Cartoons or violence?Posted: January 17, 2015
The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington
15 January, 2015
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has probably never received so much attention from French politicians. But it is good to see the widespread support for a free press which has been expressed since the attack on the magazine’s staff. “Keep drawing,” as DomPost cartoonist Tom Scott said.
But most important will be the response of the French government. A main purpose of the raid would have been to elicit a violent military response in the Middle East because that sort of response has been the best recruiting tool of ISIS and other similar groups. Wednesday’s ‘at war’ response in the French Parliament will be very encouraging to ISIS.
It is important to put this development into a wider context. The main purpose that the USA (Bush/Cheney government) went into Iraq in 2003 was to promote war as the primary means of conducting foreign policy. The primary beneficiaries of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 had been Osama bin Laden and Bush/Cheney by giving them the excuse to ramp up their violent militarized approach to foreign policy. A similar ‘at war’ approach in this case will play right into that type of hands again. But justice and peace can only be brought about in the opposite way, through political means. Only that approach will be enabling to find ways to move toward a new sustainable society.