“A plague a' both your houses!” ~ Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 1 (William Shakespeare)
By now, with the deluge in the media, everyone and his or her uncle, dog and pet rat knows that the office of the so-called satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked in Paris a couple of days ago, and twelve people (as of this writing) killed.
|Didn't someone see these guys dressed like that and get suspicious?|
The perpetrators, we are told, were a trio of “Islamists”, of whom one has since “surrendered” (he claims to have an alibi) while the other two, alleged brothers, are, also allegedly, as of this writing, holed up in a building somewhere.
Why do I say “alleged”? It’s because as of this writing there’s still no proof that the people who committed the crime are “Islamists” (whatever that term means). They allegedly helpfully identified themselves and even more helpfully left behind a car full of flags, Islamic “literature” and an identity card. Well, they might have. It happens. But it’s also – only just – possible that they might be someone else pretending to be Muslim terrorists. This hypothesis has got some traction online, with a lot of people accusing various actors, from the French government to the Zionists, of being behind the murders. Some people even posit that there were no murders, and everyone was an actor, just like “at Sandy Hook”.
This isn’t the place to go into a discussion of why people are so reluctant to believe the obvious, and spin incredibly detailed, and increasingly fantastical, conspiracy theories to justify their viewpoints. But the simple fact is that they do, and the more evidence emerges to counter their viewpoint, the more obstinately they cling to it.
I suppose there is a chance – a very, very slight chance – that the Zionist murder organisation Mossad attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in order to sabotage France’s rapprochement with the Palestinians. (I’d want to know, though, why they didn’t set off a...truck bomb in a shopping district or something in that case. It would be much more effective.) I suppose it might be that the French government either had its own secret service attack the office, or faked the whole thing, in order to, I don’t know, clamp down on its own people’s domestic rights. I suppose Osama bin Laden’s ghost might have summoned zombies to do it as well. But, unless evidence is presented, I do not believe it.
Therefore, for the purposes of this article, I will take it as fact that a small group of jihadist Muslims attacked the Charlie Hebdo office. They may or may not be Cherif and Said Kouachi, the alleged “terror brothers”, and they may or may not have acted alone. But, as I will shortly discuss, it hardly matters if they did – the current situation in France, and the actions of the French government, made this kind of attack inevitable.
But why would “Islamists” want to attack Charlie Hebdo in particular? Well, this so-called satirical magazine (which has a humongous circulation of all of 60,000 from what I’ve been told) has made a career out of insulting, among other things, the Prophet Muhammad, the Koran, and Islam in general. It’s also racist, homophobic, anti-Jewish, and, in the words of this article, “no...decent person...could react with anything other than revulsion” at some of the material passed off as “satire” in its pages.
For instance, and I’m deliberately choosing something which is not gratuitously offensive to any religion, here’s Charlie Hebdo on the schoolgirls Boko Haram kidnapped in Nigeria. Remember those kids, about whom such an outcry was made a few months ago before mysteriously sinking without a trace once the Nigerian government turned down foreign troops? According to Charlie Hebdo, those poor schoolgirls turned sex slaves are, wait for it, welfare queens.
[There are more Hebdo "cartoons" on that site for your consideration, and I strongly recommend that you check out the commentary, which I endorse completely and unreservedly.]
This isn’t an expression of free speech. To borrow an inelegant American word, it’s douchebaggery.
Nor is this, by any means, the first time Charlie Hebdo was targeted, either. In 2011, after another cartoon targeting Muhammad, its office was fire-bombed, though nobody was, fortunately, killed or wounded at the time.
Whoever attacked Charlie Hebdo knew what they were doing, incidentally. They picked a Wednesday, the day of the week when the staff actually turned up at the office for a meeting, and they knew whom they wanted, apparently, since they asked for them by name. Their intelligence was very good, as was their armaments, and their training.
I’ll get back to that armaments and training in a moment.
Now, I’ll take a minute to make a point: it is utterly unacceptable, completely wrong, to kill anyone, or hurt them, or imprison them, for expressing an opinion or point of view. It does not matter what that opinion or point of view is; as long as nobody is harmed by said expression of opinion, everyone has the right to say what they want. And they also have the responsibility for the fallout of that expression of opinion.
If Mr X makes a racist, crude, vulgar remark in public, and Ms Y criticises him and calls him a vulgar, crass, racist pig, there’s nothing X can do about it. If X makes libellous accusations against Y, he can’t hide behind “freedom of speech” when she drags him to court. And if he urges someone else, say Z, to take a gun and shoot Y, she will entirely be in her rights to get him done for incitement to murder.
Let me emphasise again what I’ve said many times, and what I explicitly stated here, writing on the Danish Muhammad cartoons:
“...the newspaper had no intention of promoting a free discussion as it claimed. As I said, its only purpose was to offend as many Muslims as much as possible.
By any logical definition, an action designed to offend another person comes under hate speech. Freedom of speech is not absolute anywhere in the world; you can’t go into a crowded theatre, yell “fire” and then claim that you’re innocent of the resultant stampede because you were merely expressing your freedom of speech. Similarly, if you go to scream racial epithets at someone, and that person reacts with anger, you can’t get away from the responsibility for knowingly and deliberately provoking that anger. That’s why hate speech laws exist.”
But of course the whole Charlie Hebdo “freedom of speech” thing had nothing at all to do with freedom of speech. It was, as the blog the Vineyard of the Saker says,
“...when Charlie Hebdo published their caricatures of the Prophet and when they ridiculed him the a deliberately rude and provocative manner, they knew what they were doing: they were very deliberately deeply offending 1.6 billion Muslims world wide... I am disgusted beyond words with the obscene display of doubleplusgoodthinking "solidarity" for a group of "caviar-lefties" who made their money spitting in the souls of billions of people and then dared them to do something about it.”
Isn’t that the very basis of Western Islamomisia? Aren’t people like Jyllands-Posten (of the Danish Muhammad cartoons) and Charlie Hebdo basically telling the Muslims of the world, “This is what we’re doing, we’re spitting in your face, and you can do nothing about it, any more than you can do about our drones blowing away your kids and wedding parties. And up yours too”? They are.
If Charlie Hebdo et al had been bloviating in a vacuum, things might have been different. But the situation is far from a vacuum. In the last twenty years, the West has bombed, invaded, occupied and destroyed numerous Muslim nations, every single time on false pretences. The cages of Guantanamo have been crammed with Muslim prisoners who were never charged with any crime and tortured in a fashion which in a just world would end with the torturers in a war crimes dock. Muslims are routinely discriminated against in every way, their rights as human beings trampled on, and racist rhetoric against them not just tolerated but encouraged by media networks, not to speak of antitheist fascists like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. Also, France is one of the most racist nations in the world, to the point that brown-skinned people on forced airport layovers aren’t even provided the free hotel accommodation that their privileged white co-passengers receive. It isn’t surprising under these circumstances that a backlash occurred. If anything, it’s surprising that it took so long.
I am, as anyone who’s been reading me for a while knows, a somewhat opinionated person. And I don’t usually keep my opinions secret. This not keeping my opinions secret has got me many, many death threats over the years – I’d estimate a hundred or so at the very least, and that’s not counting the threats of mere physical violence. That basically means that if anyone should be on Charlie Hebdo’s side in this imbroglio, I ought to be. But I am not. I refuse in any manner or fashion to share the online stage with this virulent, racist, sexist, homophobic, hypocritical specimen of gutter “journalism”.
Hypocritical, did I say? Why, yes. This same Charlie Hebdo, which insinuates that it is a martyr in the battle for free speech, tried to get the National Front party in France banned a while back. The National Front is another set of racist right wing fascists – but it, too, is non-violent, and its views ought to be as protected as Charlie Hebdo’s own. But that idea didn’t go down well with the magazine, apparently.
No, I am definitely not Charlie Hebdo. Unlike the people who unthinkingly hashtag themselves #jesuischarlie or whatever, because they are, like it or not, identifying themselves with the racist bullying of this piece of gutter journalism posing as a satirical magazine.
One can definitely be against both sides in a dispute, you see. Just because one side is wrong doesn’t make the other right by default, whatever Hollywood and the crude Western thinking process want to pretend.
Now just suppose, in my personal example, that one of the charming people who have so eloquently threatened to murder me with everything from a drone to a baseball bat actually carried out their intentions. Would that mean, just because they killed me, that my ideas were automatically vindicated? Of course not. Ideas stand on their own merit, independent of who holds them.
Let this clearly be understood: though Charlie Hebdo was attacked, and its staff murdered, that doesn’t mean that its ideas are post-facto rehabilitated. It remains a racist, repugnant rag, and the cartoonists and editorial staff killed are still people whose opinions have no place in civilised society.
I find it rich, too, that the people who suddenly discovered the virtues of free speech are the same people who bombed a Serbian TV station in 1999, who repeatedly and deliberately targeted Al Jazeera journalists during the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and who consider Wikileaks “terrorism”. These are the same people who criminalise “glorification of terrorism”, whatever that might mean.
Some free speech, apparently, is freer than others.
Now let’s look at the other lot. Let’s assume Charlie Hebdo – whose humongous circulation, as I said, is an astonishing sixty thousand – was known to all the 1600 million Muslims in the world, and angered all of them equally, and all of them wanted to kill the cartoonists and editorial staff. Even if that was so, those 1600 million Muslims didn’t lift a finger to attack anyone on the magazine. It was a team of three, even according to the authorities, who attacked the magazine office. And they had automatic weapons and military training and a measure of discipline.
Now where do ordinary people get their hands on automatic weapons, if not military training and discipline?
Answer: they don’t.
But if they’re prospective Islamic terrorists, they jolly well do. France (like its NATO ally Britain and lord and master USA) has been, as anyone who has been following recent history can’t but be aware, up to its nose in promoting Islamic terrorism. In 2011, it openly armed, financed and trained Islamic terrorists against the government of Libya. Its planes acted as Al Qaeda’s air force, destroying the army of the (strongly anti-Islamic terrorism) Colonel Gaddafi.
|French planes bombing Benghazi [Source]|
Even as the victorious Islamist militias then turned on each other, France et al were rushing to arm and train and finance Islamic jihadist terrorists in Syria. If France had had its way – it was even more eager than the US – Syria would have been bombed into ruins in 2013, and the Islamic jihadist gangs would have been massacring people there with impunity, just as black Libyans were massacred in 2011 after the “revolution” “triumphed”. At this very moment, even as you read this, France et al are still helping arm, train and finance Obama’s
cannibal headhunters vetted moderate Syrian rebels in camps in
Jordan, and making absolutely no secret of the fact.
And let’s not even go into French, as well as other Western, support for Nazis in Ukraine.
If there is anything we ought to have learnt since the CIA-assisted anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, it’s that cosseting jihadists always leads to blowback. Nor do jihadists keep their Western-provided arms and training to themselves. Even according to the French claims, one of the two “Islamist” brothers claimed to have been trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen, while the other had gone to Syria to take part in the French-sponsored war against the secular Assad government there.
Meanwhile, the most unsavoury, not to say criminal, elements in the West are eager to take advantage of this attack in every way possible – including demands to destroy
“The perpetrators. Their enablers. Their ideologues. Their fellow travelers (sic)” [Source]
Any intelligent person ought to be able to comprehend that these terms are (deliberately) so vague as to be stretched to justify attacking anyone and anything. And people who never heard of Charlie Hebdo until three days ago are eager to shed blood, exactly as the warmongers on both sides desire.
I’ll end this with an observation. On the very day when alleged Yemen-trained Islamic jihadists murdered the staff of Charlie Hebdo, a jihadist bomb killed over forty people in Yemen. Did you come across that bit of information in the media?
No, I didn’t think so.