Sunday, January 11, 2015

#JeSuisCharlie Glenn Greenwald Taking Them At Their Word: "In Solidarity With a Free Press"


" is simply not the case that Charlie Hebdo “were equal opportunity offenders.” Like Bill Maher, Sam Harris and other anti-Islam obsessives, mocking Judaism, Jews and/or Israel is something they will rarely (if ever) do. If forced, they can point to rare and isolated cases where they uttered some criticism of Judaism or Jews, but the vast bulk of their attacks are reserved for Islam and Muslims, not Judaism and Jews. Parody, free speech and secular atheism are the pretexts; anti-Muslim messaging is the primary goal and the outcome. And this messaging – this special affection for offensive anti-Islam speech – just so happens to coincide with, to feed, the militaristic foreign policy agenda of their governments and culture." by Gleen Greenwald
While Glenn Greenwald has chosen cartoons considered offensive because in their content they are critical of Israel, Judaism and diaspora Jews esp. in the United States. He believes correctly that these anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian cartoons would not be printed in An American Magazine or newspaper and they would be condemned as anti-semitic and possibly Hate Crimes.

Charlie Hebdo cartoon " mocking the African sex slaves of Boko Haram as welfare queens "
 Charlie Hebdo Cartoon: "...merely depicting Mohammed with degrading imagery "

But as Greenwald notes :

"...Some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were not just offensive but bigoted, such as the one mocking the African sex slaves of Boko Haram as welfare queens (left). Others went far beyond maligning violence by extremists acting in the name of Islam, or even merely depicting Mohammed with degrading imagery (above, right), and instead contained a stream of mockery toward Muslims generally, who in France are not remotely powerful but are largely a marginalized and targeted immigrant population."

 So criticizing Islamophobia in France or Europe or USA or Canada is considered blasphemous since those against Islam believe they are justified to hate all Muslims and the religion of Islam based on the actions of a militant minority .
 In this cartoon when the cartoons make fun of Muslims and Islam it is considered being funny but to do the same about Jews for example is considered hateful  and unwarranted.

 But I have taken a slightly different root though the critique of those supporting Charlie Hebdo is much the same. Those who think they can make certain jokes about black people but get upset if one makes a tasteless tactless joke about white people or cops etc.

 Each society has created its own sacred cows . In the USA the police , the Judicial system , the economic system and the pretense of a post racist society and that America is the freest and most democratic nation in the world is considered sacred and to criticize any part of this is considered heresy.

America is even further idealized and idolized as the beacon of justice and liberty to the world which is considered just a known fact though there are many who say otherwise and for doing so they are marginalized and /or silenced.

So I have chosen some cartoons & pics dealing with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and police brutality and police unnecessarily shooting & killing Black people with impunity and even praised by the media for doing so in America.

 In America racism is systemic it is the root and branch of a racist society . But the society believes itself to have moved beyond racism. Therefore all accusations , claims or even detailed analysis proving the society is racist is denied emphatically and the alleged accusers are called race-baiters, thugs, UnAmerican, unpatriotic and treasonous and deserve to be harassed, abused, imprisoned , silenced by any and all means necessary.

 America may have a Black president but its heart and soul appears to be captive to a still surviving historical legacy of racism.

 Even today many Christians are very disturbed when someone dares suggest Jesus or God is not white and could be Black. Fox News insists that Jesus, God and Santa Claus are all white not Black nor Arab or Palestinian or even Jewish. Such thoughts are blasphemy.

- George Zimmerman gunning down Trayvon Martin -
NYPD  Police Turn their backs on Mayor of New York DeBlasio because he dared to speak the truth that there was need for reforms in the police department and that one of the ongoing problems was endemic racism
NYPD to protest against the Mayors call for Reform Go on strike by way of a slowdown in which they their practice of harassing and brutalizing and terrorizing the Black people of New York. 

 Above: Yes there are good cops but why don't they stop or turn in the Bad Cops instead Good Cops ignore or even defend Bad Cops publicly- when they do speak out they become targets of other cops and loose their jobs or even their lives. A cop who reports on a Bad cop is called a "Rat" .

Glenn Greenwald argues that those who now support Charlie Hebdo after the terrorist attack in Paris are somewhat disingenuous and hypocritical Those championing Charlie Hebdo with hashtag on twitter #JeSuisCharlie tend to support the freedom to criticize not all religions but mainly Islam. These same people would be offended by cartoons or articles criticizing Israel or Judaism or Christianity. As we know or at least it is my own opinion that American News networks such as Fox News and CNN or MSNBC are not going to permit on prime time news including articles or cartoons criticizing Christians or Christian protestant fundamentalist.

Given the protests across the US about the racism within police forces and the system of justice the mainstream media is quite quick to condemn and dismiss and ridicule Black citizens concerned over the deaths the unnecessary killings by police of Black citizens.

To the media the Police are the good guys and Black people and other people of color are the bad guys or as they refer to them as Thugs.

Americans are fine with seeing the film Selma and shedding a few tears, being shocked by the racism and violence but then cheer when LBJ passes Civil Rights legislation and as far as most Americans are concerned that ended racism in America forever which of course is just propaganda nonsense.
The old Jim Crow of the 50s & 60s has been replaced by the New Jim Crow of racial profiling by police , police brutality and mass incarceration. So are the #JeSuisCharlie bunch comfortable with criticisms of Western governments and police forces and judicial systems rooted in racism and bigotry.

I agree with Greenwald that these anti-Islamic cartoons are often beyond the pale and are hate-filled and in some countries would constitute a Hate Crime. Wanting to treat Muslims in ones country as second class citizens is immoral to say the least. To suggest all Muslims are extremists lying in wait to destroy Western Civilization is nonsense.

No matter what Islamophobes preach Muslims are not about to demographically take over Europe in the forseeable future and if they did it would mean changing the face of Europe. Many Europeans like Americans and Canadians want to somehow prevent any change and to freeze society as it is today and keep it that way for ever. What many want is to I believe revert to a romanticized, idealized Utopian White Christian European past which welcomed no one who was different culturally, by language, color, religion etc.

So France is in a sense having its own 9/11 moment in which it lets all its angst , frustrations, and justified anger over these attacks cloud their judgement allowing them to be unabashedly xenophobic against Muslims, Arabs etc. Is that where they want to head or will they at some point put this in perspective and remember what xenophobia and racism can do a society and how it can lead to an horrific nightmare like that of the rise the Nazis and the French support for genocide against the French Jews. Now is such a statement to be censored or championed by these champions of free unfettered and even unhinged speech like the sort encouraged by the Neo-Nazis and the horrific regime of Hitler.

In Solidarity With a Free Press: Some More Blasphemous Cartoons By Glenn Greenwald January 10, 2015 "ICH" - "The Intercept" "

- Defending free speech and free press rights, which typically means defending the right to disseminate the very ideas society finds most repellent, has been one of my principal passions for the last 20 years: previously as a lawyer and now as a journalist. So I consider it positive when large numbers of people loudly invoke this principle, as has been happening over the last 48 hours in response to the horrific attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Usually, defending free speech rights is much more of a lonely task. For instance, the day before the Paris murders, I wrote an article about multiple cases where Muslims are being prosecuted and even imprisoned by western governments for their online political speech – assaults that have provoked relatively little protest, including from those free speech champions who have been so vocal this week.

I’ve previously covered cases where Muslims were imprisoned for many years in the U.S. for things like translating and posting “extremist” videos to the internet, writing scholarly articles in defense of Palestinian groups and expressing harsh criticism of Israel, and even including a Hezbollah channel in a cable package. That’s all well beyond the numerous cases of jobs being lost or careers destroyed for expressing criticism of Israel or (much more dangerously and rarely) Judaism. I’m hoping this week’s celebration of free speech values will generate widespread opposition to all of these long-standing and growing infringements of core political rights in the west, not just some.

...Central to free speech activism has always been the distinction between defending the right to disseminate Idea X and agreeing with Idea X, one which only the most simple-minded among us are incapable of comprehending. One defends the right to express repellent ideas while being able to condemn the idea itself. There is no remote contradiction in that: the ACLU vigorously defends the right of neo-Nazis to march through a community filled with Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois, but does not join the march; they instead vocally condemn the targeted ideas as grotesque while defending the right to express them.

But this week’s defense of free speech rights was so spirited that it gave rise to a brand new principle: to defend free speech, one not only defends the right to disseminate the speech, but embraces the content of the speech itself. Numerous writers thus demanded: to show “solidarity” with the murdered cartoonists, one should not merely condemn the attacks and defend the right of the cartoonists to publish, but should publish and even celebrate those cartoons. “The best response to Charlie Hebdo attack,” announced Slate’s editor Jacob Weisberg, “is to escalate blasphemous satire.”

...Some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were not just offensive but bigoted, such as the one mocking the African sex slaves of Boko Haram as welfare queens (left). Others went far beyond maligning violence by extremists acting in the name of Islam, or even merely depicting Mohammed with degrading imagery (above, right), and instead contained a stream of mockery toward Muslims generally, who in France are not remotely powerful but are largely a marginalized and targeted immigrant population.

But no matter. Their cartoons were noble and should be celebrated – not just on free speech grounds but for their content. In a column entitled “The Blasphemy We Need,” The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat argued that “the right to blaspheme (and otherwise give offense) is essential to the liberal order” and “that kind of blasphemy [that provokes violence] is precisely the kind that needs to be defended, because it’s the kind that clearly serves a free society’s greater good.” New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait actually proclaimed that “one cannot defend the right [to blaspheme] without defending the practice.”

Vox’s Matt Yglesias had a much more nuanced view but nonetheless concluded that “to blaspheme the Prophet transforms the publication of these cartoons from a pointless act to a courageous and even necessary one, while the observation that the world would do well without such provocations becomes a form of appeasement.”

Also see: ‘We vomit’ on Charlie’s sudden friends: staff cartoonist
Agence France-Presse AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 10 JAN 2015

and also see on why these young men could be recruited to become Islamic terrorists see:

Will France Repeat US Mistakes after 9/11? by RayMcGovern

Exclusive: As three suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre die in a shootout with French police, the cycle of violence that has engulfed the Mideast again reaches into the West, but the challenge is to learn from U.S. mistakes after 9/11 and address root causes, not react with another round of mindless violence, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
By Ray McGovern

January 10, 2015 "ICH" -
"First, a hat tip to Elias Groll, assistant editor at Foreign Policy, whose report just a few hours after the killings on Wednesday at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, included this key piece of background on the younger of the two brother suspects:

“Carif Kouachi was previously known to the authorities, as he was convicted by a French court in 2008 of trying to travel to Iraq to fight in that country’s insurgent movement. Kouachi told the court that he wished to fight the American occupation after viewing images of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.”

The next morning, Amy Goodman of and Juan Cole (in his blog) also carried this highly instructive aspect of the story of the unconscionable terrorist attack, noting that the brothers were well known to French intelligence; that the younger brother, Cherif, had been sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a network involved in sending volunteer fighters to Iraq to fight alongside al-Qaeda; and that he said he had been motivated by seeing the images of atrocities by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib.

An article in the Christian Science Monitor added: “During Cherif Kouachi’s 2008 trial, he told the court, ‘I really believed in the idea’ of fighting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.” But one would look in vain for any allusion to Abu Ghraib or U.S. torture in coverage by the Wall Street Journal or Washington Post. If you read to the end of a New York Times article, you would find in paragraph 10 of 10 a brief (CYA?) reference to Abu Ghraib.

So I guess we’ll have to try to do their work for them. Would it be unpatriotic to suggest that a war of aggression and part of its “accumulated evil” – torture – as well as other kinds of state terrorism like drone killings are principal catalysts for this kind of non-state terrorism? Do any Parisians yet see blowback from France’s Siamese-twin relationship with the U.S. on war in the Middle East and the Mahgreb, together with their government’s failure to speak out against torture by Americans? Might this fit some sort of pattern?"
and so it goes,

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