Free Speech isn’t Free of Consequences for Others

Terry Jones: How free speech and Quran burning can lead to violence –

Officials in Kandahar, Afghanistan, reported that nine people were killed and scores injured when a protest turned violent. This followed by one day the attack on a United Nations compound in Mazar-e Sharif in which five demonstrators and seven UN employees were killed.

Only when US Army Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, warned that the defamation of the Quran would likely cost the lives of US service men and women did Jones call off his “International Burn the Koran Day.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates had called Jones as well.

The violent protests Friday and Saturday appear to have been encouraged if not instigated by those opposed to the American-led western presence in Afghanistan, including supporters of the Taliban. A high school for girls supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was among the targets.

Hey, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, burning a Koran is like calling a Muslim a nigger, kike, fag, cracker, etc, pretty much at the same time.

That is to say, them’s fighting words/actions.

And while many, indeed the vast majority, of said targeted group will simple respond to your act of extreme ignorance and preducice with disdain and public condemnation, there is always going to be a subset of the targeted group (usually one with a preponderance of testoterone) that is going to respond with violence.

Just so you know, and knowing is half the battle*

I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather someone else’s ass not pay for my speech.   Words can hurt.   When one needs to cut, and in this global War of Ideas that can certainly be necessary, why not use a scalpel, rather than a freakin’ flamethrower.

*note, this slogan is also why we have “boots” clad in CIA loafers “on the ground” in Libya.

When Monks Go Wild

Young Tibetans question path of nonviolence |

Jigshe Tsering spends nearly every day inside a wire enclosure outside the Dalai Lama’s residence. Like most of his fellow student hunger-strikers, who have vowed to remain inside their mock cages until China eases its crackdown, he fled Tibet hoping to find a better life close to the man who has long stood as the bulwark of Tibetan identity.

But grim reports of China’s hard line against antigovernment protests that began there in March – illustrated by the poster-sized images of those allegedly killed or maimed by state forces that decorate town walls – have eroded his support for the spiritual leader’s nonviolent strategy.

“We are always waiting and nothing has changed in Tibet,” he says. “I want peace, but when you are pushed so much, you finally strike back.”

It’s a pretty amazing difference that leadership and culture make.  In Tibet and Palestine you have two native populations oppressed by superpowers with multi-generational lengths.  (Israel being a U.S. front and China being one in the making).

 How they have responded so far is indicative of that leadership.  We’ll see how much longer they can hold out in Tibet before going medieval on some asses (my guess is until the Dalai Lama rests eternally).