The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Charlie Hebdo Will No Longer Publish Cartoons Showing the Prophet

Yes, violence often gets people what they want.

Also, France is passing increasingly draconian surveillance laws.

Freedom. It was a nice dream.

If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Tsipras: “Now that I Have Unconditionally Surrendered, I Promise to Lead the Fight.”


US Corruption vs. World Corruption


  1. Tom

    Ironically two Muslim police officers gave their lives for this Magazine, and IS didn’t do it, AQ did.

    If France were less Islamophobic and learned being secular means not giving a shit about peoples religion, not attacking religion, I’d be more sympathetic to it, but its not their place to say a women can or can’t veil. That’s their choice. Nor is it their place to say what is or is not Islam.

    Also it continues to act like it has a right to intervene in its former colonies and keeps propping up corrupt and ineffective governments and making things worse.

  2. Winston Smith

    Diversity: Why we can’t have nice things.

  3. anonymouscoward

    If France stays on its current trajectory, all women in France will be forced to veil in public in about 50 years. We can have religious liberty only if we all agree that religion doesn’t really matter. Unfortunately not all religions have agreed to this. Christianity has bowed to secularism (yes it took a while), but Islam never did. It’s head-up-ass idiotic to expect Muslims to play along with Enlightenment rules of social order which they have never agreed to in their own countries, and are not obliged to accept as a condition of entry into western countries. Sadly, this is another area, like the European integration project German Co-Prosperity Sphere, where the European Left is in total denial and utterly failing its constituencies, thus leaving them no reasonable alternative but to turn eventually to the unreasonable Right. Blame the Left, and their idiotic worship of abstractions, for everything bad that happens then.

  4. El Guapo

    “If France stays on its current trajectory, all women in France will be forced to veil in public in about 50 years.”

    anonymouscoward = anonymousmoron. “Sharia law!” “The Mooslims are going to take over!”
    Are you shitting your pants with fear?

  5. ibaien

    @ el guapo no one on the left has been willing to die for their values since baader-meinhof and the RAF. say what you will about the philosophical underpinnings of radical islam, but by god they’re at least fighting for it.

  6. anonymouscoward

    Oh yeah and don’t anyone try to shine me on about Turkey being a secular state comparable to modern Europe, unless you can somehow account for the fact that there are no Christians or Jews prominent in its government. Erdogan’s ruling party is Islamist in origin, and all public schools are still required to give instruction in Islam to their students. All but one (very small) ancient Christian church in Turkey has been turned into a mosque. The rest are museums or ruins.

    One could argue that Iraq under the Ba’ath Party was a secular state, as it had a Christian or two in the upper ranks of its government. But in fact the Ba’athist state was not much more than the extended gang of Saddam Hussein’s family. It may have been prudently un-religious in overt form, but it was hardly liberal. It was also not a form of religious freedom in which someone of the wrong sect could rise very high in the state apparatus. It was pro-Sunni, only because Saddam’s power base was Sunni. So it did not promote Sunnism as such, but it actively put a damper on the aspirations of Shi’ites lest they rise to become a threat.

    Egypt had a democratic and allegedly modernizing revolution, but unfortunately for the revolutionaries of Tahrir Sq., after they won the revolution the Islamist theocrats took over -through completely democratic means- and then the military decided they had had enough of this democracy crap. Liberal democrats could probably be handled and kept from rocking the boat too hard and endangering the entrenched wealth of the military caste; Islamist theocrats on the other hand were seen as a real threat to overturn the social order. Revolution rescinded, democracy canceled.

  7. tellingitlikeitis

    Islamophobes like our dear anonymouscoward here always seem to leave out certain details in their bigoted rants, for example the 2 million middle easterners that have been murdered by the West since 2001, and then they have the fucking balls to talk about who is and who is not civilized. Sure, westerners may put on appearances of tolerance and enlightenment, but all of that gets thrown out of the window when cheap resources and power games come into the picture, or when the “darkies” start to stand up for their rights. Anonymouscoward, you are a punk wimp who has to blame your own pathetic failures on an entire group of people.

  8. VietnamVet

    The last thing a sane person wants is a tribal religious war in the neighborhood. But, a society will fragment into separate and unequal ghettos if the immigrants are unwilling or unable to assimilate. This is happening to the West. I believe this is because the international ruling elite (the jet set) starting in the 1980s joined together and decided to screw everyone else, get fabulously rich and trash their national identities. Unhindered immigration, wars for profit, fewer jobs, lower pay, free trade agreements, austerity and religious fanaticism are just some of the blow back from the Reagan/Thatcher counter revolution.

  9. Tom

    Speaking of Turkey. It invoked Article 4.

    On PKK.

    Also Erdogan is expanding the scope of arrests. IS members are being politely escorted to jail just like last year when hundreds were arrested and then let go because none of them actually did anything illegal. PKK and affiliates are getting slammed into the ground and beat up.

    Then again PKK has no one to blame but themselves. For the last two years they have been constantly attacking and killing police and soldiers, backstabbing Erdogan when he cared for their wounded, allowed KRG to help them with troops, and then they went too far and murdered two police officers in their sleep and two innocent civilians just for having beards, ironically the two were anti-IS activists, the cops were MHP supporters who aren’t buddies of IS.

    So Erdogan decided enough, token bomb IS to get Obama on page, bomb the shit out of PKK and teach it not to fuck with him as he is no longer mister nice guy.

    At the end of the day, PKK is just as bad as IS and follows a Stalinist Ideology. The first Syrian Refugees to flood into Turkey were Kurds fleeing the PKK’s Syrian Branch YPG which helped the regime maintain control in the North for some autonomy. More people flee YPG territory than any other because they are oppressive, resort to force conscription of children, ethnically cleanse Arabs and Turkmen, Detain and kill people without trial, and suppress opposition parties.

    IS is just more honest about its brutality.

  10. Spinoza

    Is saying fuck Islam AND fuck the west so difficult to do? Are they mutually exclusive notions?

  11. Everythings Jake

    Sometimes violence teaches racists that they are in fact racists.

  12. V. Arnold

    It’s really remarkable that Jesus isn’t portrayed in the same way as disrespectful Mohammed cartoons.
    Charlie Hebdo? Fuck your disrespect of Islam.
    All this shows, is how fucked up the world in general is; and then there is the inherent homophobia and racism in humans across the planet.
    We’d better grow up and fast! Time is short!

  13. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I do NOT want to team up with AnonC or Mr. Smith, but we “grafted devils” do have sound contemporary reasons, and even sounder historical reasons, to regard Islam with suspicion.

    Now that I’ve said that, Imperial Capitalism does need to get out of the historically Muslim part of the world and quit poking the hornets’ nest. Our masters poke away for three reasons:

    (1) Greed for petroleum.

    (2) Greed for what little good land exists in the Middle East (it’s even drier there now than in Biblical times). This second reason mostly belongs to Imperial Capitalism’s Israeli client state (thanks a f**king heap, Adolf, for doing more than any other one man to make that happen.)

    (3) Our misnamed “intelligence” agencies created modern militant Islam, as a foil to use against the late, unlamented USSR. They are still trying to use the jihadis as a foil against the BRICS nations. I hope the recent deal with Iran represents a turning away from this moronic policy.

  14. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I should have said: “(1) Greed for mineral resources, especially petroleum.” Petroleum isn’t the only valuable item under the soil of the Muslim part of the planet.

  15. markfromireland

    @ V. Arnold. Do a google search for Piss Christ to see what you can see. I don’t recall people being killed by outraged Christians as a result. Or get your hands on some of the hilarious French cartoon books featuring Soeur Marie-Thérèse. If the portrayals of Christ and The Virgin don’t make you laugh out loud you’re probably dead.

    Or – granted somewhat different, if you toddle along to Detroit you can find a recently unveiled and rather fine statue of Baphomet complete with two children gazing at him adoringly. I’m a conservative European Catholic heavily involved in conservative European Catholic politics yet I feel no impulse to haul any of the devotees off for a little chat with the Spanish inquisition. I agree with Heine:

    Das war Vorspiel nur. Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen. (That was mere foreplay. Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings).

    If your religious belief is so weak that you engage in murder and barbarism to defend it from cartoons or jokes or criticism or novels or indeed from any form of contradiction then quite frankly as far as I’m concerned neither you nor your religious beliefs are worth shit.

    Protest and complain as much as you like however once you step over the line of civilised behaviour by even threatening violence then you’re attacking the basis of my freedom to believe or not as I please and to peacefully live my life by my beliefs and standards. I happen to think that those freedoms are worth defending vigorously.


  16. tellingitlikeitis


    What a load of crap. When you stop killing muslims by the millions, extremism will die. Charlie Hebdo shootings had little to do with an actual cartoon, moron.

    And you’re a Catholic? LMAO! Yeah, shut the fuck up right now. Pretty rich coming from someone who is a member of a religion that has diddled more children and killed more people than Islamists ever could.

  17. markfromireland

    @ tellingitlikeitis. I always enjoy it when people like you immediately resort to ad hominem first because it betrays your intellectual paucity and secondly because I’m always on the look out for further political material that I can use against your ilk.



  18. Atcooper


    I’m in complete agreement that the Reagan/Thatcher counter revolution explains most modern ills, but still fail to adequately understand the why of the counter revolution. Why were so many people ok with it?

    A related question, why was fascism preferable to communism (specifically in the west)?

    I’m very much of the eat the rich bent, but I don’t think aristocracy preference explains all in regards to both questions

  19. atcooper

    My apologies, I should have specified: why was facism preferable to communism pre and post World War Two.

  20. klk

    I hope the recent deal with Iran represents a turning away from this moronic policy.

    It represents its successful fruition.

  21. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    @Atcooper: In the specific case of the USA, the hired liars of the Malefactors Of Great Wealth (oh, excuse me, I meant “the honorable members of our most worthy and respected professions of public relations, politics, academia, and journalism) made skillful use of racism and other sorts of ethnic bigotry, patriarchy, and the authoritarian type of religion to persuade enough non-elite whites (who were still a majority at that time) to vote their prejudices and fears instead of their economic self-interest. The MOGW’s hired liars still milk that for its decreasing worth.

    Also, the MOGW’s hired liars used the Red bogeyman skillfully. The hawks on both sides of the Cold War needed each other.

    I don’t know how it worked in other countries.

    As for fascism, fascism embraced, or at least tolerated, religion, whereas Communism promised to abolish religion.

    I think the single greatest strategic error Marx and Engels made was their embrace of the chic, hip, trendy, ever-so-fashionable dogmatic intellectual atheism of their day. When people already have shitty earthly lives, the last thing they want to hear is that they can’t even hope for a better next life.

    The Stern Sturdy Stoics (Dawkins, Harris, and their ilk) think the majority of humans can be persuaded to abandon their dreams of eternal life and suck it up and be Stern Sturdy Stoics just like them.

    The Stern Sturdy Stoics know about as much about human psychology as a creationist knows about human paleontology. 😈

    @KLK: I cheerfully admit to not being an expert, but I don’t quite understand what you mean.

  22. V. Arnold

    July 27, 2015
    Nice rant. Righteous even…
    I disagree about 99%.
    History would not back you up on who’s more violent; Christians, hands down.
    But then, I’m not speaking to isms; but to respectful differences; which are become lost in post modern earth.

  23. VietnamVet


    Ivory Bill Woodpecker is correct. To consolidate their power the wealthy used racism and bigotry plus money. Adam Curtis’ BBC documentary “The Century of Self” describes how marketing was manipulated to make the people desire things including voting for Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. What is even more powerful than messaging is omitting the truth so nobody knows what is happening. The counter coup was never mentioned in the media though the Reagan political Revolution was. I thought that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was crazy and vowed never to vote for another Republican. But, it wasn’t until the Obama Administration continued the exact same policies that I finally realized that the quarter century war in Iraq was intentional. It is a war fought for profit not to win. Al Qaeda and now the Islamic State are constructs to frighten the population to continue the wars. Adam Curtis’ documentary “The Power of Nightmares” describes this. The endless wars are wealth transfer schemes from the many to the few.

    My guess is that most of the people still don’t realize that there was a coup by the transnational elite whose wealth is offshore. We live in a plutocracy that doesn’t give a damn for the people. Ukraine was seized in order to frack Donbass shale gas. A financial neutron bomb was dropped on Greece. Social democracy died last century although some remnants remain to be dismembered.

  24. markfromireland

    @ V. Arnold July 27, 2015. I addressed your original point and I quote you direct that:

    “It’s really remarkable that Jesus isn’t portrayed in the same way as disrespectful Mohammed cartoons.”

    I also addressed your point:

    “Charlie Hebdo? Fuck your disrespect of Islam.”

    Whatever the cause and whatever the historical grievances the whole point about extremists is that they are extreme. They’re not interested in dialogue and they’re certainly not interested in respecting anybody or anything other than their own beliefs about how things ought to be which they they are determined to impose by violence. They are determined to impose them not only in their own countries but also in other countries. When they engage in violent attacks in pursuit of their aims they willingly place themselves into the category of “legitimate target”.

    I happen to think that the right not to be murdered for your opinions and beliefs however unpalatable they may be to others is important. As our host keeps on pointing out ultimately you only have those rights you’re capable of, and willing to, defend.


  25. anonymouscoward

    As you can see, Mr. Welsh, the elderly cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo got no less than they deserved. It’s just too bad that some of them survived I suppose.

    Freedom is a value with a rapidly disappearing constituency. It’s the “Matlock” of ideals you might say. Certainly the angry bitter left* no longer understands it, nor can they appreciate the only reason they are able to trouble the world with their tirades against “the West” or liberal democracy is that some people, up until recently, were still willing to take a bullet for it.

    *I hesitate to call these people “left” as they hardly seem worthy of the title. But in our judgements of the reaction of “the Left” to current events and trends we must accept them as the actually-existing left, since holding out for a better, worthier left would thin the subject matter out to practically nothing.

  26. Sean Paul Kelley

    Another interesting note is that Al Qaeda was demanding US troops leave Saudi Arabia before 9/11. Guess what happened quietly after 9/11?

  27. aliena

    @ V. Arnold: Actually Charlie Hebdo mocked Jesus Christ and the Pope for more than 40 years and it is 80% of their satirical religious cartoons. And it’s still ongoing. They mocked the Jews as well and so many others. Please get your facts straight.

    “Charlie Hebdo, they print so many insulting cartoons about Muslim extremists, you know, geez, they just kept at it, you know…but that wasn’t the only people they insulted, they insulted everybody. The Pope, the President of the country, everybody! They were merciless, to everybody. It was a really funny magazine. They just didn’t hold back towards anybody. You know, they didn’t let anybody off the hook, which was good.”

    Legendary Cartoonist Robert Crumb on the Massacre in Paris

    “Underground cartoonist R. Crumb, who lives in France, stood in solidarity with his colleagues by releasing this drawing, below.”

    “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that we’re seeing two very similar cultures, (Sunni and Anglo culture) both insanely focused on symbolic transgressions, punishing a weakened French culture, which has since Sade’s time devoted itself very seriously to verbal transgression as a highly valued intellectual pursuit (as in Sade’s great line, “To imagine even greater crimes, to put out the Sun!”). When it comes to committing truly great crimes, both the Sunni and the Anglos are doing extremely well, completely outclassing the poor old French. But they share a wonderful circumspection, an almost infinite capacity to forgive all but spoken or written crimes. And pretend to believe that “to imagine” in Sade’s phrase is as bad, if not worse, as “to commit” great crimes.”

    “Last but not least. We would like to send a message to Pope Francis, who this week, he as well, “is Charlie”: We will only accept that the bells of Notre Dame are ringing in our honour when it is the Femen who are ringing them.”

    Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism–je-suis-charlie-means-je-suis-secularism

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén