Jewish World Review Sept. 26, 2012/ 10 Tishrei, 5773
Now they tell us
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At first, anybody who recognized the murderous assault on the American consulate in Benghazi as a terrorist attack didn't know what he was talking about. It was just the result of a spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand. It was all the fault of a shadowy little video that had taken the Prophet Mohammed's name in vain. It had provoked the violence. The attack couldn't have been planed in advance. Or anticipated, either.
Now, weeks later, after the funerals have been held and the bodies buried, and investigations have begun, the same
Good morning, Mr. Carney. So good to have you with us. At last. It's taken long enough. When a senator named
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks in
He just didn't get it. He had confused the pretext for these rampages with the reason: the war still being waged against America and the West by a fanatical group of Islamic zealots who will exploit every religious prejudice and historical grievance in their part of the world to attack us. Theirs is not just an ideological movement but a violent criminal conspiracy. Not unlike Nazism and Communism when they were rampaging.
How long, oh, how long before this administration comes fully awake, and realizes that peace is assured by strength, not by cringing statements that only further inflame the fanatics and terrorists of the
Just before the attackers had breached the walls of our consulate in Benghazi, the American embassy in
In reply, the president went on the political attack himself, saying: "Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later." But who was really being unpresidential in this case, and jumping to premature conclusions? It should now be apparent to all -- even the
How is it, do you suppose, that a presidential candidate who wasn't privy to all the military and diplomatic intelligence that the
In retrospect, it is
Even now, after all that has happened in the
But the problem remains the same one exemplified by those tweets out of our
In a free country, we do not censor ideas we disagree with, even despise. We let them be expressed in the marketplace of ideas -- in the faith that bad ideas need not be banned if good ones are left free to combat them. America's future, and the world's, is tied up with that kind of faith in freedom. That's who we are -- and should remain.
"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other,"
Once upon a time, long ago, centuries ago, at the height of Islamic civilization, when it represented all that was most advanced in the world -- science, toleration, learning, freedom of ideas -- Islam's rulers, philosophers and poets understood as much. That heritage, so close to the American spirit at its best, should unite East and West in a common quest for enlightenment, security, and mutual respect. And we should say so, boldly. Anything less would dishonor our own civilization -- and insult Muslims, who are perfectly capable of understanding our point. They need not be condescended to, which remains the default mode of
It will not do to adopt a defensive posture in hopes of appeasing the violent. There is no need to offer excuses for freedom, and no shame in embracing it openly, and advocating it proudly. Liberty should be celebrated, promoted and honored. It is America's reason for being. And we should make no apologies for it.
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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