Tags: Charlie Hebdo | Paris | Islamic Terrorists | Satire

Does West Lack Will For Fighting Terrorists?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 10:33 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Je suis Charlie. “I am Charlie” has become the rallying cry du jour to honor those massacred by radical Islamic terrorists at the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.

The problem is, unless you’re a fan of the Viet Cong, “I am Charlie” doesn’t mean anything. What should have been a call to action is instead a feel-good, flash in the pan catchphrase. In a week or two, the righteous indignation of so many leaders will go by the wayside, handing the enemy yet another victory.

Let’s look at the situation. Sure, many newspapers printed hard-hitting cartoons in response to the attack. But how many re-printed the Hebdo cartoons satirically portraying the prophet Mohammed that led to the attack in the first place? Almost none.

Every paper on the planet should have done so, whether or not they agreed with the cartoon’s message. That would have sent a clear message that the world was unified against radical terrorists. But instead, most papers wimped out. The Financial Times typified this attitude when it editorialized that the Hebdo cartoons were “editorial foolishness" and that the paper had "just been stupid.”

You can clamor about freedom of speech all day long, and sound really good doing it, but it rings hollow if you don’t walk the walk. The irony is that there was no better time for thousands of papers to run the cartoons than right after the attack, since none could have been singled out. Not that true journalistic enterprises should ever need political cover, as it is akin to cowardice. Nonetheless cover would have been afforded.

That’s not to say there wouldn’t be risk. And it would be perfectly acceptable to be afraid. But as Mark Twain said, “courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.”

The bottom line. Don’t say you’re standing up for freedom of expression if you don’t put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, the bad guys win by default. If those in the media allow fear to trump courage, they need to find a different profession.

Charlie Hebdo is a satirical publication. It is neither racist nor bigoted. Satire has been a cornerstone of Western civilization for centuries. By its nature, agitates and antagonizes. It is precisely this approach which has led to significant social change.

There is a difference between being satirical and mean-spirited. The latter is counter-productive, the last thing the Charlie Hebdo staff wanted. The magazine isn’t anti-Islam. Quite the opposite. Charlie Hebdo believes that the radical elements must be called on the carpet in order to win liberty and freedom of expression for all Muslims. It does this by poking fun at the more ludicrous beliefs of the radicals — which, by the way — are at odds with true Islam.

Charlie Hebdo has the guts to publicly expose what all civilized people know, but too few have the courage to say. Satire is supposed to offend, and not meant to be taken personally. The fact that radicals attacked Hebdo validates everything Charlie Hebdo advocates.

One of two things is true:
  • The National Security Agency (NSA) missed the warning signs leading up to the attack. If that’s the case, it once again shows that no amount of technology will protect us in the absence of common sense. How is it that the NSA sees more value in monitoring emails and phone calls of millions who pose zero threat than it does honing in on those with a proven track record of terrorism?

One of the two Hebdo attackers had been convicted of terrorism, and both were well known in intelligence circles (as were the Boston bombers) including being on America’s Terror Watch lists. If those things aren’t red flags, nothing is.

  • The NSA pulled a Pearl Harbor strategy. History strongly indicates that Winston Churchill and possibly even some American leaders knew an attack was imminent — and needing a reason to get a reluctant America into the war — allowed it to occur. It’s the a thousand may die so that a million may live mentality.

Perhaps some in the intelligence community felt that the only way to awaken a deep-slumbering Europe capitulating to radical fundamentalists was to allow such barbarism to unfold. While Europe’s follow-through remains to be seen, the sight of three million French filling the streets would never have occurred prior to the attacks.

How will the West proceed? Will it jettison political correctness to combat a ruthless enemy, such as employing profiling? Or will placation seep back into the picture?

Endless conferences, symposiums, and summits on combatting terrorism are a waste of time and resources. What is needed is decisiveness, common sense — and an iron will to see it through. Only then can we all legitimately say, “Je suis libertie.”

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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Don’t say you’re standing up for freedom of expression if you don’t put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, the bad guys win by default. If those in the media allow fear to trump courage, they need to find a different profession.
Charlie Hebdo, Paris, Islamic Terrorists, Satire
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 10:33 AM
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