## Monday, February 06, 2006 ... //

### Cartoon policies

Many of our Danish friends seem to be rather scared - and frankly, I fully understand why. You can read an authoritative explanation why everyone who has insulted Islam must be executed. It's a scary reading, is not it?

Assuming that the situation will continue to develop in the same direction, the following and other policies should be considered.

European homeland security:

• Define temporary rules restricting the freedom of expression in the Western countries, to expire on March 31st, 2006
• Visualization of major prophets and deities or their linking with the recent political questions would be an offense and the persons who do it could be detained for a day or two
• Posters and placards favorably referring to things like 7/7, 9/11, Al Qaeda, bin Laden, holocaust, executions of religiously inconvenient citizens, or placards attacking freedom as such would also be an offense, and the culprits could be detained, too
• Citizens of Arab descent would temporarily be disallowed to be equipped with weapons and dangerous tools including guns, knives, gasoline, or other equivalents except for their homes
• The cartoonists and perhaps others should be given a new identity

Presence in the Islamic world:

• All Danish embasssies and companies present in the region should cancel their activities and be evacuated, and companies from other countries whose situation resembles that of Denmark should consider the same thing
• NATO should ensure safe transfer of all people whose life is at risk

Economy:

• The European Union should pay measured compensations to the affected companies
• The EU commission should buy products from those exporters who lost the markets, at least for two months, and use the products to appease various ethnic groups on the EU territory, among other programs
• Other "luxurious" programs unrelated to the crisis could be frozen if a higher amount of resources is needed
• Currencies such as the Danish krone and others at risk should be pegged to the euro or even the U.S. dollar with the change from February 1st guaranteed to be preserved in 2006 plus minus 10 percent, by a common declaration of several central banks
• Prepare EU plans and compensation policies for various types of hypothetical terrorist attacks on the European soil

Immigration:

• All Western countries with population density below XY and with Christianity as the primary religion should be automatically giving political asylum to all applicants from the mostly Islamic countries who are either Christians or whose race is Caucasian

Work with the ideas and impressions:

• Experts in the culture of Islam and psychologists should be hired to develop an optimal system of ideas that would have the capacity to convince the Muslims that freedom, at least in the Western world, is something that they must learn how to live with
• Try to think about big-scale visual Hollywood-like effects on the skies that would convince sufficiently uneducated Muslims that Allah wants them to behave differently
• Teach all Western soldiers located in the Islamic countries how to play the theater that they actually believe and adore their prophet

Expansion of the EU:

• Speed up negotiations with candidates such as Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria
• Freeze the negotiations with Turkey because their approach to human rights and safety of Christians on their territory is probably going to remain questionable and incompatible with the EU standards and the current developments highlighted the differences

Diplomacy and military:

• Close all Western embassies and consulates that are perceived as insufficiently protected against attacks, and move some of their tasks to other, safer embassies of other EU countries
• Send Danish soldiers currently in Iraq back to their homeland because their reduced self-confidence could prevent them from doing their job right
• Prepare emergency defense plans for the hypothetical scenario of an Islamic country attacking another country, including the policies for using unconventional weapons if necessary

Although this cartoon trouble will certainly unify most of the people who are worried about various related trends, it will unfortunately not unify everyone, not even at Harvard. Our colleague from the Asia Center of Harvard University unfortunately shows a complete lack of understanding of the West after 1500, including the fact that it is no longer mandatory to believe in God. In fact, honestly speaking, most people at Harvard today believe that a belief in God is a symptom of reduced intelligence. Could not she have figured this fact out? Sad and hard to understand.

#### snail feedback (6) :

reader Quantoken said...

Lubos:

I don't see anything wrong with your Harvard Colleague, she just explained her opinion, from the point of view of a Muslin. And she has been quite reasonable and did not call for violence of any kind.

Mind you, Lubos, that people in the Muslin world understands freedom pretty well. When they took to the street to protest and all that. That's freedom of speech. Do they not have the freedom of speech by protest? Burning something, like burning a Dannish flag, is just another form of free speech, and thus should be allowed and encouraged. Although it has now become illegal to burn American flags, but burning a foreign flag is still OK in the USA.

If burning a flag is a legitimate way of free speech. Then it probably is still yet another form of free speech, if a slightly bigger object is burned, for example a foreign consulate. It looks a bit more violent than burning a flag or an idol. But as you claimed, freedom knows no limit, right? The muslins might just have a slightly different understanding of freedom of speech.

I say stupid Europeans. They did something stupid and offended the muslins in a way that exceeded their imagination. Once they realize that they should promptly issue an appology, carry out some dissipline penalty against the editor, retrieve the cartoon. And move on, and things will be settled pretty easily.

As now they are so arrogant in refusing to issue appologies, we already see a couple consulates burned and all sorts of other bad things. What for, do they want to wait to see more widespread of violence and more destructions? Is an appology worth more than the violence and chaos? Such silly insistence on principle is irresponsible and stupid.

Quantoken

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Quantoken,

because I have known your "intelligence" and other products of your defective "brain" for quite some time, your support for Zehra Nasim's medieval comments about the relation between God and the humans and for the violence in the Arab streets is no surprise for me.

Surely, if you wish, you may count burning Danish embassy - just a "slightly bigger object" - as a basic freedom. That's freedom in the very broad sense. In this very generous interpretation of the term "freedom", nuking countries where they behave as wild animals is also a freedom of the defense ministers. A freedom that may become a necessity unless these people will be forced to realize using more human methods that what they're doing and planning to do is plain unacceptable.

I should also explain to you and Zehra Nasim that here in the West, we have certain laws that guarantee certain things. Drawing cartoons is fully legal - supported, in fact, by the laws that guarantee freedom of expression - while burning embassy, throwing stones into their windows, and organizing assassinations is illegal.

Your brain is obviously able to see neither the existing legal difference between drawing cartoons and calls for assassinations, nor the justification of this difference. But your brain is fortunately not among the important things in the world. The important thing is that the policemen and generals know what is the law and what is not the law and they will have to get ready to act in order to protect it.

Freedom of an individual (human) being ends where the freedom of another (human) being starts. Muhammed's freedom does not have to be and should not be protected by any laws that would restrict a human being. The societies who are ready to sacrifice human lives (of others) because of a hype about a figure from the 7th century are barbarian nations.

Arson is illegal even in those countries, and at least Lebanon has already apologized. Moreover, the embassies are effectively territories of the remote countries which means that the local police in the Arab states should have protected the Danish law and the Danish standards of security in all of these places.

Best
Lubos

reader Celal Birader said...

Dear Lubos,

I am sure your measures would be considered if the threat rose to the point where European countries had to declare a "state of emergency".

I don't know when was the last time any Western European government had to do that but i do not think we are there with this "cartoon jihad".

Otherwise, adopting your very reasonable measures would be much too disruptive to the legal and economic running of W.Europe.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Celal,

absolutely. Don't get me wrong, I fully agree with you and most of the points written here are not a plan that is adequate for the current situation, so far, fortunately.

On the other hand, in the pessimistic case, all responsible people should predict the developments somewhat into the future.

Conflicting situations are often disruptive. On the other hand, they may also bring some positive by-products with them.

Thanks,
Lubos

reader Celal Birader said...

In fact i think the recent demonstrations of Muslims in London carrying their obscenely hateful signs was a good thing : the police now know a bit more who the hotheads likely to carry out terrorist attacks are and can monitor them more effectively.

reader Quantoken said...

Lubos:

You know full well that I do not buy into any religion and do not endorse God of any type. But I just respect people's choice of their belief systems, and try not to offend religious people in any un-necessary way.

Nuking the Muslin world, of course, is part of freedom. Who can say it is not? If Bush decides to nuke Iran, for example, there is really no domestic or international law, or any counter force that is capable of preventing him from doing it. So yes that's freedom. But freedom is also Iran's attempt to develope nuclear weapons, secretly or openly, as well as others. I don't see how you can stop the innevitable from happening. Also do you not suspect Saudis or other middle east countries secretly working on the gismos as well, given that Isreal already has plenty of them.

One has to understand that nuclear weapons technology is not high tech and there is absolutely NO technological barrier for any country to acquire it except for political goodwill. When a big brother is constantly threatening with the gismos, it makes it that much easier for the small brothers to break away from that last barrier of political goodwill, and tear down the international NPT treaty.

For the sake of a peaceful planet so humanity can continue to survive, we have to put a limit to such and other types of freedom. Constantly threatening use of nuclear weapons on a dozen silly cartoons is NOT a smart way to achieve peace and security. A prompt appology and withdrawal of the cartoons is. You either resolve the dispute with a simple and easy appology, or get it all over with with a few nukes. What is your preference?

Quantoken

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