Radical Indonesian Muslim groups have taken to the streets to protest President Bush’s impending visit with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The protesters are pretty openly threatening assassination, as in the photo below:
Or this one:
And this one:
You can say, of course, that this is no worse than what American liberals say all the time. And it does seem likely that Muslim radicals are encouraged by the abuse that American Democrats hurl at our President. Nevertheless, assassination threats coming from fringe Muslim groups in Indonesia need to be taken a great deal more seriously than those coming from American liberals or warmed-over anti-globalization hippies.
UPDATE: I was surprised to see that Howard Kurtz found my reference to American liberals a “bizarre leap.” Apparently Howard thinks that there are no American liberals who, like the Indonesian protesters, express the wish that President Bush be dead. I guess he doesn’t read Democratic Underground. As we have noted before, any number of liberals have talked in various ways about the desirability of President Bush’s death. Here, we quoted remarks by a Green Party candidate on Hardball who advocated “capital punishment” for Bush (but not for criminals); Mathews laughed and said that his guest sounded “like a liberal Democrat.”
American liberals have produced pro-assassination images very much like the ones brandished by the Indonesian protesters, such as this “art” work, which was displayed at Columbia College in Chicago, which we discussed here.
Then there is Air America’s incitement to assassination, which we commented on here:
The announcer: “A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn’t safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: Just try it, you little bastard. .”
The audio production at the center of the controversy aired during opening minutes of The Randi Rhodes Show.
“What is with all the killing?” Rhodes said, laughing, after the clip aired.
Here, we quoted Victor Davis Hanson worrying about where the hate campaign against President Bush will end:
[T]he bar is lowering. In today’s climate, Alfred Knopf has already published a novel about killing the president. Charlie Brooker writing in the Guardian in London prayed for another Lee Harvey Oswald to take out George W. Bush. Comedians, New York plays and art exhibits also bandy about assassination.
Then there is the Cafe Press merchandise that we commented on here:
And there are these images from an American demonstration, as reproduced by Michelle Malkin, that have the same theme as the Indonesian signs:
Then there is this Bush target-practice image from New York:
And, of course, the Guardian columnist who called for Bush’s assassination:
John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr – where are you now that we need you?
OK, he’s probably British. As is Gabriel Range, director of Death of a President, which portrays the assassination of President Bush as reasonably justifiable. Range’s film won the International Critics’ Award at the Toronto Film Festival “for the audacity with which it distorts reality to reveal a larger truth.” To be fair, though, none of the judges was American.
Then there was the discussion thread on Bill Maher’s web site, no longer available, where Democrats debated the ethical quuestion whether it is proper to shoot Republicans.
Howard, you need to get out more.
Actually, all of this is beside the point I was making, which was that, whereas here in the U.S. (or Canada or Great Britain) people who talk about assassinating the President are just goofballs, when radical Muslims in Indonesia take up the theme, we really need to worry about security precautions.
FURTHER UPDATE: Howard writes to say that the phrase he objects to is “no worse than what American liberals say all the time,” which he says “suggests this is a widely held view among liberals (you didn’t say some, or even many) and that it is constantly expressed.” In context, I don’t think many people would have thought I was saying that all or most liberals want Bush assassinated. But, fair enough: “all the time” is a sloppy colloquialism that can be subject to misinterpretation. My meaning would have been clearer if I had said “way too often” instead of “all the time.”