So, this past Monday, Hassan Nasrallah said the following at a Hezbollah rally:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...nti-islam-film"Prophet of God, we offer ourselves, our blood and our kin for the sake of your dignity and honour," Nasrallah told supporters who chanted "death to Israel" and "death to America" at a rally in the southern Shia suburbs of Beirut. "The US should understand that if it broadcasts the film in full it will face very dangerous repercussions around the world."
Michael Totten points out this is merely the latest extension of what he calls "the terrorist's veto":
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/b...errorists-vetoI’ve seen this sort of thing before in another context. In the wake of the Beirut Spring in 2005, when massive demonstrations forced the end of Syria’s military occupation, Lebanon had decent provisions for freedom of speech—at least by regional standards and at least on paper. The country was theoretically free. But free speech was extra-legally and extra-judicially nullified by terrorists backed by a foreign police state. A wave of car bombs targeted journalists, activists, and officials critical of Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad. Everyone needed to watch what he said. Those who didn’t might be killed.
This, in my opinion, would be the appropriate response. Were President Obama to issue it, or something like it, I would vote for him, economy or no economy - because, IMO, it would signal the beginning of the end of the age of terrorism:
You recently threatened America with "dangerous repercussions" if it allows the full film "The Innocence of Muslims" to be broadcast. I'd like to take a moment to explain to you what America's response will be the next time Hezbollah harms a hair on the head of any American, civilian or military, anywhere in the world:
That's right. Touch an American - any American, anywhere - and the United States will make it its business to obliterate you. Any building in which Hezbollah conducts any business, any building which so much as flies a Hezbollah flag - from bomb labs to soup kitchens, from situation rooms to schools - will be reduced to rubble. Any billboard with your face on it will be razed. Your propaganda theme park near Mleeta? A smoking crater. And God help any Hezbollah member - military, social, or political - because we will hunt you down and kill you all.
We don't allow al Qaeda soup kitchens; do as you've threatened to, and we won't allow yours, either.
To be clear: We are well aware that response will likely result in civilian deaths. Parents may, despite this warning, bring their children to Hezbollah rallies, where they will likely die. But while we will grieve for each unnecessary death, we will not be deterred by them from doing what is necessary: extirpating, root and branch, any organization that would dare strike at Americans because a fellow citizen exercised his Constitutional right to express his opinion, however abhorrent that opinion might be.
Yes, I know. You can recruit more members. Do so. We'll kill them, too. Yes, I know. You can rebuild. Do so, and we'll simply re-destroy. Again and again and again and again, until there is nobody left willing to work with you, nobody who will fund your building projects because they know they are simply paying for expensive targets. And we'll keep it up for as long as it takes.
So, you have three choices - because that film will be played, and, though I find it abhorrent and would never watch it for pleasure, when it's released a copy will be made available on the White House website for a day, because I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and it is the Constitutional right to free speech that you are threatening.
First, you can be stupid enough to follow through on your threats, and call down your own destruction.
Second, you can do nothing at all, making yourself a liar, and slink off with your tail between your legs.
And third, you can have the courage to back away from you rash threats, and to acknowledge - as Grand Mufti Gomaa has - that the appropriate way to respond to words, no matter how terrible, is with contrary argument, not violence.
I don't have much cause to expect you to choose that third option, but I hope you do, because I know you won't choose the second - and you will be obliterated if you choose the first.
The choice is yours.