Or the political week of hypocrisy
by Mark Linnhoefer
From Charlie Hebdo, over to Mitt Romney all the way to Boko Haram. There have been quite a few controversial to downright horrific events these past days, and the reaction of the political power structures to them has been quite questionable to say the least.
Let’s start with the most prominent event, the attack on Charlie Hebdo. We’ve seen some politicians, especially those on the far-right, misuse this horrid act of terror as a publicity stunt for their political agenda, which is just sickening. The first example that comes to mind is the 1.6 million people strong march through Paris, which a lot of heads of state claimed to have joined in unison with the people, but that claim turned out to be a hoax; they simply took a small group of people in some side street and took a photo that looked as if millions were marching with them. I can’t stress enough what a pathetic display of detachedness from the people that is, trying to trick the population into believing that the most powerful politicians are backed by millions, unified against terrorism. These are the very people that have instigated wars and hatred all over the globe, and they have the nerve to pretend to be marching for peace with the common folk, when in reality they were secluded from the action as always?
Another example is the rise in voters for the Front National, a French extreme right-wing party, and the increase in protesters going to the streets with a German Islamophobic organization called PEGIDA (patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the occident). Both are fueled by twisted propaganda following the Charlie Hebdo attack; a left-wing magazine is assaulted, allegedly by Islamist extremists, and the right-wing manages to gain followers by claiming the incident to be a confirmation of what they’ve been saying all along, and that is just fucked up. Especially PEGIDA, an organization that has claimed multiple times that journalists are all lying scum, is now all of a sudden getting all riled up and talking about free speech and freedom of the press, which shows how much it relies on people being afraid, and how fucking hypocritical it actually is.
Then there was the Boko Haram massacre in Nigeria, which has claimed somewhere between 150 and 2000 casualties, and was largely ignored by the media in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo incident. “A single death is a tragedy; a hundred thousand deaths is a statistic,” wrote Kurt Tucholsky in 1932, a statement that is unfortunately often confirmed by today’s news coverage. Of course the assault on Charlie was an atrocious display of anti-democratic sentiments in France, the cradle of European democracy, that has implications for journalists all over the globe but still, a few hundred up to a few thousand lives lost is worth an at least equally large public outcry, which did not occur.
And the political reaction of the Nigerian head of state, Goodluck Jonathan, to this atrocious act of senseless and cruel violence was, well, non-existent. He has condemned the attacks in Paris but hasn’t even mentioned the Boko Haram slaughter so far, once again showing a great hypocrisy in the political power structures. I have to admit though that such an act requires a tremendous amount of balls; publicly ignoring a massacre in your own country whilst expressing anger about a smaller slaughter in another nation, and just expecting everyone to go with it.
I mean, a few villages have essentially been wiped out, women and children slain in cold blood, and there’s of course been the heroic efforts of a few villagers to fight back until there were too many assailants; but all of that has been reduced to footnotes compared to the in-depth reports about the Charlie attack, which is saddening, really. Unfortunately, Tucholsky was right; kill a few, it’s a catastrophe, but kill a few hundred, and it’s reduced to a statistic. Each human life lost would be worth a story of its own of course, but naturally, that’s not possible. Still, that those involuntarily dying for free speech have been propelled into a position of fame unknown to the hundreds – thousands – of innocents that have been slaughtered at the hands of Boko Haram, is another display of the hypocrisy that has somehow taken hold of the entire world as it seems.
Lastly, there’s a few new examples of the hypocrisy inherent to American politics since Nixon. The US-Cuba relations are being improved, and the US is enthusiastic about the release of 53 political prisoners – which insiders claim are not remotely all of those imprisoned – whilst the US government themselves have held political prisoners for a number of decades in Guantanamo, even in the face of adverse public reactions. The hypocritical thing here is that the US made Cuba promise to set these prisoners free in order to thaw the icy relations between the two nations. The US made them promise to release political prisoners because they feel it’s unjust to hold political prisoners of an allied nation. That statement suffices, I think.
Furthermore, there’s been a death sentence of a radical Islamist cleric in New York, and the flogging of a blogger in Saudi Arabia, an important economic ally of America. The death sentence is not even the point here, but the background is; the US is condemning, and even punishing by death, terrorist activities of all kinds, but on the other hand is cooperating with Saudi Arabia – alleged co-financer of the 9/11 attacks, known co-financer of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and representative of one of the most backward, misogynist and violent political agendas in the world – simply because they have oil and money, which is once again an ugly display of extreme greed and hypocrisy. Oh, and of course the US government has sharply condemned the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, but apparently couldn’t give less of a fuck about freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia.
This week has really demonstrated the true ugliness, hypocrisy, and decay within our political systems in an almost hyperbolic fashion that borders on the depraved. Everywhere people in power, be it political or influential, are not even close to practicing what they preach, which makes the flag of hypocrisy fly high over the Western worlds’ governments, slowly but surely turning any left-over convictions to mush. Selah.
Artwork copyright© 2015 joeyfeldman, all rights reserved