David Harsanyi writes: On September 9, 2012, Egyptian demonstrators in Cairo scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy and pulled down the American flag, threatening the lives of those inside to protest a film they claimed was insulting to the prophet Mohammad. Reacting to this attack on our sovereignty and the lives of our citizens, the administration acted in the most un-American way imaginable, sending out this preposterous message:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.
The producer of this pointlessly inflammatory video was well within his rights to mock any religion he chose however he pleased. So the statement irresponsibly perpetuates a false notion about how free speech works around here. Neither The Embassy of the United States in Cairo nor the president of United States has the power to apologize for your views on religion.
That’s the most obvious problem. But the gratuitous groveling we do to allay the sensitivities of violence-prone Muslims (because who else are we attempting to placate?) has become a cringe-worthy aspect of American policy long before Barack Obama ever showed up. When the Bush administration, in the middle of the Danish carton controversy, claimed that “Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images, as anti-Christian images or any other religious belief,” it was equally wrong. As far as the state goes, they’re all “acceptable.”
But only one of those can put you on kill lists.
After the deadly terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, France, it’s worth remembering that there is no amount of conciliating rhetoric that will stop attacks on our liberal values – even undermining them. Which is something we’ve done.
Todd Spangler reports: The Facebook and Twitter pages for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “The Interview” — the satirical film at the center of North Korea’s alleged attack on the studio — as of Saturday morning were not accessible.
Drop ‘The Interview’ on Pyongyang
Sony might fear retribution if it did this, but an alternative would be for the U.S. government to buy the movie rights from Sony and release it into the public domain.
U.S. officials are saying they think North Korea is responsible for the hacking of Sony Pictures, and perhaps also the threats that led the studio to cancel release of “The Interview.” Outsiders aren’t so sure, but the U.S. presumably has evidence others don’t. If the Obama Administration believes the evidence, the question is what it will do about it.
“Chinese netizens love to mock Kim, and North Koreans like to watch movies smuggled across the border from China. Perhaps the CIA could dub the movie into Korean to make sure it gets to its target audience.”
Park Sang Hak, a North Korean defector now living in the South, has an idea. Mr. Park, whom we profiled last year, puts information about the outside world along with movies and television programs on USB drives, which he floats into the North on balloons. The Kim Jong Un regime has labeled him “enemy zero” and sent an assassin to kill him with a poison-tipped pen. For real.
— Carol Costello (@CarolCNN) December 19, 2014
Mr. Park wants to include “The Interview” on future balloon launches. But there is another way to make sure that the movie gets the giant audience that Kim fears, even in North Korea: Make it free. Read the rest of this entry »
Three movie theaters say Paramount Pictures has ordered them not to show Team America: World Police one day after Sony Pictures surrendered to cyberterrorists and pulled The Interview. The famous Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, Capitol Theater in Cleveland, and Plaza Atlanta in Atlanta said they would screen the movie instead of The Interview but Paramount has ordered them to stop. (No reason was apparently given and Paramount hasn’t spoken.) Team America of course features Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il, as a singing marionette.