by David William.
There have been a lot of hypocritical speeches about freedom of speech since the movie trailer the “Innocence of Muslims” inflamed the Muslim world. Who exactly put the movie out is still a mystery, but it seems to have been a premeditated intentional slap in the face of Muslims to provoke violence and chaos. The perpetrators may be found among those that benefited the most.
A clear loser is the already tarnished and vilified image of Arabs and Muslims. Isamophobia and outright hatred of Arabs is already viral in the U.S and it is to the advantage of the U.S. government’s War on Terror to keep it that way. If the intent of the film was to cause trouble as a propaganda ploy to increase the hatred and denigration of Muslims and Arabs then the “Innocence of Muslims” was a box office success.
The freedom of speech lecture that President Obama gave at the United Nations on September 25, 2012 was not only pure politics, but also a rationalization for continued domination over the Middle East, its politics, its oil and to teach Arabs the American style of freedom and democracy. President Obama’s speech at the U.N. was just another Presidential campaign speech.
As a Constitutional student of law, President Obama knows that the United States Supreme Court (more often to its shame) has ruled that freedom of speech is not absolute, and that the context, time and place of such speech matters. President Obama said in his U.N. speech that he disagrees with those Constitutional restrictions on freedom of speech. President Obama, try telling that to the Occupiers that have been maced, beaten, spied on and harassed. Tell it to the whistle blowers and the journalists who refuse to reveal their sources and whom
your Justice Department has prosecuted and jailed (New York Times: “Readers Have a Stake in Obama’s Free-Speech Disconnect”, September 27, 2012 by Margaret Sullivan).
Freedom and democracy have just become words the USA uses for propaganda purposes now. Any leaders of a foreign country that promotes sovereignty over their economy, natural resources, people, self determination and concern for regional issues, as President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt says he is doing, is going to be seen as a threat to U.S. political and economic interests. They will be given lectures, threats and bribes to teach them about freedom and democracy. The most brutal non-democratic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who bow to the political and economic will of the US will be spared U.S. criticism. The US prefers non-democratic countries because their leaders can be easily manipulated to allow their country to become a de facto neoliberal US colony.
Although the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens happened in Libya, President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt was on the receiving end of the wrath of President Obama. The complaint was that the Egyptian government’s response was too “tepid” towards demonstrators at the U.S. embassy in Cairo where an American flag was burned. President Morsi, who may know something about free speech after all, said in a televised speech: “Expressing opinion, freedom to protest and announcing positions is guaranteed” by freedom of speech and the right to peaceful demonstrations. President Morsi condemned violence. (see: New York Times September 13, 2012, “Egypt May Be Bigger Concern Than Libya for White House”).
President Obama it seems would have been much more pleased if the Egyptian president had ruthlessly cracked some heads in Cairo the way its military does to put down street demonstrations. The real reason that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Washington are upset is that the Egyptian people democratically elected the wrong person president of Egypt. As Henry Kissinger reported said after the CIA coup d’État that resulted in the assassination of Chile’s democratically elected President Salvador Allende in 1973: “It is not our fault that the people elected the wrong person”.
In contrast, the same New York Times article referred to above said that President Obama’s conversation with the “transitional-president” Mohammed Magariaf of Libya, where of course the actual killing of Ambassador Stevens took place, was quite cordial and that President Obama “expressed appreciation for his full cooperation”. Mr. Magariaf said that he would do everything he could to help with the investigation of the death of Ambassador Stevens. Within 48 hours mobs of “outraged” pro-USA demonstrators had poured into the streets in full force cracking heads, rounding up opposition groups of Mr. Magariaf’s rule and turning dissidents over to the military police. Cooperating with Washington fully means that the torture chambers in Libya are working overtime.
So the motive for the spreading of a purposely inflammatory YouTube movie trailer dubbed in Arabic and plastering all over Egypt and Libya may have been to purposely cause chaos and violence in either or both Egypt and Libya to the advantage of non-democratic powers that are friendly and preferred by the United States government. The death of Ambassador Stevens may have been the result of blowback, which is what the CIA calls the unintended consequences of one of their operations.
The killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens has now been turned into a propaganda event for the U.S. to add fuel to the American fire of anti- Arab emotions. The American public mostly views Arabs and Muslims as a homogenous group and a lower level of the human race that is still living in the 7th century anyway. The U.S. propaganda machine feeds anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hatred to Americans to help justify and give Washington a free hand in the War on Terror. Anti-Arab propaganda also helps to motivate and improve the moral of the military where it is perfectly acceptable by the authorities for the grunts to use the pejoratives “hadji and rag-head” to refer to Arabs and Muslims. It helps to make killing Arabs seem less like killing human beings.
If President Morsi is sincere in leading his country on a new path of democracy, freedom and self-determination he is treading a dangerous road for himself. He has a real balancing act to do between Washington, the Egyptian military, the Muslim Brotherhood, the people of Egypt and regional conflicts. It is not at all unlikely that he will end up the same way Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh
of Iran did in 1953, President Jacobo Árbenz of Guatemalan did in 1954, Salvador Allende of Chile did in 1973 and the way that dozens of other government leaders have ended in U.S. sponsored coups and assassinations after displeasing Washington.
David William is a political, social and economic commentator.