It’s Time to Play Let’s Make an Excuse Game

Beyond the Cusp

The horrors have gained their appropriate abhorrent reactions and their tributes and commemorations replete with that rarest of all commemorations, international condemnations and a memorial parade with more leaders, diplomats, representatives and sheer numbers than any such commemoration in recent memory. The political cartoons were consistently sympathetic and memorializing except yesterday in the United States where they were largely derisive largely mocking President Obama’s absence and the lack of any ranking administration representative marching with the rest of the leading officials from around the world and especially as the French are the oldest and original ally without whom the United States may have never broken free from English rule. Even at this early point there have already been the beginning rumblings laying blame for the attacks anywhere but with Islam noting that the perpetrators were not acting in accordance with the tenets of Islam. There will be exchanges of accusations…

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Another Guardian cartoon throws Charlie Hebdo victims under the bus

Last week, we commented on a Jan. 8th Guardian cartoon (by political cartoonist Andrew Marlton) reacting to the jihadist attack on the staff of Charlie Hebdo, which implicitly blamed the victims for inciting their attackers. 

Recently, we noticed another cartoon, published by TheGuardian on Jan. 9th (the day four Jews were murdered in a Paris kosher grocery store), which similarly throws the Charlie Hebdo victims under the bus. 

Here’s the Guardian cartoon by Joe Sacco, a pro-Palestinian artist best known for his graphic novel, Footnotes From Gaza.

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Not Charlie: Pope Francis Declares That There Must Be “Limits” To Free Speech In Criticizing Religion

JONATHAN TURLEY

120px-Pope_Francis_in_March_2013_(cropped)707192-une-charlie-png.jpgAs many on this blog know, I am a great fan of Pope Francis who has brought an inspiring leadership to the Church that has drawn millions back to the faith. Given that admiration, I was disheartened to read the Pope’s comment on free speech today. I ran a column last weekend on how world leaders are failing over themselves to “Stand With Charlie” after the massacre of editors and staff at Charlie Hebdo magazine. However, the West has been rolling back on free speech rights, including some of these very leaders. Pope Francis added his view this week to those insisting that free speech must have limits when it comes to insulting people about their religion. It is a disappointing observation, particularly when coupled with a rather poor analogy.

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ISIS sets up base in Afghanistan less than three months after British troops left

An offshoot of the Middle East’s Islamic State insurgency has begun operating on southern Afghanistan, less than three months after British combat troops withdrew from the region.

A man identified as Mullah Abdul Rauf was actively recruiting fighters for the groups, flying black flags and, according to some sources, even battling Taliban militants.

Local sources said Rauf, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, had set up his base in Helmand province and was offering good wages to anyone willing to fight for the Islamic State.

More…