Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Monday, September 01, 2003

Dutch Turn Their Backs On Tolerance:

"The Dutch have been noted for their tolerance in Europe for centuries, adopting a policy which allowed illegal if non-obtrusive behaviour.

In recent decades they added the sale of cannabis, drug usage and prostitution to the long list misdemeanours to which they turned a blind eye. Some were even legalised.

Now, the municipal authorities, many of which came to power during the 1960s and 1970s when they replaced their older and stricter predecessors, realise they may have overdone it.

In a bid to reverse the trend Rotterdam mayor Ivo Opstelten, nicknamed "Giuliani on the (River) Maas" in a reference to New York's former hard-line mayor, has vowed to lock up or cure the city's 700 hard-core drug addicts.

The new city council has slashed the number of "coffee shops" which sell soft drugs from 300 to 60 and aims to reduce the number further.

Amsterdam, one of the first European cities to adopt a relaxed attitude to homosexuals, is working to shut erotic bars and clubs."

Tolerance is fine, but there are limits. There is only so much a people can take and it sounds like the Dutch have had enough.

Zogby Blog (via Instapundit) makes an astute observation:

"The article is compellingly interesting, to me, for one reason: 'The men were grabbed by a crowd and taken to the nearest police station.' Imagine: the Shia are the majority in Iraq, and they were murderd and persecuted by Saddam's Bathist Sunni regime for decades; then, Bathist henchmen and al-Qaeda terrorists murder the one of the most revered Shia Ayatollahs in Iraqi Shia society, along with over 120 innocent other Shias; then, a large Shia crowd becomes aware that two al-Qaeda mass killers have sent an e-mail saying "mission accomplished: the dog is dead." And, what do they do? They hustle the two characters off to the "nearest police station ." They didn't kill them on the spot, ripping their limbs from their bodies, and disembowling them on the spot. They brought them to the police!"

I realized that this was significant when I first read the reports. I think this restraint has made an impression on the media. I haven't seen any reports (or maybe it's just that I haven't been looking in the right places) by hysterical media types insisting that the whole mess was now out of control. In fact, the reports I am seeing and reading aren't attaching any panic to the assassination at all.

I am more hopeful than ever that the Iraqi people will be able to govern themselves without the nation turning into another Lebanon.