Monday, February 06, 2006

Of Flags and Riots

Commanding the headlines (still) are the riots taking place worldwide over the cartoons of Mohammed that were published in newspapers in Europe, mainly Denmark.

Far from making me scared, these riots and bonfires and flag burnings only make folks like me think that these people are all the more backward, infantile and ignorant.

I have smelled a rat in this whole thing from the beginning. The cartoons (which really aren't half as bad as the bile put forth daily in arabic papers) were originally published in September. Why all the outrage now? And more importantly, my common sensical Midwestern mind wants to know where the heck did all those Danish flags come from?

First things first. News is coming out now that some imams have been circulating fake cartoons that were much more inflammatory than anything that the European media ever put out. Big surprise. Well, that will fire up the troops on the arabic street. Does the timing of all of these riots seem strange? How did they get all of these people assembled in front of cameras at basically the same time worldwide? I don't think it is a coincidence.

But the first thing that came into my mind went something like this:

Are you telling me that the local marketplaces stock Danish flags in places like Beirut? I would think not, unless there is a "Western Satan Flag Burning Outlet" chain over there. Flagmart? Abdul's Flagorama? Can you imagine what the sales would look like? Two for one today on any European continent flag, mix and match OK. I think it would take me at least a week or two to procure a Danish flag here in the USA! I would imagine the only place that you could get quick access to a Danish flag would be in - Denmark.

What percentage of the people in those riots do you think actually could place Denmark on a map? What percentage of the people in those riots actually saw any of the cartoons?

As an interesting aside, I sell controls manufactured by a Danish company (a HUGE company, mind you). I don't plan on purchasing any extras today. I did buy a cheese danish for breakfast today to get on the stupid "buy Danish" bandwagon, though. Oh, I thought it was "buy a danish". That buy Danish thing is almost as infantile as the riots themselves. Anyway.

But of course I am being silly. The flags weren't there, and the whole big mess was staged for us to see - with a more than willing media ready there with cameras and crews set up to film the whole thing. Note most of the shots we received were from still or mounted cameras, not the shaky footage we would expect from an impulsive gathering. Which is another clue that told me that the whole thing was staged - and that the media has contacts within the circles of people who organized these riots.


99.9% of people that I deal with on an everyday basis will just shrug their shoulders, and go to work the next day. That is because we are used to this sort of ridiculous behavior from places in the middle east. Most won't think about it as hard as I have above, but all will have the same reaction. The treasurer of Australia put it best:

"If you are somebody who wants to live in an Islamic state governed by sharia law you are not going to be happy in Australia, because Australia is not an Islamic state, will never be an Islamic state and will never be governed by sharia law," Mr Costello said. "We are a secular state under our constitution, our law is made by parliament elected in democratic elections. "We do not derive our laws from religious instruction."

Substitute USA or Denmark for Australia and you have it all in a nutshell.

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