This is a very, very long post, but every word is important:
I am thinking of a word that keeps popping up whenever the Mohammed cartoons are mentioned.
That word is BUT. A sneaky word. It is used to deny or qualify what one has just said.
How many times lately have we not heard people of power, the Opinion Makers and others say that of course we have freedom of speech, BUT.
They have said it, all of them, from Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, to our own Bendt Bendtsen [a Danish Politician]. Once we had to be sensitive to the easily hurt feelings of the Nazis, then came the Communists, now it is the Islamists. The reason I say ‘Islamists’ is that I do not for a moment believe all the world’s Muslims are pissing on us. I think we are dealing with thugs, fools and misled people. Those are the ones we have to deal with, and then the chickenshit politicians.That is why I say: Freedom of Speech is Freedom of Speech is Freedom of Speech. There is no but....
Initially I was doubtful of the timeliness of publishing the cartoons. Later events have convinced me that it was both just and useful to do so. That they are consistent with Danish law and Danish custom seem to me less important than this: that we now know that remote, primitive countries deem themselves justified in telling us what to do. Unfortunately we must also note that governments close to us are agreeing with them in the name of expedience.
Hooray for the cartoons! Hooray for Denmark! Shame on our lily-livered politicians!