Tuesday, January 31, 2006


"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." ~ Voltaire

I like to stop over at Viking-Observer every so often to see what is going on with Denmark, because Denmark has been in the crosshairs lately for its strong freedom of expression stand. Denmark has been particularly strong in standing against one of the Middle East's biggest and most brutal bullies, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, or Turkish republic, or just TC, for brevity.

The TC would be the same brutal bully who is currently presiding over a pack of brutal bullies, collectively known as the OIC, who are now all engaged in attacking Denmark.

Henrik, at Viking Observer, has posted a list of some recent developments:

* Hungary sides with Denmark. Says the Hungarian foreign minister: "To us, freedom of speech is a cornerstone of a functioning democracy". The arab reaction is "unfitting".

* In the arab parts of Palestine, the Danish representative office in Ramallah was fired on yesterday, and today demonstrations burned pictures of, among others, prime minister Fogh, US president Bush and Israeli prime minister Olmert.

* In Iraq, a terrorist has issued a fatwa against the Danish battalion stationed there.

* In Sudan, the foreign minister has urged "all sudanese companies and institutions to stop the omport of Danish products".

* In Bahrain, the parliament has passed a resolution calling for boycott of Danish goods, and demanding apologies from the Danish government and the Danish queen.

* A like resolution from the Egyptian parliament has brought EU trade commisioner Peter Mandelson to threaten opening an investigation into it, since government-sponsored boycotts are a breach of WTO-rules.

* At the same time the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior representing 17 arab ministers has demanded the Danish government punish those responsible for the 12 drawings.

* Suicide bombers are threatening attacks on Denmark.

More information is available at Zaman. Thanks to one of my hevals for the heads-up on that. See if you can detect the spin in that one. Let me give you a hint: Zaman is a Fethullahci rag sheet.

Here's a quote:

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik stated after the EU General Affairs Council gathering yesterday, "With the help of freedom of expression and the press, some basic religious values should not be humiliated in order to find a solution."

The EU High Representative, Javier Solana, stressed “religious values should be respected and no religion should be humiliated."

We already know which side the UN and the US are on, and it ain't Denmark's, and with these quotes we see where the EU's flunkeys are going with this.

Everyone is angry with Denmark for its position on free expression, over some Prophet cartoons and illustrations, as well as for its defense of free expression for Kurds--if you can imagine--which goes, in this case, by the name of Roj TV. Turkey has harnassed the OIC, through its Turkish secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in order to gang up against Denmark and thereby bully their way to what they consider to be a victory.

Of course, Turkey hopes to kill two birds with one stone. It hopes to get Denmark to break over the Prophet issue and then will come in for the kill over Roj TV, just as I hinted here.

But the problem is that if you want to choose to support Denmark on one aspect of this battle--Roj or cartoons--and condemn Denmark on the other, you are not a supporter of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is not the freedom to hear what you want to hear. Freedom of expression, in all its proper glory, is most perfectly at work in the world when you also get to hear what you don't want to hear, or when you get to hear what is hateful to you, and the only valid censorship against this is that of the individual freely choosing not to listen or read or look.

Kurdistan must stand with Denmark. Kurdistan must do this because Denmark has stood with Kurdistan over the attempts by Turkey to silence Roj TV. Kurdistan must also do this because, for far too long, Kurdistan has been the victim of censorship and every Kurd knows this. Finally, Kurdistan must stand with Denmark because one day, Kurdistan hopes to become a democracy.

If we can't walk the walk with Prime Minister Rasmussen and the Danish people, then we have no business talking the talk.

Serkeftin, Denmark!


Anonymous said...

How can you be so sure of the position of the U.S. on this matter?

Anonymous said...

"some basic religious values should not be humiliated in order to find a solution."

Uhhhh...a "solution" implies a "problem." What "problem" is implied by a cartoonist who makes fun of an historical figure? The "problem" of iconoclastic cartoonists?

In the US, we have an entire city on the West Coast that seems to delight in offending one of the world's great religions...Yet no-one has suggested there is a "San Francisco problem."

FWIW, I doubt this issue is even on the radar of the snoozing clowns at the US Dept of State...

Anonymous said...

PKK terrorist attacks on the NATO member country Turkey, make it a treaty obligation on all NATO members to join Turkey militarily to retaliate on the PKK. If the NATO member states renege on their treaty obligations as they are trying to do, they will be liable for the damages they cause as a matter of law. The issue of whether the renegade NATO state caused the damages will be irrelevant.