Google Maps display of the Cartoon Jihad
(Hat tip Malkin, who really deserves a fruit basket or something)
It's pretty boggling how big a deal this has become. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims the world over, either rioting of their own accords, or being convinced/coerced to riot in protest over twelve cartoons.
Press on the matter has been flagging a bit, but the violence, deaths, cowardice and mayhem continue. When you look at the sheer scope of the unrest, can anyone truly deny that this is another exchange in a culture war?
Freedom of speech is simply a must for any seriously free society. Immunity to the depredations of the whims of other countries is a primary tenet of national sovereignty, and also the foundation of any safety a nation might guarantee its citizens from foreign incursions, physical or otherwise. What we are witnessing is the adherents of an ideology (we'll call it Islamofascism) trying not only to abrogate free people's freedom of speech, but to do so across national boundaries, and even according to a double standard, since Iranian and Palestinian newpapers are known to publish inflammatory cartoons regarding Judaism, Christianity, America and other Western institutions and symbols.
It's been a scary week or two, watching the relatively weak showing that American and European papers have made as regards publishing the cartoons, but it's worth remembering that A) there have been exceptions [good], and B) the enemy in this conflict has shown himself to be very patient, and very sly [bad]. The shelf life of this crisis in American media won't last another week unless more deaths occur (and places like Pakistan and Nigeria do keep fanning the flames, to be fair), but the fundamental conflict of values won't have altered one iota.