As I mentioned the other day, Gates of Vienna has now officially been designated a “European Blog”.
This has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that we have been dismissed as “Euro-Trash”, and are therefore not worth reading in the USA. Furthermore, we’d have a much larger audience if we focused more on American politics.
On the plus side: we can look at our own country from a slightly different perspective. By perching on a virtual Atlantic Wall and peering westward, sometimes we get to see American foreign policy from the standpoint of its beneficiaries — and its victims. It gives us a clearer overview.
Take, for example, the latest terror arrests in Denmark and Sweden. As I reported reported yesterday, four “Swedes” and a “Dane” were arrested for planning a massive attack on the Jyllands-Posten building in Copenhagen as revenge for the Mohammed cartoons. They intended to make their operation a reprise of Mumbai, with as many innocent casualties as possible.
The plan was larger and more ambitious than previous Motoon revenge plots, but it was not different in kind. As Dymphna reported last year, the plot against Kurt Westergaard and Flemming Rose in October 2009 was designed as a mass attack on Jyllands-Posten’s offices. Last year’s version was part of a conspiracy that extended back to the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, and involved terrorists in Canada and the United States, including David Headley. Yesterday’s plot may have similar connections; it’s too early to tell.
The terror plot in Denmark assumes a wider significance when juxtaposed with a leaked American diplomatic cable, which coincidentally was also reported yesterday at Islam in Europe. Readers should consult Esther’s entire post for the details on the WikiLeaks revelations, but the gist is this:
The United States government, through ambassador James P. Cain, pressured the Danish government to force Jyllands-Posten not to reprint the Motoons on the first anniversary of their publication. The Danish government responded by basically telling us to buzz off, that they were not in the business of telling their newspapers what to print or not print. So the ambassador contacted the newspaper directly, and spoke to its editor-in-chief.
As it happened, the paper had already decided — independent of any American or Danish government pressure — not to reprint the cartoons. Although Ambassador Cain was pleased, he reported back to Washington on what he considered the unfortunate aspects of the affair:
On the negative side, though, this popular center-right government has hardened its views on the absolute primacy of free speech. The prime minister appeared willing to let Jyllands-Posten dictate the timing of the next Islam vs. West confrontation without question or open discussion within the government. [emphasis added]
In other words: The United States ambassador considered the “absolute primacy of free speech” to be a NEGATIVE.
The Danish government believes in freedom of the press more than our own government does.
Gud bevare Danmark — May God preserve Denmark!
Remember: all of this occurred on the watch of President George W. Bush, the man who said the United States was the “friend of all those who love freedom”. The same guy who sent our soldiers all over the world to die for “freedom”.
One of the big mistakes being made by American conservatives nowadays is to believe that the Republicans are substantively different on this sort of issue than the Democrats. They aren’t.
That’s why I experience a certain loathing when I read magazines and look at websites that act as partisan cheerleaders for the Republicans at all times, no matter what. Whatever helps Republicans win elections is good. Whatever hurts their chances is bad.
Yes, yes: I know the Republicans favor higher defense spending. But they use all that military power to serve the purposes of the Saudis and the Emirates. If we ever take out Iran’s nuclear capability, it will not be to “advance the cause of human freedom”, but to eliminate a rival and threat to Saudi Arabia. Petrodollars speak louder than the electorate. It’s as simple as that.
The mainstream Republicans are on board with all this. They’re appalling. They’re disgusting.
And yes, the Democrats are worse, but the Republicans pretend to stand on principle — and so they should.
As it stands now, they are masters of the Big Lie.
If the opinion of its ambassador to Denmark is any indication, the United States of America believes that the best way to prevent terrorism is not to target the source, but to restrict the speech of those who offend Muslims.
Whether they realize it or not, America’s policymakers are actually promoting sharia. Under Islamic law, insulting the prophet Mohammed — which is what Muslims charge the Mohammed cartoonists with — is considered “slander” or “defamation”, and is a capital crime.
For the past eleven years, the Organization of the Islamic Conference has been attempting to push through a UN resolution that would impose exactly this definition of “defamation of religion” on the laws of all member states. The United States is ahead of the curve here, acting — if you can believe it — in advance of the United Nations. Through its diplomats abroad, it is pushing for the Islamic definition of slander in Western democracies.
It is peddling sharia.
The question that naturally arises is: how many newspapers and magazines in the USA experienced the same pressure?
How many editors received a discreet telephone call from the Department of Homeland Security or the State Department?
We’ll never know the answer to that one, of course. Any words that passed between the federal government and the Fourth Estate will remain obscure.
But one word we should be dusting off and putting into use is the dreaded T-word: TREASON.
Julian Assange may be a cynical opportunistic amoral lowlife. He may well deserve to go to prison for stealing classified state secrets or some similar offense.
Some Republicans want to try him for espionage, and those who overlook his Australian citizenship would like to try him for treason.
But that charge should be reserved for those who really deserve it
Oh, yes — I could definitely suggest a few names to put at the top of the list in a comprehensive indictment for treason.
But “Julian Assange” wouldn’t be one of them.