Sunday, January 11, 2015

Is a free speech rally for Snowden, Assange, Manning, Vanunu next?

The Wild Bunch
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

I have been thinking more about the terrorist attack in Paris. I read that the arch Zionist and Democratic Party apologist Bill Maher and a few others were discussing the nature of Islam on Maher’s show on Friday.  They all seemed to agree that Islam is a religion with “bad ideas.”  The author Sam Harris described it as the “Mother Lode of bad ideas” on a previous show and Maher concurred, “That’s just a fact.” he replied.  Maher said Friday that the killers were “avenging the prophet.” and that too is “A bad idea. Martyrdom, a bad idea.”  

I unconditionally condemn the attacks on Charlie Hedbo’s office as others have on this blog. Though many of the cartoons I saw are clearly racist and misogynistic, and in these cartoons and most caricatures of Muslims, they are always portrayed as dark skinned Semitic people when they actually come from all backgrounds and ethnic groups. Albanians are Muslims, they are not Semitic people. There are Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims, Indonesians etc. Still I do not believe we can tell people what they can or cannot write. 

Mind you, it seems the Christian religion has some “bad ideas” of its own like gays being an abomination, abortion murder and the cause of much of the world’s problems.  One only has to read the first five books of the Bible to understand how bizarre the ideas in the Jewish Bible are when compared to modern society and today.  The Ultra-Orthadox Jews pray to god thanking him for not creating them as women.  Zionists drive the indigenous people from Palestine because they claim god gives them authority to do so. Then there’s Revelations---oh my!

On the show Friday, Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlitt Packard added her two cents pointing out that, “The subjugation of women — a bad idea,”. Well, thank you Carly. Glad to see you are against the subjugation of women except when they work for you or one of your subcontractors in Asia. As for women, just about all of the religions have bad ideas in that department. What relieves women of some of these pressures in the advanced capitalist economies has to do with politics, not the religion itself or its hierarchy. It is women’s political struggles against religion that have brought them more rights.

Salman Rushdie went on to say that, “A lot of governments — from the Sunni side, the Saudi government; on the Shia side, the Iranian government — have been putting fortunes of money into making sure that extremist mullahs are preaching in mosques around the world..”. What Salman-----so precise when it comes to fiction---omits is that the CIA, the Pentagon, and the entire US state apparatus also funded the religious schools in Pakistan and worked closely with the Pakistani intelligence, the ISI.  Most of the so-called terrorists today are former friends of US intelligence. One must not forget that up until 1999, every Taliban official was on the payroll of the US government, women’s rights be damned..

The issue of free speech is being thrust to the forefront in the aftermath of the Paris events and there were up to one million people in today’s rally (Sunday Jan 11th). Among them were more than 60 world leaders, a gathering of some of the most ruthless torturers and on earth.  The Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu was there apparently.  Netanyahu is a racist and a terrorist and the Zionists will welcome these killings and the subsequent attacks on a Kosher supermarket. Zionism thrives on anti-Semitism and its propaganda machine ensures that any and every criticism of the Zionist state is anti-Semitic in its origin to uphold the view that anti-Semitism can never be eradicated.  What would benefit French Jews most and make them less likely to face attacks from right wing Muslim religious fanatics is to avoid any association with racist murderers like Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman who was also present today I understand.  He is a vicious supporter of ethnic cleansing.

But even more staggering is that these people are claiming solidarity in the name of free speech. David Cameron, the British prime minister was in Paris taking a break from savaging the living standards of British workers and the poor.  Hollande, Netanyahu, Abbas, Erdogan and others, all champions of free speech. 

In Cameron’s London, Julian Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy.  Assange was a bad boy and released some video footage to the world that embarrassed the US government, an attack helicopter firing on Iraqi civilians, including children and journalists. The pilots had a good laugh about it.  The US government, such a champion of free speech now it seems, refused to release the video and numerous US politicians called for Assange’s assasination.  Chelsea Manning, the transgender US soldier that leaked the video is serving 35 years after being tortured for months and the head of the organization that published it is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Edward Snowden, a hero by any standards also revealed to the American people and the world the massive spying campaign the US government has been waging on US citizens and even heads of state of Allies like Germany.  Snowden is in exile in Russia for his heroism.  The crowd that are at the heads of the march in Paris today are dripping with hypocrisy.

Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who spoke to the press about Israel’s nuclear arsenal that the Zionist state refuses to confirm or deny served 18 years in prison, 11 in solitary confinement for exercising his right to freedom of speech and has been constantly harassed since his release. He is not allowed to leave Israel.  Do we think that the hoops Iran, another Muslim country has to go through with regard to nuclear energy all at the behest of the US, Israel, and the major powers at the UN,  does not cause some resentment when Israel, supported by the US is given the right to refuse to even discuss the matter of its nuclear arsenal?

The other aspect of this that most Americans in particular will have not a thought about given the highly censored US media, is the ongoing wars against Muslims throughout the world.  The US has spent $50 billion bombing Libya the past two years.  France and most of the countries these heads of state are from are involved in wars and bombings of Muslim countries, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Chad, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen etc. Then there’s the slaughter of 500,000 mostly women and children in Iraq due to the US/UN imposed sanctions, this was prior to the most recent invasion of that country. Madeleine Albright, the former US Secretary of State stated publicly that those deaths were “worth it”.

These governments have also supported the most ruthless dictators in Muslim countries in return for a share of the loot. People like Hosni Mubarak who Hilary Clinton described a like a “friend of the family”. The rise of fanatical Islamic terrorist groups has its origins in Western foreign policy. It has a colonial legacy and the hypocrites leading the rally in Paris have no credibility

It was announced recently that 145 Palestinian families lost at least three members during the recent Israeli invasion of the Gaza outdoor concentration camp. The US government is the staunchest backer and supplier of WMD’s to this regime. The violent legacy of the French in North Africa and particularly Algeria is also a backdrop to these events; two of the attackers were of Algerian descent. As Robert Fisk commented after the attacks, “The six-year Algerian war for independence, in which perhaps a million and a half Arab Muslims and many thousands of French men and women died, remains an unending and unresolved agony for both peoples“ adding, “Maybe all newspaper and television reports should carry a “history corner”, a little reminder that nothing – absolutely zilch – happens without a past.”

All of these things come in to play when such tragedies occur. History doesn’t exonerate people who commit such brutal murders.  Whether or not Charie Hebdo is a representative of political satire attacking the powerful or a racist and misogynistic rag satirizing the meek and oppressed doesn’t matter, the attack by right wing religious fanatics has to be condemned; it weakens workers and strengthens the state apparatus. It gives racists and mass murderers like Netanyahu and the heads of the major imperialist powers responsible for the deaths of millions an opportunity to improve their image.

Freedom of expression has to be defended.  But the hypocrisy of those at the head of the rally has to be pointed out. It is indeed a sickening sight.

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