White House press secretary Jay Carney, doubling as film critic, defined the cause of the Egypt and Libya attacks as being “in response to a video, a film, that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting — that in no way justifies any violent reaction to it.” Essentially, the Obama administration is arguing that the attackers were part of a spontaneous protest that included RPGs and coordinated ambushes with the added bonus of coincidentally occurring on 9/11, all because of a third-rate anti-Muslim YouTube clip first posted months ago.
This assignment of blame strains credulity, not only for the circumstantial evidence against it, but also for the distortion in moral logic.
Many substantive critiques questioning the veracity of Islamic scripture, Sharia law, and Islamic theocracies are made on a daily basis. Robert Spencer, Michael Savage, and Andrew McCarthy immediately come to mind. Even Obama-donor and bitter leftist Bill Maher created his own anti-Islamic movie. What was special about this particular anti-Muhammed YouTube clip? Nothing.
However, the Obama administration and our military believe this video matters. They rounded up the filmmaker in the dead of night under the auspices of parole violations due to internet access (when a young grammar school student advised Michelle Obama that her mother was in the country illegally, ICE did not raid the woman’s house that night). The White House pressured YouTube to pull the clip. General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called fringe pastor Terry Jones to request he cease and desist all support for the video.
When Dan Brown offended Christians worldwide with his apocryphal novel and movie, The Da Vinci Code, murderous Christian raids on U.S. embassies didn’t spontaneously erupt on Easter. FBI agents did not show up at Dan Brown’s door at midnight, the White House did not pressure his publisher to stop printing, and the top military officer in the United States did not harass his supporters.
The murderous rage of protesters should not determine our fidelity to a foundational right enshrined in our constitution and so revered throughout the land that its citizens recognize it simply by its leadoff spot in the Bill of Rights. The principle is either both sound and worth defending, or it is not. Furthermore, ill-advised speech is not a justification for murder. As James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal usefully asks, “Does abortion cause the murder of abortion doctors?” The president’s oath of office is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to preserve, protect, and defend the feelings and sensibilities of our overseas enemies.
In typically crude fashion, the TV show South Park ran an episode several years back ending in an orgy of filth that captured a staggering multi-faith array of offensive religious imagery. Crude is a generous term for that onslaught, but it effectively made the creators’ point. The only religion they could not include in that heathen cornucopia was Islam, which Comedy Central refused to air.
Ceding our rights to the violent coercion of foreign extremists or the moral compass of international leftists can only result in self-inflicted tyranny and absurdity.
For example, Iran is threatening to sue the United States via the United Nations under articles 18 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a religious anti-discrimination resolution that the Obama Administration helped the Organization of Islamic Cooperation get passed. Why? Because of the anti-Muhammed YouTube clip. This while Iran orchestrates its militant proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon and accelerates toward becoming a nuclear power that could wipe out Israel.
People have likened the American use of free speech that agitates Islamists to taking a whack at a hornet’s nest. Wise? No. However, after the hornets sting the buffoon, you generally bug bomb the nest, not euthanize the buffoon.