Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don't, So We Might As Well

The MSM need not spend too much time worrying about whether abstaining from reporting the cartoons (by publishing them) on the basis of whether it will aid or hinder the Islamist cause - they are damned if they do, and damned if they do not:
  1. publishing the cartoons will only play into the hands of the Islamists - "see brothers, there is the proof that the West hates muslims, just as we have told you in school these past years, praise be Allah calls upon you to bomb them everywhere", thus increasing the leverage the Islamists have over the muslim masses

  2. not publishing the cartoons will play into the hands of the Islamists - "praise be, we have beaten them back on the media front, let us continue with a strategy that is working and advancing our agenda"
Now, what if the cartoons agitate the Islamists such that they step up activities against Canadian soldiers? Good, I say, let them come out from under their rocks where we can put them in the crosshairs and eliminate them. Let their ire be the instigation of their demise. We are not there to 'keep the peace'. We are there to help exterminate the intractible forces that would return the Taliban to power. Exterminate. Provoking them out of their hiding holes is a good thing.

Reporting on the cartoons while not publishing because they might offend some muslims I can understand. I have no wish to offend muslims. Just as, say Global TV, or CTV, or City TV have no wish to offend the sensitive among us with their content, and they thus preface such content with warnings. Freedom of speech also means freedom to not speak. But this is a tempest in a teapot. At stake is the responsibility of the press to inform the public of real and present dangers.

Many moral equivalence counter arguments float the straw man about cartoons of Christ or Mary. Recall the Nazi Pope cartoon at the Rabble. As far as I know, although there was plenty of protest and outrage, no cars were burned, no planes flown into office buildings, no crowded buses blown up, no wedding parties vaporized, no fast food stores burned, no signs calling for the beheading of the cartoonist hoisted in front of the media cameras, no children decorated with explosives and marched into checkpoints, no oil wells torched, no shoes exploded over the Atlantic, no women hanged in public or stoned to death, no embassies stormed, and no film directors murdered. To equate the protesting style of muslims with Christians is an insult to both.

The media are justified in reporting the cartoons so that the people of the democratically free west have the information they need to assess for themselves the risk that radical Islam poses to them and their families and their society in general. They need to judge for themselves whether the response of radical Islam is in balance with the degree of the offence, and therefore be able to judge for themselves whether the threat posed by radical Islam is one that can be safely ignored, or must be dealt with.

The MSM, by suppressing this information, is making the decision for us that the threat of radical Islam will abate in due course of its own accord. Doing so is highly irresponsible.