Evolving Thoughts Which Conclude with, 'I Am Not Charlie'

    The short quote which most nearly describes my opinion of the “Je suis Charlie.” knee-jerk fad-fest is a tweet I saw somewhere which I paraphrase as, "I am [insert the name of the murdered Muslim cop].  it is a statement in agreement with a saying attributed originally to Voltaire but which has been repeated ad nauseam through the years. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." I depart from the sentiment somewhat because I, personally, would not voluntarily die in defense of any abstract belief if I could possibly avoid it. And, I would not march with the  leaders who amassed in Paris to give lip service supposedly, but I believe for most of them hypocritically, defending  that concept. That said, I sincerely appreciate the freedom of speech I have to the extent that it exists.

    Is it fair to call those gathered leaders 'hypocrites'? Consider this list of tweets from Daniel Wickham. https://storify.com/tometty/staunch-defenders-of-free-press-attend-solid...

    Moon of Alabama has a revealing blog on the subject.   http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/01/paris-a-photo-op-for-the-hypocrits....  One claim it makes, that the NYT is lying, is not proven. My judgment is that rather than an outright lie there is only the common slant, distortion, and jingoistic point of view in evidence. Maybe the crowd, including the more than a million who couldn't have possibly seen those leaders at any given moment, did in fact burst into spontaneous applause for them. That doesn't really seem reasonable to me, but maybe it was so. Nevertheless, the article it does show the manipulation of the photo op presented by the many national leaders in attendance with the evidence of the various line-uo of the usual suspects as they were variously arranged.  

     MoA also brings up another interesting point with the suggestion that Netanyahoo was dis invited but showed up anyway out of purely political concerns.
     Marcey Wheeler expands on that point with reasonable speculation that Obama was also asked to stay away.  https://www.emptywheel.net/

    If Bibi Wasn’t Wanted, Maybe Obama Wasn’t Either?

    People don’t seem to get this, but the same reason (aside from security) why Bibi would be an unwelcome symbol would also make the US an unwelcome symbol. While Bibi is violently occupying Palestinian lands, the US is only just pulling out of Afghanistan, is reentering Iraq, and continues to drone strike in Sanaa. Moreover, Sharif Kouachi tried to travel to Iraq in 2005 in response to the war and, more specifically, Abu Ghraib. He and his brother did succeed in traveling to Yemen in 2011, and received some training, at a time when AQAP considered the US a key source of grievance. It wasn’t so much that these guys started radical and got worse after our multiple wars against Islamic countries; on the contrary, the US was, to a significant extent, the grievance.

    As pointed out by Peter in another comment chain, Greenwald has an interesting article which is, I would say, opinionated as usual but also makes a strong case. I find very little in it to quibble about. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/09/solidarity-charlie-hebdo-c...

    Also, within that article is another link in which a writer expresses well why 'I am not Charlie' and why I, when I am in my online preachy mode, would recommend that anyone who thinks they are 'Charlie' should reconsider.  http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2015/01/in-the-wake-of-charlie-hebdo-fr...
    I would add one more thing [so far]. I am quite impressed with the creative ingenuity of many of the cartoons I have seen relating to this issue, including some of those which disgust me. The pen is truly mighty in its power to direct the aim of the masses.


    The policeman's name was Ahmed Merabet.

    Thank you. Ahmed Merabet certainly deserves to be remembered and respected. His brother said in a news conference:

    “My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims,” he said. “Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother’s death is concerned it was a waste. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity.”

    Malek reminded France that the country faced a battle against extremism, not against its Muslim citizens. “I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and antisemites. One must not confuse extremists with Muslims. Mad people have neither colour or religion,” he said.

    “I want to make another point: don’t tar everybody with the same brush, don’t burn mosques – or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won’t bring our dead back and it won’t appease the families.”



    I am so unsophisticated at times.

    But there was a name, a name for this victim.

    Ahmed was attempting to do his job.

    Maybe it is not so relevant....

    But in this country there are Black and Hispanic and even Muslim police who are attempting to do their jobs; there are not just 'white' police officers out there.

    Ahmed was the name of a policeman, who was killed in an attempt to do his job.

    And we should not forget HIS NAME!

    And we should not forget their names.

    Well said.

    DD, I agree completely. If I had deliberately identified officer Ahmed Merabet as I did rather than honoring him as a man with a personal and a family name I would owe him, his family, and those who honor his sacrifice, an apology. As it is, I hope you will accept an explanation. I composed the blog in a word program and didn’t know the name and so just left a blank spot with a message to myself which I later overlooked.

    I'm eager to get my hands on an English language copy of the next issue, so I can decide for myself the value of the satire here.  In your last link, the author quotes one of the Hebdo editors as a racist asshole for saying that he doesn't care if Muslims are offended because he lives under French law, not Quranic law."  I don't see what's so wrong with that sentiment.

    As for Greenwald... I don't think he effectively refutes the argument that the target of this particular satire is the type of Muslim who would get worked up into a rage over something like a drawing of their prophet.  Those people do deserve to be mocked (and not just the ones who wind up in violent rages) because they are acting silly and they are demanding deference from non-believers that they don't deserve.

    Same reason we mock Republicans.

    I don't see what's so wrong with that sentiment.

     I don't either but I am quite sure what to make of your comment. Here is what I think was being said. Freedom of speech was being attacked and should be defended but in this case the speaker was speaking racist crap that should not be defended in the same breath.

     In summation he said that of the Hebdo cartoons:

    "Nobody should have been killed over those cartoons.

    Fuck those cartoons."

     In the Greenwald article I think his main point was what he considered to be hypocritical selective outrage which he demonstrated by posting cartoons which in a different context would create outrage amomg and almost certainly censorship.


    Art critic Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker does an excellent job of describing what kind of satire they did/do:Satire Lives. (It's in the current print edition too, Talk of Town section. After reading I said to myself "doh, arta you should be ashamed Gopnik had to point this out to you, you are furgetting all your art history, this was one of your areas of study.")

    It's particularly French and secular, It's "nothing is sacred" style, literally. All religions and leaders and potentates or shibboleths, comes out of the French Revolution mostly. But I would add that Moliere is an influence there, too. Most notably it doesn't shy from vulgarities.

    Those that are bitchin' that they wouldn't do the same to Jews or the pope don't know what they are talking about. They have and they do and the French have for centuries. This style of satire is designed to bring the mighty low, whoever the mighty may be. I.E. Off with their heads! You are no better than the people! The king farts like everyone else! priests are pigs and nuns are sluts just like the rest of us. Etc.

    What it got me thinking is that this Daumier style is not that far from Larry Flynt. Some called Daumier juvenile, I am sure. He sometimes used very adolescent themes.

    Edit to add: This French style is irony free, it's crass. They always left irony to their rivals across the channel.

    P.S. Do I need to add: this thread in their culture IS WHY THEY LIKE JERRY LEWIS! wink

    Great review,thanks for referencing it. "precociously modern" is an understatement.

    Hi Arta. This comment spurred a lot of thought last night that  left me somewhat confused. Hardly an uncommon state of mind for me. I could see, I think, how relevant what you said was to the discussion and why, but that said, it left me with a discordance in my thinking that I could not get a clear handle on and so I certainly could not enunciate. Then I saw the following and it got my simple mind at least a bit closer to tuning in on the discordance. 

    "This is in fact not the first time Europeans have been killed over offensive cartoons. In 2006 Gunther Grass remarked that the infamous Danish cartoons – which Charlie Hebdo republished – reminded him of anti-Semitic cartoons that appeared in the German magazine Der Sturmer, for which the publisher was tried at Nuremburg and executed.

    The key difference between the reception of the Der Sturmer and Danish cartoons, Mahmood Mamdani argues, is that the former are understood to be bigotry, while the latter are considered blasphemous." [My emphasis]


    I have not yet read the article by Mahmood Mamdanifrom which the quote was taken, maybe he says things which can get legitimately trashed, and if not maybe they will be anyway, but this quote at least makes sense to me and points to why one man's legitimate way of expression based on his geographically oriented egocentric situation and thus largely a result of his long developed culture, can be a vile insult to another from another place and seemingly from another time. Living in a small inter-related and radically aggressive world makes that a mortally complicating situation.

    Thanks for the comment and the links.

    So are you for the death penality for those who publish anti-semitic cartoons in the Mideast in this day and age?

    (MEMRI.org has a "watch" service that publishes examples all the time, and the Southern Poverty Law Center in the U.S. does similar things, so it would be quite easy to do this.)

    His argument avoids the fact that the Nazi was basically a soldier of the regime executing a government propaganda program meant to turn the citizens against Jews. That is a quite different situation than giving citizens freedom of hate speech.

    Me, I definitely want people to be able to ridicule a religion anytime and anywhere. Religion is not ethnicity, I am sorry, it's a choice, just like joining a political party. Especially a religion that is basically a sect, influenced by Wahhabi money all over the world, of a much larger religion that doesn't have the same rules or interpretations of their holy book.

    Your sympathy is obviously with making sure everyone is polite and tolerant of others. So is mine. But actually enforcing that is step up I won't take.

    And who is being more intolerant here? The executioners! And those screaming that everyone else must be sensitive to their "culture" which is really their religion and a choice.

    I think cultural change via cultural pressure, via embarassing and ridiculing, especially those who are not tolerant is good. It worked for gays within a matter of decades. Ridicule is a good tool for forcing cultural change. It's a power struggle, don't you see? Who gets respect is about power. In Pakistan, blasphemy laws allow poor Muslims to lord it over religious minorities just like white trash lorded it over blacks in the Jim Crow south. Distracting from the real culprits of the problems of both.

    I think doing it that way avoids "wars" metaphorical or real, rather than causing them.

    I was raised Catholic, was raised in a Catholic "culture," and I like being able to ridicule Bill Donohue.whose job is whining about Catholics and Catholicism being  insulted and slandered.

    Not only do I think ultra conservative Muslims have to be assimilated into the 20th century (that's correct: 20th, not 21st.), I think ultra conservative Catholics and evangelicals do, too. I'm a woman. I don't want to live with 19th-century global mores, much less 12th-century ones. If someone does, better stay in their own little ghetto and not try to force their ways on everyone else, including people.

    I suggest you read the excerpt from the Chris Rock interview that Maiello pointed out, about pressure to be polite and tolerant causing self-censorship. What kind of world do you want to live in? One where everyone always has to be careful of what they say? Good luck with that in the age of the internet. The founders idea still stands quite well: fight words with words (and toons with toons, and tv shows with tv shows and internet ridicule with internet ridicule). May the better words/toons/tv shows/blogs win. How do you think we got rid of so many Archie Bunkers? We didn't do it by executing them.

    You want to honor ultra-conservative Islam with respect? Go ahead. But don't demand I do so.

    No restraints, No holds barred, A free for all.... and may the strong survive?

    Seems to me the playing field even with free speech is always unbalanced. NCD praises the Libyan invasion of using the mechanics of the UN, but that machine is controlled by a select few, not so hard to ram through a certain kind of injustice. The German state weight against Jews was imposing, unbeatable. But if we look at the poverty of Muslims in France or blacks in the US, with less than 1/10th the wealth of whites, utilizing the machinery of "democracy" and "free speech" is often hopeless. Ask those American Muslims convicted of posting ideas the FBI didn't like, a sentiment turned into "terrorism". Similar to blacks who just want to walk down the street without a chokehold. The rules are biased at every step

    It is a good article, full of food for thought. 

    Anyone remotely familiar with you and your posts would surmise 'you are not Charlie'.

    Of course, "the extent to which it (freedom of speech)  still exists" will not be dependent on folks who 'appreciate it' but those who practice it, even in the face of threats.

    BTW, Charlie wasn't involved in writing the invitations for the parade, but if alive probably would have satirized the very people your collection of links criticize as free press hypocrites.

    Your directional aim in collecting obscure website links is remarkable, perhaps not surprising for a guy who goes to vineyard of the saker for 'facts'.

    So, are they hypocrites or not? And if they are, would you march arm in arm with them? And regarding 'Charley', do you think that he was producing non-racist cartoons and would you support the sentiment being expressed by them?


    So, are they hypocrites or not?

    As with most things in life, it's a question of degree. .Everyone ,including all the commentators above is hypocritical some of the time.

    And if they are, would you march arm in arm with them?

    Of course. If I were in Paris last week I'd have been in that crowd. As would  most of the commentators above , I'm glad to say.. When you demonstrate you are not demonstrating for something. You are demonstrating against the particular subject of the demonstration.

    And regarding 'Charley', do you think that he was producing non-racist cartoons and would you support the sentiment being expressed by them

    I haven't considered  the "sentiment being expressed by them". Not necessary. A horrendous murder took  place. Horrible in itself and even more so since its aim was to stifle , or at least reduce, free expression. What's not to like in a demonstration against that?  


    I say to you.....very well stated, very well indeed!

    Horrendous murders happen by the thousands every day for all kinds of bad reasons. Free speech is perverted and suppressed every day for all kinds of bad reasons. One wrong used as an excuse for the other wrong doesn't transform the first into something good or defensible.

    As my title said, my thoughts are evolving. Mike W. was right to see that my rant was more about world leaders and I should have thought to keep it more narrowly there along with the ideas of many pundits which I would include in my criticism and I should not have included the masses of reactive citizens.

    I think the sentiments of the racist cartoons should be considered and addressed and clearly recognized for what they are and the damage they contribute to. Maybe tomorrow would be a better day for that.  

    In the back of my mind was the expression " Sixty million Frenchmen can't be wrong". I'm happy to settle for the million or so in Paris over the weekend.. Whatever the exact number it was a very large one. Who  got out of a warm bed that day because -like Arthur Miller in  the last scene of Death of a Salesman- "attention must be paid."

    I note you've softened your position to exclude them. That seems right to me.

    And if you're thinking of  extending that to cover the pundits- or at least some of them: go for it!

    Maybe this was the one day that some of them were sincere.

    Even Obama now thinks the crowd should have been a million and one, to include him.

    Reminded me  of De Gaulle's funeral. .LBJ dispatched Humphrey to represent him/us.Every other country that mattered sent its chief executive and there were lots of interesting discussions on the side lines..

    Herblock's cartoon showed a disgruntled LBJ saying "The next time DeGaulle dies,I'm gonna go".

    I'm surprised that you didn't mention the biggest irony of the day. France is not exactly a bastion of free expression. The right to lampoon Mohammed is protected, but holocaust denial, hate speech, and hijabs in public institutions are banned. The cognitive dissonance is best personified by the anti-semitic comedian, Dieudonné, who expressed empathy for both the attackers and the victims of the Charlie attack. Dieudonné is vile, but it seems to me that he has just as much right to make his inverted Nazi salute and satirists have to caricature Mohammed.

    That said, I don't think the demonstration was exclusively about freedom of speech. It was also a  protest, perhaps primarily a protest, against fanaticism and terrorism.

    Or maybe, just maybe, most of those people filling the streets just needed to be together. Americans felt that once, too.

    Fair enough, I remember feeling very lonely and isolated in NYC after 9/11. Though I suppose this post is more about the world leaders than the average Parisians.

    Geez, you'd like it if the hypocrites stood their ground and came out of the closet against free speech? I found it heartwarming, sorry. What's the upside for them to do this, really? Isn't it more that they are expressing an admiration for an ideal that they themselves do not feel they can follow fully yet? Or you think all of those leaders to trying to get French votes or to anger conservative Muslims or what? Don't you like it when people of mixed beliefs and politics stand together for something for at least a day?

    This is one of my favorite commercials of all times,it was made in response to 9/11:

    I found that world leader shtick in Paris to be nearly as heartwarming. and I often practice the heights of cynicism. But I don't see much to be cynical about here. You would rather they be warring with each other, or even just yelling at each other? What's bad about Netanyahu stopping his threatening posture for once? What's wrong with other leaders who support censorship bowing at an altar of freedom for a day? One day is better than nothing. Showing their face to the world so that any later hypocrisy will just show much more clearly.

    Yeah Arta, every day is a new day. But I expect the leaders who were assholes yesterday to be assholes tomorrow. If they put down free speech over and over in their own countries in the past then I expect them to keep doing it in the future. I don’t care if they have a group hug and then all go down on each other, I wont crown them cool for a day. If they actually care about what happened for the reasons that we care, and if they actually hold freedom of speech and freedom from being shot dead as a high inalienable rights of man, then maybe they will return home and promote giant demonstrations for peace and freedom of speech in their own countries. Maybe. I guess we will see.

    Thanks for these comments and links. Bill Maher had his show cancelled for the relatively obvious observation that flying a kamikaze plane to death isn't exactly the prime definition of "cowardly".

    And he picked up on the cowardice or apathetic war-mongering of a superpower lobbing "smart" weapons from afar that seem to kill enough civilians to stir doubt in thinking men - but there are few thinking men these days in our marketing-infused foreign policy.

    (ironically Maher's picked up on lobbing over-generalized attacks on Islam, perhaps wanting to become the Christopher Hitchens heir apparent of this new gilded age)

    Iraq made the observation that the exceptional Paris death toll was less than the typical daily slaughter in Iraq - but we proclaimed our "surge" worked, and so there must be peace in Babylon.

    The fear of saying something racist or anti-semitic or any other societal piccadillos is a pretty horrifying Sword of Damocles hanging over every tongue in the "free world" - have a drink too many and your career is over, as John Galliano found out insulting some annoying women pestering him from the next table - oops, ran afoul of those French hate-crime laws and lost his gig at Dior (he pleaded the Judy Garland defense, addicted to prescription drugs within the studio machinery, and his actual fine was a pittance.

    But still, if I'm going to insult someone, how do I do it if not insulting their race, religion, nationality, genetic forebears, intelligence, physical attributes, and what-not? because most people aren't horrified by their own unique glaring stupidity, it's necessary to invoke analogies based on attributes that insult by association - but we're supposed to unilaterally disarm in the face of creeping (extremely selective) correctness? what do I do with my book of 1000 redneck jokes, burn it? or just let it mold in the basement/bottom drawer with my kiddie porn collection? life is so unfair.

    Joking aside, it's rather bizarre twist for the nation that insisted overthrowing the rather post-9/11 reformed Qaddafi government through some invoking of the rights to protest in Benghazi, and then sits twiddling thumbs at the bloody chaos that's consumed Libya since - and there's a shrieking silence about the 1 million Algerian Muslims that the French killed in trying to avoid losing their colony (that they insisted wasn't, was an integral part of France for 150 years). For some reason, forgetting the holocaust is a crime but forgetting your own historical massive bloody atrocities is de rigeur. (I first heard this analogy when French generals were proclaiming Israeli excesses in Fallujah as the worst humanitarian abuse in their lifetime - an absurd blind assertion from a country famed for philosophical intellects)

    Anyway, this can go on and on. Yes, I'm concerned that people will have too much fear to do normal things in life or say opinions as part of discussions that should illuminate issues. Someone tried to turn this into an issue of classist warfare, but everyone in the EU can still get their biting humor across (if they tiptoe around those holocaust laws which ain't that tough), while the US habit of entrapping Muslims at kebab joints and prosecuting online postings as promoting terror is a bit harder to skip around. Maybe Mr. Nobel Peace Prize Obama shouldn't have been invited to the Paris fete (whether Netanyahu's goading of the Islamic community and bloody attacks on civilians should have been rewarded with a front-line presence is another issue)

    Still, I got a heart-skip of joy when Hezbollah came out and forecefully asserted that gross violence in the name of Islam does more to insult the prophet than a few drawings - kind of like when the IRA and Qaddafi quickly took new reality-infused turns post-9/11. Hopefully aside from all the posturing among the doubtful hypocritical participants, there will be at least some real sea change among primary actors. Sadly, it won't be our own government, which is pushing its doubtful claim of North Korean responsibility for Sony hacks as a way to put more intrusive measures on the internet. Maybe as we did 250 years ago, we'll have to look to France for some philosophical inspiration, flawed as the French are.

    The idea of satire is to evoke a response. Occasionally, the satirist is going to be confronted by the free speech of those targeted by satire.  No rational person condones a violent response to satire, but the satirist should not expect everyone to get the joke. Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh have made careers out of targeting Liberals and feminists. Many find their comments offensive, but Coulter and Limbaugh can access the airwaves at will. They provide cover for really offensive people like the new number three in the GOP led House majority who has support from White Supremacists. We miss the true punch line of those like Coulter and Limbaugh in that we are softened up when the new number three comes along. We are conditioned not to be outraged.

    In the past. Many targeted groups had little ability to force "satirists" to face their targets. A black-faced singer could croon "Mammy" and not face significant criticism. In days past, a satirist like Rush could call a woman seeking birth control a "slut" and not face any pushback.Times and access to means of communication via social media have changed the playing field for satire. Target can fire back. I don't see that things will change in the future.

    Satirists will continue to push the envelope of good taste. On occasion, they will run into a brick wall.

    Regarding Paris, it took fourty years for a government official, the Mayor of Paris, to admit that up to 200 Algerians were massacred by Parisian police during a protest march in 1961. The slaughter was covered by by the police and the government.


    A million Algerians - Muslims - were slaughtered by the French during the war of independence. 200 in a particular incident is a footnote.

    Given that it happened directly on French soil and that many of the police involved helped round up Jews for the Gestapo, it is more than a footnote.


    In the US there is familial memory of ethnic murders of the past like Rosewood and Tulsa. I suspect there are similar memories in France. There are political parties in France today attempting to gain votes by pointing out the otherworldly nature of Muslims and Jews.

    The Algerian War obviously took place on French soil, and being around 1954-1962 - 10 years after WWII -  probably had enough Nazi sympathizers in their midst.

    Until recently, French leadership wanted the massacre of Algerians in the middle of the French Capitol to remain a footnote. The realization that it happened shocked French citizens. The Parisian murders are much more than a footnote. You disagree. Life goes on.


    As your article notes, the French weren't even aware this happened until 30 years later, and even now they don't know whether it was 70 or 200 killed right in the heart of Paris. Yeah, I'll leave it as "footnote".

    You are certainly free to leave it as a footnote. By the standard of French memory, the entire war in Algeria must be considered a footnote. The French educational system and media provide few insights on that war.


    Another thought provoking interview at FDL's The Dissenter titled ' Islamophobia and the Myth of the Liberal Anti-Racist '.

    Liberal reductionists and chauvinists will continue to use ahistorical rhetoric to justify the carnage the West is determined to rain down on the Heathens of the ME. Here in the Homeland anyone who publicly speaks about the true history of the ME and the reasons for Muslim rage or anywhere the US has wielded its counterrevolutionary Iron Fist will be and have been removed from their positions, so much for our freedom of expression.

    My thinking has evolved a bit more and I hope has become a bit clearer regarding this subject. I wish I had thought it through better and seen that while I can continue to stand with my first proclamation that, " I am Ahmed Merabet", [And I even screwed that up] I see that to later say that I am not Charley was a mistake. I think the following article from Vice News is worth a a quick read.      https://news.vice.com/article/je-suis-charlie-and-je-ne-suis-pas-charlie...



    Melissa Harris-Perry pointed out this problem on her shows this weekend. If you are bothered by the racism in the cartoons but stand for free speech and reject the violence, where do you stand? Something along the lines of "I Stand with Paris" might be better.

    "BlackLivesMatter" is more inclusive than "I Am Mike Brown". Truth be told as long as you know where you stand, other things will fall into place.

    Natasha at Lulu's vice.com says:

    herein lies the real danger of the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan: in response to a vile massacre, the options seemed to be to stand with Charlie — to be Charlie — or to risk looking like you stand with terror. It's a neo-conservative dream, a world divided between "us" and the "terrorists."

    ...while Natasha never recognized that the people and government of France were perfectly OK with "being with the terrorists" and against the neo-conservative 'dream' and policy of George W. Bush and his invasion of Iraq.

    Which shows that dividing the world into "us and the terrorists" may have worked in America, but it did not in France. Maybe Charlie had something to do with that.....That huge historical fact demolishes her central thesis, and shows she really has no understanding of why millions marched in Paris.

    she really has no understanding of why millions marched in Paris.

    Do you? I am not sure I do. There are probably as many reasons as there are people but like the one in Spain a few years back, it is an impressive display of power from the usually silent majority. Is it their way showing how many they are compared to how few the terrorists are? their way of saying no more.


    You would have to ask each one who was there, probably getting a million reasons.

    It certainly was not a 'with us or against us' instance of neo-con-like demagoguery.

    NCD, you bring up a good example how the generally liberal French  overwhelmingly  opposed the Iraq War that was pushed by Bush and the neo-cons. Their poorly crafted PR and lies were transparent not just to the French but also here in the Homeland.

    How do you explain the complete turnaround of the French public when 63% supported the war in Libya with the Greens and the Socialists  leading the charge? The only major group in France to oppose the war was the far-right Front National.

    Could it be that the marketing was different and more palatable to the Liberals in the run-up to the Libyan war with R2P the new battle cry for Liberal Interventionists. It seems so long as the reasoning for war has a moral sounding brand even though the same kind of lies were used to promote war the French are just as bloodthirsty or stupid as anyone else.

    Immediately after this phony show of support for free expression the Liberal French government has arrested over 50 citizens for speaking freely about their feelings about this tragedy. The Reactionary French also have sent another battleship to the ME to intimidate the Other.

    This just shows how easily good intentioned people can be manipulated to march in support of racist hate mongers when they believe they are supporting free expression and how the PTB will use their PR value to advance their degenerate agendas.


    The Libya intervention was totally unlike George W's Iraq War in ways relevant to all participants in the Libya action, they relate to (1) The location of Libya across the water from Europe (2) the situation on the ground at the time with mass suppression/executions/bloodbath of  'Arab spring' citizens viewed as imminent, and confirmed by comments of Qaddafi at the time  (3) the ease of the operation with the simple geography of Libya and small population, most live on the coast, the proximity to NATO nations.  Also:

    1. Action was approved by the UN Security Council. (not so Iraq)

    2. Action was backed by NATO. (not so Iraq)

    It was also optimistically assumed that once Qadaffi was removed the 8 million Libyans would come together and form a government on their own. There was never were proposals for 'boots on the ground' in any quantity from France or NATO.

    Iraq on the other hand was at peace when we invaded, there was no ongoing uprising or conflict.  It had about 24 million people and was under UN sanctions and supervision as to its weapons and had been for many years. The Iraq War was a war of aggression by any definition.

    There were millions of demonstrators all over the world who protested the Iraq War before it started (including in the US), I don't recall any for the Libya action.

    The PR campaign is easy because the ME alternatives all appear crazy by Western standards

    Hussein is bloodthirsty but the alternative is a group remember for munching on a dead man's heart and lungs

    Beheadings ae done as performance art.

    Boko Horam is slaughtering Muslims and kidnapping Christian girls.

    The best PR for the West is the actions of fighters in the ME and Africa

    It takes a concentrated effort to make Bibi look good.

    Yeah. Still, you know how it mystifies me how successful they are with recruiting, we talked about it before.on this news thread you did. In that regard, this story that I saw on MSNBC or CNN last night was quite interesting: Terror suspect's parents tell ISIS: 'Leave our children alone'

    there is a cross-link there to another interesting article, from Dec., on the same topic: Bolingbrook teens' parents 'stunned' by Islamic State recruitment claims

    rmrd, did you see this one? it's almost like they are wracking their brains trying to come up with new stuff, to go where no offense has gone before except in video game fantasies:

    Islamic State uses a child to execute alleged Russian spies

    January 13   In a new propaganda film released by the Islamic State, two alleged spies for the Russian Federal Security Service are executed by a child. This boy, who is an ethnic Kazakh, was previously featured in another Islamic State propaganda film.

    The only thing these groups are doing is making themselves appear less than human. Their brutality is supposed to create fear, instead it creates anger. If the kill Jews, Christians, Muslims, Black, Broown, White, Asian, and Latino, why should anyone outside of the group care about ISIS, ISIL, Al-Queda, Boko Horam, etc? 

    The Islamists do not represent Islam. It would not be surprising to learn that few of those who want to institute Siriah law, understand the Koran, the groups ca n at track to power mad and revenge seekers, Carry a weapon can boost your ego. Killing might make you feel superior. At the end of the day these groups create a vision of a society that no one outside of the groups themselves would want to live.

    Getting a child to kill is not something to promote as honorable.

    Muslims should simply ignore insults to their faith, the Quran says ~

    subheading of Mustafa Akyol's op-ed for the New York Times Jan. 14, 2015


    Just “do not sit with them” — that is the response the Quran suggests for mockery. Not violence. Not even censorship.

    So for Lulu, what that means is you don't have to be Charlie if you don't want to. wink But you shouldn't be looking for revenge on Charlie, either, you should tolerate him.

    I find this all fairly simple.  I'd like to see the Charleys of the world publish without fear of violence, but never insulated from criticism and scorn.

    I guess I've spent a lot of the week thinking it would be nice for French Jews to feel safe to wear kippot in Paris.  I don't wear one in NYC but I know I could wear one just about anywhere without fear of abuse -- or worse.   Makes me sad.

    Kind of just an appendage to the huge demonstration of Parisians last week, I guess.  But four French Jews, whose names I've not memorized, were killed while shopping on the eve of Shabbat last week, and not for what they wrote, but only because they were Jews.  May their memories be a blessing.

    P.S. Hypocrisy, respectfully, and $2.50, usually just get you on the subway Lulu.  it's part of our essence, the bad part of our essence, and it's universal (and yet it is still, as you have here and for genuine reasons you hold dear, important to point out).

    Edited to add --Nice work, both in your candid presentation and in your comments that follow.

    I appreciate you comment and agree that hypocrisy, as Flavius also pointed out, is part of every human's thoughts and expressions unless maybe they are very simple minded a dogmatic capable of living up to their beliefs. I can say with complete honesty that while I may be simple minded, I aint no saint. Witnesses available on request.

     I wish I had a better way with words. This guy does, it only took him a few.


    " I am marching but I am aware of the hypocrisy and confusion of the situation".

    All is not lost as far as multi-culti tolerance in France, bslev, look at this from the Informed Comment article I just posted below:

    At a kosher grocery store in Paris, where four people were killed, a quick-thinking Muslim employee, Lassana Bathily, a young immigrant from Mali, hid several Jewish shoppers in the basement before sneaking out to brief police on the hostage-taker upstairs. Initially confused by the police for the attacker, he was forced to the ground and handcuffed. Once the police realized their mistake, he provided them with the key they needed to open the supermarket’s metal blinds and mount their assault.

    Not to mention it was also a lesson for the French police about being careful about taking the profiling thing too far!

    They do have a serious profiling problem, there was a piece in the NYT today that got into that some. You take profiling too far, it's a vicious circle, people segregate themselves from the rest of society when they normally wouldn't.

    Somewhere in all of this, there are lessons I think for the whole I-P situation, I just can't firm up where they are yet.

    Monsieur Bathily was a true, selfless hero, and certainly an example to all.  I did not mean to downplay the lives he undoubtedly saved.  I do like to think that most people are like Monsieur Bathily, if not quite as courageous.  Thank you for pointing him out AA.

    This may be helpful, or cause more confusion, but it is certainly applicable if you're for more civilization and not less civilization:

    Civilization’s Advance has depended on “Blasphemy” of Thinkers & Mystics

    By Farhang Jahanpour @ Juan Cole's Informed Comment, Jan. 15

    ...one of the staffers killed at Charlie Hebdo premises was a Muslim copy-editor who was highly respected for the breadth of his learning....

    It was not an act of piety, but of rage by a group of semi-literate militants and petty criminals, with very little knowledge of Islam, who had visited a number of trouble spots in the Middle East, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and who had been radicalized due to what they saw as Western attacks on their fellow Muslims...

    Satire exposes the stupidity of the fundamentalists in all religions. Fundamentalists are people who take everything too seriously, and who lack a sense of humor. The satirists expose those who are incapable of laughing at themselves and at their weird beliefs.

    Sometimes, it is necessary to break the silence and give offense. As the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said: “When the truth is replaced by silence, the silence itself is a lie.” And as Martin Luther King said: “Nothing in the entire world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

    If we wish to get rid of ignorance and stupidity, we must have the courage to speak out even at the risk of offending others.


    It's like I said before, it really coalesced into this question: what kind of world do you want to live in? One that rewards ignorance combined with anger and violent blackmail with respect? Or a world where when something like this happens: world leaders come together for a moment to agree that this act symbolizes a step too far? Whoever thinks civilization is defined by polite words and manners doesn't get what civilization is, mho. Tolerance is quite a different thing, and kindness and empathy quite a different thing again.

    Murdering is never be appreciated anywhere. And killing someone only because of his name shows a very dirty picture of the society. Just because some peoples commit evil deeds doesn't mean that whole community is evolved in that deed. He is a responsible citizen of the country but killed just because his name is Ahmed.

    Michael Wolraich: the above is a spammer, the link is to an online gambling site.

    It's actually kind of interesting as a specimen, I was just yesterday reading (|Mashable via Linked In, I think?) how marketers have to support good journalism because good content is how you get the valuable eyeballs, content is king, yadda yadda. He we have the union of spam and content!

    Is this the way it works?  > Create a content comment on a news topic, put your link in, then search the web via keyword for discussion threads where the comment is relevant, and: paste; rinse and repeat?

    Oops, edited out to mov to the right place.


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