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Where Were the Post-Hebdo Free Speech Crusaders as France Spent the Last Year Crushing Free Speech?


Where Were the Post-Hebdo Free Speech Crusaders as France Spent the Last Year Crushing Free Speech?

Glenn Greenwald

It’s been almost one year since millions of people – led by the world’s most repressive tyrants – marched in Paris ostensibly in favor of free speech.


Well, Hmm. I guess having a first amendment is a good thing. I did think it was interesting that his list of the top ten anti free speech tyrants included Russia and the Palestinian Authority.


Greenwald nails it here, as he usually does. I advise everyone to read the full article at the Intercept. The situation in France (where I make my home) is every bit as distressing, intellectually oppressive, and downright scary as he says it is. Among other things, about six months ago, a BDS organizer (Jewish, incidentally) had his door busted down by the police in the middle of the night, Gestapo-like, and was arrested for his supposedly "anti-Semitic" activities. Just three days ago the government of prime minister Manuel Valls (a crypto-fascist if there ever was one) not only ominously hinted at the indefinite prolongation of the state of emergency but took concrete steps to institute new draconian police practices including US-style no-knock (and even no-warrant) raids, notably in the middle of the night (the proposed bill actually specified this!), planting bugs in preliminary investigations, and conducting searches without prosecutorial authorization, etc. The potential for abuse and frameups is nearly infinite. The journalistic (and political) discourse is all focused on "Islamic radicalization" and not on the US's and the West's (and France's) ongoing destruction of the Muslim world, and if one hints at the latter being the cause of the former, one is treated as a sympathizer. The intellectual climate is so putrid that a heroic popular philosopher such as Michel Onfray, who has, among other things, founded a "university of the people" open to everyone free of charge and who has always embraced left-wing causes, is called "reactionary" in the press because he opposes the bogus "war on terror" and the various related neocolonial "humanitarian interventions" and tries to elucidate the machinations behind the whole sordid game. And god forbid you should embrace any sort of "conspiracy theory"! You will be called anti-Semitic and far-right, your career will take a serious hit (as with the brilliant young--and also Jewish--filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz, who expressed his views on 9/11 and since left France in disgust) if you are not forced, like comic Jean-Marie Bigard, to make a public recantation à la Stalin. US-style bizarro-world has come to France big-time, where up is down and black is white, leftwing antiwar philosophers are "reactionary", humanitarian Jews are "anti-Semitic", authoritarian crypto-fascist politicians claim to be "socialist," and conspiracies simply don't exist, despite the fact that in this very country a vast conspiracy of freethinkers and freemasons overthrew the corrupt old order in 1789 in perhaps the most successful revolution in history (to say nothing of the more than thousand-year history of conspiracies surrounding the French throne and the papacy). Where this widespread intellectual obscurantism will lead, I don't know, but it won't be a good place. A National Front government may be one outcome, since the powers that be have so befogged the terms of the discourse that people no longer know what to believe or think. It's as if the fools are trying to make a prophet of the likes of Alex Jones.


The French Rvolution was not overly successful as it devoured itself very bloodily, and led to Napoleon's dictatorship and close to 20 years of war as this short-arsed megalomaniac tried to take over the world.

The British Civil War 1641-1649 did it better as it ended the Divnine Right of Kings, gave the UK a proper Parliament and ultimately gave rise to modern democracy, although at the time an estimated 250 000 died in in a population of around 5 million.


What did the gypsies have to say when they were sent to Romania?


Hollande acts a lot like George W Bush & Nutty Yahoo. He has double standards on free speech. Criticizing & mocking Judaism & Israel are off limits. Criticizing & mocking other nations & religions are allowed. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists knew what happened to the Swedish & Danish cartoonists that mocked Mohammed yet they did the same thing & put themselves in that position. I disapprove of the murders but have contempt for Hollande & Hebdo.


Thanks for posting a report here.


I too live in France and agree with clovis. There is NOT free speech in France unless you support Zionist ideals to the hilt, do not try to boycott Israeli goods and academic cooperation, and claim that Islamic Terror is the main danger to life in France. Most of the millions of French citizens of Arab descent are much more loyal to France than are the ardent Zionists like" philosopher" Bernard-Henri Levy. The colonial past and "humanitarian intervention" present are not acknowledged as possible extra reasons for discontent among those who are discriminated against, while French Jews hold many positions at the top of the élite of all Parties.


Naturally Cap'n Bligh .... there is no free speech when it comes to the occupation and extermination of Palestinians. Even after the murder of Rabin , by an assassin whipped into a frenzy of hate by Nut n yahoo who castigated Rabin and called him a traitor to Israel for his peace initiative, there was no condemnation of this hate filled speech. BUT, should anyone criticize the murderous policies of the Yahoo , immediately cries of antisemitism arise from the bowels of the NYT and the Wash Post. America is owned by Tel Aviv and all congressmen know it.


I don't think so. It too led to a dictatorship, under Cromwell, and the final result of that was the Restoration of Charles II, which was firmly in the Divine Rights of Kings camp.

It was the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that removed James II and put in William III & Mary II in a non-violent change that led to what you described.


So they say. netanyahu a year ago told them how ill treated they were, poor dears.


"Antisemitic" lol. There are constant islamophobic attacks in France, yet when anyone dares to criticise Israel for its appalling violations of human rights for Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese "enemies", (political crimes, nothing to do with religion) it is called "antisemitic", as if there is anything "semitic" in such people.


So you had to go back to an endlessly mediatised article from four years ago to find this?


The Glorious Revolution would probably not have happened withouit the Civil War, and irrespective of Cromwell, 1649 set a fine precedent for the future. Charles II was not permitted to raise taxes arbitrarily or pay for the army. Parliament set the miltiary budget every year and drew tthe taxes to run it. That was an important change for a start.


Generally, this occurs in Palestine.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


What has happened to the comments on recent articles?


I emailed the webmaster, and after a couple of days I received the following:

Comments are not gone. On Wednesday, Jan 13, our website crashed. Our developers now believe the cause was related to our commenting software linking to each article. We are working hard to fix this and return to normal commenting ASAP. They now think it will be Monday or Tuesday before we're back to normal.

In the meantime, you can still access the comments here: http://commons.commondreams.org/latest

You can indeed see some comments from that page, but the sequence of the articles in the listing has nothing to do with the way they appear on the main page.

In my original email, I also asked why this was not mentioned in, say, the header at the top of each page. No response to that question.