In this issue, we’ve reprinted two of the now-infamous Danish newspaper cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammed. We do so not to gratuitously offend Muslims; we do so because a vital principle is at stake—a principle that easily trumps any considerations of ill manners or hurt feelings.  It is the founding principle of America: individual rights. For us, it is the pre-eminent concern for any publication or journalist: the right to speak and express oneself freely.  
As Henry Steele Commager noted in The Empire of Reason: "It was Americans who not only embraced the body of Enlightenment principles, but wrote them into law, crystallized them into institutions, and put them to work. That, as much as the winning of independence and the creation of the nation, was the American Revolution."
CNN’s Lou Dobbs has come in for criticism for saying something sensible and insightful. It is too vague and too politically correct to call America’s post-September 11th conflict a “war against terrorism.” He observes that “the enemies in this war are radical Islamists who argue all non-believers in their faith must be killed. They are called Islamists.” He emphasizes that “this is not a war against Muslims or Islam. It is a war against Islamists and all who support them.”
What President Bush has called the first war of the twenty-first century has much in common with the great wars of the century just past. Now, as then, the root of the carnage lies in radical discontent with modern industrial society, a hydra-headed historical phenomenon that is well described as the Industrial Counterrevolution.
Two millennia before the World Trade Center soared over the New York skyline, another creation of commerce served the same purpose of peace and prosperity and faced the same threats from thugs. The Silk Road, an ancient highway recently celebrated in Yo-Yo Ma's music and recreated on the Mall in Washington, D.C. by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in the summer of 2002, started as a series of trade links in the sixth century B.C., stretching all the way from Babylon (near Baghdad in present-day Iraq) to Xian (in central China).


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