Charles Glass, Assange and false rhetoric

The following is from The recent incitements to murder Julian Assange emanating from politicians, journalists, and pundits constitute a new secular fatwa that threatens our freedom to disseminate information. Charles Glass, this being Mr “We mustn’t assert the superiority of Western values“…So equality, democracy, liberty and human rights as ideals are obviously equal to sexism, racism, religious supremacism, terrorism (both state and non-state) – except Mr Glass would assert that this is the fault of the intolerant West…
Sometimes, there is nothing as pretentious and self-obsessed as a professional writer.

The recent incitements to murder Julian Assange emanating from politicians, journalists, and pundits constitute a new secular fatwa that threatens our freedom to disseminate information.

Here Charles Glass is laying out his thesis – that the (presumably non-left wing) elements of the West are intolerant of dissent and are threatening to close down free speech though domestic terrorism (terrorising opponents through murder and threat of murder).

“Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?” asked Sarah Palin.

Here Sarah Palin is talking rubbish and while this blogger has regularly backed Sarah Palin against her detractors, here she is just wrong on legal, moral and constitutional grounds. Julian Assange may be a narcissistic, anti-American left-winger but he has not broken any laws in publishing the leaks.

By any standard, these and other calls for Assange’s death constitute incitements to murder as much as Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa did.

As a rhetorical technique, this is called false equivalence. Calls for the state to kill Mr Assange are not in the same league as Kohmeini’s dictate to all Muslims to seek out and kill Salman Rushdie. Has anyone noted anyone within the US government willing to listen to these stupid statements, let alone take them seriously?
The stupidity of people like Bob Beckel and Mike Flanagan is matched only by John Pilger and co in treating Assange as a hero because he “tweaked the nose” of the most tolerant empire in existence and demonstrated…what exactly? That the things which neoconservatives, Blairites and those liberals who understand the threat of Iran and Islamic terrorism were right?

Yes, Assange is really going to be assassinated for being a self-obsessed idiot.

If someone comes to your house with a firing squad and declares, “Ready, aim, fire,” the First Amendment would be no defense in court against a murder charge.

This is the end of a paragraph claiming equivalence between foolish opinions and a religious duty laid down by a senior theocratic ruler of a religious state for murder unlimited by person, territory or time.

Some people may believe Sarah Palin and Fox News’ “experts” as much as some Muslims believed Khomeini.

Charles Glass is comparing conservatives with Islamic fundamentalists, which I believe alone would demonstrate either Mr Glass’s dishonesty or foolishness. Does anyone seriously credit Fox News and Sarah Palin with sufficient hold over men’s souls to successfully incite murder? Or is this again demonstrating the liberal-left’s obsessive fear of opposition? This is really quite sad to what journalists like Glass descending to demonising opponents by accusing them of “magical” powers of persuasion.
Again, I’ll say it loud and clear: the pundits called for assassination by Special Forces – i.e. the US government, not murder by private individuals.

Charles Glass has used the stupidity of certain American public figures to try and create a martyr figure out of Julian Assange by comparing those comments to the religious injunction to murder issued in 1989 and accuses the right-wing of being as fanatical and murderous as the Islamists he has defended in the past.
This article purports to be analytic when it is just a public recital of Mr Glass’ rather conceited fantasies.


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