Let the “House of War” Prepare for War

Islm_cartoon_7In September 2005 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a series of twelve Muhammad cartoons (some of them quite innocent – see them all below). Muslim fanatics announced their intention to kill the cartoonists and/or punish Denmark. The radical Islamists do not make unsubstantiated threats. They know that if they do not do take revenge for what they consider to be blasphemy they will lose face. The Muslim god does not forgive, he demands submission, also from the infidels.

Hence, it does not come as a surprise that last Tuesday the Danish police arrested three terrorists – one Dane from Moroccan descent and two Tunesians – for plotting to kill Kurt Westergaard, the artist who depicted Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. For several months now the 73-year old artist and his wife have been living in hiding, protected by the Danish police.

Yesterday, seventeen Danish papers reprinted Westergaard’s cartoon out of solidarity with the cartoonist and because they are prepared to “fight for free debate.” If the Western media were courageous and truly cared about freedom of speech they would all reprint the cartoons – not in order to insult people who do not read their papers anyway, but because by Western standards these cartoons are not particularly offensive and people who think that they are should not come and live in the West, but stay in countries like Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran or other places where people are not allowed to draw Muhammad cartoons.

There is little hope, however, that the major papers in other countries apart from Denmark will reprint the cartoons. Most non-Danish European papers are cowards, while the Americans are naïve. They probably think that the terrorists who want to kill Westergaard for his cartoon feel insulted because of the bomb in the prophet’s turban, while the radical Islamists are proud of the bomb but feel insulted by the mere depicting of Muhammad which according to their religion is blasphemy: one is simply not allowed to depict Muhammad.

Iran has already reacted to the reprinting of the cartoon and summoned the Danish ambassador. Westerners accept this kind of arrogance, though they do not summon the Iranian ambassador every time Iran stones or hangs a woman because she has been raped.

The Danes, however, are angry. Kurt Westergaard issued the following statement:

Of course I fear for my life after the Danish Security and Intelligence Service informed me of the concrete plans of certain people to kill me. However, I have turned fear into anger and indignation. It has made me angry that a perfectly normal everyday activity which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness. I have attended to my work and I still do. I could not possibly know for how long I have to live under police protection; I think, however, that the impact of the insane response to my cartoon will last for the rest of my life. It is sad indeed, but it has become a fact of my life.


Denmark is very brave. We all know that, since the Muslim radicals cannot afford to lose face, sooner or later a terror attack is bound to happen in Denmark. By reprinting the Westergaard cartoon the Danes are saying: “We are not afraid of you. You may intimidate the Brits and the Americans, but not us.”

The reprinting of the cartoons is an act of courage. It is not a provocation, as our friend Pat Buchanan will probably argue. The provocation is the attempt to murder an artist for depicting Muhammad. The reprinting of the cartoon is a reaction to the provocation. If Muslims, who voluntarily moved to the West, cannot live with Westerners depicting their prophet (with or without bombs in his turban), fine, let them move back to where they came from. Contrary to what the left proclaims, none of the immigrants who moved to Europe were “invited” to come here. They came out of their own free will, for perfectly understandable and rational reasons – because they could get a job here or welfare benefits, allowing them and their children to lead a more comfortable life than they could ever dream of in their own countries – but if they want our jobs or our welfare money they have to accept that we allow artists to draw Muhammad cartoons and that we allow editors to publish these in newspapers which – and this is important – we do not force anyone to buy or read nor to subsidize with their tax money.
I am not a neo-con. I do not want to impose my values on others. If Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia (four countries by the way that are allies of the United States), Iran or other places want to persecute cartoonists, that is fine with me. Let them do as they please in their own countries, in their so-called dar-al-Islam, the ‘house of submission,” where television channels show carnivorous rabbits eager to eat up Jews, but not here, not in our dar-al-Harb, the “house of war,” where we cherish cartoonists and where we have to prepare ourselves for war against barbarians who want to impose their “values” on us.


More on the Danish cartoon case: Click here (see links at end of article)


Obsessing on America

Why does the author point out here that Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan are all "allies" of the United States?  Turkey, of course, is an ally of Denmark as well.  All three nations are members of NATO.  As for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan being "allies" of the United States (but not, by implication, allies of Denmark or other "brave" European nations), what does the author mean?  Does he simply mean that America has friendly diplomatic relations with these nations?  I know Denmark has an embassy in Riyadh, and I'm guessing she has embassies in Cairo and Islamabad as well.  Does he mean that America's relations with these nations are of greater importance to the world than the relationships Denmark has with them?  Well -- duh.  Denmark's relationships with all states are of less geopolitical importance than America's relationships with these major Middle Eastern countries.  Does he mean that America's leaders have closer relationships with the leaders of these nations than the Danish prime minister and foreign minister do?  Let's hope so.  I realize it's hopeless to make this request, but please stop obsessing on America.  An article about the immigrant problems in Europe should not automatically make snide comments about the U.S. government.  It's your drama; you act in it.

Neo-con fallacy # 2

@ Thomas Landen

1)  I still think that the expression "our jobs" is misleading.  It suggests that the number of jobs in any economy is some 'finite' number for which more people then have to compete.  Immigrants do NOT take "our jobs", they simply take "jobs", and the (growing) number of jobs depends on the 2 factors mentioned.

We agree, of course, that immigration CAN lead to major CULTURAL (and thus ultimately political) problems. Whether it will do so, or not, depends essentially on the immigration POLICY which will determine: (a) the number and 'nature' or type of immigrants, i.e. their ability to integrate, and (b) whether the proper incentives and penalities are in place to ensure that they will actually do so.

  I also contend that immigration CAN lead to major ECONOMIC problems, again depending on the type of immigration POLICY pursued.  For example, there is little doubt that the sharp worsening of the income distribution in the USA, over the last 2 decades, can be significantly linked to the tolerance of large-scale immigration of low-skilled workers.  The toleration of 'illegal' immigrants made this even worse and heigthened competition at the lower end of the labor market. Obviously, other factors (e.g. like tax policies and technological innovation) have also played a major role in this.   


2) We disagree on the neo-cons.  Removing a dictator is not the same thing as "imposition of own values".  The latter is, of course, what the naive-left opponents of this removal like to claim, precisely because they tend to be moral-relativists who (often unconsciously) think that all values have equal right of day. And also because they have no direct concrete life experience of living under a totalitarian 'obstacle'.

The neo-cons believed, naively in my view, that democracy could flourish once the totalitarian obstacle is removed (partly based on what happened in Japan and Korea, for instance).   But I see no evidence that they they would want to "impose their values" if the recipient society would not respond to the 'democratic chances' created.    How could they? How could anyone think that democracy can be imposed?  No, they believe that it, sometimes, needs to be unleashed or liberated.   You disagree with them, correctly in my view, on pre-suppositions about the nature of the recipient society.  But I think it is not fair to blame the neocons for wanting "to impose" anything on a continuing basis.  "Imposition" requires a new dictatorship, which is manifestly not a neo-con goal. That is a false claim that one better leaves for/to dishonest lefties to make.  After all, they are more interested in opposing whatever the US government does, rather than in the human rights of persecuted people in nonwestern cultures.

3) I agree that you, as a US tax payer, should not be asked to blindly pay for the liberation of others who are incapable of maintaining freedom for themselves.  But you should ponder 2 further considerations.  First, to what extent is the freedom of others important for maintaining freedom in the uS in the long term?  You implicitly concede this point by implying that liberating Europe (in the past, and perhaps in the future) was/will be 'worth it'. Second, whether a particular people is capable of maintaining its own freedom (after 'liberation') is something that one can not always pre-judge, and that may require some time to assess.

Moral courage

1)  The author is right.  The "reprinting" is a reaction against the provocation of violence and threathened murder.  The principle at stake is freedom of speech, not freedom from being 'insulted'.  The latter would be an absurdity, because anyone could arbitarily call anything "insulting".  And responding to perceived 'insults' with murder is immoral and 'primitive'.  If anybody cannot agree to such 'basics', then they do not belong in a civilised and free society. It is as simple as that. 

Ideally, people should be sensitive to other people's 'feelings', but free (and thus potentially moral) people should never tolerate that others question their existence as free people.  Unfree people cannot be moral, because moral and immoral choices must be made VOLUNTARILY.  Any coerced action under intimidation is the opposite of morality.

2) I have two minor disagreements with the article.

-- Immigrants may want jobs like ours, but they do not take "our jobs".  Over time, the NUMBER of jobs in any society depends essentially on 2 factors: (a) the number of people in that society and (b) the quality of economic policy. It has nothing to do with immigrants as such.  

-- It is unfair to imply that neo-cons want "to impose" values on others.  Neo-cons will claim that the removal of specific totalitarian obstacles (like the Saddam-Baath regime in Iraq) can or may allow conditions to develop in which 'democracy' could flourish.  One may call this "naive" or "idealistic" or whatever, but it does not equate with "imposition of values".  By definition, values cannot be imposed.  They must be voluntarily accepted and 'lived', or they will be 'not real', i.e. illusory.

@ marcfrans about the neo-con fallacy

By saying "our jobs" I meant jobs in our country. I am not an economic protectionist. Immigration does not lead to economic problems (on the contrary), but to cultural problems.

I had no problem with the fact that the US toppled Saddam's regime, except that I think that the Saudi regime was (is) a greater threat than Saddam's regime ever was.

The neo-con fallacy was to stay in Iraq after Saddam had been removed. I have no problem with America bringing down its enemies, but toppling dictators not because they are your enemies but in order to allow conditions in which "democracy" can flourish, is trying to impose your own values on others. (This is not to say that, as a European, I would not be grateful if the US Army were to descend on Brussels tomorrow in order to bring down the EU and allow democracy to flourish in Europe. As an American, however, I would object to have to pay taxes to liberate nations that are not capable (not willing?) to liberate themselves).


@ Charles Bogle


What does President Bush mean by "thoughtful about others" in his second point?  Your guess about this vacuous expression is as good as mine.  But, if it means (in his mind) to tolerate intimidation by others, then he clearly fails in his first responsibility. 

There is a clear moral difference between (a) being 'rude' or insulting someone (either intentionally or unintentionally), and (b) intimidating and physically threathening to murder someone.   Bush should know that, but whether he does that is another matter.   His first reponsibility is to defend the constitutional freedoms of all Americans, not to guard over their 'manners' or to ensure that they would all be considered 'polite' by anyone or everyone.  In short, Bush seems to have got his priorities disordered, as does Buchanan. 


Perhaps I can help.Log on to the following link,turn up the volume and wait for a reaction.



Word of advice. Don't worry  unduly about the reaction from those Muslims.Keep your eyes peeled instead for a bald,furtive looking fat bloke with glasses who may or may not answer to the name Steve Pollard.HE'S more likely to give you more grief than those Muslims.And I'm NOT kidding! 



Pat Buchanan

Speaking about Pat Buchanan: did you know he lost his uncle to the Holocaust!

Yes, he fell out of the guard tower.



President Bush on responsibility

"We also talked about a topic that requires a lot of discussion and a lot of sensitive thought, and that is the reaction to the cartoons. I first want to make it very clear to people around the world that ours is a nation that believes in tolerance and understanding. In America we welcome people of all faiths. One of the great attributes of our country is that you're free to worship however you choose in the United States of America.

Secondly, we believe in a free press. We also recognize that with freedom comes responsibilities. With freedom comes the responsibility to be thoughtful about others..."

@ Atlanticist911

I am sitting here in the middle of a bunch of muslims and scrolling through the reactions and comments, I opened this topic. Mama mia!!! You should have seen the reactions of the people around me. Talking about free press I am defending it here with my life, just kidding.