February 14, 2006

Froma Harrop on the Dutch Cartoons

Carroll Andrew Morse

Let’s commend Projo columnist Froma Harrop for her defense of the principle of free speech, for not accepting conventional liberal wisdom about the source of Islamist grievances against the West, and for putting some actual policy options on the table in response to the Dutch cartoon riots…

The conflagration over a cartoon in a Danish newspaper greatly clarifies things, especially for Europe. It used to be commonplace that a flawed American foreign policy was the root of most Muslim unhappiness. Now the poster children for peace-loving Continentals -- Denmark and Norway -- are having their embassies torched across the Muslim world. In police states where people get shot for holding up the wrong sign, crowds are given free rein to smash up European consulates and Christian churches. The puppet masters have big agendas. And for them, stirring anger against the West does have its uses….

Want to end the violence?...Tell the various strongmen, sheiks and clerics that they may no longer partake of the pleasures and comforts of the West while inciting the masses at home. Henceforth, Saudi princes may not come to the great medical centers of Berlin or Boston to have their cancer treated. The militant mullahs can't send their children to private schools in England. The men who cultivate anti-West paranoia among their impoverished masses may not own villas on the Cote d'Azur. And their wives may no longer shop on the Via Veneto….

Westerners must be clear that we establish our own rules about what's acceptable in our own countries -- and that the job of defusing the crazed masses belongs squarely with their manipulators. The West, after all, can make life a lot less pleasant for the puppeteers.

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Am I allowed to comment on myself? The defense of Western cutlure has become a defense of liberal values regarding, among other things, the role of women and the rights of gay people to be gay. Aside from a few pathologically politcally correct multiculturalists, liberals are overwhelmingly defending the cartoons.

Posted by: Froma Harrop at February 14, 2006 10:10 AM

Is that really Froma Harrop who made that comment?

Posted by: Grady Shipley at February 14, 2006 2:08 PM

Just as liberals can't admit that the American mainstream is made up of people who tend to agree with President Bush, particularly on National Security and taxes; Ms. Harrop can't see that most liberals ARE "pathologically politcally correct multiculturalists". On this issue, I contratulate her for differentiating herself.

Posted by: roadrunner at February 15, 2006 1:29 PM

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying the response to the cartoon is justified, but...

If we don't allow some people to come to the United States/Germany/West based on what they say (specifically "men who cultivate anti-West paranoia") based on what they say, aren't we undermining the whole idea of free speech that we are trying to promote in the first place? I don't think your off-base when you say to bar people from taking advantage of the West if they incite violence against the country, but where do you draw the line between that and being critical of Western policy )which should be legitimate)?

Posted by: Bob at February 15, 2006 8:34 PM