Published: Thursday, Sept. 13 2012 8:00 a.m. MDT
I believe in nearly absolute freedom of expression, with a few exceptions like
the classic one of falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Does
production of this film rise to the level of falsely shouting "Fire!" in
a crowded theater? It's a close call. Certainly, the net effect is at
least as bad as shouting "Fire!". We've already lost 4 valiant
lives, and things look like they are mushrooming out of control. I don't
know whether there is a legitimate case to be made against the pseudonymous
"Sam Bacile" (whose real name is probably Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), but
anyone with an ounce of sense would know that the production of such a film
would lead to this reaction. Does that excuse the reaction? CERTAINLY NOT!!!
The behavior of the mob in Benghazi is barbaric, inexcusable, and antithetical
to everything of value in society. Sadly, the mob reaction was utterly
predictable. Morally (if not legally) "Sam Bacile" and his brother
bombthrowers (like "Reverend" Terry Jones) must be held accountable for
To state, “I called him [President Obama] to ask him to put an end to such
behavior,” President Morsi himself must not understand our freedom of
speech. Let's try again: Our Constitution forbids the government from
stopping its citizens from making offensive films. And since the government
cannot stop them, it also cannot be held responsible for any offense those films
cause.Arab leaders need to understand this point and explain it to their
citizens. Thus far there has been no effort to do so -- not even from the
Arab press. Nonetheless, it's a point that needs to be clarified if
we are to move forward with democracy.
Can’t believe I’m saying this but maybe Bush was right all along.
Religious fanatics who can be so easily driven to homicidal rage by a cartoon,
movie (especially one this amateurish) or any “insult” to the
sensibilities is scary enough. The thought of these folks getting their hands on
a WMD scares me in a way the cold war never did.
Tyler D great comment!!
Individual American citizens have the Constitutionally-guaranteed "freedom
of speech", by virtue of which this "Christian" filmmaker created a
film that was offensive to Muslims.But the US Government, of the
people, by the people, and for the people - including its foreign consulates and
diplomats, also has freedom of speech by which they can speak out and condemn
the stupid, offensive, inflammatory speech of their fellow citizens, such as
this "Christian" filmmaker.And that is exactly what the
Cairo Embassy did, in an attempt to cool things down in Egypt. It was not an
"apology", and it was NOT issued AFTER the deadly attacks 1300 km away
in Benghazi, as Mitt Romney and his misinformed staff falsely assumed.ALL freedom-loving peoples should take the opportunity to exercise their
freedom of speech to denounce such bigoted speech and rhetoric as this
California filmmaker expressed......and ALL freedom-loving peoples
should take the same freedom to denounce the misinformed, irresponsible, and
reckless statements of Mitt Romney and his foolish campaign on this tragic
Freedom of expression does not come with an obligation for propriety in how you
use it. The Islamic world acquiring Western style freedom will have to take what
comes with it. You can't have equality without diversity and no one should
expect it to always be easy.
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