If we ever doubted how the rules of a state-of-law are being manipulated in our Western world, Mr. Obama obliged by his comments on "The Interview".
Yesterday he declared, from the safety of his modern-day pulpit, the presidential press room in White House, assumedly the High Church of Democracy, that
1) North Korea was behind the attack on SONY, and
2) SONY was wrong to pull the movie from the world theater(s)
His first statement is interesting, at least for two reasons. One, who says that North Korea was responsible? Earlier in the week quite a few hacker groups claimed to be the attackers! And if indeed the Americans are convinced that Korean pundits were to blame, where is the proof, how do they know? (After all finding the source of attacks on the Internet is not a 1-2-3 logarithm). Interestingly, the Western media do not question the statement of the American president, they just swallow, digest and regurgitate. It seems as if, from the purported pulpit of democracy, only unshakeable truths flow!
His second statement was no less surprising. Oh, don't misunderstand me, we may agree with the view that dictators cannot be allowed to dictate to the world which movies to show. But surely, it is a lot easier to preach that message from aside and up high, than it is to courageously act and run a real risk of being targeted by a mala fide state like North Korea. Indeed, what assistance does the USA propose to give SONY in this no-holds-barred cyber battle? And perhaps, as I will discuss hereunder, where does artistic freedom end?
To a neutral observer, Mr. Obama sounds arrogant and hollow, resonating in the splendid isolation of a gothic tower. In recent years many Libyans, Egyptians, Syrians and others have heard the self-righteous messaging emanating from the pulpit in Washington; unfortunately, it has not been to their ultimate benefit.
While one would certainly applaud efforts from the US cyber army to silence North Korean cyber soldiers, or any others for that matter, I am left with two final questions, obliquely linked to these events.
The first one is: why is it that Western media are accepting without question that North Korea is guilty? Is it solely on the word of the US President? If so, why then do we need proof in court for the, often well documented and heinous, misdeeds committed by dictators or war crime artists which, by the way, predominantly end in the The Hague court rooms in acquittal?
The second question is a bit more intriguing: if North Korea (or anyone else, really) would make a movie around a plot of killing, not just the President of the USA but of Barack Obama, would we then still applaud this picture as "freedom of expression", wrapped in and protected by a banner called "ART"? Or, would we seriously ask ourselves whether creating a movie with a spun-out plot about killing one particular person is one bridge too far and, in fact, constitutes a crime?
December 20th 2014