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Chomsky questions sincerity of West free speech claims

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The renowned American political commentator Noam Chomsky has questioned the sincerity of the West’s proclamations about free speech following the outrage over the recent terrorist attacks in France.

In an article published on the CNN website on Monday, Chomsky criticized the West’s propaganda campaign about free speech after several journalists lost their lives during an attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Chomsky cited numerous examples of killing journalists all over the world which have received little or no attention as opposed to the Paris incident.

Chomsky mentioned the example of the NATO missile attack on Serbian state television headquarters in 1999, which claimed the lives of 16 journalists.

However, Chomsky said, the attack was never condemned or denounced and was even hailed by the Western media and statesmen as “an enormously important and … positive development” since it sought “to undermine the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia” and its alleged propaganda mouthpiece.

He also referred to Israel’s “vicious” assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014 which left many journalists dead, most of them in well-marked press cars, saying the Israeli regime’s atrocities against journalist have often gone unnoticed in the Western media.

Chomsky also lashed out at France’s alleged vow to defend freedom of expression following Paris attacks, saying the French government is itself engaged in the systematic violation of free speech.

According to Chomsky, the Gayssot Law which makes it legally punishable to question “Historical Truth”, the expulsion of Roma community, the terrible living conditions of the African refugees and the unrelenting support for the Israeli regime all show the hypocrisy of the French government and the West in its defense of free speech.

The American scholar concluded that the West’s “living memory” is “constructed to include Their crimes against us while scrupulously excluding Our crimes against them — the latter not crimes but noble defense of the highest values, sometimes inadvertently flawed. (Italics original)”

On January 7, gunmen attacked the Paris office of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and wounding 11 others.

The incident was followed by a series of sieges and shootings across Paris, resulting in the killing of more people and an extensive sense of insecurity in the country.

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