Of course, I know the answer: Europe is catching on. The question is, can America’s liberals be far behind? Yes, they are far behind, and they will remain far behind. But this has shaken them up over in Holland. Now there are people talking about eliminating immigration altogether. There are people in Holland talking about leaving; there are people in Holland suggesting that they’ve got to get a handle on who they let in the country, and they thought all they had to do is be nice and tolerant and understanding and they would be immune. History is full of this. History is full of the appeasers, who think if they don’t provoke the bad guys, the bad guys will leave them alone. What they don’t ever understand is that is perceived by the bad guys as the ultimate white flag, the ultimate surrender, the ultimate weakness, and it says to the bad guys they can behave against people like that with impunity.
Pat Sajak has written a piece called, “A Hush Over Hollywood.” He nails Hollywood in this piece on the lack of outrage over Theo Van Gogh’s killing by Muslim extremists. He says, “I?m trying to understand the nearly universal lack of outrage coming from Hollywood over the brutal murder of Dutch director, Theo van Gogh, who was shot on the morning of November 2, while bicycling through the streets of Amsterdam. The killer then stabbed his chest with one knife and slit his throat with another. The presumed murderer, a Dutch-born dual Moroccan-Dutch citizen, attached a 5-page note to van Gogh’s body with a knife. In it, he threatened jihad against the West in general, and specifically against five prominent Dutch political figures. Van Gogh?s crime? He created a short film highly critical of the treatment of women in Islamic societies. So, again I ask, where is the outrage from Hollywood?s creative community? I mean, talk about a violation of the right of free speech! Perhaps they are afraid that their protests would put them in danger. That, at least, is a defensible position. If I were Michael Moore, I would much rather rail against George W. Bush, who is much less likely to have me killed, than van Gogh?s murderer and the threat to creative freedom he brings. Besides, a man of Moore?s size would provide a great deal of ‘bulletin board’ space…
“There?s another possibility; one that seems crazy on the surface, but does provide an explanation for the silence, and is also in keeping with the political climate in Hollywood. Is it just possible that there are those who are reluctant to criticize an act of terror because that might somehow align them with President Bush, who stubbornly clings to the notion that these are evil people who need to be defeated? Could the level of hatred for this President be so great that some people are against anything he is for, and for anything he is against? As nutty as it sounds, how else can you explain such a muted reaction to an act that so directly impacts creative people everywhere? Can you conceive of a filmmaker being assassinated because of any other subject matter without seeing a resulting explosion of reaction from his fellow artists in America and around the world? As I said, it?s a nutty-sounding explanation, but we live in nutty times.” Yeah, but they’re getting saner.
RUSH: Eric in Amsterdam, Holland, welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you with us, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s great to talk to you. I would prefer to do it on another subject, but I’ll talk to you about the murder of Theo Van Gogh who’s actually not terribly distantly related to the painter. He’s the grandson of the painter’s brother — or the great grandson of the painter’s brother. I would say that’s pretty closely related.
RUSH: All right, I’ll retract “distant relevant.”
CALLER: Okay, there is one thing I would like to preface this with is that Holland is a much, much more conservative place than you think it is. It’s no, no, way comparable to France, Germany, and especially Sweden. But that’s also a discussion for another time. No, I would disagree with you that the murder of Theo Van Gogh is “Holland’s 9/11.” There was a hell of a lot more passion last month when people, 200,000 people came to Amsterdam, which was the largest outpouring of people in since the postwar period, not because of planned cuts in social programs, the specific plan that they had, everybody realizes that the social system needs to be changed and cut back.
RUSH: Wait, let me ask you a question.
RUSH: Does everybody think that? I mean, that would be great if they did, but —
CALLER: Does everybody think what?
RUSH: Does everybody think that the social system needs to be changed and cut back?
RUSH: Everybody does?
CALLER: Except the people on the extreme left, which there aren’t that many of. People in Holland are very interested in their money, and they don’t like paying taxes.
RUSH: Uh, okay. That’s also very strange sounding to me, but I’ll accept your word for it since you’re calling from there.
CALLER: Okay. But I would tell you, for example, that the murder of Theo Van Gogh brought eight or ten thousand people to the Dam Square, but the protest against the plan to cut — what was a plan to cut pre-retirement programs, early retirement programs, basically you could compare it to the tax — the changes in the tax reform act of 1986.
RUSH: Wait a second.
CALLER: They had a whole bunch of people —
RUSH: How many people did you say showed up for this protest? Did you say two hundred thousand?
CALLER: Two hundred thousand, yeah.
RUSH: How could you say that everybody is tired of the welfare state there then?
CALLER: Because there’s seven million people who work in Holland, and there are three million of them who are in the unions, and 10% of those people made their way from all over the country to Amsterdam. So how many people call the Rush Limbaugh Show compared to how many people listen to the Rush Limbaugh Show?
RUSH: Well but that’s a function — Wait a minute, you can’t draw that comparison.
CALLER: Sure you can. How many people write a letter to the news to complain about something compared to how many people were mad about it? You know, 200,000 people don’t show up in Amsterdam every day.
RUSH: That’s my point. I’m not sure we’re communicating here. You have said that there are people, that everybody is opposed to this massive welfare state, my term for it —
CALLER: Everybody is opposed to the plan — to the changes that the government came up with, to the point where they had to change that plan.
RUSH: All right, and what was the original plan?
CALLER: The plan was to scrap the ability for people to retire early between the ages of 57 and 65 and to push the retirement age for full social benefits to 67.
RUSH: All right, so —
CALLER: It was basically changing the rules in the middle of the game like they did with the 1986 tax reform act. And that generated far more passion than the murder of Theo Van Gogh, which has ignited a discussion. Theo Van Gogh stood mostly for the right to freedom of speech, and he was extremely brutal in his insistence on freedom of speech to the point that he offended a lot of people.
RUSH: Well, wait a minute. Now, wait a second.
CALLER: Yes, he did.
RUSH: I have a problem with the use of the word “brutal” associated with freedom of speech.
CALLER: Okay —
RUSH: Freedom is not brutal.
CALLER: Okay, say less than polite.
RUSH: Less than polite.
CALLER: In other words, he went out of his way to insult people and used freedom of speech as —
RUSH: Would you consider the short story, the short movie he made detailing the lack of freedom and the lack of rights by Muslim women in Islamic societies to be brutal? Was it offensive?
CALLER: It’s right on target, and it’s a brutal movie. It shows — details the abuse of Muslim women and the scene which enrages everybody is that a naked woman, abused naked woman is shown with particularly misogynistic quotes from the Koran written on her body. And the biggest thing that was being talked about, it’s not even on the front page today of the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, drug smuggling is, they caught somebody running an airline with drug money, and that’s been the big story, and the second biggest story is, does the person who is accused of the murder of Theo Van Gogh have the right to royalties from the newspapers who published his picture without permission this morning after —
RUSH: Okay. Now, now —
CALLER: I’m telling you that’s the big story today.
RUSH: Well, then you’re describing a pretty screwed up country to me.
CALLER: No, I’m describing a country — I’m describing a country which is not as upset as a country which has just gone through its 9/11. It’s just talking — they’re talking about — basically his lawyer said, you guys don’t have the right to publish his picture.
RUSH: Well, he doesn’t have — that’s absurd. It’s just patently absurd.
CALLER: What is absurd?
RUSH: It is absurd that a suspect has any say over royalties whether his picture shows up in a newspaper.
CALLER: Hold on, hold on. Don’t you believe in following the law? In the Netherlands, his full name is not being used. He’s “Mohammed B.”
RUSH: You know what it sounds to me like? It sounds to me like everybody is bending over backwards not to make these people any angrier than they are. If this guy’s requests are being taken seriously, if this is causing a massive outcry, and this guy wants royalties for his picture showing up in the paper and he can’t be used, his picture, his full name can’t be used, and there’s some people supportive of that, it sounds to me like what’s really at the root of it is they don’t want to anger his friends, which are Islamic extremists. Now, I’ll take what you said; you’re there, and I’m not gonna argue with you about it. I just want to tell you that in certain segments of the media in this country that I trust and believe, the story is just the opposite, that there is, at high levels of the Holland government, the Dutch government, a genuine panic and fear over the murder of Van Gogh, by whom, and what it means for the future precisely because they thought they were immune to this kind of behavior from Al-Qaeda type groups because they never threatened them or challenged them or opposed them in any way, didn’t join the U.S. in any coalition anywhere, and it’s shaken them up. And that there are reports here that high officials in Holland are making suggestions about drastically reducing immigration opportunities for these people and basically closing off the country. I tell you what, I’ve got this stuff here in the stack, and we’re going to link to it, these reports that I have on the website this afternoon when we update it to reflect the contents of today’s program. But, look, I’m really glad that you called, Eric. I appreciate your time.