Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are my own. If you wish to comment, you are free to do so, but please make sure you read the whole post before commenting.
I will not tolerate a single comment that contains any kind of insult, racism or hate against any religion or ethnicity.
If you’ve been following me on twitter, then you probably noticed a bit of political “debate” happening lately over there. If not, let me summarize it :
I retweeted a tweet by @LowKeyMusic1 where he says that “burrying” the body at sea does not constitute “respectful of muslim traditions” while talking about the recent death of Osama Bin Laden (OBL), I received some answers from people angry at me for retweeting that, and some people saying that OBL does not deserve respect, to which I replied that any human being deserves respect regardless of what they’ve done, and even if that person had lost all of its humanity (isn’t it true anyways that there are “animal rights” associations and you’re supposed to respect even animals?). Saying something like that was enough to warrant me being branded a terrorist or “supporting and defending terrorism” and people even saying that if Bush or Obama would have been killed, I wouldn’t have said anything about respect, and that I would have been happy. It even went as far as people deducing from what I said that I was “happy that people died on 9/11″.
What also happens was that, in answer to that, @PSXScene told me that OBL didn’t deserve any respect for what he did, to which I answered that nobody knows what he did, he was trained by the CIA and he may have been hired by the CIA for all we know, so we shouldn’t be so quick to judge people without knowing the absolute full truth. That gave me a response from @PSXScene, and I quote “Nice tin-foiled turban you’re wearing”. That remark got me pretty upset because it was a clearly racist and offensive comment that crossed the line. Other reason was that I didn’t understand the “tin foiled” comment as I didn’t know what the “tin foiled hat” expression meant. I later realized the meaning of it and it did calm me down a little to be honest, but the turban comment was still an offensive, racist and over the line comment that many other people also felt was racist (although they were american and fully understood the meaning of it). When I got into the argument about this racist comment, other people started sending me even more racist comments, like “I pee on the quran and spit on mohamed” or “All you dirty arabs should die”, and other stuff like that.
I have since continued tweeting my opinion and I’ve seen many people agreeing with me, as well as a few others who disagreed. Some of those decided to simply unfollow me (no harm done), others decided to go on an insult rampage (blocked, bye bye) while a few decided to reply and start an intelligent exchange of ideas which usually ended up with either “I understand what you meant now, sorry for being pissed earlier, I agree with you now” (from them), or “sorry, that’s not how I intended to say it, and I’m sorry if I offended you” (from me), or “I disagree with you, but I understand your position and respect it” (from either).
This whole mess is why I decided to write this blog post, because I want to make sure people understand what I’m saying, and also to point out some of my political views so others can think about them too.
First things first, I believe in free speech, and I believe that everyone is entitled to their thoughts and no one should be silenced for whatever reason. The backlash I got, people insulting me, people threatening me, and people telling me to “stop posting garbage” is in my opinion a way to prevent me from having an opinion. It is not a government going after me to prevent me from speaking, it is a community of people trying to pressure me into shutting up (through insults or through accusations of supporting terrorism, etc..). As you probably know, I will not be silenced, if Sony couldn’t get me to hide behind a rock, then I don’t believe that some twitter ‘friends’ would be enough to make me shut up. On the contrary, I will continue to post or retweet anything that I personally feel is an intelligent comment, worthy of everyone’s attention, regardless on whether or not it’s “pro-american policies”. If you disagree, feel free to discuss it with me, as long as you stay respectful, it will be my pleasure to debate anything with you. If you disagree, you are also free to unfollow me, or to simply ignore me.
Now onto the issues at hand. First, about Osama’s death, I couldn’t care less. I do deplore any loss of life, and I did want to see him being brought to justice rather than executed (assuming it was an execution). I was asked by someone how they should have handled his burial, and my answer still stands : “I don’t care, dump him in the sea, freeze him in a morgue, whatever. The only issue I have here is that Obama said “respectful of Islamic traditions” which is bullshit”. So, yeah, I’m not pro-ben laden, I’m not sad that he got killed or whatever, my original retweet wasn’t about OBL himself, it was rather about Obama’s statement about “respecting Islamic traditions” and I wanted to point out that that statement was not entirely true.
There was also the issue about the celebration of OBL’s death, and my opinion does not change, and I’m far from being the only one to believe that : People should NOT be celebrating someone’s death, no matter who it is. It’s a simple matter of being human or not. As a human being, I don’t think that we should celebrate, yell and chant because some guy, even our enemy, got killed. Now everyone who says that yes they should celebrate and that if I don’t go out and celebrate with them, then I’m “supporting terrorism” are just trying to use fear to assert their opinion. There was this quote that was largely retweeted on twitter which said “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” which sums up exactly the message that I was trying to get across. The quote was originally attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. but was later revealed to be a misquote (and the original author is actually Jessica Dovey) and I even saw people turn down that argument because it’s a “fake quote”.. but, regardless of who said it, does it make it any less truthful ?
I understand people feeling relief, and being glad that OBL is dead, I can even understand people being happy that he’s dead, it makes sense somehow. But what I’m criticizing here is that people are *celebrating* as if their soccer team just won the world cup. And if you say that people were celebrating because they “won the war against terrorism”, that’s bullshit because people were celebrating the death of Bin Laden, as simple as that, and everybody knows that the death of OBL was nothing more than revenge (not even justice since he didn’t get to face a jury) and that although OBL was the figure representing Al Quaeda, his death will be practically (possibly not entirely) meaningless in the running of their operations (it might even anger them and make them want to get their own revenge). Even Obama did say it in his speech, the war on terrorism is not finished and Al Quaeda is still running without OBL, so really, that wasn’t a “victory on the war against terrorism”.
That makes me think about something else I said which seems to have rubbed people the wrong way, I quoted something from Naruto (a Japanese anime that I like watching) where he said that the only way to end the circle of hate is for people to learn forgiveness, that revenge only generates revenge and it becomes an endless cycle of war… (I just checked the exact text I tweeted and it was “The circle of hate must end, vengeance must stop, or there will always be war…”). I’ve received various hate responses of people thinking that what I meant by that was that OBL shouldn’t have been killed. I honestly was not thinking about OBL, it did not cross my mind, and whether or not he should have been killed is not for me to decide, like I said, I do not care about him, all I care about is that humans shouldn’t die by the hand of other humans. I simply remembered that sentence and decided to tweet it because when I heard it (a few months ago), I thought it made sense and something reminded me of it. It is also true, in the sense that the US government did ‘something’ to piss off these terrorists, they got their revenge by the 9/11 attack, to which the US took revenge by invading Afghanistan and Iraq, killing thousands of people over there, who will leave behind families that will be fueled by revenge, thus possibly joining terrorist groups, now they killed OBL for revenge, and some Al Quaeda group might want to take revenge for this, etc.. So I’m not saying that you should forgive and move on with your life, I’m just saying that as long as there is revenge, there will be war, it’s an endless cycle, and I do not believe that the human nature will allow that cycle to be broken.
About the “tin foiled” comment and the “conspiracy theory” stuff, I never said I believed in that stuff, but what I did say is that I don’t believe in what the media says. I do however believe in some of the conspiracy theories, some others I think they are far fetched, and some I don’t know if I should believe in them. My main point is to tell you : Stop being blinded by what the media tells you, they can and they will lie, think for yourselves for once. And it’s true, the government lies on many things, if not the government then the media will lie simply because the more sensational it is, the more they get to sell! Just like when George Hotz went to South America for vacation and came back to see all the news talking about how he fled the country, etc.. and so many people believed that, simply because they didn’t take 5 seconds to think “does that even make sense???”. The same applies with the mainstream US (and international) media, so if someone tells me “they said on CNN that..”, that’s enough for me to question what he’s about to say. If you don’t believe me then think about the Iraq war. It was proven that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that the government knew it and lied to the US citizens and defied the UN and invaded Iraq anyways. Go read the book “Fair game”, or better yet (for most of you, me included) watch the movie of the same title “Fair game”. I watched that movie recently, and at the end, I was shocked to see that it was all a true story, then I started searching about Valerie Palme Wilson and her story. What shocked me is not the fact that the US Government lied publicly, knowing that it was lying to its citizens only in order to justify a war that never should have happened, or that it then tried to crush and destroy its own citizens, trying to censor them and deny them their right to exercise free speech. What shocked me is that this story was known, shown on TV with a public hearing and the American people should know all about it, and yet, I had never heard of it until I saw the movie. It’s clear that when you see the same things over and over again on TV, you end up believing them, you end up forgetting all the other things that the media doesn’t want to show you more than once (just enough to say that they are fair since they ‘reported’ on the news). Same goes about how some colonel or something lied about the event where the US Army killed journalists in Iraq and until wikileaks showed the video of what really happened, nobody could have proven that the military lied about the events that took place that day. And another rather sad example of the media lying, do you remember right after 9/11 when all medias and newspapers were showing a video/pictures of Palestinians “celebrating the tragedy”? Until it was later revealed that the footage was dated from 1995 during a national holiday? This is a clear example of why you shouldn’t always trust what you see on TV, and that was my point.
And while we’re at it, you probably all heard the news of how Bin Laden was killed in a firefight, then later that he was unarmed but struggling, then later that he was shot after he was in their custody… that’s simple proof that everything you hear on TV isn’t necessarily 100% true. Whether he was killed in a firefight, or when struggling, or was simply executed, it doesn’t matter, we’ll probably never really know what happened in there, what I want people to understand is just that : Don’t state something as a fact if you don’t really know what happened.
One important thing to note.. when I say “Don’t trust the media”, it applies to all medias, not just american ones.
The last subject I want to talk about, considering this post is already quite huge, is about the whole “you are anti-american”. Because I’m stating my opinion which happens not to be “Death to all those dirty arabs”, I’m suddenly anti-american? People automatically say that I’m defending terrorism and that I was probably happy that people died on the 9/11 attacks. Seriously? What do you guys don’t understand about “all life is sacred”? Where did I ever say “all non-american life is sacred” ? Human beings should not die by the hand of other human beings, it’s as simple as that. And you know what, I can see all over the internet tons of americans saying the exact same thing as me, are they anti-american too? I simply hate this idea of “you’re either with us or with them”. if I don’t end my sentence with “God Bless America”, it almost looks like I’m anti-american, or that I don’t care about those who died on that fateful day. You keep saying “God Bless America” while I say “God Bless the World” and yes, America IS included in the World. Like I said to @xPreatorianx on twitter : “There are way too many innocents who died, I deplore the loss of life, whether it’s an iraqi child bombed and killed for no reason or whether it’s a US soldier sent there to die while doing the deeds of the rich bastards profiting from the war”.
This whole thing seems to make people see things black or white, where in reality, life is full of shades of gray. When I express my opinion, and if people disagree with it, I get labeled a terrorist for some reason.
I would suggest people listen to what Glenn Greenwald thinks about the subject. He is an american, and yet, everything he says seems to be exactly what I’ve been saying too. The difference between me and him is that he probably knows how to communicate his ideas a bit better than me. You can view an interview with him on the subject at the following URL : http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/35971
I believe that’s enough politics for today. I’m not gonna go too deep in that territory for this post as I just wanted to clarify some of the things that people might have misunderstood and make my opinion clear. Also, above all, I wanted to make people open their eyes and think about what’s happening around them instead of following blindly. I hope I achieved (at least partially) this goal.