Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Living in India I am shocked at how little the West believes in/understands the simple concept of "freedom of speech".

To take just one recent example, an essayist named Ward Churchill has just been told to quit his teaching post at a university in the U.S. because he published an article on the 9-11 attack on the WTC - saying something to the effect that "America should have been expecting an attack like this to happen given their horrendous activities across the world for the last several decades."

He went even further while trying to place the actions of the 9-11 attackers in the context of language used by Americans during the 1991 Gulf War.

Left leaning - Yes.

Controversial - Yes.

But does that mean that a person should be blacklisted and hounded out of a teaching job, not allowed to participate in public speaking and called a terrorist? Of course, calling someone a terrorist in the West now is the equivalent of saying that this person does not have and does not deserve any human rights; certainly not the right to free speech!.

A sorry few voices have been raised in protest. One is "The Sounds of Bigots"
By RICHARD OXMAN and can be read at http://www.counterpunch.org. And one awaits the details on the "plagiarism" charge that has been bandied about regarding the essayist.

On the whole, my impression is that free speech in America is tolerated if it is fascist in nature (e.g. Coulter) but free speech takes on a different definition for proponents of civil liberties and justice.

How Utterly Sad

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