I was really puzzled by the recent European desire to crawl under the bed when the Moslem cartoon incident hit the Middle East recently. I learned things I never knew; like most European nations have national censorship laws and that they cower in fear of their Moslem populations. I read the news stories. I saw the cartoons. I heard the NPR in-depth examination of the various aspects of the people, places, religions and geography involved.
I came to the realization that idiots exceeding the bounds of good taste are an unavoidable aspect of a free society. For instance you have the Reverend Fred Phelps and his band of homophobic* parishioners who protest at the funerals of soldiers. That pisses me off to no end, but it is a reasonable price to pay for living in a land where freedom of speech is essentially unrestricted.
Another example, go to this website (NSFW) and take a look at the cartoons: http://www.socialnerve.org/art/latuff/main.htm To me, this is without a doubt the most repugnant speech I have ever witnessed. I can understand the reluctance to support the war in Iraq, but the vast majority of these cartoons are outright traitorous. They actively seek to support the enemy (Islamic Terrorists in case you forgot). But, even that is tollerated here in the US.
The difference between the US and the Moslem world is that in America we have built up a healthy tolerance to speech like that in socialnerve's website. We expect to have people we disagree with voice their opinions in a manner in which we will be offended. But, here's the key, in the US when we see or hear such vile crap in the form of free speech we aren't going to kill anybody and we aren't going to burn down their town, rape their sister as punishment, or kidnap foreigners. You just don’t ever hear of someone being killed for their political beliefs in this country. While it doesn’t happen on occasion, like the Jewish radio personality, Alan Berg that was killed by the moron skin head, the vast majority of the country reacts with horror, as we should. We didn't torch our skinhead or jewish neighbor's stores. We just said, "that was wrong" and we may have mentioned something to our children like "that was wrong." Imagine that, the US is getting something right. When was the last time you heard someone say that?
Moving on. I suggest to you that Europe needs to grow a set and forcibly educate their Moslem populations that being offended is part and parcel of living in the west. Americans (conservatives and liberals) need to step away from the use of the very real and very necessary war against Islamic Terrorism as a political tool. Democrats, I believe you could very easily win the next few elections if you weren’t as stupid as to just make stuff up to bring down Bush. The war is America's war. Look back at the vote count. It is just as much a democrat war as it is a republican war. If your really wanted to stop it you could have. But your political stategists think it is better to use the war as a political tool. That is wrong.
I'll freely admit that Bush has numerous flaws and has made numerous mistakes, but in the end he is so much more credible than the “do anything, say anything” democrats. I believe he got the WMD thing wrong. I don't believe he lied. I believe that there was a weak WMD program and that most of it is in Syria right now, exactly where Saddam moved it in the weeks before the war.
But, back to democrat bashing: Your party used to stand for things and have positions. “I hate Bush” is not a political platform. It is a sad indicator that you’re hollow where it counts. Republicans need to pull their heads out of their assess as well. The clowns we have in DC now are only slightly less disingenuous than the democrats. Go back to your roots and remember that civil liberties and responsible government used to have no better friend than the GOP. Get off of the corporate crack pipe and remember what made you want to go to Washington the first time. And don’t sell your souls; there are worse things than having a democrat sit in your house seat. You could be sitting there wondering how you are going to protect Halliburton’s ass instead of protecting the soldier in the field’s ass.
Additionally, the Moslem world needs to step back from the Kool-Aid that is the jihad. Please let me remind you that your terrorists may get DC, LA and NYC one morning with the Moslem A-Bomb, but we will get every last damn one of you later that afternoon. If you don’t think the total retaliatory nuclear strike would happen reflexively if you nuked a US city I think you are far too naive.
The quickest way to make Allah a memory is to further screw with the USA. I don’t think you understand how truly restrained the USA has been so far. I’d also like to point out who has been bombing Mosques. It hasn’t been us. It has been your fellow Moslems.
One last point: The fastest way to get the evil US Hegemony out of the Moslem world is for the Moslem world to grow up and get their act together. Please figure out how to live in peace amongst yourselves, with your neighbors and Israel, and keep the oil flowing (yeah I said it), and police your own nut jobs and the world will leave you alone just like that. Additionally, you’ll make a profit on your oil and your people will be happier than they are now living under police-state theocracies.
* Me thinketh Fred doth protest too much, if you know what I mean.