Monday, February 13, 2006

Irritating Assassin Threatens Denmark

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Syria has some strong words for the Danes:

LONDON (Reuters) - The Danish government should offer an official apology to Muslims over "irresponsible" cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad to avoid a clash of civilizations, Syria's ambassador to London said on Monday.

"I think it is high time for the Danish government, in order to avoid a clash of civilizations, to express itself more vehemently against these irresponsible caricatures and present an official apology to the believers of the Islamic faith," Sami Khiyami told Reuters in an interview.

He said his government had apologized to Denmark and offered to pay compensation for the torching of the Danish embassy during protests over the cartoons in Damascus earlier this month. But he said protesters had surprised security officials when they set fire to the Danish and Norwegian missions.

Listen you little murdering weasel; In the west we believe in a thing called free speech. That means...ahh, nevermind, you'll never be able to get the gist.

This is all spin. Just as Arafat knew, as did Hafez Assad--the little runt's old man--if you keep the "street" angry at anyone but you, you can survive. Usually it's the Jews or America, but that hasn't been working lately and a few innocuous cartoons filled the void.

If you have no one to get the masses mad at, you have to crack down on the populace such as Bashar's daddy did in Hama:

In February 1982 the secular Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad faced a mortal threat from Islamic extremists, who sought to topple the Assad regime. How did it respond? President Assad identified the rebellion as emanating from Syria's fourth-largest city — Hama — and he literally leveled it, pounding the fundamentalist neighborhoods with artillery for days. Once the guns fell silent, he plowed up the rubble and bulldozed it flat, into vast parking lots. Amnesty International estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed in the merciless crackdown. Syria has not had a Muslim extremist problem since.

I visited Hama a few months after it was leveled. The regime actually wanted Syrians to go see it, to contemplate Hama's silence and to reflect on its meaning. I wrote afterward, "The whole town looked as though a tornado had swept back and forth over it for a week — but this was not the work of mother nature."

So you see, the emirs and dictators throughout the mideast have used this episode to rail against the west as a whole and the liberal Denmark in particular because it keeps the rabble preoccupied. Hell, it's a smart strategy, if only a short-term solution. Eventually they will have to go back to the "death to Israel" or "death to America" card but not until they've rung every conceiveable demonstration out of this issue.

Or, they take aim at you and your regime and have to resort to distasteful acts such as nerve gassing people in Halabja as Saddam did. If you go that route, you may incur the wrath of Tom Friedman and the NY Times (but only if the Times doesn't have to actually, you know, stand up for free speech or something)

I find it amazing that more American newspapers didn't have the balls to stand up and support their Danish brethren. Amazing yes, surprising no.

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