On the Pros and Cons of Free Speech

One of the turning-points in the Viet Nam war was Associated Press photographer Nick Ut’s iconic black-and-white picture of nine-year-old Kim Phuc running away from a bombed-out village. What made the image more powerful was Kim’s shocking nakedness, the result of having her clothes burned off by South Vietnamese napalm-bomb-dropping aeroplanes.

Children in conflict zones usually trigger strong emotions in us. Whether we have offspring of our own or not, we feel a degree of sympathy towards those who are usually unfortunate victims of war. Last summer the world gasped…