Join the discussion about Charlie Hebdo - closed

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Mr.Tea

For the first time since World War 2, when France was under Nazi occupation, there will be no Friday night Shabbat services at the Grand Paris Synagogue.

KenS

I didnt know of Sacco's work. But stylistically, it looked familiar. I was living in Oregon when he came back there and was cartooning.

6079_Smith_W

KenS wrote:

perfect

Yup, I agree. Heavy emphasis on that last frame.

Still don't think they should have fired Norm Macdonald, though.

lagatta

Yes, that was interesting. I certainly wouldn't have done the "second degré" drawing depicting cabinet minister Taubira as an ape, beside the Front National flame (the point of the drawing was Front National fascists calling Taubira such a hateful racist slur). Charlie was definitely NOT a representative of the racist far-right, but their "Gauloiserie" and attacks on all was over the top. I don't think there is any disagreement there.

There is a deep cultural divide at work here, but there was also what I'd call boys will be boys macho entitlement at play.

That does not make these killings any less horrible. And our criticisms of the police's role as a defender of Capital and often a scab-herder or a force targeting racialized people does not make the killing of the police officers (two of whom were "racialized", a Black woman from Martinique and a man of Tunisian origin) and less tragic. Not to mention the people shot in the supermarket...

NDPP

'Free Speech' Hypocrisy in the Aftermath of the Attack on Charlie Hebdo  -  by David North

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/01/09/pers-j09.html

"...In a column published Wednesday in the Financial Times, the liberal historian Simon Schama places Hebdo in a glorious tradition of journalistic irreverence that 'is the lifeblood of freedom.' He recalls the great European satirists between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Schama places Charlie Hebdo in a tradition to which it does not belong. In its relentlessly degrading portrayal of Muslims, Charlie Hebdo has mocked the poor and the powerless.

 To speak bluntly and honestly about the sordid, cynical and degraded character of Charlie Hebdo is not to condone the killing of its personnel. But when the slogan 'I am Charlie' is adopted as the slogan of protest demonstrations, those who have not been overwhelmed by state and media propaganda are obliged to reply: 'We oppose the violent assault on the magazine, but we are not - and have nothing in common with - Charlie.

The cynically provocative anti-Muslim caricatures that have appeared on so many covers of Charlie Hebdo have pandered to and facilitated the growth of right wing chauvinist movements in France. It is absurd to claim by way of defense of Charlie Hebdo that its cartoons are all 'in good fun' and have no political consequences.

In its use of crude and vulgar caricatures that purvey a sinister and stereotyped image of Muslims, Charlie Hebdo recalls the cheap racist publications that played a significant role in fostering the anti-Semitic agitation that swept France during the famous Dreyfuss Affair.

The World Socialist Web Site on the basis  of longstanding political principles, opposes and unequivocally condemns the terrorist assault on Charlie Hebdo. But we refuse to join the portrayal of Charlie Hebdo as a martyr to the cause of democracy and freespeech, and we warn our readers to be wary of the reactionary agenda that motivates this hypocritical and dishonest campaign in the aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo."

 

NS NS's picture

Total agreement with you Lagatta,

Smith, I never included blasphemy in the description because CH specialized in racialized, demonizing, dehumanizing, caricatures that relied on Orientalist, clash of civilizations , Us vs Them ideologies

Charlie represents white privilege ability to invade, rape, and colonize someone's history & then turn it into a punch line!

There is a fascistic tendency of judeo-christian or secular white guys who draw cartoons Prophet Mohamed or Allah

"Do France's Intellectuals Have A Muslim (Islam) Problem?":  A profile of one of the surviving members CH

Houellebecq believes he makes his readers laugh because he moves insults from the private realm into the public. Offering a telling example ,in one interview he said, “’Well, you have to admit, Islam is moronic’ is something you could easily say in private.” Uttering it in public shocks, but also titillates. Like Charlie Hebdo, famous (and infamous) for antics such as cartooning the Prophet Mohammed, Houellebecq has shown a genius for breaking taboos repeatedly.....

He asserted that “the stupidest religion, really, it’s Islam.” While the Jews at least showed “great literary talent” in the Bible, and Christianity has “all of those churches, stained windows, paintings, and sculptures,” Islam has the Quran: “When one reads it, one shudders … really shudders.” It hardly helped matters that when one of Platform’s characters reflects on the Second Intifada (then underway), he thinks, “Each time I heard that a Palestinian terrorist, child or pregnant women was cut down by bullets in the Gaza Strip, I felt a shiver of enthusiasm.

Freedom of speech is NOT a privilege offered to everyone just white, secular old men

Unionist

[url=http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/opinion/david-brooks-i-am-not-charlie-... Am Not Charlie Hebdo: David Brooks[/url]

I don't agree with much in this op-ed, but I'm posting it anyway.

This is a very complicated situation and subject for me, and I haven't navigated my own way through it yet.

Some ("Je Suis Charlie") emphasize the horror of this massacre in order to present the victims as martyrs to free expression, with a strong hint that poking Muslims in the eye for the fun of it is laudable. I don't agree with them.

Others seem to demonize the satirists for their offensive material. I don't agree with them either. I didn't see anyone here condemn Charlie Hebdo before the slaughter. To do so afterwards seems to me to be particularly horrifying.

So that's as far as I've got.

 

6079_Smith_W

NS wrote:

Smith, I never included blasphemy in the description because CH specialized in racialized, demonizing, dehumanizing, caricatures that relied on Orientalist, clash of civilizations , Us vs Them ideologies

Freedom of speech is NOT a privilege offered to everyone just white, secular old men

Too bad, because you missed simple fact that depicting the prophet was the main reason for those extremists carrying out their attack. Perhaps your spin is being clouded by your western, secular take on things.

And sadly no. As it happens one of the CH staffmembers killed was a Jewish woman, cartoonist Georges Wolinski was a Tunisian Jew of Polish and Italian heritage, and one of their copyeditors was an Algerian who had just received his French citizenship.

If we are reducing this to identity politics, that is (as that article claiming they were "all white" does).

And Stephane Charbonnier's partner, Jeanette Bougrab whose family is also from Algeria? Here's what she had to say about it:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2903278/Girlfriend-murdered-Char...

 

KenS

@ Unionist:

I didnt know about them before they were killed.

I would have condemned them the same. In fact, already made a point of speaking of my opinion of them when they were alive.

But at least in the main, and maybe wholly, I agree with you, and your conflict/ambivalence.

KenS

Quote:

He asserted that “the stupidest religion, really, it’s Islam.” While the Jews at least showed “great literary talent” in the Bible, and Christianity has “all of those churches, stained windows, paintings, and sculptures,” Islam has the Quran: “When one reads it, one shudders … really shudders.”  

How truly and incredibly IGNORANT.

On top of all the other racist claptrap that passes as his guiding ideas [and where did he pick those up?]....

Chistians have beautiful churches, but Muslims just have the book of their ideology.

Mosques?

The Bible? [which as a child literally gave me nightmares]

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

There is a deep cultural divide at work here, but there was also what I'd call boys will be boys macho entitlement at play.

Yeah, definitely to the former, and I'd say the latter comes with the territory, though many satirists, women and men, demonstrate that it isn't a defining aspect.

We certainly don't have anything here like the cabaret tradition in Europe. I have copies of the German magazine Simplicissimus - also heavily cartoon based - from the time when they were one of the few media pointing out the Nazi threat, as well as the politicians and wealthy who enabled them. There are plenty jokes in its pages about poor starving people eating birds and committing suicide, and sexist and racist content too.

Again, it generally doesn't come in a pretty package.

The other thing is that while we are still a far more prude society than European nations in some ways, we also forget the obscenity trials and bans that were very prominent here and in the U.S. in the 50s and 60s. And the fact that things have changed since then. I remember reading in Carrol O'Connor's obituary that a comedy like All In The Family would never be made today, because people simply would not take the satire, even as satire/.

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Unionist wrote:
Others seem to demonize the satirists for their offensive material. I don't agree with them either. I didn't see anyone here condemn Charlie Hebdo before the slaughter. To do so afterwards seems to me to be particularly horrifying.

I don't agree with this at all. The vast majority of Western media haven't had anything to say about Charlie Hebdo before this attack. So it seems equally in bad taste to me to republish all of their ethically dubious cartoons in an act of so-called solidarity. Actually, scratch that, because they are not republishing all of their offensive cartoons -- just the ones offensive to Muslims.

To point out now, as the conversation turns on such platitudes as "freedom of speech" and "democratic values," it is extremely important to point out that no, the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo is not what democracy looks like.

NorthReport

Thanks for that josh

----------------------

Mayor: Charlie Hebdo attackers dead

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/09/europe/charlie-hebdo-paris-shooting/index....

6079_Smith_W

Catchfire wrote:

So it seems equally in bad taste to me to republish all of their ethically dubious cartoons in an act of so-called solidarity. Actually, scratch that, because they are not republishing all of their offensive cartoons -- just the ones offensive to Muslims.

Funny thing is, some of us held off to be polite (or avoid a fight), but they got published here too. Is that any better?

 Again, I agree with you about the objectionable nature of their material. For me though, it comes back to the fact that it is almost always these  so-called objectionable elements who are on the fore of these fights. And I don't just mean the fight for expression, but political commentary as well.

We might not like it, and we are certainly justified in criticizing them, but I'd say we divorce ourselves from them at our peril.

 

NS NS's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

NS wrote:

Smith, I never included blasphemy in the description because CH specialized in racialized, demonizing, dehumanizing, caricatures that relied on Orientalist, clash of civilizations , Us vs Them ideologies

Freedom of speech is NOT a privilege offered to everyone just white, secular old men

Too bad, because you missed simple fact that depicting the prophet was the main reason for those extremists carrying out their attack. Perhaps your spin is being clouded by your western, secular take on things.

And sadly no. As it happens one of the CH staffmembers killed was a Jewish woman, cartoonist Georges Wolinski was a Tunisian Jew of Polish and Italian heritage, and one of their copyeditors was an Algerian who had just received his French citizenship.

If we are reducing this to identity politics, that is (as that article claiming they were "all white" does).

Smith, you never seem to have a counter point to the my argument that CH had history of racialized, demonizing, dehumanizing, caricatures that relied on Orientalist, clash of civilizations , Us vs Them ideologies etc

Why is that?

The suspected brothers are dead. I am not betting we will know that they specifically attacked Charlie specifically because of the "blasphemy" and not because they saw it simply as a terror target. It is easier to say that it was because of cartoons rather than it was "blowback", right?

Could be argued that they attacked the state as well since Ahmed Merabet, North African Muslim man who was a cop died also

You say I reduce it to identity politics? sounds like you DONT understand how power works

Ironic how people become least tolerant of any dissent when they're most fervently defending "free speech"

The west ignores when Saudia Arabia jails & flogs bloggers for "insulting Islam". Not a beep from western goverments.

oldgoat

KenS wrote:

I didnt know of Sacco's work. But stylistically, it looked familiar. I was living in Oregon when he came back there and was cartooning.

Stylisically it looks very much like R. Crumb.

 

6079_Smith_W

NS wrote:

The west ignores when Saudia Arabia jails & flogs bloggers for "insulting Islam". Not a beep from western goverments.

Actually I have been following that story closely and speaking about it elsewhere. I avoided mentioning it here because I know what the response would be - a shitstorm about anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Besides, it is no more directly related to this story than any of the other angles people are trying to work here.

(edit)

And I think you are cherrypicking, whether you take my response as a response or not.

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Others seem to demonize the satirists for their offensive material. I don't agree with them either. I didn't see anyone here condemn Charlie Hebdo before the slaughter. To do so afterwards seems to me to be particularly horrifying.

I don't agree with this at all. The vast majority of Western media haven't had anything to say about Charlie Hebdo before this attack. So it seems equally in bad taste to me to republish all of their ethically dubious cartoons in an act of so-called solidarity.

Well... wasn't that the other point I made? I agree with that. 

Quote:
To point out now, as the conversation turns on such platitudes as "freedom of speech" and "democratic values," it is extremely important to point out that no, the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo is not what democracy looks like.

Well, slow down a bit. I agree that the content of the cartoons it's not an example of "democratic values". But the right to publish the cartoons with brutal repression is certainly what "freedom of speech" looks like. Unless you're arguing that some or many of their cartoons should not have enjoyed that right? I haven't seen them all, and that may be right.

So to recapitulate, I'm conflicted.

And by the way, NS, you can make your point without egregious mistranslation. "Les nègres font chier" does not mean "Blacks are shit". Not even close.

 

NS NS's picture

Smith, maybe we would have to rethink what it means to stand up to power in a theocracy as opposed to being part of a dominant privileged group in Europe doddling oppressed cartoons

Another thing that would be interesting to ask those intellectuals: Is Wearing a hijab is a form of speech?  But the "libertarians" who hail #CharlieHebdo don't want to talk about that

"The freedom of expression that everyone nowadays rushes to defend is not as simple to understand or to practice" 

by Monia Mazigh

 

oldgoat

Not sure if this has been addressed at all upthread, but CBC coverage of all this is starting to give me acid reflux.  Last night it was topped off by a roughly 10 minute bombastic and hate filled rant by Mark Fucking Steyn.  I was shocked they had him on in the first place, but they gave him a comparitively huge amount of time, relatively uninterrupted, compared to other guests, and compared to the chap who was there to do the " counter point " , I believe with the Canadian Arab Federation.  Evan tried weakly to challenge some of his more egregious racism, but if that asshat gets pulled in to the CBC as a response to this issue the public diiscourse is in a pretty bad place.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

So to recapitulate, I'm conflicted.

That would be my assessment of it too, or more accurately, that I don't think there is one resolution. It is both at the same time.

Case in point, without turning this into a film studies thread, two of what I consider the most cutting works of satire I have seen also contain scenes that are highly exploitative - in one case a scene I honestly think should never have been made.

There is no resolution to that I can think of. It was made and it exists, and the galling fact is that it works.

 

6079_Smith_W

NS wrote:

as opposed to being part of a dominant privileged group in Europe doddling oppressed cartoons

Not privileged enough that they were able to avoid getting murdered, evidently.

What's your point?

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

NS wrote:

Smith, I never included blasphemy in the description because CH specialized in racialized, demonizing, dehumanizing, caricatures that relied on Orientalist, clash of civilizations , Us vs Them ideologies

I would disagree and say blasphemy is what got those people killed. As much as some people don't wan tto talk about it this was all about blasphemy (of Islam in this case) in the eyes of the people whom did this and they even said so as they while doing this massacre. If we can't take their word for it then whom else's can we take? The gunmen whom killed the people in the CH office, I'm willing to bet, could care less about Western "freedom" values or the white man's privilege and such. They were there for one thing and one thing only: avenge what they perceived as insults (blasphemy) CH had done to Islam that was punishable by death (in their eyes). 

 

josh

All I know is that the perpetrators have achieved their goals.  They wanted to polarize the body politic so as to increases hostitlity towards Muslims living in Europe and elsewhere, thereby radicalizing a good portion of them.  And they wanted the attention the Pavlov's dog media gave them.  The last thing they wanted was solidarity among all aspects of society and non-sensationalist coverage putting the attack in its proper perspective.

6079_Smith_W
KenS

 

KenS wrote:

I didnt know of Sacco's work. But stylistically, it looked familiar. I was living in Oregon when he came back there and was cartooning.

 

oldgoat wrote:
 Stylisically it looks very much like R. Crumb.

 

True, and I was around Crumb much more and much earlier. He would predate Sacco by 15 years at least.

Crumb even predates us man [goat] !

6079_Smith_W

And a follow up to this attack's endgame, and the notion that a so-called "tribe" is in a position of privilege.

http://tabletmag.com/scroll/188204/the-frightening-reality-for-the-jews-...

NDPP

I hadn`t come across them or their shit before either. I find it revolting, disgusting and hateful.  Nor were they equal opportunity offensive - the preponderance is overwhelmingly Islamophobic. I`m sorry they were murdered. I am trying to figure out why and for who and to what end. Steer and spin. Anyway, it looks like a big one...

Years ago I remember being struck by the bizarre sort of grief exhibited by many around me when Princess Diana died. Because I was never much interested in royals and paid little attention to media in general then, I sensed that they had been `captured`by the story in ways that I had not.

I found their sadness and sentiment somewhat strange.  In other cases of violent death news there was no such reaction on their part. I feel a bit like that again now.

There`s a dozen or so dead Parisians in the news. I wish they were not. But they are.  Perhaps because I`ve been more immersed in other stories, other violent deaths, and in somewhat greater numbers, Congo, Syria, Libya, Donbass, Gaza, murdered and missing women in Canada  - these resonate for me rather more.  And so there it is. Sorry that you find my reaction `particularly horrifying`. Perhaps things will clarify for both of us as we go further.

Hope this is helpful

 

NDPP

oldgoat wrote:

Not sure if this has been addressed at all upthread, but CBC coverage of all this is starting to give me acid reflux.  Last night it was topped off by a roughly 10 minute bombastic and hate filled rant by Mark Fucking Steyn.  I was shocked they had him on in the first place, but they gave him a comparitively huge amount of time, relatively uninterrupted, compared to other guests, and compared to the chap who was there to do the " counter point " , I believe with the Canadian Arab Federation.  Evan tried weakly to challenge some of his more egregious racism, but if that asshat gets pulled in to the CBC as a response to this issue the public diiscourse is in a pretty bad place.

bad and exactly the place they intend it to be

rhubarb

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

....

I would disagree and say blasphemy is what got those people killed. As much as some people don't wan tto talk about it this was all about blasphemy (of Islam in this case) in the eyes of the people whom did this and they even said so as they while doing this massacre. If we can't take their word for it then whom else's can we take? The gunmen whom killed the people in the CH office, I'm willing to bet, could care less about Western "freedom" values or the white man's privilege and such. They were there for one thing and one thing only: avenge what they perceived as insults (blasphemy) CH had done to Islam that was punishable by death (in their eyes). 

 

 

What do we know, really know, for sure?

I know that propanda is unrelenting, I know we are living in a time of endless war, I know that most people will react without examining the larger context, I know multitudes of people gathered in support of Charlie Hebdo who had never even heard of the magazine the day before.  I know that one of the killers dropped his wallet, I know they were dressed head to toe in black and that I never saw their faces, I know they yelled ali akbar and I know that I don't know what is true.

I know that that the cartoon depicting the French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira as a monkey is heartbreaking to see.  I know we are all at risk and that if we here cannot find our way through our disagreements here then there is little hope that the wider world will either.  I know that banning is not the answer, not the banning of those cartoons as vicious as they are nor the banning of a poster for being sarcastic nor the banning of someone emotionally invested. 

I know that we are not children who need to be protected from the grief,  fear and rage we are feeling even if it sloshes over in messy ways, at least I think I know that but perhaps I am wrong.

 

 

josh

Apropos to my last post, Juan Cole on the effort to "sharpen the contradictions."

http://billmoyers.com/2015/01/08/sharpening-contradictions-al-qaeda-atta...

Unionist

The_Fifth_Column wrote:

Fun fact:

Charlie Hebdo journalist fired for making fun of "the tribe."

Gee. Didn't notice this till now. Three posts in 5 years, and all of them filthy little anti-semitic jibes. Get lost, asshole.

NDPP

Wow, you get served really fast around here U. Must be your boyish charm...

NS NS's picture

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

NS wrote:

Smith, I never included blasphemy in the description because CH specialized in racialized, demonizing, dehumanizing, caricatures that relied on Orientalist, clash of civilizations , Us vs Them ideologies

I would disagree and say blasphemy is what got those people killed. As much as some people don't wan tto talk about it this was all about blasphemy (of Islam in this case) in the eyes of the people whom did this and they even said so as they while doing this massacre. If we can't take their word for it then whom else's can we take? The gunmen whom killed the people in the CH office, I'm willing to bet, could care less about Western "freedom" values or the white man's privilege and such. They were there for one thing and one thing only: avenge what they perceived as insults (blasphemy) CH had done to Islam that was punishable by death (in their eyes). 

 

I agree with Rhubarb,

There are contradictory reports that say the suspects were on a mission from Al Qaeda in Yemen, but these reports are sketchy and unreliable

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/01/08/french-terror-attack-suspects/21434139/

We are told countless times that the Canadian parliament, cafe in Sydney, now the Kosher hostage situations are ALL TERRORISM

These incidents “clearly linked to terrorist ideology" the narrative goes 

The national mood and discourse in France like in Canada is virtually the same to what prevails in every Western country whenever these incidents happen

France has been fighting Al Qaeda in Africa, brought violence and military force and aided numerous countries with their 'war on terror'

When someone brings the smallest fraction of 'blowback' to that country, its ONLY because of cartoons?

NS NS's picture

Growing Anti-Muslim attacks in France just this week

At least 15 attacks (and growing) motivated by Anti-Muslim hate took place in France after the Charlie Hebdo massacre

Same day as the Paris attack a bomb killed 37 and injured 66 in Yemen, which few outlets noticed

NS NS's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

NS wrote:

as opposed to being part of a dominant privileged group in Europe doddling oppressed cartoons

Not privileged enough that they were able to avoid getting murdered, evidently.

What's your point?

Smithy, you realize you say "whats your point"? in lieu of a counter point ...  and you sound like a valley girl

NDPP

LOL!!!

6079_Smith_W

Red River Valley in my case, if that was supposed to mean something.

And I am still waiting. Feel free to get around to it any time you want.

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

I hadn`t come across them or their shit before either. I find it revolting, disgusting and hateful.  Nor were they equal opportunity offensive - the preponderance is overwhelmingly Islamophobic. I`m sorry they were murdered. I am trying to figure out why and for who and to what end. Steer and spin. Anyway, it looks like a big one...

Years ago I remember being struck by the bizarre sort of grief exhibited by many around me when Princess Diana died. Because I was never much interested in royals and paid little attention to media in general then, I sensed that they had been `captured`by the story in ways that I had not.

I found their sadness and sentiment somewhat strange.  In other cases of violent death news there was no such reaction on their part. I feel a bit like that again now.

There`s a dozen or so dead Parisians in the news. I wish they were not. But they are.  Perhaps because I`ve been more immersed in other stories, other violent deaths, and in somewhat greater numbers, Congo, Syria, Libya, Donbass, Gaza, murdered and missing women in Canada  - these resonate for me rather more.  And so there it is. Sorry that you find my reaction `particularly horrifying`. Perhaps things will clarify for both of us as we go further.

Hope this is helpful

 

It is helpful. And I regret using the expression "particularly horrifying" - that's not actually what I meant. I mostly agree with what you've said here.

Thanks for being patient with me, NDPP, as I sort through all this.

 

Paladin1

NS wrote:

Same day as the Paris attack a bomb killed 37 and injured 66 in Yemen, which few outlets noticed

I remember seeing posts like this in various places whenever Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.  Someone would point out that X number of people were killed and X country and no one even mentioned it.

 

I mean, of course,  I bet you can find 100 stories of different attrocities commited around the world on that day.  Some stories are bound to get more media and traction than others, not really a surprise this made headlines.

 

NS NS's picture

Cartoons by Brazilian political cartoonist Carlos Latuff, who's work is famous all over the world

Hopefully, these are not against rabble policy or offensive to Babblers. Just want to show what brilliant, provacative & relevant cartoons look like.

 

 

NDPP

Latuff Now you're talking!

6079_Smith_W

Good cartoons, if a bit light on the humour. But if anything I'd say there were parallels between the Obama one and the Taubira cartoon. Both essentially show the minds of racists. And I would expect that some people would find the depiction of degradation and violence, and the use of that word, as perpetuating racism, even as satire.

The difference is that we probably see the Taubira cartoon as a lot more shocking because we don't understand the context, whereas any French person would know that it refers to le Pen's "monkey" slurs, even if some might think it crosses a line.

That's the thing about satire, and analyzing it. Not everyone is going to like it, or respond to it in the same way.

 

NDPP

I don't think he's got Obama quite right so it fails for me. But the last... Almost fell off my chair...

6079_Smith_W
Pondering

Thank you Catchfire and others for expressing thoughts I share so much better than I could ever do it, which is why I stayed out of this thread until now. I didn't even read it for fear I would be tempted because of something I heard early in a broadcast. Someone official expressed outrage about innocent people being killed, and my mind instantly flew to images I saw early in the invasion of Iraq. It was a beautiful sunny day, blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and huge clouds of equally beautiful white smoke rising from where bombs were dropped. It was all very pretty. Not a spot of blood to be seen. Even knowing what I was seeing I could not help but be impressed by the immense power. Shock and Awe indeed.

Children died, babies died, and they were innocent, but they are just collateral damage, they were never the target so that makes it justifiable in western eyes, sure we knew innocents were dying, but we weren't actually aiming at them, as though that makes them less dead.

I recall learning in elementary school that when the British first fought the Indians the style of war had been attacking in formation in an open field wearing red coats. Indians of course would just shoot them from the woods with bow an arrow but that was considered barbaric because it didn't follow the rules of war, as though people with bows and arrows should allow themselves to be slaughtered by guns as though it was honorable for the British to attack in the first place.

After 9/11 the excuse was that they didn't play by the rules so we don't have to either, hence, torture is fine, because 3 thousand innocent Americans died. They don't have the weaponry to fight back by our rules but it is hubris to think we get to decide the rules of war.

We know our bombs will kill innocent people. We can't say we didn't aim at them. That they aren't the reason we drop bombs is immaterial. We know they are there. We drop bombs on them anyway. It isn't an accident. We don't want to risk the lives of our soldiers so we use bombs and drones even though we know for sure we will take innocent lives, even babies.

They can't fight back with weaponry as powerful as we have, they can't shoot down our bombers, or defend against drones, so they will fight back with what they do have at whatever they can reach.

The only surprising part of this that we aren't getting hit more.

NDPP

Who Should Be Blamed For Muslim Terrorism?  - by Andre Vltchek

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/09/who-should-be-blamed-for-muslim-t...

"...Almost all radical movements in today's Islam, anywhere in the world, are tied to Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative, reactionary sect of Islam which is in control of the political life of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other staunch allies of the West in the Gulf.

It is very clear from the historical record that without British help neither Wahhabism nor the House of Saud would be in existence today. Wahhabism is a British inspired fundamentalist movement in Islam.

Through its defense of the House of Saud, the US also supports Wahhabism directly and indirectly  regardless of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Wahabbism is violent, right wing, ultra conservative, rigid, extremist, reactionary, sexist and intolerant..."

bekayne
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
When someone brings the smallest fraction of 'blowback' to that country, its ONLY because of cartoons?

Was Salman Rushdie blessed with a death sentence ONLY because of a novel?

Or was it really because of Abu Ghraib?

The occupation of Iraq?

Britain's (or India's) military involvement in Afghanistan?

Operation Desert Storm?

9/11, maybe??

onlinediscountanvils

Teju Cole: [url=http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/unmournable-bodies]Unm... Bodies[/url]

But it is possible to defend the right to obscene and racist speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech. It is possible to approve of sacrilege without endorsing racism. And it is possible to consider Islamophobia immoral without wishing it illegal. Moments of grief neither rob us of our complexity nor absolve us of the responsibility of making distinctions. The A.C.L.U. got it right in defending a neo-Nazi group that, in 1978, sought to march through Skokie, Illinois. The extreme offensiveness of the marchers, absent a particular threat of violence, was not and should not be illegal. But no sensible person takes a defense of those First Amendment rights as a defense of Nazi beliefs. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were not mere gadflies, not simple martyrs to the right to offend: they were ideologues. Just because one condemns their brutal murders doesn’t mean one must condone their ideology.

Rather than posit that the Paris attacks are the moment of crisis in free speech—as so many commentators have done—it is necessary to understand that free speech and other expressions of liberté are already in crisis in Western societies; the crisis was not precipitated by three deranged gunmen. The U.S., for example, has consolidated its traditional monopoly on extreme violence, and, in the era of big data, has also hoarded information about its deployment of that violence. There are harsh consequences for those who interrogate this monopoly. The only person in prison for the C.I.A.’s abominable torture regime is John Kiriakou, the whistle-blower. Edward Snowden is a hunted man for divulging information about mass surveillance. Chelsea Manning is serving a thirty-five-year sentence for her role in WikiLeaks. They, too, are blasphemers, but they have not been universally valorized, as have the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.

The killings in Paris were an appalling offence to human life and dignity. The enormity of these crimes will shock us all for a long time. But the suggestion that violence by self-proclaimed Jihadists is the only threat to liberty in Western societies ignores other, often more immediate and intimate, dangers. The U.S., the U.K., and France approach statecraft in different ways, but they are allies in a certain vision of the world, and one important thing they share is an expectation of proper respect for Western secular religion. Heresies against state power are monitored and punished. People have been arrested for making anti-military or anti-police comments on social media in the U.K. Mass surveillance has had a chilling effect on journalism and on the practice of the law in the U.S. Meanwhile, the armed forces and intelligence agencies in these countries demand, and generally receive, unwavering support from their citizens. When they commit torture or war crimes, no matter how illegal or depraved, there is little expectation of a full accounting or of the prosecution of the parties responsible.

The scale, intensity, and manner of the solidarity that we are seeing for the victims of the Paris killings, encouraging as it may be, indicates how easy it is in Western societies to focus on radical Islamism as the real, or the only, enemy. This focus is part of the consensus about mournable bodies, and it often keeps us from paying proper attention to other, ongoing, instances of horrific carnage around the world: abductions and killings in Mexico, hundreds of children (and more than a dozen journalists) killed in Gaza by Israel last year, internecine massacres in the Central African Republic, and so on. And even when we rightly condemn criminals who claim to act in the name of Islam, little of our grief is extended to the numerous Muslim victims of their attacks, whether in Yemen or Nigeria—in both of which there were deadly massacres this week—or in Saudi Arabia, where, among many violations of human rights, the punishment for journalists who “insult Islam” is flogging. We may not be able to attend to each outrage in every corner of the world, but we should at least pause to consider how it is that mainstream opinion so quickly decides that certain violent deaths are more meaningful, and more worthy of commemoration, than others.

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