The U.S. president took a firm stance against the ban on the feature film “The Interview,” which has since been lifted, but when a Koran burning was filmed, Obama himself became the censor.
U.S. President Barack Obama has suddenly become a fierce defender of freedom of expression. However, we haven’t forgotten his intimidation toward the conservative media.
Obama was also against the distribution of a film made by the American pastor, Terry Jones. Jones wanted to burn the Koran. Irrespective of how we regard his actions, this fell under freedom of expression.
Just to make it clear: I am against the burning of books. The U.S.government has tried to prevent the burning of the Koran and the filming of it by Terry Jones. The U.S. government was also led by President Obama at that time.
Obama was of the opinion that Jones’ Koran burning and the broadcasting of it would endanger Americans outside of the United States. The question was whether this provides a basis for restricting freedom of expression. In any case, the U.S. Constitution does not mention it anywhere.
It is precisely for this reason that the U.S. government cannot limit freedom of expression. The Constitution allows Jones to burn the Koran, the U.S. Constitution, the Bible, and even the American flag.
From this and other affairs, we have learned that this U.S. government does not support freedom of expression. Admittedly, U.S. legislation prevents the government from simply limiting its citizens’ freedom of expression.
Neverthless, Obama attempted to intimidate Terry Jones by putting pressure on him in all kinds of ways in order to prevent the burning of the Koran. He didn’t succeed. The Koran has been burned, and Terry Jones is still alive.
Since then, no apocalyptic phenomena have been observed, neither in the great oceans nor in America itself. Likewise, very little happened thereafter — apart from the usual and well-orchestrated day of anger in the Middle East.
Such demonstrations and outbursts of anger in the Middle East rarely lead to surprise in the West.
Once again, freedom of expression is being tested in the United States, with different types of key players: a multinational — Sony; the aggrieved entertainers — Hollywood; and the bad guy — North Korea.
Rarely is a country or a regime a perfection of our idea of evil. North Korea is exactly that. The demonization of North Korea by outsiders is unnecessary. It is already doing that itself.
North Korea has a totalitarian regime that is armed to the teeth, but the country does not pose an imminent danger to Europe or the United States. North Korea is, however, an existential threat to South Korea and Japan.
The company Sony fell victim to a successful cyberattack. It subsequently claimed to have been attacked by the North Korean regime. North Korea wanted to prevent the screening of the film “The Interview” in this way.
Even that was arranged for North Korea. Sony announced that the film would not be released. President Obama became angry: Freedom of expression was in danger.
What a presidential revelation! The American president considered it unacceptable that a film was being banned under the threat of a dictatorship. That is completely true.
The U.S. government put the companies under pressure to release the film, and it sweet-talked Sony. Why did the U.S. government not follow the same reasoning as in the case of Terry Jones?
The film “The Interview” is an exceptionally poor production. It is a comic film that could only stem from the brain of an unsuccessful high school student. It comprises a student’s funny fantasies, one after the other — nothing more.
And if the North Korean regime had not reacted so fiercely, we probably would never have heard of the film. This is why it remains incomprehensible that a company like Sony supported this film.
It was nothing more than a bad propaganda film against the North Korean regime. In “The Interview,” an attempt to assassinate the North Korean leader is carried out successfully. From a political point of view, this is a rather unpleasant spectacle.
Within the limits of international relations, states and heads of state should not encourage or justify an attack on another head of state. Nevertheless, the U.S. president deemed it his duty to speak up for this film. Suddenly, freedom of expression became very important.
The cyberattack was probably not carried out by North Korea itself. Perhaps, the regime paid hackers to carry out such an attack. This should lead to an appropriate reaction. The cyberattack and not the film “The Interview” could have provoked a reaction from the U.S. president. It would also not have been illogical.
Now that the U.S. president has clearly spoken up for the screening of a film where the leader of another country is murdered, the American world expects that the superpower will also stand up for freedom of expression in other cases.
The lesson we can learn is don’t make substantive distinctions and defend the right to freedom of expression for everyone.
From a formal point of view, the U.S. president should also have spoken up for Terry Jones.
About this publication