Tuesday, November 17, 2015
John Kerry claims there was a rationale for murderous terror attack on Charlie Hebdo
“We could not do our work here without you, and I know it’s particularly difficult right now, but it’s always difficult because you are working, carrying with you whatever baggage comes with the country you work for, and in our case, there’s very little because of our friendship with France.
“But nevertheless, we are deeply appreciative for your commitment to helping us to help people to share the values and the interests that we are all working to protect.
“In the last days, obviously, that has been particularly put to the test. There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.
"This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration," Kerry said.
I personally do not like the harsh nature of the cartoons/articles that were produced by Charlie Hebdo. However, I would rather live in a world that allows free speech then a world that is not free to express itself.
The fighting won't stop until all religions accept that some folks don't believe (in their version, in any version, etc) and that those non-believers can't harm solid religions with offensive words. Free speech must trump religion in all circumstances and the strong religions (like Christianity) must take that position.
Most people would agree that mocking a religion is not a nice thing to do, and that doing so may provoke a reaction. The things I would hope people is that (1) the government should not limit speech and (2) over-reacting by killing people is wrong and should be punished.
Just because certain speech is not nice, or is even distasteful or obnoxious, the trouble is that if you open the door to regulating it, then the regulation only increases and soon free speech is gone.
You can't condemn the violence, and then give an example of why/how it is justified. I've seen some of the cartoons - they are offensive, and they're directed at Jews, Catholics, Islam, politicians. Charlie's journalists weren't brutally murdered by Catholics, Jews or politicians, though, were they?
In the minds of Islamic terrorists, they are entirely justified, directed actually, by their holy book to kill anyone who insults their prophet. As a matter of fact, they are directed to kill for any number of other "crimes" for which civilized people have long since found alternative "punishments". Any justification of the acts of these Islamic terrorists is the first step down a very slippery slope.
There can be no "but" at the end of condemning the violence against freedom of speech. And Charlie Hebdo is not about being polite, it's all about freedom of speech.
The law says there is no limit to freedom of thought, ideas and speech -nor should there be. Unless it is clearly identifiable and legally demonstrable incitement to hate.
Charlie Hebdo was over the years dragged before court after court by a broad variety of groups that felt that its irreverent satire was in fact hate speech directed at them. Not in one single case did the courts find the accusations to be valid.
George Orwell taught us: "If there is one liberty, it is the right to tell others what they don't want to hear".
You either have unfettered freedom of thought and the freedom of speech that belongs with it or you have various degrees of self-censorship, also known as political correctness.
If you want to see where that process leads, have a closer look at North America where political correctness has made key issues unfit for public discourse -killing off the flow of ideas.
I grew up with Charlie and am the better for it. My children too.