Whatever happened to freedom of speech
Look. David Irving is an idiot. His views on the holocaust are preposterous and, I suspect, deep down inside he knows this and it is keeping him awake at night. But putting him in jail for saying that it didn't happen is, technically speaking, FUCKED UP. Now, suddenly we don't have freedom of speech? Yes we do, don't we? Or did I just hear all those editors across Europe wrong?
Irving is, and must be, just as allowed to speak his mind as Orhan Pamuk was, when he spoke against the state opinion in Turkey on the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1917. And Irving must be just as allowed to speak his stupid, insensitive opinion as Jyllands-Posten and all the other dumb-ass newspapers that printed those cartoons were. This is a matter of free speech and of democracy. We don't have to like it, we just have to fight to the death for it, to paraphrase that guy whom every Joe with a typewriter and his infinite monkeys have been quoting (badly, without understanding and hypocritically) since this whole Muhammed-brouhaha began.
Democracy isn't something one magically "is." It's something one does. And honestly, since Pamuk got all that attention, and Irving got nearly none, that means that the intellectuals of Europe are not doing their job. Freedom of speech also means getting off your ass and defending the right of anyone to say anything, not just the people whose opinions you happen to approve of. Then, after they make their laughably silly remarks, you rip their arguments apart with your teeth, and laugh in their face. That's democracy.