Stanley Kurtz on "The Brussels Journal"

Monday, August 14, 2006
The Corner on National Review Online: "The Belgian government needs to understand that a number of people here in the United States are now carefully watching the outcome of this case. Should government harassment of the Brussels Journal continue, should Paul Belien and/or any of his collaborators be punished in any way by the government of Belgium for the public expression of their opinions, and above all, should the Brussels Journal be shut down, the government of Belgium should know that this issue will not simply disappear. On the contrary, it will become a great deal more prominent, and will surely affect the attitudes of the American people toward the government of Belgium and the people of Europe."

Kurtz is often not my favorite contributor to the Corner, but on this one he hits the nail on the head.


truepeers said...

I have written the Belgian embassy in my country and all the trade representatives for who I can find addresses, to inform them of my impending boycott of Belgium. I encourage everyone to do the same. List of Belgian embassies here

MeaninglessHotAir said...

I dunno. What exactly will happen if they do shut it down? Sounds like a pretty empty threat to me.

Besides, there's the side question of just whose law applies on the Internet. Should we be able to apply American conceptions of rights to them? Should they be able to censor our web sites? Looks like pretty dangerous territory to me.

Seneca the Younger said...

Well, the EU is *supposed* to guarantee freedom of expression, so it's certainly woth making a case. But beyond that, I don't have any trouble complaining about the Chinese censoring the internet, why should I let the Belgians have a free pass?

Peter UK said...

Ah yes,"Gallant Little Belgium".

truepeers said...

MHA, I don't assume my threat to boycott their beer and chocolate carries a lot of weight. But I wrote my letter with an attempt at moral suasion. And if many other do the same, we might make officials realize it is not quite the respectable thing to harrass people like Belien who is a serious and respectable commentator (and besides their hate speech law says nothing about religion and Islam is a relgiion not a race). I'm not questioning the sovereignty of Belgium: if they want to have a stupid hate speech law, I'm not calling for invasion, just letting them know that I will do all I can to diasbuse people of the notion that Belgium is a free and open society. In some ways, their censorship is worse than CHina's, because they are reverting from a freer to a less free model under the pressure of the blackmail of white guilt and terrorism, while CHina is slowly moving forward.

We all need to stand up to this blackmail, and that means every free person acting as a security for every other free person, and making it clear that we will publicly judge and criticize and boycott nations that fail to live up to the obligation of free and independent nationhood by succumbing to blackmail. Frankly, I began earlier with the idea of organizing a boycott of Sweden, which is a semi-totalitarian state that tries to censor the fact that Jihadists are raping its women, among other things. But so far I haven't gotten a group to get together every Saturday morning to hand out pamphlets in front of Ikea. Think about it.