The Farce of Western Free
By Finian Cunningham
January 10, 2015 "ICH"
- Speaking outside
Elysée Palace in the aftermath of this
week's terror killings in France, former
President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned the
violence as "an attack on civilization."
Coiffured, sun-tanned and nattily dressed,
Sarkozy's solemn words made him appear like
the embodiment of civility.
That's a quaint turn in etiquette by a
politician who is mired in allegations of
sleaze and corruption, as well as war
Sarkozy wasn't too concerned about
"civilization" when he and his British
allies launched the NATO bombing campaign of
Libya in March 2011 in stark violation of a
UN mandate. That seven-month onslaught led
to the murder of Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddafi - from whom Sarkozy had gladly
received hush-hush political donations in
the past, before stabbing him in the back.
The illegal French-led NATO blitzkrieg on
Libya subverted a constitutional government
and resulted in the ongoing destruction of
one of Africa's most economically developed
countries. Libya has been sacked to become a
failed state, over-run by extremist Takfiri
militia and tribal warlords, whose warped
ideology is shared by the ISIS terror
network destroying Syria and Iraq. The same
ideology includes the armed adherents who
struck this week in Paris, killing more than
a dozen people.
So Sarkozy's concern for attacks on
civilization is well qualified - although
you won't hear it put quite that way in the
thought-control Western media. The very
extremist forces he helped to unleash from
the illegal overthrow of the Libyan state
have now killed his own people right in the
capital of his republic.
One of the presumed touchstones of Western
civilization that was allegedly defiled this
week is "free speech" and "freedom of
expression." Sarkozy was joined by other
Western political figures, from US President
Barack Obama, to British Premier David
Cameron, in condemning the murderous assault
on the Paris-based satirical magazine
Charlie Hebdo in terms of a war on "our
The magazine had previously incensed
millions of Muslims worldwide by its
publication of images profaning Prophet
Mohammed (PBUH). That is believed to have
provided the motive for the gunmen who,
while fleeing the scene in Paris, shouted:
"The prophet has been avenged."
French President Francois Hollande declared
the slain journalists and cartoonists as
"heroes" who died for the lofty principle of
freedom of speech.
But like other presumed Western values, such
as human rights, freedom of speech is a much
over-rated principle - over-rated by the
Western governments and institutions like
the corporate-controlled media, who invoke
it as a ideological badge of honor that
distinguishes them and makes them superior
In practice, however, such Western values
are no more than chimera. They are empty
slogans whose mere espousal and conceited,
disingenuous profession is for propaganda
What human rights or respect for rule of law
did Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama adhere to
when they oversaw the destruction of Libya?
Or in the ongoing covert destruction of
Syria and Iraq (despite belated Western
claims of liquidating the terror network
that they spawned in the first place for
regime change in Syria.)
Insofar that Western governments support
free speech, it is more often for expedient
political advantage. It is not a universal
ethic, as claimed. And, laughably, they are
telling barefaced lies to claim otherwise,
as they continually do.
A French satirical publication may have been
allowed to denigrate Islam, but it would
never be allowed to condemn Zionism and all
its provable criminality. It is doubtful the
magazine in question would print cartoons of
Sarkozy, Obama or Cameron with explosives
tied to their heads or dropping bombs on
Libya. Even though the latter is not satire;
it actually reflects the reality of criminal
actions and events.
So, Western "free speech" is really just
freedom for the powers-that-be to demean and
demonize whomever the West requires for
furthering its political interests. When
free speech legitimately attacks Western
interests, exposes hypocrisy and
fraudulence, then it stops being a
"universal principle." Censorship is then
the ironclad order.
French comedian Dieudonné, for example, has
been banned from public performances by the
French government owing to his farcical arm
gesture, known as the "Quenelle." The
gesture can be interpreted in many ways,
from a vulgar personal insult, to a derisory
slur on the ruling class. The French
authorities claim that the sign is
"anti-Semitic" and a reverse Nazi salute.
Dieudonné denies this and instead says the
gesture is "anti-Zionist" and
The comedian has been banned from travelling
to Britain by the London authorities, also
as a result of his political parodies. His
friend and professional footballer, Nicolas
Anelka, was last year banned from playing
soccer games in England and fined over
$100,000 for signaling the Quenelle after
scoring a goal.
Almost a year before the massacre at the
Charlie Hebdo magazine this week in Paris,
French President Francois Hollande gave
notice that there would be zero-tolerance of
Dieudonné or anyone else who practiced the
Quenelle. "We will act… we will fight
against the sarcasm of those who purport to
be humorists but who are actually
professional anti-Semites," said Hollande.
But hold on a moment. That's just what the
French ruling class deems to be the meaning
of Dieudonné's Quenelle. On the basis of
their prejudice, the artist and anyone who
displays the gesture in public is subject to
prosecution. That's not just censorship; it
is state persecution for having an opinion.
Evidently, it's acceptable to insult Islam,
according to Western select use of free
speech because it suits political agendas of
demonizing Muslim countries so that they can
be attacked with Western warplanes or covert
terrorist proxies. But it is not acceptable
to satirize Zionism or Western ruling
And here is another revealing touchstone.
Why is Press TV banned from British
terrestrial and satellite television
broadcasting? Why is the Iran-based channel
banned across Europe and North America?
Where is Western free speech in that case?
What is the problem?
Press TV is not tolerated. It is banished.
Because the truth of Western state
terrorism, as practiced by the likes of
Sarkozy, Hollande, Obama and Cameron is too
much to bear for how it might enlighten and
empower public opinion. The truth of
Western-sponsored state terrorism as
practiced by the genocidal Israeli regime is
too much to bear for public discourse; any
criticism is shoved down the memory hole
under the spurious pretext of
"anti-Semitism." The fact that Western
leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
is too much to bear. All such views, no
matter how intellectually rigorous, morally
scrupulous and legally substantiated, must
be censored, and those who articulate them
must be hounded into isolation.
Western free speech is nothing but a cynical
charade by those in power to maintain their
unlawful positions of power.
A satirical magazine championed by Western
war criminals for its "free speech" to
dehumanize Muslims is hailed as "heroic?"
While an informative, serious news channel
like Press TV is banned. Now that is
Finian Cunningham (born
1963) has written extensively on
international affairs, with articles
published in several languages. He is a
Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry
and worked as a scientific editor for the
Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge,
England, before pursuing a career in
Copyright Press TV
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