At about 46 minutes into the broadcast, the host indicated that, in fact, there is some very limited government censorship, at least of internet speech by the terrorist group al-Qaeda. He then said (leaving out some ahs),
Free speech means nothing, if it is not defending the words from the very most repulsive, repugnant, dangerous, violent people you can imagine. Free speech means nothing if its not extended to one's own enemies, in every case, whether that its the United States or in Yemen or in Saudi Arabia.That, to note, is the expressed view of the host, asserted in order to learn the views of his guest.
At 52 minutes into the broadcast, the show began the introduction of its next guest but first, to provide some context, turned to a discussion about the recent burning of the Koran and its leading to the killing of UN workers. Mr. Grebe noted that Afghans live under occupation and are having drones shot at them; and that, were the US in a similar situation, there would be anger in the US and who knows how extremist in the US might react.
He then noted at about minute 57, throwing consistency of viewpoint into the wastebasket, that murder occurred but would not have happened if a Christian extremist had not decided to burn the Koran; his apparent point being that crazy Christian preachers ought not to have burned the Koran but, instead, should have remained silent.
Now, the government did, in fact, implore Reverend Jones not to burn the Koran. He pretended to listen, he waited a few months and, now, did burn a Koran and it did, as predicted, lead to people being killed. Whatever the reason for the burning of a book leading to murders, it appears that those of the viewpoint held by Mr. Grebe seem not to see the inconsistency of believing that free speech should be absolute, even for enemies, but not for Americans.
I am not here to defend people who burn books. It is a repugnant thing to do. And, no doubt, religious people take the burning of religious scripture even more seriously than the burning of profane material. However, killing people for burning a book is not excused by the US occupation of Afghanistan. And, the targets of the killers were not Americans but people who were employed by the United Nations. So, more than likely, the killings were not a response to occupation anyway. And, we have no idea whether extremist were involved or whether those involved represent the viewpoint of a large segment of Afghan society.
My concern is not with the events in Afghanistan but, instead, the reaction of certain Americans such as Mr. Grebe. So, he believes that an organization dedicated to destroying the US ought not have its propaganda activities censored but that Americans who burn books ought restrain themselves. That is what passes for thinking on the radical left. Amazing!!!
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