Today, President Barack Obama delivered four pretty good paragraphs to the United Nations about the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and the underlying principles of free speech and tolerance-of-minority-viewpoints it reflects. In the as-prepared transcript of the speech, the good material in question can be found starting with the sentence “I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video,” and concluding with the accurate kicker, “There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.”
I would be inclined to quote more, if it weren’t for the Obama administration’s own sorry record of video apologetics and premature blame these past two weeks, and for the fact that the president’s welcome-if-overdue remarks today were bracketed by some assertions that can best be described as heinous. First, the noxious preamble:
In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others.