January 8, 2015

Dr. Steve Pieczenik On The Charlie Hebdo Attack, Plus Some Other Opinions And Reactions

"Alex Jones: You've seen the video, obviously, of the shooters. They look very professional. Colonel Shaffer says they look like above al-Qaeda. Who do you think they are? Have any ideas? 
Dr. Steve Pieczenik: I think they're very well-trained Yemeni, whether they're supported by the French who have very strong presence in the Maghreb and Yemen. . . The French have allowed this to happen. It's as simple as that. . . You have a country that is in such severe, I can't tell you how bad shape France is in that it is beyond redemption if they don't get rid of Hollande, if they don't get rid of the socialist system." Source: Infowars, "Terrorism Expert: France Allowed Paris Attack" January 7, 2015. [11:06 - 12:03]. 
"Pieczenik: When you look at the cartoons, Alex, let my tell you, in French, it's really disgusting. It's disgusting because it's not humourous. It's not in any way satirical. It is nothing more than an insult to Jews, Muslims, to everyone. It's beyond a slap in the face. You don't have to show Muhammad as gay, you don't have to say the Quran is shit, this is totally inappropriate." [15:01 - 15:29]. 
An excerpt from, "Charlie Hebdo, a satirical rag that has never shied away from controversy" Euronews, January 7, 2015:
French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” grew out of “Hara-Kiri” and a group of similarly anarchic and iconoclastic political comics that appeared in France in the 1970s and 80s, when the whiff of revolution was still in the air and nothing was sacred.

As such the nature of the beast was not to go courting friends, and Charlie Hebdo would lash out at anything its collective writers and cartoonists got het up about, mining France’s anti-clerical and secular heritage for all its worth in scathing attacks against what it condemned as religious frauds of any faith. 
Inevitably this brought Charlie Hebdo into conflict with Islam, although when this writer arrived in France its fiercest critics were found on the Catholic fundamentalist, royalist and Front National-leaning right. In its prime Charlie Hebdo is capable of puncturing pomposity and skewering hypocrites like few other publications. It can also be very rude and vulgar.
An excerpt from, "Charlie Hebdo - The Chickens Come Home To Roost" Moon of Alabama, January 7, 2015:
In 2011 the magazine Charlie Hebdo was one of those that printed the Mohammed caricatures, a crude and insulting attempt to smear the prophet and all Muslim as terrorists. In 2012 the magazine continued the campaign depicting the prophet Mohammed as naked, attention seeking gnome. 
Unlike U.S. "liberals" most of the world does not consider free speech as an absolute right. Indeed like screaming "fire" in a filled theater, insulting the believe of other people is likely to get you hurt in most parts of the world. To claim such insults should not matter is itself an insult in that it declares one culture, that of absolute free speech rights, to be superior to other values. It is indecent. 
That the Charlie Hebdo satire was indecent and insulting does not justify the murderous attack, but explains the probable motivation of the attackers. It is deeply wrong to kill people for their speech. But it is also wrong to insult others for no good reasons, be it profit or "free speech" worship.
An excerpt from, "The Paris Attacks and American Fear - Adam Silverman" Sic Semper Tyrannis, January 7, 2015:
Several days ago in his post on James Fallow's recent article, COL Lang remarked about how easily Americans became fearful after 9-11 and how we have remained that way. We have seen that on display today by think tank fellows (h/t SteveM), retired general officers (h/t Zandar), and sitting members of the House (h/t Zandar) and the Senate (h/t Charles Pierce). Today's media coverage, the informed commentary that it contains, and American reactions will follow the same pattern that both COL Lang and Mr. Fallows lamented - more fear driving more poorly thought out policy responses. It is important to remember that the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack is 1 in 3.5 million per year!!!!!! Not that a little thing like facts or reality are likely to make any difference. 
Finally, before the usual suspects get completely into the swing of things by claiming that Muslims never condemn other Muslims who commit terrorism or who claim their actions are somehow covered under Islam, here's the initial google search result for Muslim, and some Arab, organizations that have already condemned the attacks, even though we are still not sure, other than a witness statement of a screamed "Allahu Akbar" during the attack, who is actually responsible.

An excerpt from, "The Attack on Charlie Hebdo" by Amy Davidson, New Yorker, January 7, 2015:
The current issue of Charlie Hebdo, published the day of the shooting, featured a caricature of the novelist Michel Houellebecq on the cover. Houellebecq’s new novel, “Submission,” also out Wednesday, according to the Times, “predicts a future France run by Muslims, in which women forsake Western dress and polygamy is introduced.” The drawing of Houellebecq, accompanied by a joke about Ramadan, is not flattering. The French police have added the protection of Houellebecq to their list of priorities on what is, by all accounts, a traumatic and disorienting day for the entire country. He deserves safety, and not chastisement. Barack Obama, David Cameron, and Angela Merkel have all quickly condemned the attack and the wider assault on the press. The rector of Paris’s Grand Mosque added his voice, saying, according to the Times, “We are horrified. … Our community is stunned by what just happened. It’s a whole section of our democracy that is seriously affected.”