What happened to free speech?

All animals are equal,
but some animals are more equal
than others.
George Orwell, Animal Farm

So it is with “free speech”:
free speech is for some, but not for others.
Carefully contrived, and selectively applied,
definitions of “hate speech” and “harassment”
arrange for this.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin (bless his heart!), in his splendid article
Protesting Passion: What happened to “artistic freedom”?
(also available in PDF)
has given an instructive account of how a certain group,
who presume to instruct their inferiors on what to think,
does a 180-degree turn
when they see themselves as targets of an artist’s expression,
as opposed to their favored role
of attacking the beliefs and values of other people.
If you think this description is unfair,
read Rabbi Lapin’s article.

The same basic turnaround now arises
in the infamous (for one reason or another) case of
religious intolerance” at the Air Force Academy.

I do not presume to defend
everything done by evangelicals at the AFA,
due to my ignorance and to the fact that
some evangelical cheerleading, as described,
does seem excessive for the situation.
But I do wish to make several points.

First, on the accusation of “anti-Semitic slurs.”
Other news reports have stated that the slur in question was
that one or more Jewish cadets was called a “Christ-killer.”
The question is:
Did that epithet get thrown in the course of a hot argument,
in response to epithets being thrown by a Jew,
or was it thrown without provocation?
The fact is that Jews have been slinging epithets at Christians,
calling Christians who advance conservative views “Nazis.”
This is a clear case of guilt by association.
The Nazis are indelibly associated with genocide.
So therefore any other value
that the Nazis advocated or exemplified
should also be associated with genocide?
What a crock.
Nonetheless, we Christians grudgingly accept such name-calling
as simple argument by exaggeration.

But then, if a Christian can be called a Nazi,
simply because he advocates conservative positions,
why can the Christian not respond in kind?
Clearly each epithet is a case of hyperbole.
If a Jew wishes to argue using hyperbole,
to deny the Christian equal opportunity
would be a clear instance of Orwell’s Animal Farm quote.

The problem of some parts of the Jewish community
exaggerating, distorting, and misrepresenting
the activities of those who might oppose Jewish interests
is one that its so-called “defense agencies,”
most especially the ADL,
have tried to cover up in the past.
That (both the misrepresentation and the cover-up)
is sufficiently much of a problem,
and sufficiently unscrutinized by the media
(I wonder why?), that it’s worth giving
a historically significant example
of such self-serving misrepresentation.

The following passage,
from the green start line to the red finish line,
is taken from page 136
of the invaluable Righteous Victims by Benny Morris.
The passage describes how Zionists deliberately misinterpreted
revolts by the Palestinians in 1936
against the Zionists who were displacing them
from their (the Palestinian’s) ancestral lands.

[T]he Jews made a conscious effort to minimize
the importance of what was afoot;
anti-Zionist outbreaks were designated “pogroms,”
a term that
belittled the phenomenon,
demonized the Arabs, and, in a peculiar way,
comforted the Jews—
it obviated the need to admit that
what they faced was a rival national movement,
rather than Arabic-speaking Cossacks and street ruffians.

Commentators who ventured to use the term “revolt”
always took care to place it in quotation marks,
signifying deprecation or doubt.
And when they did acknowledge
the existence of an Arab nationalist movement,
they tried to delegitimize it
by branding it immoral and terroristic,
or by comparing it to fascism and Nazism.

Said Yitzhak Tabenkin,
an ideologue of the kibbutz movement:
“The swastika, waved aloft in Hitler’s Germany,
and the green flag, the Arab ‘national’ flag,
now upraised by the reactionary leadership
of the Arabs of Palestine—
they are the same flag, the flag of national hatred.”

The emphasis was added by me,
in particular the boldface to show how the same words and images
are reused over the years by Jews
to denigrate the tactics and the motivations
of those who would protest Jewish activities,
no matter how legitimate the justification for the protest.

Muzzling the military

[This section is under development!]



The Generals' Revolt
There are many reasons for Donald Rumsfeld to leave.
Finger-pointing by retired officers shouldn't be one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006; Page A18

[The key paragraph is this one (emphasis is added):]

The president's signal failure to hold his defense chief accountable
no doubt has helped to produce the extraordinary -- and troubling --
eruption of public discontent from the retired generals.
A couple of those who have spoken out,
including retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former head of U.S. Central Command,
opposed the war all along,
but three others served in top positions in Iraq.
Much of their analysis strikes us as solid -- but the rebellion is problematic nonetheless.
It threatens the essential democratic principle of
military subordination to civilian control --
the more so because a couple of the officers claim
they are speaking for some still on active duty.

Anyone who protested
the pushback of uniformed military against
President Bill Clinton's attempt to allow gays to serve
ought to also object to
generals who criticize
the decisions of a president and his defense secretary in wartime.
If they are successful in forcing Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation,
they will set an ugly precedent.
Will future defense secretaries have to worry about
potential rebellions by their brass, and
will they start to choose commanders according to calculations of political loyalty?