The Charlie Hebdo and anti-Jewish attacks in Paris is a story of two distinct parts. The second is only too familiar.
The first is the story of a few mad, misguided, violent criminals, known to the authorities, murdering innocent people at will and in turn being killed.
The human story of grieving families.
The story of the role of the authorities which must have missed something as they had the perpetrators on their radar.
The story of misguided religious beliefs. When are religious leaders of all creeds start telling their followers that there is no reward in heaven for martyrdom and murder ? Or even better, when are they telling us that there is indeed no heaven at all and we all must live a decent life caring for ourselves and others without fear of punishment or hope of reward in non-existing hell or heaven ?
All the above is the story of these particular crimes.
The second story is the story of the aftermath in the media, politics and the public.
First the media.
It is understandable that the media immediately defined the narrative as that of the right to free speech for a journal nobody had ever heard of, which apparently was offensive to many and which prided itself in their Title as “Journal Irresponsable”. Colleagues from their own tribe got murdered and they now must defend their almost divine right to piss off the rest of us with biased, incorrect and often insulting reporting and opinions. Just one example :
This cartoonist conveniently overlooks that for over a decade it is not pencils and quills raining down on the terrorists and civilians alike in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and where ever the West sees fit but bombs and rockets killing women and children alike.
Second the politics.
The most disgusting picture summing it all up is that of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – told not to attend – muscling his way into the front row of the Paris march to be in the same picture with world leaders like Hollande and Merkel.
In other words the political reaction was also totally predictable tailored for their domestic and international audiences, which can be described with one word : Hypocrisy !
The latest example is Israel laying an official complaint against a cartoon in the Sunday Times, which they might have rightly interpreted as anti-semitic.
Wasn’t Israel’s Netanyahu marching in the front row to defend the rights of free speech and the right of the ‘Journal Irresponsable’ to insult and offend religious minorities.
Third the public reaction.
Here comes the interesting part. In New Zealand started of by Derek Fox at least part of the public have not swallowed the narrative and look through the hypocrisy. Initially it was reported in the NZ Herald that he was slammed for his ‘disgusting ‘ Facebook post. In the meantime following the discussion in the letters to the editor and on social media it appears that the bullshit detectors are working.
All this of course is designed to distract us from thinking about and discussing the real causes of the tragic events.
One who is not distracted is Chris Hedges in ‘truthdig’.
What about his narrative in the opening paragraph :
The terrorist attack in France that took place at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was not about free speech. It was not about radical Islam. It did not illustrate the fictitious clash of civilizations. It was a harbinger of an emerging dystopia where the wretched of the earth, deprived of resources to survive, devoid of hope, brutally controlled, belittled and mocked by the privileged who live in the splendor and indolence of the industrial West, lash out in nihilistic fury.
Makes you think.Tweet ##NZPOL