The Cartoon Riots
By David Holcberg (sent to the Wall Street Journal on February 17, 2006)
Fear of violence against its staff might have been a legitimate reason for the Wall Street Journal not to publish the cartoons. But if the decision was based, as Mr. Varadarajan claims, on "stewardship responsibilities" and "a desire to be constructive," then it is a disgraceful decision.
According to Mr. Varadarajan, no newspapers in the Western world should have reprinted the Danish cartoons. Printing the cartoons in a show of support for free speech, his convoluted logic suggests, would favor our Islamist censors, and give them "a detonator" to incite their sympathizers--as if they had a shortage of detonators and excuses to erupt in violence.
It is outrageous that Mr. Varadarajan would advise us to let the Danish editors and cartoonists fend for themselves against a global onslaught of Islamist rage, threats and violence. Abandoning the Danes would make every artist, writer, editor, or publisher who criticized Islam an easy target for the Islamists. Appeasing enemies such as the Islamists will only embolden them to threaten and attack us more.