Newsweek lied and people died?
I don’t think so. Sure, Newsweek and other members of the mainstream media demonstrate a liberal bias and even an ignoramus can see that they don’t like President Bush. In fact, they use every mistake made by the administration and the military to bash Bush. And it is obvious from the Newsweek report that they did not (or didn’t even know to) take into account the ramifications of what could happen in the Muslim world. But let’s get real here. Did Newsweek kill the at least 17 people that died? Of course not! If you want to know why those people died, Andrew C. McCarthy has a good take on it:
That's right. The reason for the carnage is said — again and again, by media critics and government officials — to be a false report of Koran desecration. The prime culprit here is irresponsible journalism.And Robert Spencer also talks about the gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about:
Is that what we really think?
Here's an actual newsflash — and one, yet again, that should be news to no one: The reason for the carnage here was, and is, militant Islam. Nothing more.
Newsweek merely gave the crazies their excuse du jour. But they didn't need a report of Koran desecration to fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers, to blow up embassies, or to behead hostages taken for the great sin of being Americans or Jews. They didn't need a report of Koran desecration to take to the streets and blame the United States while enthusiastically taking innocent lives. This is what they do.
The bigger story here, and the gorilla in the living room that no one wants to notice, is that flushing a Qur'an down the toilet should not be grounds to commit murder. Note the total absence of moral judgment in Marshall's piece, except that which he directs toward Newsweek. His argument is this: Newsweek should have known that this story would lead to deaths. Therefore, they shouldn't have printed it. But he says nothing whatsoever about a culture that condones -- celebrates -- wanton murder of innocent people, mayhem, and destruction in response to the alleged and unproven destruction of a book.
The question here is one of proportionate response. If a Qur'an had indeed been flushed, Muslims would have justifiably been offended. They may justifiably have considered the perpetrators boors, or barbarians, or hell-bound unbelievers. They may justifiably have issued denunciations accordingly. But that is all. To kill people thousands of miles away who had nothing to do with the act, and the fulminate with threats and murder against the entire Western world, all because of this alleged act, is not just disproportionate. It is not just excessive. It is mad. And every decent person in the world ought to have the courage to stand up and say that it is mad.