radical Islam

12 Dead: Freedom of Speech, Expression under assault from Islamic terrorists in Paris

Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical publication based in Paris, was firebombed in 2011. Six days later, they published the above cartoon. The caption reads “Love: Stronger than hate.” Earlier today, at least two gunmen opened fire on the publication’s office, killing at least 12 and wounding 11 others.

It’s difficult to understand this fact: The freedom of speech and expression we enjoy as Americans is not understood anywhere else in the world. Even among Western nations, there are numerous laws that curtail all manners of speech and expression.

In some nations, there is a “right to be forgotten,” which means the government can force online entities to delete unflattering information about you at your request, even if you were at one time a public figure. Wikipedia actually has a pretty substantial rundown on the various restrictions globally.

It’s important to understand this when framing the most recent terrorist attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, an irreverent and sometimes offensive weekly satirical publication. The office was firebombed in 2011 when it published an unflattering cartoon of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.

Was the cartoon offensive to Muslims? Sure. Was the subsequent attack warranted? Absolutely not.

Rand Paul outlines constitutional, conservative foreign policy

Rand Paul

There is a battle raging for the heart and soul of the conservative movement. While there is a near constant discussion over fiscal issues, also emerging is a debate over the foreign policy direction the United States should take.

Despite his anti-war rhetoric on the campaign trail in 2008, Barack Obama has largely continued the expansive foreign policy views of his predecessor. In 2011, Obama authorized a bombing campaign in Libya, which was aimed at deposing the regime of the country’s dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

This campaign, which was waged without the consent of Congress, setoff a debate between the neo-conservatives and those who advocate a more restrained, constitutional foreign policy. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) criticized the non-interventionist views of Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jim DeMint (R-SC) and others, smearing them as “isolationists.”

It’s Sen. Paul who has largely become the voice of reason in the foreign policy debate. During the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, suggested that he could, as president, authorize military action against Iran without congressional approval. Sen. Paul responded forcefully, explaining that the “Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the president.”

Jennifer Rubin’s incoherent, contradictory attack against Rand Paul

It’s no secret that Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post blogger who writes from a “conservative perspective,” is not a fan of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). She had frequently written screeds attacking his foreign policy views, which she erroneously labels as “isolationism,” and his approach to politics.

Rubin is, strangely, obsessed with Paul. She’s also written missives against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), classlessly calling him a “jerk” because he got under the skin of some of his Republican colleagues for challenging them on gun control legislation.

But Rubin’s latest post on Paul is breathtakingly incoherent and downright silly. She assails Paul for comments he made earlier this week on Fox News about proposed sanctions against Iran.

“The Kentucky right-winger apparently didn’t learn anything from the reception to his speech at the Heritage Foundation earlier this year, which suggested containment as an option for Iran.” wrote Rubin on Tuesday. “In a Fox appearance, he came out with this muddled mess: Containment ‘shouldn’t be our policy. But I don’t think we should also say the extension of that, that we will never have containment as a policy. Containment actually, for 70 years, was a great policy.’”

Poll: 26% of Obama backers view Tea Party as a terrorist threat

Not only have Tea Party activists been targeted by the Internal Revenue Service because of their political views, they now considered to be a terrorist threat to the country by some of President Barack Obama’s supporters, according to a poll from Rasmussen Reports.

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters consider radical Muslims to be the bigger threat to the United States today. Thirteen percent (13%) view the Tea Party that way, and another 13% consider other political and religious extremists to be the larger danger,” noted the firm, which conducted the poll of likely voters from June 22-23. “Six percent (6%) point to local militia groups. Two percent (2%) see the Occupy Wall Street movement as the bigger terrorist threat.”

“However, among those who approve of the president’s job performance, just 29% see radical Muslims as the bigger threat,” they added. “Twenty-six percent (26%) say it’s the Tea Party that concerns them most. Among those who Strongly Approve of the president, more fear the Tea Party than radical Muslims.”

That 3-point separation between Obama supporters who consider radical Muslims to be a bigger terrorist threat than the Tea Party is within the poll’s margain of error. Statiscally speaking, it’s even.

Rasmussen notes that of those who disapprove of President Obama’s, 75% believe that radical Muslims are the biggest terrorist threat. Only 1% believe the Tea Party movement is a terrorist threat.


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