Thursday, January 13, 2005


An Insight Into French Culture

Jean-Marie Le Pen is being investigated about something he said. Apparently France has laws against certain types of speech. Even worse the laws appear to make some forms of OPINION illegal.

The Paris prosecutor's office announced a preliminary enquiry Thursday to determine if the veteran far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen broke the law when he described the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two as "not especially inhumane."

"Not especially inhumane." - that gets you investigated by the police. Yes, the opinion is stupid with hints of revisionist history but it still is just one persons opinion of events. This type of moronic rhetoric is not new either, for years fringe groups have been trying to deny the truths of the holocaust. But it is still only speech and apparently illegal in France.

The investigation was to focus on whether Le Pen's comments, which were made to the extreme right-wing magazine Rivarol, constituted "denial of crimes against humanity" or "apology for war crimes" - both of which are criminal offences.

Whether or not this guy is an idiot is not the issue - he is. The issue is that he is simply expressing his opinions through his speech. The French law here appears to be one in which the government, judge or jury determines the truths about history and anyone who disagrees with them is committing a crime. And what exactly was the horrible thing he had to say about the Nazi occupation of France, according to this Reuter's article:

"I note that if one compares the German occupation of France with the occupation in a certain number of other European countries, then proportionately, it's in France where it was the least painful," Le Pen told RTL

Clearly the standard here is political correctness run amok. European elites, headed by Chirak, are pushing their agenda right over the rights of individuals to SAY things. It is no wonder France would not support the war in Iraq - clearly in France is was politically incorrect. The problem is that political correctness rarely leads one down the difficult path to a real, long term solution to a problem. Most of the time it leads one down a path which makes the person or group feel better about THEMselves but rarely helps others for very long. Compare the war in Iraq with the goal of removal of a terrorist regime and replacing it with an elected government versus continuing soft economic sanctions, a corrupt oil for food program and seeing no violence on television (although it continued in the torture prisons under Saddam).

Denying basic rights such as freedom of speech would be seen as morally outrageous in this country. Denying these rights and allowing the government to decide what the correct interpretation of history for criminal matters is a step backward toward dictatorships and away from government by the people. This is clearly just another reason to discount France and it's political movement altogether.

According to this article, Oliver Stone is running away to France after his last two movies bombed. I would warn Mr. Stone and his propensity to make revisionist history movies (ie JFK) that he may face criminal prosecution. Anyway, dont let the door hit you on the way out, Oliver.

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