Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Freedom of Speech on the way out . . .

I'm still trying to wrap up (and interrelate) the subject of the last two posts, but there seems no end to the stories dealing with the encroachments on freedom of speech in Europe (and here) on the part of Islamic activists, on one hand, and homosexual activists, on the other.

This is from Soeren Kern, Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group.
Nor are Muslims the only ones trying to restrict free speech in Europe. In Britain, for example, the government is facing pressure from homosexual rights activists to overturn a [20] free speech protection amendment added to a controversial “gay hate” law. The free speech protection clause, which states that criticizing homosexual practice or urging people to refrain from such conduct will not, in itself, be a crime, was added to the new offense of “incitement to homophobic hatred.” But now the government wants to remove that protection. The crime of inciting homophobic hatred includes any words or behavior which is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. It carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

At the European level, meanwhile, government ministers from the 27 member states of the European Union are debating a draft [21] EU directive that aims to outlaw discrimination and “harassment” in the provision of goods and services. The new legislation would, for example, shut down Christian adoption agencies if they refuse to provide same-sex couples with children. Indeed, the definition of “harassment” is so broad that even moderate explanations of Christian beliefs on sexual conduct or other religions could be considered a crime.

Europe’s war on free speech is the result of a profound identity crisis, one that is being generated by the blanket abandonment of traditional Judeo-Christian values coupled with mass immigration from Muslim countries. But in their zeal to criminalize free thought and free speech, the leftwing guardians of Orwellian political correctness are systematically destroying European democracy.
It's all here.


Kevin said...

This is outrageous! Free speech means being able to say that something is wrong and to leave the idea and arguments to battle it out in the arena of ideas.
Freedom of speech needs to look much more like American freedom of speech. You may say it even if I hate it.
Please keep pointing this stuff out. It is important that we know.
Ad Astra Per Aspera,

Pelican said...

Free speech requires free minds, and I am afraid that Mr. Bailie's mind, though freer than most on matters Girardian, on the historical, anthropological, and theological causes and implications of violence, is seriously off when it comes to analyzing the violence right in front of him, in identifying the actual victims and victimizers these days. Paul Craig Roberts is the anti-propagandist and myth-buster for these matters, and I urge Mr. Bailie to start reading him, starting with this magnificient column:

The War On Terror Is A Hoax
By Paul Craig Roberts

According to US government propaganda, terrorist cells are spread throughout America, making it necessary for the government to spy on all Americans and violate most other constitutional protections. Among President Bush's last words as he left office was the warning that America would soon be struck again by Muslim terrorists.

If America were infected with terrorists, we would not need the government to tell us. We would know it from events. As there are no events, the US government substitutes warnings in order to keep alive the fear that causes the public to accept pointless wars, the infringement of civil liberty, national ID cards, and inconveniences and harassments when they fly.

The most obvious indication that there are no terrorist cells is that not a single neocon has been assassinated.

I do not approve of assassinations, and am ashamed of my country's government for engaging in political assassination. The US and Israel have set a very bad example for al Qaeda to follow.

The US deals with al Qaeda and Taliban by assassinating their leaders, and Israel deals with Hamas by assassinating its leaders. It is reasonable to assume that al Qaeda would deal with the instigators and leaders of America's wars in the Middle East in the same way.

Today every al Qaeda member is aware of the complicity of neoconservatives in the death and devastation inflicted on Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Gaza. Moreover, neocons are highly visible and are soft targets compared to Hamas and Hezbollah leaders. Neocons have been identified in the media for years, and as everyone knows, multiple listings of their names are available online.

Neocons do not have Secret Service protection. Dreadful to contemplate, but it would be child's play for al Qaeda to assassinate any and every neocon. Yet, neocons move around freely, a good indication that the US does not have a terrorist problem.

If, as neocons constantly allege, terrorists can smuggle nuclear weapons or dirty bombs into the US with which to wreak havoc upon our cities, terrorists can acquire weapons with which to assassinate any neocon or former government official.

Yet, the neocons, who are the Americans most hated by Muslims, remain unscathed.

The "war on terror" is a hoax that fronts for American control of oil pipelines, the profits of the military-security complex, the assault on civil liberty by fomenters of a police state, and Israel's territorial expansion.

There were no al Qaeda in Iraq until the Americans brought them there by invading and overthrowing Saddam Hussein, who kept al Qaeda out of Iraq. The Taliban is not a terrorist organization, but a movement attempting to unify Afghanistan under Muslim law. The only Americans threatened by the Taliban are the Americans Bush sent to Afghanistan to kill Taliban and to impose a puppet state on the Afghan people.

Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine, or what little remains of Palestine after Israel's illegal annexations. Hamas is a terrorist organization in the same sense that the Israeli government and the US government are terrorist organizations. In an effort to bring Hamas under Israeli hegemony, Israel employs terror bombing and assassinations against Palestinians. Hamas replies to the Israeli terror with homemade and ineffectual rockets.

Hezbollah represents the Shi'ites of southern Lebanon, another area in the Middle East that Israel seeks for its territorial expansion.

The US brands Hamas and Hezbollah "terrorist organizations" for no other reason than the US is on Israel's side of the conflict. There is no objective basis for the US Department of State's "finding" that Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations. It is merely a propagandistic declaration.

Americans and Israelis do not call their bombings of civilians terror. What Americans and Israelis call terror is the response of oppressed people who are stateless because their countries are ruled by puppets loyal to the oppressors. These people, dispossessed of their own countries, have no State Departments, Defense Departments, seats in the United Nations, or voices in the mainstream media. They can submit to foreign hegemony or resist by the limited means available to them.

The fact that Israel and the United States carry on endless propaganda to prevent this fundamental truth from being realized indicates that it is Israel and the US that are in the wrong and the Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, and Afghans who are being wronged.

The retired American generals who serve as war propagandists for Fox "News" are forever claiming that Iran arms the Iraqi and Afghan insurgents and Hamas. But where are the arms? To deal with American tanks, insurgents have to construct homemade explosive devices out of artillery shells. After six years of conflict the insurgents still have no weapon against the American helicopter gunships. Contrast this "arming" with the weaponry the US supplied to the Afghans three decades ago when they were fighting to drive out the Soviets.

The films of Israel's murderous assault on Gaza show large numbers of Gazans fleeing from Israeli bombs or digging out the dead and maimed, and none of these people are armed. A person would think that by now every Palestinian would be armed, every man, woman, and child. Yet, all the films of the Israeli attack show an unarmed population. Hamas has to construct homemade rockets that are little more than a sign of defiance. If Hamas were armed by Iran, Israel's assault on Gaza would have cost Israel its helicopter gunships, its tanks, and hundreds of lives of its soldiers.

Hamas is a small organization armed with small caliber rifles incapable of penetrating body armor. Hamas is unable to stop small bands of Israeli settlers from descending on West Bank Palestinian villages, driving out the Palestinians, and appropriating their land.

The great mystery is: why after 60 years of oppression are the Palestinians still an unarmed people? Clearly, the Muslim countries are complicit with Israel and the US in keeping the Palestinians unarmed.

The unsupported assertion that Iran supplies sophisticated arms to the Palestinians is like the unsupported assertion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. These assertions are propagandistic justifications for killing Arab civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure in order to secure US and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

Pelican said...

Let’s continue our thought experiment by considering the following allegory. Suppose a German were elected pope.
Suppose the Papal States still had an army, as they did during the Middle Ages. Suppose that after ascending the
throne of Peter, the German pope began bringing Germans to live with him in the Vatican. After a few months it
was becoming clear that the Germans who had come to live at the Vatican at the pope’s invitation were now running
out of room or, to use the German term, “Lebensraum.” As a result the Germans began moving into adjacent
neighborhoods driving the Romans from their homes, killing anyone who resisted, and stealing their property.
Whole sections of Rome were ethnically cleansed and the Italians whose property was confiscated by the Germans
were rounded up and put in refugee or concentration camps, where they were slowly starved to death by being
deprived of food, electricity and water. Whenever the displaced Romans complained too loudly, the German pope
would send in his fleet of helicopter gunships and destroy their hospitals, schools, and other public buildings,
especially when the terrorized civilian population would gather there to escape the bombing. The pope’s aircraft,
supplied by Germany, would also drop white phosphorus bombs on UN warehouses containing food for the starving
civilian population. Just before the pope launched this campaign of genocide on the ethnically cleansed Italians,
he ordered all of the world’s bishops to denounce anyone who protested as “anti-Catholic.” The bishops also told
the pope’s troops that they should have no qualms about killing innocent women and children because Italians were
racially inferior and because the Italian Liberation organization used them as human shields anyway.

Can anyone seriously imagine world opinion tolerating such a situation? If not, how is it that world opinion,
including the Catholic Church, tolerates what I have described above when Israelis do it to Palestinians? Doesn’t
the silence over what is happening in Gaza amount to a much more serious form of “holocaust denial” than anything
connected even remotely to what Bishop Williamson said?