In the Dutch MSM, and elsewhere, the fact that the Network Solutions pulled the rug from under Wilders' plans to have a public internet release of his islam critical film Fitna receibed scant attention. Even in Elsevier, a stalwart member of the MSM that does allow and encourage contrarian voices, the news was relegated to the 'Internet and gadgets' section (NL).
In a well considered op-ed Geenstijl (NL) explains the technical difficulty, given the pull back of a major player like Network Solutions, of hosting a film, even a 15-minute one, when there is so much international attention. Geenstijl thinks that as of last Saturday, the release of Fitna may have become an impossibillity. Which is in nice keeping with the British hoax-site pretending to be a Fitna-mirror. Even Robert Spencer is now seriously considering Fitna to be an April Fools joke.
But all of this does not mean that Fitna is finished. Network Solutions' decision is still pending. Given the massive reaction from the blogosphere they may make the right decision yet. If not, Ferdy already suggested using the power of P2P distribution. The well known Swiss counder-jihadist, Alain Jean-Mairet, has offered a dedicated server (FR) to host Fitna. Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch did the same. Many other offers to host or distribute Fitna have come. And we should be glad about each one of those offers. Fitna will make it to an eager public, even if the powers that be try to prevent this every step of the way.
In the mean time the blogburst is going steadily forward. The Jawa Report is relentlessly yapping at the ankles of Network Solutions' CEO. And the NS clog (corporate blog) is getting an ear-full from around the world.
But let us step back for a moment and contemplate the breathtaking spectacle unfolding before our eyes. A minor member of parliament in a small, wet corner of Europe, is producing a film which will be critical of islam. One which may invoke outrage in the muslim world. Or it may not. In that part of the world where islam is the main religion copies of Mein Kampf feature high on the best-seller list. If Fitna makes the point that the Koran is like Mein Kampf it would be something of a compliment for those dedicated elements within islam.
Be that as it may, just the thought of a possible do-over of the original Danish cartoon brouhaha has mobilized every single branch of public life into opposition of Wilders and Fitna. Since the first announcement (a leak 'close to government circles', after Wilders contacted Dutch security services about possible security arrangements), not a month, and hardly a week has gone by without a representative of government making dire warnings about the consequences of releasing Fitna. Wilders has been described as 'evil, which must be stopped'. Dutch MSM flatly refused to broadcast the film
Religious circles in the Netherlands and beyond condemned the making of the film. This Easter weekend top clerics of the Dutch protestant church went to Cairo to convince authorities that Wilders did not speak for the church. Leading members of the PKN have already suggested ostracising churchgoers that support Wilders. Last Saturdays 'anti-racism demo' actually turned out to be an anti-Wilders hate-fest exclusively, funny wigs and braindead slogans included. The leading papers in the Netherlands (De Volkskrant, Trouw, NRC) are gleefully reporting on all the counter-Wilders actions, giving instructions and how-to's between the lines. Coming Friday the Dutch court will rule on whether Wilders' film should be scrutinized by a panel of 'experts' for possible insulting messages and be banned.
And now a leading company in nethosting has pulled the website on which Fitna was supposed to be released, based on complaints that can have no merit, simply because nobody has seen the film. It really is appeasement hysteria and it has tainted all institutions that we normally look to for leadership and information: the government, the media, the judiciary, the church, even the military and security forces. Public life has been hijacked by those that maintain that critique of islam is tantamount to racism.
Going over the last four months, rereading posts we did on Wilders' film and reactions to it, it really, in a most literal sense, boggles the mind. I can't think of an historical precedent to compare the current goings-on around Wilders and Fitna. The irrational panic that was caused by the radio broadcast of 'War of the Worlds' comes to mind, but that one was just too small in scale. Maybe this will turn out the political equivalent of the 17th century Dutch Tulip mania (in reverse), the end of which will see many political careers ruined, betting as they did on an (as of yet) non-existent issue.
Be that as it may, for now it seems that Fitna, having been deprived of every possible venue for public release, is relegated to the Samizdat of the 21st century. That would be us: Bloggers and blogreaders. We're the ones that form the modern day Underground, consuming and distributing news and opinion that our cultural and political 'betters' dare not touch.
And while that thought conjours up romantic images of defiant resistance and secret identities and all sorts of covert action, it is a deeply sad commentary on the state of freedom in Western Civilization at this point in time. Fitna, and Wilders, and the Danish cartoonists, and countless of bloggers and commenters are forced to take their opinions underground, because our current leadership is unable, and more importantly: unwilling to face our questions, our criticism and our alternative strategies. Freedom isn't dying. In a lot of important areas it is already dead.
No... Let me rephrase that: Freedom is a territory. A territory that has already been given over to alien forces. Talk of 'defending freedom' is a rearguard issue. We now must come to the inevitable conclusion that Freedom is occupied territory. And the sooner we get our heads around that fact, the sooner we can start to think about strategies, tactics and operations to recover what we have lost.
And that process starts here. With us writing this and you reading this. Here, in the underground, is where we start to fight back.
Hot Air commentary
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