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Thread: France in Mourning

  1. #1

    Default France in Mourning

    I am thinking today about the executions at Charlie Hebdo and a French country in shock and mourning. This was an attack on innocent people, the global community and freedom of speech. Whether we are liberal or conservative, republican or democrat, we can all understand the need for satire and political commentary in these times, regardless of whether or not we agree with the perspective. Which makes these blatant murders more than terrifying, more than enraging, and more than shocking... especially in a time when there is little left in this world that shocks us anymore.

  2. #2

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    The Arab-American News today had a great piece condemning the attacks. The best bit:



    Quote Originally Posted by The Arab American News
    If the attack was a response to publishing the offensive cartoons, as most media outlets are claiming, then it is a crime against all Muslims, especially in the West and the Prophet Mohamad himself, who preached tolerance and urged his followers to refrain from the revenge mentality.

    We do not condone insulting religious symbols, whether comically or in a serious manner. But speech should be addressed only with speech. The Paris attack does not earn Muslim respect; it rather perpetuates stereotypes and misconceptions about the religion and its followers and prophet. If the crime was carried out by extremists who proclaim themselves as Muslim, it will only harm the image of Muslims and their religion, which fundamentally rejects murder.
    I think that hits the mark right on. You're absolutely right. We always need free speech, free political commentary, and free satire. From Jonathan Swift's "A Modern Proposal" to some crass political cartoons to the bloviating bubbleheads on your favorite cable news station to South Park, without it we've already lost.

    I hope others are able and willing to carry on in their stead, to publish their own Kirby Delauter response to this terrible terrible tragedy.
    Last edited by GoldDragonAurkarm; 08-Jan-2015 at 16:52. Reason: Added link for Kirby Delauter reference

  3. #3

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    Whilst it's only right to mourn the loss of those who died at Charlie Hebdo, this brutal killing spree should not mean that the laughter ends. What these extremists wanted was to create a fear of free speech, and to make people too afraid to analyse and satirise. Whilst a sombre mood is usually appropriate for a shooting of this nature, I think that the way to defeat the goal of these extremists is for people to keep making jokes, keep pushing boundaries and not shy away from having their say on contentious issues like religion, politics and sexuality. Charlie Hebdo has, and will continue to stand for free speech and creativity. Neither fear nor respectful mourning should stop the laughter from returning to its pages, or to the streets of Paris.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirNapsALot View Post
    I think that the way to defeat the goal of these extremists is for people to keep making jokes, keep pushing boundaries and not shy away from having their say on contentious issues like religion, politics and sexuality. Charlie Hebdo has, and will continue to stand for free speech and creativity. Neither fear nor respectful mourning should stop the laughter from returning to its pages, or to the streets of Paris.
    Those people have a goal? They can't honestly believe this themselves. Or... well probably something irrational like wishing for the planet earth only being inhabited by their kind. But this wouldn't really work, since they would've killed eachother a long time a go already... well something like that.

    Satires will continue to be created. Free speech will never end due to this. But keep in mind that Stephane Charbonnier, one of those 12 that died, already had a personal bodyguard. An officer from the Interior Ministry’s special unit for threatened personalities - this says enough about this. It's frightening for individuals.

    I don't know the answer, but there is clearly a need to be done something about this. It's welcoming to see people standing up for this and protesting in the streets, but it can all too easily turn into racism at some point and that would be really bad.


    edit:
    I guess this fits about that the freedom of speech cannot be killed. ;)
    http://i1.cdnds.net/15/02/618x379/james-walmesley-je-suis-charlie.jpg
    Last edited by daLira; 08-Jan-2015 at 22:08. Reason: spelling mistake

  5. #5

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    Charlie Hebdo: This Attack Was Nothing To Do With Free Speech — It Was About War

    Another point of view, another angle on this whole thing I think absolutely has merit. I'll leave it here for awhile before I comment on it further.

  6. #6

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    The things that article suggest are happening and are going to happen seem a bit outlandish. It's the slippery slope argument, but with the very weak start of "racism." Yes, there is racism against Muslims because of the few extremists in the world. Yes, people get frustrated when their words have no effect. However, to claim that the coordinated attack against Charlie Hebdo that resulted in the execution of 12 employees was not terrorism, but more akin to frustration, is simply untenable.

    Look at the race riots following the shooting of Michael Brown and the death of Eric Garner. That is frustration turning to violence (though even that can easily be argued as over the top, and it is my belief that those starting the violence were few in number with questionable motives). Planning and carrying out an attack with the intent to murder the entire staff of a business goes above and beyond frustration. It's terrorism and murder, plain and simple.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadDoctor View Post
    The things that article suggest are happening and are going to happen seem a bit outlandish. It's the slippery slope argument, but with the very weak start of "racism." Yes, there is racism against Muslims because of the few extremists in the world. Yes, people get frustrated when their words have no effect. However, to claim that the coordinated attack against Charlie Hebdo that resulted in the execution of 12 employees was not terrorism, but more akin to frustration, is simply untenable.

    Look at the race riots following the shooting of Michael Brown and the death of Eric Garner. That is frustration turning to violence (though even that can easily be argued as over the top, and it is my belief that those starting the violence were few in number with questionable motives). Planning and carrying out an attack with the intent to murder the entire staff of a business goes above and beyond frustration. It's terrorism and murder, plain and simple.
    We know there are organized Middle Eastern terrorist groups. You're comparing apples and oranges by comparing Ferguson to the Middle East. Ferguson was caused by a flashpoint. The 1967 Detroit riots were caused by a flashpoint (the raid on that bar). That's one way frustration turns to violence, but it is not necessarily the only way. The formation of terrorist groups in the Middle East-that's a response to frustration.

    We've made it a policy of choosing sides in the Middle East, and by doing so, we've made it a policy to officially dislike the Arab world. We've been doing that for decades now. We've meddled into their politics, kept them economically isolated, and waged wars and covert operations there. We then decided that wasn't enough so we decided to bomb the fuck out of them and occupy them, them bomb the fuck out of them some more. So yeah, some terrorist organizations have formed. The Middle East isn't the only place terrorist organizations have formed. If the Michigan Militia were operating in some other country instead of the one with the most powerful military in the world and/or if they hated someone besides most of America, they might have become something more than a small outfit that only ever blew up one federal building. If they had been constantly bombed and occupied and warred against in reality, instead of just in their imaginations, perhaps they would have become something more than just the nutjobs that spawned the Oklahoma City bombers.

    How many peaceful kind fathers lost their children when we bombed the fuck out of their city and decided to pick up arms? How many people lost their jobs or their shops or their means to survive and decided to pick up arms?

    So no, I don't think anyone's suggesting that the attack was anything but terrorism. What I'm suggesting (the commentary I posted is just one that supports my pre-existing view on the matter) is that the U.S. and allies are actively making the situation worse.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    We know there are organized Middle Eastern terrorist groups. You're comparing apples and oranges by comparing Ferguson to the Middle East. Ferguson was caused by a flashpoint. The 1967 Detroit riots were caused by a flashpoint (the raid on that bar). That's one way frustration turns to violence, but it is not necessarily the only way. The formation of terrorist groups in the Middle East-that's a response to frustration.
    I think you're giving the terrorist organizations way too much credit if you think that what they're doing is just an outlet for frustration. They kill literally anyone that disagrees with them and they're religious zealots. They are deranged cults that brutally murder men, women, and children for the sake of their nonsensical cause. Look at ISIS right now; that's not frustration, that's genocide.

    Also, I think Ferguson is comparable to the Middle East if you're saying that frustration is the root cause of the violence there, as it was in Ferguson. What I'm trying to point out is the difference in scale. Charlie got firebombed awhile back because of what they were doing. That could easily be called a frustrated response. When you cross into murder, you can no longer call it frustration. When you answer words and pictures with bullets and death, you are deranged, and nothing you do is remotely justifiable. When someone commits murder, I don't feel bad for them. I don't care what was done to them in the past; murder is always inexcusable.

  9. #9

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    In radical Islam's perverted world-view, free speech and freedom of thought is seen as evil and dangerous. Their world-view is of closed minds with no will or action of their own, except for total submission to God.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadDoctor View Post
    I think you're giving the terrorist organizations way too much credit if you think that what they're doing is just an outlet for frustration. They kill literally anyone that disagrees with them and they're religious zealots. They are deranged cults that brutally murder men, women, and children for the sake of their nonsensical cause. Look at ISIS right now; that's not frustration, that's genocide.

    Also, I think Ferguson is comparable to the Middle East if you're saying that frustration is the root cause of the violence there, as it was in Ferguson. What I'm trying to point out is the difference in scale. Charlie got firebombed awhile back because of what they were doing. That could easily be called a frustrated response. When you cross into murder, you can no longer call it frustration. When you answer words and pictures with bullets and death, you are deranged, and nothing you do is remotely justifiable. When someone commits murder, I don't feel bad for them. I don't care what was done to them in the past; murder is always inexcusable.
    The implication here is that I'm condoning murder. I do not approve of this. I do not condone murder or terrorism.

    You seem to be missing the point I'm trying to make, which is that the West largely created the terrorist problem and is making it worse daily. To simply hand-wave and dismiss Middle Eastern terrorists as deranged religious zealots is weak. It ignores the underlying issues and is a completely uncritical position. Of course they're religious zealots. That's obvious. Of course they're deranged. That's obvious. There are a lot of American militia members that are religious zealots. There have been a lot of terrorist acts done in Americans by American religious zealots.

    The question is why? What makes them take religious zealotry to the next level? The vast majority of religious zealots will never come close to committing a terrorist act, even if we loosen the definition of terrorism to include even the annoying (e.g. street preaching). So what is the secret ingredient that makes the special sauce so special? I assert policies of the United States going back for decades are a significant causal factor in the formation of these terrorist organizations, and I assert that our actions over the past 14 years have grossly exacerbated the problem. Something that started as frustration toward U.S. policy spawned terrorist organizations. American militia organizations, anti-abortion organizations, and the like are terrorist organizations spawned from frustration with policy, as well.

    So handwaving and dismissing them as deranged religious zealots is pointless and will bring more harm than good.

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