Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Standing Up to Uncle Sam? Always a Heroic Gesture! But the Arab World? Then It's "Provocative" (!) to Take a Stand for… Freedom of Speech

While the French have no problem expressing their disagreements and noting their differences with Washington, and while they have no problem devising a poster which changes the American flag to the Stars and Stripes and Swastikas, Le Monde's Olivier Truc charges a Danish party (granted, the Danish People's Party is a far-right one) with being not only an "embarrassment" (to its partner, Anders Fogh Rasmussen's ruling party) but "being provocative". How? Through the use of a poster showing a drawing of Muhammed and stating that… Freedom of Speech Is Danish, Censorship Is Not.

For Le Monde, apparently (if not, hopefully, for Sarkozy), speaking up and stating one's high-falutin' principles is only for Washington, a democracy in which speaking up is hardly risky and doesn't, in the final analysis, cost you much, and not for any despot ready to, for instance, kill a huge contract if you in any way offend him.

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