Charlie Hebdo: ‘… and not give in to fear’

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 8th, 2015 - 596 comments
Categories: cartoons, crime, democracy under attack, International, news, us politics - Tags: , ,

It is a shocking story to wake up to. A murderous act in a beautiful city.  My condolences to those close to the people who were killed, and to the people of Paris and France.

Stuff reports:

Three masked gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar!” have stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper, killing 12 people, including its editor, before escaping in a car. It was France’s deadliest post-war terrorist attack.

Security forces were hunting for the gunmen who spoke flawless, unaccented French in the military-style noon-time (NZT early Thursday) attack on the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, located near the Bastille monument. The publication’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims.

President Francois Hollande called the slayings “a terrorist attack without a doubt,” and said several other attacks have been thwarted in France in recent weeks.

On Al Jazeera this morning, I saw President Obama’s live response.  Some of his statements were apt, others seemed to take the opportunity to further the US agenda for its “war on terror”.  He implied a justification for the extensive NSA international surveillance powers, and to offer them in support of France.

Simon Jenkins at The UK Guardian states:

Why does it happen? Whenever a political outrage is committed, the sensible question is to ask: what does its perpetrator want? What reaction does he seek, and what does he not seek?

Twelve dead cannot go unremarked. Those journalists who confront violent intolerance, even in the supposed security of a city office, need every support. When, very rarely, they die in that cause, they must be lauded and mourned.

Those who comment through satire are peculiarly bold, more so than those who deploy argument. Ridicule is the most devastating and wounding of weapons. It reaches parts of the political and personal psyche that reason cannot touch. It is one of democracy’s most effective weapons, and the price those who wield it have to pay is sometimes as high as any other.

[…]

Today’s French terrorists want a similarly hysterical response. They want another twist in the thumbscrew of the surveillance state. They want the media to be told to back off. They want new laws, new controls, new additions to the agenda of illiberalism. They know that in most western nations, including Britain, there exists a burgeoning industry of illiberal bureaucrats with empires to build. This industry may be careful of public safety, but it is careless of the comfort and standing it offers the terrorist. There will now be cries from the security services and parliament for more powers and more surveillance.

[…]

But these acts are crimes and should be treated as such. They are for assiduous policing, at which Britain has so far been reasonably successful. They are not for constitutional deterioration.

Only weakened and failing states treat these crimes as acts of war.

[…]

That is why the most effective response is to meet terrorism on its own terms. It is to refuse to be terrified. It is not to show fear, not to overreact, not to over-publicise the aftermath. It is to treat each event as a passing accident of horror, and leave the perpetrator devoid of further satisfaction. That is the only way to defeat terrorism.

596 comments on “Charlie Hebdo: ‘… and not give in to fear’”

  1. Ecosse_Maidy 1

    Je Suis Charlie.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I think you’ll find the primary response will be a call for mass expulsions to country of ancestry, not more surveillance.

    The question of what to do about the banlieues, many of which are now effectively no-go areas for French authorities, is a troubling one. The result of failure of integration, unemployment, empire, garden variety xenophobia and racism made worse by French chauvinism the immigrant ghettos are hotbeds of Islamic radicalisation. The likes of Le Pen and the French right would happily deport the lot, or failing that build a huge wall around the north of Paris and forget about the place, a la Gaza. Never forget that in Europe at least it took massive border re-alignments and mass ethnic cleansing at the end of WWII to end that continents endemic racial wars. They know in their dark places what worked in 1945-48. Who is to say they won’t try ethnic cleansing again?

    This attack is also another warning from Europe to us – don’t allow mass migration from Muslim countries to NZ unless we are absolutely, 100% sure we have the jobs and systems to fully assimilate them into a secular, western, modern nation.

  3. Northshoredoc 3

    Vile murderous religious fanatics…je suis charlie

  4. Pete George 4

    Karol – are you suggesting there should be no state surveillance to try and prevent terrorist attacks like this?

    Shouldn’t free speech have some state protection?

    This is a very sad attack in Paris but sadly it will stoke an issue that risks inflaming an already heated Europe.

    Difficult times.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Free speech already has state protection. Ubiquitous surveillance is toxic to free speech. Wingnuts (even the beige ones) have gone from condemning the STASI to mimicking them in less than thirty years.

      • Paul 4.1.1

        This is too important an issue to allow it to be derailed by pg.
        Please dnftt.

      • karol 4.1.2

        Ubiquitous surveillance is toxic to free speech.

        Yes. the “surveillance state” refers to excessive state surveillance – where surveillance dominates the state. It does not refer to state surveillance systems used in a way to support democracy not undermine it.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2.1

          +1

          There’s a massive difference between targeted police action subject to a warrant, and 24/7 data capture and storage, or the NSA’s boasts of compromised cell-phone networks.

          • Pete George 4.1.2.1.1

            Yes, the former is what we have in New Zealand.

          • Tracey 4.1.2.1.2

            do you mean as opposed to what we in NZ which is a secret service, abandoned by the PM as too hard, who have broken the rules twice in the last few years, and can now surveill for 24 hours without a warrant?

            • Wayne 4.1.2.1.2.1

              Actually todays events are precisely the reason to have targeted surveillance, and that required updating the law. Labour knew this which is why they supported the legislation.
              The Greens always oppose security legislation which is why successive governments basically ignore them. Although the contribution the Greens make in the Select Committee review is often adopted, so they do get some level of real input into the final form of the legislation.
              For those who actually care to read the NZ legislation, you will see it is basically impossible for the GCSB or the SIS to get warrants to conduct mass surveillance. The warrants have to be quite specific and have to satisfy a test that passes muster with the Inspector General, who has shown herself to be independent and competent.

              • Tracey

                🙄

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Dr. Mapp and the STASI: an unlikely love affair.

                • Wayne

                  We don’t control the NSA in what they do. Ask Angela Merkel. However a request by NZSIS to NSA to do mass surveillance would be in breach of New Zealand law.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You don’t object to the NSA in what they do, either. I mean, you might wring your hands a little, and then just get right on with profiting from it (in the short term).

                  • aerobubble

                    The NSA must protect the US, and data is cheap to collect, and our enemies would. Sure its illegal to ask them, but tjat misses the point. That our enemies are likely potential enemies of the US. So we dont need to ask. Any incidents are forwarded, and if they have merit, likely harm the interests of Americas ally, NZ, then NZ gets told.

                    You dont need to be told, asked, you just know its so. big bro.

                • Wayne

                  Obviously Labour must also have a love of STASI.

              • disturbed

                Wayne,
                Yeah right.

                You must be stupid, what about offshore metadata NSA is collecting?

                They are busily trolling through at their own whim being outside our borders and rules to freely carry out the orders or requests from all other members of the Five eyes corp’ to complete any intelligence request from NZ at any time so you are so wrong here.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yep, the Dotcom trial opened some eyes as to the use of X-Keyscore, iirc.

    • Skinny 4.2

      What a stupid question Pete.

      As an example the Muslim community here are very proactive in informing the authorities of any radical behaviors going on.

      • Sacha 4.2.1

        Yet they could not even get a meeting with this govt to discuss the latest spying law changes. A pretty one-way relationship.

        • Colonial Rawshark 4.2.1.1

          Similar with the man who took and killed hostages in the Lindt café incident in Australia. Muslim organisations had reported that man to authorities multiple times in the last few years. Yet they are still tarred with the same brush.

          • Matthew Hooton 4.2.1.1.1

            They weren’t tarred with the same brush at all. The sydney gunman was very quickly identified by the Aussie govt, media and public as a line loony – the fake sheik etc. It was the judiciary that got the blame for that attack.

            • lprent 4.2.1.1.1.1

              “Quickly” is an interesting term. I didn’t see it as being quick at all bearing in mind the hysterical conclusion jumping that went on beforehand.

              It appeared to be several days before the right morans finally got it through their heads. For the first day we have the creeps from their government proclaiming that it justified their recently passed overly repressive security laws and plastic sword antics (and similar morans here).

              It could easily be said that many both there and here, what is demonstrated was a hysterical reaction by unthinking fuckwits for several days. I had to do the moderation here and some of the utter crap that was in the comments by newbies was a direct result of media, commentators and politicians premptively jumping to conclusions.

    • lprent 4.3

      There is a hell of a difference between surveillance and excessive surveillance often done for political or organisational goals. For instance read Anthony’s post from last night about some analysis from The Intercept.

      Why is online criticism of the police deemed to be offensive – to the police? I’d count that as both being excessive surveillance and pretty damn stupid tactics. The idea about surveillance is not to remind people that it is there. It usually teeters over into pure intimidation when you do.

      • Tracey 4.3.1

        I would also like to see criticism of religion as taboo removed. As long as we have to cower before people believing in invisible and mthyical beings, not allowed to challenge them to proof to be taken seriously, and having to respect it as well as putting taxpayer money into their schools and churches by way of tax free we are all adding to this stupidity of killing int he nae of mythical beings…

        NZ Parliament prays
        American speeches finish with God bless America

        and people kill journalists in Mohammed or Allah’s name

        John Stuart Mill was right, do what you like up and until you harm others… we need to start including religion… Prove your imaginary friend is real or fuck off.

        • The Al1en 4.3.1.1

          “John Stuart Mill was right, do what you like up and until you harm others… we need to start including religion… Prove your imaginary friend is real or fuck off”

          Thumbs up from me.

        • ankerawshark 4.3.1.2

          actually Tracey, this is a rare occasion where I don’t agree with you.

          The terrorist against these journalists, is indefensible. However I think its important we show respect and tolerance for others beliefs (unless they are hate beliefs e.g. Nazism).

          I don’t know a lot about the newspaper, but understand one of their contentious items was reproducing a cartoon of mohammed naked. (If I have got this wrong, I apologise). I think this is provocative and disrespectful (and kind of immature).

          I am not sure I have the right to challenge other peoples religious beliefs or expect them to provide “proof” to me. I think it is reasonable to challenge people’s religious practices, such as treatment of women in some religions.

          I notice a real double standard though with my spouse who is Maori and Catholic.
          People are really respectful of his Maori kaupapa (good), but quite disrespectful of his Catholicism.

        • marty mars 4.3.1.3

          the body count for those who murder for their ‘imaginary friend’ and those who murder when they don’t have an ‘imaginary friend’ is probably evenish to be generous, so all murderers should fuck off, all people that harm others should fuck off and that includes people who ridicule beliefs and cultural systems imo.

          Tolerance – it’s like no one’s even fucken heard of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Rolf 4.3.2

        It is not about surveillance and excessive surveillance, but about mass surveillance. Nobody will object to the state to monitor potential terrorists and trouble makers. We should all object to, and stop, that we all are treated as potential terrorists and trouble makers.

        • lprent 4.3.2.1

          Problem is that the boundaries are pretty unclear.

          What was notable in the information provided to the court in the operation 8 surveillance was exactly how wide the dragnet of tightly targeted surveillance was. To do the surveillance on about 20 or so people, they did mass surveillance on thousands of people at a meta level (or deeper) that they came in contact with over an extended period.

    • Anne 4.4

      PG @ 4
      Can’t you even stop your derailing antics over the news of a cowardly murderous act such as the one in Paris. You know damm well Karol is not suggesting no state surveillance. There is always a need for some. You are beyond pathetic. I wonder anyone can even bear to be in your presence. Piss off….

    • Sabine 4.5

      Go away PG….have a vacation, grow a brain, a heart and a gut.

  5. Ad 5

    Simon Jenkins appealing to our better angels is pissing in the wind.

    No coincidence that radical Islam targets the same targets as the intelligence services: the free press.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      There’s nothing radical or Islamic about murder.

    • Paul 5.2

      We ignore his advice at our peril.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1

        Surely the answer is in fact for the west to engage in more drone killings and assassinations in far away countries, and to financially and militarily support increasingly brutal Middle Eastern governments (including Israel) willing to oppress the poor and the powerless underneath their heel.

        • Skinny 5.2.1.1

          Bitter resentment of French colonization of Muslim Countries, and the oppressive outcomes. Would not surprise me in the least to learn these gunman were ex French Foreign Legion trained and now the chickens coming home to roost.

          Adding to this sorry mess you have America and it’s allies meddling in the Middle East, backing Israel against the Arabs etc.

          Super Powers arming militants, shedding stocks of old armory so they can manufacture newer weapons to be trailed in the field. Creating wars all to keep their economies afloat and stay in front military wise.

          Tick tock the dooms day clock ticks, mankinds days are nearing an end.

          • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1.1.1

            And France itself currently has 3000 troops throughout northern Africa engaged in anti-Islamist military actions. Mali last year was just the start.

            The attackers in Paris today were black, spoke perfect French, and told witnesses to say that they were from Al Qaeda in Yemen.

            • Skinny 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Funny you should mention this CV. I was walking our little dog this morning just around the corner at our local mariner, stopped to have a coffee with a well traveled friend & his American partner on a super yacht he pilots for a Texan oil lady. He was adamant this attack will be related to the recent French military goings on in North Africa. He was saying the frogs are very unpopular in that neck of the woods.

          • Murray Rawshark 5.2.1.1.2

            They were said to speak French without any trace of an accent and were organised and methodical. At least one witness said they thought the killers were from the French anti-terrorist squad.

            http://mobile.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/01/07/world/europe/ap-eu-france-newspaper-attack.html?_r=0&referrer

            • Wayne 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Another ludicrous conspiracy theory.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Well, a witness who interacted with the shooters said they had “perfect French” so that part of it seems solid.

              • Murray Rawshark

                There is no conspiracy theory there. What there is is a reporting of witness statements. If you know more about it than people who were actually there, how did that happen? Does FJK cc his Whalespew texts to you as well?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “Ludicrous” – hardly – there are plenty of examples of trained soldiers turning against the societies that trained them.

                Not to mention that the witness is reported as having said “thought” – ie: that that was their initial impression.

  6. there is also the not small issue/matter of what the magazine published..

    ..to invoke this barbarous response..

    ..and what they published was cartoons of the prophet mohamed ‘in pornographic’ positions/depictions..

    ..now..i abhor censorship..and i publish much @ whoar that many would find challenging/provocative..

    ..but there is no way i wd ever portray any religions’ ‘prophet’ in pornographic stances…

    ..i mean..why would you..?

    ..how in any way is that ‘satirical-comment’..?

    • The Al1en 6.1

      Are you saying printing a cartoon of a made up god in a porn pose is justification for 12 murders?

      • JanM 6.1.1

        Of course not – but the world is full of angry, aggressive fools, and you challenge them at your peril. We all know that.

        • The Al1en 6.1.1.1

          I do believe we can’t ever let the worst elements in society shape and dictate how the rest of us live, especially if the goal is fear, so I agree with the general tone of Simon Jenkins’ article.

      • phillip ure 6.1.2

        plse note that as an attempt to prevent disruption..and because i feel like it..

        ..i do not respond to comments from alan..

      • marty mars 6.1.3

        Allen, for some it is not a made up God, and you know that so the deliberate stoking of the fire is not only unnecessary but actually provocative – for what? a minor point scoring gold star for the wall? Of course, the belief system of atheism is remarkably similar to those who believe in a God or Gods especially in the zealot response from strong proponents of each belief system.

        Murderers use anything to dress up their acts, to create meaning for themselves for their violent disgusting acts and religion is well up there. Time to take the debate deeper rather than spin the surface.

        • The Al1en 6.1.3.1

          You’re talking shit mate. And transference, well stone me… But not in a biblical or muslim honour killing sense

          Their god, like all gods, either exist or they don’t. The answer can’t be both depending on who you talk to.

          And atheism isn’t based on a belief system, it’s because of there being no gods to believe in.

          atheism
          ˈeɪθɪɪz(ə)m
          noun
          disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

          • marty mars 6.1.3.1.1

            stick to the shallow kiddie pool bud

            • The Al1en 6.1.3.1.1.1

              Yes, ’cause your contribution here is surely and example of deep end philosophising we can all strive to attain with dedication, studiousness, no bias and bitterness and of course little ducky water wings.

              Top stuff mars 😉

              [lprent: Take it to OpenMike and keep it there. I’m getting a bit irritated about the interpersonal wrangling off topic. ]

                  • ROFL and many lols – allen sliding down the slippery slope of his own making and he didn’t even see the tripwire.

                    “the deliberate stoking of the fire is not only unnecessary but actually provocative – for what? a minor point scoring gold star for the wall?”

                    Care to address that point?

                    • The Al1en

                      Sure, I always address genuine points, though of course I disagree with your attempts at framing the narrative.

                      “Are you saying printing a cartoon of a made up god in a porn pose is justification for 12 murders?”

                      That question contains no provocation, there’s no deliberate stoking of fires and there’s nobody to point score over.
                      If people (that’s just you by the way) take it to mean anything else other than is murder in the name of a made up god, like all gods are, justification for such heinous crimes whatever the ‘provocation’ then that’s their look out. I’m not responsible for extremists looking to exact revenge.

                      To be fair, all it does is show you up for what you are by using an ever so slightly innocuous question as the basis for the tenaciousness and doggedness of your ‘avenging’ retribution.
                      Protest to much? Not half guvnor 😆

                    • “That question contains no provocation, there’s no deliberate stoking of fires and there’s nobody to point score over.”

                      …and you’ll live in a world of your own… we’ll build a world of our own that no-one else can share…

                    • The Al1en

                      “…and you’ll live in a world of your own… we’ll build a world of our own that no-one else can share…”

                      ?

                      “If people (that’s just you by the way) take it to mean anything else other than is murder in the name of a made up god, like all gods are, justification for such heinous crimes whatever the ‘provocation’ then that’s their look out. I’m not responsible for extremists looking to exact revenge.”

                    • antipodean reference – seek and ye shall find.

        • phillip ure 6.1.3.2

          @ mm..

          ..i think u r expecting too much..

          ..that is why i stopped bothering..

          ..it came with the realisation the depth of general-knowledge/understanding of even the most blatant/obvious subtleties./basic-concepts.

          ..is pretty much at zilch in that one..

          ..and everything has to start from square one..

          ..(i mean..who has the time/energy..?..)

          ..i mean..it’s latest:..’atheism is not a belief system’..

          ..where do you start..?

        • Tracey 6.1.3.3

          can you prove the god is not made up because just because some believe something is real doesnt make it so. The onus is on those who expect others to behave with deference to this figure to prove it is real, not the other way round.Schizophrenics hear voices and believe they are real…

          • marty mars 6.1.3.3.1

            proof? I’d be king of the world if I could do that – then watch me squash inequality.

            people believe all sorts of things, they just do – trying to force-feed them to not believe is just silly, better to accept others for what they are not what we are

            • Tracey 6.1.3.3.1.1

              i am not forcing them to not believe. i am saying i dont have to respect your belief in something imaginary, i don’t have to divert taxpayer funds just cos alot of people believe the same variation of something not likely to be real.

              nor is it about accepting people for who they are… religion is used by millions of people to seek preferential treatment, including in NZ.

              I shouldnt have to let a church not pay tax…

              religion is a choice…

              race is not

              sexuality is not

              feel free to believe, but not in my parliament, not in my schools and not as a shield to proper challenge.

              • It is all imaginary imo Tracey or as near to it as we can get – JMG describes it very well with these paragraphs

                Most people nowadays think of the world as a static reality, over which time flows like water over the rocks on the bed of a mountain stream, and to this way of thinking the rocks and the water are both “out there,” existing by themselves without reference to any human beings who may or may not be observing them.

                The interesting thing about this sort of thinking is that scientists pointed out a long time ago that it’s wholly incorrect. The world you experience is not “out there;” what’s “out there,” as any physicist will tell you, is an assortment of subatomic particles and energy fields. Your senses interact with those particles and fields in idiosyncratic ways, triggering electrochemical flows in your nervous systems, and those flows produce in your mind—we’ll discuss what that last word means later on—a flurry of disconnected sensory stimuli, which you then assemble into an image or representation.

                That image or representation is your world. It’s not the unimaginable reality of particles and fields “out there,” it’s a representation of that reality, constructed by your mind out of the raw material of sensation according to patterns that come partly from biology, partly from culture, and partly from experiences you’ve had over the course of your life. When you pick up a coffee cup, you don’t see the coffee cup as it is: the coffee cup as it is, again, is a whirling chaos of particles and energy fields. What you see and feel is a representation of that whirling chaos, pieced together in your mind out of fragmentary sensations—this flash of color, that sense of pressure against a bit of your skin, and so on. The sensations are given to you; the representation is yours to make.

                http://galabes.blogspot.co.nz/2014_06_01_archive.html

                Warning – I wouldn’t go to that blog unless your mind is open – it deals with magic!

                any creature that can construct a reality out of the sensory inputs received from imperfect organs and senses deserves respect imo and that includes those who may or may not perceive or believe stuff that we don’t.

              • +100 (Fuck, I’m agreeing with Tracey on something!)

              • gsays

                hi there tracey,
                “feel free to believe, but not in my parliament, not in my schools and not as a shield to proper challenge.”

                unfortunately it is our parliament, and our schools.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  And secular intellectualism / scientific rationalism has brought our civilisation to the neat little pre-collapse place that we are now. Should we really double down on more of the same?

          • weka 6.1.3.3.2

            “can you prove the god is not made up because just because some believe something is real doesnt make it so.”

            And yet you seem to want your atheist beliefs to be accepted as based on reality.

            “The onus is on those who expect others to behave with deference to this figure to prove it is real, not the other way round.Schizophrenics hear voices and believe they are real…”

            Actually the voices that schizophrenics hear are real. They don’t make them up. They’re actually having experiences that fit definitions of real, and further, there’s been work done that shows that some people hearing voices do better if they take the content of their so called delusions seriously ie relate with them instead of writing them off (and vice versa, when treated by people who insist that the voices be ignored, the person doing the hearing does worse). What’s at issue here is the people that want to define what is real according to their own beliefs (that’s most fundamentalists, religious and atheist alike). Myself, I think that real is much broader than what our culture has socialised us into believing. There’s a fair amount of evidence for that too.

            Many people have spiritual experiences. Not just religious people, but the problem with writing off religion is that relgion is not just about belief and faith. It’s also about experience, and culture. So when you ridicule people for their religion by calling god their imaginary friend, you display both ignorance and a contempt that says that this group of people don’t deserve respect.

            I’m sorry that some people don’t have spiritual experiences, and I’m sorry that some people don’t get to experience the benefits of cultural religion. But the whole imaginary friend speil is just a milder form of what Charlie Hebdo does, that is, it’s a practice of intolerance.

            • Tracey 6.1.3.3.2.1

              an athiest is the equivalent of the non smoker who used to have to sit and inhale the smokers (religious believer) smoke because of their “right” to smoke. Sure, i could avoid smokers. I could not go to the places they went. I helped pay for their health problems, and helped pay for them to stop.

              The difference between the voices schizophrenics hear and those of religious leanings is only schizophrenics get labelled as have a mental or neurological ailment. A church minister encourages “talking to and imaginary figure”, a schizophrenic is diagnosed, medicated and stigmatised.

              If I call it an imaginary figure is that more or less tolerant?

              Dont be sorry for what you perceive is my situation. I may very well be spiritual weka, you assume I am not because I speak out against a taboo that says religion and all its trappings must be venerated, because… well just because. Believe whatever you like, which I have actually written BUT don’t expect others to kow tow, to give tax breaks, to fund schools, to shut up, just cos you believe something.

              • weka

                Tracey, I haven’t assumed you aren’t spiritual (even atheists have spiritual experiences).

                “just cos you believe something.”

                You appear to be assuming something about what I believe, can you please be more specific?

                The smoking/non-smoking analogy is interesting. Do you think that you experience passive god? How does that damage your person? Other than that, the costs to society are the same as all other individual indulgences.

                “The difference between the voices schizophrenics hear and those of religious leanings is only schizophrenics get labelled as have a mental or neurological ailment. A church minister encourages “talking to and imaginary figure”, a schizophrenic is diagnosed, medicated and stigmatised.”

                Many people get incorrectly diagnosed as schizophrenic, and those and the ones correctly diagnosed are subjected to a belief system that damages many. Using mental illness and how it gets treated as a comparison is highly problematic. You’ve also failed to address the core issue, which is who gets to define what is real.

                From your comment I take it that you believe that mentally ill people are broken somehow, and that religious people should seen as broken too.

                “If I call it an imaginary figure is that more or less tolerant?”

                Not sure what your point is. That religious people should be stigmatised like mentally ill people? I’m arguing for less stigmatisation, more tolerance, all round.

                “that says religion and all its trappings must be venerated, because… well just because.”

                The reasons that religions get tax breaks etc isn’t ‘just because’. There are very tangible reasons for why they do, and trying to reduce it down to people who believe in imaginary friends getting special treatment for no good reason doesn’t help.

              • Murray Rawshark

                The imaginary friend doesn’t have to be real for the beliefs to be. There is also a huge gulf between state support of religion and deliberately going out of your way to mock beliefs held by a minority in your society.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.3.3.2.2

              Pfft.

              Religion
              The loving do not act.
              The kind act without self-interest;
              The just act to serve self-interest;
              The religious act to reproduce self-interest.
              For when Tao is lost, there is love;
              When love is lost, there is kindness;
              When kindness is lost, there is justice;
              And when justice is lost, there is religion.
              Well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted;
              Closely held beliefs are not easily released;
              So religion enthralls generation after generation.
              Religion is the end of love and honesty,
              The beginning of confusion;
              Faith is a colourful hope or fear,
              The origin of folly.
              The sage goes by knowledge, not by hope;
              He dwells in the fruit, not the flower;
              He accepts the former, and rejects the latter.

              Lao Tzu c.4,000 BCE.

              Religion is toxic to the spirit.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                *600BCE. D’oh!

              • weka

                “Religion is toxic to the spirit.”

                And yet there are religious people who act from love and kindness while being religious.

                Taoism would be considered a religion by most modern definitions.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Except that all the modern definitions make it clear that religious Taoism and philosophical Taoism are two distinct things, and Taoist philosophy denies divinity altogether.

                  Perhaps you can point to the chapter of the Tao te Ching that relies on faith or belief in any form. Or take my word for it that you won’t find one.

                  • weka

                    Sure, but it doesn’t matter. You want to define religion in a way that suits your argument, but that’s not really relevant to anything I’ve been saying (which I’m not sure you are paying any attention to anyway).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, Weka, I’m quite happy to define religion as an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.

                      As distinct from evidence based knowledge, cultural systems and world views. Oh, and yes, they’re fallible, before you make some trite accusation about “the religion of science”.

                    • weka

                      that’s still you defining religion to suit your argument, and it’s still not relevant to what I was saying.

                      The way you can go
                      isn’t the real way.
                      The name you can say
                      isn’t the real name.

                      Heaven and earth
                      begin in the unnamed:
                      name’s the mother
                      of the ten thousand things.

                      So the unwanting soul
                      sees what’s hidden
                      and the ever-wanting soul
                      sees only what it wants.

                      Two things, one origin,
                      but different in name,
                      whose identity is mystery.
                      Mystery of all mysteries!
                      The door to the hidden.

                      Le guin version.

                      Or

                      The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Um, hello, have you heard of Kahneman on the difference between experience and memory? Or “the zone” that athletes talk about, where (as the Encyclopedia Britannica once put it) “the everyday experience of the duality between subject and object vanishes”.

                      Or the map is not the territory?

                      Le Guin’s flowery translation notwithstanding, this is pretty basic philosophy.

                      The same verse, transliterated by Ron Hogan:

                      If you can talk about it, it ain’t Tao.
                      If it has a name, it’s just another thing.

                      Tao doesn’t have a name.
                      Names are for ordinary things.

                      Stop wanting stuff. It keeps you from seeing what’s real.
                      When you want stuff, all you see are things.

                      These two statements have the same meaning.
                      Figure them out, and you’ve got it made.”

                      Or the Merel translation:

                      The Tao that can be known is not Tao.
                      The substance of the World is only a name for Tao.
                      Tao is all that exists and may exist;
                      The World is only a map of what exists and may exist.
                      One experiences without Self to sense the World,
                      And experiences with Self to understand the World.
                      The two experiences are the same within Tao*;
                      They are distinct only within the World.
                      Neither experience conveys Tao
                      Which is infinitely greater and more subtle than the World.

                      Oh, and by the way, I’m not “defining religion”, I’m quoting Wikipedia’s description.

                      *I feel sorry for anyone who’s never had this experience.

            • Psycho Milt 6.1.3.3.2.3

              But the whole imaginary friend speil is just a milder form of what Charlie Hebdo does, that is, it’s a practice of intolerance.

              People who believe stuff in the absence of any evidential basis for doing so can expect a bit of ridicule. Humans are like that.

              • Tracey

                challenge, can expect to be challenged. I have changed it to imaginary figure. My one bit of deference to the notion of religion and its seepage into all our lives.

              • weka

                “Humans are like that.”

                Some are. The rest of us practice tolerance (which is not incompatible with either intelligence or critique).

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  We practice tolerance, and look what we get in return: illegal interference in secular education despite repeated warnings from the Min of Ed., legal challenges to teaching science, child abuse, hate speech against everyone from members of other religions to medical practitioners, the Bishop of Bling, jihad, fatwa, the death penalty for homosexuals, bombs in India, drones in the Middle East and door-knockers at 8am on a Sunday.

                  Feed the spirit by all means. Try something other than junk food.

                  • weka

                    So there are prejudiced people who are religious and use their power to further their prejudices. How is that any different than any other human endeavour?

                    Besides, I suspect you are talking about fundamentalists, and making out all religious people are thus.

                    “We practice tolerance”

                    Not sure who the ‘we’ is in that statement, but I’m not seeing tolerance I’m seeing bigotry. If you won’t differentiate between different religions, between different kinds of people within religion, and between prejudice and religion, then I can’t see how you are pracitcing tolerance.

                    (btw, just for clarity, I’m not religious).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Are tax breaks not tolerant enough for you?

                      You’re arguing that religious people can be valuable members of society? Sure, I agree. They’d be more valuable if they dropped the mumbo-pocus and realised that it’s their humanity that does them credit, not their belief systems.

                    • weka

                      lolz, ok but that’s just your belief system dude. See how ridiculous this is?

                      Afaik you don’t give them tax breaks, the state does. Are you for the tax breaks? Or against? How far does your tolerance go? Like I said, ridicule isn’t a form of tolerance, in the way it’s being practiced here it’s bigotry.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Was the word ‘we’ not a big enough clue that I was talking about ‘us’, not ‘me’?

                      You see, the tax breaks aren’t something I have to have faith in: they’re a matter of public record.

                    • weka

                      I’ve been talking about tolerance by individuals. When you said ‘we’ I wasn’t sure if you were meaning NZers or yourself and people here who agree with you.

                      And no, I don’t take the fact that NZ grants tax breaks as evidence of your tolerance.

                      “You see, the tax breaks aren’t something I have to have faith in: they’re a matter of public record.”

                      So?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Confusing criticism of toxic belief systems with intolerance of the individuals who espouse them much?

                    • weka

                      But I haven’t said anything against criticising relgion. See, you’re just not paying attention. It looks to me like you want to run your anti-religion line, you want to use my argument to Tracey to do that, but you’ve failed to understand my basic points.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I think that real is much broader than what our culture has socialised us into believing. There’s a fair amount of evidence for that too.

                      Yes. Cf: the Tao te Ching.

                    • weka

                      I had a look at the Le Guin translation of the chapter you posted earlier (Religion). Might post in OM about it tomorrow or on the weekend. Might possibly be a more productive use of our time than sniping at each other 🙂

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sure. Don’t trip over her agenda on the way in.

                    • weka

                      🙄

                      I’ll concede. You are right, I’m wrong. Everything’s well with the world.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, Weka, I’m quite happy to discuss any of the various translations with you. Le Guin’s starts from a particular agenda, as she has made clear many times, and may not be the best place to start.

                      Why not try understanding the point before conceding it?

                    • weka

                      I understood the point well enough, but couldn’t be bothered with the other two implications: that I’m that stupid, and that other translators don’t also have agendas (Le Guin is probably just more honest about hers).

                      Why would I want to have a conversation about the tao under those circumstances? Goodwill seems a reasonable prerequisite, at least to me.

                • The Al1en

                  “People who believe stuff in the absence of any evidential basis for doing so can expect a bit of ridicule. Humans are like that.”

                  “Some are. The rest of us practice tolerance”

                  Cough, pg tips, cough

                  • weka

                    What?

                    • The Al1en

                      How tolerant are you of pete george who frequently posts stuff in the absence of any evidential basis for doing so ?

                      Do you not ridicule him for doing so?

                      When you write “The rest of us practice tolerance” is that with tongue in cheek?

                    • weka

                      I have varying degrees of tolerance for PG’s behaviour, in pretty much the same way I would for a religious trole.

                      I haven’t been making an argument here for tolerance for everything.

                      (I did feel bad the other day for quoting someone’s comment about PG being an old man. A bit of unconscious ageism seeping out there).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Now, perhaps, you can point to where I criticised something other than behaviour.

                    • weka

                      Having a belief isn’t a behaviour. Neither is being religious. Neither is being part of a religious culture. Neither is having spiritual experiences.

                      You’ve made generic anti-religion comments, it’s reasonable to take them as being about more than behaviour.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Who’s defining terms to suit their argument now? Belief isn’t a form of human behaviour? PPPhhhrrreeeeooowwww!

                    • weka

                      noun
                      the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, esp. toward others : good behavior | his insulting behavior toward me.
                      • the way in which an animal or person acts in response to a particular situation or stimulus : the feeding behavior of predators.
                      • the way in which a natural phenomenon or a machine works or functions : the erratic behavior of the old car.

                      How does belief fit into that?

                      We can have a semantic argument about it if you like. Or you could respond to the actual points. Or you could just start having a go at me. Have you run out of reasoned reponses?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Having belief isn’t a behaviour”. Yes, it is: “the way in which one acts or conducts oneself”.

                      Deciding to interpret the world through a religious lens is an action.

                    • weka

                      maybe it’s an action, but the behaviour bit comes depending on what one does with that interpretation (at least in the context of this thread).

                      Although it does tell me much about your argument, which appears to be that you object to people’s internal ‘actions’*, not just what they do in the world.

                      *it’s debatable whether all belief is a choice of course.

                      Now of course you can ask again where you criticised something other than behaviour, because you want the definition of behaviour to be yours not mine, which may or may not be reasonable given the reason we are talking about behaviour is because of a conversation between The Al1en and myself and nothing to do with you.

                      But really what’s the point? Point scoring? Being right? Having it your way? It’s not like we’re here to learn anything. Or build knowledge. Or share understandings. Or explore differences. Or find peace.

                      /irony in thread context.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      When internal actions (by choice or not) lead to objectionable consequences, it makes sense to critically examine the actions, no?

                      Perhaps we should take this to OM.

      • Poission 6.1.4

        Are you saying printing a cartoon of a made up god in a porn pose is justification for 12 murders?

        Whilst challenges to certain groups imaginary entities can invoke reaction,it is a measure of civilized society on the type of the response.

        Foe instance in the Ukraine some years ago,there was a nice experiment in showing the reality of the situation with regard to the publication of christian cartoons in Soir.

        On February 8, a protest action was held near the French embassy in Ukraine. The action was held by the Fraternity NGO against actions of the French mass media. The protest action was caused by the fact that French Franсе soіr newspaper published cartoons of Jesus Christ that touches upon religious believes of Christians.

        http://www.regnum.ru/english/587574.html

    • As you say phil – barbarous response.

      and you raise a good question that I have often battled with – this free speech/censorship one.

      I find the area is as gray as a gray thing and my position shifts within that gray area depending upon my beliefs and values – which makes me human I suppose.

      At this stage all I can offer is sadness and compassion to those who have been murdered, their families and friends.

    • aj 6.3

      I agree. There is a massive difference between thoughtful satire and outright taunting in order to provoke a response. There is a line to be draw somewhere between the two.
      If you poke a bull in the eye, you need to be very, very careful.
      imho some religous people are less likely to ‘turn the other cheek’ and at the extremes of all religous spectrums there are people who will resort to violence to underline or defend their beliefs.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3.1

        Yeah, murderous cry-babies totes respect the difference between gentle satire and outright contempt.

    • ..and what they published was cartoons of the prophet mohamed ‘in pornographic’ positions/depictions..

      For once in your life, how about citing a source for this steaming heap of bullshit? NB: “I read it on the internet” is not citing a source.

        • Psycho Milt 6.4.1.1

          So, yes, you read it on the internet. The linked article shows no “pornographic” poses at all, unless you feel that an image of people kissing is “pornography.” Or is it the fact that it’s two men kissing that makes it pornographic in your view? I’d expected a more liberal attitude from you.

          • phillip ure 6.4.1.1.1

            yeah..in that totally unreliable rag..the guardian..

            ..(in/as part of their coverage of the massacre in paris..)

            ..(who/what to believe..?..the guardian..?..or an orifice-plucked opinion from psycho..?

            ..it’s a tough decision..)

            ..and no..i wd not expect the guardian to republish any/the ‘poronographic-depictions’ of the prophet mohamed..

            ..which brings me back to my original question..

            ..why should/would they..?

            • Psycho Milt 6.4.1.1.1.1

              If the orifice-plucked opinion from Psycho Milt is that you should stop just repeating stuff you’ve read on the internet as though it came from some unimpeachable source, yes you should believe Milt.

              • u r starting to make about as much sense as alan..

                ..becoming a ‘where do you start?’..

                ..and third-person self-referral..shd ring alarm-bells..

          • TheContrarian 6.4.1.1.2

            Wow, you actually expect Phil to provide a source?

        • Psycho Milt 6.4.2.1

          Thanks, that’s what I was asking for. Not that it makes a scrap of difference, mind – I was just grumpy with Phil always making evidence-free claims. For anyone not in the grip of a murderous totalitarian ideology, even a cartoon of Muhammad being backscuttled by a gorilla wouldn’t constitute a basis for murder, and this stuff is comparatively tame.

          • The Al1en 6.4.2.1.1

            “even a cartoon of Muhammad being backscuttled by a gorilla wouldn’t constitute a basis for murder, and this stuff is comparatively tame.”

            QFT

    • Tracey 6.5

      so “they asked for it”, like a woman wearing a low cut shirt who is raped asks for it?

      • phillip ure 6.5.1

        look..you are being greedy..

        ..you already have all the false-equivalence awards there are to get..

        ..yet you are still at it..

      • gsays 6.5.2

        hi tracey
        you have the right to walk thru the square in palmerston north at 2.30 am, scantily clad, alone.

        you really shouldnt do it however as there may be dire consequences.

        to say you are asking for it is going a bit far, although you are contributing to your own potential misfortune.

    • ankerawshark 6.6

      100+ Philip @ 6

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    “I’m sick of it. They make me do the washing-up.”

    Timely article on the “glamour” of ISIL.

  8. coaster 8

    It is very hard not to be biased against islam and muslims. Irrelevant of them being extremists, they are still using there religion to justify murder.
    just like being wary of people who are gang associates, I am now wary of muslims.

    im quite anti mass surveylance, but would not have a problem with mass surveylance of anyone with ties to a gang, im now starting to think mass surveylance of all muslims might be a good idea.

    • If your brother or sister was in a ‘gang’ would you be okay if they tapped and spied on you? If your niece or nephew was muslim would you be okay if they tapped and spied on you?

      • The Al1en 8.1.1

        If the ‘gang’ were known to be involved in criminal and/or terrorist activity – Yes.

        If your niece or nephew was muslim, catholic, protestant, jewish, Buddhist, agnostic or atheist and known to be involved in criminal and/or terrorist activity – Yes.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          Get a warrant.

        • The Al1en 8.1.1.2

          Can’t edit, even with 7 minutes left showing on the clock.

          Meant to read – serious criminal and/or terrorist activity

          [lprent: I will have a look at the re-edit this evening. But the usual problem is client side. Try reloading the page with Ctrl + F5 (see http://stackoverflow.com/questions/385367/what-requests-do-browsers-f5-and-ctrl-f5-refreshes-generate) to reload your local cache for javascript ]

          • The Al1en 8.1.1.2.1

            Only ever happens every so often. The last time was when you commented on it and that was what? Weeks ago.

            I’ll try Ctrl + F5 If/when it happens again.

        • marty mars 8.1.1.3

          good to know which side of the line you fall on allen – the authoritative one – you are really just a curtain twitcher when it’s all said and done

          • The Al1en 8.1.1.3.1

            I’d say it’s common sense stuff for the better of all, but you can hold on to curtain peeker if the framing of an opponent is more important than doing the right thing.

            You wanabe radical you 😆

            • marty mars 8.1.1.3.1.1

              the ‘right thing’ – Freudian slip there allen

              you don’t define what is important or what is not and your values and beliefs are nothing like mine but if you are happy to be big brothered then good for you.

              • The Al1en

                Nope, I’m happy for the police to go to a judge and put forward their case for surveillance on a relative of a gang member or niece or nephew who was muslim, catholic, protestant, jewish, Buddhist, agnostic or atheist and known to be involved in serious criminal and/or terrorist activity.

                If the judge agrees there is a case for the spying, then so be it, for the better of us all. We have to accept that where serious criminals and terrorists are involved, who catch the eye of the authorities, then this is a likely consequence.

                Nothing authoritative or big brothered about that marty mars. And isn’t that the system most on here were arguing for instead of the governments new spy laws? Isn’t that the way it was before the new spy laws were introduced?

                • your trust in the authorities is touching and quaint

                  • The Al1en

                    Your pretend radicalism and solidarity with serious criminals and terrorists isn’t.

                    So is that your position? The majority of contributors on here who argued the new spy laws were unnecessary because of the system we already had in place – Are their opinions also quaint and touching too?

                    • lol putting words into my mouth now – what a common tactic for authoritarian types – t 🙄 does as t 🙄 does

                    • The Al1en

                      Are the majority here that have previously argued for the same things I’ve stated – About warrants v the new spy laws, also “authoritarian types”?

                      It’s a very simple question. Suely even you can’t evade answering it. 😉

                    • The Al1en

                      Are the majority here that have previously argued for the same things I’ve stated, about warrants v the new spy laws, also “authoritarian types”?

                      It’s a very simple question. Surely even you can’t evade answering it. 😉

                    • you said you’d be happy to be spied on if one of your rellies was involved with a gang or had become a muslim – you added that those groups would have to be involved in criminal and/or terrorist activity – you bow to authority as a crutch even though the same authorities define ‘criminal’ and/or ‘terrorism’ and employ the instruments that would be doing the spying, and make the conclusions and effect their laws often through force.

                      there are so many examples of this process being abused, distorted, misused and corrupted – heard of the Urewera Terror Raids?

                      I hope they are paying you well dog cos you are a dupe

                    • The Al1en

                      The exchange is right above for all or no one to read 🙂

                      But simple matter is I agree with the board consensus that a warrant sought from a judge by the police to engage in surveillance for the purpose of recording serious criminal and/or terrorist activity by a relative is a proper course of action and much better than the governments new spy bill.

                      So is that your position? The majority of contributors on here who argued the new spy laws were unnecessary because of the system we already had in place – Are their opinions also quaint and touching too? And are they also canine dupes? And do you think they are being paid enough?

                      Simple question even you can’t evade answering.

                    • I’m cool that you are okay with being spied on – I’m not.

                      Personally I am against all spying and surveillance. The cost to our society is too high, the risks of abuse too great. And I don’t care (other than being interested in other views) what the ‘majority of contributors’ think – I think for myself and don’t require external reinforcement for what I believe in – try it allen it is like a plunge into cold water on a hot day – totally liberating and a great cleanser.

                    • The Al1en

                      No, well like I wrote “Your pretend radicalism and solidarity with serious criminals and terrorists isn’t.” especially when the consequences could well be at the expense of our fellow citizens, family, friends etc.
                      How you justify it to yourself is your problem.

                      Now that non evadable question. How’s that going? 😆

                    • lol putting words into my mouth now – what a common tactic for authoritarian types – t 🙄 does as t 🙄 does

                      plus good to see the right wing lines are flowing from you freely now – always good when the pretense ends.

                      [lprent: Do your wrangling in OpenMike. ]

                    • The Al1en

                      You say authoritarian and right wing, but then it really isn’t is it? Not when the majority on here say the existing rules about getting warrants from a judge to engage in surveillance are sufficient and negate the need for the nat’s new spy at will law.

                      I’m quite sure no one wants to be spied on, especially illegally and without justifiable grounds, but to go way back to your original question, which I answered honestly and without rancour, if a relative is engaged in serious criminal and/or terrorist activity and a judge deems it necessary or prudent, then wire taps are a sad consequence of having a suspicious relative.

                      If that spying leads to the prevention of a mass murder event or series of serious criminal acts, then it’s a sad price to pay for the good of us all.

                      If you can’t see that, for whatever reason and want to play word games, king of the radicals or anti for the sake of it, then go for it bruvver mars.. You’re the winner 😉

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

      In 2001, Al Quaeda was a campsite. Thirteen years of anti-Muslim propaganda and surveillance, and now it’s a country.

      Way to go.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        Dangerous authoritarian fundamentalists calling themselves Christians and Muslims have been on this collision course for some considerable time.

    • mickysavage 8.3

      What about mass surveillance of all men. After all we are responsible for most violence. And what about mass surveillance of all gun owners? They seem to do most of the shooting.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3.1

        What about dangerous authoritarians who advocate mass surveillance?

        • locus 8.3.1.1

          Surveillance is an important topic to discuss because it is one of the possible options for identifying and preventing planned acts of terror.

          However, what’s far more important following this tragedy is to identify and combat the causes of terrorism. We will only tackle the problem of violent extremism when we recognise and prevent the circumstances that provide the fertile ground for it to flourish.

          What is it that makes people who are offended by nasty satire think that it is okay to murder other human beings rather than responding as sane people by showing disgust, rejection, anger or simply laughing it off?

          What is it that turned these people into crazy inhuman executioners? This is what we have to focus on and find strategies to fix.

          As for religion being used as a justification, imo this is just a means of self justification that these damaged sociopaths use to conceal the pleasure that they derive from inflicting pain, death and suffering

          • Tracey 8.3.1.1.1

            i agree with much of what you say here but would include also examining why the need to live governed by a most likely imaginary God, eliminate the thing that lacks which moves people this way, of all kinds, not just extremists…

      • Tracey 8.3.2

        that is different 😉

    • locus 8.4

      coaster

      can you reasonably or justifiably shift responsibility for the barbaric act of three lunatic fanatics onto others who believe in the same god? Muslims are hundreds of millions of people. How would you feel if you were personally judged by others on the murderous behaviour of someone your colour or who you went to school with or who supports the same rugby team as you?

  9. kelly 9

    If you want to respect his memory, post the cartoon.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      If we want to respect his memory, we should not change who and what we are.

      • miravox 9.1.1

        “If we want to respect his memory, we should not change who and what we are.”

        Well, we should change… if we’re bigots, for example.

        However, respecting the memory of a person doesn’t mean the work of that person should be reproduced if, frankly, it’s offensive. Respecting that people have a right to live without fearing for their lives despite being offensive doesn’t mean agreeing with what they say.

        Anyway, it’s not the life of one person, it’s the lives of 12 in this instance.

      • locus 9.1.2

        if the cartoons were posted widely and read by millions – i think this would be more likely to encourage a broad concensus that the type of satire is unnecessarily denigrating

        i think it would also result in all those millions agreeing that violence – let alone murder – can never be justified however vile a cartoon may be

    • I disagree. Publishing images of the prophet Muhammad is generally obnoxious towards all Muslims, not just the violent extremists. The calls to publish the cartoons more widely – just like after the Danish cartoon incident – seem to be motivated by a juvenile “ha ha, we’ll show you!!!!” attitude.

      The cartoons – as are already being widely distributed online – are actually pretty shit. This does not justify or mitigate the abhorrent violence which has occurred, but it also doesn’t justify reprinting them.

      • marty mars 9.2.1

        + 1 Good comment

      • Murray Rawshark 9.2.2

        To my mind, publishing these cartoons is just an expression of a sense of cultural superiority from the dominant group in a particular society. They have a sense of infallibility and impunity, and just like Slug Boy hiding behind FJK to abuse people, they are juvenile cowards. Not worth a death sentence, but also not something I’ll be bothered defending.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.3

        Yes, judging French satire with an English lens will always get you nowhere.

      • Matthew Hooton 9.2.4

        Totally agree. You don’t have to want to publish the material yourself to stand by the rights of others to publish it.

  10. Colonial Rawshark 10

    It appears that the life of a western (and probably white) civilian in a modern western country is worth between 1,000 to 10,000 times the life of a Muslim (and probably coloured) civilian in a poor Muslim country in the Middle East, Africa or Palestine.

    I am sure that the answer to this horrific killing in Paris will be for us to reply with more killing, more killing, more killing, of our own.

    • It appears that the life of a western (and probably white) civilian in a modern western country is worth between 1,000 to 10,000 times the life of a Muslim

      Really? I’d be willing to be that if a bunch of White ex-pats in a Gulf country went on a killing spree among local Arabs in the name of Christianity, western news media would have nothing fucking else on their sites for days.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        What if the killing spree is via Predator drone controlled from Georgia, Kentucky or New Mexico?

        • Psycho Milt 10.1.1.1

          Weren’t you an aspiring MP at one point? And yet you can’t distinguish between the activities of governments and the activities of individual criminals? Please don’t make any more attempts to enter Parliament until you’ve figured that one out.

          • vto 10.1.1.1.1

            “you can’t distinguish between the activities of governments and the activities of individual criminals”

            nope, and neither should such a distinction be made when it comes to murder

        • phillip ure 10.1.1.2

          obama has now killed more with drones than died in 9/11..

          ..with most of those killed innocent men/women/children..

          ..this milestone was reached recently..

          • Psycho Milt 10.1.1.2.1

            And? That makes it alright to walk into a French magazine’s office and execute everyone in there? Or what, exactly? Some indication of actual relevance to the subject at hand would be useful.

            • phillip ure 10.1.1.2.1.1

              can i suggest you look up the word ‘barbarous’..?

              ..that is the word i used originally..and that pretty much sums up how i feel about it..

              (and the link was ok..?..answered yr questions/accusations of me lying..?..)

              (and sorry..i don’t feel like doing histrionic-posturing for you..

              ..try alan..he’s usually up for some of that..)

              • So, there was no relevance to the subject at hand, then.

                • no..that’s right..drone-killings have nothing to do with attacks like

                  this..silly of me to think so..really..

                  ..really striving to put the ‘simple’ in ‘simplistic’..aren’t you..

                  ..’i’m psycho..one dimension’ll do..!’

                  • Well, yes it is silly of you to think so. It’s exactly the same silly that had people like Anne Coulter responding to 9/11 with the view that the US should “invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” Is that really the kind of ideological company you want to keep?

                    • Tracey

                      just tell phil he is making a false equivalency, his head will explode.

                    • shall i explain to you what u r doing..?

                      ..you are following section seven of the tactics shills/tr*lls use..
                      ..(as does yr intellectual-compatriot/equal alan..)

                      ..namely..attribute a false conclusion to yr opponent..

                      ..then use that a ‘given’/base from which to attack/question..

                      ..(c.f…coulter..

                      ..tho’ u almost deserve a special groin-strecher-award for that one..)

                      ..u r as transparent as a recently washed sheet of plain glass..

                      ..and about as bright..

                    • Well, sure – you’re outraged at someone pointing out that your reasoning is the same as Coulter’s: ie, that an attack by particular members of some wider group justifies revenge attacks on that wider group. In your case, you seem to have gone even beyond Coulter, in that you’re proposing that attacks by members of the wider “the West” group justify, or at minimum, explain, the murders of these Frenchmen for the “crime” of drawing some cartoons.

                      If you don’t like people pointing out the unpleasantness of what you’re doing, don’t do it.

      • tricledrown 10.1.2

        Pyscho to many injustices have happened over many Centuries.
        The Vast majority of muslims just want peace and to just get on with their lives.
        Fundamentalists have been radicalized by the Western judaeo christian attitude to islam.
        Palestine was to be a shared land after WWII but fundamentalist Jews took control and have slowly ethnically cleansed Israel taken over the water supply and taken land where fundamentalist Jews have built on Arab land,deliberately undermining the peace process.
        All across the Middle east western countries have been interfering in Arab countries!
        They have had enough,this interference has caused more problems than its solved.
        The Arab spring has lead to even more radiclism.
        Until widespread poverty in the Muslim Arabic world is solved,their will be no shortage of martyr’s

        • Macro 10.1.2.1

          Until widespread poverty in the Muslim Arabic world is solved,their will be no shortage of martyr’s

          Amen to that.

          There is really only one solution to this whole travesty and it is the complete cessation of Western “meddling” in issues in the Middle East that are not their problem. This process can be speeded up by the transference of military expenditure by Western countries in the region to humanitarian aid programmes of equivalently sized budgets. The enormous funding of Israel by the USA is a case in point.
          http://www.wrmea.org/2001-january-february/a-conservative-total-for-u.s.-aid-to-israel-$91-billion-and-counting.html

          • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.2.1.1

            In fact, the USA rushed additional precision munitions to Israel during the recent military massacre of Palestinians because the IDF was running short.

  11. coaster 11

    The constant attacks by muslim extremists, irrelevant of the reason, has changed my view over a long period of time about all muslims. I would hazard a guess that many others in nz feel the same way.

    gangs are about gaining what they want through intimidation and terror and should be watched, but im now starting to think the same about all muslims, its time for islam as a whole to stand up and stop these extremist or they will at some point face a backlash from those people who have previously had no issues with there religion.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Authoritarian prejudice caused the problem in the first place, and your response is to espouse it. Congrats.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 11.1.1

        Very good point.
        When protestants and catholics were engaging in terror attacks in Ireland, nobody was saying the protestants or catholics here had some sort of collective guilt.

        AL Qaeda came about originally because of the US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia ( after first Gulf War)

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.2

      Well I think your point is fair coaster – but consider those exact same points re: what it is like to live in the Islamic middle east and hear of western military killings of Muslim civilians, dronings of weddings and villagers etc. every single day, ongoing for years and years.

    • The Murphey 11.3

      Q. Where has “islam” as a religion not publicly denounced extremist behaviour as much as you would like it to in any given region?

      Q. Do you think the Christian Catholics and Jews waging war around the globe “should be watched” ?

      Q. How about the banking military and oil industrial complex which causing death and suffering to billions of the earths inhabitants and environmental destruction ?

      • disturbed 11.3.1

        1000% Good Murphey’s law there.

        “How about the banking military and oil industrial complex which causing death and suffering to billions of the earths inhabitants and environmental destruction ?”

        There is widespread legal distribution of chemicals by these industrial giants globally that kill and maim people with no retribution cost to them

        I was chemically poisoned and it will affect me for life and the chemical company was not pursued by the law or the Government.

        So we are living already in a world of Industrial extremisms where the law protects any party that could poison anyone purposefully.

        We do need to fix this globe before we are all doomed.

    • Tracey 11.4

      have the number of sexual assaults and rapes by overwhelmingly men in NZ changed your view about all men in NZ? David Cunliffe suggested that it was time for men as a whole to stand up and stop these extremist, did you agree with him?

  12. coaster 12

    And you are judged by the rugby team you support, im pretty sure the term jaffa came about in reference to auckland rugby supporters as an example.

  13. coaster 13

    That comment about jaffas and rugby was in reference to anothers post.

    A few years ago I didnt have this view about being wary of muslims, but the more attacks, irrelevant of the reason on innocent citizens for lame reasons by extremist, the more others who follow the extremists religion will be tarred withe same brush.

    very similar to the way dirty politics attacks the left and tries to tar supporters of the left with the same brush.

    • The Murphey 13.1

      Q. What are you thoughts on the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims by the wars waged in the Middle East and Africa by the US/UK/France/Israel/Australia/Canada….

      Your comments are that of a trole by the way you transparently weave in the comments “left” and “dirty politics” are a give away

      That was after the repetitive use of language in your earlier comments had already exposed your motive

    • greywarshark 13.2

      Why don’t you note which post? It’s 8.4 and this response comment comes at 13. How can a reader follow the thread and the thinking?

  14. That is why the most effective response is to meet terrorism on its own terms. It is to refuse to be terrified. It is not to show fear, not to overreact, not to over-publicise the aftermath. It is to treat each event as a passing accident of horror, and leave the perpetrator devoid of further satisfaction.

    Sure – the kind of subversion of liberal democratic freedoms that western governments have undertaken over the last 13 years is playing into these guys’ hands, and the Key government seems to consist of particular suckers for that approach.

    On the other hand, it would make sense to recognise that these terrorists are motivated by a totalitarian ideology that’s completely inimical to the liberal democratic values of western countries, and the wholesale importing of adherents of the ideology is therefore not a good idea. We have to tolerate their existence in our society, the same as we have to tolerate the existence of fascists and communists, but we shouldn’t be importing them en masse and our security services should be monitoring what they’re up to.

    • Brutus Iscariot 14.1

      Agree completely.

      We need to stop invading their countries at the slightest pretext, but we also need to admit that at this point in Islam’s development, it is incompatible with western democracy and thus immigration needs to be managed closely.

      Then both societies can live as they wish, separately.

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        So why does the west then fund the most extremist Salafi and Wahabi ideologies in the Middle East by buying billions of dollars of oil from Saudi Arabia every week? And selling them billions in advanced arms and military training?

        Saudi Arabia is the same country that 75% of the 9/11 attackers came from.

        • lprent 14.1.1.1

          A rhetorical question demands a rhetorical answer…

          It might have something to do with the pool of easy to refine oil sitting below the geography that they occupy?

          • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1.1.1

            Ahhh the lovely indispensable addictive black gold, what a price we are willing to pay even our deadly enemies for it!

    • Tracey 14.2

      we also wholesale import selfish greedy people, known as capitalists, and they do a kind of damage all of their own… sometimes of a criminal nature,

  15. coaster 15

    Im not a troll.

    just voicing my opinion on how I see things.

    im very anti the way the palestinians have been treated by the israelis, and the way the israelis treated the british soldiers who went to palestine after ww2.

    im removed from the wars that have killed large numbers in the middle east, so although I may not agree with some of them, they dont directly affect me.

    but attacks on innocent people for no real reason other than to instill terroraffects me on a whole different level, that could have been a family member or frind killed by the terrorist, and it could happen here, it happened in aussie.

    • vto 15.1

      Do you think the installation of terror in the minds of civilians in say, Iraq, when the US went in, was not an aim of the US to help bring about victory? But apparently that is ok because it is “war” and not “terrorism”

      the hypocrisy is blinding

      there is nothing Islamic or radical about murder (to quote OAB from elsewhere in this thread)

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.2

      but attacks on innocent people for no real reason other than to instill terroraffects me on a whole different level,

      I think the aim was to permanently shut down Charlie Hebdo operations by eliminating all staff and employees associated with it.

    • lprent 15.3

      but attacks on innocent people for no real reason other than to instill terroraffects me on a whole different level, that could have been a family member or frind killed by the terrorist, and it could happen here, it happened in aussie.

      I think that deliberate drone strikes on weddings to kill a single person and calling the others killed or injured as “collatoral damage” as being exactly the same thing. Ditto for attacks on public transport, attacks on crowded streets, shooting journalists, etc etc. That is especially the case when the policy is a deliberate one to intimidate – exactly the same as these terrorists.

      Basically it seems to me that in the view of unthinking fools like yourself, that if you deliberately target innocent civilians to get your target then you are a terrorist – unless of course if you happen to do exactly the same thing but are paid for doing it in the army or security forces of another country.

      Frankly the problem is that extremist idiots like yourself keep escalating the conflicts by never bothering to engage your brains and think through the downstream consequences of your vile support for extremists (on both sides).

      Perhaps you should explain what cunning hair-splitting that you do to distinguish between the two sets of actions.

  16. Clemgeopin 16

    This and other recent acts of terror shows that the government’s draconian measures of blanket surveillance/over the top electronic snooping are quite useless for practical purposes. If they were not, this attack would have been prevented and the perpetrators behind bars before they committed this heinous act.

  17. vto 17

    This is bullshit…. France has been at war in the middle east, essentially killing and bombing muslims and attacking islam since about 2001 – that is 15 years.

    France now suffers some of its own medicine. Tough. Suck it up.

    This comment in the post “Only weakened and failing states treat these crimes as acts of war.” is complete and utter bullshit. It leads logically to “war is crime” so lets send the US, UK, Australia, Canada and France off the War Crimes Tribunal. This act in France is an act of war.

    Go to war – get killed in return.

    I have no time for western countries crying into their hankies and shedding tears when their innocent people get killed – the countries are at war ffs. Grow up.

    Fucking idiots.

  18. Sable 18

    The new reality for Europe with a declining birth rate is the use of immigrants from the Middle East. To take sides with the US which has a long running policy of exploiting the region for its resources is increasingly to act against your own national security and self interest.

    A sad day for France but there could be a better tomorrow if they stay out of the US’s meddling in the Middle East. A message we should take on board too.

  19. saveNZ 19

    Bin Laden’s goal was to start a religious war with the West. He is succeeding in his goal due to the stupidity of the West, the attack politics of corporations seeking to gains from it and the hysterical reactions of the West. All the wars and ‘terrorism policies’ are further radicalising Muslims including those who live around the world including unstable people who use the ‘Muslim’ banner for attention seeking behaviour. It’s The right wing Muslins vs The right wing Rednecks. The propaganda war is fuelling more into the fray.

    Terrorism is from a small group of people. Going around bombing the crap out of countries and thus killing lots of innocent people in the process is creating more terrorists. Economically ransacking a country and putting ordinary people in poverty without basic services again giving ordinary citizens nothing to lose. In particular woman and children.

    To make sure there is no ‘diplomatic solution’ now the terrorists are targeting easy targets journalists and peace keepers and aid workers.

    The people losing, are ordinary citizens, those in the countries being invaded and those who live in Western countries due to the increasing terrorism risk due to the afore mentioned actions. The surveillance countermeasures are making Western countries adopt the strategies of dictatorships.

    The best example of beating terrorism is Northern Ireland, after years of fighting and terrorist bombings – a diplomatic solution was adopted and surprise surprise no more terrorist bombings. You can’t suppress peoples views on religion or sovereignty. You have to work with both parties. No knee jerk reactions blindly punishing a lot of people to try to punish the actions of just a few.

    The western governments advised by security, oil and like minded lobbyists are destroying their citizens human rights and economic prosperity (not investing in people instead wars and propaganda) while at the same time increasing the risks of increased terrorism under the banner of ‘protection’.

  20. Chooky 20

    +100 karol…great post

    “That is why the most effective response is to meet terrorism on its own terms. It is to refuse to be terrified. It is not to show fear, not to overreact, not to over-publicise the aftermath. It is to treat each event as a passing accident of horror, and leave the perpetrator devoid of further satisfaction. That is the only way to defeat terrorism.”

    • vto 20.1

      Really? You both really think that is the only way to defeat “terrorism”?

      Nothing to do with the hundreds of thousands dead and buried by western ammo in the middle east?

      That is a very strange posit and seemingly brainless. Absolutely brainless

      • Chooky 20.1.1

        @ vto…neither karol nor i are ignoring the Wests’ role in the Middle East

        ….but nor are we condoning what happened to the cartoonists in Paris…violence begets more violence

        …and surely you are not condoning it?

        ….the whole thing is pointless and brainless….and the danger is that unless it is quarantined it will escalate

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.2

      It is in the interests of the power elite’s agenda of tightening controls and surveillance over society to play up and leverage every such incident of terrorism.

  21. Colonial Rawshark 21

    3 armed men, with AK’s, who can be easily labelled as Islamic extremists, militants, terrorists, jihadists, target the offices of a newspaper infamous for outrageous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Witnesses report their shouts of “Allah Akhbar!!!”

    But instead of staying to complete their martyrdom in a bloody siege with the police and special forces, they scarper off ASAP into the subway system.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 21.1

      Are you saying its a ‘deep state’ operation or a far right undercover job

      • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.1

        And not necessarily those – could be a special ops team from a Middle Eastern country for instance.

        Someone looked at the AK47 bullet holes in one of the French police car windscreens and mentioned that their placement indicated someone trained and practiced at using the weapon. I would say, especially under stressful operational conditions.

        This was not a “pray and spray” job, especially with killing the 2 armed French police guarding the premises at the start.

        • Psycho Milt 21.1.1.1

          Someone looked at the AK47 bullet holes in one of the French police car windscreens and mentioned that their placement indicated someone trained and practiced at using the weapon.

          Yes. And western governments’ declared reason for being concerned about nutcase Jihadists going off to the ME to fight is that they come back “trained and practiced” at using such weapons. Up until today, those concerns have been ridiculed by many on the left – not so laughable now, is it?

          • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.1.1.1

            The only thing which was ridiculed was that governments OK’d people travelling overseas to kill Palestinian children.

      • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.2

        I would also add: where is the stereotypical pre-shot video of the martyred perps claiming responsibility for the attack?

      • phillip ure 21.1.3

        that non-martyrdom is unusual..

        ..(when that is where the supposed reward for their deeds is only to be found.?..)

        ..and the ‘unusual’ in situations like this needs to be addressed..

    • grumpystilskin 21.2

      “But instead of staying to complete their martyrdom in a bloody siege with the police and special forces, they scarper off ASAP into the subway system.”

      Because it may be embarrassing if they got caught and people started asking questions. Like, who trained them?

  22. “Today’s French terrorists want a similarly hysterical response. They want another twist in the thumbscrew of the surveillance state. They want the media to be told to back off. They want new laws, new controls, new additions to the agenda of illiberalism. They know that in most western nations, including Britain, there exists a burgeoning industry of illiberal bureaucrats with empires to build.”

    I think that over-complicates things.

    I think they just want the media in liberal democracies to stop publishing things they find offensive to their religion.

    • Colonial Rawshark 22.1

      Or to stop liberal democracies participating in the denigration, bombing, droning and occupation of Muslim lands.

      • vto 22.1.1

        This

        Why is this simple statement never heard from our so-called “leaders”?

        • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.1.1

          It would break the propaganda narrative…”they hate us for our freedoms” don’t you know.

          • vto 22.1.1.1.1

            Yes. And so our leaders are not leaders at all. What are they? Or rather, do they reflect the price the “innocent” public are willing to pay for their oil? Do they reflect the low threshold that the “innocent” public easily step over to go to war? Do they reflect an ugly human trait that involves taking others lives to enrich their own?

            If so, is it then logical that the “innocent” public is not innocent at all and is in fact complicit in the war machine? And should expect to die themselves given their lust for war “bomb the bastards” cries and all that….. and as such this event in Paris ………………

            • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.1.1.1.1

              To paraphrase the old AMEX ad…membership has its privileges. And its costs.

      • Well that is certainly more plausible than what this bloke at the Guardian has to say. Why not take the terrorists at their word? If they say they are doing it because they don’t like the publication of some cartoons or because of something else like the issues you raise, why theorise about other motivations? In this case, it seems it was the former.

        • Tracey 22.1.2.1

          cos irrational people wouldnt lie?

          • Matthew Hooton 22.1.2.1.1

            I don’t think they are irrational. I think they believe crazy things based on their religion but act quite rationally given those beliefs. And if they say, for example, they are attacking a magazine for what it publishes, I prefer that explanation over another a third party proposes.

        • rhinocrates 22.1.2.2

          Of course you’d know all about killing people who publish what you don’t like, don’t you?

      • Chooky 22.1.3

        +100 agreed CR

    • ghostwhowalksnz 22.2

      I think youll find that any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is offensive to Sunni.

      Shia dont see it that way and it can be common..

      Then again you could make a film about the leader of North Korea thats offensive to their people. Wait a minute……

      Another interesting comparison is the Muhammad is a common christian name while Jesus is extremely rare ( for western christians)

    • I find this a far more compelling, and substantiated, theory:
      http://www.juancole.com/2015/01/sharpening-contradictions-satirists.html

      “This horrific murder was not a pious protest against the defamation of a religious icon. It was an attempt to provoke European society into pogroms against French Muslims, at which point al-Qaeda recruitment would suddenly exhibit some successes instead of faltering in the face of lively Beur youth culture (French Arabs playfully call themselves by this anagram).”

      • Colonial Rawshark 22.3.1

        Ahhh good find. Cole is often a must read for a different perspective on Middle Eastern and Islamic issues.

  23. Miracle Worker 23

    My deepest condolences to the families of those killed in this attack in Paris, as well as to the families of any innocent people killed in any Muslim country currently occupied or under attack by any western armed forces.

    Extremism of any kind is insane.

    And there needs to be an international and national conversation about what defines hate speech and what defines free speech.

    And there needs to be clearer boundaries established by legal frameworks between the two – and those boundaries need to be more fairly enforced than they currently are.

    As a gay man, as well as a human who wants all of humanity to live in relative peace, I have a right and a need to state that.

    Glenn Greenwald’s article, shared by Stephanie Rodgers yesterday, was insightful, intelligent, sensible and compelling. It would be helpful if everyone engaged in this debate at least read it.

    Because on some points at least, I sincerely believe he hit the nail on the head.

    Especially when he pointed out that you can’t claim we have free speech when someone can be arrested for writing something supporting Islamic extremism on social media or other forums, while someone else can enter those same forums and applaud the mass execution of innocent people by Israel in Gaza, with virtual impunity and no consequences imposed on them by the state.

    Greenwald was completely correct when he said this amounts to a systemic attack on ideology.

    At best, it fosters the belief that one life is worth more than another.

    Naturally I despise Islamic extremism.

    Imagine how I feel about them throwing gay people off buildings and publicly hanging them, for a start? Let alone the other hatred they spew.

    But I also believe the idea of “God’s chosen people” is equally extreme, and offensive, and hateful.

    It is, by it’s very nature, a statement of extreme ideology, ideals and intent, which can only serve to provoke extreme responses.

    And yet we can’t have a conversation about that, can we?

    We are only allowed to have a conversation about any views in response to it which are considered extreme.

    Why is that?

    How does that constitute “free speech”?

    For the world to evolve beyond people allowing their emotional buttons to be pushed so easily by so many extreme points of view, will take more and more people being willing to breathe through the nose and dig deeper into their resources of tolerance, patience and willingness to understand in order to be understood, so that we can have the necessary and long overdue mature conversation about these topics.

    Somehow I doubt that will be happening any time soon.

    RIP to all of those who have died as a result of extremism of all kinds, past, present and future.

    • JanM 23.1

      Throughout the history of mankind there have been wise men saying what you’re saying and fools who refuse to listen

    • Tracey 23.2

      endorse this. greenwalds article is worthy of msm syndication…

  24. Colonial Rawshark 24

    “It all happened very calmly, with no shouting, no insults,” he told the freesheet 20 Minutes. On his way out of an appointment in rue de Meaux, Le Bechec watched as two men jumped out of “a small black car” carrying a rocket launcher. “The car was stopped in the middle of the street. Two big black guys dressed in military-style gear got out.

    “They pulled a man, around 60, out of the car behind, a grey Renault Clio. They climbed in and said, ‘You can tell the media we’re from al-Qaida in Yemen.’ I was five or 10 metres away. The guy said, ‘Wait, let me have my dog!’ They let him get his dog out of the car before they drove off. The police arrived five minutes later.”

    (Quite a bit of a delay before the police arrived!)

    The piece says that the gunmen let other office workers in the building go. They were only after the Charlie Hebdo offices. One of the police killed was an experienced VIP protection squad member (these guys are often ex-mil themselves) who was assigned as bodyguard to the editor of the paper.

    I also watched a video posted on the Guardian website of the attackers making their escape in a small black Citroen. One of them paused before getting into the escape vehicle to pick up an item that they had dropped. This was moments after they had killed two police officers who had arrived in a police car. Movements were calm and deliberate. No panic, no rush, they acted like they were in just another drill.

    Someone who interacted with the attackers said that they spoke “perfect French.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/07/charlie-hebdo-shooting-paris-magazine-target-raid

  25. saveNZ 25

    By all accounts it sounds like it was a professional ‘hit’. Doesn’t sound like terrorism by Muslims at all. Nowadays with an unspeakable murderous act just put up a Islamic flag or yell an Arabic slogan and then it’s just assumed it is terrorism by Muslims to put police and media off the scent. State espionage and terrorism seem to be on the rise. So easy to hack and change correspondence and ‘frame’ others too. It’s not a war on Terror, it is a war on Free Speech and Justice and nothing is clear.

    • Colonial Rawshark 25.1

      Check out Stephanie Rodger’s link to Juan Cole’s comments on today’s horrific murders.

  26. vto 26

    When the germans bombed London in WWII was that terrorism?

    When the british and we bombed dresden in WWII was that terrorism?

    Serious question, with implications ……..

    • ghostwhowalksnz 26.1

      However the ordinary germans referred to shot down bomber crew as ‘terrorflieger’

      • vto 26.1.1

        Right. So the germans referred to our attacks as terrorism.

        And the difference between Dresden and Paris is? Anyone? Genuine question as I can see no difference.

        no tears

        • Psycho Milt 26.1.1.1

          A few off the top of my head (it’s not hard – can you really not see a difference?):

          1. One had a body count of 12, the other had a body count in the tens of thousands.

          2. One was a targeted assassination by some political extremists, the other was random killing by armed forces acting for a government during wartime.

          3. One was carried out in support of a murderous totalitarian ideology, the other was carried out in opposition to a murderous totalitarian ideology.

          4. There are plenty of others: weapons used, justifications offered by the perpetrators etc.

          • vto 26.1.1.1.1

            sure, split those hairs in good Christian western fashion

            think I will let your points remain unanswered in testament to their own failure…

          • vto 26.1.1.1.2

            actually I will answer them briefly…

            “1. One had a body count of 12, the other had a body count in the tens of thousands.”
            Has nowt to do with terror does scale of murder. Fail

            “2. One was a targeted assassination by some political extremists, the other was random killing by armed forces acting for a government during wartime.”
            We already had WWII won. Murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Europeans was all about revenge not about war – it was worse than terrorism. Further, putting on a uniform and calling it “war” is a favoured hair-split of the ignorant. Makes no difference. Still terror. Fail.

            “3. One was carried out in support of a murderous totalitarian ideology, the other was carried out in opposition to a murderous totalitarian ideology.”
            Nope. See response to point 2 above. Dresden murders need not have happened by us and the British – unnecessary evil, outright evil. Fail.

            “4. There are plenty of others: weapons used, justifications offered by the perpetrators etc.”
            What are you talking about? Pathetic and more fail.

            • Psycho Milt 26.1.1.1.2.1

              You asked what the differences were and I provided some. You seem to be declaring them non-differences on the basis that they don’t address some point you haven’t made. Have you considered actually making that point?

              • vto

                Oh, I wondered …

                The point is that those differences you highlight imo are immaterial to whether or not the attacks in Paris or the attacks in Dresden are “justified”.

                If the Paris attacks were unjustified then so too were the attacks we perpetrated in Dresden. And so too almost all others where innocents are killed.

                The “justifications” are absurd but are commonly raised by various people with agendas to push, such as our political leaders.

                • Brutus Iscariot

                  The Dresden attacks, were “terrorism” in my view, and indeed widely opposed at the time. There was considerable debate in the British Parliament at the time over their legitimacy.

                  The same could be said of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (slightly different questions).

                  In both cases the losers were the civilian populations of advanced western nations.

                  The relevance of bringing up Dresden in this case is limited though.
                  Terror has indeed often been used as a tool in warfare, from day one. Usually used as a means to coerce your opponent into taking actions or desisting where he otherwise wouldn’t. Fair enough you might say, Dresden was immoral but nothing new in the “all it takes to win” manual. The Allies wanted Germany to surrender, to end the war.

                  Similarly ISIS wants to establish a fundamentalist Sunni State in the Middle East, free of outside influence. Despite my disdain for their ideology, not an altogether ridiculous aim.

                  What though do the Paris terrorists want though? There is no military motive for the murders. The target was not the French military, the French government, or even the French public. The target was French culture – liberalism and free speech.

                  By all accounts the attackers are “native” French speakers. This is what makes the attacks disturbing for anyone who believes in liberal democracy. The enemy is within.

                  • Sanctuary

                    why do people always drag up the Dresden attack in 1945 as some sort of moral equivalance to terrorism? For a start, it occurred at the end of almost six years of brutal total war – which was exactly that, total – by which time there was precious little sympathy for the enemy, it was conducted with the full weight of war machine developed in direct response to indiscriminate German attacks, and was part of an overall strategic offensive designed to defeat the Nazis. The crews who flew those missions were not “terrorists” – they were in uniform as members of the armed forces of a nation state, carrying out legitimate orders issued by their superiors.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      A town packed with refugees was bombed to show the Soviet Union what Bomber Command could do. There was no strategic reason for it. The production of fine china was not a huge part of the Nazi war effort.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      MR: the exact same reason as to why the Bomb was used on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. To make a point to Stalin.

                      Sanctuary:

                      The crews who flew those missions were not “terrorists” – they were in uniform as members of the armed forces of a nation state, carrying out legitimate orders issued by their superiors.

                      You better review the Nuremberg Trials which happened not long after the end of the war. Following “legitimate orders issued by superiors” is not a defence for committing atrocities against civilians or other war crimes.

                      By the way, I’m pretty sure that the families who cooked to death in their basements during the Dresden firestorm felt “terror.”

                    • Sanctuary

                      “…A town packed with refugees was bombed to show the Soviet Union what Bomber Command could do…”

                      Half cocked conspiracy theories from people who have no notion of the historical context of the events of the time piss me off.

                      Dresden wasn’t bombed to show the USSR what bomber command could do – for a start, the results of the bomber offensive were everywhere to see in the bits of Germany the Soviets already occupied or were about to capture. Nor was Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombed to make the point to the USSR. They were bombed with such overwhelming force because they could be, and because the liberal democracies are run by elected politicians. How would Truman have explained to the thousands of bereaved voters of the USA that he sent their sons to invade Japan only after declining to use a war winning weapon of such enormous power? How would Attlee or Churchill have explained to the British people, who had suffered so much privation and sacrifice and loss, that when they finally had the bombing force the British people had worked so hard to produce they didn’t use it as much as possible? And only because they wanted to save some Germans?

                      Of course there was a strategic purpose to the Dresden attack. Until the collapse of the German night fighter force in 1944 Dresden had been to hard to reach and was an untouched STRATEGIC target for a STRATEGIC BOMBING FORCE. Dresden didn’t just make porcelain. It was the seventh biggest city in Germany. It manufactured artillery, electrical equipment, and optics. It was a significant logistics and transport hub for the retreating German armies. Always remember the families that “cooked to death” in the Dresden attack were also the people who built radars, ran trains, manned Flak guns, and worked in munitions plants. World War two was brutal total war. Who was a combatant, and who was not? A sixteen year old might be an innocent-looking school kid during the day, but they could shoot your bomber down at night working as part of the crew of a flak gun their mother had help build.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      I’ve seen all your arguments before, and I’ve seen them all refuted before. I doubt if Dresden brought the end of the war in Europe a day closer. The Japanese were also close to surrender by the time of Hiroshima. It’s doubtful that the Home Islands would have had to be invaded in either case. Your arguments are pure jingoism and I’d guess I understand the historical context as well as you do. There are the facts, which are basically that the cities were bombed, then opinion begins shortly after that.

  27. vto 27

    Maybe it was the same people who bombed and killed in the Rainbow Warrior? France should not be surprised, and I am guessing she is not. She loves war as much as anyone, as history well shows.

    • Colonial Rawshark 27.1

      We must be shocked, saddened and indignant. We are the chosen peoples in the west; how can anyone consider doing such barbarism to us when we have hurt no one.

      All our leaders believe in the old Christian teachings of “do unto others, as we would have others do unto us” – do they not?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 27.1.1

        The workers at Charlie Hebdo havent done anything to the people of the middle east!. A military base or bus full of soldiers ‘might be connected’ according to this logic.

        • vto 27.1.1.1

          “collateral damage” I think the term is, according to the US, when this happens

        • lprent 27.1.1.2

          Tell me, if you were a guest at a wedding or a person on a crowded street that got killed in a drone strike launched by a foreigners – what is your reason for a being killed?

          There is no particular difference between them and some people in a magazine office. They are both civilian collateral damage of an escalating conflict. Both are killed by terrorists intent on intimidation tactics.

          I’m always intrigued by people who seem to think that one side is entitled to use the tactics that they decry in others.

          • tinfoilhat 27.1.1.2.1

            How are the people in Paris collateral damage ?

            They appear to have been deliberately targeted for murder.

            • vto 27.1.1.2.1.1

              As opposed to being untargeted and random, while still knowing that (unknown) innocent civilians will be killed?

              Seriously?

              • tinfoilhat

                @VTO I won’t engage with you as you are an obvious troll in relation to this particular topic.

                • vto

                  Well I guess if you didn’t know the meaning of collateral damage then it was always probably that you wouldnt’ know the meaning of tro1l either ……

                  good way for you to hide. non problema, see ya

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  @VTO I won’t engage with you as you are an obvious troll in relation to this particular topic.

                  The US drops a 500lb munition on a village to kill the terrorist guy sleeping in the house that they want destroyed. But they can also truthfully claim that they were not targetting the 100 innocent villagers who were also blown to smithereens, even though they know the ordinance they dropped has a lethal radius of 60m.

                  This argument might fool you, but you can be assured that the people in the lands where this actually happens are not taken in.

            • lprent 27.1.1.2.1.2

              How were the journalists hit by a drone in Iraq collateral damage?

              They appear to have been deliberately targeted for murder..

              FFS: If you are too stupid to read my comments to the point that you understand the most basic point made in them, then don’t bother replying to them. You really do appear to be a completely lazy fuckwit…

              • tinfoilhat

                Good old lprent resorts to abuse at the first drop of a hat.

                • Tracey

                  not quite, he did set out what he was saying, it made sense to me, regardless of whether I agree or not.

                  • tinfoilhat

                    Yes and i responded in like asking how he could count the Paris journalists as collateral damage when they were intentionally targeted..

                    “.. collateral damage is damage to things that are incidental to the intended target. It is frequently used as a military term where non-combatants are accidentally or unintentionally killed or wounded and/or non-combatant property damaged as result of the attack on legitimate enemy targets.”

                    As an aside I have enjoyed you comments on this post…very thought provoking.

                    • Tracey

                      thank you, had to think long and hard before going down the route I have on this thread.

                      Do you know if the term “collateral damage” was coined recently? it appears to be a term devised to soften impact at home of the civillian deaths that were so numerous in previous wars (WWI, WWII, Korea etc)…

                    • vto

                      tinfoilhat ” i responded in like asking how he could count the Paris journalists as collateral damage when they were intentionally targeted” Yet you think the US does not intentionally target non-combatants when they know that non-combatants will die in a particular operation? Or that the lack of personalisation of non-combatants excuses the killing? Or that if you don’t know who the victims are to be then it is somehow ok?

                      Excuse my rudeness but that is a pig of a view.

                      “(collateral damage is) frequently used as a military term where non-combatants are accidentally or unintentionally killed or wounded”

                      And further above you openly suggest that when the US does this it really, genuinely, honestly, cross my heart and point to god, does not expect there to be “non-combatants” killed dead?

                      Really?

                      I think it is you who is the tro1l on this thread …..

                    • The Al1en

                      “As an aside I have enjoyed you comments on this post…very thought provoking.”

                      “thank you, had to think long and hard before going down the route I have on this thread.”

                      Not just because I agree with a lot that you’ve observed and noted here today, but I do understand the difficulties in expressing an alternate view or one that escapes the hive mind mentality that can exist among regular forum dwellers. So good for you with that.

                      I’m sure you won’t get much grief over it, if any.

          • Psycho Milt 27.1.1.2.2

            There is a particular difference between them. To see it, picture the wedding party or the random people on the street being the actual target of the drone attack, with the intent of targeting them being first, to kill Muslims, second, to spread terror within the wider population, third, to draw Muslim countries into a war with the West, and fourth, to please God. It may make no difference to the people killed, but the bottom line is that no dead person gives a shit how they were killed, because they’re dead.

            • vto 27.1.1.2.2.1

              The “particular difference” you refer to, while real, is negligible and of no importance.

              Really.

              You sum it up with your last sentence

              • To you, they’re negligible and of no importance because you appear to have the aim of offering apologia for mass murder as long as westerners are the victims.

                To someone willing to actually think about the subject, they’re significant and important. Crimes carried out by armed services engaging in irregular warfare at the behest of their governments are of a different nature to crimes carried out by political extremists, and trying to lump them together under the heading “people died” is ridiculous. By all means treat them both as crimes, but they’re not relevant to each other. As an example, if there’s a thread on the use of drone strikes against Islamists by the USA, it contributes nothing to the discussion to point out that Islamists are also killing people – at issue is what the people with the drones are doing, not what their targets are doing. The same principle applies to this thread.

                You sum it up with your last sentence

                I didn’t. Motive counts for something – in WW2, we killed shitloads of fascists, and the fascists killed shitloads of liberal democrats. By your logic, this makes fascism and liberal democracy moral equivalents – you are, quite simply, wrong.

                • vto

                  “To you, they’re negligible and of no importance because you appear to have the aim of offering apologia for mass murder as long as westerners are the victims.” Nope not at all – what a silly thing to say.

                  “Crimes carried out by armed services engaging in irregular warfare at the behest of their governments are of a different nature to crimes carried out by political extremists”
                  Nope. Never seen a good reason to make this logic-jump. By this logic if the Paris gunmen had been in a uniform and been sent by a government then it would be somehow legitimate. The only legitimacy created in this most common scenario is the legitimacy in the minds of people when they feel like murdering someone.

                  Your own attempt at providing good reason for such logic-jump was that what the victims are doing is irrelevant to what the perpetrators are doing, but that to me is unfathomable and the two cannot at all be so pulled apart.

                  Your passion for uniforms and your dismantling of actions and reactions is not able to be understood.

                • vto

                  And further above you said this…
                  “There is a particular difference between them. To see it, picture the wedding party or the random people on the street being the actual target of the drone attack, with the intent of targeting them ”

                  is weak

                  the fact that the US didn’t know who the actual people were makes it different than if the US did know who the actual people were?

                  and, …

                  does it not occur to you that although the gunmen may have known the names of their victims it wouldn’t have mattered and they would have killed them no matter who they were? This makes it unintended according to you, and exactly like the US drone strike on the wedding example.

                  better thinking is needed in this thread. The haircare people should get here with their wares such is the vast cloud of split hairs being sprayed about.

  28. waikatosinger 28

    Would you wear a T shirt with the Charlie Hebdo cover page with Mohammed on it (the one that got them firebombed) in support of free speech and the victims of terrorism? If not why not.

    • No, because I would be too scared. You?

      • waikatosinger 28.1.1

        The title of this article was “Charlie Hebdo: ‘… and not give in to fear’”. Too late for you by the look if it.

        I’d do it, but I’d be very careful where I wore it, and would definitely leave it out of my suitcase if travelling overseas.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 28.1.2

        What about a T shirt with Kim Jong-Uns head exploding?

        Would the answer be ‘how much’ ( but after you back up your computer?)

        • ghostwhowalksnz 28.1.2.1

          I seem to recall the Herald cartoonist got fired because of depictions of Israels actions in the occupied territories.

          The word Apartheid on a ruined building was used with a star of david replacing an ‘a’

          A cartoonist can lose his job because it offends a particular religious group.

          • waikatosinger 28.1.2.1.1

            There is a slight difference between getting fired and getting shot. Arguably the newspaper, as employer, has the right to terminate the employment of someone who offends subscribers and may damage the newspaper’s business.

        • Matthew Hooton 28.1.2.2

          I wouldn’t be afraid to wear that

      • rhinocrates 28.1.3

        Have you asked Nicky Hager how he feels?

    • vto 28.2

      No. Risk of being attacked. Next question.

    • weka 28.3

      “Would you wear a T shirt with the Charlie Hebdo cover page with Mohammed on it (the one that got them firebombed) in support of free speech and the victims of terrorism? If not why not.”

      No, because it’s inflammatory and bigoted, and uses freedom of speech as a cover for Islamaphobia.

      It doesn’t support victims of terrorism because it buys into the Western idea that we can do anything we want and not be responsible for our actions.

      • waikatosinger 28.3.1

        I respect your personal decision not to wear such a shirt, although I disagree with your reasons. I presume you would defend my right to decide to wear such a shirt though.

        […] it buys into the Western idea that we can do anything we want […]

        … a quaint western notion most people call freedom.

        • weka 28.3.1.1

          No, I wouldn’t defend your right to do that. As I said, it’s inflammatory and bigoted. If you want to take such an action, up to you, but don’t expect support from me.

          “… a quaint western notion most people call freedom.”

          No, and it’s disingenous to imply that Westerners have complete freedom when they patently don’t. No-one does. Try some nuance in your argument.

        • Murray Rawshark 28.3.1.2

          I would support your right to walk the breadth of Iraq wearing your stupid t-shirt. Go for it, support freedom! Team Waikato world tailors!

          • The Al1en 28.3.1.2.1

            Will you go along to the Charlie memorials spouting your “Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo” bullshit?

            Bet you wouldn’t get shot, even if you do have the gonads to front it 😉
            Pics of you in a t shirt waving a banner in front of real people will suffice as proof.

            • karol 28.3.1.2.1.1

              What have the “Je suis Charlie” t shirt wearers done with the “We are Gaza” “ونحن على غزة” ones from last year?

            • Murray Rawshark 28.3.1.2.1.2

              Why the hell would I bother? You really should have a think about your stalking ways. I’m not the sort of person that does something with the excuse “But he dared me.” Go and take your vitriol out on your old boss. Apparently he actually did something bad to you.

              • The Al1en

                So you won’t wear a fuck you charlie tee shirt, just post shit on the internet.
                At least hooton admitted his cowardice.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  I don’t let other people decide what I should do. You are absolutely pathetic. You should stick to cartoons. They’re more your level.

                  • The Al1en

                    “I would support your right to walk the breadth of Iraq wearing your stupid t-shirt. Go for it, support freedom! Team Waikato world tailors!”

                    I also support your right to do in public what you feel comfortable protesting in anonymity. If you had the balls to do it that is. Clearly you don’t. Even if you want to dress it up as a control thing 😉
                    Go for it, support censorship! Team murray world wailers!

                    And you did that cartoon gag to psycho milt not 10 minutes ago. Chip on your shoulder affecting your ability to think on your feet?

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Yawn. Clear in your idiot imagination. Fuck off to Whalespew. You’d fit in better there.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Yawn. Clear in your idiot imagination. Fuck off to Whalespew. You’d fit in better there.”

                      And now you don’t like my free speech and want to silence a dissenting voice.
                      What you going to do next, shoot me? 😆

                      Go on murray, show me how much of a caring lefty you really are 😉

    • Hello 28.4

      I ozzy a guy got arrested for wearing a “I’m with Stupid T-Shirt”
      I don’t think I would wear the shirt in question as it’s not funny.

  29. The Fairy Godmother 29

    A useful analogy is that these killers are to Islam what the ku kluks klan is to Christianity. The killers say they are Muslim and the kkk say they are Christian but most people from these faiths would disagree.

    • Agree, although I’m not sure the KKK really did/do believe in christianity.
      I think what we are seeing within Islam is more like medieval extremists in the christian church who took the Bible’s teachings seriously (particularly the Old Testament) and so were all into torturing and burning people and so forth.
      Within the so-called “christian world”, hardly anyone takes any of that nonsense seriously anymore so we don’t see the same sort of murders etc done in the name of the christian god so much these days.
      The thing is, if you believe the nonsense in the Bible or Koran then killing people for, say, publishing cartoons or taking communion wrong, in order to protect your children from the risk of being contaminated and facing eternal damnation makes a great deal of sense.
      I think people impose a western world view on Islamist terrorists and say they are doing it in retaliation of this, that or the other – but I think we should listen to what they say they are motivated by, which is generally religion.
      That seems to be particular the case here.
      If colonisation, western imperialism, Iraq, poverty inequality etc were the reason, why attack a left wing satirical magazine? I think (we will have to wait and see) that it is most likely the motivation was the publication of material they found offensive.

      • adam 29.1.1

        If it was about offence Matthew, don’t you think some of the far right wing publications would have been a more obvious target? The Parti de la France, PDF and the National Front have not exactly been backwards coming forward on their criticism of Islam, and Muslims inside France.

        Not that I think the average islamic radical want’s to tell the difference mind you. Ideological blinkers and all that.

        • Matthew Hooton 29.1.1.1

          Charlie Hebdo seems to have been pretty out there though, more so than the right wing groups you mention. Let’s see what the killers have to say about their motivations rather than speculate.

      • phillip ure 29.1.2

        @ hooton..

        “..it is most likely the motivation was the publication of material they found offensive..”

        ..yes..they were the flashpoint..

        ..but that you so blithely dismiss all that is currently/historically being done against islam..as being of no matter/relevance..

        ..is just redolent of what you are paid to spin for…

        ..nothing more..

      • Murray Rawshark 29.1.3

        There is no way Charlie Hebdo is left wing. Its cartoons would be at home in Whalespew.

        https://social-justice-fire-mage.tumblr.com/post/107444852419/pm-hello-i-agree-that-no-journalistartist

        • The Al1en 29.1.3.1

          “There is no way Charlie Hebdo is left wing.”

          “Charlie Hebdo is part of a long tradition of political satire in France. Its editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was killed by gunmen Wednesday, described the newspaper’s positions in 2012 as left-wing, secular, and atheist.”

          http://www.vox.com/2015/1/7/7511001/charlie-hebdo-attack-paris

          “Laurent Léger, a Charlie Hebdo staffer who survived the attack, told CNN in 2012, “The aim is to laugh. … We want to laugh at the extremists — every extremist. They can be Muslim, Jewish, Catholic. Everyone can be religious, but extremist thoughts and acts we cannot accept.” “

          • Murray Rawshark 29.1.3.1.1

            Well then, Stéphane had a problem with self knowledge. Funny sort of left wing that spends most of its time attacking minorities. I suppose they could be old style Stalinists. They had a fucked sense of humour as well.

            • The Al1en 29.1.3.1.1.1

              I’m sure the poor bloke knew all about who he was and what the mission statement of his publication was all about.

              As you seem like the most extreme extremist in the village type, I’m not really expecting a balanced opinion or reply coming from down your neck of the woods.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 29.1.3.1.1.2

              What’s the appropriate satirical response to a fatwa?

    • Not really. ISIS are doing Islam the way it says in the manual. The KKK weren’t doing that with Christianity, unless perhaps the early church weeded out a gospel in which Jesus declared the importance of keeping the White race pure.

      • adam 29.2.1

        Difficult that Psycho Milt when the early church was made up of predominantly jews.

      • The Bible is pretty clear on the supremacy of God’s chosen people, and the need to exterminate the non-chosen. As soon as Christianity went global it became difficult to insist that God only means indigenous Israelites. At that point, white supremacy is very easily justified by “what it says in the manual”.

        • Psycho Milt 29.2.2.1

          The Bible is pretty clear on the supremacy of God’s chosen people, and the need to exterminate the non-chosen.

          Christians aren’t Jews. And if they were, white supremacy would be even more impossible to justify than it is from the NT. You’re making a totally nonsensical leap there.

          • The Fairy Godmother 29.2.2.1.1

            I think Mathew Hooton and Psycho Milt are misunderstanding my point although they nearly got it. The people who shot up Charlie Hebdo would claim to be Muslims and may even come from Muslim backgrounds and families. KKK members also claim to be Christian and come from Christian backgrounds. The crazies in the US who tried to claim Obama was not a US citizen and hate him with a vehemence may have similar roots to where the KKK come from. I don’t know the Koran at all although I do know Muslim people and their interpretation of their faith is gentle and loving. I do know the Bible well and understand it to be a collection of books written over time by many authors. Its consistent overall message is one of compassion and social justice. However unfortunately Christian extremists will take a part of a book or even a few lines in isolation and use it to justify a hatefilled faith. Parts of the Bible have been misused in this way to justify racism you only have to look at the Dutch Reform church in South Africa, oppression of women, slavery and more recently oppression of LGTG people.

            • greywarshark 29.2.2.1.1.1

              @ The Fairy G
              I have just been reading about the Dutch Reform Church which has reformed and amalgamated and only a small number have started another branch that does not approve the ordination of women or same sex unions. The main body has accepted these.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Reformed_Church

              It is interesting to see that in South Africa there is an Afrikaaner City called Orania that is largely self-governing and now has its own currency,
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orania,_Northern_Cape#Culture

              • The Fairy Godmother

                Thats good to hear. I was thinking more about the bad old days of apartheid and I know that some churches justified it.

                • greywarbler

                  @ Fairy G
                  I have the feeling that the changes were from the European main body but the church has spread internationally, and some such as the Afrikaaner version might not have followed. So the old attitudes may still linger in places like Orania.

                  I didn’t study closely enough to find out. But it is common human behaviour to hold determinedly to beliefs of personal superiority and entitlement so there is that possibility.

      • Murray Rawshark 29.2.3

        If ISIS is just following the manual, why do so many eminent Muslim scholars condemn them for not following Islam?

        • Matthew Hooton 29.2.3.1

          I imagine it is because “eminent Muslim scholar”, like “eminent Christian scholar” or “modernist” tends to be code for non-believer – or at least “lukewarm believer”.

          • Murray Rawshark 29.2.3.1.1

            In this, as in many other things, you are very, very wrong.

          • Colonial Rawshark 29.2.3.1.2

            Matthew, pro-war, pro-Israel, right wing fundi Christians are more properly called heretics.

            Same like the ISIS leadership and even Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden for instance did not possess the formal religious training or positions in Islam which remotely qualified him to speak about religious matters.

        • Psycho Milt 29.2.3.2

          If ISIS is just following the manual, why do so many eminent Muslim scholars condemn them for not following Islam?

          A clue is in the number of young Muslims taking the word of radical scholars over the “eminent” ie the western-government-friendly ones. The radical ones have chapter and verse to back them up, the “eminent” ones have stuff like “you have to take modern times into account.” One is a hell of a lot more convincing than the other.

          • Colonial Rawshark 29.2.3.2.1

            I love how you talk like you have the faintest what either “radical Muslim scholars” or western friendly “eminent Muslim scholars” teach in Islamic religious schools.

  30. Miracle Worker 30

    If all freedom of speech was treated equally in this country then the pastor of the West Auckland church who recently called for the execution of gay people should have been arrested for terrorism and be facing trial as you read this.

    So would anyone who applauded the mass execution and genocide of Palestinians by Israel.

    We do not have free speech.

    What we have is selective morality which exonerates hate speech when it supports our individual and collective biases and prejudices, all of which are found to be as irrational as Islamic extremism when examined carefully enough.

    How anyone could imagine the kind of extremism we are now seeing was not going to occur in response to western countries invading other countries and exterminating large numbers of largely innocent Muslim populations just defies common sense and logic.

    • JanM 30.1

      Yes, it is selective and that sort of thing seems to me to be worsening with the rise in fundamentalist religious organisations of all stripes.
      Anyone got any thoughtful reflections about why this increase in fundamentalism is occurring?

      • lprent 30.1.1

        The generations that wound up with the impact of stupidity of widespread wars have largely died out. So you have more fools running around who think that armed conflicts are a good way to solve issues.

        • Colonial Rawshark 30.1.1.1

          Not so much in the Pentagon I suspect, which has had to manage the brunt of the real life problems in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the political and elite class in the US are as detached as ever from the mud and the blood out there.

          • lprent 30.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, the military are pretty warwary in the States at present, as are many if not most of the Iraq and Afghanistan vets.

            The problem that they have is a political system the penalises politicians for being soft on military adventures, not having a strong religion, or not being a political extremist. Because the political system extends into such things as judges, law enforcement and dogcatchers it is effectively everywhere.

    • “How anyone could imagine the kind of extremism we are now seeing was not going to occur in response to western countries invading other countries and exterminating large numbers of largely innocent Muslim populations just defies common sense and logic.”

      How do you explain 9/11 then?

      • Miracle Worker 30.2.1

        How do I explain 9/11?

        No extreme can exist unless it is directly proportionate to opposite extreme(s).

        Could it be that it doesn’t serve the vested interests you so clearly serve to have any of us focusing on those extremes, Matthew?

        And, of course, my response to your obviously loaded question comes with a caveat, which is based on the assumption that 9/11 *wasn’t* an inside job, which of course is a question that has yet to be answered categorically, and therefore remains unanswered by anything other than opinions.

        And we all know what opinions are like Matthew, don’t we?

        In case you don’t, I will tell you.

        Opinions are like ars*holes Matthew.

        Everyone has one.

        Even lil’ old you.

        • lprent 30.2.1.1

          Of course that could have been related to some cruise missiles being fired on and airstrikes on targets before 2001? Or the propping up with military resources of some pretty repressive authoritarian regimes? Or any number of other grievances…

          US and european foreign policy has not been notable about being kind to civilians in resource rich countries for much of last century. It is hardly surprising that civilians in those countries tend to bear grudges for their relatives and friends being killed.

      • Tracey 30.2.2

        did you have no international awareness prior to 2001? western countries invading and killing thousands of innocents in the middle east directly or through financial and other support was going on long before the 2001 murders

        • ghostwhowalksnz 30.2.2.1

          Osama bin Laden had problems going back to the end of the islamic Al Andalus in Spain in 1492

        • Miracle Worker 30.2.2.2

          I am in the somewhat unique position of having been born to British parents in Yemen, and spent my earliest years being raised in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Middle East.

          I understand the culture there more than many do in the west, partly because I have also made the effort to in my adult life.

          This largely because of a keen interest in learning about other cultures on my part, but also partly due to a desire to understand the motivations behind the type of extremism we have been witnessing for the last decade or more.

          The first mistake I see so called journalists like Matthew Hooton keep making on this type of issue, which I suspect is more deliberate than unconscious, is that they try to sum up the issues involved (and at stake) in incredibly simplistic terms, invariably in a way (and with views) that support their biases and prejudices.

          If their approach was even remotely balanced, for instance, they would criticise zionism with the same veracity that they attack Islamic extremism, because the fact is that both extremes are abhorrent, offensive, and harmful to humanity in terms of peaceful coexistence between different cultures and peoples.

          I doubt you will ever see, for instance, Matthew Hooton questioning the correlation or coincidence between George W Bush’s post 9/11 speech, in which he referred to the US’s (and it’s allies) intention to wage ware against the “axis of evil”.

          In that speech he named a number of countries.

          Among them were Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan.

          With the benefit of hindsight we can now see the degree to which President Bush and his successor co-created what has become a nightmarish self-fulfilling prophesy.

          And with the benefit of research, anyone with intelligence won’t take long to discover that those countries all had one thing in common, apart from the obvious fact they were largely populated by muslims.

          What they also shared in common was that their leaders individually and collectively refused to participate in developing central banking and financial/economic systems that were aligned with US strategic interests.

          So could it be that this ongoing so called war on terror, whether it is being waged by economic sanctions or military invasions, is being waged for reasons other than Islamic extremism?

          Could it be that “Islamic extremism” is an easy way to push people’s emotional buttons in the west, causing them not to question the more glaring anomalies and double standards displayed by the US and it’s allies in these ongoing fights?

          Make no mistake about it – these wars are being fought for economic and strategic interests which have nothing to do with Islamic extremism.

          The rise in Islamic extremism is largely a product of those wars, not simply the cause of them.

          Do I believe that zionist extremists and their supporters are just as capable of acts which are just as evil and just as insane as Islamic extremists?

          Hell yes, and history proves it.

          But as long as Muslims don’t control the majority of the world’s mainstream media, and as long as our so called journalists remain so hell bent on spinning only one side of the story, blaming only one ideology, Muslims are on a hiding to nothing, becoming increasingly marginalised in society, to suit prevailing economic and political interests.

          • Tracey 30.2.2.2.1

            AND Bush introduced “make no mistake” tot he wider political lexicon and for that alone, he could be punished! Joking aside, I am enjoying your thoughtful pieces here.

  31. weka 31

    Sarah Kendzior tweeting today,

    “Shameful that egregious acts of cruelty — slaying of NYC cops, French satirists — used to condemn all who share background of perpetrators”

    “Assuming brutality is condoned unless explicitly condemned is a method of dehumanization. No one should apologize for things they didn’t do.”

    “Acts of mass murder by extremists are rare. The bigotry Charlie Hebdo espouses, guised as contrarianism, is unfortunately common.”

    “The cartoons were bigoted. The murders are horrific and inexcusable. Those are not mutually exclusive.”

    “WTF. Freedom of speech” (link to two examples of cartoons with translation, “none of this is funny”)

    • weka 31.1

      A couple of her retweets,

      “Naheed Mustafa @NaheedMustafa · 6 hrs 6 hours ago
      Btw, it’s entirely possible to say cartoons were racist, offensive, baited Muslims AND ppl shouldn’t be murdered for exercising free speech”

      “Arnessa @Rrrrnessa · 25 mins 25 minutes ago
      There’s many ways to honor the victims of the Paris shooting, spreading & glorifying Islamophobia as freedom of speech is not one of them.”

      this.

      How about we talk about respect as much as we talk about freedom of speech?

      • marty mars 31.1.1

        I thought this comment on facebook by Harsha Walia to be very good too

        In condemning the killings at Charlie Hebdo, can we please not forget that it’s a racist publication, that attacks on certain religions are racialized (and hence are racist attacks), that free speech/satire is not a sacred cow (especially when it becomes violent, hate speech), and that the backlash that will ensue will disproportionately target certain communities for scrutiny and surveillance (in the context of ever-rising anti-Muslim backlash in Europe under the guise of state/racialized secularism and anti-migrant sentiment). This is not to justify the murders (obviously), but this publication should continue to be condemned and not suddenly be let off the hook (like how the hell is there suddenly social license to reproduce their racist images as some kind of gesture of ‘solidarity’?), and to be vigilant about the rationale that the state will deploy for further enacting violence.

        • weka 31.1.1.1

          very good.

        • JanM 31.1.1.2

          A very thoughtful comment.
          It’s going to take the wisdom of Solomon to steer a humane, just course through the mess we’re making and, frankly, I can’t spot any world leaders who are up to it right now.

        • Psycho Milt 31.1.1.3

          …the backlash that will ensue will disproportionately target certain communities for scrutiny and surveillance…

          This may be a bold stand to take, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and hypothesise that scrutiny and surveillance of this community had less to do with Charlie Hebdo being mean to Muslims than with murders carried out by Muslim extremists…

      • Olwyn 31.1.2

        How about we talk about respect as much as we talk about freedom of speech?

        In the absence of a general “respect for respect,” the reactions of politicians to this truly awful deed come across as vacuous. And I am glad that people have noted the differences between satire, taunting and propaganda – all of which can be defended in the name of free speech.

        I recall the outrage among TS commentators when a local cartoonist depicted several generations of poor people, ciggies and Lotto tickets in hand, rocking up to the school for free food. The artist would have called it “satire,” there was certainly a case for calling it “taunting” and many of us saw it as propaganda.

        Being outraged is no excuse whatsoever for mass murder, and my heart goes out to those who have died or lost loved ones. But these murders should not be used to justify vicious depictions of targeted groups either, as expressions of “our deeply cherished freedom of speech.”

        • Murray Rawshark 31.1.2.1

          Charlie Hebdo’s garbage reminded me of that racist prick from Marlborough as well. Same sort of knee jerk reactionary bullying of people they thought couldn’t fight back.

          • Olwyn 31.1.2.1.1

            Yes, real satire for the most part mocks the pompous and presumptuous. Taunting those who lack a platform from which to respond does not cut it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 31.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, because Charlie Hebdo just started drawing Mohammed completely spontaneously for no reason at all, eh.

              • Olwyn

                Not sure what you are getting at. I did say that being outraged is no excuse for mass murder. I also said that the murders do not justify demeaning targeted groups, with the claim that it is all about free speech. These two thoughts can be held simultaneously, without contradiction.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You said the killers lacked a platform from which to respond, whereas in truth, the drawing of Mohammed is itself a response to the fatwa against Kurt Westergaard.

                  I’d say death sentences issued by “religious” “leaders” qualify as a platform of sorts, no?

                  • Olwyn

                    OK, I do see what you are getting at now, and I agree that a fatwa is very much a threat. I was thinking in terms of the social acceptance of Muslims within Western societies, and think that a culture of mutual respect would serve us all better than standing on the right to demean each other.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Are you channelling Xi Jinping? The grass mud horses are the mortal enemies of the river crabs.

                    • Olwyn

                      @OAB, not exactly, but just as many fear these awful acts being used as an excuse for increased surveillance, I also fear them being used to defend malicious propaganda against designated enemies as a form of free speech. I was very glad when the “I’ll ride with you” girl somehow got an early hearing in Sydney.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Me too. A shame she turned out to be lying.

          • Ergo Robertina 31.1.2.1.2

            Yuck – ‘people they thought couldn’t fight back’. Why should anyone whose weapons are ink and ridicule expect anyone to fight back in with violence thuggery and murder?
            As murdered Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh said in his reported last words (according to eyewitnesses): “Mercy, mercy! We can talk about it, can’t we?”; talk about it, write letters about it, protest in the street, start Internet memes. There is no excuse for mass murder.

            • Colonial Rawshark 31.1.2.1.2.1

              There is no excuse for mass murder.

              Again this really isn’t about “excuses for murder” as there are none. However, the west (literally, in Afghanistan) created and taught the modern extremist Muslim militant how to, and has more recently demonstrated time and time again what its true beliefs and values in regard to mass murder are.

              See Tautoko Mangō Mata’s recent comment on how the US killed 128 people including 13 children, in order to get one Taliban target.

              How’s that for demonstrating western values around mass murder?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It doesn’t. No Western values that I recognise. Are they yours, perhaps?

                • greywarshark

                  No Western values that I recognise. Are they yours, perhaps?
                  What does that tag question refer to?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  It doesn’t. No Western values that I recognise. Are they yours, perhaps?

                  It’s OK if you live in denial. We are all victims of the western system of propaganda. However for all the people in poor and developing countries who are on the receiving end of our modern million dollar ordinance, the west’s values are actually very plain.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Oh right, so when wingnut bigots lump all Muslims together, you agree with that too?

                    Or is it that you’re simply a racist who believes that “people in poor and developing countries” all think the same way?

                    We’re all victims of the Western system, except you. You’re special.

            • Murray Rawshark 31.1.2.1.2.2

              If I published those sort of cartoons in a city which already has heaps of racial conflict, with any number of people likely to resort to outrageous violence, I would certainly be aware that violence, thuggery, and murder were a possible response. Why else did they have a permanent, but ineffective, police guard?

              I don’t support killing in any shape or form, but those people deserve a bloody Darwin Award.

            • weka 31.1.2.1.2.3

              “There is no excuse for mass murder.”

              That’s right. So how do we explain or put meaning on the other mass murders that happen, including those that CV is pointing out that are committed by Western nations? Why do we condemn some but not others?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                We? Speak for yourself.

                • weka

                  Fuck off OAB.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Why are you pretending that people in the West don’t condemn mass murder? What the fuck is Wikileaks? Or the UDoHR, for that matter?

                    • weka

                      Are you interested in what I meant by my comment? Or do you want to have an argument?

                      I’m happy to clarify what I meant, but there’s not much point if you just want to argue.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Your remark makes sense to me if you substitute we with “MSM”, for example. The lack of reporting of the NAACP bombing leaps to mind in that context.

                    • weka

                      I was thinking more about things like #jesuischarlie and how in NZ there might be an upsurge of emotion and discussion and changing tags etc for a mass killing in France but we don’t see that for a mass killing in a Middle Eastern country. So yes, there are people who oppose mass killings in the west, individuals and organisations, but I still think there is a cultural sanctioning of the ‘other’. In NZ we have a fairly long history of protestors against the US being seen as weirdos or fringe dwellers.

                      I would see the people actively speaking out and working against mass murders as resisiting that sanctioning. I don’t think we’re at the point where the resistance has become the norm or where the power resides (and yes I am aware of the problems of trying to talk about the West via ‘we’ but let’s take it as a given I’m not talking about all individual Westerners or all Western organisations).

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    By definition, there’s a cultural sanction against the other, or it wouldn’t be the other, and I take your point. I wonder if in the long-term the use of hastags will break down some of those barriers – i’llridewithyou was a lie, and it was also a heartening response to the likes of that ghoul Murdoch.

  32. vto 32

    A country goes to war, its civilians get killed.

    This has always been the case.

    Wake up people. John Key is steadily exposing us to the same – expect it.

    • Colonial Rawshark 32.1

      Yeah, this.

      People need to remember that NZ kept up reasonably good relations with Communist China and Communist USSR even during the height of the reds under the bed scares (propaganda).

      Let’s not fall for any of this “us or them” rhetoric from the power elite now. We’re supposed to be smarter and more sophisticated these days, apparently.

      • Tracey 32.1.1

        we have not joined sanctions on Russia, and China is our Cabinets new best friend. That is in 2015. China still imprisons and executes people who speak out against the state.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 32.1.1.1

          We have called off a possible free trade deal with Russia over the invasion of Crimea.

          Next year the PM will go to Gallipolli despite Turkeys invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
          Its all Ok to invade your neighbours when you are Nato. ( Kosovo ??)

        • Colonial Rawshark 32.1.1.2

          Plenty of internet forums in China carry popular criticism of the Communist Party and various authorities. (These comments can multiply far faster than the censors can keep up, at times). So that’s not enough. Usually you have to have committed some egregious act of corruption, incompetence or malfaesence against the state in order to get yourself officially and judicially executed in China.

          However, using the state machinery to kill or sideline rivals or political opponents does happen…happened on a regional level scaringly often for a while which is why Beijing centralised controls over the death penalty a few years back.

          • Tracey 32.1.1.2.1

            are you saying they are not committing thousands of human rights abuses each year, or not?

            • Murray Rawshark 32.1.1.2.1.1

              I think he’s saying that the death penalty isn’t as common as it was. No more than that.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Indeed. But China does execute a hell of a lot of people still.

                And in terms of separate human rights violations. I am guessing the Chinese government at various levels commits several million of those every year.

                Now it’s not an excuse, but China is never going to run a country of its nature the same as a western country 1/20 or 1/50 or 1/200 its size.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 32.1.1.2.2

            The Paris police ( who were led by a former nazi collaborator at the time) were involved in a massacre of peaceful demonstrators in 1961. ( They were mostly muslim supporters of the Algerian independence group FLN)

            It was mostly hushed up, but official numbers of dead were around 40, unoffically could have been over 100. A lot were herded into the river Seine and drowned, others were killed after been taken to a courtyard of the police HQ.

            AS we know in Auckland, the french secret services havent hesitated to use extreme violence in the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. technically an act of terrorism

        • Colonial Rawshark 32.1.1.3

          On another note Tracey, Saudi Arabia decapitated almost 100 people in 2014. But the western govts are sweet with them while ISIS are EVIL INCARNATE.

          • Tracey 32.1.1.3.1

            I know and they also dont allow women to vote, or may have recently changed it, yet America doesn’t seem inclined to take democracy to them with the same will as to other areas lacking the democracy

            what I am NOT doing is subscribing to the notion that china/russia/middle east = all good

            west = all bad

            • Colonial Rawshark 32.1.1.3.1.1

              Of course, good/bad, good/evil, are only the thinnest of propaganda terms to describe nations in.

              Secondly, this is not about the ordinary citizens in any of these nations. It is about the power elite of those nations. Of course, it is always the commoners who suffer most.

              Thirdly, IMO the notion is that the USA is the world’s pre-eminent military and financial empire, bar none. China is an old civilisation which is trying to hang together politically and economically while regaining what it sees as its place at the centre of the world. While Russia remembers very clearly what it is like to have its government and economy deliberately and systematically collapsed by the west. They won’t be letting that happen again.

              • Tracey

                and yet they still acted militarily in crimea and then ukraine, before the economic measure of the west.

                the poor of russia are incredibly poor and Putin ‘s rhetoric is all they have while he and his cronies get richer and richer. the difference between he, key and obama is degrees only

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  and yet they still acted militarily in crimea and then ukraine, before the economic measure of the west.

                  Of course. Russia was never going to allow Sevastapol to be turned into a NATO naval base, sorry.

                  Russia is also going to react in the same way to NATO trying to place missiles and bombers in the Ukraine, as the USA would act if Russia tried to do the same again in Cuba.

                  Again I thought that would be obvious.

                  the poor of russia are incredibly poor and Putin ‘s rhetoric is all they have while he and his cronies get richer and richer.

                  Definitely. Putin deserves criticism for that.

                  But do remember that in the last 25 years, the Americans have collapsed the economy and finances of the Russian people TWICE. Russia has certainly bounced back from those bad old days. And Putin deserves credit for that.

                  the difference between he, key and obama is degrees only

                  Not in the slightest. You have missed out so much in this.

  33. Barbara 33

    When you publish satire and/or insulting stuff and you know clear and simple its going to inflame hatred and killing in certain fanatical factions of the people you are aiming that satire and/or insulting stuff to, then you really are just goading and spoiling for a fight and probably are no better than those certain factions. You invite this sort of disgusting and tragic slaughter to come down on your houses. Satire only works on people who have the ability to shrug it off or are able to laugh at themselves – not fanatical religious nuts – its simple really – don’t give these fanatics any excuses or oxygen.

    Prod a rattle snake and you get bitten.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 33.1

      🙄

      By your twisted logic it’s ok to murder racists.

      • Colonial Rawshark 33.1.1

        Barbara’s point speaks to reality. You bomb Muslim lands, you murder Muslim civilians, you humiliate Muslim culture. But somehow imagine that the death and mayhem brought by western guided munitions and drone strikes will stay neatly confined to poor, coloured, far away lands?

        • Tracey 33.1.1.1

          no, she wrote if you write satire against fanatics expect to be murdered.

          • Colonial Rawshark 33.1.1.1.1

            The gun men, who were black, said that they were Al Qaeda from Yemen. Yemen has been victim to ongoing droning by US forces for years now, with many civilian families killed.

            I’d say that had something to do with it.

            no, she wrote if you write satire against fanatics expect to be murdered.

            Ah yes, it’s just satire to us in western culture, very funny haha to our sensibilities, no harm done, right; just like misogynistic comments against battered women or jokes against the intellectually disabled, or hate speech against Jews are very funny haha, no harm done, right? Don’t you have a sense of humour?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 33.1.1.2

          Speak for yourself.

        • Psycho Milt 33.1.1.3

          You bomb Muslim lands, you murder Muslim civilians, you humiliate Muslim culture. But somehow imagine that the death and mayhem brought by western guided munitions and drone strikes will stay neatly confined to poor, coloured, far away lands?

          Hmm. Implied conclusions:
          1. This means we’d be right to look on all Muslims with suspicion, as this justification for murder applies to all of them.
          2. It also means we were justified in carrying out those bombings, murders and humiliations, in revenge for whatever previous bombings, murders and humiliations the relevant governments claimed to have suffered.

          Are you sure you want to go there?

          • Colonial Rawshark 33.1.1.3.1

            I have no idea how you got to your conclusions, but sure let’s go there. More killing and more torture on the western tax payer’s dime must surely be the answer, yes?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 33.1.1.3.1.1

              Is that what you think PM was proposing? It’s your own argument played back at you.

              There’s no excuse for killing people, period. If we must fight, there’s nothing to celebrate except a funeral. Many many people know this and actively oppose warmongers and arms manufacturers and torturers.

              So pretending otherwise isn’t even a neat rhetorical trick.

              • The lost sheep

                “There’s no excuse for killing people, period.”

                Few things are as simple as ‘period’ when it comes to Human ethics and nature.

                Tolstoy argued that ‘turn the other cheek’ was the greatest test of a Christians faith, for the obvious reason that very few people are capable of not reacting in kind to a direct violent attack, despite their convictions.

                How many of us would not kill if we were convinced it was the only way to stop a murderous attack on a member of our own family? Or if we were faced with a situation where one death would clearly prevent the death of many innocent victims?

                It is the perception of ‘direct attack’ that makes the politics of human conflict so incredibly difficult.
                If only it were as simple on all of humanity agreeing on the ethical line in the sand and proclaiming ‘period’….

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The highest ethic in martial arts is to subdue the enemy without fighting, “for he who delights in slaughter is no leader.”

                  Our leaders have forgotten, or worse, are ignoring the hard lessons of war. Hence my remark about funerals.

                  • The lost sheep

                    You would look at history then and say that there has never been an aggressor that could could not have been pacified without fighting?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That would be a long bow to draw, and yet it is the logical conclusion of much military philosophy.

                      I wonder if Sun Tzu ever conceived of leaders who would propose a war without end, let alone wage one: the stupidest thing he reported was besieging a walled city.

                    • The lost sheep

                      It was your opinion i was interested in OAB, rather than a vague reference to ‘much military philosophy’?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      As I said, it would be a long bow to draw.

                      And given that Sun Tzu is recommended reading at West Point, I suspect his thoughts are more valuable than mine.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Your modesty does you credit OAB, but I suspect even Sun Tzu would admire your mastery of the art of evasion.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “A long bow to draw”. How many more times do I need to say it? It’s a direct answer to your question.

                      Not the answer you were looking for, perhaps?

                    • The lost sheep

                      It was such an oblique answer that I did not initially recognize it as one. But I’ll take it now that you agree some aggressors simply cannot be met with any response than lethal force.

                      While I appreciate your idealism, ‘There is no excuse for killing people, period.’, is simply not a valid statement at this stage of humanities development.

                      In the real world things are a lot more complex than that, and until such a time as all people on earth share your ideal, we are left with the moral dilemma of balancing off the conflicting goals of peace and defence.

                      Very easy to do in a blog no doubt, as this thread demonstrates, but it will be a hell of a lot tougher when the decisions you make determine what actions will actually take place.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It may well be idealistic, it’s far from academic. Back to Sun Tzu:

                      There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare…In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns…the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

            • Psycho Milt 33.1.1.3.1.2

              I have no idea how you got to your conclusions…

              See, that’s what I think the problem is. You don’t think about what conclusions your points invite people to draw. I’ll spell it out.

              1. Your point is that if western governments have made attacks on Muslim-majority countries or if people in the west have humiliated Muslims (eg, via cartoons in a magazine), we should expect a violent response from Muslims against westerners. If you were correct, westerners would have good reason to regard all Muslims with suspicion.

              2. If violent revenge is justified, the governments you’re complaining about can point for justification to the pretexts they declared for their own attacks. By your logic, those bombings, murders and humiliations then become justified retribution, and there’s basically no end to it because every ethnic group on the planet has an extensive list of scores they could settle.

              Or, in short – what OAB said above.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You reap what you sow. Every good Christian knows this.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Sounds like the parable of the self-made man to me.

                • In other words, you stand by those implied conclusions. That’s seriously fucked up.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    The major conflicts that an empire ignites in its far away peripheral territories will eventually cause wildfires back in the centre of empire.

                    It’s a long held historical pattern. Athens, Rome, London. I’m not making moral judgements (or as you call them “justifications”) about this. Just stating what has happened many times over centuries.

                    That fact that you would be actually surprised by the statement of this longstanding dynamic is what is fucked up.

                    • I’m not making moral judgements (or as you call them “justifications”) about this.

                      Oh,no, not you. Just stating some facts is all you’re doing, apropo of nothing and shit.

    • When you wear a short skirt and you know clear and simple its going to inflame sexual desire in certain rape-justifying factions of the male population, then you really are just goading and spoiling to be raped and probably are no better than those certain factions. You invite this sort of disgusting and tragic crime to come down on you and your friends and family. Short skirts are only ok if men have the ability to know the boundaries and the rules of consent – not fanatical religious nuts – its simple really – don’t give these rapists any excuses or oxygen.

      Prod a rattle snake and you get bitten.

  34. Sacha 34

    A challenging US position: http://fredrikdeboer.com/2015/01/07/on-debating-dead-moral-questions/

    “We are having a series of loud, impassioned, righteous conversations about questions like “Should people murder?” and “Should we have the right to publish cartoons?” We’re debating, in other words, dead moral questions, and for the same reason we always do: because that debate allows us to ignore the ones that might lead us to a different place than the celebration of our own liberal righteousness. “

    • Ad 34.1

      That writer prophecies great anti-Muslim backlashes while at the same time idealists shout to defend post World War II virtues of integration, tolerance, free speech and the right to criticise the powerful.

      He reminds me of the Manic Street Preachers line:
      “If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.”

      Both hard right and hard left commentators I have seen since 9/11 comment on the decline of such virtues – it’s where deep left and deep right melancholy come full circle to each other.

    • RedLogix 34.2

      What most people forget here is that Islam holds very firmly to a prohibition on ANY imagery of The Prophet as a form of blasphemous idolatry.

      It does not matter what the image actually depicts.

      Islam also has some very firm legal codes around the subject of blasphemy:

      The punishments for different instances of blasphemy in Islam vary by jurisdiction,[2][78][79] but may be very severe. A convicted blasphemer may, among other penalties, lose all legal rights.

      The loss of rights may cause a blasphemer’s marriage to be dissolved, religious acts to be rendered worthless, and claims to property—including any inheritance—to be rendered void. Repentance may restore lost rights except for marital rights; lost marital rights are regained only by remarriage.

      Women have blasphemed and repented to end a marriage. Women may be permitted to repent, and may receive a lesser punishment than would befall a man who committed the same offense.[8]

      In some jurisdictions blasphemy may be subject to the death penalty.[80] Many severe punishments are imposed in various Islamic societies.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_blasphemy

      It is important to note that the practical application of all this varies enormously across the whole of Islamic society. But in general, the more fundamentalist the version adhered to, the more literal and draconian the practise is.

      In other words, for some Muslims this attack is a perfectly legitimate and legal response to a grave offense.

      In the West almost none of this applies and we think it is perfectly ok to publish any image we like of The Prophet.

      In principle these two values are mutually exclusive and cannot be reconciled. In practice the only option is to find some middle ground we can compromise on.

      • tinfoilhat 34.2.1

        I had thought exactly the same thing RL but apparently there is some disagreement among scholars on the when and how this prohibition came about as there is no such prohibition in the Quran.

        A friend then sent me a link to depictions of mohammed through the centuries.

        http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/

        • RedLogix 34.2.1.1

          A good point. Islam started out a relatively liberal religion in the context of that era.

          But over time it became more conservative and literal. Much the same can be said of most religions – there are many customs, institutions and interpretations which the founders of the various faiths said nothing about.

          And bear in mind that the Quran is only one source of Islamic authority. The Hadith’s are another, and then there is 1400 years of jurisprudence from the various schools of religious courts as well.

          There are always exceptions to any rule – as your link above demonstrates, but it’s my understanding that in general Muslims strictly avoid any imagery of Mohammed.

          • Sacha 34.2.1.1.1

            “It is important to note that the practical application of all this varies enormously across the whole of Islamic society. ”

            Yes, and most would come nowhere near justifying killing of innocents. Wahabism is extreme just like fundamentalist christian sects or the US government.

            Their common breach of human ethics is purporting that ends justify means.

            • RedLogix 34.2.1.1.1.1

              While I agree with you – at the same time it’s worth keeping in mind that in at least in some parts of the Islamic world, the legal penalty for such blasphemous offenses might indeed be death.

              While that does not justify what has happened here – it does cast some light down the depth of the cultural chasm.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Saudi Arabia decapitated 87 people in 2014. I’m guessing a couple of them might count.

                • Sacha

                  And which branch of Islam does that state follow? – that’s right.

                • Tautoko Mangō Mata

                  The killers of the French journalists certainly are terrorists.
                  However, IMHO, the USA administrators who condone torture and conduct preemptive drone strikes which indiscriminately kill, maim and terrorise are also terrorists and the hypocrisy of their holier-than-thou outrage over a relatively small number of beheadings is disgusting. Read the following from The Guardian headlined
                  “41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground”
                  “Finally, on 15 October 2010, Hellfire missiles fired from a Predator or Reaper drone killed Hussain, the Pakistani Taliban later confirmed. For the death of a man whom practically no American can name, the US killed 128 people, 13 of them children, none of whom it meant to harm.”
                  http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/24/-sp-us-drone-strikes-kill-1147
                  Imagine that happening in your neighbourhood and how it would affect your attitude towards the attackers. Do New Zealander want to stand beside the USA and condone such war crimes?
                  How can the USA which regards itself as a Christian state commit such acts of mass terrorism on others then completely overlook their own behaviour while condemning acts of terrorism of Islamists as barbaric? There seems to be a complete lack of understanding that increasing terrorist activity is a direct consequence of USA actions.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Sadly, that increasing terrorist activity means that we must spend more and more money with our corporate friends at Raytheon, Boeing, General Electric and Lockheed Martin.

        • emergency mike 34.2.1.2

          My understanding of the imagery ban is that it came from idolatry that was commonly practiced in the time of Muhammad. At that time you went down to the market and got yourself an idol to pray to, there were gods for fertility, wealth, luck, happyness etc. You took your pick as to what you wanted more of in your life.

          Islam taught worshiping an idol was a distraction from Allah. That the path to spiritual enlightment was to look inward. Therefore, images of Allah or Muhammad were banned in Islam, out of the fear that people would eventually come to worship the images themselves as idols instead of directing their thoughts to the proper spiritual direction. A good and sensible idea it seems to me.

          But note that this is not a minor sidenote of Islamic belief. That there are no images of Allah nor Muhammad is a major difference to the other world religions. It is not just a source of pride and identity, but in fact directly related to the core of Islamic spirituality – the path to Allah. Therefore anyone who dares to make such an image, in defiance of this rule which is fundementally understood throughout the Islamic world, is committing blasphemy. They are not mocking a ban, they are mocking Islam itself.

          The cartoons that caused offence is an example of two cultures using their own values to fail to understand each other. The West says, “But we make fun of everyone! It’s called freedom of speech! Lighten up!” Islam says, “You choose to use that freedom to insult us, you allow your publications to show outright bigoted contempt and mockery for our faith.”

          Muhammad kissing the editor of the magazine with saliva dripping down their chins? Yeah we get it, it’s a statement about freedom of expression avec le style français. Yay. But the statement it made to Western readers was not the same statement it made to Muslim readers. Which translates roughly as “fuck you”.

          I believe in freedom of speech, but free speech is not shit-on-whoever-you-like consequence free. If you choose to insult the religion of 1.6 billion people, try not to get too surprized if there among that number a tiny group of hardcore extremists with guns, whose friends or relatives might have been collatoralized in a drone strike or, perhaps more likely, have generational grievances stemming from French military involvement in North Africa, who decide they have to do something about it.

          And no, that doesn’t make it what has happened here ok as some of the more idiotic strawman merchants on this thread like to throw up. I’m instead saying that if the West continues to crap on the Middle East, then you can expect more terrorism. Or you could blame it on ‘religion’ if that’s easier.

      • You are right that the two views are mutually exclusive, but there is no middle ground to be found between an important principle of secular liberalism and a religious belief, and nor should any be sought. Secular liberalism must prevail. That is because it is a superior belief system to any religion. And that is because, among other things, secular liberalism can accommodate religion whereas genuine religion (i.e., that based on holy texts and so forth) cannot accommodate secular liberalism.

        • RedLogix 34.2.2.1

          Secular liberalism must prevail.

          Fair enough. But what of those who would label this ‘cultural superiority’?

          • Colonial Rawshark 34.2.2.1.1

            Debt driven free market consumerism is the new religion, nay opiate, of the western masses.

            It is THAT which must prevail – at any cost.

            • Sacha 34.2.2.1.1.1

              let us pray for 60 months interest free.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 34.2.2.1.1.2

              Consumerism is a form of meditation: an apparently pointless exercise performed mechanically and repeatedly.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                If you perform your meditations mechanically without all your spirit and heart, of course they will fail, young padawan.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 34.2.2.2

          According to Wikipedia, “Adherents of secular liberalism believe in the disestablishment of the Christian Church”.

          So no, it doesn’t accommodate religion. perhaps you are thinking of secular humanism.

        • disturbed 34.2.2.3

          Matthew Hootten,

          The word you should be using is tolerance in your blog 32.2.2.

          Simple concept really is that in a Christian society we all have learned and been taught accept of tolerance toward other religions.

          But in the Islam world where I have travelled widely, tolerance is not the basis of their social accord.

          Good input just the same.

  35. Murray Rawshark 35

    Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo. I am not a bigoted racist xenophobe. I am not a cartoon version of Whalespew. I am alive and have no need to deliberately insult people and cultures in the manner of Hitler’s cruder propagandists to make myself feel important.
    I am also not a fanatic with an AK-47. Sometimes there is no right side. I won’t kill people for publishing crap, but I’m also not going to defend any right to publish crap, not even to the extent of mild discomfort. Fuck death.

    Julius Streicher would be proud of them:
    twitter.com/Constaniful/status/552881712485904384?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=ProfJSDavies&utm_content=552893613248901120

    I also agree with Derek Fox that Charlie Hebdo is a symptom of feelings of racial and cultural superiority, just like the Engineer’s haka party was. If he said the propagandists deserved to die, I don’t agree with that. I agreed with the He Taua response.

    • weka 35.1

      Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo aussi.

      I don’t think Fox said they deserved to die (just from a photo on twitter of his FB post). He did put the situation in the context power and how people mis/use it.

      Can’t find it on his FB page, but here’s the tweet,

      https://twitter.com/MattNippert/status/552958795698028544/photo/1

      • Murray Rawshark 35.1.1

        What I find astounding is that at most one of the commenters actually understood what Derek Fox said. Are they all from the ACT Party?

        • weka 35.1.1.1

          Yeah, I had to back away from that conversation real fast.

          When you put Fox’s comments in the context of him being a politicised Māori, they look different.

          • Sacha 35.1.1.1.1

            Quite. Remember the fuss Turia got into for comparing the systematic genocide in Taranaki with the more famous recent example from Europe. We do not seem to adjust for exaggerated oratorical style in translating from the Reo.

            • weka 35.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks, I hadn’t thought of that specific.

              Cultural differences, we still have so far to go.

    • You guys are of course free to find offensive cartoonists to be the real assholes here if you so choose.

      NB: Derek Fox wrote that the Charlie Hebdo editor “paid the price for his assumption of cultural superiority” – if that isn’t saying he deserved to be murdered, it’s hard to imagine what it does mean.

      • weka 35.2.1

        Your failure of imagination is most likely part of the problem.

        Neither Murry nor I stated or even implied that Charlie Hebdo are THE real assholes here, so please don’t misreprent what I said. If you don’t understand, then ask for clarification.

        • Murray Rawshark 35.2.1.1

          Asking for clarification would be a first on the interwebs.

          Not all prices are fair, PM.

        • Psycho Milt 35.2.1.2

          Neither Murry nor I stated or even implied that Charlie Hebdo are THE real assholes here…

          No indeed, how unfair of me. You merely took the trouble to bad-mouth a bunch of people who were hardly yet cold from being murdered for their freedom of expression. Murray R garnished it with a bit of moral equivalence between someone who draws cartoons and someone who murders people he disagrees with, and both of you agreed with Derek Fox, a man who thinks the victims paid the appropriate price for their “crimes.” But neither of you actually declared the cartoonists “the real assholes here” so I withdraw and apologise.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 35.2.1.2.1

            Fox didn’t say “appropriate”. He said they paid the price. As others have pointed out, it’s a phrase also used of soldiers in wartime.

            Reading some of M. Charbonnier’s remarks today I wonder if he might not have agreed.

            Mr. Charbonnier, who had appeared on a list of Al Qaeda’s targets, was under police protection, though he told the French daily Le Monde that as a single man he did not fear retaliation, and that however pompous it might sound, he would rather “die standing than live on my knees.”

            • Psycho Milt 35.2.1.2.1.1

              Here’s Fox: “he was the bully believing he could insult other peoples culture and with impunity and he believed he would be protected in his racism and bigotry by the French state. Well he was wrong, ”

              You can read that and believe Fox doesn’t think the guy paid the “appropriate” price for his “bullying, insulting racism and bigotry?”

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                No, I don’t think I can.

              • weka

                “You can read that and believe Fox doesn’t think the guy paid the “appropriate” price for his “bullying, insulting racism and bigotry?””

                I have a different interpretation, but seeing as how you are here to be right rather than learn anything there doesn’t appear to be much point in exploring this further.

          • weka 35.2.1.2.2

            No indeed, how unfair of me. You merely took the trouble to bad-mouth a bunch of people who were hardly yet cold from being murdered for their freedom of expression. Murray R garnished it with a bit of moral equivalence between someone who draws cartoons and someone who murders people he disagrees with, and both of you agreed with Derek Fox, a man who thinks the victims paid the appropriate price for their “crimes.” But neither of you actually declared the cartoonists “the real assholes here” so I withdraw and apologise.

            🙄 You just made up a whole bunch of shit that I didn’t say or do. By all means project your beliefs onto mine, but don’t expect there to be anything useful happen in this conversation.

          • Murray Rawshark 35.2.1.2.3

            “Murray R garnished it with a bit of moral equivalence between someone who draws cartoons and someone who murders people he disagrees with”

            No I didn’t. Perhaps you should stick to cartoons. The written word seems to confuse you.

      • JanM 35.2.2

        Do you think perhaps you don’t fully understand what ‘pay the price’ means? It was frequently used to describe the death of soldiers fighting for their country, but I don’t think it means they actually deserved to die, do you?
        Deliberately twisting someone’s words to mean something else is no way to hold a conversation meant to try and find understanding and common ground here – it has the opposite effect.

        • weka 35.2.2.1

          +1000, well put Jan.

        • Psycho Milt 35.2.2.2

          Do you think perhaps you don’t fully understand what ‘pay the price’ means?
          Well, it’s worth considering, but context is your friend and the remainder of Fox’s post indicates exactly what ‘pay the price’ means in this context, and ‘soldiers fighting for their country’ would be a wildly implausible interpretation of it.

  36. b waghorn 36

    Does any one know what Charlie Hedbo were trying to achieve with there cartoons .

    • weka 36.1

      no, and I would like to read an intelligent overview of who they are and what they do if anyone has a link.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 36.2

      “We do caricatures of everyone, and above all every week, and when we do it with the Prophet, it’s called provocation.” Stéphane Charbonnier.

      • b waghorn 36.2.1

        I’m in no way condoning what’s happened but IMO you mess with the Muslims at you own risk .

        • One Anonymous Bloke 36.2.1.1

          You mess with Judith Collins at your own risk. Slippery slope that one.

          • weka 36.2.1.1.1

            You mess with the USA at your own risk too.

            • Colonial Rawshark 36.2.1.1.1.1

              And the banksters.

            • b waghorn 36.2.1.1.1.2

              You’re right about the yanks and I’d ad Israel to that list but i’ve never heard of an American going and killing on foreign shores because someone offended there beliefs. (Excluding the military of course.)

              • weka

                Why would you exclude the military or the US govt?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                but i’ve never heard of an American going and killing on foreign shores because someone offended there beliefs.

                Some will do it for their belief in money. The Blackwater mercernary type, for instance.

                • b waghorn

                  That’s a different thing and not only a yank thing a close friend of mine worked with a kiwi guy who spent time in Iraq and had some pretty nasty footage to prove it .

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Indeed. The US destroyed Iraq in the first 3 years that they were there; that country is never ever coming back.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    I will add…in an Empire you always send other people, the lower classes for instance…to fight your wars and your causes for you. While you stay comfy at home and shop on Black Friday.

                    • b waghorn

                      Your right there I rememder thinking as I got in to the late 30s age wise that I should be safe from being shipped off to die somewhere if a big war broke out again.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The only problem being if NZ is stupid and we encourage someone else’s bloody war to come to us.

                    • b waghorn

                      I don’t think nz would be worth anyone’s time for a full on invasion .

              • Murray Rawshark

                I knew a Canadian moran who joined Blackwater because he believed Muslims were a threat to the world. He was pissed off because he didn’t get to kill any, but got sent to babysit the offspring of rich assholes in Latin America. He came close to what you’ve never heard of.

    • why does that matter?

      • b waghorn 36.3.1

        Just trying to work out why someone would knowingly make a target of them selves

        • One Anonymous Bloke 36.3.1.1

          Because there’s a gun pointed at their head, and the person holding it is telling them to shut up or else.

        • Matthew Hooton 36.3.1.2

          John Minto made a target of himself during the Springbok Tour.
          Ruth Richardson made a target of herself when she was Finance Minister.
          People who believe in things and try to effect change tend to “make targets of themselves”.
          I am guessing these left-wing satirical journalists believed religion is irrational and dangerous and were trying to undermine it. As is their right.

          • b waghorn 36.3.1.2.1

            Ruth and John did make targets of themselves but they also achieved the objective s . Charlie Hebdo on the other hand I can’t work out what they hoped to achieve other than to offend.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 36.3.1.2.1.1

              Defiance.

              “Gouaille: attitude insolente.”

              • b waghorn

                They should’ve done satirical cartoons of the radicals then , not some falla who may or may not of walked the earth a long time ago.

    • karol 36.4

      Paul Buchanan, on Summer Noel this morning, reckoned that Charlie Hebdo had done satirical stuff putting down various religions, not just Islam.

      [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sno/sno-20150108-0935-international_news_with_paul_buchanan-048.mp3" /]

      PB said the attack did not have the characteristics of an Al Qaeda or Islamacist attack. He described the attack as “militaristic” and being like a bank robbery in it’s style, planning and MO. They had scoped out the place, the meeting (it’s timing, location, and who would be attending). They also didn’t do it as part of a suicide mission.

      He didn’t think it was part of a larger organisation, though may be taking its inspiration from them.

      PB calls it a revenge attack, and an attempt to intimidate the Western liberal democratic press.

      He reckoned such attacks don’t weaken the state and is just likely to strengthen the authorities’ resolve. But that the attackers may be using the “sucker ploy” – aiming to get French establishment and people to over-react and target the whole Muslim population – which would further alienate an already alienated community.

      • Colonial Rawshark 36.4.1

        Sounds about right. For instance the gun men came across many office workers of other businesses in that same building – and didn’t attack any of them. Not a single Charlie Hebdo worker was spared however.

        Very specific and disciplined. Militaristic is a good word.

        • b waghorn 36.4.1.1

          Just because they are trained people seem to be alluding to them being none Muslim or something I’m sure there’s plenty of very well trained Muslims . they could of learnt there trade anywhere .

      • Chooky 36.4.2

        thanks for that…i always find Paul Buchanan’s take interesting

    • Murray Rawshark 36.5

      They were trying to make money. Apparently when they published something appropriately grotesque, their sales went up.

  37. Barbara 37

    Further to my earlier post – simply put if journalists/satirists were to exercise more responsible journalism/satire/cartooning wouldn’t we all be better off – we live in dangerous times with unstable regimes and leaders exercising unholy power with nuclear weapons etc – in earlier times it took less than a piece of satire to start wars – a mailed gauntlet flung down did the trick. Why do these journalists/cartoonists think they can get away with this sort of stuff. Are they too lazy these days to research and write decent stuff. Nobody enjoys a political cartoon more than I do but get a reality check please. The USA producing that movie about North Korea beggered belief, that they think they are are the land of the free with creative freedom and can produce such drivel is a laugh down the toilet, they put people in prison who never see the light of day again, surveil their own citizens like there is no tomorrow and are a paranoid lot of loose cannons who invade sovereign nations without invitation. No wonder some people think we live on the edge of Armageddon . Aljazeera is where I watch my news these days – at least there we can get some modicum of truth from the ether.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 37.1

      In fact, the USA is not the Borg, and does not make movies, any more than New Zealand is Peter Jackson.

      Is the way you contort yourself to find excuses for murderous cry babies uncomfortable?

      • Colonial Rawshark 37.1.1

        Excuses are irrelevant. Moral outrage is irrelevant. As Juan Cole described, murder in cold blood is horrific and inexcusable, but it is also a lifeless, impotent political question.

        The real discussion is how the blood and carnage from wars of empire always get brought home in the end.

        • Colonial Rawshark 37.1.1.1

          Fred deBoer sorry, not Juan Cole.

        • weka 37.1.1.2

          “The real discussion is how the blood and carnage from wars of empire always get brought home in the end.”

          And one way into that discussion is whether endless focus on freedom of speech helps us move towards more peaceful existience. I think we are ideologically blind.

          • Colonial Rawshark 37.1.1.2.1

            in the last couple of days we have had some good debate around Dirty Politics and the complicit role of the MSM.

            The idea that there is anything resembling true “freedom of speech” in the western world is a farce. Certain ideas, certain facts, certain questions, even certain people, will never ever get more than a tiny fraction of air time (if any) in the MSM.

            But shiny inanities and flash lies…you can get all the exposure you want.

            The fact that we are incredibly heavily propagandised in the west is glossed over with all this nice talk of our freedom of speech and freedom of press.

    • karol 37.2

      I was motivated to the above post by watching coverage on Al Jazeera this morning.

      One thing in my post, that hasn’t been commented on directly here, is Obama’s speech yesterday. The AJ journalists commented that it was very unusual for Obama to make such a speech so quickly – and particularly as he was scheduled to make another fairly important speech soon afterwards.

      It was also their contention that his speech implied a “positive” use of the NSA systems that Edward Snowden had exposed.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 37.2.1

        What does that imply? That the NSA knew exactly what was about to happen, and didn’t warn anyone because they’re embarrassed about the extent to which they’re snooping on their oldest allies?

        • karol 37.2.1.1

          My reading was not that the NSA knew in advance, but that Obama and the NSA are being very opportunistic in jumping in quickly – suits many of their agendas, including justifying the use of intensive international and invasive surveillance.

          If the perps of the Paris attack are two isolated operatives, there may not have been any chatter in online systems for the NSA to have picked up on in advance.

          • Colonial Rawshark 37.2.1.1.1

            Again its the usual story – serious operators intent on doing a professional job are not going to be picked up by these state surveillance systems. Ordinary citizens, political activists and civic leaders going about their day to day communications: those are what is going to be swept up every moment of every day.

  38. tricle up 38

    I am not allowed to harass or make fun of anyone in the work place over race gender and religion ..Why should it be any different in the media ?. But at the same time the attack is to be condemned ..

    • Naturesong 38.1

      Well, it could be that a job is a contractual arrangment which affects your quality of life, and the other is choice of reading material.

      • Colonial Rawshark 38.1.1

        cartoons which take the piss out of poor brown beneficiary DPB families looking for more handouts fall into the latter, more OK, category?

      • Murray Rawshark 38.1.2

        Nope. The cartoonists were employed to draw cartoons. It was a contractual issue.

        • Naturesong 38.1.2.1

          I may not have been clear in my argument.

          My perspective is from that of the aggrieved – comparing the person offended by the cartoons with a person who is subjected to harassment in the workplace.

          From the perspective of the perpetrators, yes, drawing cartoons that offend people is different to turning your workplace into a toxic environment for your colleagues.

          That said, ideas that are published can and do affect peoples opinions. And can be particularly dangerous if targetting minorities (consider CR’s reference to brown families and school lunches). Consider the mainstream cartoons in Germany during the 30’s depicting Jews in a poor light added weight to the rest of the opinions being pushed though the media there at the time.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 38.2

      Um, you’re assuming France has the same cultural approach to religion. It doesn’t.

      Charlie Hebdo is part of a tradition of serious satire in France, most of it much less comic or comforting than political satire in the US. Called “gouaille,” “it’s an anarchic populist form of obscenity that aims to cut down anything that would erect itself as venerable, sacred or powerful,

      Arthur Goldhammer

  39. greywarshark 39

    The nature of the job makes a difference. A newpaper or journal is examining issues of public interest and events, and may use satire, or perhaps denigration against ‘elevated’ figures. But in a normal job that is not your role, and because it is controversial you would not be encouraged to start a discussion/ argument. Different places, roles and can’t be compared as simply as tricle up and other commenters have done.

  40. Colonial Rawshark 40

    From the Guardian:

    A police source told Reuters news agency that one of the suspects had been identified by his identity card, which had been left in the getaway car.

    This sounds ridiculous and unbelievable. Did they leave their mobile phone numbers and postal address on a note too.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 40.1

      No, it sounds like “Situation Normal – All Fucked Up.” Perhaps you think murderous cry-babies are efficient and in control.

      • Colonial Rawshark 40.1.1

        “Murderous cry-babies”

        Yes, go ahead and call the shooters demeaning and infantalising names, if that makes you feel more in control of things.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 40.1.1.1

          Go ahead and invent wanker conspiracy theories about what sounds ridiculous and unbelievable if it makes you feel more in control of things.

          Or were you just trying to beat Ev to the “false flag” rhetoric?

          • Colonial Rawshark 40.1.1.1.1

            Hey OAB. You seem a bit of a face value sucker for statements from authority figures. You should really figure out what that’s all about.

            Go ahead and invent wanker conspiracy theories about what sounds ridiculous and unbelievable

            I think there’s a big deep pool of raw egg ready to go around the French political/security/surveillance elite over this incident. And I think that plenty of people in officialdom are peddling real fast to make sure they don’t get covered in it.

            Now you might think that is a “conspiracy theory” but I reckon you also know full well that “cover ass” is a universal political sport.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 40.1.1.1.1.1

              That makes the killers immune to making stupid mistakes how? You’re the one with the knee-jerk response to official statements.

    • joe90 40.2

      This sounds ridiculous and unbelievable.

      Seems entirely plausible to me that two young men from the margins who recruit a homeless youth to do murder and mayhem fuck things up.

      Saïd Kouachi and Chérif Kouachi were identified by French police as the main suspects in the shooting. The two Franco-Algerian brothers, both from Gennevilliers, are aged 34 and 32, respectively.[64][65] In 2008, Chérif Kouachi was convicted of terrorism charges and sentenced to three years in prison, along with 18 months of suspension, for having assisted in sending fighters to Iraq’s insurgency.[66][65] Chérif Kouachi said he was inspired to help Iraq’s insurgency by outrage at the torture of inmates of the U.S. prison at Abu Ghraib.[67][68]

      Hamyd Mourad, an 18-year-old homeless man of unknown nationality, was identified by the police as a third suspect in the shooting.[69][70] He is believed to have been living recently in Charleville-Mezieres, approximately 140 miles northeast of Paris near France’s border with Belgium.[71] AFP news agency reported that France’s elite anti-terrorist unit had gone to Reims.[72][73] At 2.22 a.m. CET on 8 January, it was reported he had turned himself in at a Charleville-Mezieres police station.[74][71]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo_shooting#Suspects

      • Colonial Rawshark 40.2.1

        That young kid might not have anything to do with it. Lots of conflicting stories about why he presented himself to police.

      • karol 40.2.2

        The latest on Stuff, reprinted from SMH & Washington Post:

        The gunmen who attacked the Paris editorial offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday appeared to be focused professionals who’d carefully prepared the assault.

        Video showing two of the assailants suggests they were well-trained, striking their target during its weekly editorial meeting, when most of the publication’s journalists would be gathered in one place.

        Same thing said on 3 News with the videos of the end of the attacks.

        • Colonial Rawshark 40.2.2.1

          Watching various smart phone videos taken by witnesses, the two gunmen were calm, collected, methodical and merciless.

          They hijacked another car during their escape – and then waited for the car owner to retrieve his dog from the back before driving off in his vehicle.

  41. “Labour leader Andrew Little described the attack as a “shocking attack on freedom of speech” and “an assault on democracy and freedom of expression”.”

    Well said AL.

  42. millsy 42

    Perhaps we need to get rid of religion, not free speech. It seems to be all the cause of this.

    The Allah-botherers and Bible-bashers are 2 sides of the same coin IMO.

    Both sides want to pick up where they left off in the 13th Century and to hell with whoever has to pick up the bodies.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 42.1

      Nah, the equivalent fundamentalists on the Western side are wingnuts, not Christians.

    • joe90 42.2

      Hitchens on that particular coin.

      Many people have pointed out that the Arab and Muslim press is replete with anti-Jewish caricature, often of the most lurid and hateful kind. In one way the comparison is hopelessly inexact. These foul items mostly appear in countries where the state decides what is published or broadcast. However, when Muslims republish the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or perpetuate the story of Jewish blood-sacrifice at Passover, they are recycling the fantasies of the Russian Orthodox Christian secret police (in the first instance) and of centuries of Roman Catholic and Lutheran propaganda (in the second). And, when an Israeli politician refers to Palestinians as snakes or pigs or monkeys, it is near to a certainty that he will be a rabbi (most usually Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the leader of the disgraceful Shas party) and will cite Talmudic authority for his racism. For most of human history, religion and bigotry have been two sides of the same coin, and it still shows.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2006/02/cartoon_debate.html

  43. disturbed 43

    Weka, on post 36.1 you asked,

    I would like to read an intelligent overview of who they (Charlie Hebdo) are and what they do if anyone has a link.

    I suggest you read the French fight with previous suppression of their freedoms and liberties and what the French are really all about. = Freedom & Liberty.

    Try this link,
    http://www.history.com/topics/french-revolution

    Prelude to the French Revolution: Monarchy in Crisis
    As the 18th century drew to a close, France’s costly spending by King Louis XVI (1754-1793) and his predecessor had left the country on the brink of bankruptcy.
    Not only were the royal coffers depleted, but two decades of poor cereal harvests, drought, cattle disease and skyrocketing bread prices had kindled unrest among peasants and the urban poor. Many expressed their desperation and resentment toward a regime that imposed heavy taxes yet failed to provide relief by rioting, looting and striking.
    Over 17,000 people were officially tried and executed during the Reign of Terror, and an unknown number of others died in prison or without trial.

  44. barry 44

    je ne suis pas Charlie!

    If you go into a pub, find a mean drunk and start goading him about drinking the wrong kind of beer (all in the name of free speech) then you only have yourself to blame if he smacks you in the face.

    Yes I condemn the attack, but that doesn’t mean I support the so-called satire.

    • Murray Rawshark 44.1

      Too many people can’t understand that. Many of them post on Kiwibog or Whalespew. Some post here. I don’t know why it’s such a difficult concept to grasp. Maybe it’s more comforting to think in slogans.

  45. Hello 45

    Less than a month ago, France asked the EU to recognize the state of Palestine, now a terrorist attack by suspected muslims in the heart of France. Could this terror attack be a jack up to generate fear of Muslims. It would not be the 1st time Israel has attacked friendly nations to further their own goals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident

    I feel for the innocent victims but we can’t say who caused this act of terror until the terrorists are caught and identified.

  46. joe90 46

    The freedom to criticise seems to be a one way street.

    The Daily Rupert ‏@TheMurdochTimes

    Freedom? #Gaza cartoon deleted by @smh after Murdoch’s Australian ‘journalists’ campaigned against it #CharlieHedbo

    • Colonial Rawshark 46.1

      Correct. Cartoons lampooning the hypocrisy and cruelty of Israel would never ever make it to press in the Murdoch papers.

    • joe90 46.2

      A one way street in France.

      But that is not what got 79-year-old Siné fired from the magazine that he has been working with for the last 20 years. At the end of the cartoon Siné writes that Jean Sarkozy would “go far in life.”

      Two days later, Claude Askolovitch, a French-Jewish radio host denounced the article as anti-Semitic. The claim is that Siné is propagating the stereotype by associating the Jew with success and power, and so began the deluge where France was in a fury of polemical debate over a satirical cartoon.

      Under the spotlight, Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Phillipe Val, ordered Siné to sign a letter of apology, but Siné refused. saying he would rather “cut his own balls off.” By July 15, Val announced Siné’s dismissal from the magazine. Days later, Siné announced he would sue for defamation. After all, this is a man who for 20 years drew contentious cartoons for the psuedo-anarchist magazine.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20080906092207/http://www.counterpunch.com/hammad08052008.html

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/aug/03/france.pressandpublishing

      • greywarbler 46.2.1

        joe 90 re Sine –
        It sounds like loud-mouth Askolovitch, riding on the back of the Jewish controversy, is doing a USA McCarthy-style attack. It seems with the same malicious intent of using the weight of a state to throw dirt at individuals.

  47. greywarbler 47

    @ joe90 46
    Thanks for that. And good to be able to view the cartoon.
    It is surprising that such a thing could happen and that journalists are being fingered for the complaint. But surprising is
    the plat du jour these days.

  48. Clemgeopin 48

    New Cartoons updated every hour.

    http://www.cagle.com/news/charlie-hebdo-attack/

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