I'm not saying passing on the cartoon, though it didn't seem like a big deal to me. But really, surely the hallmark of a civilized society is that we can all handle these things maturely.
I mean, when Americans started calling french fries Freedom Fries, the American embassy in Paris wasn't sacked.
When Pat Buchannan called Canada a "Soviet Canuckistan," there were no riots in the streets of Toronto.
When Carolyn Parrish said, "Damn Americans, I hate those bastards," you didn't see the Maple Leaf being burned in New York and DC and Air Canada offices being ransacked.
And that guy from Hamas who was on NPR yesterday, talking about how he'd visited the US and seen homosexuals and their "animal acts," and how as a result Hamas wouldn't allow decadent Western hedonist tourism. As I drove home to West Hollywood, I didn't see a gaggle of my bretheren protesting (with witty signs and fabulous outfits perfectly accessorized), beating up Palestinians, or rushing to any Hamas offices to
Are these people just anxious for any reason to riot? Is it because, in the dictatorships where they live, they never see unflattering presentations of themselves or their leaders and are thus so sensitive that the tiniest thing sets them off?
What if the West responded the same way? Every time a Church in the Middle East were vandalized, or a suicide bomber blew up a Western tourist, or some leader made a ridiculous remark about the West, we attacked mosques or trade missions or beat up someone with dark skin in retaliation? The world would manage some sort of collective apoplexy.
There's always going to be someone somewhere saying something stupid or rude or false or untrue. Grown-ups take it in stride and make a snappy comeback. Infants throw tantrums.