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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hypocrisy is hip

Amazingly, it was left up to Glenn Greenwald to point out the utter hypocrisy of France for arresting a comic named Dieudonné over some allegedly anti-Semitic Facebook comments a short time after that huge "free speech" rally.
The apparently criminal viewpoint he posted on Facebook declared: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” Investigators concluded that this was intended to mock the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan and express support for the perpetrator of the Paris supermarket killings (whose last name was “Coulibaly”). Expressing that opinion is evidently a crime in the Republic of Liberté, which prides itself on a line of 20th Century intellectuals – from Sartre and Genet to Foucault and Derrida – whose hallmark was leaving no orthodoxy or convention unmolested, no matter how sacred.

Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”

As pernicious as this arrest and related “crackdown” on some speech obviously is, it provides a critical value: namely, it underscores the utter scam that was this week’s celebration of free speech in the west. The day before the Charlie Hebdo attack, I coincidentally documented the multiple cases in the west – including in the U.S. – where Muslims have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for their political speech.
That's because Jews are real people and Muslims are monkeys.

Salon points out that the Occupy movement also had its right to free speech curtailed.
A 2012 report into law enforcement responses to Occupy Wall Street documented violent late-night evictions, illegal arrests and arbitrary detentions. Police across the country used pepper spray to disperse peaceful protesters and beat them with clubs and barricades. The report also cited 85 arrests of journalists in 12 cities reporting on the protests, among other obstructions of the press, another one of those First Amendment clauses. New York City just settled lawsuits with three protesters for $142,500 over police misconduct.

At no time did the army of free speech warriors on the right speak up against this state-sponsored repression of peaceful assembly and protest. They did suggest that the protesters should leave the country if they opposed the economic system, and they did whip up fear by equating outlier criminal conduct with the entire movement. Traditional media and government, particularly on the right, worked hand-in-hand to discredit the protests and ensure no backlash when they were inevitably and brutally repressed.
In Common Dreams, writer Ajamu Baraka argues that Je suis Charlie is French for "White power."
The valuation of white life over everyone else is a fundamental component of white supremacy and not limited to those people that might be defined as white. That is why no one cares about the families that weep for their love ones in Nigeria and no one marches for them. That is why anti-Muslim and anti-Arab violence has exploded across France but the only mention in the Western press is the supposed fear in the Jewish community. And that is why that after the attack in Baga, Nigerian authorities were largely silent until Nigerian President Goodluck finally issued a statement on terrorism where he forcefully condemned the attack in Paris!
That last point is quite correct: Goodluck was much more concerned about the Paris attack than about the far worse events in his own country. Talk about the internalization of racism!
I have commented before in this blog that if Isis victims were from a different ethnic and religious group, the world would have seen a collision surpasses what happened during ww2 to destroy them
Dieudonné's arrest was supposedly for 'apology for terrorism', not for anti-Semitism.

I thought it would be interestin, what he said in response to recent events, if he was allowed to say anything. He got about 10 words out before they arrested him.
Agreed with your last point. I remember watching a British politician say there should be more security here in Britain, and more measures to prevent terrorism, and everyone should report to the headmaster if they saw anything suspicious, and MI5 should get everything they wanted, blah blah blah, all said in the most grave tone, because otherwise there might be a terror attack here, just as there was in the US on '911'. He'd completely forgotten that nearly 60 people had been murdered in terror attacks on a single day in London, less than 2 years before. Actual real people being blown to bits in his 'own' country clearly meant absolutely nothing to this fucker.
Robert Fisk makes an excellent present/past Algerian connection here.

Reminded me of The Battle of Algiers movie...
In the past few days, egged on by the French 'socialist' government and the mass circulation 'satirical' magazine Charlie Hebdo, thugs have physically attacked dozens of mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in France. They have used gunfire, petrol bombs, thrown pigs' heads, and in some cases they have used hand grenades.

Meanwhile, the republican authorities have arrested 54 people. For carrying out these attacks? Nope. For posting statements online and on Twitter that oppose the official message and have been denounced as constituting 'apology for terrorism'. In what can only be called summary justice, some people have already been convicted.

As far as I am aware, no-one has been arrested for any of the attacks on mosques, even the assaults in which military weapons have been used.

Whatever the 'we're all God's children' declarations by French politicians, the fact is that the real message is encouraging of physical violence against Muslims, who in practice are being presented as not belonging in France. Only an idiot judges the words of politicians by their surface meaning.

By showing a cartoon of Mohammed with the words "All is forgiven", Charlie Hebdo, backed by the French government, is pushing the line that Islam as a religion condones last weeks terror attacks in Paris. In other words, if you stay Muslim, you're pro-terrorist. As I said, never mind the surface words. The aim is to whip up hatred against all Muslims or people who look like Muslims.

The most popular politician in France is the leader of the National Front, Marine Le Pen.

Want to hear about Kristallnacht, the night of pogroms in Germany? That was supposedly a response to an assassination attack carried out by a Jew (Herschel Grynszpan) in Paris. Synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses were attacked across Germany. Many Jews were killed or arrested. Many of the anti-Semitic thugs wore civilian clothing.

Fascists have been whipping up support by presenting themselves as angry about terror attacks for a very long time. Who we should really be angry at is the government, the business interests it serves, and the business interests that help out, such as the media.

Let's call what's happening in France what it is.

@Shadow9echo - Very interesting, how this relates to the 'Algeria' meme in France.

Some quick points. First, some of the anti-independence French right wing in the 1950s and 1960s were in love with the idea that what they were fighting was a crusade.

Second, the settlers and descendants of settlers in Algeria tended to call themselves 'Algerians' involved in a great confrontation with the 'Arabs'. And by no means all of the 'Algerians' were 'French'. Many were Spanish, Belgian, Jewish, etc. It was, in short, seen as a clash of civilisations, or, as the referent is also sometimes known, a race war.

Third, you can trace the big ideas in Algeria back further still, to the Spanish civil war - and the major effect that war had in the Arab world. (Robert Fisk is probably aware of that.)

Fourth, anti-independence versus pro-independence also goes to the relation between the Roman Catholic church and the French state...and of course to monarchism versus being a commonplace that the struggle hasn't been 'settled' in France. No serious person thinks the Fifth Republic (constitution written by another Charlie, the military general) will last forever. What will they replace it with?
On French Hypocracy.

Outro, Intro.

"Changing what needs to be changed, the union of Hollande and Le Pen reproduces that of Laval and Pétain. More than political opportunism is involved in this new alliance. The essential character of the French ruling class is re-emerging. In a period of deepening political crisis, it is recreating in new forms all the filthy practices in which it engaged when it stood side-by-side with Nazi Germany. The stench of Vichy hangs over the Elysée Palace."

Where else have I heard that echo?

This is disturbing. Coming to America or is it already here?

"If you are not Charlie, would you please speak up so that we can have you arrested and flung in jail, or re-educated?"

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