Jonah Goldberg

Are we really going to hold what we can say or do in our own country hostage to the passions of foreign lynch mobs?

If your answer is some of form of "yes," than you might want to explain why U.S. citizens aren't justified in attacking Egyptian or Libyan embassies here in America. After all, I get pretty mad when I see goons burning the American flag, and I become downright livid when a U.S. ambassador is murdered. Maybe me and some of my like-minded friends should burn down some embassies here in Washington, D.C., or maybe a consulate in New York City?

Of course we shouldn't do that. To argue that Americans shouldn't resort to mayhem, while suggesting it's understandable when Muslims do, is to create a double standard that either renders Muslims unaccountable savages (they can't help themselves!) or casts Americans as somehow less passionate about what we hold dear, be it our flag, our diplomats or our religions. (It's hardly as if Islamists don't defame Christianity, Judaism, moderate forms of Islam or even atheism.)

But, I'm sorry to say, that may in fact be the case. After all, with barely a moment's thought these deep thinkers on MSNBC were willing to throw out the First Amendment for a little revenge. It was a moment of voluntary surrender to terrorism.

Within 24 hours, however, it became increasingly clear that the video wasn't even the motive for the murders; it was a convenient cover for them. In effect, the terrorists behind the Libyan attack not only successfully played the Muslim street for suckers, they played Barnicle & Co. for suckers, too.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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