One of the most poorly constructed arguments attacking freedom of speech can be found in The L.A. Times. Published on Tuesday, the essay by Sarah Chayes declares the creator of the clumsy satire on the Muslims’ prophet doesn’t meet the smell test for the First Amendment.
As I read the essay, I heard boot thumps of blasphemy cops as President Barack Obama's foreign policy lay in shards around the world.
If Chayes was a pundit, we could just laugh at her. Fact is Chayes influences our foreign policy and she can share credit for the complete disaster Obama has created. Chayes became an adviser for then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, in 2010.
In her L.A. Times essay, Chayes made this remarkable statement (boldface added):
The point here is not to excuse the terrible acts perpetrated by committed extremists and others around the world in reaction to the video, or to condone physical violence as a response to words — any kind of words. The point is to emphasize that U.S. law makes a distinction between speech that is simply offensive and speech that is deliberately tailored to put lives and property at immediate risk. Especially in the heightened volatility of today's Middle East, such provocation is certainly irresponsible — and reveals an ironic alliance of convenience between Christian extremists and the Islamist extremists they claim to hate.
That this politico wants to control everyday Americans’ speech is regrettable. However, Hayes took things to a whole new level when she used the term “Christian extremists” –as despicable an example of propaganda as I have witnessed in my lifetime. At the moment, Christian Copts are being murdered, raped and persecuted in many countries.
Try a search, for instance, at metacrawler using the terms “Christian Copts murdered.” A student killed for wearing a cross, churches destroyed, mobs throwing stones at Copts—this is everyday life in some parts of the world for those who practice a faith other than Islam.
Our president has never once mentioned the Copts just as the last Democrat president took a dim view of Christians when he sent troops to help Muslims kill Christians in Bosnia and Kosovo.
In North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as well as in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, blasphemy laws have been part and parcel of culture. Recall that the only Christian government minister in Pakistan was killed for simply trying to reform the country’s blasphemy laws.
In her argument for what amounts to censorship, Hayes cites two Supreme Court cases—Schenck v. U.S. (1919) and Brandenburg vs. Ohio (1968). Schenck was overturned eventually and in the Brandenburg case, the defendant won.
Politicos bent on appeasement have brought the U.S. down a long road where treasure and lives have been gifted to countries where corruption is the norm and a primitive, regressive form of government is practiced by those who choose to interpret Islam in a certain manner. That group obviously constitutes the majority; otherwise, the world would not be at war.
The Islamists' ultimate goal is world dominance.
Whoever created the obscure film made famous by Obama and his admiring, complicit media is nothing more than a scapegoat for an imperialist religious movement intent on subordinating the U.S. to a set of standards in conflict with the U.S. Constitution.
Chayes’ approach demonstrates the utter failure in vision characteristic of this administration.
We should remind ourselves of something the 9/11 Commission Report disclosed:
“It is hard now to recapture the conventional wisdom before 9/11. For example, a New York Times article in April 1999 sought to debunk claims that Bin Ladin was a terrorist leader, with the headline, “U.S. Hard Put to Find Proof Bin Laden Directed Attacks.” The head of analysis at the CTC until 1999 discounted the alarms about a catastrophic threat as relating only to the danger of chemical, biological or nuclear attack—and he downplayed even that, writing several months before 9/11: “It would be a mistake to redefine counterterrorism as a task of dealing with ‘catastrophic,’ ‘grand,’ or ‘super’ terrorism, when in fact these labels do not represent most of the terrorism that the United States is likely to face or most of the costs that terrorism imposes on U.S. interests.”
That, by the way, is what President George W. Bush “inherited.”
Obama’s State Dept. declared in April, “The war on terror is over.”
That is a dangerous political ploy in light of what’s happening around the world today. If we can’t identify an enemy, we will certainly not succeed in prevailing.
The U.S. must make it clear that in our country we do not have blasphemy laws directed at protecting a single religion, and nor do we govern speech. To do otherwise is to surrender and to put the final kindling on a Constitution already in flames at the hand of this administration.
The time will come when the free world must unite in the interest of protecting liberty. Had the Left not obstructed Bush 43 for political gains, we might not even be confronting this crisis.
Right now we have a president and top military commander advocating curtailing free speech in the U.S because primitives across the world are doing what they do best—protesting and killing. That should worry every American, regardless of political leanings, income level or faith.
If it doesn’t worry you and things continue on the present path, enjoy the blasphemy cops who may show up at your door one day if you say the wrong thing.
Don't expect the Left to speak up for you. They only do that in the interest of politics rather than truth. Don't expect media to inform you. They're too busy trying to help Obama get reelected.
I recognize the war on free speech in Islamist countries. The war on free speech at home is unfathomable.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 19, 2012)