolerant." Petraeus not only met with Afghan President Karzai in private to calm the situation, but declared in public:
"Every security force leader's worst nightmare is being confronted by essentially a mob, if you will, especially one that can be influenced by individuals that want to incite violence, who want to try to hijack passions, in this case, perhaps understandable passions. Obviously it's an additional serious security challenge in a country that faces considerable security challenges."
And when it came to the considerable security challenges faced by the United States in its struggle against Al Qaeda, there was one point where Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were in absolute agreement. "The United States is not, and never will be," President Obama told the Turkish parliament in April 2009, "at war with Islam." If that sounds familiar, it should. After all, President Bush made the same proclamation repeatedly, beginning in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

"Islam is peace," President Bush announced on Sept. 17, 2001, declaring three days later that "the war against terrorism is not a war against Muslims, nor is it a war against Arabs. It's a war against evil people who conduct crimes against innocent people." During a visit by King Abdullah of Jordan on Sept. 28, 2001, Bush explained:

"I have assured His Majesty that our war is against evil, not against Islam. There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what I know -- that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion."
A year later, Bush had a message for audiences in the United States and around the world. "Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans." And that's why President Bush apologized to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki in May 2008 over revelations that an American soldier had used a Koran for target practice. Ironically, it was Bush press secretary turned Fox News regular Dana Perino who explained the president's apology to the world:
"He apologized for that in the sense that he said that we take it very seriously. We are concerned about the reaction. We wanted them to know that the president knew that this was wrong."
Perino added, "He told the prime minister that we take this matter seriously, and he noted that the soldier had been reprimanded and removed from Iraq by his commanders." As for his commanders, they made their own representations of apology and a plea for forgiveness:
Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, the commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, met with tribal leaders in Radwaniyah on Sunday to apologize while another American officer kissed a copy of the Quran before presenting it to the chiefs.
The contrast between the military fighting the war and the likes of CNN contributor Dana Loesch cheering it on could not be greater. After video surfaced of U.S. Marines urinating on a dead Taliban fighter, Loesch came to their defense and boasted, "I'd drop trou and do it too."

But the strategic imperative of sensitivity and respect to Muslims abroad must be matched with Americans' support for the nation's tradition of religious liberty at home. When mosques are blocked, vandalized or torched in places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Joplin, Missouri, the United States hasn't just failed a test in the eyes of the world. Americans have failed to live up to their own highest standards.

Consider the imbroglio over the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" in lower Manhattan. Rush Limbaugh and Pamela Geller, Fox News hosts and tea party members, and the Republicans best and not-so brightest mobilized to denounced the supposed "victory mosque." Mitt Romney, who persists in his myth-making that President Obama "apologizes" for American values abroad, refused to defend them at home. As spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom explained two years ago:

"Governor Romney opposes the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero. The wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda compel rejection of this site."
Fittingly, George W. Bush's former speechwriters came to President Obama's defense. Mark McKinnon lamented, "Usually Republicans are forthright in defending the Constitution. And here we are, reinforcing al Qaeda's message that we're at war with Muslims ... Those who want a president to assert that any mosque would defile the neighborhood near Ground Zero are asking him to undermine the war on terrorism." Axis of Evil creator David Frum came to the support of "the thousands of Muslims who work in lower Manhattan, every single one of whom is as entitled to pray as any member of Marble Presbyterian or Temple Emanu-el." Michael Gerson, certainly no friend of Barack Obama, could only reply in astonishment to right-wing pundits and politicians:
But the view from the Oval Office differs from the view from a keyboard. A president does not merely have opinions; he has duties to the Constitution and to the citizens he serves -- including millions of Muslim citizens. His primary concern is not the sifting of sensitivities but the protection of the American people and the vindication of their rights.

By this standard, Obama had no choice but the general path he took. No president, of any party or ideology, could tell millions of Americans that their sacred building desecrates American holy ground. This would understandably be taken as a presidential assault on the deepest beliefs of his fellow citizens. It would be an unprecedented act of sectarianism, alienating an entire faith tradition from the American experiment. If a church or synagogue can be built on a commercial street in Lower Manhattan, declaring a mosque off-limits would officially equate Islam with violence and terrorism. No president would consider making such a statement. And those commentators who urge the president to do so fundamentally misunderstand the presidency itself.

Nevertheless, as chaos envelops the fledgling and fragile democracies in the Middle East, here are home many Republicans and their conservative amen corner will continue to pour gasoline on the fire. This weekend, the Family Research Council is holding its 2012 Values Voter Summit. Paul Ryan will address the attendees, who will doubtless hear lectures about the danger of Sharia law as FRC President Tony Perkins and Vice President Jerry Boykin declare "Islam is evil" and "my God was bigger than his." Many of the same people who decry a supposed "War on Christians" (including at events with names like the "War on Christians Conference") will be joined by the likes of Frank Gaffney, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Steve (R-IA), all warning of penetration of the United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood. And while Mitt Romney has belatedly denounced the film now stoking the fires in Muslim capitals, he refused to join John McCain in rejecting Bachmann's smears of dedicated Muslim public servants here in the United States:
"I'm not going to tell other people what things to talk about. Those are not things that are part of my campaign."
Unfortunately, "those things" are part of being the president of the United States. But instead of disowning the right-wing rage machine that spews (and even celebrates) Islamophobic hate, candidate Romney like Glenn Beck warns that Sunni and Shia, friend and foe, seek to "unite the world under a single jihadist caliphate." It's awfully tough to win over hearts and minds when you're giving people the finger. To put it in terms even the always execrable Ari Fleischer could understand:
"There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that. There never is."
Despite his GOP nominee's shocking political opportunism this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined Republican leaders in circling the wagons around Mitt Romney. As he put it, the president's "lack of lack of leadership is about to lead to an explosion in the Middle East." But last year—that is, before the 2012 presidential election season—Graham focused instead on the senseless and dangerous bigotry of the Koran burners who then as now needlessly stoked the fires. As he told CBS' Face the Nation in April 2011, we need to "push back" on those who put American lives at risk through their inflammatory words and deeds:
"I wish we could find some way to -- to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war. During World War II you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy."
Of course, America should not—and must not—turn to censorship. To trample on the right of free speech--even when it is the right to say hateful, odious things--would be a grave threat to the American liberties and values our military and diplomatic corps are defending in our name.  But the right to say something awful shouldn't be confused with the wisdom of saying it.  Now, the loose lips of the haters, the bigots, the ideologues and the opportunists don't merely threaten to sink American foreign policy. That lack of sensitivity, decency and just plain common sense may get more Americans killed.

UPDATE: Judging from the comments, it seems the diary wasn’t sufficiently clear in making its point.  In the hope of adding some clarity, perhaps my comment below provides a better nutshell summary.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Muslims at Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  poor(sic) rMoney is a captive of a 'bagger GOP (20+ / 0-)
    Unfortunately, "those things" are part of being the president of the United States. But instead of disowning the right-wing rage machine that spews (and even celebrates) Islamophobic hate, candidate Romney like Glenn Beck warns that Sunni and Shia, friend and foe, seek to "unite the world under a single jihadist caliphate." It's awfully tough to win over hearts and minds when you're giving people the finger

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:37:16 PM PDT

  •  I'd like to see (16+ / 0-)

    President Obama win re-election so strongly and with such a huge congressional majority that he could appoint and get confirmed a Muslim to the Supreme Court.

    "We don't think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think the government is the source of our problems." -- Barack Obama

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:37:27 PM PDT

    •  Don't you mean.... (3+ / 0-)

      ... Muslin?

      "So, am I right or what?"

      by itzik shpitzik on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:58:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Constitution over Koran? (7+ / 0-)

      Can you explain how this hypothetical Muslim would be able to respect  the constitution over the Koran?      

      I had the dismaying experience of attending a speech given by a Muslim professor who had been here for 25 years.  He was Egyptian by origin.  His stated purpose in giving the talk was to explain how reasonable American muslims are.

      I asked him if he could comment on the murder of Theo Van Gogh, and his answer was shocking.  He said that the death of Van Gogh was his own fault, and that no one should disrespect the prophets of any religion, and that revenge was not only natural, but approved by Allah.

      As a realist and a materialist, I do not respect any persons religion or their prophets when they choose to use them do control my choices.   I'd like to see nine atheists on the supreme court, and no religionists.  

      It is one thing to refrain from hating a whole group of people based on religion, but to act as if they could never become a threat to a free society denies the evidence.

      Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

      by bobtmn on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:10:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that was the answer of one person who, I take (5+ / 0-)

        it, was not a religious scholar.  Islam is not as organized religion as Christianity. If Christianity can present so many contradictory theological beliefs, how can we claim Islam is so monolithic.

        I would point out many Fundamentalist Protestants view Catholics as idolators. SCOTUS currently has a Catholic majority.  Using your logic, should we be concerned that the Pope may try to subvert our Constitution? (Historically, there is precedent for Popes interfering in countries' secular affairs)  

        •  I won't speak for bobtmn (10+ / 0-)

          But I'm concerned about the influence of the Catholic Church on Scalia and Thomas.

          •  A lot of folk have forgotten the several centuries (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            crose, llywrch, Mnemosyne, Owlet

            of religious wars in Europe which occurred in order to get Europe and its direct colonially created children to their current multiplicity of religious views and the necessity for neutrality and freedom for religion. And the problems that were here before the current round of acceptance of even Roman Catholics - the Al Smith Dinner in NY is not an accident.

            The problem I have mentioned more than once here is that in the current conservative iteration, the notion of freedom of religion down to the lowest possible social level as the highest possible virtue is now creating the situation that there are no civil rights which are not subject to being subordinated in the law to those individual religious convictions. George WIll's article today about whether a photographer ought be able out of religious freedom rights to reject LGBT customers is one sample and the notion that a pharmacist, a state licensed person, should also have the right to decline to dispense pharmaceuticals whose use he or she objects to on religious grounds, is another.

            And notice the power Terry Jones is getting, demanding his religious rights to do anything, including Qu'ran burning gets him all the publicity he can imagine, including DOD honchos calling him and asking him PLEASE not to do X or Y. And Steve Klein, Oh My! The Right Wing Loooooves the expansive definition of freedom of religion because it allows the widest latitude to the extremists in its base.

            The issue of these comments is some group not thought to be a pllurality here exercising those rights at the same level of freedom. Christians or those naming themselves as such are free to attempt to elect enough people to legislate their sectarian convictions into law, as the Rs in the house show, when they do anti choice bills by the dozen and can't get the Post Office and the Ag bill dealt with, and make the Off the Cliff deal because they are so sure they will win and the other side will fold. But let some smaller religious group try the same, and . . . .

            •  Gen'l Dempsey pleading with Terry Jones? (0+ / 0-)

              That's just nuts.

              While there are very real practical implications to radicals using offensive movies and publicity stunts to stoke anti-US outrage, there are two fundamental problems with Dempsey's response. First, it's vaguely chilling for a US military leader to try to influence the public speech of a private citizen, no matter the security concerns that motivate the impulse. Second, giving random pastors or filmmakers the credibility implied by a phone call from a top official followed by a press release creates incentives for attention-seekers and scam artists to engage in the very behavior that Dempsey is trying to mitigate

              Long War Journal

        •  Plenty of Islamic religious scholars advocate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobtmn, Rick Aucoin

          death for blasphemy and the supremacy of religious law over secular law.

          that was the answer of one person who, I take it, was not a religious scholar.
          •  care to cite a few specifically? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I can come up with putative Christian leaders also advocating death and destruction for those whose beliefs are different

            •  As one example, see the Rushdie case (0+ / 0-)

              Ayatollah Khomeini, the religious leader of one of the more populous Islamic nations issued a fatwa demanding that any pious Muslim kill Rushdie.

              Can you find a Christian religious leader with anywhere near Khomeini's following who advocating killing someone for blasphemy or any other religious reason?

              •  Khomeini died in 1989 (0+ / 0-)

                Rushdie is still alive and well.  Can we have an example that is not  over 20 years old?  BTW in case you have not read about Khomeini's life, here is some information to give you some background on the man:

                I can point to several Christian ministers instructing the faithful to pray for Obama's death
                There are many other examples

                •  Turns out I have great timing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Iran just reissued the Rushdie fatwa and increased the reward for killing Rushdie.


                  AN IRANIAN ayatollah has reinstated the fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie,...

                  Now Ayatollah Hassan Sanei has said in a statement: "The film won't be the last insulting act as long as Imam Khomeini's historic order on executing the blasphemous Salman Rushdie is not carried out.


                  Ayatollah Sanei is the personal representative of Iran's Supreme Leader on a powerful state foundation which provides relief for the poor, according to The Daily Telegraph. The paper notes that it is unlikely he would have acted without higher approval. The Ayatollah says he is increasing the bounty on Rushdie's head by $500,000 to $3.3m with immediate effect.

                  I can point to several Christian ministers instructing the faithful to pray for Obama's death
                  Not even close.

                  Muslims are welcome to pray for the death of anyone insulting Islam until they are blue in the face.  The problem is when they try to kill such people or innocent third parties with incredibly tenuous relationships to such people.

                  Show me Christian ministers with anywhere near the influence of Khomeini or Sanei instructing the faithful to kill Obama and I will be a lot more impressed.

                  •  though I doubt it does little good (0+ / 0-)

                    here is the definition of what a fatwa is and its application to the faithful
                    I reiterate Rushdie is alive and well today unless you have proof to the contrary

                    •  I know what a fatwa is (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I don't see the relevance - I don't think anyone can deny that the religious authorities issuing these fatwas have the reputations and influence to convince large numbers of Muslims to follow their rulings.

                      I agree that Rushdie is still alive but do you think that that might have something to do with his having spent the last two decades in hiding?

                      In contrast, Theo Van Gogh is not still alive.

                      •  you have a certain worldview (0+ / 0-)

                        which appears to not be alterable in spite of information presented, which would mean it boots nothing to present such information.
                        should you be interested in information I would be happy to suggest several sites with information that may alter your worldview

                        •  Interestingly self referential comment (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm sure you can present many sites making the arguments you support.  You can probably also find some sites arguing that the Earth is flat.  That does not make it so.

                          Let me turn this around.

                          How many riots, religious death sentences, and subsequent murders openly supported by large numbers of religious Muslims will it take for you to realize that there is a qualitative difference between Islam and its adherents and other major modern religions and theirs?

                          Note that this is not something special about Islam vs. other religions in general - check out the French Wars of Religion for example ( - but it is unique among modern religions.  Other major religions have matured over the past several hundred years.

                    •  heard him (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      on the BBC this morning:

                      Rushdie is alive and well today unless you have proof to the contrary

                      "We don't think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think the government is the source of our problems." -- Barack Obama

                      by Mnemosyne on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 08:27:03 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  In fact, yes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enigmamf, gffish

          I am concerned that the power of the pope is used to subvert secular freedom in the US.   The Catholics and the Mormons spent millions to deny gays the right to marry in California.

          The Catholic church in Minnesota is organizing to support the demonization of gays in our own state constitution.

          As for the Professor I heard speak, this person was a serious American Muslim who believed he had the moral and scholarly authority to speak on the behalf of his fellow believers.    He spoke in detail about the history of Islam in law, science, math and geopolitics.    He is a professor at a major public university.    There is no reason to brush off his views.

          Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

          by bobtmn on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:04:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there is a fallacy called an appeal to authority (0+ / 0-)

            I can respect scholars such as Sistani, for example, when they discuss the tenets of Islam but for me to accept some anonymous professor at an unnamed university in an unspecified dept, I cannot help but to brush off these views.
            As I would not accept a Chemistry prof's views on Christian theology to be valid based on his position, I cannot accept your Muslim prof's opinions  

            •  confirmation bias (0+ / 0-)

              There is another concept called "confirmation bias".  As I'm sure you know, this refers to a persons tendency to discount arguments and facts that disagree with his preconceived opinions.

              Your first defense was to argue that the story:

              was the answer of one person who, I take  it, was not a religious scholar.

              When I attempted to firm up his credibility, you switch your defensive bias to one of doubting my story because it lacks detail.

              When a person offers an anecdote, of course, it should never be taken as authoritative.  However, by doubting the origin of the anecdote, you are not making a case that is is false.

              Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

              by bobtmn on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 07:19:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't doubt that you spoke to a person (0+ / 0-)

                who said what you said he said; I don't think I accused you of making up the person. If so, I apologize if I questioned your veracity.

                However, I will repeat that your discussion would have more weight should you cite, for example, some of the theologians mentioned here:
                instead of an anonymous professor.    

      •  Lmao (0+ / 0-)

        One Muslim somewhere said something bad, so all the millions of Muslims in the world can't be trusted!

        Kewl bigotry d00d.

    •  I'd prefer seeing him appoint an atheist. Neither (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enigmamf, gffish, Mnemosyne

      one of us is going to get this really really bad wish fulfilled. Since I'm fantasizing about flatly unconstitutional religious tests and quotas in the appointments to our judiciary branch, let me make the following modest proposal, which would require a Constitutional Amendment. I suggest "Citizens Divided" as a working pre-ratification title:

      "The de-facto limitation of numbers to reflect population percentages, already in use for SCOTUS appointments by race and/or ethnicity, shall be constitutionally extended to gender, gender orientation and religion, and the 'no religious test for public office' clause is herewith repealed, but any group or sub-group whose membership totals less than 10% of the U.S. population shall not need to be considered or favored."

      Such a SCOTUS would contain five women, one bisexual, one black, one to two latinos/latinas, one catholic, six protestants and two atheists. No need to expand the Court's numbers, since category overlap is both possible and desirable.

      For example, I'm both black and an atheist, and might lie by claiming to be bisexual instead of gay, in order to enhance my chance of snagging an appointment. I'm pretty sure my claim of race/ethnicity would be unchallenged (see my profile pic) but my other two claims would be properly subjected to close scrutiny during confirmation proceedings. Oh, cue those electrifying CSPAN broadcasts of SCOTUS confirmation hearings in the hallowed well of our Senate..

      No religion whose membership totaled less than 10% of the U.S. population would need to be considered, and the two-atheists apportionment would need to depend on 20% of the population declaring no religious affiliation at the next census following the ratification of this Amendment.

      Is anyone interested in my Constitutional Amendment about corporate and fetal personhood rights and responsibilities? Or have I frightened you all enough for one thread? --Aww, go ahead; double-damn-dast me.

      Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

      by davidincleveland on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:31:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, the original comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        was meant to be rhetorical, sorta. Really didn't expect to get ConLaw 101 replayed.

        But, honestly, I think a Muslim would have a better chance at SCOTUS confirmation than a declared atheist. Even though I know you're a good guy.

        "We don't think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think the government is the source of our problems." -- Barack Obama

        by Mnemosyne on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:01:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh I know, and I agree to both of your points, (2+ / 0-)

          the rhetorical nature of your comment and the chances of atheists. But I pictured kossaks who would react to and argue about appointing someone according to their religion, instead of understanding that you were saying we should work for a majority so big Obama could do that if he wanted to.

          That's why I labeled the whole constitutional change necessity a 'modest proposal.' I figured anyone who thought you meant the appoint-a-muslim part of your comment seriously would be cut off at the pass by my over-the-top amplification. Maybe I'm just feeling extra bloody-minded today, but I feel we've seen an increase in humorless and ignorant postings around here lately, and I thought I'd engage in a little preemptive well-poisoning.

          I hope I didn't offend you by misusing a good observation about what we need in turnout. If I did, I apologize.

          Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

          by davidincleveland on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:42:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  horrifying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What a horrifying thought.  I would no longer want a devout Muslim in there than I would a devout Baptist fundamentalist, or another "devout" Catholic ala Scalia.  We don't need any more superstitious people turning to their so-called "Holy" books for guidance on jurisprudence.  I would be much happier if Obama would choose an atheist with a good sense of ethics for the bench.

      But the entire premise of the article that I dispute is that it suggests that the institution of religion should be revered and respected.  I respect individuals, not institutions.  And I especially stop respecting institutions when they start interfering in politics.  Look at contemporary religion.  In every continent they are the source of political unrest.  A pox on their house.

  •  My wife has a saying that is applicable here: (18+ / 0-)

    "The fact that somebody has a right to say or do something doesn't make it right to say or do it."  

    I suppose I've got a right to walk up to an NFL middle linebacker with a reputation for having a hot temper and tell him that his wife or mother is a horribly ugly woman, but it's not right to do that, and it's certainly not smart to do it.  And while that comment wouldn't justify him in assaulting me, it certainly makes it more likely and makes me pretty stupid if I didn't understand that was one of the possible consequences of my action.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:41:16 PM PDT

    •  I'm a scrawny 5'9" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Is it more or less wrong to say it to me than Brian Urlacher? I think the video being heinous is a completely separate issue from the riots it's provoked.

      •  Of course it is, but nobody should be surprised .. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Sue B, crose

        at the reaction

        Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

        by leevank on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:07:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you suppose (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that's why they made the video?

          •  I think that's quite likely (0+ / 0-)

            It seems to me to be at least a very strong possibility, if not actually a probability.  In some weird views of the world, this permits people to say, "See, I TOLD you how violent Islam is!"  Of course, what this ignores is that throughout most of Christian history, considerably less than this about Jesus of Nazareth would have gotten you burned at the stake, and that even today, all faiths have both their fanatics and their people of good will.  But to people whose own mentality shares much more in common with those they hate than they like to admit, this can seem like a great propaganda device.

            Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

            by leevank on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 01:06:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I strongly agree (12+ / 0-)

    with the thrust of this article.  I often comment on another site which is filled with artsy civil libertarians.  The feeling there was, "gosh, an artist should have the freedom to do whatever...."

    But having seen (part of) the trailer in question, it was immediately clear this film is not art.  The director's purpose was to mock and enrage Muslims - nothing else.

    It makes no sense to throw a match into gasoline, and then blame the gasoline for the explosion.  The maker of this film knew exactly what he was up to.  Since then, stories have surfaced that even the actors were deceived as to the nature of the film - that the name Mohammed was dubbed in post-production.

    Is incitement to violence still a crime?  Was it ever?  I'm no lawyer, but I think there may be a criminal case to be made.  It would also be worthwhile to follow the money trail and find out who was really behind this film.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:44:13 PM PDT

    •  Oops. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, commonmass

      Upon reflection, I think I was missing the point.  Never mind.

      Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

      by Boundegar on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:47:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  for a parallel, we have pundits calling for the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crose, happymisanthropy

      murder of abortion doctors (Tiller case in particular) yet when there is a murder, I do not see these same pundits moderating their speech in any way.  Instead their response it that the victims brought it on themselves

    •  Troutfishing is. See his excellent, comprehensive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crose, sidnora
      It would also be worthwhile to follow the money trail and find out who was really behind this film.
      Diary, Part 1, up now.

      Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

      by Catskill Julie on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:46:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who gets to decide that Piss Christ is art but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this was not?

      But having seen (part of) the trailer in question, it was immediately clear this film is not art.  The director's purpose was to mock and enrage Muslims - nothing else.
      •  Two people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        get to decide: the artist and the person who throws the first fire bomb.

        •  Which artist? (0+ / 0-)

          Because I'm pretty sure the people behind the movie will claim it was art.

          And as for the fire bomber, are you seriously suggesting that if Christians start throwing fire bombs over insults to their religion then that somehow makes "Piss Christ" less art than it previously was?

          •  wrong, (0+ / 0-)

            Klein, at least, has admitted that getting a reaction out of muslims was the real goal of the work: They named it "the innocence of Bin Laden" precisely because they wanted to trick radicals into watching it.

            I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

            by happymisanthropy on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:29:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So? Isn't art supposed to get a reaction out of (0+ / 0-)


              Why do you see this as being mutually exclusive?

              Indeed, isn't the point of a lot of art to get a reaction out of people?  

              Would "Piss Christ" have still been interesting art if it was "Two pieces of wood and a little statue in yellow colored water"?

              •  And the reaction (0+ / 0-)

                that they intentionally created, is the reaction that they are responsible for.  You and I agree that creating this is exactly what they intended, I'm just saying we should give them proper credit for their masterpiece.

                They designed it.  They built it.  They own it.

                I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                by happymisanthropy on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 10:22:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I do. (0+ / 0-)

        So let it be written.  So let it be done.

        Back in the 20th Century, I went to see PiL in a club, and they tried to incite the audience to violence, in the name of Punk Rock.  But we were jaded college kids and couldn't be bothered.

        Stravinski's audience rioted - or so they say.  But he didn't write the Rite of Spring as an incitement to violence.

        Have you seen the trailer?  This film is of the poorest quality.  The creator's intention was not art.  It was to enrage religious fanatics, and it worked.  You want to argue that inciting tens of thousands of angry Muslims to riot is a form of performance art?  Really?

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:14:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it was pretty amazing performance art (0+ / 0-)

          I hadn't thought of it that way.

          But I don't think we can decide what is and is not art based on your taste in art.

          If bad movies aren't art then we could ban Saturday Night Fever, which would be a net plus for humanity, but really not appropriate.

          •  Would the riots and human carnage (0+ / 0-)

            created by shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater count as performance art?  

            I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

            by happymisanthropy on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:00:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps... but not an appropriate comparison (0+ / 0-)

              Shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater (assuming that there is not a real fire) is not allowed because you are lying about an immediate emergency.

              Political advocacy that results in people getting killed is allowed in the US.  For example, Tom Paine's pamphlets also had an effect not unlike "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater'.

              •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                Political advocacy that results in people getting killed is allowed in the US.
                But this video was not political advocacy, any more than yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater is political advocacy.  The only goal was to provoke riots.  

                Thomas Paine wanted to advance his ideas through his words.  

                Bacile wanted nothing more or less than to create riots that he could point to and say "Those people are animals!"  

                There is no similarity.

                I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                by happymisanthropy on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 10:01:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Laugh... it was certainly advocacy (0+ / 0-)

                  It was an argument that Muslims are intolerant fanatics, that we are in a clash of civilizations whether we like it or not, and that apologists for Muslim insanity will never recognize it and will try to explain away anything.

                  Whether or not you find their argument convincing, you have to admit that it seems to have had a pretty strong influence even here.

          •  Art and Propaganda (0+ / 0-)

            With all due respect, Wham, I think that your argument is flawed, chiefly by employing broad generalizations that are by no means self-evident. For example, "Isn't art supposed to get a reaction out of people?" Yes, most art is evocative, and some art is provocative (and this is not a merely semantic distinction). But many works of art focus on aesthetics: That is, they are intended to explore and/or represent the notion of beauty.

            Second, yes, yes, we all know that opinions vary on what constitutes art. But the fact that personal taste (or any number of other things) cannot  determine what is and is not art does not mean that everything, or nothing, could reasonably be called "art." And who is suggesting that "bad" art should be banned?

            Finally, you fail to make a distinction between art and propaganda. While the distinction is not always clear, it is real. Propaganda is designed to provoke a specific, and specifically political, response on the part of its audience. While some propaganda is also art (Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" is thought by many to be an aesthetic masterpiece), I would suggest that the vast majority is not. I would not hesitate to call "The Innocence of Muslims" (whose working title was "The Innocence of Osama bin Laden") propaganda; and I would not hesitate to claim that it is not art, based on Boundegar's and others' reasonable criteria.

            Thanks to denial, I'm immortal. -- Philip J. Fry

            by IamGumby on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:44:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Well, no. You can't murder someone because (18+ / 0-)

    someone, somewhere, made a movie which said things you don't like about your religion.

    There's not a equivalency here with talking about troopship sailings.

    I just don't buy it and I think if the Bush Administration was pushing this line, Kossacks wouldn't buy it either.

    In any case, there will always be something to outrage certain adherents of this or that religion done by certain adherents of another religion.  

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:44:45 PM PDT

    •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

      I think the movie is reprehensible, but it'd be wrong if there were no riots.

      The response to speech is more speech. There's nothing so offensive that justifies the violence we've seen here.

      •  I'm having a really really hard time (5+ / 0-)

        believing that any of this is about a movie which hardly anyone's seen--including the people rioting.

        I'm just talking out my neck, and I'd love to be corrected, but I'm not even convinced that this movie was the spark. What's that phrase about causation and correlation?

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:06:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The respopnse to speech in our culture is more (2+ / 0-)

        speech. But this is a time when one must deal with the fact that ours is not the only culture on the planet, and the histories of other people are different with the result that their cultures are as well, and those cultures are not less than ours because they don't agree with ours on everything.

        One example from a book called Heaven And Earth, an intro to shari'a, points out just how many of the issues now causing trouble are derived from something we have never had, coming to terms with the Mongol Invasion, where the issues were fought out at about the time our Inquisition was cranking up and they got to decide about whether it was better to have good government by Mongol or bad government by Muslim, and whether killing innocent bystanders, because the innocent would go to Paradise/Heaven,  was or was not acceptable in a war against Mongols, and other messy issues .

        •  Our right to speak freely here can't depend on (4+ / 0-)

          whether someone in another country will be offended.  It can't even depend on whether someone in this country is offended.  Freedom of speech isn't necessary for inoffensive speech -- no one will care about that enough to ban it.  It's precisely the crude and insulting speech that needs to be protected.

          You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

          by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:35:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  we have to remember there is always context (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and decades of American policy behind any public reaction in any foreign country.
      What we are witnessing is what could be called displaced anger on a mass scale.  Guy has a terrible day at work, gets dissed on the freeway and comes home and socks his wife.  It is not right, it should not happen, but it does.
      While we deplore it, if we are to avoid it in the future, we have to be aware of the root causes  

    •  I think what the diarist was saying, and (0+ / 0-)

      maybe I'm mistaken, isn't that the Administration should be out there trying to give people boundaries to speech, but instead drawing the comparison to that era of a previously-isolationist America learning that what happens in Richmond, CA doesn't necessarily stay in Richmond, CA.  That just because one has a Constitutional right to say nearly anything one damn well pleases doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

      And I don't think that anyone disagrees with the fact that the people who killed the Ambassador or tried to occupy other embassies and consulates are engaging in illegal and unethical behavior.  That's fairly settled.  But leevank's analogy of inciting a linebacker is fairly insightful - just because the reaction is illegal and unethical doesn't mean that it's also not easily predictable, which is generally why one doesn't insult a big and easily angered football player to their face.  It's hardly worth it.

      Trouble is, I think that the producers here wanted the reaction that they got.  And those sorts of sick people are difficult to dissuade.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:57:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Inciting violence is their goal... (7+ / 0-)

    there is no other justification for what they are doing.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:46:20 PM PDT

    •  Maybe, but movies never killed anyone. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mikey, commonmass

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:51:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, but this one is partly responsible (9+ / 0-)

        This is not a movie, it's agitprop, and it served its purpose. This movie was MADE to cause riots and death.

        By the way, I've seen it. Everyone commenting here should go to youtube and watch it.  Its sole purpose is to insult. Even as crass and poorly made as it is, it is still insulting. To make matter worse, it insults people who live in parts of the world where it is inconceivable that a film of any kind could be made and disseminated without government approval and the fimmaker and financial backers knew this when they made it.

        It is fourteen minutes of gasoline and a match. Plain and simple.

        I know what Mitt Romney is hiding: Mitt Romney.

        by commonmass on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:08:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, Cartoon Peril, MPociask, kyeo

          but do you know what is really effective for inciting riots? Drone strikes. Occupations. Civilian deaths at the hands of NATO.

          This film is bad, but this diary completely ignores why the "Muslim World" (this is, of course, just a construct -- nothing so uniform as a "Muslim World" exists) might actually remain pretty pissed off at the USA.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:14:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the public may understand the motive (0+ / 0-)

            behind the drone strikes, even if the disapprove.  Those not directly affected by the drones may be able to rise above this.

            They do not understand the logic of disrespecting their prophet, and everyone in that country is left with nothing but disapproval.

            They see some in the US up tight about anyone disrespecting the national flag, yet not outraged about such treatment of the prophet?  That is not helpful. Thanks be there is no constitututional amendment about it.....

            Me, I think the President and Sec of State got it right.  Rmoney would leave us in WW3, even if that isn't actually his plan!

        •  But I don't see it that way at all. If something (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mudfud27, Cowalker

          is wretched dreck, and insulting to large numbers of people, that is precisely why it needs the full protection of freedom of speech.

          Otherwise we get to the point where we are burning translators of the Bible and so forth.  There are many countries in the world where such acts could be used to provoke a mob.

          You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

          by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:24:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  also we have to realize many of rioters live in (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          crose, Eyesbright, texasteamster

          societies where nothing is permitted without government approval and cannot conceive of a country where such control is not exercised, as you said.

          I can remember meeting young Eastern Europeans when the first ones were able to attend university without extensive government vetting and they were amazed that publications could disrespect national leaders as they seemed to without some sort of repercussions for the journalists

          Too often in dealing with other cultures, we forget that they come from a different cultural perspective with vastly different experiences

        •  Right, agitprop. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

          by Catskill Julie on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:48:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I've heard this a dozen times this weekend and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Peril, crose

        I keep thinking back to this movie - Triumph of the Will

        Mitt Romney's moral compass points to the Cayman Islands.

        by captainlaser on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:19:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe you need to view some of the propaganda (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        movies produced by German Nazis, and Japanese nationalists, and Chinese and Rwandan and so many other bunches of your fellow humans before asserting that movies never killed anyone. And of course the US government and many what are called "hate groups" here have a pretty good history of putting propaganda up on the Silver Screen that has incited stuff like lynching and internment of Japanese Americans and the theft of their property and a whole lot of other killing. And how about certain Blaxploitation movies, not so long ago, with violent gang themes that (correlation or causation?) after being shown were followed by murders committed right outside the theater by one bunch of viewers on another?

        By my lights, it's a pretty incorrect thing to say that movies never killed anyone.

        All that aside, the US involvement, military and business and political, in the Middle East and elsewhere, has pretty much been in favor not of "spreading democracy" but of spreading dictatorships and even (read the history of Iran from say 1945 to present) deposing democratically elected representative governments in favor of creatures like Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, You might note the uses to which the US Embassy in Teheran was put in the CIA's coup.

        Our rulers have poked Arabs in the eye with a lot of sharp sticks (headlines today, four Marines present as part of an army of occupation were killed by an Afghan soldier, and Hellfires killed 8 Afghan girls, one of many "Bugsplat" incidents this month, that's what our troops call noncombatants killed by "errors") and guess what? there are reasons why people in Arab and Muslim countries might be ready to pound an available American, for all the crap "we" have pulled on them.

        But hey, we are all just humans, with all our petty and violent parts, and incapable of doing any better. We been at this crap on a large organized basis since the first city walls went up in Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization. I bet you can't point to much that shows any likelihood that we will do any better, ever.

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:33:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On the movie thing, no movie ever pointed a gun (0+ / 0-)

          at people in the audience and shot them down dead.  Now, there may have been people such as the Columbine killers that decided that they wanted to imitate a movie (the Matrix in that case) and go about killing people.  But that's a very different thing.  

          You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

          by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:41:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Are you sure about that? (0+ / 0-)

        Not to Godwin myself here but I'm reminded of the mid-'30s Nazi filmmaking, designed to normalize the idea of public racial stratifications as well as to convince a population that they could be masters of the universe if only for those damned French, English and Russians.

        Did those movies "never kill anyone?"  Inasmuch as they were a tool (one of many) used by Hitler to bring all levers of government under the de facto control of the Chancellory with the goal of starting a war, I'm not convinced of that.  Were people literally strangled by a Leni Riefenstahl film reel?  No, but without those movies and other propaganda, who knows if the Nazis would have been able to rally such a large segment of Germany's population behind them, even if only for a brief couple of years.

        "Movies never killed anyone" is really a deep oversimplification.  Actions have consequences.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:03:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anyone who believes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          auron renouille

          that the pen is mightier than the sword, must also concede that a reckless word is more dangerous than a reckless bullet.

          Of course, I oppose both word control and gun control, but free speech does not exempt one from moral responsibility for one's actions.

          I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

          by happymisanthropy on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:39:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  religion (9+ / 0-)

    "Great global religion"?  Well, it is one of the large religions, if that is what you mean. It deserves to be treated the same way other religions, big and small, do.  By politicians, religion should be treated respectfully and diplomatically.  By citizens, they should be treated "judiciously," is the word I would use.  You don't go jabbing a stick at a hornets' nest knowing that (other) people's lives hang in the balance.  

    That said, I think that personally, all religions deserve skepticism, nothing more and nothing less.  Their acts of charity should be applauded and their superstitions should be derided.

    •  Yeah, I tried to address the "great" comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, anime1973, rogerdaddy

      In my post below, but I take issue with it as well. I respect Muslims, but don't have much love for Islam as a whole any more than I do for Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Scientology, Mormonism, etc. And I doubt those religions get the same reverent treatment here as the diarist suggests we apply towards Islam.

      •  I think religions get the respect they deserve (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, rogerdaddy

        I don't see any great lack of respect for Judaism here or for Buddhism for example and the lack of respect for some forms of Christianity is due to its rampant idiocies in current US society

        •  As opposed to Muslims who very unidiotically (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SixSixSix, Mikey

          murder people when they feel their religion is being disrespected?

          and the lack of respect for some forms of Christianity is due to its rampant idiocies in current US society
          •  I guess you are not familiar (0+ / 0-)

            with the Christian RW?
            here are some links

            •  Sorry... I missed the riots and mob killings over (0+ / 0-)

              Piss Christ, laws allowing gay marriage, etc.

              •  again I guess your purpose here is not to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                gather information but to advocate your particular worldview; only a month or so ago, members of a Christian militia ambushed and killed two deputies and wounded two others.  While there may not be the riots, Christian militias are killing people

                •  False equivalence (0+ / 0-)

                  There's a big difference between a half dozen loony tunes and a popular movement that can bring hundreds or even thousands of people onto the streets and that mainstream figures (ie. Egypt's Morsi) are not willing to condemn.

                  The "Christian" militias that do things like killing policemen are a tiny minority with no mainstream support.

                  The Islamic mobs that attacked our embassies clearly have the support of a major fraction of the populace (maybe even a majority) and at least the acquiescence, if not the support, of significant political and religious figures.

                  •  Motivations are different (0+ / 0-)

                    These RW Christian militia whackos generally list their grievances as political beefs. Fantasies of black helicopter, Agenda 21 thugs taking away their due rights.

                    Insults towards Christianity rarely show up, except on the margains in the whole neo-nazi "14 words" sense. So it's not really the same.

                    Both are bad news, though.

              •  It's not (0+ / 0-)

                because they wouldn't like to.  There are also Jews who would like an old testament theocracy here, complete with the stoning of blasphemers.

                I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                by happymisanthropy on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:42:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                  •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                    our 10% of crazies is kept in check better than their 10% of crazies.  That whole "war on Christianity" thing, we're oppressing them by not letting them outlaw birth control and burn down mosques.

                    I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                    by happymisanthropy on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 12:39:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, then that's the point (0+ / 0-)

                      Why don't Muslims feel the need to keep their crazies under control?

                      In actual fact, it's a lot more complicated than that.

                      I spent some time in Pakistan.

                      Most educated people there do not support the Taliban or similar fanatics.  But they are a bit embarrassed  - they feel that the Taliban are true Muslims who are living life by the faith and probably better Muslims than they are.  

                      This makes it very hard for them to support any real action against them.

                      So don't pretend that there isn't a real problem in the Islamic world with support and acceptance of this kind of behavior.

                      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                        Why don't Muslims feel the need to keep their crazies under control?
                        Maybe because we keep proving the craziest of their crazies right?  If there really were a war on Christianity, the crazy Christians would have considerably more support.

                        I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                        by happymisanthropy on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 10:40:17 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It's not all about you (0+ / 0-)

                          Most of the time Muslim religious fanatics are abusing other Muslims who they do not consider devout enough.

                          The people I worked with in Pakistan were sophisticated men (yes, all were men) who had lived abroad and did not subscribe to silly conspiracy theories.

                          Their mixed feelings about the Taliban and similar groups were purely tied to internal Islamic issues.  They didn't think much of them - they considered them to be ignorant unsophisticated illiterates - but they were impressed by their faith.

  •  Thank you for such a thoughtful post. (11+ / 0-)

    As we often say, haters have to hate. But inflaming the fires of hate from the safety of the shores of America makes them bullies and cowards. They should be shunned by leaders, from political leaders to those in the media, academia, religions, military, etc.  

    If one does not firmly and loudly denounce these instigators, he or she should be stripped of the vestiges of leadership and called what they are: accomplices.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:47:09 PM PDT

  •  "...Islamophobic Industry..." (7+ / 0-)

    Anti-Islam Film Linked to 'Islamophobic Industry'  

    Experts say "Innocence of Muslims", the film that incited rioting in the Middle East, is the product of a well-financed vocal minority that has been fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States....

    At a religion newswriters conference last year, Faiz Shakir, co-author of the report titled "Fear Incorporated," presented his findings.

    "Fear Incorporated is the small network of actors in this country who've been building an effort over the past decade to try to propagate baseless conspiracy theories that cast aspersions on all Muslims in America," he explained.

    Shakir says they have received tens of millions of dollars in funding from anti-Islamic groups. "So it pays to be an anti-Muslim hater," he added...

    Apparently the people who do these despicable things don't care who gets hurt, including their own citizens or their own country, as long as they can profit from their hate.
  •  When did inciting a riot become protected speech? (9+ / 0-)

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:50:30 PM PDT

    •  It's a wildly unpopular opinion (4+ / 0-)

      but I've been of the mind for a long time that our current Free Speech jurisprudence is too permissive. I don't think eliminationist rhetoric, which has no purpose but to incite others to violence (and succeeds far too often) should enjoy legal protection. Yeah, sure, we need to recognize that free speech comes with responsibility, but, clearly, the responsibility for our speech is no longer an American value, and people are dying as a result.

      "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." William Lloyd Garrison

      by HoratioGalt on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:06:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see your point (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, enigmamf, cai, Willa Rogers

        but my question is, who will determine which speech is permitted and which isn't? When I was an anti-war activist during the Bush years, dozens of people told me that anti-war speech put the troops in danger because it "emboldened our enemies" -- don't you think that this kind of reasoning could eventually be used to quash a lot of dissent?

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:11:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I also don't like the enforcement (7+ / 0-)

          When speech becomes illegal, it becomes a police imperative to find it. It starts to get intrusive, very quickly.

        •  I dunno. I'd imagine the same way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          we enforce other laws. I'm not a jurist, and I can't pretend that I can satisfactorily draw the line. But, turn on AM radio any time of any day, listen for a short time, and you'll soon hear thinly-veiled (and sometimes naked) exhortations for people to go and do violence. I mean, Glenn Beck told his viewers "you may have to shoot Democratic Congresspeople in the head." A few months later, a Democratic Congresswoman was shot in the head. Clearly, our current free speech jurisprudence is a big problem.

          "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." William Lloyd Garrison

          by HoratioGalt on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:57:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Loose lips sink ships (0+ / 0-)

          I think it is obvious that at least some terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq thought that they could use deaths of Americans to influence the US to withdraw and that the anti-war protests were one of the things that made them think this.

          Is anyone going to apply the logic of the diarists to that kind of dissent?

          •  Isn't this the same batshit nonsense (0+ / 0-)

            said about the Vietnam protests? Are there any right wing lying points you won't echo one this board?

            I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

            by happymisanthropy on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:46:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You noticed? (0+ / 0-)
              Isn't this the same batshit nonsense said about the Vietnam protests?
              Why yes, it is.

              The hypocrisy and lack of introspection that allows you to make a comment like that without thinking about how it applies to the original diary is frankly impressive.

              •  what the fuck are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                Truth is not the same thing as lies.

                Unpopular speech is not the same as spitting in someone's face.

                Batshit nonsense is batshit nonsense, and you're the one spouting batshit nonsense.

                I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                by happymisanthropy on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 10:14:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So opposition to the Vietnam War was OK because (0+ / 0-)

                  it was the truth?

                  Of course, at the beginning of the protests the majority of the country thought that they were not the truth.  Should they have been banned?

                  Unpopular speech is not the same as spitting in someone's face.
                  No.  It is not.  However, the makers of this film did not fly to Libya and walk around spitting in peoples' faces.

                  In fact, aren't you trying to make the point that this unpopular speech was the same as spitting in peoples' faces?

                  However, you were literally correct.  Unpopular speech is NOT the same as spitting in someone's face.

                  You're really racking up the hypocrisy and unintentional irony points!

    •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Eyesbright

      @JML9999. Inciting riots is not protected speech. Just utter a certain word in an airport and you will see where you end up. There is no justification for violence, and for killing innocent people because someone far away offended you.

      It's kind of odd though that this film made few months ago turns up now when the polls favors our president. This could be a just coincidence, but the conservative movement is trying everything they can to tip the election in their favor.

  •  Please. If they need an excuse, drone attacks (9+ / 0-)

    in foreign countries that violate their sovereignty are probably better than a crappy YouTube video.  

    What is this?  We are at war.   The video didn't start it.  

    He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason. - Cicero

    by SpamNunn on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:52:49 PM PDT

    •  No shit. The effect of idiot speech is easily (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SixSixSix, Wham Bam, SpamNunn

      overstated, and I'm afraid this article does this. It also creeps dangerously close to those old Bush-era attack lines about how anti-war Dems were emboldening our enemies.

      At least the article doesn't advocate weakening the First Amendment

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:17:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  we have to remember displaced anger (0+ / 0-)

      There has been some 75 years of resentment building in the ME so that it only takes the tiniest spark to set off a disproportionate response.  The history of that region dates back to the post WWI era and the mistakes made by the triumphant allies

  •  Warmongering has always been profitable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, happymisanthropy

    And many times successful.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:52:50 PM PDT

    •  Middle Eastern countries specifically (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and Muslim countries in general have been some of the best customers for US arms and weapons.  however, their armies all face inwards, not to repel a foreign foe but to control their own populations.

  •  I'm really weary of all the fools (5+ / 0-)

    That think the answer to everything is war--shoving America's collective will down the rest of the world's throat.  The bloat MIC sucks so much of our economic resources it threatens our future.  And these fools want more, more, more. H/T to John Fogarty.

    "The bass player is always right"

    by BigOkie on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:53:54 PM PDT

  •  Simply Excellent! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth." Buddha

    by Grandson named me Papa on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:54:03 PM PDT

  •  Religion is not sacrosanct (11+ / 0-)

    I hope I'm reading you wrong, and you aren't saying that criticism of religion should be avoided lest it enrage sensitive souls.  99% of religion is bunk, and that goes for just about any religion of any widespread popularity.

    •  You aren't reading it wrong. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      this just in

      And this entire blog-article is crap, sorry to the author, but it's bullshit that you want to designate offensive speech as the same as militarily dangerous disclosure of classified information.

      Free Speech isn't PART of what makes America great.  Free Speech isn't a side effect of America's greatness.

      Free Speech is WHY America is great inasmuch as it is great at all.

      *The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10*

      by Rick Aucoin on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:54:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you are absolutely reading it wrong (0+ / 0-)

      the film was not a criticism of religion, it was deliberate provocation.  Nothing more.

      "Innocence" is like "The Satanic Verses" the way "Debbie does Dallas" is like "Lolita."

      I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:53:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still confused (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not defending the "film"; it's a piece of crap by all accounts, intended solely to inflame Muslim ire.  But I remain concerned about the tone of this piece, which seems to imply that religion is something sacred, that should not be criticized because ... well, it doesn't really give a reason.  It says that "disrespect" and "mockery" are out of line and constitute a betrayal of fellow Americans, but doesn't explain why.

  •  In past generations, Romney would've been... (3+ / 0-)

    ... called a traitor or equivalent.

    How has this skeptical anti-authoritarian ( me)  become the patriot in this equation? When Romney et al speak, everything is topsy-turvey ( my couchmate spouse's  term) and these quasi-neo-fascists are the ones approaching what their political anestors woud have called treason.

    I say book 'em.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:54:41 PM PDT

  •  Ironically, I think in a strange and twisted (5+ / 0-)

    Way, this represents an opportunity for nascent democracies.

    It's time to decide whether the small number of people who have decided its ok to wreak destruction because of a cartoon or some other "offense" will rule them all.

    Maybe it's time for them to have that debate because let's face it: it's not going to be a democracy if certain speech is not allowed.

    It's time to grow up. It's time. It's time to separate one from the other in a healthy way, like every other religion seems to be able to do. If theyre serious about democracy, this is a first and very basic step. Otherwise it's meaningless anyway.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:55:29 PM PDT

    •  One small difference with Christianity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      vs Islam in term of maturity.  Both can be seen as expansionist religions but Christianity is the ultimate missionary religion.  We do not see Muslims involved in Christian nations as we see Christian missionaries involved in Muslim countries.  If we refer to other religions as mature, I am not so sure we can include Christianity among those religions because much US foreign policy in the final analysis is guided by Christianity's need to proselytize

  •  I'm sorry, but nah.... (23+ / 0-)

    If groups of fundamentalist Christians started responding to insults with acts of violence around the world (and believe me, I've seen equivalently offensive things towards Jesus), I sincerely doubt we on the left would think ceasing those insults would be anything other than catering to the most fanatically twisted aspects of that faith.

    Islam is not a "great" religion. Like all other religions, it has it's good tenets and followers (most of them), and some really ugly tenets and followers as well. The idea that we owe it to our country to not be critical or offensive towards philosophies we disagree with reeks of Bush-era efforts to silence dissent against the GWOT. After all, criticism could embolden those who might want to do us harm.

    Fuck the filmmaker for being a bigot. But more so, fuck the people violently protesting and murdering people over a stupid youtube video.

  •  No ban on Triumph of the Will or Birth of a Nation (6+ / 0-)

    And one freely buy the books Aleister Crowley or the Marquis de Sade.

    Yet I do not see epidemics of Nazism, Klanism, warlocks and sadists spreading across the land.

    If people want to murder no amount of "responsible speech" on this end will prevent that.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:56:46 PM PDT

  •  There's no way... (5+ / 0-)

    we're going to control every moron who wants to push Islamist buttons- and we shouldn't be in the business of blaming them for attrocities. Lets get away from that path real quick- the Obama admin has avoided getting that rap so far but we're not going to help by making that case.

    I just watched the video of the ambassador being dragged out of the embassy. Seemed to be lifeless already.

    Why weren't Marines guarding the embassy--- on 9/11 of all days? Why didn't we pay attention to the warnings 3 days earlier of potential trouble?

    Sorry to be the wet blanket here, but this does bother me.

  •  Islam needs to take a long hard look at itself (8+ / 0-)

    other religions aren't murdering people because they feel they were insulted in a movie or a cartoon.

    As deranged as the movie was, its creators had a 100% right to make it.

    Freedom of speech is a value greater than any religion.  
    Freedom of speech ALLOWS freedom of religion.

    Murdering in the name of a religion is madness.

    What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:01:15 PM PDT

    •  Naw, us Christians and Hindus and Buddhists (0+ / 0-)

      are murdering, have murdered, shitloads of people for much BETTER reasons because of cartoons... to dominate them, or take their stuff, or just because they are "the other..." Maybe you could read up on the Hueguenots, or the various Inquisitions and Crusades and stuff like that. I guess that makes a whole lot of humanity "mad," then

      You really think there's "freedom of speech" in America? Really?

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:44:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What are you saying? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rick Aucoin

        That murder in the name of a religion is justified, because other religions have murdered too?

        What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

        by gila on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:58:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, he's saying... (0+ / 0-)

          ... that you can't criticize the insanity of the Muslim street because at various times in the past other religion's adherents have acted stupidly/insanely/whatever.

          He's full of crap, but that's what he's saying and he's not the only one saying it.

          After all, one shouldn't ever call FUCKING STUPID SUPERSTITIOUS BULLSHIT what it is.

          Especially if its adherents are prone to homicidal violence.

          *The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10*

          by Rick Aucoin on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:59:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Telling me to shut up is a victory for the Nazis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jm214, Rick Aucoin

    1940s patriot using winger logic, "Limiting our freedom of speech is an attack on America and we have not only a right but a down-right duty to tell the Nazis when and where our ships are headed. If FDR wasn't a wimp they couldn't sink a single ship. Also too unborn baby Mitt would have prevented the invasion of France and Pearl Harbor!"

    1940s unborn baby Stalinist Obama, "No one is calling for limiting your speech but we are urging you to use some common sense. A little discretion could save lives and resources."

    1940s patriot using winger logic, "Any attempt to win hearts and minds is appeasement plain and simple. We must not only poke the camel we must poke it till it spits, kicks and bites. Then we must put it down as that is all you can do when dealing with angry beasts. All this talk of poking camels... I need a cigerette. I think I'll use my black market ration book to fill up my 6 MPG sedan and drive to the next town and buy smokes. And I have a gun in the glove box!"

    "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." Ann Althouse, Conservative Thoughtmeister

    by Bill Section 147 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:02:02 PM PDT

  •  and I wouldn't haul off and stab a (11+ / 0-)

    Motherfucker who called me a nigger.

    Sensible Muslims need to decide whether they're going to allow a few whack jobs to allow this type of shit to have power over their emotions.

    It's ridiculous. What? The whole world has to avoid criticism of Islam? Or not even. Avoid a cartoon depiction, even
    If not offensive or critical, of their prophet?


    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:03:50 PM PDT

    •  Free speech MUST have the ability to offend people (6+ / 0-)

      There would be no need for the protection of speech which no one finds offensive.  Otherwise you get Fahrenheit 451:

      Robinson Crusoe, the Negroes didn't like that because of his man, Friday. And Nietzsche, Nietzsche, the Jews didn't like Nietzsche. Here's a book about lung cancer. You see, all the cigarette smokers got into a panic, so for everybody's peace of mind, we burn it.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:18:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't support the film* (8+ / 0-)

    but I find this piece odd -- don't you think that drone strikes in multiple countries, even including attacks on funerals, secondary attacks that target rescuers, and hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians killed by explosions caused by something that they cannot even see, has a hell of a lot more to do with why so many people in predominantly Muslim countries get really pissed off at the United States?

    Seriously, how can we talk about the anger expressed by so many people without discussing the occupations and drone strikes? People are dying in Afghan and Pakistani villages -- there was just another air strike today that killed at least 8 women in Afghanistan -- and then we think that this film is the real problem?

    *I think it's obvious that the film is 100% protected speech under the First Amendment -- it is disgusting trash, though, as is much protected speech.

    "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

    by Lost Left Coaster on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:07:03 PM PDT

  •  Be careful of how quickly you give up speech. (9+ / 0-)

    You should be careful how you appraise the situation.  You should remember that the people who rioted against this /video--well, they riot against anything they perceive as a slight gainst them from the West for any reason? Why, because their governments control their speech, restrict their speech, kill them when they riot against the government, and treat them like serfs in their own land. Most of them are not educated enough to realize the complex politics that holds their demise, nor do they accept their own active responsibility in causing it.

    These people gleefully butcher gays everyday--every day.  These people gleefully shoot women in the back of the head for being raped--stoned every other day.  These people gleefully put blacks into slavery-still legal.  These people gleefully would like to ban most religions and kill those who did not have a "book"--you're either dead or taxed.  These people gleefully kill each other in riots when they protest another's actions--just happened.  These people gleefully ban women from driving, voting, holding office, ... living--every day.

    You should be careful when you actively encourage people in the U.S. to limit our own freedom of speech but for the fact that some nuthead in another country would riot against the actions of some nuthead in our country.  

    Do I like what some nuthead did to create this video--no. Do I support their actions--absolutely. We must realize what we have before we are so willing to equate the freedom of speech in our country with starting a fire in another country--they already were on fire, with or without the video.

    Obviously, your freedom of speech is not as important to you since you would give it up so willingly in the fact of fear.  Unfortunately for you, I am not so willing in giving up my freedoms or even the freedoms of those I dispise.  

    So, I'm assuming that you're going to limit what you say because someone in the Middle East might take offense? Well, you might as well put a gun against your head, becuase, the people who would riot against the video or anything that comes from the West, they will.

    "They are betraying their fellow Americans," my ass.
    "When did inciting a riot become protected speech?," my ass.  You people are well intentioned.  But, you have either never lived in another country of people who hate you simply because your an American or you're an idiot.

    I do not beg people in another country to accept my speech, nor do I demand them to have the reason enough to actually learn about the US to understand how freedom of speech works in my land. Nor, will I accept their approval or their demands upon my own.  I do not justify the actions of my government as the various Presidents romp across the world during their term, but I will not demean the rights in my own land for anyone--foreign OR domestic.

    So go, go ahead and beg irrational fundamentalists to respond rationally to anything, even women driving a car. It's easier to sit and complain, and 'oh how awful we are." You will learn that you cannot reason with a fundamentalist, for they are already on fire.

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by jvackert on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:14:06 PM PDT

    •  Which people are "these"? (0+ / 0-)

      Muslim countries range from democracies to theocracies, from Turkey to Saudi Arabia.

      And any of them could easily say of Americans, "These people attack Muslims with drones, these people rape and murder children," etc.  And what they said would be equally true as your statement.  (As in, true in instances but not in total.)

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:26:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So far, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      everything points to this nuthead making this film with the monetary support of anti-Islamic Dominionist Christians specifically to cause riots. This is not free speech--this is screaming "FIRE!!" in a crowded theater in order to watch the deadly chaos that follows.

  •  During the Vietnam War many people argued that (5+ / 0-)

    those who opposed the war were giving the North Vietnamese hope that we would give up and thereby lengthening the war and killing more Americans and South Vietnamese.

    The logic of this argument seems obvious.

    Would you therefore argue that those who opposed the ware should have shut up?

    It seems to be the same logic that is being subscribed to here.

  •  nosuch thing as democracy without freedom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, this just in, enigmamf

    Of speech. So before we get all fuzzy and warm about the Arab spring, I think these emerging democracies need to decide for themselves whether they're going to try to do democracy or not.

    Frankly, as ugly as the film was, I'm beginning to feel manipulated by Muslim extremists who blow shit up and kill people because of a family guy episode or a cartoon. It's a deep psychological manipulation and I'm not going to be a party to it. Somehow someone needs to step up and say: hey! Get a grip!

    Maybe some of those Arab spring protesters can talk some sense into their looney compatriots. Time to grow up.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:19:19 PM PDT

  •  What is missing in many posts (0+ / 0-)

    is any consideration of depth of consciousness, both individual and social.

    Most of us are percieving this issue from a formal operational (rational) or more complex level of consciousness. Many of those who joined in mobs to attack western targets were, I suspect, percieving from a magical-mythic  or other pre-rational level of consciousness.

    For many learning about this denigration of their prophet, the denigration wasn't just of their prophet but denigration of THEM. They identify with their prophet, the most honorable and salvatory figure of their imaginations and cultures. It is important we understand where others are coming from rather than project our understanding and "shoulds" on them. Most have no conception of the freedom of speech or the separation of religion and politics. An attack on the prophet is an attack they experience viscerally, literally, both personally and culturally.

    •  well obviously. Then what? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cowalker, this just in

      You know, when a child acts irrationally you teach it.

      Are we going to engage in a race to the bottom because a culture is pre-rational or is there a way for someone (preferrably within their own culture) to introduce the concept if freedom of speech? Of separation between themselves and the prophet? Is there no way to help bring their thought process to a more complex and rational level? Or must we all pretend there's actually a monster under the bed or boogeyman lurking in the dark?

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:27:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Importance of understanding (0+ / 0-)

        Philip Zimbardo interview

        Zimbardo (Status and Role in a Mock Prison fame....) on his decision to represent Chip Frederick, guard at Abu Ghraib.

        •  understanding is always good. I;m not (0+ / 0-)

          arguing it's not. BUT it's fairly useless if it doesn't serve as a catalyst for action. isn't it?


          The problem with stopping at understanding is that nothing happens. I understand many, many things. But unless I devise a strategy for action, who cares what I understand.

          I understand that their culture is different. I understand that they don't have a concept that separates this video from government approval. I understand those challenges.

          So what?

          What are we going to do to prevent this happening in the future? Because giving up our freedom of speech is not an option that I agree with or think is a reasonable solution.

          Seem we're back to the same place: someone, preferably within their own culture, needs to educate the people who don't understand. Someone needs to help them begin to understand that in the wider world, people don't blow shit up because of a cartoon. That this is no way to live and that it has nothing to do with personally and is not an affront to them or their religion.

          I'm sorry, I don't see another solution. This is the only religion that responds this way to depictions of its prophet. And incidentally, THIS particular film seems to have been designed to create offense. But remember you could paid the most beautiful picture of your rendition of the prophet, Sistine Chapel style, and reaction would be the exact same. That's a goddamned problem.

          For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

          by mdmslle on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:17:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What's missing in your analysis (5+ / 0-)

      is the reason why anyone should care one whit for the wounded egos of the members of a murderous mob, motivated by a silly insult.

      Sorry, but I do understand "where others are coming from"-- it's a ridiculous, irrational, violent place where they need to stop going whenever someone says or draws or sings or writes something that they perceive as an insult.

      You are suggesting we blame the victims here.

      •  I care because I am them and they are me (0+ / 0-)

        Some may be evil people - many were likely swept up in the passion of the moment. You and I are capable of the same. Those responsible for the taking of life certainly should be held responsible. So should those who created the film. Those who created the film may not be guilty of a criminal act, but they are guilty of basic immorality. And there are other social sanctions appropriate for such behavior that is harmful to the public good. Operationally, "empathy deficit" is the term often used in research for what philosophers might consider evil. Religous extremists are quite often lacking in empathy.

  •  Can you imagine how Terry Jones must feel? (3+ / 0-)

    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a general, is calling Terry Jones, a trailer park preacher with a flock that numbers in the tens.  A man who couldn't get through college, has a mail-order degree from an unaccredited "university" that repudiated him during the Quran burning scandal, a man whose "missionary work" got him thrown out of Cologne, Germany as a fraud, he's got presidential candidates and major news anchors and Great High Muckety-Mucks all trying to get his attention.  

    What a rush.

    Surely they could find something to jail this barnacle for -- they don't seem to have any problems with Occupy protestors and Solidarity singers...

    "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do." — Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky)

    by stormicats on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:21:06 PM PDT

  •  A system that requires restraint by every (7+ / 0-)

    Crackpot with an Internet connection is doomed to fail.

    Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune. Walt Whitman

    by Sacramento Dem on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:27:34 PM PDT

  •  for an analogy, cities along the coast during WWII (0+ / 0-)

    had blackouts so U boats could not use their lights to help orient themselves.  The advocacy of various winger positions act to give the opponents of our country is like the lights of the cities, giving them something to focus on.

    Some of it is very little.  After it became public that camp personnel had placed confiscated Qu'ran into burn pits (which leads to a discussion of the wisdom of confiscating religious materials in the first place and of not educating your servicemen as to the local mores), the subsequent public comments by different wingers served to inflame the crowds more.

    For years, Rush has been broadcast on Armed Forces Radio.  In many areas, the local population has access to these broadcasts and understand English.  For the US, in areas such as the ME, Rush is the face of America.

    Can there be any question we have a lot of repair to do to our reputation?    

  •  The response to stupid ideas is not censorship (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anime1973, cai, enigmamf, Eyesbright

    No religion should be exempted from scrutiny no matter the reason given.
    Fear of violence is exactly the wrong reason to hide one’s head in the
    sand when these incidents come up. If your first response to dissent is
    to murder the dissenters then your beliefs have no moral foundation to
    stand on and your actions prove it. People who don’t condemn it right
    away when it happens enable that irrational response. (As if any
    religion is rational…).

    The response to stupid ideas is not censorship – it is more speech. The
    film that sparked the riots was a stupid movie made by an amateur. That
    person should be ridiculed not murdered.

  •  i can't help but to think that all this is blaming (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, cai, enigmamf

    the victim.

    Just like in the circumastance of rape it's not up to us to shut up (or dress modestly). it's up to them not to kill people(rape).

    You can't even call that video hateful. at least no more hateful that Monte Python's life of brian being hateful of christianity. It was poorly produced, poorly written, had horrible green screen effect, terrible dubs, non-sensical story. It should have just been laughed at. It seemed more like a parady of a parady made by a ten year old with a 90s computer.

  •  I disagree with this article 100%. (4+ / 0-)

    The demonstrators and their sponsors want more deference than they're prepared to offer in return, and I'm not interested in accommodating them.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:41:29 PM PDT

  •  Something we always told our children (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You can do anything you want, good or bad. We can't stop you. But realize that, while you can choose your actions, you cannot choose the consequences of your actions.

    These people who are poking their finger in the collective eye of an entire religion are sowing the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. Unfortunately innocent people, good people, are going to get caught in the backlash. Some already have. And the perpetrators of these outrages are entirely to blame.

    You and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children's children what it was once like in America when 25% of the population was batshit insane.

    by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 06:55:24 PM PDT

  •  Ahhh yes. The old we must not offend the crazies.. (7+ / 0-)

    ... argument . We have rights until someone's imaginary sky man is offended.

    Sorry. You fail at freedom.

    You do not have a right to not be offended.

  •  With every freedom, comes a responsiblity... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

     and if we do not accept the responsibility, we soon lose the freedom.  

    The problem with this situation is that there are several facets to addressing the problem responsibly ... there is not one solution.  
    When we speak of freedom of speech in this country , we mean that no government has a right to prohibit us from voicing our opinions.  However, we all recognize that the federal government has the right to restrict disclosure of certain information that has been labeled "secret".   We also recognize that certain professions do not have the right to discuss with third parties what goes on between the professional and the client (medical and legal come to mind)  ... So there is some govt limitations on freedom of speech.  The World War II slogans mentioned pertained to information, not to opinions.     The problem with this film is that it is opinion not information.   So the WWII analogy doesn't work here.  
      What we need ...on all sides of the argument... is some responsibility.  Most of us do not understand that most of the people rioting have absolutely no concept of freedom of speech... in their world the theocratic governments control everything ...they have no experience of anything else.   And we here in this country are the flip side ... we have grown up with people telling the govt and religious leaders to put it where the sun never shines and we gleefully join in ourselves from time to time.  And since we have that freedom, we have the responsibility to help those that don't understand how it works.

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:04:37 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

    I've often said that the one thing I deeply appreciated and respected about the Bush Administration was their very strong efforts to head off anti-Muslim sentiment and the perception that America was at war with Islam, beginning just a week after 9/11 and continuing throughout his presidency.

    I appreciate your effort to reason with the "progressives" on this site.  As you can see from the comments, the GOP doesn't have a monopoly on hate when it comes to Islam, not by a long shot.  May Allah (swt) smile on you for your effort, though.

    Republished to Muslims at Daily Kos.

    Terror has no religion.
    لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

    by downsouth on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:08:19 PM PDT

    •  please point to hate towards Islam in comments (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      this just in, Rick Aucoin

      I'll be happy to stand beside you to counter it.

      What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

      by gila on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:16:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the not-concilliatory posts, Gila. (0+ / 0-)

        Surely you saw them.  The posts not knob slobbering any and all religious fanatics who might get offended at someone's words?

        Those, they're hateful.  Really.  Just ask around, they'll tell ya.

        *The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10*

        by Rick Aucoin on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:05:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Big difference between US govt sanction anti-islam (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      speech, and some drooling moron putting a video up on Youtube.  The former should be opposed by all americans. The latter should be ignored by all human beings.

    •  Your own tagline says "Terror Has No Religion." (0+ / 0-)

      Freedom has no religion either.

      I don't hate Islam. I am not interested in controlling what other people think or say or believe, even the ones that piss me off. I am also not interested in bullies controlling my thoughts or words either.

      If someone has to use violence to win a disagreement, then then that person lost before the argument began.

      Our government does not control our speech. Our government does not control our beliefs. Even groups like the WBC, that pickets the funerals of Soldiers, holding signs that say, God Hate's Fags, and Thank God for Your Dead Soldiers--

      You think that doesn't piss us off? All those military folk out there, and their families? And yet we do not riot. We might think thoughts, but we adhere to the law, even though, those people are insufferable, bigoted fools.


      Because we are grown ups. We know the difference between right and wrong. And we know that rioting and threats, and other forms of violence and terrorism would be a disproportionate response to even this offense.

      So instead, Bikers block out their noise with loud engines, Vets, and Faeries, have held up cloth wings to block out the sight of this offensive rabble. And we win on many levels.

      Sometimes no one shows up at all, and the protesters from this church discover that there is no one to see them to give them press or attention that they so desperately want.

      We keep our freedoms. We exercise our freedoms while not denying them, their freedoms, even though they are awful, emotionally stunted people whose every word is offensive and bigoted.

      It's not easy, but no one ever said it would be.

      They mock every kind of godliness you can think of, every aspect of compassion, kindness, charity, and community--and yet, after all these years, we let them live. Imagine that.

      Why? Because you cannot over come darkness with more darkness.

  •  This is a false analogy. (8+ / 0-)

    People were told to keep mum about ship movements because they were at declared war with a specific other country that was sinking those ships.

    They weren't told not to say negative things about Germans, and in fact, there was plenty of anti-German rhetoric and imagery (and vilely racist anti-Japanese rhetoric and imagery).

    The analogue in our situation would be, "Don't tell Islamist terrorists where our embassies are."  Which makes no sense.

    Here's the thing: we cannot let the threat of violence from religious fanatics of any stripe to dictate what we can say, and live in free societies.  We can't.  There's no way around this.  This is why the ACLU will fight for the KKK's right to march.  

    It's not about liking what somebody has to say.  It's about any speech that does not directly call for violence being sacrosanct.

    And if you don't like that idea, consider how us lefties were told under Bush that our criticisms were disloyal, even treasonous, by national media figures.  You think they wouldn't have wanted to shut us up if they could?

    And just as a matter of education, here's a gallery of images of Mohammed by Muslim artists.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:14:50 PM PDT

  •  w/out talk radio the mosque was nothing, as (0+ / 0-)

    it would have been if 1000 coordinated radio stations hadn't blown up as ordered.

    and for days after the marine corps officially denied that the cairo embassy marines didn't have live ammo the same radio stations repeated the same right wing blog lie, which would encourage al qaeda and other extremists or just rioters to attack marines and embassies.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:44:51 PM PDT

  •  Disagree 100% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Aucoin, anime1973

    We have freedom of speech; if a bunch of primitive religionists in the Middle East don't like it, screw 'em.

  •  They are not children (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Aucoin, GreenMother

    There is no excuse for the violence.  There is no excuse for the movie.  But if you're going to act the way we've seen around the world because somebody made a movie and you haven't even seen it, then you are wrong, not the filmmaker, not anyone else.  Just you.

    Religous superstition does not deserve respect.  Tolerance, up to a point, maybe, but that's it, and you've overstepped the boundaries of tolerance when you start rioting.

    •  I don't think the diarist is excusing violence. (0+ / 0-)

      There are a lot of people on this thread who seem to be failing to separate out the morals of the situation from the reality of it.  Yes, violence is always wrong.  But when a movie designed to provoke violence actually does provoke violence, the filmmaker owns at least some of that backlash.  Here, because the filmmaker was so certain that some form of violence would result that they tried to hide behind numerous shell organizations and then, once that dropped away, attempted to pass himself off as a Jew, because if there's one thing that people in the M.E. can agree on, it's hating Jews.

      So this guy knew that what he was doing was going to provoke violence and in fact probably intended for that.

      Let's say that there's a guy at a bar known for overreacting and being even violent occasionally.  A person goes up to him and, knowing it to be false, tells the guy that Joe Schmoe raped his wife, and this guy at the bar, instead of calling the police, takes his trusty shotgun and blows Joe Schmoe's head off.  Is the lying bar patron with whom this story originated legally responsible?  Probably not criminally (too messy to get into here).  Is the guy at the bar?  He's going to jail for a long time.

      But is the lying patron morally responsible?  Given that the patron intended to cause a reaction and knew that the guy at the bar was known to at times be violent, yeah, I have no problem ascribing moral responsibility in part to the patron.  And that doesn't diminish the shotgun-wielding guy's responsibility.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:20:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some Follow Up Points and Clarifications (3+ / 0-)

    Judging from the comments, it seems the diary wasn’t sufficiently clear in making its point.  In the hope of adding some clarity, perhaps this is a better nutshell summary.

    1. No act of violence or destruction in response to the kinds of exercises of free speech described above can ever be justified.  The rioters are to blame for their riots and the murderers to be blamed for their murders, full stop. Such acts must be condemned, punished and fought against not just by the government of the United States, but by governments hosting American diplomats, troops and other citizens.

    2. The First Amendment which enshrines the American tradition of freedom of speech gives people here the right to say, publish and produce content which may inflame passions overseas.  (It is worth noting, as Jeff Jarvis does, that the broad notion of free speech in the United States is not universally shared across Europe.) Put another way, the right of the likes of Terry Jones or Frank Gaffney or Pamela Geller to say what they will should and must be defended.  It should not be censored, blocked or otherwise curbed.

    3. That doesn’t mean the content of their speech shouldn’t be denounced, which is to say, fought with more speech.  The analogy in the title is an indirect one.  In World War II, “loose lips sink ships” was about preventing dangerous information from falling into the hands of our enemies.  Now, the issue is about not making new enemies by alienating potential friends. That hurts Americans at home and America’s cause abroad.  Words and images that do that are surely protected speech, but that doesn’t mean they’re patriotic.

    4.  Several commenters rightly noted that this diary does not address the historic, social and cultural context for why some adherents of Islam (or Christianity or Judaism or any other religion, for that matter) react as they do to perceived sacrileges.  The point in this piece instead was to examine the very real impact incendiary rhetoric here has on American foreign policy and national security.  (For some very different takes on that topic, see for example Digby, Brian McLaren and Fouad Ajami.)

    •  People who threaten to blow up your embassies, (0+ / 0-)

      who shoot your ambassadors, who shoot good leaders who try to make peace in their own land, who torture their own, and threaten anyone who doesn't adhere to their strict, extreme interpretation of a religion [ANY religion] are not your friends.

      They are not going to be potential friends. At best they will be shaky, temporary allies, drooling to become violent opportunists.

      If they scare us all the way over here, imagine what their neighbors go through.

    •  But what do you mean? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm still unclear on what you consider "content which may inflame passions overseas".  Are you lumping people who offer reasoned criticism of religion, or even tell jokes about religion, together with the unreasoned, impassioned arguments offered by Terry Jones or Michelle Bachmann?

      The Mohammed cartoons in Denmark certainly inflamed passions overseas... should those cartoonists' efforts be "denounced"?

      And is it only Muslim criticism that should be denounced, or does that go for all religions?  Scientology?  What about political philosophies?  Is Islam specially sacrosanct?  If so, is it just because Muslims are especially sensitive to criticism?  Or is there some other reason only criticism of Islam should be denounced?

    •  It is true, that many countries do not share (0+ / 0-)

      Our fundamentalism on the issue of freedom of speech. A tour guide in Greece told me mosques were illegal there (don't know how true it is, could have been a language barrier issue, or an ignorant guide). As much as I dislike religion, the idea that a group of people are not entitled to practice their chosen faith peacefully bothered me immensely. As we see issues like the Murfeesboro mosque and the "Ground Zero Mosque" and attempts to weaken or intimidate people from practicing their rights, I worry a bit for us.

      I like our 1st Amendment better.... That's not to say Europe isn't wonderful (love visiting, wish we had their safety net for our citizens), but I think having a hard line 1st Amendment makes our country and our discourse a richer, and free-er place. Along with that, we do get bigots and provocateurs, who should be responded to forcefully (without violence), but again, religion absolutely should be fair game for criticism, blasphemy, and yes, ridicule (the South Park Mormonism episode is incredible).

      I appreciate the follow-up note and clarification, and though I do disagree with your diary (strongly), I appreciate your perspective.

  •  lmao (0+ / 0-)

    I knew people were going to be dumbasses in this post.

  •  I served in the United States Navy because (0+ / 0-)

    I believe in the laws and rights that make this a great nation. One of those is a lack of blasphemy laws.

    There is a difference between diplomatic respect towards a country or regime, and kowtowing to bullies.

    I don't advocate burning any books, and I don't make mocking movies of the Prophet, but those are still protected speech in this country.

    I also do not advocate urging our government to grab an extra power and institute what would be Blasphemy laws.

    We talk here on this left leaning site, about denying the right a theocracy, while creating that very thing for a rival group.

    That makes no sense at all.

  •  Free speech... (0+ / 0-)

    Freedom of speech does not confer immunity to the consequences - intended and unintended - of that speech.

  •  Got what they want. (0+ / 0-)

    If the guys who made this "movie" were trying to spread hatred of Islam though America, they weren't very successful. Sure, tehy got Jones, but he was already convinced.

    If they wanted to spread hatred of America through the Moslem world, they were highly successful. And I would guess that this was their intention.

    It's notable that the first claim about the identity of the produder was that he was an Isrtaeli who financed the movie through Jewish Americans. This is  now quite doubtful, although we don't really know because the names were all pseudonyms.

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