Friday, January 10, 2014

The Innocence of Liberals

Sultan Knish

When Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, one of the Navy SEALS who died fighting in Benghazi, met with Hillary Clinton, she assured him that, “We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” And they got him, officially on charges of violating parole, unofficially on charges of violently offending violent Muslims.

The woman whose policy had overthrown the Libyan government and then placed a barely defended diplomatic facility in the middle of a city of terrorists, did not promise the grieving father that his son's killers would pay. She promised him that the man who offended his son's killers would pay.

Not only would his son be the first casualty of that appeasement policy, but the Constitution that his son had sworn to support and defend would be the second casualty.

Mark Basseley Youssef is not the first filmmaker sent to prison by a Democrat in the White House for making the wrong kind of movie that interfered with his foreign policy. The first man was Robert Goldstein whose movie, the The Spirit of '76, about the American Revolution, came at a time when Woodrow Wilson was trying to get Americans deeper into aiding the British in World War I.

Wilson's Justice Department directed Chicago Police Deputy Superintendent Metellus Lucullus Cicero Funkhouser to confiscate The Spirit of '76 and Goldstein spent three years in prison and eventually died in a Nazi concentration camp. Youssef and Goldstein made bad movies that were politically inconvenient.

The Spirit of '76 was not welcome in 1917 and unlike the stream of hundred million dollar movies recreating September 11 with robots, space aliens and evil government agents, the origin of Muslim violence is not an appropriate subject for a movie in the present day. "History is history and fact is fact", Judge Bledsoe conceded and convicted Goldstein anyway.

Goldstein's Federal trial took place in the Southern District of California. Mark Basseley Youssef's trial took place in the Central District of California. Goldstein was convicted of creating a movie  calculated to arouse antagonism and enmity. That is the unofficial charge brought against Youssef. Goldstein was convicted of reminding Americans of the origin of their country and Youssef is guilty of reminding them of the origin of Islam.

Using Chicago politics and California courtrooms to cover up a progressive president's policies has a certain resonance a century later. Youssef and his video trailer made a convenient scapegoat so that progressive politicians could avoid talking about the collapse of Libya after their regime change operation into roving bands of Islamist militias.

After Obama denounced Youssef in every forum from 60 Minutes to the United Nations to Pakistani television, he was arrested to protect the Innocence of Muslims and the Innocence of Obama. Now the New York Times has gotten back into the game, once again blaming the YouTube trailer made by a Coptic Christian for a wave of Muslim terrorism.

Blaming the Innocence of Muslims briefly silenced the more dangerous questions about why Americans had died in Benghazi. Youssef, like Goldstein, was a suspicious foreigner, and an excellent choice as a scapegoat and so the media focused on his many aliases, and not why Americans died in Benghazi.

Americans died in Benghazi for the same reason that American hostages had been taken in Iran and for the same reason that Leon Klinghoffer had been murdered on the Achille Lauro and US Marines had died in Beirut. They died because their government had appeased Muslims, had given their terrorist groups hope that they could achieve their aims if they killed enough people, had saved them at the moment of their greatest weakness and had elevated them to power.

The innocence of Obama is intertwined with the innocence of Muslims.

If Muslims are innocent of terror, then so is the foreign policy that has empowered them. But if Muslims are guilty of terror then the politicians who have pandered to them are guilty of enabling their terror.

If Muslims are innocent of terror, then Obama is innocent of complicity in their terror. But if Muslim terror is a real thing, then the man who helped them unleash it by toppling stable governments and replacing them with Islamist movements and militias shares in their guilt.

The real censorship of the War on Terror is not the censorship of dissent from the policy of fighting terrorists. Such dissent can be found in every newspaper editorial office. It is the dissent from the policy of fighting the symptoms of terror, rather than the roots of terror, from the policy of not fighting Islamic terrorism, that is censored and punished, that is a firing offense and a locking away offense.

In the age of terror, the dangerous ones are not those who denounce the war, but those who denounce the lack of a war, who upset the balance of an inept policy that seeks a small controllable conflict by closing our eyes to the larger threat. It is these dangerous ones who must be censored so that we may go on safely losing our nation building wars, bringing home coffins, Korans and refugees without ever questioning whether this should be so.

The War on Terror has not impeded the civil liberties of those who oppose the war, but of those who oppose the terror.

In 1919, the same year that Goldstein's appeal was being heard, the Supreme Court ruled on Schenck v. United States. The case is obscure, but it has given us a famous phrase from the legal mouth of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater."

This timeless phrase, long since legally discredited, came to life when Muslims began burning embassies while the White House claimed that the fault lay not in its foreign policy, which had overturned allies and replaced them with murderous Islamists, but with a movie. Pundits dug up  Schenck and began penning essays suggesting that offending a Muslim should be as illegal as shouting fire in a crowded mosque.

Under the new civil liberties, the right of a Muslim to praise terrorists, upload videos promoting terrorism and even funding terrorist charities is sacrosanct, but make a movie mocking Mohammed and suddenly the Bill of Rights won't be returning your phone calls as you are being frog-marched to your new cell.

In civil liberties circles it is claimed that the war against terrorism has deprived Muslims of their civil rights, but in reality Muslims have gained rights, while we have lost them. The balance between the civil rights of Americans and the need to avoid offending Muslims has been shifting their way and we all pay the price when we fly and we have begun paying it when we talk.

America's first political prisoner in generations was arrested for offending Muslims as a cover for the failed policy of appeasing Muslims. If history is any guide, he will not be the last. The more bombs go off, the more buildings burn and the more questions are asked, the more Youssefs will be needed to deflect those questions and protect the innocence of Muslims and of their political panderers.

"The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater," Holmes said, and modern day Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has suggested that burning a Koran may be considered a modern day version of the same thing.

But what if a man isn't falsely shouting fire, what if there really is a fire? And what if the theater management has him dragged away for causing a panic even while the smell of charred flesh rises into the air and the red curtains around the screen begin to burn?

And what if after all the bodies are carried out on stretchers, the man is still brought to trial for shouting fire in a crowded theater, and in his defense he points to the burnt ruins of the theater as proof that there really was a fire, only to be told that if he hadn't shouted, then there would have been no fire.

"There was only a fire because people panicked," he is told, "and there was only a panic because you shouted. The thing to do was to remain in your seat and wait until the proper authorities had told you there was a fire. And if the authorities had determined that there was no fire, then it was your duty to remain in your seat and burn."

Shout that Islam is violent and Muslims carry out violence and the fire marshal in charge of the tiny minority of fires arrives to inform you that if you had not shouted, they would not have turned violent. Whatever example of Muslim self-starting violence you may dig up, the fire marshal will find some first cause for it that began the violence, some offense committed by non-Muslims against Muslims, even if it was a shoving match a thousand years ago in Spain that started the whole thing.

The more fires break out, the more the fire marshal insists that fires do not begin unless someone notices them and warns other people. The more people die, the more the moral authority of the fire marshal depends on perpetuating the lie that fires are fueled by the human voice. And instead of a fire department, there is a department of silencing people who warn that a fire has broken out.

This is our War on Terror, a war which is waged to convince Americans that there is no such thing as Muslim terrorism and to convince Muslims that they should stop being terrorists.

The more people die of Muslim violence, the more the principle of the innocence of Muslims must be upheld, because it is no longer just the innocence of Muslims that is at stake, but the innocence of the political establishment that  looked away while the Muslim fires burned.

A political establishment determined to protect its innocence will go to any length, and political prisoners are the least of it.

After the Arab Spring and the Libyan War, it has become impossible to untangle the guilt of Obama from the guilt of Islamists. That is the dirty secret that the fire marshals of the establishment are determined to protect.

The cover-up of Islam's conduct has become their cover-up of their own conduct as well. So long as Islam can claim innocence, they can claim innocence as well, and those who challenge the innocence of Muslims and by extension the innocence of the political establishment will become the first political prisoners.

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