Comments: James Lileks

I was glad to see that the Iraqi bloggers felt free to comment on the demonstrations. Very touching piece on Iraq the Model.

Posted by Sammie at March 22, 2004 11:30 AM

I agree that the guy with the sign isn't a traitor. Although I'm quite happy to call those sorts all kinds of unpleasant names, traitor isn't one of them.

It's funny, though, that when someone who is voicing their opinion is criticized (or even called "unpatriotic" of all things) they claim that their freedom of speech is being threatened by someone else's, um, freedom of speech.

Or maybe it's not so funny.

Posted by murdoc at March 22, 2004 12:18 PM

Thanks for the nudge, Sammie, I've fallen a bit behind reading the Iraq blogs. Might have done some people a lot of good to read them and try to answer their questions.

Murdoc, you're right and on target. And it is funny in the funny-sad kind of way. Or sad-funny.

Posted by Debbye at March 22, 2004 11:15 PM

Okay. This is treasonous:

Posted by murdoc at March 22, 2004 11:22 PM

Isn't that sign illegal in that it advocates an illegal act?

Loved the commenters, especially the one who pointed out that the troops were deployed by air, not sea.

I'd say it advocated treason. ExPat Yank (see update) suggests coming up with a third term for those who aren't traitors but who advocate actions and views that are awfully close.

Posted by Debbye at March 23, 2004 01:24 AM

The sign rejoicing at the destruction of the world trade centre, and by extension, at the massacre of civilians, leaves me wondering at how tolerant a society can be before it disintegrates. An interesting piece at the top of Mark Steyn's page today on that theme too, i.e. tolerance as weakness. Tolerant we must remain, but how much so? Congratulations to any cops (or for that matter, anyone at all) that witnessed that sign and didn't bash the guy's brains out, for their incredible self restraint.

Posted by keith at March 23, 2004 08:58 AM

"Advocated Treason". I like it. I like it.

Yes, now that my outrage has cleared (a bit) I agree that there needs to be something for that sort of behavior. ExPat Yank is on the $$$, as usual.

Free speech, and all, but what if I made a sign condemning people who protest the government or who suggest that our soldiers should commit treason? I'd be labeled unpatriotic and hateful by many people. And if I condemned THEM, they'd cry about being oppressed.

You can't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater because of the harm it might cause others. I say that a lot of this type of thing is close to that sort of thing.

Posted by murdoc at March 23, 2004 09:46 AM

Help, Keith, I checked Steyn's page but can't find what you're referring to!

Murdoc - Yep, ExPat Yank doesn't pull his punches. We do need some way to differentiate those who offer a useful criticsm of policy and the destructive nuts.

Posted by Debbye at March 23, 2004 02:18 PM

The piece I referred to by steyn is linked through his page under the title Neville again, and it can be found at:;?xml=/opinion/2004/03/23/do2302.xml
Its in the Telegraph. Hope you find it, the introductory paragraphs about the mom who lets her son play with a toy plastic shield but not the toy plastic sword are right on.

Posted by keith at March 24, 2004 09:41 AM

p.s. if you read the steyn article (previous posting) you will see that it is not directly on the topic of people carrying wacked out signs at wacko demonstrations. But it deals with the apparent inability of so many in the west to recognize that there are many amongst us who flat out actually want to harm us, and many more who sympathize with, and are willing to aid and abet them, hence the link to the zombies at the protests in NY. Tolerance, yes. But if we don't recognize the gravity of the situation, our own tolerance may eventually lead to a lot less tolerance. Hijab anyone? See also the amazing Khadr family. I keep wondering to myself, is it normal that we allow people to immigrate to the west and then stay in the west, when they flat out admit, nay, brag about the fact that they fully support those who would bring about a brand new dark ages? I don't care one iota where someone comes from or what their skin colour may be; I don't want to have people who despise everthing about our society living here on welfare and "spitting in the soup" (translated directly from the french).

Posted by keith at March 24, 2004 09:52 AM

Ah, thanks Keith. I did read the "Neville" entry yesterday but obviously not closely enough. Good point linking the sword/shield story with questions as to how tolerant we can be until we self-destruct.

Canada tried a fairly revolutionary approach to immigration, and some of it is coming back to haunt them. Yet there are true refugees, and that Canada chooses to aid them is a good value.

Diversity and unity should be able to find some common meeting ground - both here and in the US.

Posted by Debbye at March 24, 2004 11:46 AM