A number of readers commenting on my post point out that I may have misconstrued Daniel Pipes, that he may have been making points similar to mine, just in a more subtle and satirical way. Daniel is a brilliant guy, so that is entirely possible. I do not see the point of dwelling on Terry Jones, as he did, when the real problem is sharia — dwelling on Jones confuses things. And I don’t see this situation as calling for an argument along the lines of “As a practical matter, we can’t really regulate the grandstanding Joneses of the world, so it is more efficient to defend free speech in a bright-line.” But that said, if I misunderstood Daniel, I apologize. And I acknowledge that he did make the following point, with which I fully agree, at the end of his post:
Terry Jones and his imitators have figured out how to goad Muslims to violence, embarrass Western governments, and move history. The only way to stop this freelance foreign policy is for governments to stand firmly on principle: Citizens have freedom of speech, which specifically means the right to insult and annoy. The authorities will protect this right. Muslims do not enjoy special privileges. Leave us alone.
As Jimmy Carter can attest, not to stand strong turns U.S. missions abroad into sitting ducks.