Day By Day

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Dammit Bill..., Shut Up!

Bill Clinton just doesn't know when to shut up. For a few days now he has been traveling through the Islamic world denouncing the publication of the Danish cartoons that have provided an excuse for widespread demonstrations and violence. Clinton, of course, also denounces the violence and gives the impression that he is the voice of moderation and reason. But his statements are having an effect almost as damaging as the violent protests themselves.

His statements have been widely featured in foreign papers. The AFP feed to the Hindustani Times reads:
Former US president Bill Clinton said on Friday that printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed was a mistake but that violent protests by Muslims have wasted a chance to build bridges with the West.

Clinton was speaking in Pakistan -- the scene of some of the worst rallies against the drawings -- where he was visiting survivors of last year's South Asian earthquake and launching an HIV/AIDS project.

Read it here.

This is the picture Clinton wants to project -- the global humanitarian and man of peace -- and that is how most western sources portrayed him, but there seems to be more to the story than was reported by most outlets. It seems that talking with reporters after his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Clinton advocated legal action against publishers who print defamatory material. The Daily Times of Pakistan reports:
ISLAMABAD: Former US president Bill Clinton on Friday condemned the publication of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) caricatures by European newspapers and urged countries concerned to convict the publishers.[emphasis mine] Read it here.
Now really, Bill, that is going too far. Clinton famously has a tendency to ramble on and on, saying whatever he thinks the audience wants to hear, but urging the conviction of publishers?

Is it asking too much for a former president who is determined to become a global icon to think a bit before he mouths off?



Gateway Pundit picked up on the same thing and notes that the statement received play elsewhere in the Islamic world. [here]


World Net Daily's Media Matters has picked this up:

Former President Bill Clinton today called for the conviction of European papers that published satirical cartoons of Muhammad, according to reports in the Islamic press and elsewhere.

Clinton condemned the publication of the caricatures by European newspapers and urged countries concerned to convict the publishers, according to the reports.

Read it here.

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