11 January 2015

Murder in Paris

The cartoonists and journalists who died at Charlie Hebdo on Black Wednesday would have had nothing but utter contempt for the dog and pony show perpetrated on their graves this Sunday.  I wish they were able to publishing in this week’s edition along with their still-living colleagues to show just how deep that contempt would be.  The jockeying for position at the head of the march disgraced all of those opportunistic so-called “leaders”.  Their own interests is all that they serve.  They surely do not serve liberty, equality, or fraternity.  Not one of them.  They remind me of the opportunistic infections contracted by someone with AIDS.

Hollande couldn’t avoid being there, but the rest should have stayed home.  The phrase that for me best fits all those so-called “leaders” (except for Hollande) is “walang hiya”. It's Tagalog for “no shame”, but it doesn't carry the same weight in translation to English that it has in Tagalog.

After watching clips and reading stories all day, posting most of them to Facebook and Twitter, sharing several of their cartoons, I texted my son to tell him I had just heard of openings at a satirical magazine in Paris, where I lived for a few months in 2011.  Dark, yes, but the people at Charlie Hebdo would have gotten the joke.

The same phrase, walang hiya, comes to mind when Bill Donohue of the Catholic League and media mogul Rupert Murdoch suggest that they somehow contributed to their own deaths.  I wonder if either of the two would feel so righteously sanctimonious were it they in the morgue rather than the cartoonists and writers.

I have equal contempt for those on those on both wings of the political spectrum who have used the incidents of the past week to thump their own agenda.

The right wing, the ultra-Zionists, uber-Christians, and neoconservative imperialists try to further their Islamophobic, anti-Arab agenda and drum up support for their own power.  They are the very creators of the conditions which brought these events about, not the victims.  So, more of the same noise, noise, noise we’ve been hearing for the past thirteen years and four months.

Meanwhile, many on the left step forward as the great protectors of their little brown brothers to suggest, like Donohue, that the dead were somehow culpable for their own homicides because of the content of their publication.  Yea, great way to support free speech.  And, by the way, most of the folks you pretend to protect are among the most appalled at this past week’s atrocities and the most embarrassed by you.  Your patronizing presumption is no less imperialist than that of the right that you scorn.

Lastly, the wing-nuts and their gullible followers trying to claim “false flag”.  Get a life.  Give the dead the dignity of having been murdered for the reasons they were murdered by the two people, Said and Cherif Kouachi, who actually killed them rather than inventing ghosts and goblins and “parallel structures” and nefarious X-Files style plots.

We can’t forget that two cops trying to do their duty, both trying to protect the other victims, died also, one shot dead even after being neutralized already, himself a Muslim, one of those in whose name the Kouachi brothers purportedly perpetrated their acts. 

Another officer died the next day at the hands of a confederate of the Kouachis, Amedly Coulibaly, just fifteen days out of the academy.  Unarmed, she was directing traffic at the time and was killed for her uniform.  On Friday, Coulibaly murdered four men in a kosher grocery for the crime of being Jewish, deaths as purposeless as the officer’s of the day before.  Thirteen others patrons were saved by the quick-thinking of the grocery’s Muslim employee.

None of the seventeen dead in any way deserved to have their natural lives cut short at the hands of another human.  None deserve to have their deaths used as a political prop.

To the opportunistic “leaders”, the talking heads and ideologues on the right and the left, the conspiracy theorists, the Islamophobes, and most of all to the dead murderers, I hold up my pen, and give up the thumbs-up, Iranian-style.

Je suis Charlie.

Je suis Ahmed.  

Je suis Clarissa.  

Je suis Juif.  

Merci , Lassana.

There is but one race, the human race.  I am a Terran, a citizen of Earth; the whole world is my home, and all its people my brothers, sisters, and cousins.

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