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Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers

Is this French 9/11 and conversion of France into national security state now is a matter of time?  MSM presstitutes will never try to answer this question

News Nation under attack meme Recommended Links False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Media as a weapon of mass deception US and British media are servants of security apparatus
The Real War on Reality Divide and conquer strategy Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite The Grand Chessboard Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" The importance of controlling the narrative  
Diplomacy by deception Groupthink Neoconservatism as the USA version of Neoliberal ideology Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neo-fascism New American Militarism The attempt to secure global hegemony
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? American Exceptionalism Manifactured consent Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Color revolutions   Media-Military-Industrial Complex Big Uncle is Watching You Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law  
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes   Humor Etc
"There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity — like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule — that’s what I do.

Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel — it’s vulgar."

Molly Ivins


Introduction

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Coverage of Charlie Hebdo in western MSM can probably serve as another good example of fact-free coverage. Neoliberal propaganda tends to skip all the scientific evidence and facts and go straight to emotional staff and assigning blame. Which makes such a coverage suspiciously similar to the coverage of Chicago marathon bombings and MH17 disaster to name just a few recent high-profile events.

While the crime is horrible, Western MSM coverage of events creates more questions then answers. Here again the key idea of Western MSM id dissimilation of propaganda in best Soviet style. A skeptical line of thinking presuppose asking questions along the following lines:

The key question is such events is "Cue Bono". Here what Guardian suggest as one possible line of thinking about this event:

The attacks in the French capital on the offices of a satirical magazine, in the streets and at a kosher supermarket prompted a wave of public outrage and solidarity. But in the days after the attacks politicians and others have seized on the events to push different agendas. ... solidarity and support for free expression began to give way to calls for wider surveillance

Long Shadow of Operation Gladio

Another important point is that most Europeans remember "Operation Gladio" all too well.

General Gianadelio Maletti, commander of the counter-intelligence section of the Italian military intelligence service from 1971 to 1975, alleged in March 2001 during the eighth trial for the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombings that the CIA had foreknowledge of the event.[13] According to The Guardian, he said:[14]

...his men had discovered that a rightwing terrorist cell in the Venice region had been supplied with military explosives from Germany. Those explosives may have been obtained with the help of members of the US intelligence community, an indication that the Americans had gone beyond the infiltration and monitoring of extremist groups to instigating acts of violence...

General Maletti told the Italian court that "the CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left and, for this purpose, it may have made use of rightwing terrorism," and continued on by declaring: "I believe this is what happened in other countries as well."

Gianadelio Maletti also said to the court: "Don't forget that Nixon was in charge and Nixon was a strange man, a very intelligent politician but a man of rather unorthodox initiatives."[citation needed]

General Maletti himself in the first Piazza Fontana trial received a four-year sentence for providing a false passport to one of the accused bombers, this sentence was overturned in 1985.[15] Maletti received, while in exile, a 15-years sentence in 2000 for his role in trying to cover up a 1973 bomb attack in Milan against the Interior minister, Mariano Rumor (DC – 4 killed and 45 injured), but was acquitted on appeals.[16] According to the court, General Maletti knew in advance of the plan of the attacker, Gianfranco Bertoli, allegedly an anarchist but in reality a right-wing activist and a "long-standing SID informant" according to The Guardian, but had deliberately failed to inform the interior minister of it.[14]

So one of first questions for many Europeans to ask is "Was CIA (or affiliated or controlled by CIA elements of national intelligence) involved in some fashion?" That does not need to be direct involvement. An one commenter to AsiaTimes noted:

All Western intelligence agencies, which includes Mossad of course, have to do is to simply allow something others are planning to go forward; and they are aware of almost everything.

They can filter jihadi actions to suit their purposes. Those that do not serve their strategic purposes get Hellfire missiles; those that do serve their strategic purposes are allowed to go forward to further create the proper political climate.

That is all. It is not complicated.

Let's also do not forget that fundamentalist Islam militants were by-and-large CIA creation specifically targeted for fighting Soviets in Afghanistan with Bin Laden as a kind of head of CIA-financed HR department for recruiting the fighters. Role of the USA in training of mujahidins is well documented. As well as their role in radicalizing Afghan population:

In the twilight of the Cold War, the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.

The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system's core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books, though the radical movement scratched out human faces in keeping with its strict fundamentalist code.

As Afghan schools reopen today, the United States is back in the business of providing schoolbooks. But now it is wrestling with the unintended consequences of its successful strategy of stirring Islamic fervor to fight communism. What seemed like a good idea in the context of the Cold War is being criticized by humanitarian workers as a crude tool that steeped a generation in violence.

Later the USA elite successfully used events of 9/11 for launching an unprovoked attack on Iraq were around a million Iraqis were killed and which serves as a fuel for radicalizing French Muslims. Especially damaging were Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse - Wikipedia That lead to radicalization of a part of young European Muslims. And results are quite visible. Some 1,400 people living in France have joined or plan to battle alongside militants in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said. The number of French jihad followers has risen by at least 200 people in the past month (RT News).

Some MSM suggest that Cherif Kouachi become radicalized after the USA invasion in Iraq and Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse

It seems that the attackers were underclass French boys who, out of not finding much sense in their lives, jumped on the first ideology that came along and promised them meaning. They were only tangentially, if at all, related to the various fundamentalist AQ entities in the Middle East.

It might well be that the story will shift somewhat at new facts come to light, but so far it looks like MSM will continue to promote initial taking points, fact be damned. Then at some point, we can expect that the story abruptly disappear from coverage as happened with Malaysian flight MH17

Attacks on journalists are common and happen monthly

French journalists are not the only victims in hunt for journalists that recently takes place in several countries. Let's talk about the other dead journalists Al Jazeera America

The grisly killing of 10 journalists and two police officers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 was met with global indignation. A day later, Agence France-Presse reported the Libyan branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) beheaded two Tunisian journalists. Investigative journalist Sofiene Chourabi and photographer Nadir Khtari were kidnapped in September, with the group accusing them in a statement of working for a “satellite channel that fights religion.” Their beheadings received scant media coverage but, if confirmed, they made January the bloodiest month for journalists since 2012.

In France, as in elsewhere in the Western world, the attack on Charlie Hebdo is being lamented, and the dead journalists are being celebrated as heroes whose work exemplifies a fearless and defiant pursuit of freedom of expression. However, this fight for freedom of speech is not always seen as a Muslim struggle. Yet the number of Muslim journalists killed defending journalism tells a different story. More than half of 61 journalists killed in 2014 were Muslims, many working in conflict-affected countries such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia. But few have received the recognition or commemoration accorded to Western journalists or a handful who worked for Western media outlets.

The freedom to speak, know and tell the truth is a universal value, and the sacrifices of its Muslim stalwarts must be remembered just as much as those who perished in the cowardly attack in Paris.

Some readers might see the emphasis on the identity of the dead journalists as morally suspect in the aftermath of terrorism’s latest carnage. To be clear, this is not a competition of faiths. But the evident double standard and selective outrage illuminates the hierarchy of privilege in our moral reckoning in response to acts of terrorism. It is a dynamic that becomes visible only when Western journalists are targeted.

For example, last year the gruesome beheading of James Foley and Steven Sotloff by ISIL fighters, captured on video, dominated global headlines. But the deaths of Muslim journalists at the hands of the same savages were ignored. Barely a month after Sotloff’s murder, in October ISIL shot and killed journalist Mohammad al-Aqidi of Iraq’s Sada news agency and beheaded Raad Mohammed Azaouie, an Iraqi cameraman and photographer for Sama Salah Aldeen TV. A month later, four more Iraqi journalists were killed in Mosul. But the news made fleeting headlines, never mind a collective outcry from proponents of free speech.

Their invisibility is part of the routine eliding over terrorism’s brown, Muslim victims that allows the extremists’ unexamined xenophobia and divisive narrative of us versus them to prevail and persist. Failure to mourn and recognize the sacrifices of terrorism victims equally carries enormous risk. The aversion to terrorism only when it reaches the West or kills Westerners suggests our ease with the banishment of terrorism to some distant terrains.

Muslims should not be recognized only when a few of them kill for terrorism and be ignored when thousands of them die at its hands.

Western journalists covering the Paris shooting pondered how such egregious attack could happen “here” — in a Western city and the capital of France. These statements reveal a predominant if unquestioned assumption: Terrorism is less horrific when it happens to non-Westerners or in non-Western locales. But terrorism hurts and maims just as much in Peshawar, a city still reeling from a massacre of scores of schoolchildren last month, or in Nigeria, where the armed group Boko Haram razed 16 villages, killing an estimated 2,000 people the same week as the Paris attacks.

Muslims are more likely to experience war and displacement than any other religious group. Swaths of predominantly Muslim countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan are in the throes of civil strife. Millions of Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans have become refugees in already taxed neighboring countries such as Jordan and Pakistan. Not a single person in these countries remains unaffected by the ravages of violence, by grisly massacres at schools and mosques and restaurants and markets. Yet there are some in the West who insist on turning to these beleaguered, injured and maimed populations to demand collective apology for the acts of any and every killer with a Muslim background.

This simplistic tendency alienates the overwhelming majority of Muslims, who view the fight against extremism and the protection of freedom of speech as a collective struggle that transcends faith and nationality. While our selective outrage ignores the pain and sacrifices of Muslims, the generalization imagines all Muslims as perpetrators of terrorism.

The horror of terrorism is meant to eviscerate context. It incites the desire for protection and revenge. The collective blame placed on Muslims, the thoughtless investment of blame and suspicion and the highlighting of freedom of expression as a solely Western value is a victory for extremists. Our selective indignation also gives credence to the idea that all the world’s Muslims are already terrorists or potential terrorists. Muslims should not be recognized only when a few of them kill for terrorism and be ignored when thousands of them die at its hands.

Rafia Zakaria is a columnist for Dawn, Pakistan’s largest English-language newspaper. She is a Ph.D. candidate in political philosophy at Indiana University and the author of the forthcoming book “The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan.”

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America's editorial policy.

cui bono question

The key question here is classic Cui bono?. And it is always difficult to tell where terrorist cell ends and where intelligence services network starts. If their mentor Bengal, who was serving 10 years sentence, got out of jail so quickly and freely moved between GB and France, he might made some serious concessions to get out:

French investigators believe Kouachi was radicalized by Beghal in prison, where he was serving a 10-year sentence for a plot to bomb the US embassy in Paris. Kouachi later visited Beghal when he was under house arrest in the Auvergne region of southern France. So did Coulibaly and his partner, Hayat Boumeddiene.

She told police that they had gone there for “crossbow practice”.

Starting with the key question "Cue bono" we have some consideration of Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who in his comment to Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency (Charlie Hebdo massacre being used to demonise Muslims US experts ummid.com) said the following:

"The events in Paris appeared to have been a "false flag" operation carried out with the involvement of Western intelligence agencies, in order to bring France "back into Washington's orbit" and to 'realign Europe with Israel'", Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Associate editor at the Wall Street Journal and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under the Reagan Administration, said while talking to Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency.

"I don't say it was a false flag operation. I say it has the marks of a such", he added.

"Another reason would be to get rid of the rising opposition in Europe against more Middle Eastern wars", he said.

"Considering the number of journalists on war fronts who have been killed by Washington-funded and organized ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the uproar over the cartoonists' deaths has the appearance of orchestration.

There are also concerns about provocation as "Almost every "terror" event or allegation world-wide has served as a catalyst for interventions that involve military action" Concerns of this kind were aptly summarized in the following post (Charlie Hebdo massacre aftermath, RT News Jan 10, 2015):

Mel S.

It is worth making note that.....

1) Multy-religious Nations and communities who have lived together in peace for centuries are beginning to experience friction with their Muslim neighbors.

2) Compassionate and peaceful countries who have granted safety, dignity & hope for growth and prosperity for millions of foreigners through their welcoming immigration policies are now in being driven by pain to become persecutors and crusaders.

3) Since 911, the US has managed to propagate fear and terror on every corner of the planet through aggressive promotion of Islamism and terrorism.

4) Terror threats and/or actual attacks have repeatedly served as pretexts to important political moves that seem to advance ONLY US foreign policy objectives at the expense of the American people as well as other nations throughout the world.

5) Almost every "terror" event or allegation world-wide has served as a catalyst for interventions that involve military action, promote the creation of violence groups, increase US interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign States or give US defense contractors access to foreign assets.

6) In most cases that we have seen so far, the USA is always the first to volunteer in some sort of retaliation or intervention even if it is none of its business to do so.

One must wonder what type of intervention campaign is going to be come this time around.

I wonder what the political gains would be for the French Government? of US Foreign policy?…or perhaps Yemen will end up like Libya and Iraq?

...or worst yet, they may just come out and admit officially that the “war on terror” will now be acknowledged as “the war on islamization” so that laws can be issued for the open and direct intimidation, criminalization & detention of all Muslims? …who knows! It is a strange world we live in.

As Pepe Escobar noted in his influential and widely sited article in AsiaTimes (Who profits from killing Charlie) Cherif Kouachi's bio was splattered all over:

And just to make sure everyone had the perpetrators implanted on their brain, the killers also said, "Allahu Akbar"; "We have killed Charlie Hebdo"; and "We have avenged the Prophet."

Case closed? Well, it took only a few hours for French police to identify the (usual?) suspects; French-Algerian brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi. The third man - the driver of the black Citroen, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad - then turned himself in with an ironclad alibi. So the third man remains a cipher.

They all wore balaclavas. The Kouachi brothers have not been captured. But the police seem to know very well who they are. Because they found an abandoned ID in the black Citroen (oh, the troubles of being a command in a rush ...) How come they didn't know anything before the carnage?

Right on cue, Cherif Kouachi's bio was splattered all over. He was on a global watch list. Along with six others, he was sentenced in May 2008 to 3 years in prison for "terrorism"; in fact unloading a dozen young Frenchmen via madrassas in Egypt and Syria to none other than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the killed-by-an-American-missile former head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the spiritual father of Daesh/ISIS/ISIL.

Also right on clue, a full narrative was ready for mass consumption. The key point; French police privileges the hypothesis of "Islamic terrorism". According to their "experts", this could be an attack "ordered from abroad and executed by jihadis coming back from Syria that have escaped us", or it could be "suburban idiots that radicalized themselves and concocted this military attack in the name of al-Qaeda."

Cherif Kouachi's bio suggests some interaction with intelligence services:

Arrested on departure to Syria intending to fight against Iraq, spent 6 years in prison for intent to join the Iraqi insurgency, back to Syria intending to fight against Assad, returning to France without problem but "well known to the police".

Long debated comments of Wesley Clark

Roberts' comments added to concerns long-debated on social media over comments made in 2007 by retired 4-star U.S. Army general General Wesley Clark, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.

Clark said in a video interview in 2007 with U.S. journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now that a classified memo referred to him by a general of the U.S. Joint Staff during the initial bombings of Afghanistan showed: "We're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and - finishing off - Iran."

"During that time. the official enemy of Washington and NATO was communist Russia. In the absence of an invasion, criminals within the Gladio network carried out terrorist attacks in Italy and other countries and planted fake evidence in order to discredit the Communists", he said.

Ganser observed that NATO countries have bombed several Muslim countries in recent years, including Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria.

Was Charlie Hebdo killings a false flag operation?

Europe still remembers operation Gladio. Daniele Ganser, director of the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER), told Anadolu Agency:

"Researchers must try to find out whether the recent terrorist attacks in Paris were a false flag operation carried out in order to discredit Muslims globally and justify the bombing of Muslim nations, which has been going on for many years now and continues.

He explained: "During the Cold War, 'false flag' terrorist attacks were carried out in Europe by criminals linked to European secret services, the CIA and also NATO.

"A network of secret armies known as 'Gladio' prepared for secret warfare in case of a Soviet invasion."

As always public can't get access to critical evidence which limits any independent investigation to basic checks. Still there are growing concerns that the events were not as they were described. Those concerns are related to some elements of evidence and general considerations as facts are scarce

  1. Cue Bono question is carefully avoided in Western MSM. That rises concerns about provocation as "Almost every "terror" event or allegation world-wide has served as a catalyst for interventions that involve military action" Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who in his comment to Charlie Hebdo massacre being used to demonise Muslims US experts ummid.com) said the following:

    "The events in Paris appeared to have been a "false flag" operation carried out with the involvement of Western intelligence agencies, in order to bring France "back into Washington's orbit" and to 'realign Europe with Israel'", Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Associate editor at the Wall Street Journal and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under the Reagan Administration, said while talking to Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency.

    "I don't say it was a false flag operation. I say it has the marks of a such", he added.

    "Another reason would be to get rid of the rising opposition in Europe against more Middle Eastern wars", he said.

    "Considering the number of journalists on war fronts who have been killed by Washington-funded and organized ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the uproar over the cartoonists' deaths has the appearance of orchestration.

  2. The fact that it was editorial meeting scheduled at the time of attack which maximizes the number of victims. As CBC News reported the journalists from Charlie Hebdo only gather in their Paris office once per week.

    “A Charlie Hebdo reporter told the French newspaper Le Monde that the attackers had to have been informed that the editorial meeting was taking place, otherwise there are not many people on the premises.”

    Who would have informed the shooters about the meeting on that day?

  3. The fact that the office of this magazine was under protection of French police. There were police INSIDE the Charlie Hebdo offices BEFORE the attack took place.

    “Two officers who had been assigned to protect editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier for the past several years came down from an upper floor and intercepted the gunmen.”

    This creates confusion as French hunt magazine attack suspects

    How is it that the police seemed so useless?

  4. Video of the shooting of a police officer released does not show head recoil from the shot nor extensive damage to the scull close range shooting of high velocity bullet inflicts. Were they shooting blanks? Was the video staged? There are 3 different accounts of who this policeman was.
  5. Clumsy story of the assassination and even more clumsy story of an escape attempt for supposedly hard-core ideologically motivated terrorisms, who decided to die for the cause. The story about "well trained" assassins the-fully-masked-up-so-as-not-to-be-identifiable deliberately trying to unmask themselves informing everybody that they are "We are al Qaeda from Yemen". Can this be attempt of framing particular group?
  6. The story of "an abandoned ID in the black Citroen". This story has distinct smell of three-letter agencies.
  7. Free movement between countries of a person who has previous conviction and jail term for terrorism (in return for what? cooperation? ) and possible level of contacts with intelligence agencies. Concerns increased after European media reported that both Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out the massacre at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine and were later killed in a shoot-out with police in a French village on Friday, had been identified as a "potential terror threat" and placed on a watch and no-fly list by British authorities in 2010. UK daily The Guardian reported the brothers had been flagged in a U.S. database as "terrorist suspects" and barred from flying into the U.S. after they were identified as being part of a terror cell established in 2003 to send volunteers to Iraq.
  8. Mentor of Charlie Hebdo gunmen has been UK-based . If their mentor Bengal, who was serving 10 years sentence, got out of jail so quickly (in three years) and freely moved between GB and France, he might made some serious concessions to get out.
  9. Strange suicide of police officer in charge of investigation.

The whole story of "an abandoned ID in the black Citroen" combined with possibility of fake/staged video of policemen shooting ( Charlie Hebdo – Shooting of Policeman: No Blood + No Recoil + No Body Movement = FAKE Staged Attack!! ) gives one a pause.

Some facts look strange (PARIS PSYOP - INSIDE JOB - MOSSAD ATTACKS CHARLIE HEBDO Terrorism):

Indications that the Paris Attack was an inside job, involving Mossad and the French security services:

1. CBC News reported:

The journalists from Charlie Hebdo only gather in their Paris office once per week.

“A Charlie Hebdo reporter told the French newspaper Le Monde that the attackers had to have been informed that the editorial meeting was taking place, otherwise there are not many people on the premises.”

Who would have informed the shooters about the meeting on that day?

2. There were police INSIDE the Charlie Hebdo offices BEFORE the attack took place.

“Two officers who had been assigned to protect editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier for the past several years came down from an upper floor and intercepted the gunmen.”

Confusion as French hunt magazine attack suspects

How is it that the police seemed so useless?

A journalist at Charlie Hebdo let the gunmen into the heavily protected offices.

Strangely, there were no armed police outside the offices.

3. There were heavily armed police in the vicinity and all over the centre of Paris.

“Outside the building, as the gunmen tried to flee in their Citroën van, three officers in a police patrol car intercepted them.

“Two suspects got out of the van…

“An officer …ran toward the suspects. But the officer was shot and wounded by the suspects. He was executed with a shot to the head as he lay on the sidewalk.”

Confusion as French hunt magazine attack suspects

After this policeman was ‘shot’ in the head with blanks, there is no sign of blood.

There are 3 different accounts of who this policeman was.

Were Cherif and Said Kouachi yet another set of patsies?

There is some evidence in favor of hypothesis that brothers were patsies. The behaviour of the brothers as described by MSM was highly illogical. If they are ideologically charged martyrs for the cause as MSM is trying portrait them, why they did not take the last stand in or near the offices of Charlie Hebdo and fight to the last bullet trying to inflict as much damage as possible. Add to this supposedly forgotten in the car during these crazy attempt to escape ID which allowed to establish their identity, and you one more doubts. And look like they did not have any realistic escape plan. So much about highly trained terrorists. They got into some random house and allowed themselves to be killed by police so that they never can take stand at the court of justice.

Here are several telling comments from RT coverage of the story:

DavidPierre

Charlie Hebdo false flag RT news interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JuOH0k_lkg#t=153

Elena Perrone

Make me to think this is all dong for scared all World, then legalize the World Secret Services spying crap and by doing this - rule us and rule all Wold! Tactics of good marketing: "Scare, make it real and right away give alternative that is just serve you, not dumb people", - this is all about geopolitics of USA government.

This is why we have all this shootings and wars - it is scared! It is scared even to think about possibility of WWIII, but for those who don't get it World rulers have this kind of shows!!! So people, get scared and give yourself up to World New Order, lets become like some kind of cows - always be ready to be milked by some kind of made up Gods on our planet Earth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JuOH0k_lkg

Loen Mond

Even RT was gonna try and stifle him then. A supposed attack on free speech and even RT nearly clamped on his free speech. It won't be long before RT stop real reporting altogether

Nidhal

This is very relevant. The first country that should listen to this is Tunisia. This country supplied the biggest number of people to ISIS. It's trying to befriend Qatar (denounced here by MI-5 as a satanic country!) even at the expense of its own citizens (just because it has money??). Many of Tunisian ISIS members returned to Tunisia and committed murder crimes. Tunisia also is still accepting people from Libya (denounced here as a jihadist training camp) even though some of its most influential leaders were executed by people coming from there. All the actions of the Tunisian state are not serious at all and they keep on nourishing terrorism thanks to one man and to one political party...
it's also necessary to state that England, France and USA supported this party (and probably they keep on doing so because they have a bigger stupid plan that by now they should know the harm will be directly reflected to them).

There might be other links too, as Lysander suggests in his post in Moon of Alabama (Jan 7, 2015 11:59:50 AM | 21):

I always consider false flag as a possibility. Anybody can shout "Allahu Akbar." From MCClatchy:
Other evidence suggests they may be linked to a top French al Qaida operative, David Drugeon, who has been the target at least twice of U.S. airstrikes in Syria over the last four months.

Witnesses inside the magazine’s offices told the French newspaper Humanité that both attackers spoke perfect French and claimed to be members of al Qaida.

Drugeon, who many experts believe was initially a French intelligence asset before defecting to al Qaida, previously masterminded a 2012 “lone wolf” attack on French soldiers and Jewish targets in the southern French city of Toulouse.

That attack killed seven people before the perpetrator, a French citizen named Mohammed Merah who French intelligence believes had been trained by Drugeon, was killed by a police sniper after a long a violent standoff with security force

Concerns increased after European media reported that both Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out the massacre at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine and were later killed in a shoot-out with police in a French village on Friday, had been identified as a "potential terror threat" and placed on a watch and no-fly list by British authorities in 2010.

UK daily The Guardian reported the brothers had been flagged in a U.S. database as "terrorist suspects" and barred from flying into the U.S. after they were identified as being part of a terror cell established in 2003 to send volunteers to Iraq.

Questions about the authenticity of YouTube footage of the killing of a police officer by a gunman during the Charlie Hebdo shootings

Questions about the authenticity of YouTube footage of the killing of a police officer by a gunman during the Charlie Hebdo shootings, went viral on social media.

There was a YouTube video from fake BBC site (http://bbc-news.co.uk/doubts-raised-over-authenticity-of-charlie-hebdo-footage/ ) which raised additional questions: Paris Shooting Is A False Flag https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfpm-T3IaHs

greenback001

Nobody here is saying that people didn't die. Try to focus, this video is pointing out that the supposed police officer who was shot on the scene in the video appears to not have had his head blown off like the media reported and that the car involved appears to be at first on the street without a stage marker and then moments later we clearly see a position marker on the street. Movie production use these markers to keep consistency with props (car) during multiple takes.

And Obama of course flipped-flopped again (Obama on Paris shooting: "It's a terrorist attack.") trying to ride the wave of anger against perpetrators of this horrible crime:

In 2012, the White House criticized Charlie Hebdo's publication of the caricatures as "deeply offensive to many." During the September 19, 2012, press briefing, then-spokesman Jay Carney questioned "the judgment of publishing something like this."

"We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory," he added a week after the Benghazi consulate raid.

What should be understood by freedom of religion

This horrible crime also shed a light on what should be understood by freedom of religion. Here are extracts from an interesting discussion at Crooked Timber:

J Thomas 01.11.15 at 5:51 am

#406 Mitch Guthman

If the history of colonial oppression or whatever isn’t being offered as a justification for these killings, then why exactly is it being discussed at all?

I haven’t heard anybody argue that the killers should get away with it. Everybody here agrees that they should be arrested and tried for their crimes if possible, and if they resist arrest too strenuously then it might be necessary to kill them during the arrest attempt. If they kill themselves while committing a crime, that prevents arrest but it could also be considered a self-execution.

It seems to me that the argument is more about what to do with the muslim immigrants who do not commit crimes. On the one hand we have the argument that they cause too much trouble and the trouble is their fault so we should have no sympathy for them. On the other hand there is the argument that we should look for ways to help them get along.

If muslim immigrants are the cause of the problem then it makes sense to drive them away or kill them. Eliminate the cause and the problem goes away. Short of that, we can wring our hands and complain that they are the problem and it’s all their fault and do nothing about it.

On the other hand if they deserve some tolerance while everybody learns how to get along, then perhaps we can avoid ethnic cleansing. That would be a good thing. Why do they deserve any tolerance, though, when the most obvious direct solution is to get rid of them? Colonialism is one possible reason they might be owed something. Particularly in France, some of the muslim immigrants are people who collaborated in colonialism and then felt unwelcome in their home countries when the French were driven out. If they can’t stay in France where should they live?

They might have a lot to offer but that’s hard to argue when there aren’t enough rewards to go around and whatever special talents they may have are going unused.

Punishing people who have not committed any crime because they share some sort of label with criminals, is called “collective punishment”. Most people agree that’s bad. Still if they are an effort to reach an accommodation with, it could be easier to get rid of them and whoever said they had a right to immigrate to your country in the first place?

It looks to me like mostly the arguments in favor of not ethnic cleansing them are that we ought to be good people and not evil people. The arguments in favor of ethnic-cleansing them point out that they are inconvenient and a bother, and some of them are criminals who very occasionally kill people, and being good instead of evil requires a certain degree of sacrifice which we can avoid by being evil instead. And we have a right to be evil to these people because they are poor and different from us and a few of them are criminals so we have the right to be afraid of them and angry at them.

And anyway a lot of muslims hate us. If they ever became rich and powerful how could we trust them to act in our best interest? So it makes a certain sense that we should do our best to keep all muslims poor and powerless so they can’t hurt us much. And since some of them will try to attack us stealthily when they can’t possibly win a fair fight, doesn’t it make sense we should spend whatever it takes to kill them first anywhere in the world we find them? And if it turns out that muslims hate us too much, isn’t it obviously best to kill them all?

The argument for evil seems so rational and so obvious. It isn’t racism or bigotry to do our level best to keep them down because they hate us, it’s just self-preservation. They don’t hate us more because we keep them down, they already hated us. There’s nothing else we can do, because they are such a threat. It simply does not make sense to be nice to the enemy. Because they are the enemy. The only reason to let muslims live is if they stop being muslims.

In the USA if we had this attitude toward the anti-abortion movement, when they bomb clinics and kill doctors we would find names of people who are in that movement and systematically remove their votes, and encourage them to leave the country, and we would make abortion drugs be non-prescription so anybody could buy them with no questions asked. But somehow we try to live with those people though they have no tolerance for us.

Peter T 01.11.15 at 6:29 am

I was a bit testy in my response to Andrew F. My central point is that calculations of deterrence, or gestures of reconciliation for that matter, are almost never simple, and have to start with some understanding of who the various other parties are, what they want and how they feel – not a projection of one’s own desires, guilt or prowess. Most of the comments to date miss this entirely in one direction or another. The calculation is usually too impossibly complex to be done to more than an approximation, so flexibility coupled with good faith is essential.

In this case, lumping all Muslims together (as with Brett) is a sure way to have as much hostility and as little good will as possible. Lumping all Muslims together in another way, as in “sorry about the colonialism, how do we make it up to you?”, is nearly as bad, for it’s patently insincere as policy, fails to distinguish between very different Muslim aspirations and discontents, and takes no account of the small but violent group of Muslims who don’t want an apology but something else altogether.

The key allies in this are the majority of non-Salafist Muslims, both in migrant communities and in the Middle East. The present policy mix is one of continual affront to these, often indiscriminate force against some Salafists and winks and nudges to others (Saudi, Taliban in the old days..) as convenient. A better recipe for continued failure could hardly be imagined.

Mitch Guthman 01.11.15 at 6:45 am

ZM at 407,

It still seems to me that all of your concern about the wrongs of European’s is confusing. What does it mean to say that Western countries should “be more proactive in reconciliation and contrition with the other countries they hurt in colonization and imperialism and all the wars and so on”? If it doesn’t mean an “eye for an eye” and a hunting license for previously oppressed peoples, what does it mean? It seems to me that all this handwringing about the misdeeds of the West is really a distraction from the real issue.

Yes, you’re right that generally speaking it is polite to refrain from crude attacks on people religious beliefs. But that doesn’t mean that the prohibition is absolute. The cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were believed in blasphemy as a positive good. Even in my country where blasphemy against the fundamentalist Christian faith is punished (informally but often very harshly), there’s still an absolute right to publish. Murdering these artists and threatening any who blaspheme against Islam destroys that right.

I personally was not a fan of Charlie Hebdo. Over the years, I’ve seen a number of their covers, mostly because Arun Kapil frequently posted the most controversial ones on his website. I bought an issue last year, thumbed through it and didn’t enjoy it. I have written about some of the covers and I’ve been critical of them for being pointlessly offensive. What’s different now is that Islamists have murdered these cartoonists and threatened journalists and others who offend against their vision of Islam.

Several of the covers were gratitiously offensive. But many others, while equally offensive, made extremely valid points through satire and were effective in ways that a mere article could never be.

So, while blasphemy isn’t a part of French culture, it is nonetheless integral to satire. It is simply impossible to satirize a person without giving offense. It is impossible to satirize a religious without blaspheming.

It therefore seems clear to me that it a response to threats of murder against blasphemy that does not include more blasphemy in defiance of the threats is no defense at all. What matters is the right to publish blasphemy. If it exists only in the abstract and with the tacit understanding that the right won’t ever be exercised, then it really doesn’t exist at all and you will be living in a society in which the Islamists are in charge.

Finally, on the question of religion:

First, France, like the United States does in theory, derives its laws not by reference to God’s law but rather by enacting the community’s sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. People and societies can have values that reflect beliefs about justice and how they want to live that don’t require God’s blessing to have validity. Most of Western Europe is secular and humanistic in outlook. They have democracies and the social welfare state and that’s a whole lot better than anything that a theocracy has delivered.

Second, I don’t know much about Australia and it may indeed be a paradise of religious harmony. If it is, good on you but your country is very much an outlier in human history. The history of mankind has been a history of religious strife. A huge amount of the conquests and colonialism you decry was done as part of the struggle touched off by the reformation. Islam was an aggressive, colonizing religion that that fought with other religions for world domination. The Protestant Reformation ushered in centuries of unspeakable savagery that continue to this very day.

It is in the nature of organized religions—every religion believes it represents the one true God and, almost without exception, they’ve brought nonbelivers to the faith with fire and sword. In the end, only some version of laïcité can offer people of different faith the ability to share the public sphere without brutal oppression and endless bloodshed.

Ze Kraggash 01.11.15 at 10:37 am

What could possibly be wrong with (simply) enforcing the existing French laws, which, according to wikipedia, “protect individuals and groups from being defamed or insulted because they belong or do not belong, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion“, etc? That’s what I would like to know.

Protect, obviously, only in the public sphere, and perhaps only when there is a clear pattern, so that the Turkish woman from 332 and Roger Gathmann would still be able tell each other any joke they like. Common fucking sense.

As for determining whether a publication does or does not constitute an insult to a group, it seems to me a no-brainer that mass protests around the world should be taken as a strong clue, over the dubious intuition of some upper-class over-educated judges, who obviously have no idea.

Abbe Faria 01.11.15 at 11:57 am

“imagine that Abbe Faria were talking about Jews rather than Muslims. “Anti-Semitism is a rational attitude because some Jews somewhere killed some people.””

But I’m talking particulars, these particular people were under threat for violating the tenets of Islam, and had direct reason to be fearful. Sure, I agree islamophobia is irrational if you’re deep in rural Texas and have no contact with Islam, it’s unlikely to harm you one jot. But is that true if you’ve drawn cartoons of mohammed, been firebombed, and are living under police protection?

It’s also notable the complaints are islamophobia rather than muslimophobia; and anti-semitism rather than anti-judaism. Which one foregrounds people and which one religion?

“How can you write such nonsense – European countries (nominally Christian) had been expanding in to the continental Americas, Oceania and the Pacific, Asia, and Africa for several centuries ?!?”

True. You know, if you were talking about Madagascar or Vietnam I’d agree, but Europeans didn’t colonise everywhere. Some places weren’t colonised like Japan and Thailand, and Iran and Turkey are among them. On the other hand some European countries were indeed colonised by islamic empires (Greece and Spain).

It’s equally true that the involvement of the Ottomans in WWI occurred when they allied with the central powers in an attempt to take the Caucasus, and then bombarded Odessa. It entered WWI against the triple entente in a war of conquest, not the other way round.

Ze Kraggash 01.11.15 at 12:14 pm

“It is a wicked creed that justifies the criminal, cut-throat and bully.”

Nah, I don’t think so. All successful religions operate like that. They are expansionist. In times of peace and prosperity they inspire and enlighten, and in times of hardship and crisis they unite and organize. They do what they are supposed to do, that’s why they are successful. Christianity has been, in the last few centuries, more successful, so perhaps it’s been or has become even more cut-throat and bully, when it’s necessary, when the situation calls for it. These days we, the Christian civilization, are in a period of prosperity, so the nasty side is mostly invisible. But perhaps the nasty side will take over again one day, if there is some equivalent of kondratiev’s waves in it.

J Thomas 01.11.15 at 1:26 pm

I’m surprised by how much less I write when I ignore people who are stupidly wrong.

I want to compare the reaction in the USA to muslim terrorists versus anti-abortion terrorists. At first sight it seems disproportionate.

There have been close to 200 more-or-less successful bombings of abortion clinics, and a large handful of murders of abortionists beyond the occasional people severely injured or killed in bombings. But there’s hardly any outrage about this.

I think one reason is that lots of people have friends who are anti-abortion, while far fewer people have muslim friends. So it’s much easier to understand their outrage at murder of unborn children.

A second reason is that there are large, well-organized pro-life groups, and many of them have publicly announced that they do not condone violence against abortion clinics. Some of them say that they hope God will strike them down, but no reputable pro-life source tells people to do it. On the other hand, the main spokesmen for Islam, AQ and ISIS and some backwoods preachers in Iran, are widely reported telling people to kill blasphemers.

Then there’s the moral difference. Lots of people believe that MDs do not have any inherent right to commit abortions. There’s certainly nothing in the Constitution about it. But most of us agree that everybody has the right to say that the Pope is a pederast who defrauds hundreds of millions of poor people from their money because they are too stupid or ignorant to realize there is no God and the Pope has no relationship whatsoever with any God. Subject to libel laws etc. Similarly everybody has the right to say that Judaism as a religion is a fraud and a mockery that has caused untold harm and absolutely no good to anybody ever, that Moses while fictional was morally on a par with Hitler and Stalin, and King David was a bloodthirsty dictator who created a small empire — a vassal-state of Hiram of Tyre — that lasted 2 generations. Etc. It’s obviously wrong to punish people for practicing free speech, but it might be right, or at least understandable, to kill abortionists.

Also people have short memories. The last reported abortion bombings were in 2012 and no one was killed in any of the 2012 attacks. The last reported killing of cartoonists in France was just last week.

So it’s understandable that people would think of the two cases as very different. Muslems are the alien, other people while anti-abortionists are our own kind with a strong opinion. Muslims get upset when we ridicule their religion, while the pro-life movement is upset about the murder of innocents. (And anyway we never get upset when people ridicule our own religions.) The Pro-Life movement is widely reported to speak out against violence, while muslims are not widely reported to oppose violence but instead are widely reported to approve of their violence against us. The Pro-Life movement will evaporate when they win, and it won’t affect all that many people all that much, but Muslims will not stop trying to get other people to convert until everybody in the world is converted — like Christians or Mormons but with violence added.

So it’s understandable that we’d have a lot more tolerance for one than the other.


Watson Ladd 01.11.15 at 1:29 pm

Sorry, but fearing the Spanish Inquisition when it existed wasn’t anti-Catholic bigotry. Neither is fearing an organization and ideology whose adherents have nothing less than the goal of ending the modern era, with its rights of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, secular states, etc.

Muslims have more freedom of religion in France than Pakistan. Blasphemy laws become tools used to control religious minorities: the fanatics might not care about Christians, but they certainly will kill a Shiite for blasphemy, or even worse some other minor sects. I don’t see how you make “That’s because there is no goo, Mr. Cruz” (see this for details) without portraying Muhammed.

The idea that we should ban criticism of religion from the public sphere should be a nonstarter to anyone who thinks Kant was right. To mock the lavish spending of a prelate, or the ponderous language of a pontefix, or even to satirize the magical transformations carried out by a minister, are essential aspects of competition between religions and commentary on religion. What is desired is precisely to muzzle the most cutting speech, for fear it might convince someone.

There is nothing Christian about 1789.

Ronan(rf) 01.11.15 at 4:04 pm

..which I think is my problem with the adam shatz link above. All he sees in the Kouachi brothers is their enviornment; the discrimination faced by the people they associate with, their relatively poor background, their place in French society etc He doesnt view them as genuine moral actors in their own right, it’s as if they couldnt possibly believe seriously in the ideology they were willing to kill and die for.

This is oddly patronishing. Would you say about a communist committed to armed struggle that they were solely the product of their environment ? That they were reactive agents rather than willing believers in a specific political ideology ?

You can disagree with their tactics (which I do ) and their belief system (which I also do) but treating them mainly – on one extreme- as the product of their circumstances, or – on the other extreme – as mindless fanatics, doesn't explain why *they* made the choices *they* did.

Ronan(rf) 01.11.15 at 4:05 pm
455 – yeah, but a lot of the protests arent ‘bottom up displays of outrage’ , theyre manipulated by ‘upper-class over-educated judges’..just those ‘upper-class over-educated judges’come from within Islam.

Ze Kraggash 01.11.15 at 4:28 pm

457 “theyre manipulated by ‘upper-class over-educated judges’..just those ‘upper-class over-educated judges’come from within Islam.”

Most emotional responses are manipulated by someone. But that still requires genuine emotional response from a large number of people; I don’t think you could seriously argue that all those protests are manned by paid provocateurs.

Watson Ladd, 01.11.15 at 4:33 pm

Ronan, if you have trouble seeing how the Enlightenment, blasphemy, and religious freedom go together, I’m afraid I can’t help you. And it shouldn’t be a big jump from the men with AK-47’s saying what you can say about Muhammad to those with stakes saying what you can say about Jesus.

But the story is like this: In 1517 Martin Luther started a major schism in the Catholic church, and the schisms repeatedly schismed. So long as each schismatic splinter was unwilling to recognize the other’s validity, there had to be bloodshed. So the solution was forged: everyone gets to talk about Christianity, no matter what they say, and go to church, no matter what church they go to. The state became a neutral party. In France, achieving this required overthrowing the monarchy.

Islam is not one monolithic block. Beyond Sunni-Shiite, there are dozens of minor divisions, some of which are regarded as heretical by others. In Pakistan minority sects have frequently been the victims of blasphemy prosecutions. Some of these have recently begun seeking political power, after several decades of largely secular rule in the Arab world, and others have seen that violence works.

We already know what the political alternative is: free speech, freedom of religion, democracy. But we’re unable to make that sound attractive, in large part because it no longer is to us.

JanieM, 01.11.15 at 7:07 pm

Freedom of speech (even freedom of satirical cartoons) and freedom to practice religion are non-negotiable necessities.

It’s not that simple. The people who killed a bunch of journalists in France this week thought they were practicing their religion.

Maybe this has already been said (I haven’t read the whole thread), but that’s okay, because it can’t be repeated too many times: “Freedom to practice religion” should be “non-negotiable” only insofar as you can practice your religion while leaving me alone to practice mine, where mine may be a different religion from yours or the total lack of anything that you would recognize as religion at all.

Freedom from other people’s demands made in the name of religion, and from harms done in the name of religion, is as non-negotiable as freedom to practice. You can’t hang virgins in the public square just because you think your deity demands it. You can’t make me refrain from sexual practices that you think your deity disapproves of. You can’t shoot people just because you think your deity demands it. You can’t (or shouldn’t be allowed to) take away my rights to full citizenship because you think your deity disapproves of me.

And so on, and on, and on. We have a long way to go.

geo 01.11.15 at 7:55 pm
JanieM @464: That’s a very cogent and eloquent statement of the standard liberal understanding of freedom of speech and religion. There’s an intricate and powerful critique of that position in Stanley Fish’s There’s No Such Thing As Free Speech … and It’s a Good Thing Too and The Trouble with Principle. FWIW, I’ve reviewed both books, here (http://www.georgescialabba.net/mtgs/1994/01/theres-no-such-thing-as-free-s/print/) and here (http://www.georgescialabba.net/mtgs/2000/04/the-trouble-with-principle-by/print/).

ZM 01.11.15 at 10:16 pm

Well if cartoons were very hurtful I think they could be addressed with our civil hate speech laws in Australia, I think having hate speech laws is a good idea.

J Thomas 01.11.15 at 10:54 pm

#505

Hurting people’s feelings isn’t punishable by law.

Except when it is.

Lee A. Arnold, 01.11.15 at 11:11 pm

JanieM, If you are saying that everybody has her or his own religion, and some of those personal religions act to harm others, then I agree, there cannot be “freedom of religion”.

But I was under the impression that most people understand the words “freedom of religion” to be a shorthand phrase for something like Article 1 of the UN Declaration On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Intolerance And Of Discrimination Based On Religion Or Belief, 1981:

Article 1

  1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
  2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice.
  3. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

…I haven’t said anything other than this, I think. If you want to say, “Freedom From All Forms Of Intolerance, And Of Discrimination, Based On Religion Or Belief,” I think that’s fine though a bit longer.

Similarly there is a contradiction in the phrase “freedom of speech”. You cannot be for freedom of speech! You do NOT have the freedom to falsely yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre (Oliver Wendell Holmes). And there are various forms of injunctions against incitement to violence, correctly so, I think. But most people still use the shorthand, “freedom of speech”.

Limits of free speech

Charlie Hebdo was testing the limits of free speech and often crossed the line. The created a profitable business by attacking weak, not by attaching powerful which is a real purpose of satire. Muslim community is a community that already feels beleaguered in France: under-represented in the corridors of power, over-represented in prison. Is not powerful enough to mount a successful prosecution of the magazine in a court of law. Each society need to preserve internal stability and maintaining of this stability is viewed as socially more important goal. That's why heretics were stoned in Middle Ages. So attacks again ethnic minorities and their religion are typically off limit as their are effectively equal to inciting internal revolt in the country. Charlie Hebdo owners preached postmodernism as their philosophy so they try to make such anti-social behaviour a selling point for their magazine. But they would be shut down in many countries including the USA and Great Britain.

Now measures taken against such people are less medieval, not no less effective. For example actors, writers and artists with pro-communist attitudes were effectively silenced and their career destroyed during McCarthyism, a period of political oppression against left in the USA.

During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned,[2] laws that were later declared unconstitutional,[3] dismissals for reasons later declared illegal[4] or [5] or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.

The most famous examples of McCarthyism include the speeches, investigations, and hearings of Senator McCarthy himself; the Hollywood blacklist, associated with hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); and the various anti-communist activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under Director J. Edgar Hoover. McCarthyism was a widespread social and cultural phenomenon that affected all levels of society and was the source of a great deal of debate and conflict in the United States.

Many noted that owners of Charlie Hebdo avoided clashing with powerful communities such as Jewish. Like all postmodernism, it was freedom of speech in name -- not substance. They even fired one cartoonist for anti-Jewish cartoon (Winston's Diary):

In the wake of yesterday’s shootings at Charlie Hebdo’s office in France, Western politicians and pundits waxed poetic on the core value that was allegedly attacked: freedom of speech. The New York Times editorial board, for example, proclaimed that Charlie Hebdo’s editorial director Stéphane Charbonnier “scoffed at any suggestion that the magazine should tone down its trademark satire to appease anyone.” The Washington Post, echoing the theme, said that yesterday’s attack was “a direct challenge to the West’s commitment to free expression.” And then the Los Angeles Times, hammering home at the same theme, stated that “[i]n a free society, the answer to offensive speech about any topic is more speech, not legal reprisals and certainly not violence or vengeance.” One would think, based on these statements, that Western nations—and Charlie Hebdo in particular—would defend the freedom of expression at all costs.

Except that’s not the case at all.

Back in 2008, Charlie Hebdo—the magazine whose editor “scoffed at any suggestion that the magazine should tone down its trademark satire to appease anyone”—did exactly that when it pulled (read: censored) a satirical piece about former President Sarkozy’s son. Philippe Val, the editor of Charlie Hebdo at the time, “agreed that the piece was offensive and told its author to apologise.” (The employee behind the satirical piece was eventually fired

Read that again. Just to be clear, the magazine that wouldn’t tone down satire to “appease anyone” did precisely that when Sarkozy’s family complained about one piece’s alleged offensiveness. Are we to conclude these are the limits of free speech, then? The same paper that was apparently more than content to ridicule Islam again and again, backed down and quickly censored a piece that featured a single joke about Jews. What gives?

The same country—France—that now claims to embrace “freedom of expression” as a defining national principle, actually has laws on the books that make Holocaust denial illegal. Now, I myself am absolutely not in denial about the reality of the horror & international crime that was the Holocaust, but unlike France I actually believe in freedom of speech, which means I believe that if you want to go ahead and make an ahistorical claim about the Holocaust, by all means go ahead and do it. That’s your right to do so and to speak your mind. France, however, has taken a different view on that type of freedom of speech, and they have prohibited any form of Holocaust denial speech because such speech would be offensive. But to quote again from the Los Angeles Times editorial above, is not the answer to offensive speech “more speech, not legal reprisals and certainly not violence or vengeance”? (Emphasis mine). Except that when it comes to certain subjects, the French government does believe in “legal reprisals” (i.e., criminalizing certain types of speech that are deemed “offensive”) and that they do not believe that “more speech” would solve things when it comes to those issues.

So again: what gives? It seems that France and Charlie Hebdo are totally okay with embracing free speech when it comes to making jokes lampooning Muslims or their Prophet, but those same entities are apparently not okay with free speech that pokes fun at their ex-President’s son or makes jokes about historical events that some may find offensive.

This freedom of speech in name—not substance. Everyone who proclaimed that #JeSuisCharlie apparently forgot that back in 2008 Charlie Hebdo censored a piece because it offended the then-President’s family. Are we that Charlie Hebdo, too? Are we the type of people who believe in free speech, so long as it offends Muslims but not certain other groups? At the risk of committing a socio-cultural ThoughtCrime: Je ne suis pas Charlie. I am not Charlie. I did not agree with Charlie Hebdo’s 2008 decision to pull the piece referenced above, as I believe that free speech includes the ability to satirize anyone and any historical event, regardless of how offensive some people may perceive it. After all, what’s the point of free speech if we cannot say things that others may find offensive? If we were to curtail our speech based on what others might perceive as offensive, we would end up not being able to say much at all. Right now, we’re hearing a lot of passionate sound & fury about “freedom of speech,” but I have absolutely no doubts that European governments will use yesterday’s events to enact enough even tougher laws—in the name of Keeping Us Safe, of course—that will curb civil liberties for us all. And those, along with actual freedom of speech, are freedoms worth defending.

—Winston A.

Glenn Greenwald extended this point to unequal treatment of religions in his article In Solidarity With a Free Press Some More Blasphemous Cartoons - The Intercept. He also provide a line of cartoons to illustrate his point:

Defending free speech and free press rights, which typically means defending the right to disseminate the very ideas society finds most repellent, has been one of my principal passions for the last 20 years: previously as a lawyer and now as a journalist. So I consider it positive when large numbers of people loudly invoke this principle, as has been happening over the last 48 hours in response to the horrific attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Usually, defending free speech rights is much more of a lonely task. For instance, the day before the Paris murders, I wrote an article about multiple cases where Muslims are being prosecuted and even imprisoned by western governments for their online political speech – assaults that have provoked relatively little protest, including from those free speech champions who have been so vocal this week.

I’ve previously covered cases where Muslims were imprisoned for many years in the U.S. for things like translating posting “extremist” videos to the internet, writing scholarly articles in defense of Palestinian groups and expressing harsh criticism of Israel, and even including a Hezbollah channel in a cable package. That’s all well beyond the numerous cases of jobs being lost or careers destroyed for expressing criticism of Israel or (much more dangerously and rarely) Judaism. I’m hoping this week’s celebration of free speech values will generate widespread opposition to all of these long-standing and growing infringements of core political rights in the west, not just some.

Central to free speech activism has always been the distinction between defending the right to disseminate Idea X and agreeing with Idea X, one which only the most simple-minded among us are incapable of comprehending. One defends the right to express repellent ideas while being able to condemn the idea itself. There is no remote contradiction in that: the ACLU vigorously defends the right of neo-Nazis to march through a community filled with Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois, but does not join the march; they instead vocally condemn the targeted ideas as grotesque while defending the right to express them.

But this week’s defense of free speech rights was so spirited that it gave rise to a brand new principle: to defend free speech, one not only defends the right to disseminate the speech, but embraces the content of the speech itself. Numerous writers thus demanded: to show “solidarity” with the murdered cartoonists, one should not merely condemn the attacks and defend the right of the cartoonists to publish, but should publish and even celebrate those cartoons. “The best response to Charlie Hebdo attack,” announced Slate’s editor Jacob Weisberg, “is to escalate blasphemous satire.”

Some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were not just offensive but bigoted, such as the one mocking the African sex slaves of Boko Haram as welfare queens (left). Others went far beyond maligning violence by extremists acting in the name of Islam, or even merely depicting Mohammed with degrading imagery (above, right), and instead contained a stream of mockery toward Muslims generally, who in France are not remotely powerful but are largely a marginalized and targeted immigrant population.

But no matter. Their cartoons were noble and should be celebrated – not just on free speech grounds but for their content. In a column entitled “The Blasphemy We Need,” The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat argued that “the right to blaspheme (and otherwise give offense) is essential to the liberal order” and “that kind of blasphemy [that provokes violence] is precisely the kind that needs to be defended, because it’s the kind that clearly serves a free society’s greater good.” New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait actually proclaimed that “one cannot defend the right [to blaspheme] without defending the practice.” Vox’s Matt Yglesias had a much more nuanced view but nonetheless concluded that “to blaspheme the Prophet transforms the publication of these cartoons from a pointless act to a courageous and even necessary one, while the observation that the world would do well without such provocations becomes a form of appeasement.”

To comport with this new principle for how one shows solidarity with free speech rights and a vibrant free press, we’re publishing some blasphemous and otherwise offensive cartoons about religion and their adherents:

This tragedy will most certainly be used to railroad 'acceptable' opinion and shut down any deeper, more complex questions about why this happened.

It never ceases to amaze me how conformist most people are. Do we really need accept all Busg II style neoliberal/neocon crap at face value. Of course, you can expect the usual "oversimplification" behaviour of neoliberal MSM with black and white picture of the events.

Not one for them has any courage for evaluation of what the comedians at Charlie Hebdo were actually doing with their neomodernist attempt to profit from obscene cartoons and such, and how it impacted on us as well as the recipients of their alleged "humor".

The key question might be one that was voiced by anonymous comment for the article below "Do you really think that after decades of neoliberal crap there remains any semblance of a social contract?". The commenter also stated the following:

Guest > Kumru Toktamis

Nobody is saying that murder is an appropriate response to insults or cartoons mocking a religion. Nor is anyone saying that the cartoonists deserved to die. Nor is anyone defending the terrorism, other than terrorist groups themselves.

This does not alter the fact that we owe it to ourselves to comprehemd what happened, why, and how this information should inform our future conduct. Instead, 99% of the population reacts in an emotional knee-jerk way, and says "Je suis Charlie". Your analogy is also part of this typical reaction.

Why are you wrong? Because there was no contract (individual or social) between the murderers and the victims. Their relations were socio-political -- with an emphasis on political. Now, if we accept this as a starting point, how does the analysis proceed? Do we simply assert that we have to fight terrorism and ignore the complex political situation? Apparently that is the mainstream answer. As academics, we have a duty to think more deeply and more critically.

My own perspective is that the failure of society to set limits to "free speech" in order to protect minority rights is a large part of the problem. Another part of the problem is harder to deal with: this is the claim that emerged today that the terrorist acts were made to avenge French interference in Syria, against IS. However, this remains firmly in the realm of politics and certainly is far far removed from your analogy.

Nor MSM is prepared to concede that some amongst us actually do have values and principles different from neoliberalism values (oppress the weak, while you can), and do stand up for minorities and those who need help. It look like they promote the view that being openly racist like cartoonists on Charlie Hebdo is more honest and therefore they were better people.

Here is an interesting take on this problem by Ben Hayes in No, we’re not all Charlie Hebdo, nor should we be and, especially, comments (selected comments are reproduced below too):

January 9, 2015 | opendemocracy.net

I respect your right to show solidarity with the victims of this horrible crime by reposting those drawings, but only if you respect my right not to do so because I happen to find them bigoted and incendiary.

There is nothing new about people suspending their critical faculties in the aftermath of terrorist attacks; unconscionable atrocities are by their very nature easier to denounce than understand.

Such a retreat from reason is inevitably accompanied by attacks on those who seek it out. After 9/11, merely suggesting that the attacks might have had something to do with US foreign policy was akin to treason; today it is Charlie Hebdo that is beyond reproach. Now, as then, these constraints should disturb.

It is no more than a simple statement of fact that among the reasons a number of the magazine’s staff were selected for assassination by maniacs was its predilection for Muslim-baiting – this is not a justification, not an excuse, not a defence – but a relevant part of the historical record. Yet, just as in September 2001, you’d be most ill-advised to mention it, lest you wish to be branded a “victim-blamer”, a “weasel excuser of murder”, or much worse.

Much of my working life has been given over the defence of human rights in the face of unduly repressive responses to acts of terrorism. I remember the climate after 9/11 as if it were yesterday. Those of us who chose not to wrap our solidarity in George Bush’s stars and stripes can at least find some solace and vindication in the gradual acceptance that “war on terror” is counterproductive, and that terrorism is better countered with justice, despite the overwhelming “with us or against us” rhetoric of the time.

Today’s grand narrative is very similar and goes something like this. This wasn’t carefully calculated murder – akin to many other premeditated ‘hits’, and qualitatively different to other recent acts of terrorism – it was an attack on “Western values”, on “European freedom”, on “decent people everywhere”, etc. Now, just as then, you’re either with Charlie Hebdo, or you’re with the terrorists. Solidarity means nothing less than “being Charlie”. Failing to republish or repost offensive cartoons is an act of cowardice or self-censorship, not a personal or professional choice. And if anything about that makes you just a little bit uncomfortable, you clearly don’t understand one or more of the following: how to defend free speech, what Charlie Hebdo is about, satire, French secularism or the foundations of European civilisation. Ergo you should hold your tongue or go live somewhere else.

Defending free speech does indeed mean defending speech you don’t agree with; no need to misquote Voltaire here. But asserting the sanctity of the free press while demanding the entire fourth estate publish Charlie cartoons is rank hypocrisy. I respect your right to show solidarity with the victims of this horrible crime by reposting those drawings, but only if you respect my right not to do so because I happen to find them bigoted and incendiary.

To be honest, I’d respect your sudden interest in free expression a lot more if, for example, you’d have stood with those of us who defended Samina Malik, the hip-hop loving “lyrical terrorist”-come-WHSmith-cashier when she was jailed up for writing nursery rhymes about Jihad, or if you had offered such a resolute defence of the Nottingham Two when they were arrested and detained for downloading "terrorist material” – when what they were actually doing was researching militant Islam as part of their university course. And since you hold freedom of speech so dear I expect you to join me in condemning the Council of Europe Convention and the EU Framework Decision that outlaws "public provocation to terrorism". Not the crime of actually inciting terrorist offences, you understand, but speech which “creates a danger” that such offences may be committed. European law drafted solely with limits on Muslim freedom of expression in mind.

It is surely a myth that the freedom of expression of the majority is under threat when #KillAllMuslims is trending on Twitter and the far right in Europe marches from strength to strength. The much less convenient truth is that for many members of minority communities watching all of this unfold, nothing says white privilege more than the visceral amplification of Islamophobia in the name of European values. We’re deluding ourselves if we think that simutaneously telling Muslim communities "your sensitivities are stupid and irrelevant - now do your bit for counter-radicalisation" is going to keep us safe.

Now the part where you tell me that Charlie Hebdo isn’t racist or bigoted because in addition to going out of its way to insult Muslims, it is an equal opportunities offender. Full disclosure: I’ve never read the thing and am quite content that my limited grasp of French culture and language means I’ll never understand why so many people suddenly think it the height of subversive literature, no matter how many people tell me that as a Private Eye subscriber I should understand. I guess satirical greatness is in the eye of the beholder.

Nor will anyone convince me that taking the reification of Charlie to ever more stupefying heights – c.f. the New Yorker’s likening of its “pioneering free expression” to that of Gandhi and Martin Luther King – will do anything other than play into the hands of the racists and fascists whose fondness for free speech extends only as far as their desire to use it to destroy human rights. As with 9/11, we are walking into the trap the terrorists have set for us. Tragedy, farce, repeat.

Again, to be crystal clear, I get why you want to be Charlie and I respect that – especially if you’re French or a journalist. But I vehemently reject the imposition of a monoculture which tells me that standing up to terrorism and ridiculing Islam are two sides of the same coin. When the dust settles, I hope you will too.

Frank Witte

What a lazy and sloppy piece of quasi-intellectual writing. Standing up for a magazine that has published a fair share of racist and bigotted cartoons? Oh no, because we don't stand up for racists! We only stand up for underpriviledged and marginalised people who quite understandably at some point get pushed over the edge by all the permitted abuse, sending them into violent adrenaline rage!

I spend quite some time among underpriviledged and marginalised people and in my experience a significant percentage of them are racists too. The tasteless rage of a magazine like Charly Hebdo and the 'white' islamophobic buzz is not that different from the equally nauseating antisemitic slurs, the fairly common derogatory slanting of white girls, the vitriolic rejection of black brits and more prejudices I have encountered among immigrants living in London.

I fear that if someone really only wants to stand up for groups that are free of racism that someone is either standing up for no one, or is delusionally naive. So when I stand up against islamophobia, I do so while knowing that antisemitism is a real issue among muslims. When I stand up against the criminalisation of easter-european migrants then I do so while knowing that racist attitudes towards blacks and asians are a real problem in that community.

You do't have to like someone in order to stand up for his right to remain alive while being unlikable. When people are saying "I am CH" ... they are not saying that it is okay to offend others deliberately andonly with the aim of baiting them into overstepping societal boundaries. What they are saying is this: when murdering unlikable and terribly annoying people becomes a habit, then sooner rather than later I am going to be considered unlikable and annoying by someone. Of course everyone is free to believe in whichever myth they choose to believe in.

But the idea that deep down inside marginalised and disadvantaged people are 'better' or 'purer' and that they would be able to show so if only they weren't disadvantaged and marginalised ... well is just that: a myth. The truth is, deep down inside we are all pretty much the same kind of annoying and prejudiced suckers.

We are all an anti-semite Pakistani who gets blasted off a mountain road with his newly wed wife by a US drone under misinformed orders of Obama. We are all an islamophobic hindu girl that gets gang-raped in the streets of Mumbai. We are all an islamic fundamtalist Rohinga who get shot by buddhist radicals.

In that sense we can also all be Charlie Hebdo ... not because charly is in anyway likeable, heroic or 'good' ... but because the rotten tomatoes of this world, such a me, do not deserve to get machine-gunned at work, drone-rocketted at their wedding or gang-raped on the way to an evening out.

Dave > Frank Witte

I completely agree with you!, but I don't feel he is defending the actions of the murderers. "We only stand up for underpriviledged and marginalised people who quite understandably at some point get pushed over the edge by all the permitted abuse, sending them into violent adrenaline rage!" But instead, highlighting the effect of the 'with c.h or with terrorists' concept which may play out as the news spread and people get angrier.

I don't agree with some of the comparisons, like the one with the CEC, and maybe the article is a bit too soon but its worth considering, especially with the traction the right is gaining in France as a result of this.

Again, everyone with half a brain is fully disgusted and cannot attempt justification of the murders

Jonathan Owle > Dave

Great response, and for me the ultimate point - this tragedy will most certainly be used to railroad 'acceptable' opinion and shut down any deeper, more complex questions about why this happened.

Jeremy Fox

This article seems to me to be a complete misreading of Charlie and of what this issue is about. Satire only works if it is relevant; that is if it expresses something fundamental and recognizable in its targets. Charlie didn't create religious fundamentalism, ISIS, al-Quaeda, or religious leaders who preach hatred, approve of decapitating enemies, and call for martyrdom in the name of god. It pokes fun at them, shows them for what they are: bigots, racists, and murderers. To attack Charlie for having the effrontery and guts to spear not only imams, but also priests, rabbis and anyone else who thinks its okay to kill "infidels" is to take refuge in a form of political correctness that is ultimately devoid of any moral value. What is rank hypocrisy is to attack Charlie while admitting that you don't understand French and have never read the magazine. Bigotry did you say?

Guest > Jeremy Fox

Well, I do read French and have seen this rather typically French magazine before it became world headlines. I never liked it, largely because I find attacking everything rather nihilistic. Nor does one need much ability in the French language to interpret most of the cartoons; these, I find especially offensive to those who have strong religious faith.

Religion is the historical base of our western societies, and we do not have the right to pooh-pooh it for other societies just because we think we are superior.

This is colonial arrogance -- in typical French style, dressed up as liberte, equalite and fraternite. (with or without acute accents)

Missing Point

"As with 9/11, we are walking into the trap the terrorists have set for us. Tragedy, farce, repeat." Without specific evidence that proves conclusively WHO committed these crimes and WHY they were committed, how can we know it is "the terrorists" who are setting this trap? Is this stance not already an acceptance of the prevailing narrative? Who stands to gain from our acceptance of this conflict narrative? In 2001 the narrative was about "patriotism." Now it would seem that the narrative has switched to "solidarity."

But is it "solidarity" when "oppressor" and "oppressed" are not clearly delineated? What does THAT mean for "free speech"?

"With so many of the same ingredients can you taste the difference between Neo-Liberal and Neo-Conservative Soup? Switching labels ultimately makes the selection process meaningless. You never know what you are going to get in that bottle. More importantly, it makes dialogue concerning the process equally meaningless by removing any common point of reference. This obfuscation is the real objective 1% is after, a complete disruption of your ability to make any political decision for yourself. He’s not just looking to discourage you from choosing what kind of soup you want (voting), but looking to make it impossible for you to write your own recipes - grow your own spices - make your own soup.”

http://whatisthemissingpoint.b...

Fakir Smith

Post them and post them often! If you are offended by a cartoon than you are really going to hate the bunker buster bombs we have ready. Enough is enough. Islam is evil and we shouldn't stand around and pretend it isn't. The only religion today killing in the name of their religion and persecuting people is Islam. It's barbaric. It's an attack on God and basic human rights. To write this BS basically defending it while hiding behind some PC nonsense is ridiculous. It's as absurd as saying pedophiles can't help it they were born that way. Oh wait that's how we justify homosexuality.

Wait though, LIBS will get around to defending kid touchers next. Immoral behavior is immoral. Wrong is wrong. Right is right. The Bible warned of this, funny how it's coming true. There is a huge difference between accepting a person who does something immoral or wrong while NOT condoning what they do and just hating them outright.

Love the sinner hate the sin in other words. Tolerance is fine, but don't excuse wrong when it's wrong. Blowing people up, beheading them, persecuting women, crucifying people, etc is WRONG. Cartoons have NOTHING to do with that.

serendipity > Fakir Smith

First of all, your premise that Islam is evil is wrong and this is exactly what will get Muslims' anger going
You are unaware of your own contradictions about religion, you state that Islam is evil but you go onto quote the Bible as being right - incredibly unaware that the Old Testament shares quite a lot with the Koran and the Torah.

You obviously thing that one religion is right and that the other is wrong. There also ways - which you also seem to be unaware of - of criticizing and questioning a religion that does not involve insulting it

We have every right to express solidarity with the victims of the massacre last Wednesday - but does that mean we agree with the cartoons or their aim? The aim was not to pose a question, even inform.
It was to insult and defame Incidentally, Muslims have never printed cartoons of Jesus in pornographic poses

There is a responsibility which comes with free speech - so people with learning difficulties can be called "retards' because I need to express it freely this way Do people mock and defame Buddhism? I don't think so because we don't find Buddhists offensive and since WW2 we do not mock or defame Jews - although it was OK to do so before then Just think a little bit about what we have done in Iraq - in connection to your last great sentence.

Black Cat > BC

Indeed, what I have noticed just by "sharing" my thoughts on a few other forums as well as this one, is the anger and sheer aggression that comes out of the mouths of those posing as freedom of speech champions. I guess, not being too bright, they won't see the irony at all --

May be I should set up my own satirical publication. I wonder how Monty Python would do it ? May be an angry mob, marching the streets of Paris, dressed as members of the Spanish Inquisition : )

Black Cat > Lutz Barz

So French "sophistication" involves guys in turbans, women in veils, all with big hooked noses, crooked teeth and bulging eyes representing a billion people of the Islamic faith, quite a few of whom were born and bred in France or the former French colonies ? Their facial features in fact resemble the cartoons drawn about European Jews circa 1930s. Wow, those French comedians are the epitome of originality and intelligent satire !!

Erzif

I think there are some good points in this article, but I do think it misses one important point which inevitably causes a bias in the conclusions. This is the fact that for someone who is truly secular, mocking a religion is equivalent to mocking political power. Would you think that eighteenth century French satire should not have made fun of the king, just because some people believed that the king received their power directly from god?

I think that giving up the right to make fun of Muhammad -- or the holy spirit for that matter -- just because some people get offended by that is either an act of cowardy or one of condescendence (a word?).

I think that if we forget that these people have sentenced to death the CH cartoonist based on a fatwa pronounced on the grounds of sharia than we are bound to miss the whole point of this story. I would like to know what the author thinks about this.

Black Cat

This is the most intelligent and enlightening commentary I have read anywhere on the Internet or media in the past week. Exactly my thoughts, I just could not write them down this eloquently. As you say, hopefully once the mass hysteria has died down, some logical, rational debate can ensue.

Kumru Toktamis

When an abusive husband murders his wife because he did not like the food she prepared, do you also discuss her cooking skills mr hayes?

Guest > Kumru Toktamis

Do you really, in your wildest dreams, think that this is an appropriate analogy? Who was married to whom? Who did the cooking? Come on, this is childish argumentation.

Kumru Toktamis > Guest

Let me try: violence is committed against someone (wife/charlie hebdo) whose product (meal/cartoons) was said to have angered the perpetuater (husband/jihadists). Of course I am going to identify with the murdered wife, whether she is a good cook or not/ or whether the cartoons were witty or tasteless. No one who cooks a bad dinner or draws a bad cartoon deserves to die. I hope this is abstract and simple enough for your taste. (and I am confident no one will certainly not murder me, even if my analogy is inappropriate) Thinking these cartoons were offensive and inappropriate can hardly be an excuse for provocation of murder.

Guest > Kumru Toktamis

Nobody is saying that murder is an appropriate response to insults or cartoons mocking a religion. Nor is anyone saying that the cartoonists deserved to die. Nor is anyone defending the terrorism, other than terrorist groups themselves.

This does not alter the fact that we owe it to ourselves to comprehemd what happened, why, and how this information should inform our future conduct. Instead, 99% of the population reacts in an emotional knee-jerk way, and says "Je suis Charlie". Your analogy is also part of this typical reaction.

Why are you wrong? Because there was no contract (individual or social) between the murderers and the victims. Their relations were socio-political -- with an emphasis on political. Now, if we accept this as a starting point, how does the analysis proceed? Do we simply assert that we have to fight terrorism and ignore the complex political situation? Apparently that is the mainstream answer. As academics, we have a duty to think more deeply and more critically.

My own perspective is that the failure of society to set limits to "free speech" in order to protect minority rights is a large part of the problem. Another part of the problem is harder to deal with: this is the claim that emerged today that the terrorist acts were made to avenge French interference in Syria, against IS. However, this remains firmly in the realm of politics and certainly is far far removed from your analogy/

Kumru Toktamis > Guest

There was no contract???! wow! This eradicates the last few centuries of human history since Magna Carta all the way to JJ Rousseau, to Locke, to Bill of Rights et al. If there was no contract, then you are right, the Guest, all is futile! What to make of these constitutionalism then?

Guest > Kumru Toktamis

Do you really think that after decades of neoliberal crap there remains any semblance of a social contract?

And constitionalism is nothing other than theatre for the politicians and money for the old boys' network of constitutional lawyers (many of whom are also politicians). It has no meaning for ordinary citizens, in countries where even citizenship as a birthright is under threat (the latter more in the UK than in France).

Black Cat > Guest

Yes, but that's far too sophisticated. The people who come up with the old free speech thing (not that they even understand basic concepts around the issue of free speech) are basically not interested in complex political/philosophical/socio-economic reasoning. So their argument goes thus: you are either with THEM (the Islamic terrorist scum) or with US (the marching public outraged that our European/Western/Christian/Jewish values are being destroyed by those scum).

The politicians follow the sheep-like public sentiment when attacks like these happen - i.e. knee-jerk reactions because they don't actually have the guts to face up to the horrible political mess they themselves have created.

I'm afraid that's just about as far as it gets !

gramigna

"I expect you to join me in condemning the Council of Europe Convention and the EU Framework Decision that outlaws "public provocation to terrorism". Not the crime of actually inciting terrorist offences, you understand, but speech which “creates a danger” that such offences may be committed."

I am sorry, I am new here. Are you really saying that someone should not write something if that is going to irritate a bunch of psychos with machine guns? So, shut up in front of the Mafia, in front of the Neo-nazis, in front of the jihadists and so on. Because that would "create a danger". This is taking us back 200 years, or am I missing something? Because, I really hope I am missing something.

Aaron Aarons

I wonder if, had some extremist Jewish fanatic murdered prominent Black French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala in reaction to his antisemitism, the people who have marched with Je Suis Charlie signs would have marched instead with Je Suis Dieudonné signs?

And would they do comedy shows copying his routines?


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[Nov 06, 2015] Putin Suspends Flights To Egypt As World Blames ISIS For Plane Crash

Nov 06, 2015 | Zero Hedge
farflungstar

The Mockies over at Charlie Hebdo seemed to find it funny that this plane crashed, not so funny when a bunch of their people got killed at work back in January:

http://sputniknews.com/cartoons/20151106/1029698946/JeNeSuisPasCharlie.html

One of the pictures shows a jihadist of the Islamic State (IS) militant group and plane's debris falling around him. The caption says "IS: Russian Aviation intensifies its bombing campaign.

Mocking a plane crash where 224 people were killed, such a rich source of humor hahahaha so fucking hysterical fucking faggot frogs

http://sputniknews.com/world/20151106/1029683872/plane-crash-charlie-heb...

Jack Burton

I saw this yesterday. Honestly, given what we call "Western Values" I fully expected the guardians of culture in France to come up with something like this. When their people die, it's a world wide event. When others die, it is a joke. Let's be clear, this story has made it deep into Russian media. Need I tell you what the mood is now?

Escapeclaws

That's what the French call freedom of the press. As long as it is vulgar and insulting it's ok.

Jorgen

Here are the actual cartoons with English translation from French.

[May 30, 2015] Was Charlie Hebdo A Convenient Incident For Policymakers

May 30, 2015 | Zero Hedge

... ... ...

Although he wasn't discussing freedom of speech in his article, I think the above is applicable to our discussion here. Even if a case could be made for limiting freedom of speech in certain cases such as discrimination or inciting violence, do we really want to entrust the government, historically the biggest killer and discriminator, with the task of defining where these limitations should lie?

democide

Research into democide by R.J. Rummel suggests that governments killed altogether 262 million people in the last century.

Is Charlie Hebdo a "Convenient" Incident for Policymakers?

Since 9/11 the global war on terror was used to "justify" excessive legislation that restricted many basic and fundamental civil liberties and legitimized violation of privacy by the State. States have and will continue to misuse such incidents to further violate the civil liberties of citizens. By fueling hatred and anger against different religions and ethnic groups, states are very much applying the old political strategy of divide and conquer. The war on terror wouldn't have gained this much support if it weren't for fueling anger against Islam worldwide (let's not forget that the US conveniently allied with Osama Bin Laden and his followers against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s).

It is astonishing how states get their way when tying their policies to emotionally-driven topics linked to identity and human life. The American public suddenly gave away its right to privacy through the Patriot Act, which was introduced under the pretext of deterring terrorism and to better support the authorities in finding and hunting down criminals that are targeting the American public. This leads us to recall our recent interview with former Czech President Mr. Václav Klaus, who made a rather honest and realistic statement:

"We experienced it in 2001 in America and it had very negative repercussions for us in Europe. I am afraid there will be a new wave of attempts to limit our personal freedom due to the so-called war against terrorism."

Looking back on the interview his fears were more than justified, as we are now seeing similar developments such as in the US after 9/11! The lower house of parliament in France just passed a bill that has already been dubbed the "French Patriot Act". Due to the huge majority in the lower house we expect it to pass the upper house as well. This bill lays down the rules regarding surveillance of all forms of communication without prior approval by a judge.

etat policier

Furthermore, starting in September of this year, there will be massive new restrictions on the use of cash in France. Cash transactions over 1,000 Euro will no longer be allowed (down from 3,000 Euro). Foreign exchange transactions over 1,000 Euro will have to be recorded with an ID or passport of the person in question (down from 8,000 Euro). All cash deposits or withdrawals higher than 10,000 EUR per month will have to be reported to the anti fraud and money laundering agency. I think these developments only a few months after the Hebdo attack show clearly how this event is being misused to implement further restrictions on the civil liberties of the French population.

How Selective is Media Coverage in Connection with Acts of Terrorism and Violence?

Charlie Hebdo remained a focal topic in the media, the march in Paris was widely celebrated, and "Je suis Charlie" was everywhere on Facebook and Twitter. Other attacks did not receive this much attention, although they were equally gruesome and violent. Between the 3rd and 7th of January (the same day as the Charlie Hebdo attack) there were mass killings by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram is a violent militia group that operates in northeastern Nigeria since 2009. In these four days it burned down 16 towns and villages, and overran the headquarters of the joint task force. The estimated number of casualties was ranging between hundreds and thousands.

How can such a mass killing be ignored? Isn't terrorism a violation of human rights everywhere? On February 11th a gunman shot three citizens, a young Muslim couple and the woman's sister, in the US town of Chapel Hill. The motive? Apparently it was a dispute over a parking issue. Meanwhile the families of the victims labeled it a hate crime. However, an article published in the British Independent newspaper put the real issue at the forefront:

"Would the media have covered the tragedy if Twitter didn't exist, and what would have happened if the murderer was Muslim?"

What about hate crimes after Charlie Hebdo? France saw more attacks following the incident, which were not widely covered in the media, and certainly the list goes on around the world. An article in the UK's Telegraph was entitled "'We're leaving Britain – Jews aren't safe here anymore'". Yes, we knew racial and religious profiling was a problem, but how many of us knew that it has become so bad that people felt threatened and at constant risk? The article cited figures from the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, which revealed a record 1168 incidents of anti?Semitism in 2014, which more than doubled from just a year earlier.

Where are the media reports on all this? What is at issue here is the selectivity of media coverage. Why do some stories deserve more coverage than others? We've established our case that free speech should be free from restrictions, but we also argue that media outlets should not be exploited for pushing certain political agendas.

Where Would we be if it Weren't for Social Media and the Internet?

It takes revolutionary means to promote revolutionary ideas. The invention of the first European movable printing type with the Gutenberg Press was a revolutionary discovery which played a significant role during the time of reformation, as it enabled the mass-exposure of the ideas and concepts of the protestant faith, and the case for religious decentralization and secularism that threatened the power of political and religious authorities.

Then why shouldn't we be able to make the best out of today's mass media and social networks – to exercise our right to post our opinions online with no Big Brother watching over our shoulders controlling what or what we cannot say on the worldwide web? Whether Charlie Hebdo, or other cases of religious violence, all have certainly put media coverage in the spotlight. If it weren't for social media, we may not have noticed the biased mainstream coverage or how states are manipulating racial profiling to satisfy their agendas. The media and the State are under great scrutiny nowadays. Ever since Western countries have signed up for the global war on terror, they have willingly and knowingly aggravated and encouraged more and more discrimination, while further infringing on the very civil liberties they claim to be protecting.

For me, the most important takeaway from the tragic events in France is that we need to stay as vigilant as ever in defending our freedoms. As the aftermath of the Hebdo attack has shown, governments will misuse any opportunity they see to further restrict our freedom and arrogate more power to themselves. This is especially easy when people are faced with an understandably emotionally tense situation like 9/11 or other terrorist attacks. However, thanks to the Internet we are less prone to accept State propaganda and are able to get a more objective view of what is really happening in the world around us.

[May 10, 2015] The New York Times does its government's bidding Here's what you're not being told about U.S. troops in Ukraine

MAY 9, 2015 | NYTimes.com
May 07, 2015 | Salon.com
As of mid-April, when a Pentagon flack announced it in Kiev, and as barely reported in American media, U.S. troops are now operating openly in Ukraine.

Now there is a lead I have long dreaded writing but suspected from the first that one day I would. Do not take a moment to think about this. Take many moments. We all need to. We find ourselves in grave circumstances this spring.

At first I thought I had written what newspaper people call a double-barreled lead: American soldiers in Ukraine, American media not saying much about it. Two facts.

Wrong. There is one fact now, and it is this: Americans are being led blindfolded very near the brink of war with Russia.

One cannot predict there will be one. And, of course, right-thinking people hope things will never come to one. In March, President Obama dismissed any such idea as if to suggest it was silly. "They're not interested in a military confrontation with us," Obama said of the Russians-wisely. Then he added, unwisely: "We don't need a war."

Don't need a war to get what done, Mr. President? This is our question. Then this one: Washington is going to stop at exactly what as it manipulates its latest set of puppets in disadvantaged countries, this time pretending there is absolutely nothing thoughtless or miscalculated about doing so on Russia's historically sensitive western border?

The pose of American innocence, tatty and tiresome in the best of times, is getting dangerous once again.

The source of worry now is that we do not have an answer to the second question. The project is plain: Advance NATO the rest of the way through Eastern Europe, probably with the intent of eventually destabilizing Moscow. The stooges now installed in Kiev are getting everything ready for the corporations eager to exploit Ukrainian resources and labor.

And our policy cliques are willing to go all the way to war for this? As of mid-April, when the 173rd Airborne Brigade started arriving in Ukraine, it looks as if we are on notice in this respect.

In the past there were a few vague mentions of an American military presence in Ukraine that was to be in place by this spring, if I recall correctly. These would have been last autumn. By then, there were also reports, unconfirmed, that some troops and a lot of spooks were already there as advisers but not acknowledged.

Then in mid-March President Poroshenko introduced a bill authorizing-as required by law-foreign troops to operate on Ukrainian soil. There was revealing detail, according to Russia Insider, a free-standing website in Moscow founded and run by Charles Bausman, an American with an uncanny ability to gather and publish pertinent information.

"According to the draft law, Ukraine plans three Ukrainian-American command post exercises, Fearless Guardian 2015, Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015," the publication reported, "and two Ukrainian-Polish exercises, Secure Skies 2015, and Law and Order 2015, for this year."

This is a lot of dry-run maneuvering, if you ask me. Poroshenko's law allows for up to 1,000 American troops to participate in each of these exercises, alongside an equal number of Ukrainian "National Guardsmen," and we will insist on the quotation marks when referring to this gruesome lot, about whom more in a minute.

Take a deep breath and consider that 1,000 American folks, as Obama will surely get around to calling them, are conducting military drills with troops drawn partly from Nazi and crypto-Nazi paramilitary groups…. Sorry, I cannot add anything more to this paragraph. Speechless.

It was a month to the day after Poroshenko's bill went to parliament that the Pentagon spokesman in Kiev announced-to a room empty of American correspondents, we are to assume-that troops from the 173rd Airborne were just then arriving to train none other than "National Guardsmen." This training includes "classes in war-fighting functions," as the operations officer, Maj. Jose Mendez, blandly put it at the time.

The spokesman's number was "about 300," and I never like "about" when these people are describing deployments. This is how it always begins, we will all recall. The American presence in Vietnam began with a handful of advisers who arrived in September 1950. (Remember MAAG, the Military Assistance Advisory Group?)

Part of me still thinks war with Russia seems a far-fetched proposition. But here's the thing: It is even more far-fetched to deny the gravity of this moment for all its horrific, playing-with-fire potential.

I am getting on to apoplectic as to the American media's abject irresponsibility in not covering this stuff adequately. To leave these events unreported is outright lying by omission. Nobody's news judgment can be so bad as to argue this is not a story.

Last December, John Pilger, the noted Australian journalist now in London, said in a speech that the Ukraine crisis had become the most extreme news blackout he had seen his entire career. I agree and now need no more proof as to whether it is a matter of intent or ineptitude. (Now that I think of it, it is both in many cases.)

To cross the "i"s and dot the "t"s, as I prefer to do, the Times did make two mentions of the American troops. One was the day of the announcement, a brief piece on an inside page, datelined Washington. Here we get our code word for this caper: It will be "modest" in every mention.

The second was in an April 23 story by Michael Gordon, the State Department correspondent. The head was, "Putin Bolsters His Forces Near Ukraine, U.S. Says." Read the… thing here.

The story line is a doozy: Putin-not "the Russians" or "Moscow," of course-is again behaving aggressively by amassing troops-how many, exactly where and how we know is never explained-along his border with Ukraine. Inside his border, that is. This is the story. This is what we mean by aggression these days.

In the sixth paragraph we get this: "Last week, Russia charged that a modest program to train Ukraine's national guard that 300 American troops are carrying out in western Ukraine could 'destabilize the situation.'"

Apoplectically speaking: Goddamn it, there is nothing modest about U.S. troops operating on Ukrainian soil, and it is self-evidently destabilizing. It is an obvious provocation, a point the policy cliques in Washington cannot have missed.

At this point, I do not see how anyone can stand against the argument-mine for some time-that Putin has shown exemplary restraint in this crisis. In a reversal of roles and hemispheres, Washington would have a lot more than air defense systems and troops of whatever number on the border in question.

The Times coverage of Ukraine, to continue briefly in this line, starts to remind me of something I.F. Stone once said about the Washington Post: The fun of reading it, the honored man observed, is that you never know where you'll find a page one story.

In the Times' case, you never know if you will find it at all.

Have you read much about the wave of political assassinations that erupted in Kiev in mid-April? Worry not. No one else has either-not in American media. Not a word in the Times.

The number my sources give me, and I cannot confirm it, is a dozen so far-12 to 13 to be precise. On the record, we have 10 who can be named and identified as political allies of Viktor Yanukovych, the president ousted last year, opponents of a drastic rupture in Ukraine's historic relations to Russia, people who favored marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of the Nazis-death-deserving idea, this-and critics of the new regime's corruptions and dependence on violent far-right extremists.

These were all highly visible politicians, parliamentarians and journalists. They have been murdered by small groups of these extremists, according to reports readily available in non-American media. In my read, the killers may have the same semi-official ties to government that the paramilitary death squads in 1970s Argentina-famously recognizable in their Ford Falcons-had with Videla and the colonels.

The Poroshenko government contrives to assign Russia the blame, but one can safely ignore this. Extreme right members of parliament have been more to the point. After a prominent editor named Oles Buzyna was fatally shot outside his home several weeks ago, a lawmaker named Boris Filatov told colleagues, "One more piece of shit has been eliminated." From another named Irina Farion, this: Death will neutralize the dirt this shit has spilled. Such people go to history's sewers."

Kindly place, Kiev's parliament under this new crowd. Washington must be proud, having backed yet another right-wing, anti-democratic, rights-trampling regime that does what it says.

And our media must be silent, of course. It can be no other way. Gutless hacks: You bet I am angry.

* * *

I end this week's column with a tribute.

A moment of observance, any kind, for William Pfaff, who died at 86 in Paris late last week. The appreciative obituary by the Times' Marlise Simons is here.

Pfaff was the most sophisticated foreign affairs commentator of the 20th century's second half and the first 15 years of this one. He was a great influence among colleagues (myself included) and put countless readers in a lot of places in the picture over many decades. He was a vigorous opponent of American adventurism abroad, consistent and reasoned even as resistance to both grew in his later years. By the time he was finished he was published and read far more outside America than in it.

Pfaff was a conservative man in some respects, which is not uncommon among America's American critics. In this I put him in the file with Henry Steele Commager, C. Vann Woodward, William Appleman Williams, and among those writing now, Andrew Bacevich. He was not a scholar, as these writers were or are, supporting a point I have long made: Not all intellectuals are scholars, and not all scholars are intellectuals.

Pfaff's books will live on and I commend them: "Barbarian Sentiments," "The Wrath of Nations," "The Bullet's Song," and his last, "The Irony of Manifest Destiny," are the ones on my shelf.

Farewell from a friend, Bill.

Patrick Smith is the author of "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century." He was the International Herald Tribune's bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote "Letter from Tokyo" for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist. More Patrick L. Smith.

[May 10, 2015] Neocon 'Chaos Promotion' in the Mideast

April 15, 2015 | antiwar.com
Former Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia "won't stop us."

As I recently reviewed a YouTube eight-minute clip of General Clark's October 2007 speech, what leaped out at me was that the neocons had been enabled by their assessment that – after the collapse of the Soviet Union – Russia had become neutralized and posed no deterrent to U.S. military action in the Middle East.

While Clark's public exposé largely escaped attention in the neocon-friendly "mainstream media" (surprise, surprise!), he recounted being told by a senior general at the Pentagon shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 about the Donald Rumsfeld/Paul Wolfowitz-led plan for "regime change" in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

This was startling enough, I grant you, since officially the United States presents itself as a nation that respects international law, frowns upon other powerful nations overthrowing the governments of weaker states, and – in the aftermath of World War II – condemned past aggressions by Nazi Germany and decried Soviet "subversion" of pro-U.S. nations.

But what caught my eye this time was the significance of Clark's depiction of Wolfowitz in 1992 gloating over what he judged to be a major lesson learned from the Desert Storm attack on Iraq in 1991; namely, "the Soviets won't stop us."

That remark directly addresses a question that has troubled me since March 2003 when George W. Bush attacked Iraq. Would the neocons – widely known as "the crazies" at least among the remaining sane people of Washington – have been crazy enough to opt for war to re-arrange the Middle East if the Soviet Union had not fallen apart in 1991?

The question is not an idle one. Despite the debacle in Iraq and elsewhere, the neocon "crazies" still exercise huge influence in Establishment Washington. Thus, the question now becomes whether, with Russia far more stable and much stronger, the "crazies" are prepared to risk military escalation with Russia over Ukraine, what retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk deemed a potentially dangerous nuclear confrontation, a "Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse."

Putin's Comment

The geopolitical vacuum that enabled the neocons to try out their "regime change" scheme in the Middle East may have been what Russian President Vladimir Putin was referring to in his state-of-the-nation address on April 25, 2005, when he called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [past] century." Putin's comment has been a favorite meme of those who seek to demonize Putin by portraying him as lusting to re-establish a powerful USSR through aggression in Europe.

But, commenting two years after the Iraq invasion, Putin seemed correct at least in how the neocons exploited the absence of the Russian counterweight to over-extend American power in ways that were harmful to the world, devastating to the people at the receiving end of the neocon interventions, and even detrimental to the United States.

If one takes a step back and attempts an unbiased look at the spread of violence in the Middle East over the past quarter-century, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Putin's comment was on the mark. With Russia a much-weakened military power in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was nothing to deter U.S. policymakers from the kind of adventurism at Russia's soft underbelly that, in earlier years, would have carried considerable risk of armed U.S.-USSR confrontation.

I lived in the USSR during the 1970s and would not wish that kind of restrictive regime on anyone. Until it fell apart, though, it was militarily strong enough to deter Wolfowitz-style adventurism. And I will say that – for the millions of people now dead, injured or displaced by U.S. military action in the Middle East over the past dozen years – the collapse of the Soviet Union as a deterrent to U.S. war-making was not only a "geopolitical catastrophe" but an unmitigated disaster.

Visiting Wolfowitz

In his 2007 speech, General Clark related how in early 1991 he dropped in on Paul Wolfowitz, then Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (and later, from 2001 to 2005, Deputy Secretary of Defense). It was just after a major Shia uprising in Iraq in March 1991. President George H.W. Bush's administration had provoked it, but then did nothing to rescue the Shia from brutal retaliation by Saddam Hussein, who had just survived his Persian Gulf defeat.

According to Clark, Wolfowitz said: "We should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein. The truth is, one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the Middle East and the Soviets won't stop us. We've got about five or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran (sic), Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."

It's now been more than 10 years, of course. But do not be deceived into thinking Wolfowitz and his neocon colleagues believe they have failed in any major way. The unrest they initiated keeps mounting – in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Lebanon – not to mention fresh violence now in full swing in Yemen and the crisis in Ukraine. Yet, the Teflon coating painted on the neocons continues to cover and protect them in the "mainstream media."

True, one neocon disappointment is Iran. It is more stable and less isolated than before; it is playing a sophisticated role in Iraq; and it is on the verge of concluding a major nuclear agreement with the West – barring the throwing of a neocon/Israeli monkey wrench into the works to thwart it, as has been done in the past.

An earlier setback for the neocons came at the end of August 2013 when President Barack Obama decided not to let himself be mouse-trapped by the neocons into ordering U.S. forces to attack Syria. Wolfowitz et al. were on the threshold of having the U.S. formally join the war against Bashar al-Assad's government of Syria when there was the proverbial slip between cup and lip. With the aid of the neocons' new devil-incarnate Vladimir Putin, Obama faced them down and avoided war.

A week after it became clear that the neocons were not going to get their war in Syria, I found myself at the main CNN studio in Washington together with Paul Wolfowitz and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, another important neocon. As I reported in "How War on Syria Lost Its Way," the scene was surreal – funereal, even, with both Wolfowitz and Lieberman very much down-in-the-mouth, behaving as though they had just watched their favorite team lose the Super Bowl.

Israeli/Neocon Preferences

But the neocons are nothing if not resilient. Despite their grotesque disasters, like the Iraq War, and their disappointments, like not getting their war on Syria, they neither learn lessons nor change goals. They just readjust their aim, shooting now at Putin over Ukraine as a way to clear the path again for "regime change" in Syria and Iran. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia."]

The neocons also can take some solace from their "success" at enflaming the Middle East with Shia and Sunni now at each other's throats – a bad thing for many people of the world and certainly for the many innocent victims in the region, but not so bad for the neocons. After all, it is the view of Israeli leaders and their neocon bedfellows (and women) that the internecine wars among Muslims provide at least some short-term advantages for Israel as it consolidates control over the Palestinian West Bank.

In a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity memorandum for President Obama on Sept. 6, 2013, we called attention to an uncommonly candid report about Israeli/neocon motivation, written by none other than the Israel-friendly New York Times Bureau Chief in Jerusalem Jodi Rudoren on Sept. 2, 2013, just two days after Obama took advantage of Putin's success in persuading the Syrians to allow their chemical weapons to be destroyed and called off the planned attack on Syria, causing consternation among neocons in Washington.

Rudoren can perhaps be excused for her naïve lack of "political correctness." She had been barely a year on the job, had very little prior experience with reporting on the Middle East, and – in the excitement about the almost-attack on Syria – she apparently forgot the strictures normally imposed on the Times' reporting from Jerusalem. In any case, Israel's priorities became crystal clear in what Rudoren wrote.

In her article, entitled "Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria," Rudoren noted that the Israelis were arguing, quietly, that the best outcome for Syria's (then) 2 ½-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, was no outcome:

"For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad's government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.

"'This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don't want one to win - we'll settle for a tie,' said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. 'Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that's the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there's no real threat from Syria.'"

Clear enough? If this is the way Israel's leaders continue to regard the situation in Syria, then they look on deeper U.S. involvement – overt or covert – as likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict there. The longer Sunni and Shia are killing each other, not only in Syria but also across the region as a whole, the safer Tel Aviv's leaders calculate Israel is.

Favoring Jihadis

But Israeli leaders have also made clear that if one side must win, they would prefer the Sunni side, despite its bloody extremists from Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. In September 2013, shortly after Rudoren's article, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.

"The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc," Oren said in an interview. "We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren't backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran." He said this was the case even if the "bad guys" were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

In June 2014, Oren – then speaking as a former ambassador – said Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. "From Israel's perspective, if there's got to be an evil that's got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail," Oren said.

Netanyahu sounded a similar theme in his March 3, 2015 speech to the U.S. Congress in which he trivialized the threat from the Islamic State with its "butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube" when compared to Iran, which he accused of "gobbling up the nations" of the Middle East.

That Syria's main ally is Iran with which it has a mutual defense treaty plays a role in Israeli calculations. Accordingly, while some Western leaders would like to achieve a realistic if imperfect settlement of the Syrian civil war, others who enjoy considerable influence in Washington would just as soon see the Assad government and the entire region bleed out.

As cynical and cruel as this strategy is, it isn't all that hard to understand. Yet, it seems to be one of those complicated, politically charged situations well above the pay-grade of the sophomores advising President Obama – who, sad to say, are no match for the neocons in the Washington Establishment. Not to mention the Netanyahu-mesmerized Congress.

Corker Uncorked

Speaking of Congress, a year after Rudoren's report, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, who now chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, divulged some details about the military attack that had been planned against Syria, while lamenting that it was canceled.

In doing so, Corker called Obama's abrupt change on Aug. 31, 2013, in opting for negotiations over open war on Syria, "the worst moment in U.S. foreign policy since I've been here." Following the neocon script, Corker blasted the deal (since fully implemented) with Putin and the Syrians to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

Corker complained, "In essence – I'm sorry to be slightly rhetorical – we jumped into Putin's lap." A big No-No, of course – especially in Congress – to "jump into Putin's lap" even though Obama was able to achieve the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons without the United States jumping into another Middle East war.

It would have been nice, of course, if General Clark had thought to share his inside-Pentagon information earlier with the rest of us. In no way should he be seen as a whistleblower.

At the time of his September 2007 speech, he was deep into his quixotic attempt to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. In other words, Clark broke the omerta code of silence observed by virtually all U.S. generals, even post-retirement, merely to put some distance between himself and the debacle in Iraq – and win some favor among anti-war Democrats. It didn't work, so he endorsed Hillary Clinton; that didn't work, so he endorsed Barack Obama.

Wolfowitz, typically, has landed on his feet. He is now presidential hopeful Jeb Bush's foreign policy/defense adviser, no doubt outlining his preferred approach to the Middle East chessboard to his new boss. Does anyone know the plural of "bedlam?"

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.

Reprinted with permission from Consortium News.

[May 10, 2015] I am NOT your fucking Charlie!

Did someone ever spit into you mother's face in front of you?

Posted nude pictures of your sister on the internet?

Put shit on your grandfather's medals?

Charlie Hebdo "journalists" did all that professionally for years. They even got paid for it.

Therefore today

I am – Syrian;
I am – Odessite burned alive in Trade Unions House;
I am – Palestinian boy suffocating beneath ruins of my own house in Gaza;
I am – Jewish granny killed by unguided rocket;
I am – five years old Arseny, torn to pieces by mortar shell launched by Ukrainian army in Slavyansk. Last thing I've seen before I went blind – my mother dying to let me live for six more hours;
I am – cab driver, mechanic, miner, factory worker from Donetsk protecting my family from Ukrainian neonazis invasion;
I am – tortured Guantanamo adbuctee. No lawyer, no trial – my relatives don't even know I'm still alive;
I am – Cuban rotting away in secret CIA prison in a random country. Maybe it is even yours, I do not know;
I am – teenager killed by USA cop without warning, because cop "felt threatened";
I am – one of the innocent French policemen killed on 7th of January.

But I am NOT your fucking Charlie!

Not today, not ever.

[Jan 27, 2015] What to Say When You Have Nothing to Say by DIANA JOHNSTONE

Quote: "The result is certain to be quite the opposite: a reinforcement of growing anti-Muslim sentiment. If this is a provocation, what did it mean to provoke? And what will it provoke? The obvious danger is that, like 9/11, it may strengthen police surveillance, and indeed weaken French liberties, not in the way that the killers allegedly seek (limiting freedom to criticize Islam) but in the way liberties have been restricted in post-9/11 America, by some imitation of the Patriot Act."
Jan 7, 2015 | CounterPunch
Paris.

What do you say when you have nothing to say?

That is the dilemma suddenly thrust on political leaders and editorialists in France since three masked gunmen entered the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and massacred a dozen people.

The assassins got away. But not for long. The men were well-armed killers. Charlie Hebdo regularly received death threats since publishing derisive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed several years ago. But the controversy seemed to be largely forgotten, the weekly's circulation had declined (like the press in general) and police protection had been relaxed. The two policemen still on guard were easily shot by the gunmen before they entered the offices in the midst of an editorial meeting. Rarely were so many cartoonists and writers present at once. Twelve people were slaughtered with automatic weapons, and eleven others wounded, some critically.

In addition to the cartoonist known as Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier, age 47) who was current editor in chief of the magazine, the victims included the two best-known cartoonists in France: Cabu (Jean Cabut, age 76), Georges Wolinski (80 years old). A couple of generations have grown up with Cabu and Wolinski, gentle mirrors of the sentiments of the French left.

As they left, one killer came back to finish off a policeman who lay wounded in the street. They stopped to shout: "The Prophet is avenged!" Then they fled toward the northeastern suburbs.

Crowds gathered spontaneously in the Place de la République in Paris, not far from the tiny street where the Charlie Hebdo had its offices. Brave, false slogans spread: "We are Charlie!" But they are not. "Charlie lives!" No, it doesn't. It has been just about wiped out.

Everyone is shocked. That goes without saying. This was cold-blooded murder, an unpardonable crime. That also goes without saying, but everyone will be saying it. And there is a lot more that everyone will be saying, such as "we will not allow Islamic extremists to intimidate us and take away our freedom of speech", and so on. President François Hollande naturally stressed that France is united against the assassins. Initial reactions to an atrocity of this sort are predictable. "We will not be intimidated! We will not give up our freedoms!"

Yes and no. Surely even the most crazed religious fanatic could not imagine that this massacre of humorists would convert France to Islam. The result is certain to be quite the opposite: a reinforcement of growing anti-Muslim sentiment. If this is a provocation, what did it mean to provoke? And what will it provoke? The obvious danger is that, like 9/11, it may strengthen police surveillance, and indeed weaken French liberties, not in the way that the killers allegedly seek (limiting freedom to criticize Islam) but in the way liberties have been restricted in post-9/11 America, by some imitation of the Patriot Act.

Personally, I never liked the provocative covers of Charlie Hebdo, where the cartoons insulting the Prophet – or for that matter Jesus – tended to be displayed. A matter of taste. I don't consider scatological, obscene drawings to be effective arguments, whether against religion or authority in general. Not my cup of tea.

The individuals who were murdered were more than Charlie Hebdo. The drawings of Cabu and Wolinski appeared in many publications, and were known to a public that never bought Charlie Hebdo. The artists and writers at that editorial meeting all had their talents and qualities which had nothing to do with the "blasphemic" cartoons. Freedom of the press is also freedom to be vulgar and stupid from time to time.

Charlie Hebdo was not in reality a model of freedom of speech. It has ended up, like so much of the "human rights left", defending U.S.-led wars against "dictators".

In 2002, Philippe Val, who was editor in chief at the time, denounced Noam Chomsky for anti-Americanism and excessive criticism of Israel and of mainstream media. In 2008, another of Charlie Hebdo's famous cartoonists, Siné, wrote a short note citing a news item that President Sarkozy's son Jean was going to convert to Judaism to marry the heiress of a prosperous appliance chain. Siné added the comment, "He'll go far, this lad." For that, Siné was fired by Philippe Val on grounds of "anti-Semitism". Siné promptly founded a rival paper which stole a number of Charlie Hebdo readers, revolted by CH's double standards.

In short, Charlie Hebdo was an extreme example of what is wrong with the "politically correct" line of the current French left. The irony is that the murderous attack by the apparently Islamist killers has suddenly sanctified this fading expression of extended adolescent revolt, which was losing its popular appeal, into the eternal banner of a Free Press and Liberty of Expression. Whatever the murderers intended, this is what they have achieved. Along with taking innocent lives, they have surely deepened the sense of brutal chaos in this world, aggravated distrust between ethnic groups in France and in Europe, and no doubt accomplished other evil results as well. In this age of suspicion, conspiracy theories are certain to proliferate.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book, Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton, will be published by CounterPunch in 2015. She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr

[Jan 27, 2015] Medienbericht Rothschild-Familie übernahm Charlie Hebdo im Dezember

Looks similar to Larry Silverstein's purchase of the Twin Towers. See also Larry Silverstein - Wikipedia
NEOPresse

Laut Berichten des niederländischen Wirtschaftsmagazins "Quote" hat die Bankiersfamilie Rothschild das französische Satiremagazin Charlie Hebdo übernommen. Die Redaktion des Religionskritischen Magazins war am 7.01.2015 von mehreren Islamistischen Attentätern angegriffen worden. Dabei starben 13 Menschen, darunter der Chefredakteur des Magazins. Laut "Quote" hätte es innerhalb der von Verschwörungstheorien umwobenen Familie Diskussionen über die Übernahme der Verlegschaft gegeben, letztendlich hätte man sich aber für eine Übernahme entschieden.

"Von meinem Onkel Baron Edouard de Rothschild gab es einige erhebliche Einwände gegen die Übernahme. Einige Verwandte wollten den Kauf blockieren, weil das uns in den Medien zu einer politischen Kraft machen würde. Wir wollen das auf jeden Fall vermeiden. Wir haben nichts mit Politik zu tun. Letztlich wurden die Kritiker in der Familie überstimmt. "

Im Interview ging es um den Kauf der französischen Tageszeitung "Liberation", die nun auch die Satirezeitschrift Charlie Hebdo mitverlegt. Dabei sei eine Millionensumme aufgewendet worden. Das Magazin startete am Mittwoch mit einer Millionenauflage und erreichte weltweite Bekanntheit. Philippe de Rothschild hat laut "Quote" seit Dezember eine Mehrheitsbeteiligung an der Zeitung, in der nun auch die Charlie Hebdo Redaktion untergebracht ist. Das Interview wurde am 18.12.2014 veröffentlicht.

Rothschild ist der Name einer jüdischen Familie, deren Stammreihe sich in Deutschland ab 1500 urkundlich belegen lässt. Ihre Mitglieder sind seit dem 18. Jahrhundert vor allem als Bankiers bekannt geworden. Sie zählten im 19. Jahrhundert zu den einflussreichsten und wichtigsten Finanziers europäischer Staaten. Das Stammhaus des Bankgeschäfts war M. A. Rothschild & Söhne in Frankfurt; die Familie ist weiterhin über verschiedene Nachfolgeinstitute im Bankgeschäft tätig, hauptsächlich im Investmentbanking und der Vermögensverwaltung. Heute spielt die Bankiersfamilie eine weitaus geringere Rollte. Die Banken und Institute, die noch in Familienbesitz sind, sind kaum mehr zusammenhängend und bilden nur wenig Marktanteil aus. Trotzdem gehört die Familie zu einer der reichsten der Welt.

[Jan 24, 2015] OPINION - the Monster came for his Creator by Darya Mitina

vz.ru

France reports about the prevention of another terrorist attack, and it is possible that he also has Islamic footprint. Those developments French authorities are trying to explain within the topic of freedom of speech and insult religious feelings, but we must not forget that France has made a tremendous contribution to the strengthening of radical Islamists. Primarily by its participation in the Syrian war.

An interesting coincidence: the day before the tragedy with the execution of cartoonists French President Francois Hollande, speaking on radio France Inter, expressed regret that the French did not invaded Syria in 2013, when " the chemical weapons there were used," In the same program, answering the question whether France will cooperate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against ISIL, Hollande said that it is better to avoid such relationships.

"The presidents Sarkozy and Hollande literally forced the French diplomatic corps and intelligence to falsify data, which served as a justification for the overthrow of Assad"

However, not all will find such a coincidence revealing. Because of the abundance of people willing to take responsibility for the terrorist act, the world community still has doubts about the chief culprit. The ownership of extremists now is loudly disputed al-Qaeda and separated from it the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). We still do not know about the results of the investigation yet, and any of them can be the perpetrator, but we should think about how the powerful organization which was able to capture half of Iraq and a third of Syria emerged and why there is a French footprint in this whole story.

The reason of the active participation of France in the current events related to repartitioning of the Middle East is clear - with the collapse of the world colonial system collapsed so-called "Sykes - Picot" framework, which in the beginning of XX century defined spheres of influence of Western powers in the region. In recent years, Paris put tremendous efforts in restoring its presence on the African continent: it was due the initiative of France that Libya was practically wiped off the face of the earth. As a result of direct French military intervention occurred coups and began a bloody war in Côte D'ivoire and Mali. No less aggressive French government behaves in the Syria and Lebanon, which its traditionally considered its own colonies. Volume were written about the role the United States and other Western powers in creation and nurturing long-term growth of terrorist organizations like al-Qaida, but it is difficult not to note the special role of France in those events, especially its role in the incitement of the current civil conflict in Syria. The tragedy that spawned ISIL in the form in which we now know it.

With the coming to power of the younger Assad France tried to restore its influence in the country, proposing to the Syrian government reform package. A key innovation was the re-equipment of the Syrian army, reducing its number, rejection of military-technical cooperation with Russia and China and the shift towards France of all programs of the acquisition of military equipment. The French plan had been developed with the involvement of closely associated with the Saudi elite and personally Jacques Chirac Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, It was rejected by Assad, A move that predetermined the further anti-Syrian strategy of the French authorities. Another worry for French was the desire of Damascus toward the establishment of closer economic relations with Turkey, In general, the death sentence to the government of Bashar al-Assad was signed much earlier than the beginning of the so-called "Arab spring".

Analyst STRATFOR Scott Stewart called France "the most consistent supporter of tough measures against Syria from all European countries".

Over the centuries the methods, in fact, has not changed - still the same game on the contradictions of ethnic and religious minorities. Hoping to regain lost positions in independent and secular Syrian Republic Paris creates simulacra - prototypes neo-colonial administration, privacy for this runaway Syrian officials and saturating money and weapons dummy patterns émigré opposition. It is no coincidence that in Paris found refuge the richest man in Syria, the oligarch and former Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam, cherishing the dream of return to spit on the grave of Bashar al-Assad" (back in 2006, he announced the creation of "the Syrian government in exile").

It was in Paris with the help of French secret service defected the son of a former defense Minister, commander of the elite 10th brigade of the Republican guard General Manaf Tlass, publicly, through the media, thanking the government of France for the organization of his escape. Paris is now the center of attraction Syrian losers - including the new political alignment of clowns calling themselves the National coalition of Syrian revolutionary and opposition forces (NCSROF). It is not surprising that France became the first state to officially recognize this "government in exile" and organized a public fundraising for the organization in the "liberated from Assad" (read: occupied by insurgents) areas. And again, it was France at the beginning of the Syrian revolt initiated the creation of the so-called "group of friends of Syria", and de facto anti-Syrian coalition consisting of 11 countries (UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Italy, Germany, France, Egypt, USA and UK), which today plays first fiddle in the conflict. For any couple of years by the efforts of this coalition was established mobilization structure which was capable to destabilize the situation in Syria and ultimately maintain a full-fledged civil war.

France is also the initiator and the lobbyist of all anti-Syrian resolutions in the UN security Council. Several attempts to legitimize intervention in Syria through the security Council faced a Russian veto, which, however, did not prevent the Western powers (especially the US and the same France) to provide both overt and covert support to Syrian anti-government groups. After France took on the post of the Chairman, the Paris several times brokered the sending of the UN observer mission in Syria. In addition, in June 2012, Hollande said about the need for tougher sanctions against the Syrian authorities including the use of military force, and the head of the French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius called on to create over the Republic no-fly zone based on Libyan model, calling the Syrian government "clique killers" and accusing Russia (followed by U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton) in supplying Damascus weapons.

The basis for military intervention by the French President tried to make a massacre in al-Houla, blaming the Syrian army, but then that failed it has found a new, long-running fake pretext for intervention based on supposed use by Damascus of chemical weapons. Swinging this agenda and using support of London, Paris began to push the subject of the abolition of the European embargo on arms supplies to Syrian rebels. Under France pressure at the end of February 2013, the EU Council soften the embargo, allowing to put in SAR "non-lethal goods", including armored vehicles, body armor, communications equipment and night vision devices. A little later, without waiting for a harmonized EU decision to lift the restrictions, Paris announced the readiness of their own, regardless of the position of other EU member States to arm Syrian insurgents by restoring the balance of forces in the conflict between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the opposition. "It is our duty to help the coalition and the Free Syrian army in all possible ways," said Hollande.

Messages Syrian rebels on regular destruction of government aircraft testify about the possession of modern air defenses (formally, they are not offensive but defensive weapons and are not covered by sanctions ), and military experts clarify: we are talking about the French Mistral MANPADS. Delivery militants communications, protected from interception, the French authorities have acknowledged before, from the very beginning of the crisis. Here it is worth remembering that in the case of Libya Paris have violated the UN security Council resolution banning supply of weapons. And in the recently published book, the ideologist of the French neo-colonialism Bernard Henri levy directly says that the first list of required weapons, the defector - General Abdul Fatah Younis handed personally to President Sarkozy on the first day of their meeting at the Elysee Palace.

In may 2014 Laurent Fabius said in Washington on 14 cases of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria since October 2013 (including chemical attack in Eastern Guta and the village of Kafr Zeta in the province of Hama), attributing them all, without exception, the Syrian army. But at the same time expressed regret that the United States is not launched in August 2013 rocket attacks on government facilities, because it would change many things." In parallel, France tried to push through the UN security Council a draft resolution transmitting the case about the situation with the civil war in Syria to the international criminal court "to deal with war crimes and crimes against humanity". And as you can guess the accused party is only the government.

After a chemical attack near Damascus, which looked like a rough, but very timely provocation, France was the only European state, which unconditionally supported of the USA and have expressed a willingness to undertake military intervention without a UN mandate, even after a supposed ally, the UK said "no" to this initiative in the Parliament.

In an exclusive interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, August 20, 2014 French President for the first time recognized directly in supplying terrorists with weapons:

"Who told you that we are not supplying weapons to the rebels, that is, the democratic opposition? The international community bears a great responsibility for what is happening in Syria. If two years ago steps were taken to organize the transfer of power, we wouldn't have gotten ISIL. If a year ago the world powers react to the use of Bashar al-Assad, chemical weapons, we would not need to make a terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist. The rebels deserve our active support."

According to available all of the same Le Monde, the supply of arms was carried out secretly and included machine guns of 12.7 mm caliber, grenade launchers, armor, night vision goggles and communications. Formally, the assistance was directed rebel detachments which were members of the "free Syrian army", however, soon after the start of delivery, according to the French side, the fighters of the Islamic front looted armories of FSA on the Syrian-Turkish border. However, this has not affected the readiness of Paris to arm Syrian anti-government forces and forth. "We must not weaken the support that we had these rebels is the only one who shares democratic sentiments," said the President in August 2014.

In published recently, but has already become a sensation book journalists Georges Malbrunot and Christian Secno "Road to Damascus: the black dossier Franco-Syrian relations" describes how the presidents Sarkozy and Hollande literally forced the French diplomatic corps and intelligence to falsify data, which served as a justification for the overthrow of Assad. In particular, information about the use of government forces of Syria's chemical weapons was falsified. On the direct orders of Hollande's special adviser of the Ministry of defense Jean-Yves Le Drian was "editing" database of the main intelligence Directorate and the General staff of France about the chemical attack in the area of Guta. This sarin attack gave rise to large-scale propaganda campaign in the press that accompanied the efforts of the French authorities to lobby through the UN authorization for use of military force.

One of the heroes of the book, former French Ambassador to Syria Eric Chevallier warned the Elysee Palace about what is the consequence of the underestimation of the strength of positions of the Syrian government in their own country: "the Assad Regime will not fall, its position is strong, people will not turn away from him." But then foreign Minister Alain Juppe directly said to the French Ambassador in Damascus: "We don't care about your information it uninteresting. Bashar Assad must go, and he will go".

It is extremely significant that the efforts made by France to overthrow the legitimate government in Syria are far greater than the measures taken by the West against the spread on the Middle East militants of the Islamic state, whose crimes against humanity, unlike the mythical crimes of the Syrian President, today the world is watching live. Apparently, because the enemy of my enemy may not be exactly friend, but certainly is a valuable ally.

While we share the grief with French society, I am reminded about the words of the Minister of internal Affairs of France Manuel Valls that hundreds of Islamists with French passports today fighting in Mali, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. It is naive to assume that, in gross violation of international law in favor of the right forces, initiating several coups at the same time, cherishing and nurturing terrorist ulcers around the world, it is possible to insure its own citizens from tragic incidents like the recent terrorist attack in the staff of the satirical magazine.

The trouble is not only that captured now by ISIL Syrian (and Iraq) territories have a highest concentration of animal cruelty on Earth (which includes is the reported execution of 13 teenagers for watching football game). The trouble is that this hotbed of Islamic extremism is spreading and has already reached other continents. ISIL very professional campaigning on the Internet and attracts new movement supporters as well as promote radicalization peaceful followers of Islam.

ISIL now is a training camp for European Muslims, from which they are returning to the EU as "dogs of war". ISIL is a continuous source of violence. ISIL is now a real force, the brand name. and it's by-and-large due to French efforts.

The movement would not be what it now is without weapons and logistical support from its allies, including France, and the Libyan opposition. They allow it which became a real force, which the West (and especially France) carefully nurtured.

In other words ISIL is the Golem that has returned to hunt its Creator, who naively decided, that it can be controlled.

[Jan 23, 2015] The Uses of Charlie Hebdo by Justin Raimondo

"It was, in short, another set up – a case of pure entrapment, as are the overwhelming majority of "anti-terrorist" busts claimed by the FBI and allied agencies. The public, we are assured, was never in any real danger – this is what the authorities tell us, and in that they are perfectly correct. What they don't say is that such people are mostly a danger to themselves, and that law enforcement is engaging in "security theater." ... You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the confluence of factors at work here, and in France – where the "Je suis Charlie" "free speech" march has given way to over fifty arrests for "subversive" speech, while the French government prints 1.5 million copies of Charlie Hebdo at taxpayers' expense. In the meantime, Socialist President Francois Hollande addressed his troops aboard the carrier Charles de Gaulle, declaring "the situation justifies the presence of our aircraft carrier" in the Middle East... This isn't about free speech, at least not anymore: it's about how to respond to an enemy that we created."
January 16, 2015 | Antiwar.com

This isn't about free speech – it's about war

Justin Raimondo, Six months ago, 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell, an American convert to Islam living with his parents in Green Township, Ohio, attracted the attention of the FBI. We don't know the reason for their initial interest, although it's likely Cornell's vocal adherence to Muslim religious beliefs had much to do with it. In any case, he was put under surveillance and, at some point, an FBI informant seeking leniency for crimes he had committed got in touch with Cornell at the Bureau's request. This was the genesis of the "terrorist plot" to bomb the Capitol in Washington the feds are trumpeting as a triumph that demonstrates both their competence and the alleged danger the "Islamic State" poses to Americans on American soil.

It was, in short, another set up – a case of pure entrapment, as are the overwhelming majority of "anti-terrorist" busts claimed by the FBI and allied agencies. The public, we are assured, was never in any real danger – this is what the authorities tell us, and in that they are perfectly correct. What they don't say is that such people are mostly a danger to themselves, and that law enforcement is engaging in "security theater."

Cornell's case is typical: his father describes him as an unemployed "Momma's boy" who rarely left the house. The high school he once attended described him as quiet but not a solitary figure, someone who participated in the life of the school although his father says he took lots of flack for his outspoken Muslim beliefs. School authorities say they are "shocked" and had no indication their former student had any violent tendencies whatsoever.

The informant contacted Cornell over Twitter, apparently, where he was tweeting under the sobriquet "Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah," and after the preliminary informant-victim courtship the two met. Cornell claimed to have been in contact with "brothers overseas," but seems not to have gotten the green light to start launching attacks. And it also seems that the resource-less, jobless Cornell hadn't the means to purchase the guns he and the informant were planning to use in their attack on the US Capitol: Cornell had saved money for his moment in the spotlight, but not enough, according to his father – who implies the informant supplied the requisite cash.

For the past six months the informant and his handlers had been leading Cornell into a carefully prepared trap – which they coincidentally chose to spring days after the Paris attacks. And if you think that's a coincidence I have a bridge you might like to purchase – cheap.

Another "coincidence": the latest Pew poll – the favorite of the Washington elites – lists "terrorism" as Americans' top concern "for the first time in five years," just as the new Congress goes into session – and the presidential election pre-season begins.

You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the confluence of factors at work here, and in France – where the "Je suis Charlie" "free speech" march has given way to over fifty arrests for "subversive" speech, while the French government prints 1.5 million copies of Charlie Hebdo at taxpayers' expense. In the meantime, Socialist President Francois Hollande addressed his troops aboard the carrier Charles de Gaulle, declaring "the situation justifies the presence of our aircraft carrier" in the Middle East.

Yes, Charlie Hebdo certainly has its uses, these days – as opposed to the bad old days when the French Foreign Minister rebuked the editors for "pour[ing] oil on the fire." We can argue all we want about the racism, real and merely alleged, of the magazine, and wonder if perhaps a bit more civility – not exactly a French national trait – might have averted 12 deaths and probably many more to come. Yet here we are in the midst of another bout of white-hot war hysteria, a heat our rulers and their allies abroad are stoking to the boiling point.

The French have been among the most insistent in urging the Western allies on to ever riskier adventures in the strife-torn Middle East. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who seeks to topple the enormously unpopular Socialist government in the next elections, pushed hard for the Libyan regime-change operation, which ensconced al-Qaeda/ISIS types in the saddle and literally destroyed that country. The jihadists who murdered our Ambassador now romp in the pool of the former US embassy, and the terrorist threat emanating from there has never been greater.

Yet that is just the beginning as far as our would-be Napoleons are concerned: Syria, a former French colony/protectorate, is firmly in their sights, as well as Hillary Clinton's, and it's highly likely that the arms the Syrian rebels have been demanding will now be more readily forthcoming – and, who knows, maybe US troops on the ground, as John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been agitating for all along.

This isn't about free speech, at least not anymore: it's about how to respond to an enemy that we created. No, we can't go back in time and un-create ISIS, we can't repeal the Iraq war or erase its tragic memory – and we can't get rid of our own warmongers by simply deporting them to a desert isle where they could only bring harm to themselves. Although it's not a bad idea, come to think of it.

We are going to have to live with the consequences of our government's actions for many years to come, as the tides of religious and ethnic hatred batter the walls of our republic and transform it into something the Founders would neither recognize nor dream of. The great American ship of state cannot be turned around in a day, or even within the four-year term given to a President. The demons unleashed in the days and years after 9/11 – who were conjured well before then – will not be easily banished.

Yet it can be done. Those are war clouds on the horizon, but I also see rays of hope. Many are beginning to question our long march to permanent war, and many more will enter the ranks of the Peace Party in the years to come, if only we can learn to fight effectively. Yes, the polls tell us terrorism is on the minds of the American people, but they don't say how we ought to meet this threat – and the idea that we should keep repeating the same failed policies fits the clinical definition of insanity to a tee.

As the great libertarian writer and editor Garet Garrett put it some sixty years ago:

"No doubt the people know they can have their Republic back if they want it enough to fight for it and pay the price. The only point is that no leader has yet appeared with the courage to make them choose."

The American conundrum, and that of the movement for peace and the restoration of the Constitution, is a crisis of leadership. The country yearns for it, cries out for it – and may yet be rewarded for its patience.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I've written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

[Jan 20, 2015] Charlie Hebdo and Fredou Who's awake, who's still in bed

So much so interesting. Almost as interesting is the lack of interest in the Western media at this added tragedy in the Charlie Hebdo "affair", a lack of interest one reporter summed up as a "mainstream news blackout" - and so the ready focus of another conspiracy theory.
Asia Times

On Thursday, January 8, France 3, the second-largest French public TV channel, reported the death that morning of a police commissioner who had been investigating the January 7 attack on the French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The commissioner, Helric Fredou, 45, was found dead in his office in Limoges, the administrative capital of the Limousin region in west-central France, at about 1 a.m., having apparently taken his own life with his service gun. He reportedly met earlier with the family of a victim of the Charlie Hebdo attack and died before completing a report that he had been compiling.

So much so interesting. Almost as interesting is the lack of interest in the Western media at this added tragedy in the Charlie Hebdo "affair", a lack of interest one reporter summed up as a "mainstream news blackout" - and so the ready focus of another conspiracy theory.

The counterpoint in those early reports that did surface was that he had suffered from depression and experienced burn-out. His death so soon after taking on a role in investigating the French equivalent of "9/11" was, apparently just coincidence, or the consequence of an added heavy burden that was just too much to take. Even so, the delay in, or near absence of, English-language media coverage is curious at best.

So a news blackout? Or just lazy journalism? And where best, then, to get breaking news - the West's leading news outlets (CNN, Fox, New York Times, the Guardian etc etc etc), or obscure outlets elsewhere that at least are awake, and not still in bed -- literally or metaphorically? Here's a timeline to help you decide.

By then, questions were being asked about this absence of big-media reporting on what might be an important story of great public interest - or might not be, but with next-to-no mainstream reporting, who could tell? Global Research was asking on January 11.

If some people want to argue that these are small sites given to sometimes questionable stories, in this case there was little reason to question their source - France 3 - or the key facts.

Yet it was not until January 12, that the British press started to wake up, the Mirror reporting just after midday, followed 3 hours later by the Daily Mail.

Dragging its feet, also on Monday (7:37 p.m.), the UK's Daily Telegraph gave its account of an event now more than 4 days old that took place only a few hours train ride away from the Telegraph's London office, and considerably less than that from the newspaper's Paris office.

(Journalists will love the ambiguous urgency in the Telegraph's opening use of "it has emerged" - "A high-ranking judicial police chief in Limoges committed suicide last Wednesday hours after being asked to file a report on the Charlie Hebdo killings, it has emerged." In other words, we were asleep (or worse) - but hey, we're getting there.)

It was not until Tuesday, January 13, that the US press woke up, in the shape of the Washington Times - and by now it had absolutely no doubt about what line to take in its headline - "Helric Fredou, French police chief, kills himself amid pressure of Paris terror".

Writing this on January 15, there are now numerous stories in the non-English language press, but search on Google and it appears there is absolutely no coverage of this, if not strange then certainly worth a second look, death: not on CNN, not on the New York Times, not in the Washington Post, not in the Guardian, etc etc etc. (An article published by the Ron Paul Institute on January 14 that includes a reference to the police commissioner's death has attracted some criticism for raising similar and more wide-reaching questions.)

We do not need a conspiracy theory (a confirmed autopsy report would be a start though). But we could do with some reporting. After all, a large part of the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre concerned press freedom - and press freedom requires reporting in the first place.

The absence of reporting on the death of a senior police officer, Helric Fredou, involved in some way in the investigation of the Charlie Hebdo massacre that took place barely 24 hours earlier, can too easily mean the absence of freedom - or in this case, raise the question of who is awake to important events, and who is in bed, and if in bed, then with whom.

(Copyright 2015 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

[Jan 19, 2015] The main purpose of pro-Charlie rallies might be to neutralize the laws and create condition for attacking yet another Islamic country

"Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen"
Summarizing, the financial oligarchy of this world using slaves in MSM (they are no longer bought or corrupted -- there is not need to corrupt slaves), brainwash people, conditioning them as a sort of "Witnesses democracy" which are not that far from Jehovah's Witnesses. Then they push them out at rallies and demonstrations. This is done with one global purpose -- to break the law. You can't just attack another state without MSM air support, or organized an anti-constitutional coup in another county. This is banned by law. But power that be don't give a damn for the laws of the land.

MSM without any trial, on the basis of just rumors and gossip, based on the opinions of witnesses, etc., designate the perpetrators. "Witnesses of democracy" who greatly resemble Jehovah's of Witnesses attend demonstrations. Mass hysteria creates conditions under which the laws can be simply ignored and replaced by "will of the people", or in plain speak "rule of the mob".

In a multipolar world such a political vendetta from one pole of power was resisted by the reaction of other poles, which could, and often announced in response the war. But who today would dare to counter the USA?

Europe, I am sure, now regrets that the USSR was destroyed. When was the USSR, it rolled around like cheese in butter, because it was vital for the USA as a geopolitical ally. Now EU became a powerless geopolitical vassal, who is not asked, but ordered what to do.

[Jan 19, 2015] Some observations about so called "the war with terror" by Tatyana Volkov

An interesting hypothesis about "war on terror" as "perpetual war for perpetual peace" which masks the desire of the US elite to preserve world hegemony. The author considers Islamic fundamenlism is pretty sharp geopolitical tool, which was further sharpened for specific goals -- maintaining the US hegemony as modern variant of classic "divide and conquer" strategy...
January 19, 2015 | matveychev-oleg.livejournal.com

One can be really bored in this world, gentlemen! When you switch on Internet news site, TV or radio, I bet you see a heated debate as for on which persons you can or cannot draw cartoons. I am now afraid to turn on the iron, as it might start teaching me that same topic. We are lucky that cunning rich uncles did not hire stupid little gang from French ghetto to shoot people in swimming pool protecting again women nudity.

If we are to adhere strict canons of political correctness I should stop such an unfair toward French democracy speech and to express condolences to the victims. I would like temporarily refrain from this politically correct act. Anyway, our ideological prison guardians themselves did not expressed condolences, for example, for a far greater number of victims of the last attach of "Boko Haram" sect, which coincided with the Charlie Hebdo events in France. There were no national marches and head of EU states never fly to the capital.

Charlie Hebdo story raises many questions. We can begin from with the question about the police Commissioner Helric Fredou, who was investigating the terrorist attack in the edition of Charlie Hebdo. Did he really was shot himself dead from his own pistol?. Ruled to be suicide... As Russian joke about similar cases -- the victim in bout of depression shoot himself twice in the head. But I will refrain from trying to investigate this strange coincidence further. Instead let's try to understand who is pulling the strings of so called Islamic terror, who is responsible for it, and how to deal with this phenomenon.

As I already told you as so scares about another lecture about who should and who should not be depicted on cartoons, that I am afraid to switch on an iron. And probably not without a reason. Terror cannot be regarded as an independent phenomenon, it is just a military strategy. Asymmetrical warfare. One of the methods of destabilization of the enemy. Look who's in who the modern world, in who the main players sees as the main enemy.

It is no secret that the United States are trying to fight off any threat to their world hegemony. Russia is gradually restoring its geopolitical power, China is steadily increasing its. In this sense the main propagandist argument about astronomical military budget in contemporary USA as a sign of military hegemony is probably as much a sign of weakness. Namely, it is an indicator of the level of corruption within the US government. For example, the system of standards of the U.S. Department of defense has long been adopted by Military industrial complex as an excuse for sucking money out of the US budget. The same towel, the same hook or button for pants can have markup from 30% to 3000% and there were cases when a 30 cents item was delivered to the army for $3, $30, or even $300 with the help of magic spells "MIL-STD" or "MIL-SPEC".

Also the crisis of the USA political system (aka neoliberalism) can already be seen with the naked eye. One of the latest examples. After the financial crisis of 2008 in an attempt to prevent new - by reducing the risk of the weakest places in the US financial system Wall Street was put again into some brackets of regulation. Since then, Republicans and Democrats are allied with Will street banksters and are fighting for the elimination of the most important protections introduced, such as Volker Rule, and the return of the country in the days of the Wild West. And on this subject 35 representatives from his own party voted against President Obama.

I admit that one or two could have been convinced to vote this way by promise of some tangible incentives. The rest of those "democrats", as well as significant portion of Republicans, were simply put in Congress by financial oligarchy. A similar picture can be seen and in the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court.

From an economic point of view the USA, even if assume that it remain still an economic leader, it is also the leader in the art of the manipulation of statistics. And by how much they're really ahead of a EU and China is an interesting question. While in Russia politicians argue about which alliance would be most beneficial for Russia -- with EU or with Asian countries such as China, out US partners do no see much difference between both. For them both EU and China are mortal economic enemies that should be subdued. And that's why they nightmares about United Eurasia.

The outsider may be a naive question. Why not accept the third place and relax. What prevents this is famous American exeptionalism. We are No.1 mentality. National idea. The United States should be a leader - or not to be at all. Ceteris paribus, the abandonment of our leadership impossible. Belly button comes undone. And here comes the saving formula "Competitors should be eliminated."

It is possible of cause to eliminate them physically in veritable Chicago mafia bosses tradition, but the problem is nobody will survive in this case. Let's just say that this super bright idea is not work. So the only method that remains is destabilization. Create a big problem for them so that it became a focus of their decision making. But creating problems on a completely empty place is too expensive and time-consuming task. Religious fundamentalism in this sense is a very handy tool. In the history of mankind there were multiple instances of deadly wars for minor religious differences, especially in Europe. There were probably no more senseless and more devastating wars in history that those which were fight about the fundamental question similar to how many angels can fit on the end of the needle.

This method was traditionally one of the most prominent tools in the Arsenal of American foreign politics. Even in the quietest China, the State Department always finds someone to support. Such as Muslim Uighurs, a certain sect of "democracy witnesses", Christian converts, or even the Dalai Lama. True, China, taking into account local specifics to destabilize difficult. But after some initial success of destabilization usually come a lot of identically dressed Chinese with bamboo sticks, and beat heels of those who dressed differently with these sticks. Anyway, that's how I had imagined this in my childhood. However, Americans can occasionally cause considerable anxiety, even the Beijing rulers.

The United States became an important world power after the Second World War. In particular, because they managed to oust Britain from oil-rich regions inhabited by Muslims. Until this time it was the UK which polished and played this trick of divide and conquer using religious differences to perfection. Initially this policy was carried out openly. In Palestine, for example, the organizer of the Jewish pogroms, later ally of Adolf Hitler, the mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al-Husaini at the end of the war continued the same activities, openly working for the USA.

Each ideology and religion has its fundamentalists. Modern stronghold of Protestant and sectarian fundamentalism is the United States. In Islam such people are an insignificant minority, but in the rich "black gold" regions of American fores not have other means to assert its influence, and they began the painstaking cultivation and financing of extremist preachers.

When carefully planted the shoots take root, the Americans carefully weeded weeds. Alternative trends, eespaially panarabism, is inexorably eliminated with the help of special operations and direct military intervention for the sake of creating a power vacuum, so that the place could take the Muslim brotherhood and other Islamic fundamentalists. The American war against pan-Arabism and other regional varieties of socialism partially coincided and intertwined with the cold war against Soviet influence, but continued after the collapse of the USSR.

Suffice it to recall the actions of the USA in relation to absolutely nothing preventing America, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak. They were removed or illed, as it was done with Gamal Abdel Nasser and others, with the only purpose to make space for the Islamists. Assad has survived and continues to fight for the survival of his secular society. Egypt was saved by the army, but efforts continue. After the end of the forties of last century this policy consistently pursued without exception, by all American administrations. The only U.S. allies in the region - fundamentalist regimes of the Arabian Peninsula, which more or less openly sponsoring terrorism, were spared from regime change efforts.

At the present time, in connection with the gradual withdrawal of Western Europe from the fairway American leadership, the acute desire to destabilize the continent is fermenting in the minds of Washington leaders. Ghost of Eurasian unity is a powerful stimulus and the are depermine to transfere the "Holy war" on the European continent. This will allow US to strengthen and accelerate the processes that are known as the the "war on terror" or "permanent war for permanent peace" with GB as "airstrip 5".

The parallel to those efforts a lot of hard work is done on the fueling hatred of Muslims in the rest of the world. People like Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky and some Islamic theologians and possibly do not realize in which game they are pawns, but only Allah knows for sure. Those stooges on lower levels of hierarchy just feel the profitable trend, or stream their nonsense for profit and out of a sense of solidarity with like-minded neoliberals. Greater efforts are also directrf toward tormenting sectarian strife within the Muslim world.

The net result of all this activity, at least according to American strategists, are inevitable terrorist acts, which will help to destabilize countries in Europe and Asia, which will give US the reasons and occasions to expand its political and military influence.

In the lower cells, at the level of the performers, and even at the average level of the terrorist hierarchy, of course, have no idea about the essence of what is happening. It's enough for Americans enough to stir the shit, only from time to time, tossing it into the fan. Modern technology allow triggering the actions of a particular cell on a particular occasion without any trace to puppetries, and local investigators there is no way to trace the chain to whose who instigated it. I might have an occasion to desribe how this is done later.

But this point the steps are very rarely needed. to sunk the boat it is enough to rock is so violently that it get water and it does not mater on which side those who rock it sit. It is perseverance that matter. For more than half a century Americans continually cultivate Islamic fundamentalism to lead the fight against inevitable challengers of their hegemony. With the USSR they achieved spectacular success bogging them in Afghanistan.

According to media reports in the Paris incident al-Qaeda already claimed responsibility. Let's remember that officially (though not very publicly, although it is an open secret) organization was created by the USA to fight against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. When these structures grow up they let them float freely. Please note that the head of now trendy organization "Islamic state" was also a person trained and directed by Americans.

It does not matter, do these people subjectively to work for US, or now they are driven by genuine hatred of this country. the only thing that is important that they do their work: destabilizing other countries and continually provide Americans pretexts for interfering in the affairs of others.

Similarly the specific technology used in each specific attack does not matter much as well. Consumables pawns from the French ghetto can be hired through intermediaries, and if DCRI are not able to accompished wqhat is whated they can be just given them as sacrificil lamps, with stren waringing about their departure from joint participation in the "war on terror" under the strict guidance of uncle Sam. Another variant is just allow them to "rock the boat". When they shed enough blood, the frogs themselves come crawling for help.

Yes, I promised to explain how to fight the islamic terrost. The first thing is to understand where the roots of Islamic fundamentalism, and accordingly, the Islamist terror, reside. And the main thing - not to yield to the provocations.

Liberal commentators claim that we are talking about the war of civilizations. My disagreements with them purely stylistic, rather, terminology. Human civilization, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists and all others, would deserve to be called civilization only if they cease to be easy targets of such "divide and conque? provocations. But is it an overkillnot to call civilization the US ruling elite ?

source

Charlie Hebdo - The Hidden Agenda Exposed StormCloudsGathering

Reza Khadem · Houston, Texas

Je Suis ... -- These are monsters created by the Western powers with the help of Saudis, Pakistanis, Egyptian military, and Israeli Mossad. They have served the interests of Western Powers in many different ways, and continue to do so.
1. They have helped the collapse of the Soviets.

2. They took over the leadership of the Iranian revolution to create a fascist Islamic regime instead of a secular (or even socialist) one, which could have been a disaster for the interests of the western economy in the region; they had overthrown one in the 1950's!

3. They weakened the Palestinian unity by the fact that Israelis strengthened fundamentalist Hamas.

4. They are fighting the secular government of Assad (a proxy war with Russia), which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands.

5. They provide a "safe" leadership for any resistance from the poor in the Muslim countries. What I mean by safe is that these fundamentalist leaders even if they are put in power will not lead the poor to any fundamental changes in the economic system, and as shown in Egypt, they will make things worst; just give them 40 wives and Sharia law they would be happy.

6. Western powers have no problem with medieval dark places like Saudi Arabia, and they don't have any problem with these monsters killing the "right" people, for example dozens getting killed by these monsters in the middle east DAILY! They just don't want them to turn against the master!

7. They function as a means to control millions of immigrants, mainly from Muslim countries, who have come to Europe, and live mainly in poor neighborhoods and work low paying jobs.

8. They are also used to make western societies more tolerant of living under the "watchful" eyes of the state; this helps to calm things down as the standard of living is under attack for the capitalist system is forced to be more efficient in the face of fierce competition and crisis.

In the case of Boston bombing, Russians had warned the Americans, but of course those monsters were supposed to kill Russians not Americans!

Or, recently in the case of the shooting in Australia, Iranians had warned the Australians about the crazy guy, but wait Iranians are among the "right" people!

In conclusion, the barbaric fundamentalist Islamists are the creation of Western powers, and play a fundamental role in keeping the chaotic capitalist ball rolling. Nowadays, all governments in the world call any resistance against them Islamist terrorism, whether it has any basis in reality does not matter. The point is that the only hope kept alive and promoted as a serious anti-system resistance, especially in the Muslim countries but not limited to that, is the Islamist Fundamentalism. The main direct supporters of these monsters are Saudis, Pakistanis, partially Iranians, and of course indirectly, CIA, MI5, Mossad, etc. When I was in Iran in the 70's the first time I heard the name of the future Islamist fascist leader Khomeini was from the Persian service of BBC radio!
Not taking into account millions killed directly by the Western powers themselves!
…Charlie, Ahmed, and 100's of 1000's more!

Joshua Thomas · Duty Manager at Travelodge Wellington

A SHORT RESEARCH INTO THE CHARLIE HEBDO "MASSACRE" and THE EVENTS LEADING TO IT!!
PLEASE READ, COMMENT AND SHARE.

https://www.facebook.com/iwillspeakthetruth/posts/790228084346890

Rosemarie Norton

There was a report that one of the witnesses said that one of the attackers had BLUE eyes. Can't remember who posted that. Does anyone else have any links?

Omar Kamel · Top Commenter · 1,086 followers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljvZlHT8hNs

Michael Bond · Top Commenter · Works at Orbis Non Sufficit

Je suis Charlie ? "Only cowards or traitors turn down membership in the Charlie club. The demand to join, endorse, agree is all about crowding us into a herd where no one is permitted to cavil or condemn: an indifferent mob, where differing from one another is Thought-Crime, while indifference to the pain of others beyond the pale is compulsory''… .https://mpbondblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/3296/

[Jan 18, 2015] Saudi Muslim leader organising 'legal action against Charlie Hebdo' over Mohamed cartoons

Jan 18, 2015 | The Independent

The Saudi Arabia-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is planning to sue the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo following its publication of a front cover depicting the Prophet Mohamed.

It comes as demonstrations against the controversial image on last week's "survivor" issue turned violent in Niger, Pakistan and Algeria, while the Iranian authorities banned a daily newspaper for a front-page headline allegedly offering Charlie Hebdo its support.

In Saudi Arabia, the former culture minister and now head of the Jeddah-based OIC condemned the new edition of Charlie Hebdo as "an idiotic step that requires necessary legal measures".

Iyad Madani told a Saudi newspaper: "OIC is studying Europe and French laws and other available procedures to be able to take legal action against Charlie Hebdo.

"If French laws allow us to take legal procedures against Charlie Hebdo, OIC will not hesitate to prosecute the French magazine."

On his personal Twitter feed, Madani added: "These cartoons have hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world.

"Freedom of speech must not become a hate speech and must not offend others. No sane person, irrespective of doctrine, religion or faith, accepts his beliefs being ridiculed," he said.

[Jan 18, 2015] Paris attacks Jean-Marie Le Pen says French terror attacks were work of Western intelligence

Jan 18, 2015 | The Independent

The Charlie Hebdo massacre may have been the work of an "intelligence agency", working with the connivance of French authorities, according to Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the far right Front National.

In an interview with a virulently anti-Western Russian newspaper, Mr Le Pen, 86, gave credence to conspiracy theories circulating on the internet suggesting that the attack was the work of American or Israeli agents seeking to foment a civil war between Islam and the West.

His comments – only partially retracted in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde today – provoked outrage amongst French politicians. They will also infuriate Marine Le Pen, his daughter, and successor as leader of the FN, who has been trying to distance the party from her father's extreme and provocative remarks.

Mr Le Pen stood down as FN leader three years ago but remains President-for-life. He made the comments in an interview with Komsomolskaïa Pravda , a newspaper which had already blamed the United States for the terrorist mayhem in France.

"The shooting at Charlie Hebdo resembles a secret service operation but we have no proof of that," the newspaper quoted Mr Le Pen as saying. "I don't think it was organised by the French authorities but they permitted this crime to be committed. That, for the moment, is just a supposition."

To justify his comments, Mr Le Pen pointed to the fact that one of the Kouachi brothers, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, left his identity card in a crashed getaway car. He compared this to the "miraculous fact" – beloved by conspiracy theorists – that one of the passports of the 9/11 hijackers was found on the ground in New York after two planes collided with the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in 2001.

... ... ...

Conspiracy theories of the kind espoused by the elder Le Pen sprang up on the internet within hours of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. They have been repeated in recent days by some – not all - young Muslims in France, torn between identifying with the Kouachi brothers and insisting that they were stooges of the French authorities, Washington and Israel.

The French "pope of conspiracy theories", Thierry Meyssan, now based in Damascus, insisted that the Charlie Hebdo massacres were "ordered by US neo-cons and liberal hawks". An American conspiracy site, McLatchy, has claimed that the Kouachi brothers were working for French intelligence.

[Jan 18, 2015] 'False Flags,' Charlie Hebdo, and Martin Luther King By Philip Jenkins

January 16, 2015 | The American Conservative

Seeking to explain recent terror attacks in France, conspiracy theorists have resorted to very familiar culprits: the Jews did it, specifically the mystical supermen of Israel's Mossad. Such a theory is stupid and scurrilous, as well as on so many grounds self-evidently incorrect. That said, the Paris terror spree does raise significant questions about how we assign responsibility for terror attacks and what we can and can't know by looking at the foot soldiers who carry out the deeds. Nor are debates over false claims and attributions wholly foreign to American history.

The most likely reconstruction of the Charlie Hebdo attack places primary blame on the Yemen-based al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Qaeda wanted to carry out a spectacular in order to distract attention from the enormous successes enjoyed recently by its upstart rival, ISIS, in Iraq and Syria. Only thus, thought al-Qaeda leaders, could the group recapture some of its old momentum and credibility. Accordingly, two of the militants involved made a point of yelling their support for AQAP in the streets they had turned into a battleground. Their accomplice, though, who stormed a kosher market, was so far from understanding the wider agenda that he publicly proclaimed his own fealty… to the ISIS Caliphate. Oops.

In itself, the gulf between generals and foot soldiers is not hard to grasp. Even in regular armies, ordinary privates rarely have much sense of the broad strategic goals motivating their campaigns, although at least they can be sure about which nation they are actually serving. Such certainty is a luxury in terrorist conflicts, where individual cells and columns might find themselves contracting for a bewildering variety of paymasters.

This degree of disconnect can be potentially useful for anyone seeking to manipulate a cause. A group can recruit uninformed militants as muscle to undertake a particular attack, which can serve wider goals utterly beyond the comprehension of those rank-and-file thugs. This might mean discrediting some other rival cause or else achieving a desired goal without suffering any direct stigma for committing the deed.

Such pseudonymous actions thus offer deniability.

[Jan 18, 2015] France's War Against ISIS Could Create Homegrown Terrorists, Experts Say

As the people of France digest the terror attacks that killed 17 people last week, the country's military is preparing the Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to conduct strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq. However, France's decision to continue its involvement in U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, which Prime Minister Manuel Valls said was part of France's war with "terrorism, jihadism and radical Islamism" during a speech Tuesday, arrives with the possibility that it could radicalize more Muslims in the country and spawn further homegrown attacks, suggests an expert on the matter.

According to Max Abrahms, a professor at Northeastern University whose work has been published in dozens of scholarly journal articles regarding terrorism, previous attempts by Western governments to stomp out terrorist threats in the Middle East have done more harm than good.

"One of the ironies about the coalition against the Islamic State is that every single member in some way or another contributed to the creation and development of the very group they are fighting against,"

said Abrahms. "There's no question that oftentimes, just as terrorism is counterproductive, counterterrorism is counterproductive too."

The growth of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria has been particularly felt in France, which has seen more than 1,000 of its own citizens travel to the two countries to fight for the Islamic State, the highest of any Western country. But the radicalization of Muslims extends beyond just those 1,000 who travelled and fought for extremist organizations in the Middle East.

Indeed, the brothers responsible for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, Cherif and Said Kouchi, did not develop their radical beliefs at ISIS training camps on the banks of Iraq's Tigris River, but instead in the high rises of the 19th arrondissement in northeastern Paris. It was there, in a small apartment, according to a report by the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, that their radical education began. The third Paris gunman, Amédy Coulibaly, who is of West African descent, was introduced to radicalized Islam while in prison in France, according to the same report.

France's intelligence services were said to be aware of the three men, although no longer considered them a threat, despite the fact that Cherif Kouachi had spent 18 months in prison stemming from a 2005 arrest for trying to board a flight to Iraq to fight against U.S.-led coalition forces. It was during his time in prison, said Jean-Charles Brisard, head of the French Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, that Kouachi became fully radicalized. He was "in prison with other hard-liners, including a central figure in the al Qaeda networks in Europe," Brisard said in a CNN interview.

France's intelligence services were said to be aware of the three men, although no longer considered them a threat, despite the fact that Cherif Kouachi had spent 18 months in prison stemming from a 2005 arrest for trying to board a flight to Iraq to fight against U.S.-led coalition forces. It was during his time in prison, said Jean-Charles Brisard, head of the French Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, that Kouachi became fully radicalized. He was "in prison with other hard-liners, including a central figure in the al Qaeda networks in Europe," Brisard said in a CNN interview.

But France's growing terror threat is not simply a manifestation of the last 13 years of war in the Middle East; it's framed by more than 150 years of colonial rule in West and North Africa. While those colonial days are long gone, they have continued to haunt France. For example, the current conflict in the Central African Republic, which saw Muslims fighting against Christians, prompted France to deploy 1,600 troops to the region, despite having given the country independence more than 50 years ago when it was known as French Equitorial Guinea.

"A generation ago, France would support dictators," explained Harold Hyman, a foreign policy analyst with the French channel BFM TV, in an interview with NPR. "Today, the situation's different. If France does not go into a country that's in destruction and mayhem, there are demonstrations in the street from the diaspora of those countries - 'Why aren't you helping us?' So we've settled into this acceptance of a sort of big-brother role."

Another example of France's tangled history with its former colonies is the the Algerian War, which raged from 1954 until 1962, killing 152,000 people. With around 2 million people of Algerian descent living in France, the highest number of any nationality, there has been continued resentment that has played out prominently in French life. "Decades which saw France denying political rights and using overwhelming force to maintain its colony created a two-tier system which, in simple terms, involved a ruling French class and a servile Algerian one," wrote Nabila Ramdani a freelance journalist and academic in an article for the Guardian.

[Jan 18, 2015] Churches torched, 5 killed as Niger's anti-Charlie Hebdo protest escalates

Divide and conquer in action...
RT News

Police fired tear gas as hundreds of Niger Muslims came out to yet again protest Charlie Hebdo's satirical cartoons targeting Islam. At least five people were killed and several Christian churches set on fire by rioting crowds throughout the day.

Niger, a former French colony, has been gripped by Charlie Hebdo-fueled violence since Friday, when a protest rally in front of a French cultural center led to deadly clashes in which three protesters and a police officer were killed. Another victim's body was discovered by emergency services inside a burned church, bringing Friday's death toll to five.

On Saturday, Niger police again used tear gas against at least 1,000 aggressive young demonstrators in the capital, Niamey, who burned tires and pelted the security troops with stones. At least two police cars were burned out as the angry crowd retaliated against a decision to ban a march organized by local Muslim leaders.

At least five people were killed in the protest on Saturday, police sources said, bringing the overall death toll to 10. Two charred bodies were removed from a torched church on the outskirts of the capital. A woman's body was also found in a bar; she is believed to have died of asphyxiation from tear gas and smoke, Reuters reported.

The protests on Friday after Muslim prayers were held across the Muslim word, with mostly peaceful rallies reported in Algeria, Syria, India and The Philippines. In Jordan there were clashes with police as demonstrators tried to march to the French embassy, while in Pakistan's Karachi police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of some 200 people.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande defended the pro-Charlie Hebdo drive in the wake of the deadly assault on the satirical weekly last week, saying it was part of defending freedom of expression, an essential western value.

"I'm thinking of countries where sometimes they don't understand what freedom of expression is because they have been deprived of it. But also, we have supported these countries in their fight against terrorism,"

Hollande said of the anti-Charlie Hebdo rallies.

The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo saw a surge of sales in the wake of the tragedy. Surviving journalists initially expected a million of copies to be sold, but now the issue is aiming at a target of 7 million copies, a far cry from the usual circulation enjoyed by the fringe publication.

The issue features Islam's Prophet Muhammad holding a placard reading "Je suis Charlie" and the headline, "All is forgiven." Depicting images of Mohammed is forbidden in Islam and is considered a grave offense.

... ... ...

...When individuals X and Y launch an attack, the media will direct all their efforts to determining what made them do it, and how they became so fanatically devoted to their cause. The problem is that the people pulling the triggers do not necessarily know much about the wider causes for which they are fighting. And what they do know might be totally wrong.

Philip Jenkins is the author of Images of Terror: What We Can and Can't Know About Terrorism. He is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University and serves as co-director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion.

[Jan 17, 2015] US troops training Syrian 'moderates' could top 1,000 – Pentagon

From moderate to radical is just one step...
RT USA
The Pentagon announced that a mission to train the "moderate" Syrian opposition may involve over 1,000 US troops. The first soldiers may flow into the region in a month, while the trained fighters may return to Syria to "fight ISIS" by the end of 2015.

The earlier announced number suggested 400 pairs of US boots on the ground in countries neighboring Syria, where the training will take place. However, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters in a press briefing on Friday that the total number "could approach 1,000."

"It might even exceed that. I can't rule that out," Kirby added.

The troops, ranging from special operations to conventional forces, will be based in at least three different training sites – in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.

Deployment orders could come as early as next week, with full deployment beginning in the next four to six weeks, Kirby said.

"I think you'll start to see orders for some of those troops over the next four to six weeks. Some could be given orders very soon, perhaps as soon as within the next week or so. But they'll flow in, I think, over the next four to six weeks," he added.

However, Kirby said that recruiting has not yet started, and that opposition training would not begin before March.

The US is "working with the Syrian moderate opposition leadership to identify potential Syrian moderate groups from which recruiting could occur," Kirby explained. After that, the rebels will have several months of training before they are sent into battle by the end of the year.

The training mission, according to Pentagon officials, will focus on reaching three goals.

First of all, the US plans to train the opposition in self-defense to protect the towns they control. Secondly, the US envisages the "moderate" opposition eventually starting an offensive against Islamic State forces. And finally, Kirby said, the trained fighters would "help work with political opposition leaders towards a political solution in Syria."

Kirby also announced that trainers from other countries could join the effort to help tackle the Islamic State threat in Syria.

The $500 million training plan for Syrian insurgents was first proposed by the Pentagon in June last year. Congress first approved the measure in September for three months, and last month has extended the program through 2016.

[Jan 17, 2015] Lessons from Paris by Ron Paul

January 12, 2015 | ronpaulinstitute.org

After the tragic shooting at a provocative magazine in Paris last week, I pointed out that given the foreign policy positions of France we must consider blowback as a factor. Those who do not understand blowback made the ridiculous claim that I was excusing the attack or even blaming the victims. Not at all, as I abhor the initiation of force. The police are not blaming victims when they search for the motive of a criminal.

The mainstream media immediately decided that the shooting was an attack on free speech. Many in the US preferred this version of "they hate us because we are free," which is the claim that President Bush made after 9/11. They expressed solidarity with the French and vowed to fight for free speech. But have these people not noticed that the First Amendment is routinely violated by the US government? President Obama has used the Espionage Act more than all previous administrations combined to silence and imprison whistleblowers. Where are the protests? Where are protesters demanding the release of John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the CIA use of waterboarding and other torture? The whistleblower went to prison while the torturers will not be prosecuted. No protests.

If Islamic extremism is on the rise, the US and French governments are at least partly to blame. The two Paris shooters had reportedly spent the summer in Syria fighting with the rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Assad. They were also said to have recruited young French Muslims to go to Syria and fight Assad. But France and the United States have spent nearly four years training and equipping foreign fighters to infiltrate Syria and overthrow Assad! In other words, when it comes to Syria, the two Paris killers were on "our" side. They may have even used French or US weapons while fighting in Syria.

Beginning with Afghanistan in the 1980s, the US and its allies have deliberately radicalized Muslim fighters in the hopes they would strictly fight those they are told to fight. We learned on 9/11 that sometimes they come back to fight us. The French learned the same thing last week. Will they make better decisions knowing the blowback from such risky foreign policy? It is unlikely because they refuse to consider blowback. They prefer to believe the fantasy that they attack us because they hate our freedoms, or that they cannot stand our free speech.

Perhaps one way to make us all more safe is for the US and its allies to stop supporting these extremists.

Another lesson from the attack is that the surveillance state that has arisen since 9/11 is very good at following, listening to, and harassing the rest of us but is not very good at stopping terrorists. We have learned that the two suspected attackers had long been under the watch of US and French intelligence services. They had reportedly been placed on the US no-fly list and at least one of them had actually been convicted in 2008 of trying to travel to Iraq to fight against the US occupation. According to CNN, the two suspects traveled to Yemen in 2011 to train with al-Qaeda. So they were individuals known to have direct terrorist associations. How many red flags is it necessary to set off before action is taken? How long did US and French intelligence know about them and do nothing, and why?

Foreign policy actions have consequences. The aggressive foreign policies of the United States and its allies in the Middle East have radicalized thousands and have made us less safe. Blowback is real whether some want to recognize it or not. There are no guarantees of security, but only a policy of non-intervention can reduce the risk of another attack.


Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

[Jan 16, 2015] Don't worry. The authorities will quickly explain to you what "freedom of speech" means but putting you in jail, if you uttered something stupid by Olga Tukhanina

vz.ru

Neoliberal Empire is so close in spirit to late USSR that closeness of event strikes everybody. As in cult soviet satirical film "Kin-DZA-DZA: "You now find yourselves in cells, because you say things without thinking, and think about things that you should not think at all". If Kafka were alive, these days he would have definitely died again. The only thing unclear whether from laughing or from envy. Although it can be both.

"No respectable publication in the citadel of the free world reprinted the cartoons"

The Associated Press reported from Paris that after the most massive in the history of mankind demonstrations in defense of freedom of speech, 54 people were arrested for wrong words which supposedly demonstrate hate and support of terrorism. Then the arrests continued, and now the number of arrested exceeded sixty people.

Among them is the famous comedian Dieudonne Mbala Mbala. The funny thing is that this comic was ideologically close ally of cartoonists from Charlie Hebdo . It now looks as if cartoonists, who were perished were Communists, they would be so left to the Chairman of Communist Party of Russia Gennady Zyuganov, that he on their background looks like obnoxious right-wing conservative.

The absurdity of what is happening, when in support of freedom of speech government can immediately arrest the person just saying something politically incorrect, and put him in jail for six months, it has become evident even for selected Russian neoliberals. They, however, try to ignore the obvious concern by saying that those events happened in backward France, and that's why Obama did not fly to the largest demonstration of the freedom of speed in world history.

However, in the citadel of the free world, where freedom of speech is protected by a separate amendment to the Constitution, for some reason no respectable publication reprinted the cartoons.

Talking about large multinationals, it's funny that on the English version of the Apple website, for example, there were no words in support of the victims, but on the French page sacramental Je suis Charlie was hanging. Looks like variant of support of Freedom of expression with severely restricted export channels

Within the neoliberal worlds almost nobody is supposed by those inconsistencies. They explain that freedom of speech includes the freedom to criticize and make fun of all religions. And believers must bow their heads and endure. But hate speech is a completely different matter; it is about inciting hatred and ethnic strife. and you can be jailed for such an action.

Let's try to give a Russian example of such a behaviour. It looks like this: when satirist Shenderovich rhetorically asks the priest why he did not learned anything from the events of the twenties, this is a freedom of speech. But when the Shenderovich asked why Jews learned nothing from events of 30th, this is hate speech and anti-Semitism. Here Article 282 of Russian Criminal codex might be applicable.

For a normal person it is extremely difficult to understand nuances of interpretation of the subtle difference between "free speech" and "hate speech" in the neoliberal world. But neoliberals suck the right interpretation with their genetically modified neoliberal milk. Such an interpretation looks as following "Freedom only for the free men, and all the barbarians mouth should better be shut".

For anybody who lived in Brezhnev's USSR it looks like ideological poles of modern world just reversed and West happily adopted the model used in the USSR 40 years ago. Now we can understand why the US and Western European citizens were so stunned by absurdity of Soviet propaganda and millions of people who on May 1 come to street to march for Freedom of people from exploitation, against oppression and for personal liberties including the Freedom of expression. Under the strict guidance of the party and government and watchful eyes of KGB.

There were also a lot of talk about the "freedom of expression" in late USSR, and you really can criticize decadent West as much as you can, but openly criticizing Soviet regime could sometimes get you a jail term for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda. However, I will make a special reservation: the Soviet Union was my homeland. and despite all the shortcomings and broken economic model life for ordinary people in late USSR was very good. We have had something that today can be found nowhere - there was no unemployment, no homeless children, no crime, and for children especially it was a great environment to grow up with state provided free education (including university education) and medicine.

However, I repeat, to Western public Communist rituals looked f*cking ridiculous. But at the same time Soviet people have perfect understanding of of this situation and nobody took them seriously; everybody felt that the system was completely rotten from inside and that communist ideology is no longer viable. In the 70s the Soviet ideology lost any hold of people minds. Ideology of Neoliberal Empire in Europe is still relatively new and smell with flesh layer of "free markets" utopia paint and new level of neoliberal hypocrisy after the events of 2008. It still hold minds of a lot of Western European lemmings.

It's pretty telling that Neoliberal Empire strikes former citizens of the USSR as ideological reincarnation of "Brezhnev USSR" in all its rotten ideological glory and absurdity. But it's still relatively clean on the streets of Western capitals (but not New York). And infrastructure is still relatively in order. And people have rather high standard of living. But the real situation with the "freedom of expression" is exactly like in the cult Soviet satirical film "Kin-DZA-DZA": "You now find yourselves in cells, because you say things without thinking, and think about things that you should not think at all". And it is this parade of hypocrisy that we observe right now. There are powerful and corrupt guys who define in what cases "Freedom of expression" is applicable and when it is not. And you need to obey. Or...

But, of course, what Russian people living under authoritarianism can understand in Western European events. Those savages in work robes as neoliberal journalists from "Echo of Moscow" would characterize us. And after such a characterization, the journalist from "Echo of Moscow" will go to have one or two Americano, and is not afraid of being arrested and jailed for some time for inciting hatred and enmity. He is serving the right boss, for the right convertible currency, so why should he/she? Exactly like in "Kin-DZA-DZA". In other words, not everybody can pretend that "We are Charlie" in this neoliberal world. Only selected few.

[Jan 16, 2015] How Paris Attacks Help Israel by Uri Avnery

Caravan Daily

Israeli leaders called upon the Jews in France to pack up and come to Israel. Israel, as everybody knows, is the safest place on earth.

This was an almost automatic Zionist gut reaction. Jews are in danger. Their only safe haven is Israel. Make haste and come. The next day Israeli papers reported joyfully that in 2015 more than 10,000 French Jews were about to come to live here, driven by growing anti-Semitism.

Apparently, there is a lot of anti-Semitism in France and other European countries, though probably far less than Islamophobia. But the fight between Jews and Arabs on French soil has little to do with anti-Semitism. It is a struggle imported from North Africa.

When the Algerian war of liberation broke out in 1954, the Jews there had to choose sides. Almost all decided to support the colonial power, France, against the Algerian people.

That had a historical background. In 1870, the French minister of justice, Adolphe Cremieux, who happened to be a Jew, conferred French citizenship on all Algerian Jews, separating them from their Muslim neighbors.

The Algerian Liberation Front (FLN) tried very hard to draw the local Jews to their side. I know because I was somewhat involved. Their underground organization in France asked me to set up an Israeli support group, in order to convince our Algerian co-religionists. I founded the "Israeli Committee For A Free Algeria" and published material which was used by the FLN in their effort to win over the Jews.

In vain. The local Jews, proud of their French citizenship, staunchly supported the colonists. In the end, the Jews were prominent in the OAS, the extreme French underground which conducted a bloody struggle against the freedom fighters. The result was that practically all the Jews fled Algeria together with the French when the day of reckoning arrived. They did not go to Israel. Almost all of them went to France. (Unlike the Moroccan and Tunisian Jews, many of whom came to Israel. Generally, the poorer and less educated chose Israel, while the French-educated elite went to France and Canada.)

What we see now is the continuation of this war between Algerian Muslims and Jews on French soil. All the four "French" Jews killed in the attack had North African names and were buried in Israel.

Not without trouble. The Israeli government put great pressure on the four families to bury their sons here. They wanted to bury them in France, near their homes. After a lot of haggling about the price of the graves, the families finally agreed.

It has been said that Israelis love immigration and don't love the immigrants. That certainly applies to the new "French" immigrants. In recent years, "French" tourists have been coming here in large numbers. They were often disliked. Especially when they started to buy up apartments on the Tel Aviv sea front and left them empty, as a kind of insurance, while young local people could neither find nor afford apartments in the metropolitan area. Practically all these "French" tourists and immigrants are of North African origin.

WHEN ASKED what drives them to Israel, their unanimous answer is: anti-Semitism. That is not a new phenomenon. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of Israelis, they or their parents or grandparents, were driven here by anti-Semitism.

The two terms – anti-Semitism and Zionism – were born at almost the same time, towards the end of the 19th century. Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, conceived his idea when he was working in France as a foreign correspondence of a Viennese newspaper during the Dreyfus affair, when virulent anti-Semitism in France reached new heights. (Anti-Semitism is, of course, a misnomer. Arabs are Semites, too. But the term is generally used to mean only Jew-haters.)

Later, Herzl wooed outspoken anti-Semitic leaders in Russia and elsewhere, asking for their help and promising to take the Jews off their hands. So did his successors. In 1939, the Irgun underground planned an armed invasion of Palestine with the help of the profoundly anti-Semitic generals of the Polish army. One may wonder if the State of Israel would have come into being in 1948 if there had not been the Holocaust. Recently, a million and a half Russian Jews were driven to Israel by anti-Semitism.

ZIONISM WAS born at the end of the 19th century as a direct answer to the challenge of anti-Semitism. After the French revolution, the new national idea took hold of all European nations, big and small, and all of the national movements were more or less anti-Semitic.

The basic belief of Zionism is that Jews cannot live anywhere except in the Jewish State, because the victory of anti-Semitism is inevitable everywhere. Let the Jews of America rejoice in their freedom and prosperity – sooner or later that will come to an end. They are doomed like Jews everywhere outside Israel.

The new outrage in Paris only confirms this basic belief. There was very little real commiseration in Israel. Rather, a secret sense of triumph. The gut reaction of ordinary Israelis is: "We told you so!" and also: "Come quickly, before it is too late!"

I HAVE often tried to explain to my Arab friends: the anti-Semites are the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people. The anti-Semites have helped drive the Jews to Palestine, and now they are doing so again. And some of the new immigrants will certainly settle beyond the Green Line in the occupied Palestinian territories on stolen Arab land.

The fact that Israel benefits from the Paris attack has led some Arab media to believe that the whole affair is really a "false flag" operation. Ergo, in this case, the Arab perpetrators were really manipulated by the Israeli Mossad.

After a crime, the first question is "cui bono", who benefits? Obviously, the only winner from this outrage is Israel. But to draw the conclusion that Israel is hiding behind the Jihadists is utter nonsense.

The simple fact is that all Islamic Jihadism on European soil hurts only the Muslims. Fanatics of all stripes generally help their worst enemies. The three Muslim men who committed the outrages in Paris certainly did Binyamin Netanyahu a great favor.

[Jan 15, 2015] Charles-Philippe d'Orleans, No, I'm not Charlie

On his personal Facebook page, the Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duc d'Anjou explained himself following the attacks in Paris. No, the prince is not a part of this vast movement "I'm Charlie" although obviously he condemns these acts that have so shaken France and worldwide.

Here is his statement:

"I will go against the tide of emotional propriety by separating me from the movement "I'm Charlie." No, I'm not Charlie because I never liked that Manichean newspaper.

Charlie Hebdo is a vulgar paper, despising all opinions except its own, which, under the guise of freedom of expression, will allow provocative behavior to all. Charlie Hebdo is an aggressive newspaper that produces hatred of religions through its, supposedly, humor. Charlie Hebdo is the very image of the European atheist society which creates enmity and distress instead of respect and brotherhood among peoples and men, regardless of their differences, race, color, religion.

So I refuse to take part in a "republican sacred covenant" to defend Charlie because, simply, I do not understand what I have to defend.

I am neither disrespectful nor indecent and do not want to offend the memory of the killed cartoonists. Words fail to tell the horror of the attack that hit the newspaper. I condemn this barbaric act and present to families and relatives of the deceased my deepest condolences.

I denounce justly this sterile attempt to bring about national unity and I denounce the hypocrisy of the citizens who have never read this humor publication and who have always criticized the weekly. To honor the victims, yes. Honour Charlie Hebdo, no."

[Jan 15, 2015] Pope Francis: there are limits to freedom of expression

Cautioning against provocation he said the right to liberty of expression came with the obligation to speak for "the common good".
The Guardian

Pope Francis has said there are limits to freedom of expression and that following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris "one cannot make fun of faith".

On a plane from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, the largest Catholic majority country in Asia, the pope said freedom of speech was a fundamental human right but "every religion has its dignity".

Asked about the attack that killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo – targeted because it had printed depictions of the prophet Muhammad – he said: "One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith, one cannot make fun of faith.

"There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits."

He gestured to Alberto Gasparri, who organises papal trips and was standing by his side, and added: "If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It's normal. It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."

Cautioning against provocation he said the right to liberty of expression came with the obligation to speak for "the common good".

CouchSlob -> peternh 15 Jan 2015 21:56

Peter, you're taking this argument away from what Pope Francis actually said, and from what I actually said.

My suggestion is this; we have the freedom of speech to publish, but there are a lot of people on the planet with different beliefs, and it's not right to needlessly offend them just for the sake of demonstrating that you can. You want to bang on about how other people's beliefs are harmful, well go ahead. I don't agree. Faith gives people strength and happiness. I'm not talking about misogyny, or flogging, or beheading, or gunning down journalists. That's horrible extremist shit that is beyond awful, and those attitudes are wrong.

I'm talking about the billions of decent people who live decent lives and who have no truck with shit like that and just want to live a life of peace. They're all out there. If you know any Muslims or Christians then you must know a whole lot of them. I do. I'm saying, why offend all those people? Tolerance. Respect.

That's it man. Peace.

ilove2shop -> Cirmic 15 Jan 2015 21:55

Criticizing a person is exercising free speech. You can say what you want and people can criticize you for it. Both involve an exercise of free speech.

JALondon 15 Jan 2015 21:55

Most repressive organization in history backs repression. Not news. Next up the Spanish inquisition.

Raskolnikov6 15 Jan 2015 21:51

If someone said to me that they believed in an invisible space hippie then I would question whether there was any point to believe in something that can't be proved. If he said that just believing in it made their world and life a better place then I would say no more.

I don't think many people would insult people's personal faith but when religion is used to oppress or discriminate against a person or group then I would say it needs to be questioned or exposed for what it is.

conghitgas 15 Jan 2015 21:44

Religious people should understand that secular states like France will occasionally upset them with caricatures and satire. Its up to religious people to understand, not the other way around. The days of theocratic states are over. The Pope has obviously not thought this through properly. Freedom of speech is not negotiable.

Kevin Hilton -> EthelredTheUncertain 15 Jan 2015 21:36

Extremely unwise to coflate the law on (personal and immediate) provocation with such events as the one under discussion.

p4451d -> JonCymru 15 Jan 2015 21:41

Freedom of speech is something to be cherished and used wisely. It does not mean that you can use it to willfully hurt and damage others because in doing so you restrict their freedoms .... and btw the mayor of rotterdam sounds like an arrogant moron.

[Jan 15, 2015] Jihadists are not the only ideologues. We are all ruthless about our beliefs by Tim Lott

It's all not about disagreement. It's more about oppression, and revolt against oppression. It is also about Iraq invasion, Creation of ISIS by foreign powers to fight Assad regime and stimulating young Europian Muslims o go fight to Syria, and now, when they returned, facing a blowback.
Jan 15, 2015 | The Guardian

It's easy to be fragile, fractious and quick to anger – we've got to learn to listen to those we disagree with

What is the connection between a multi-millionaire and an Islamist terrorist? The answer struck me as I watched Jacques Peretti's documentary The Super-Rich and Us this week.

Peretti catalogued how the rich and privileged live in a world of fantasy – of symbols, just as religious fanatics do. They amass money, pointlessly – far more than they can ever spend. They store it among the bricks and mortar of empty houses in London, in tax havens, in gold and jewels. What is the point of all this money? How many expensive meals can they eat, how many luxury cars can they drive, how many of their homes can they live in?

Just like "holy scriptures", yachts and private islands are purely totemic. They represent a belief system and an identity. That identity reassures the wealthy that they are virtuous. If it were not so (they tell themselves) they would not be so successful. It also gives them a reason to get up in the morning – to make more money.

You and I are not so different. We too have beliefs and value systems, not all of which we can always sensibly defend. When those beliefs are threatened we become aggressive. The more penetrating the criticism of our worldview, the angrier we become.

This is partially evidenced by the furious tone of the arguments unfolding since the Charlie Hebdo murders. I'm not talking about the anger of "us" against the killers. People on the "same side" argue bitterly about their separate take on events.

Those who thought the cartoons were unduly provocative were labelled appeasers; those who called for their immediate reprinting were said to be stoking Islamophobia. Those who did not sign up to the reassuring trope that Islamic terrorists have "nothing to do with Islam" attracted a particularly furious response. Those who want a tightening of the security state are bitterly opposed by those who consider civil liberties a priority.

The back and forth of arguments is being replaced with the clatter and thud of rocks being thrown. I see the anger everywhere: in Twitter storms, in trolling, on blog posts and comment pages.

This point is easily proved. Check the online comment thread of this piece. It will be full of furious remarks. I know, because pretty much every piece I've ever written, however vanilla, has attracted angry comments. Fury has become our lingua franca: because we are afraid and we are becoming more afraid, and we do not wish to admit that we are afraid. For to do so is to acknowledge that our beliefs are not as cast iron as we wish they were.

In this sense, we are all in the same boat as the jihadists who elevate and concretise their improbable set of beliefs into an inflexible ideology. Ideology – a fixed system of ideas that will not bend even an inch before the facts – is the root of much evil. And we are all, to a lesser extent, ideologues.

We live in a world of unprecedented change and complexity, and this makes us more desperate than ever to cling to what we think we know. We need to believe that our purposes, those goals in which we invest meaning, are valid. On this definition, business is a religion, career is a religion, family is a religion, nation is a religion, secularism is a religion, and religion is a religion. There is no getting away from it. However, our values cannot be independently verified – other than by the reassuring support of the like-minded.

But what is there to put in the place of our belief systems, violations of which cause such dangerous blowback? Nothing. Literally, nothing. All our belief systems are simply constructs. The world isn't this way or that. It just is. We project our values on to it, conservative and socialist, secular and religious. But in reality, everything is in doubt – and this is something we find hard to tolerate.

This is the challenge of relativism. This is the challenge of post modernism. This is the existential dilemma of the world.

If all values and beliefs are products of the mind rather than concrete realities – for the plutocrat as much as the Islamist, for the feminist as much as the patriarch, for the socialist as much as the neo-con – then we must learn to live with that reality without sickening our spirits with self-protective rage.

The alternative to belief ("lief", incidentally, comes from the root meaning "to wish") is faith. Not religious faith, but faith that does not become brittle with its own projections of hatred against "the other", which includes the apostates in our midst who do not share our view. Faith that we are all human souls struggling to keep our heads above water in floods of confusion. Faith in reason, faith in the idea of truth, however elusive the actuality. And faith, as any reading of the New Testament makes plain, is always hedged by doubt.

Doubt is nothing to fear – the doubt that all our ideas and precious beliefs are straws in the wind. There is meaning in meaninglessness, in the "cloud of unknowing" that we all live inside. There are real facts – there is love, there is our own consciousness, there is this day, this moment, the feeling of human connection.

The feelings of fear and anger appear to be real too – but all too often they come as a result of the beliefs that we cling to, not as what you might call first-order experiences (a first-order experience being an intruder walking into your home brandishing a knife).

The fact that views which oppose our own are dealt with by abuse and name-calling is a symptom of irrational fear – the fear of finding the self confused. This is why terrorists are so-called – because they wilfully breed terror, and they divide and splinter those who are ranged against them.

We are becoming fragile and fractious. Despite all the "unity" the response to Charlie Hebdo appears to have generated, we are turning on one another. This is what the killers want. The more we close our ears to unwelcome voices, the more we approach the sick mindsets of the jihadists – or, if you prefer, the bloated fantasies of the super-rich.

To be able to survive we must be brave enough to not clutch our beliefs like comfort blankets, but examine them always for their own flaws – and that involves listening to others, however much we don't want to hear what they have to say.

Of this I am absolutely sure. Almost.

Oldhermit 15 Jan 2015 21:21

An excellent article. Thank you for your thoughts.

Robert Frost wrote this definition of education which is perhaps relevant here:

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

Guestt 15 Jan 2015 21:10

The belief in sin is an adjustment. And an adjustment is a change; a shift in perception, or a belief that what was so before has been made different. Every adjustment is therefore a distortion, and calls upon defenses to uphold it against reality.

Knowledge requires no adjustments, and, in fact, is lost if any shift or change is undertaken. For this reduces it at once to mere perception; a way of looking in which certainty is lost and doubt has entered. To this impaired condition are adjustments necessary, because it is not true. Who need adjust to truth, which calls on only what he is, to understand?

Adjustments of any kind are of the ego. For it is the ego's fixed belief that all relationships depend upon adjustments, to make of them what it would have them be. Direct relationships, in which there are no interferences, are always seen as dangerous. The ego is the self- appointed mediator of all relationships, making whatever adjustments it deems necessary and interposing them between those who would meet, to keep them separate and prevent their union. It is this studied interference that makes it difficult for you to recognize your holy relationship for what it is.

" A Course In Miracles"

Rhiaden -> JGrossman 15 Jan 2015 21:06

It is one thing to have strong convictions and get involved in furious debate, it is another to go a step further and include emotive threats and language towards those who hold a different view, it is another to go further again and use hate language towards them, and another to take it offline and throw bricks or incendiary devices through the windows of businesses, religious buildings and houses, or beat up individuals, and then another to kill those who hold different views.

You or I might not ever have any intention, expressed verbally, thought or otherwise of shooting up exxon-mobils offices, but to pretend that there are not environmentalists who would is to be naive.

The vast majority of individuals are quite happy just having a heated debate, the numbers who go any step further than that become smaller and smaller as the steps becomes more extreme.

JGrossman 15 Jan 2015 20:53

In this sense, we are all in the same boat as the jihadists who elevate and concretize their improbable set of beliefs into an inflexible ideology.

Oh come on! Are you being serious?

It is one thing to have strong convictions. Quite another to kill dissenters.

I get furious with corporate shills who attempt to rubbish climate science with cherry-picked data but I assure you neither I nor any of the climatologists I correspond with have any intention of buying assault rifles and shooting up Exxon-Mobil's offices.

Its not even a case of thinking about it and rejecting the idea. It's never popped on my mental radar until I started writing this post.

Jake G

loveswans -> chav45 15 Jan 2015 20:34

Exactly - this is the vital distinction that he seems unable to grasp. All the fractious and polarized argument he refers to has not led to people killing other people. I don't think he deserves to die because I disagree with him.

I intensely dislike the Abbott Government and abhor its whole philosophy and approach, but I wouldn't ever seek to take violent action against it. The people we should be opposing with all our might are those who think the opposite - if you are of a different religious or philosophical viewpoint, you deserve to die.

JVC120
The relative merit we attach to the validity or the application of the freedom of speech was evident right there in Paris, in the very heart of the matter.

Tim Willcox was covering yesterday's Paris rally for the BBC News channel He spoke to participants during a live broadcast from the streets of Paris One woman he spoke to expressed fears Jews were being persecuted She told him 'the situation is going back to the days of the 1930s'.

Willcox replied: 'Many critics though of Israel's policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well'. Comments sparked anger and calls for him to resign. Willcox has apologised for offence caused by 'poorly phrased question'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2906539/Calls-BBC-reporter-resign-told-daughter-Holocaust-survivors-Paris-Palestinians-suffer-hugely-Jewish-hands-well.html#ixzz3OwLmRWRv

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Telling truth has to be vetted and has to be reconfigured and be simply not aired in public so that it avoids emotionally raw areas but the lies could be produced en masse and be distributed with the active support of the state to produce certain varieties of the emotionally raw areas !

HolyInsurgent, 15 Jan 2015 20:00

Tim Lott: This is the challenge of relativism.

No. This is the challenge of science and evidence-backed beliefs and the challenge of tolerance when your beliefs are questioned.

If all values and beliefs are products of the mind rather than concrete realities...then we must learn to live with that reality without sickening our spirits with self-protective rage.

No. We don't. All unsupported assertions can be safely ignored. The onus is on Lott to provide evidence that beliefs are merely products of the mind and start providing some discourse about the sources of "self-protective rage."

The alternative to belief ("lief", incidentally, comes from the root meaning "to wish") is faith. Not religious faith...

Unfortunately, beliefs without evidence is exactly what religion is.

Doubt is nothing to fear – the doubt that all our ideas and precious beliefs are straws in the wind.

No one has any reason to assume that. Rational beliefs are evidence-based.

There is meaning in meaninglessness, in the "cloud of unknowing" that we all live inside.

I can see Lott is channelling his inner Giles Fraser. Meaningless and unsupported wine-and-cheese crowd sophistry.

The fact that views which oppose our own are dealt with by abuse and name-calling is a symptom of irrational fear....

No, just psychological dysfunction: a reactionary ego.

We are becoming fragile and fractious.

No, we are not. The author speaks for himself.

Despite all the "unity" the response to Charlie Hebdo appears to have generated, we are turning on one another.

Nonsense. There are certainly differences of opinion, but why this tabloid nonsense? "Turning on one another"?

This is what the killers want.

Evidence? How does the author know this?

The more we close our ears to unwelcome voices, the more we approach the sick mindsets of the jihadists – or, if you prefer, the bloated fantasies of the super-rich.

Thus the need for tolerance and a penetrating discussion into the nature of indoctrination which this article did not do.

To be able to survive we must be brave enough to not clutch our beliefs like comfort blankets, but examine them always for their own flaws – and that involves listening to others, however much we don't want to hear what they have to say.

Not just this, but to demonstrate a willingness to change if you're wrong. The indoctrinated in any ideology, whether religious or economic, refuse to do that.

A truly terrible article. One presumes the author is trying to be funny. But it just turns out to be an insult to readers' intelligence. A discussion of the beliefs underlying religion and institutions is definitely required, but this article is not it.

Tim Lott: Just like "holy scriptures", yachts and private islands are purely totemic. They represent a belief system and an identity. That identity reassures the wealthy that they are virtuous. If it were not so (they tell themselves) they would not be so successful. It also gives them a reason to get up in the morning – to make more money.

Agreed.

You and I are not so different. We too have beliefs and value systems, not all of which we can always sensibly defend. When those beliefs are threatened we become aggressive. The more penetrating the criticism of our worldview, the angrier we become.

I would define "maturity" and "sanity" as the ability to cope with threats and criticism rationally.

Those who thought the cartoons were unduly provocative were labelled appeasers; those who called for their immediate reprinting were said to be stoking Islamophobia. Those who did not sign up to the reassuring trope that Islamic terrorists have "nothing to do with Islam" attracted a particularly furious response. Those who want a tightening of the security state are bitterly opposed by those who consider civil liberties a priority.

This is to be expected in the real world. What's the alternative? Everyone thinking exactly the same thing?

The back and forth of arguments is being replaced with the clatter and thud of rocks being thrown. I see the anger everywhere: in Twitter storms, in trolling, on blog posts and comment pages.

This happens for every topic every day. My irony meter is broken. Is this irony?

This point is easily proved. Check the online comment thread of this piece. It will be full of furious remarks. I know, because pretty much every piece I've ever written, however vanilla, has attracted angry comments.

Which makes the intelligent comments all the more rare and valuable. Right?

Fury has become our lingua franca...

No. Fury is the lingua franca of the reactionary. Let's be honest and cut the "our" business. Lott speaks for himself.

...because we are afraid and we are becoming more afraid, and we do not wish to admit that we are afraid.

No. These are generalizations and all meaningless. This is tabloid level writing.

For to do so is to acknowledge that our beliefs are not as cast iron as we wish they were.

All unsupported assertions can be safely ignored. This "our" business is patronizing.

In this sense, we are all in the same boat as the jihadists who elevate and concretise their improbable set of beliefs into an inflexible ideology.

No, we are not. And this "we" business is just getting annoying.

Ideology – a fixed system of ideas that will not bend even an inch before the facts – is the root of much evil. And we are all, to a lesser extent, ideologues.

No, we are not. And the author simply making these assertions does not make them true.

We live in a world of unprecedented change and complexity, and this makes us more desperate than ever to cling to what we think we know.

I'm not desperate.

We need to believe that our purposes, those goals in which we invest meaning, are valid. On this definition, business is a religion, career is a religion, family is a religion, nation is a religion, secularism is a religion, and religion is a religion. There is no getting away from it.

No. Secularism is not a religion. These generalizations and false equivalences are just tedious now.

However, our values cannot be independently verified – other than by the reassuring support of the like-minded.

No. Values can and are independently verified. Just check with British government statistics.

But what is there to put in the place of our belief systems, violations of which cause such dangerous blowback? Nothing.

No. You replace flawed (obsolete or harmful) belief systems with better and evidence-based belief systems.

Literally, nothing. All our belief systems are simply constructs.

This does not mean they are all flawed, ie. obsolete or harmful.

The world isn't this way or that. It just is. We project our values on to it, conservative and socialist, secular and religious. But in reality, everything is in doubt – and this is something we find hard to tolerate.

Well yes, if you go right to subatomic particles, there is even the Uncertainty Principle. People crave certainty.

[Jan 15, 2015] Murdoch's common error

There is also a question of "state violence" vs "individual violence" here too. The USA killed around one million of Iraqis in Iraq war (in which GB participated) fought mainly for oil. All Muslim terrorists probably killed much less. So some "terrorists" are actually trying to avenge the act of Western states.
January 11, 2015 | http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/

That tweet by Robert Murdoch has been widely condemned. But nobody has pointed out that Murdoch's error is not confined to either him or to Islam's critics.

Murdoch said:

Maybe most Moslems [are] peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.

The inconsistency here is obvious. Murdoch did not, AFAIK, hold right-wingers responsible for the cancerous beliefs that led Timothy McVeigh or Anders Breivik to commit mass murder. Nor did he consider sexually frustrated men responsible for Elliot Rodger. So why hold Muslims responsible for jihadism?

The difference is that, in Murdoch's mind, Breivik, McVeigh and Rodger - to name but three - are atypical of white right wing men and are isolated instances. But, he thinks, Muslims and jihadists have more in common. So, whereas right-wing men are not to blame for the sins of others, Muslims are.

There's a name for this. It's the outgroup homogeneity effect, or the "they are all alike; we are diverse" bias.

And here's the thing. Murdoch is by no means alone in this error. Like all cognitive biases, it's a widespread one. We see it, for example, when: some feminists claim that all men are rapists; when critics of orthodox economics fail to see how diverse the subject is; when lefties attack "greedy bankers"; when people think they are experts on a country because they have visted it a few times; when right-wingers think that because I'm a Marxist I somehow endorse Stalinism; or when torture is claimed to be "inconsistent with our values" when our side does it but typical of "them". And so on.

You might object that there is a strand of violence within Islam. Maybe, but so what? There is also a tendency towards violence in maleness or in several political ideologies - including Mr Murdoch's and (yes) mine. But there is a massive diffreence between those who reject that tendency and those who embrace it. Failing to see this difference - and failing to see that Muslims were also victims and heroes last week - is just stupid.

There is, though, a way to guard against the outgroup homogeneity effect. Whenever we see something, we should ask: from what sample is that drawn? Is it typical, or an outlier? Merely asking this question reminds us that human beings are a very diverse bunch.

Dean | January 11, 2015 at 03:38 PM

These kind of reactions and attitudes are reminiscent of the attitude to Jews in Nazi Germany, which were perceived wisdom at the time.

Murdoch's tweet in particular reminds me of Nazi anti Jewish propaganda.

Scary times.

Dean | January 11, 2015 at 04:21 PM \

Jim your comment really is a classic of lack of self awareness!

"Jewish population of 1930s Germany didn't contain a significant minority who were dedicated to the violent overthrow of the State they were living in."

Interesting you say this because according to Nazi propaganda that is exactly what they were intent on (they were even blamed for the Reichstag fire). The Nazi's linked Jews to Bolshevism, among other things, and the desire to overthrow the state via violent means. It was a staple of Nazi propaganda.

I would contend that your use of the words 'significant minority' is the sort of ridiculous hyperbole that I was on about, and was used by the Nazi's. So I put your comment in the same camp as Murdoch's tweet, and in the same camp as Nazi propaganda methods.

Jim | January 11, 2015 at 05:05 PM

@Dean: so all the Islamic violence we have experienced in the West is just propaganda then? Not real at all?

As for significant minority, surveys have shown repeatedly that there is are significant minorities (sometimes majorities) of the Muslim population of the UK that support violence, are against freedom of expression, are against sexual and gender equality, and support the introduction of Sharia law.

This survey by Channel 4 (http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/291) identified 9% of UK Muslims as 'hardcore Islamists'.

Is c. 10% of the Muslims in the UK actively supporting the overthrow of the UK state significant enough for you? How about adding the larger minorities who support the aims if not the methods?

From Arse To Elbow | January 11, 2015 at 06:00 PM

@Jim,

There were plenty of Jews who were committed to the violent overthrow of the Nazi state after 1933, but they were mostly members of other political groups, like the SPD and KPD.

Herschel Grynzspan, a member of the Bund (Jewish Polish socialists), assassinated Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat, in Paris on 7 November 1938. This provided the excuse for the Kristallnacht pogrom in Germany on 9-10 November. Far from being a non-issue, Jewish "terrorism" played a key role in the evolution of the Nazi state.

If you're ever in Berlin, I suggest a visit to the Memorial to the German Resistance, which puts Jewish "terror" into perspective (there's not so much Tom Cruise).

As regards our very own "fifth column", the percentage of UK citizens of Irish heritage who supported a united Ireland, and thus the physical diminution of the British state, during the height of the IRA mainland bombing campaigns in the 70s and 80s, significantly exceeded 10%. Which proves what, exactly? That we should have interned the lot of them?

And as regards people who "support violence, are against freedom of expression, are against sexual and gender equality, and support the introduction of Sharia law", just substitute "hanging and flogging" for the last of these are you are describing a large part of right-wing opinion in this country.

Steve | January 11, 2015 at 04:14 PM

The reason for targeting Islam is, of course, that there is much more Islam-justified acts of individual violence over the last few decades than by other ideologies.

Ralph Musgrave | January 12, 2015 at 10:30 AM

About 90% of those in prison in the UK for terrorist offences are Muslim rather than Buddhist, Catholic, Athiest, etc etc. Given that Muslims make up about 5% of the population that is a HUGE over-representation. See "Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stops and searches, Great Britain 2011/12" p.12.

Fred Fratter | January 12, 2015 at 10:37 AM

@Jim - so, 10% of 2.7m (2011 Census) = 270,000 Muslims are "actively" working to overthrow the state? I live in east London, quite a few Muslims about but I've missed the flying columns on Wanstead Flats - maybe they're over at Hackney Marshes on parade? Or maybe you've come up with a very peculiar definition of "active"? Beware the man with one data point.

Fred Fratter | January 12, 2015 at 10:45 AM

@Ralph - So "some" Muslims are idiots. If you'd looked at that data in the 70's you'd have found it was mainly Irish Catholics in gaol for those offenses (quite a few of whom turned out to be innocent - Birmingham 6, Guildford 4, the McGuires...). I remember the same tarring of a whole community then even though I was just a kid at school.

From Arse To Elbow | January 12, 2015 at 10:50 AM

@Ralph, I recall you made the same point back in November (throwing in the Islamic tendency towards paedophilia and electoral fraud for good measure), so let me repeat:

"At the end of 2013, there were precisely 100 UK prisoners convicted of terrorism offences, of which 93 were Muslim. This reflects current conflicts and the legacy of the 'war on terror'. If you'd taken a snapshot 20 years ago, they'd have been predominantly Irish Republicans."

The disproportionate number of Muslim prisoners today no more reflects an intrinsic tendency towards terrorism in Islam than the disproportionate number of Irish prisoners in the past indicated a similar tendency in Catholicism.

Donald | January 12, 2015 at 01:08 PM

We need to distinguish between "apologise for" and "voice opposition to" or "try to do something about."

I think people that have done something bad done in "their" name, that they disagree with, have more power and, hence, responsibility to do something about it.

As someone from the UK, I feel responsibility to voice opposition to bad things that the UK government do in the name of protecting me. Iraq for example.

The same, I would say, applies to Muslims and terrorism.

I think this is the argument that lots of people are trying to make and end up coming across a bit (a lot?) racist. (Quite often they probably are racist, but that doesn't make the argument so..)

A final thought. If the reasonable and vast majority of Muslims aren't speaking out as much as they might do, why is that?

Here's my guess. In a world of lots of bad stuff happening and constant news, if we protest a lot about one thing, that implies something about how we place it relative to other tragedies.

In this context, it may be difficult for a Muslim (or anyone) to speak to loudly about relatively minor impact of Islamic terrorism in the west. While, at the same time, the west knowingly accepts collateral civilian damage in drone strikes which we would absolutely not accept if the civilians in question were western.

[Jan 15, 2015] Charlie Hebdo Free speech, but not as an absolute value by Simon Dawes

We need to discourage misguided and reactionary representations of these attacks as simply attacks on free speech, and acknowledge that free speech itself is not an absolute value.
Jan 9, 2015 | openDemocracy
Debates over what limits to free speech are acceptable are entirely valid – whether or not we approve of Charlie Hebdo images, or their mass republication on numerous websites this week. While police officers and other non-journalists have also been killed in recent events in France, the editor and other journalists killed on Wednesday were of course the immediate and initial target of (or excuse for) the attack. In the wake of the massacre of much of the editorial team of Charlie Hebdo, there has been an international rush to express solidarity with the victims by identifying with the magazine (on and offline) through the motto JeSuisCharlie, even among those who have never read or even heard of the magazine, and representing the attack not just as a terrorist attack on France or a vague notion of western civilisation, but more specifically as an assault on journalists that epitomised the very idea of free speech and 'western' values.

There have also been those who have also sought to express their solidarity while refusing to identify themselves explicitly with Charlie, because they find its content offensive. Many outside France, who are unfamiliar with the publication, are understandably wary of identifying too closely and quickly with something that may be, or may seem, racist, while many in France are reluctant to identify themselves with a publication they have long felt stigmatised them or others. The overwhelming international rush to identify with Charlie is thus treated as a rash gesture by the more wary well-wishers, some of whom see the magazine as anti-democratic (and even anti-French) as well as Islamaphobic. One may not find funny or acceptable the deliberately provocative and ostensibly offensive images of Mohammed, nor those of the Pope or successive French presidents, or even of Muslims in general.

Some have stressed, however, that the paper has been egalitarian in its offensiveness, refusing to spare anyone, whether those in positions of power or those marginalised and stigmatised in French society (others, on the other hand, have stressed the opposite). It has certainly been resolutely provocative, insisting on its right to be controversial, even and especially at the most sensitive and dangerous of times – even when government ministers have pleaded with the editors to not fan the flames at times of racial tension.

Some have argued that its images, while offensive when seen for the first time outside of their context, actually work on multiple layers, often juxtapositions of unrelated topical stories only immediately comprehensible to a contemporary French audience, and even then, not that immediately, and certainly not to everyone's taste. Indeed, there are valid and convincing reasons for criticising the paper for having contributed to the stigmatisation of Muslims in France, and a more widespread banalisation of Islamaphobia that some have diagnosed in the French media, as well as for seeing it as a publication made by, and for, a predominantly white and male dominant class.

Nevertheless, there are those who have instinctively reacted to this event by proclaiming that free speech – and, by extension, a free press – is an absolute right. Further, that Charlie Hebdo is representative of this right – and, by extension, all western values. The danger is that this claim can be expressed strategically to justify the representation of Muslims as fundamentally opposed to such western values, as well as the need for greater state surveillance to monitor potential terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks.

In the UK, it has even been appropriated by the tabloids to criticise recent 'liberal attacks' on widespread, covert and illegal state surveillance (such as The Guardian's printing of Edward Snowden's revelations of NSA/GCHQ programmes) – and, by extension, justify the tabloids' right to publish whatever they want, regardless of public interest standards, privacy violations or amount of offense caused.

Which, incidentally, leads to a further irony in the debate between press freedom and national security interests, as the renewed calls for greater surveillance powers may now be made in the name of protecting press freedom.

But free speech and a free press are neither the same thing, nor are they absolute values. Because of scope, scale and influence, the press have a far greater impact than an individual, and therefore have a greater responsibility to limit the offence they may cause. And both freedoms are always and already restricted anyway – by laws (of defamation, confidentiality etc.), by social norms, by their conflicts with other values (such as privacy or national security), and so on.

Those who have rushed to republish the controversial images that ultimately got the cartoonists (and others) killed have done so in the name of free speech, claiming that free speech is 'non-negotiable'. But those same organisations have been critical of UK tabloids for printing stories in the name of free speech where it has violated other values, such as privacy, or failed to pass a public interest test, or where it is symptomatic of corporate power's corrupting influence over politics and public life. Surely the recognition that free speech is a negotiable (and strategic) right in those instances undermines the claim that it is non-negotiable when it comes to addressing the offence taken at images of Mohammed, whether or not one agrees that their publication, or even republication, is justified.

We need to discourage misguided and reactionary representations of these attacks as simply attacks on free speech, and acknowledge that free speech itself is not an absolute value. We must recognise the validity of debates over what limits to free speech are acceptable – whether or not we approve of the kind of images that Charlie Hebdo has published, or with their mass republication on numerous websites this week.

No, we're not all Charlie Hebdo, nor should we be by Ben Hayes

January 9, 2015 | opendemocracy.net

I respect your right to show solidarity with the victims of this horrible crime by reposting those drawings, but only if you respect my right not to do so because I happen to find them bigoted and incendiary.

There is nothing new about people suspending their critical faculties in the aftermath of terrorist attacks; unconscionable atrocities are by their very nature easier to denounce than understand.

Such a retreat from reason is inevitably accompanied by attacks on those who seek it out. After 9/11, merely suggesting that the attacks might have had something to do with US foreign policy was akin to treason; today it is Charlie Hebdo that is beyond reproach. Now, as then, these constraints should disturb.

It is no more than a simple statement of fact that among the reasons a number of the magazine's staff were selected for assassination by maniacs was its predilection for Muslim-baiting – this is not a justification, not an excuse, not a defence – but a relevant part of the historical record. Yet, just as in September 2001, you'd be most ill-advised to mention it, lest you wish to be branded a "victim-blamer", a "weasel excuser of murder", or much worse.

Much of my working life has been given over the defence of human rights in the face of unduly repressive responses to acts of terrorism. I remember the climate after 9/11 as if it were yesterday. Those of us who chose not to wrap our solidarity in George Bush's stars and stripes can at least find some solace and vindication in the gradual acceptance that "war on terror" is counterproductive, and that terrorism is better countered with justice, despite the overwhelming "with us or against us" rhetoric of the time.

Today's grand narrative is very similar and goes something like this. This wasn't carefully calculated murder – akin to many other premeditated 'hits', and qualitatively different to other recent acts of terrorism – it was an attack on "Western values", on "European freedom", on "decent people everywhere", etc. Now, just as then, you're either with Charlie Hebdo, or you're with the terrorists. Solidarity means nothing less than "being Charlie". Failing to republish or repost offensive cartoons is an act of cowardice or self-censorship, not a personal or professional choice. And if anything about that makes you just a little bit uncomfortable, you clearly don't understand one or more of the following: how to defend free speech, what Charlie Hebdo is about, satire, French secularism or the foundations of European civilisation. Ergo you should hold your tongue or go live somewhere else.

Defending free speech does indeed mean defending speech you don't agree with; no need to misquote Voltaire here. But asserting the sanctity of the free press while demanding the entire fourth estate publish Charlie cartoons is rank hypocrisy. I respect your right to show solidarity with the victims of this horrible crime by reposting those drawings, but only if you respect my right not to do so because I happen to find them bigoted and incendiary.

To be honest, I'd respect your sudden interest in free expression a lot more if, for example, you'd have stood with those of us who defended Samina Malik, the hip-hop loving "lyrical terrorist"-come-WHSmith-cashier when she was jailed up for writing nursery rhymes about Jihad, or if you had offered such a resolute defence of the Nottingham Two when they were arrested and detained for downloading "terrorist material" – when what they were actually doing was researching militant Islam as part of their university course. And since you hold freedom of speech so dear I expect you to join me in condemning the Council of Europe Convention and the EU Framework Decision that outlaws "public provocation to terrorism". Not the crime of actually inciting terrorist offences, you understand, but speech which "creates a danger" that such offences may be committed. European law drafted solely with limits on Muslim freedom of expression in mind.

It is surely a myth that the freedom of expression of the majority is under threat when #KillAllMuslims is trending on Twitter and the far right in Europe marches from strength to strength. The much less convenient truth is that for many members of minority communities watching all of this unfold, nothing says white privilege more than the visceral amplification of Islamophobia in the name of European values. We're deluding ourselves if we think that simutaneously telling Muslim communities "your sensitivities are stupid and irrelevant - now do your bit for counter-radicalisation" is going to keep us safe.

Now the part where you tell me that Charlie Hebdo isn't racist or bigoted because in addition to going out of its way to insult Muslims, it is an equal opportunities offender. Full disclosure: I've never read the thing and am quite content that my limited grasp of French culture and language means I'll never understand why so many people suddenly think it the height of subversive literature, no matter how many people tell me that as a Private Eye subscriber I should understand. I guess satirical greatness is in the eye of the beholder.

Nor will anyone convince me that taking the reification of Charlie to ever more stupefying heights – c.f. the New Yorker's likening of its "pioneering free expression" to that of Gandhi and Martin Luther King – will do anything other than play into the hands of the racists and fascists whose fondness for free speech extends only as far as their desire to use it to destroy human rights. As with 9/11, we are walking into the trap the terrorists have set for us. Tragedy, farce, repeat.

Again, to be crystal clear, I get why you want to be Charlie and I respect that – especially if you're French or a journalist. But I vehemently reject the imposition of a monoculture which tells me that standing up to terrorism and ridiculing Islam are two sides of the same coin. When the dust settles, I hope you will too.

Frank Witte

What a lazy and sloppy piece of quasi-intellectual writing. Standing up for a magazine that has published a fair share of racist and bigotted cartoons? Oh no, because we don't stand up for racists! We only stand up for underpriviledged and marginalised people who quite understandably at some point get pushed over the edge by all the permitted abuse, sending them into violent adrenaline rage!

I spend quite some time among underpriviledged and marginalised people and in my experience a significant percentage of them are racists too. The tasteless rage of a magazine like Charly Hebdo and the 'white' islamophobic buzz is not that different from the equally nauseating antisemitic slurs, the fairly common derogatory slanting of white girls, the vitriolic rejection of black brits and more prejudices I have encountered among immigrants living in London.

I fear that if someone really only wants to stand up for groups that are free of racism that someone is either standing up for no one, or is delusionally naive. So when I stand up against islamophobia, I do so while knowing that antisemitism is a real issue among muslims. When I stand up against the criminalisation of easter-european migrants then I do so while knowing that racist attitudes towards blacks and asians are a real problem in that community.

You do't have to like someone in order to stand up for his right to remain alive while being unlikable. When people are saying "I am CH" ... they are not saying that it is okay to offend others deliberately andonly with the aim of baiting them into overstepping societal boundaries. What they are saying is this: when murdering unlikable and terribly annoying people becomes a habit, then sooner rather than later I am going to be considered unlikable and annoying by someone. Of course everyone is free to believe in whichever myth they choose to believe in.

But the idea that deep down inside marginalised and disadvantaged people are 'better' or 'purer' and that they would be able to show so if only they weren't disadvantaged and marginalised ... well is just that: a myth. The truth is, deep down inside we are all pretty much the same kind of annoying and prejudiced suckers.

We are all an anti-semite Pakistani who gets blasted off a mountain road with his newly wed wife by a US drone under misinformed orders of Obama. We are all an islamophobic hindu girl that gets gang-raped in the streets of Mumbai. We are all an islamic fundamtalist Rohinga who get shot by buddhist radicals.

In that sense we can also all be Charly Hebdo ... not because charly is in anyway likeable, heroic or 'good' ... but because the rotten tomatoes of this world, such a me, do not deserve to get machine-gunned at work, drone-rocketted at their wedding or gang-raped on the way to an evening out.

Dave > Frank Witte

I completely agree with you!, but I don't feel he is defending the actions of the murderers. "We only stand up for underpriviledged and marginalised people who quite understandably at some point get pushed over the edge by all the permitted abuse, sending them into violent adrenaline rage!" But instead, highlighting the effect of the 'with c.h or with terrorists' concept which may play out as the news spread and people get angrier.

I don't agree with some of the comparisons, like the one with the CEC, and maybe the article is a bit too soon but its worth considering, especially with the traction the right is gaining in France as a result of this.

Again, everyone with half a brain is fully disgusted and cannot attempt justification of the murders

Jonathan Owle > Dave

Great response, and for me the ultimate point - this tragedy will most certainly be used to railroad 'acceptable' opinion and shut down any deeper, more complex questions about why this happened.

[Jan 14, 2015] Charlie Hebdo Victim of Free Speech

Charlie Hebdo was not an equal opportunity offender. It performed complex dance by trying to profit by offending weak. In Roth v. US, the Supreme Court deemed material "unprotected" which is "patently offensive and utterly without redeeming social values". In the Miller v. California the Supreme Court built on the Roth standard employed a three-part guideline for determining "obscenity":
Veterans Today
No doubt the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and its editors were obnoxious, rude, blasphemous, obscene, provocative, sacrilegious, pushing the limits of free speech but that never justify the cold blooded murder committed by the would be suspects, Muslim radicals and criminals. If the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) was alive today, he will be ashamed and offended by the crimes committed in his name by Islamist misfits and thugs from France, Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia among other countries.

While these Muslim "terrorists" used Kalashnikov to kill journalist, the United States of America used its F-15's and F-16s and missiles to kill Aljazeera journalist, Tareq Ayyoub and wounding many when on April 8, 2003 the White House targeted Aljazeera offices in Baghdad deeming Aljazeera and its journalist hostile to US intentions in Iraq, with Donald Rumsfeld defining Aljazeera as "vicious, inexcusably biased and abetting terrorists".

Frank Gaffney President of Center for Security Policy called on George Bush to "take down" Aljazeera. The American well respected "Salon" with information published by the Daily Mirror (30 November 2005) reported that Tony Blair in April of 2004 persuaded President George W. Bush not to bomb Aljazeera offices in Doha, Qatar. What is the difference between the American White House and the Muslim terrorists of France?

Perhaps no one can best describe Charlie Hebdo and its editors better than Arthur Goldmann writing in Aljazeera on line titled " Let's Not Sacralize Charlie Hebdo" January 7, 2014 where he writes:

" Charlie Hebdo – was in the business of giving offenses, and it tried hard to offend every one, right and left, Protestants and Catholics, Muslims, and Jews, male and females, Western and non-Western. It was if you'll pardon the expression, an equal opportunity offender and it revealed it in its freedom to vex, irritate and derange" but was Charlie Hebdo was an equal offender when it came to Islam and Muslims?

Personally, and here I may offend the Muslim communities of France, in saying that this community for the most part, failed to fully understanding the history of France and the resentment against the church and state. Failed to understand and appreciate that as Arthur Goldmann puts it " satire was more blasphemous than political and its roots lie deep in European history dated from the time when in order to challenge authority, one had to confront divinity itself" something the "Islamists" suspects, perhaps the entire Muslim community failed to understand and appreciate.

However in France as well as in the rest of Europe, where racism and xenophobia is always under a thin veneer of civility, the French authorities on occasions have stepped in and did stop "satire and comedy" deemed offensive to the Jewish community, as was the case when French authorities through the power of the French courts stopped and banned the comedy and satire show of the French Comedian Dieundonne M'bala M'bala when during one of his shows he depicted Israeli settlers as Nazis and the courts deemed Dieudonne "crossed the limits of anti-Semitism".

Dieudonne was cleared by French courts in 2003 stating "this was not attack against Jews, in general but against a type of persons distinguished by their political views". Perhaps the same rule also applies to the case of Charlie Hebdo, when it depicted in its many repeated and often cartoon, not the entire Muslim community, but "against a type of persons, distinguished by their political views".

Later Dieudonne signature gesture "quenelle" became notorious in 2013. He was recorded during a performance mocking a Jewish journalist "it was a pity he was not sent to the gas chamber". After this incident Manual Valle, then French Minister of Interior banned all of Dieudonne shows.

However the French authorities never deemed Charlie Hebdo cartoons crossing the lines of free speech or within the realm of "Islamophobia", even when Muslims viewed these cartoons as "blasphemous" especially when it comes to depicting the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). Hence Charlie Hebdo was not an equal opportunity offender.

Not so sure if Muslims in France or their leadership ever used the French legal systems to challenge the rights of Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoon offending their moral and religious senses and deemed 'blasphemous"? Cold-blooded murder is never justified when there is an opportunity even a guaranteed right to seek judicial intervention.

Though France and many nations in Western Europe always pride themselves in their guarantees of free speech, and open debate, passed law such as the French law No 90-615 designed to repress acts of racism and anti-Semitism and xenophobia. The Gayassot Act of July 13, 1990 "makes it illegal to question the existence of crimes that falls in the category of crimes against humanity as defined in the London Charter of 1945."

One thing the Muslim communities of Europe failed to understand, failed to learned is that Europe unlike the US with its long history of immigration and diversity, Europe is 'homogenous" and not a land of immigrants and diversity, with Germans and German culture and tradition are impeded through long history, tradition and values, same in France, in Sweden, in Denmark, in Norway.

Having lived in Europe (Germany and Switzerland) for over 6 years and with some 30 years of frequent travel to Paris and France, I must say that one could not blame the French for their racism and xenophobia and one could not exonerate the Muslim community for its ills and failings to understand and learn to live in peace and harmony with active efforts to integrate in a culture that is totally different from theirs. Muslim communities could never and should never live "isolated" and stranger to France and its well-established culture and traditions.

I also could not exonerate the role of the mosques in France that for the most part contributed to this alienation and hostility toward France and French "culture". With "Imams" who are ill trained, ill educated most do not even speak French, who for the most part know nothing of France, its history, it culture, its values and traditions, secularism, free speech. How can such "leaders" contribute to the peaceful co-existence, harmony, understanding and appreciations of the dominant culture? This is made worst in the fact that most if not all early immigrants to France are illiterate with no skills.

French policies also contributed to this divide having placed these immigrants in "ghettos" no different from the Jewish Ghettos of East Europe where immigrants and their off-springs are truly trapped with overcrowded housing, very poor schools with no efforts to help integrate and incorporate these immigrants, even native born, and their families into the main stream of French society through educations, job training even language education.

I should know, having seen and witnessed these French Ghettos. Ill educated parents with mothers sitting at home with NO contacts with French society and with fathers working long hours in factories, cleaning the streets of French cities had no background nor knowing where to seek help for their children trapped, with little chance of integrating into French society and when they do it is drug dealings, theft, and prostitution, that was the mainstream for integrations of these French born Muslims later converting to Jihadism.

Of course there are exceptional cases where Muslim immigrants and their children rose to the highest levels of French society in business and in politics but that remains the exception.

While both French and US laws guarantees freedom of speech, each country has its own unique views and standards of what constitute free speech?

Not withstanding the US guarantees of free speech through the power and force of the First Amendment, there have been many cases where political and social pressures and lobbies having affected and in fact limited free speech and expressions.

While the US Supreme Court did not have much trouble with traditional free speech, it struggled with issues deemed within the realm of free speech mainly "obscenity and pornography". In Roth v. US, the Supreme Court deemed material "unprotected" which is "patently offensive and utterly without redeeming social values".

In the Miller v. California the Supreme Court built on the Roth standard employed a three-part guideline for determining "obscenity":

And in the words of Supreme Justice Potter Steward " I shall not today attempt any further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced "but I know it when I see it".

The words of Justice Potter Steward were the focus of fights and disputed between artists, museums, local citizens and local political leadership here in the US and to some extent in Europe.

Fights and disputes that saw the cancellations of "Human Zoo". An art exhibition which featured black actors in cages and chains which was cancelled by Barbican in September of 2014, and saw the cancellation of the same show by the Edinburgh Art Festival in 2014 after 23,000 signed a petition calling for the show cancellation.

Here in the US much controversies surrounding art exhibitions where community leaders even members of Congress forced the cancellation of art exhibition deemed obscene and offensive to the sensibility of the community such as that of the Holy Virgin Mary, by Chris Ofili (1996) with a Black Madona " mixed media oil paint glittered – polyester resin elephant dung and collage pornographic images -- images of female genitalia".

The art exhibition "Sensation" sponsored the Brooklyn Museum was center of controversy between the museum, local leadership and politicians with then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani bringing a lawsuit against the museum deemed the exhibition "sick and disgusting" and not covered by First Amendment. The court thought otherwise.

Another art exhibition that saw much controversy is "Piss Christ" 1987 by the artist Andrew Serrano, which "depict a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist urine". Lucy R. Lippard an "art critics" deemed "Piss Christ" as mysterious and beautiful". One has to wonder what taste or standards these so called "art critics" have to be of any social values. The National Gallery of Victoria was vandalized and lost grants because of this exhibition.

In the US unlike Europe which so far escaped the well funded and well organized campaign of "Islamophbia" may soon see the launch of the American version of "Islamophibia" all over Europe given the financial means and connections such movement have in the US and the power and money it can muster from wealthy American Zionists and from Israel.

Unlike anywhere else, here in the US it is not the government that stands in the way of or hamper Free Speech, it is private and well funded American Zionist Jewish organizations that took the lead in limiting free speech, using "misinformation" in the media certainly on college campuses promoting racism and hatred toward Arabs and Muslims, and using "Islamophobia as a tool to promote Israeli agenda here within the US".

Leading the charge are the likes of Frank Gaffney of Center for Security Policy, David Yershalmi of Society of American for National Existence, Daniel Pipes of Middle East Forum, Robert Spence of Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America, Steve Emerson of Investigative Project on Terrorism and Sheldon Edelson with his billions and his "terrorism experts" such as Evan Kohlmann and journalist Jennifer Rubins of the Washington Post.

These organization and well orchestrated campaign by well organized Jewish Zionist student groups and well to do Jewish donors have seen to it of all places that American universities and academic institutions are the first victims of Free Speech in America.

Campus Watch the well funded American Jewish Zionist organization is dedicated to and not only monitor but does its best to stifle debates and discussions on college campus that has to do with the Middle East conflict. It has thousands of "informants" who record professors and students in the class rooms, and reports subject matters discussing the Arab-Israeli conflicts stifling in not impeding free speech, taking actions through alumni associations and wealthy donors to kill free speech on college campuses.

Only recently, the University of Illinois decided under the threats of wealthy Jewish donors to cancel the offer extended to an American born Palestinian-American professor expert on "indigenous studies" denying him from a tenure track professorship at the university because of his frequent tweet during the Israel war on Gaza, tweet deemed hostile to Israel.

The University Chancellor, Phyllis Wise contrary to the rules of offering and rescinding of offers to potential college professors decided and with the support of the university trustees "stand firm on not hiring Professor Steven Salaita' because of his harsh anti-Israeli tweets, thus and in the words of defense lawyer Maria LaHood of the Center for Constitutional Rights creating a "Palestinian Exception to the First Amendment and academic freedom,"

Let us hope that France with its long history of freedom and its well established values enshrined in "Liberte, egalite, fraternite" does not succumb to the well funded and well organized American Jewish Zionist "Islamophobia" disfranchising and demonizing the entire community of some 5 million Muslims setting the stage to what we saw happened in Germany to the Jews when a well organized hostile campaign of demonization of an entire community led to the Holocaust.

What happened at Charles Hebdo and the heinous crime should be a wake up call for the entire Muslim community in France and the rest of Europe that it no longer can afford to sit back and isolate itself from the rest of society it chose to live within and must understand that it has to adjust and live with and accommodate a different value system than the one it brought from "home".

That the Muslim community in France, no longer afford to sit back leaving ill educated, ill cultured and ill informed and hostile " Imams" to disfranchise their children from the rest of society they live in and should seek active help from authorities and community organizers to integrate its children into main stream French society making education the main focus for social, economic, political integration, starting with a official French seminaries to educate and qualify "Imams" and educating them in the Bible, in the Torah, in the French Revolution, in Rene Descartes, Nicolas Malebranche, Voltair and Jean-Jaques Rousseau among others.

The tragic death and cold-blooded murder of the victims at Charlie Hebdo and the two policemen killed (one of whom is Muslim) is a wake call for all of us. Free speech was the victim at Charlie Hebdo. Yes, the Muslim community in France too paid a high price protecting freedom of speech and expression.

Born in the Palestinian city of El-Bireh (presently under Israeli Military and Settlers Occupation). Immigrated to the US in 62. After graduating from high school in Gary, Indiana was drafted into the US Army (66-68) received the Leadership Award from the US 6th Army NCO Academy in Ft. Lewis, Washington. Five of us brothers were in US military service about the same time (Nabil-Army), (Lutfi-Marines), (Sam-Army) and (Taiseer-Marines) with two nephews presently with US Army. Graduated from Indiana University with BA-72, Master of Public Affairs-74 and Jurist Doctor-77, and in senior year at IU, was elected Chairman of the Indiana Student Association. Sami Jamil Jadallah is an international legal and business consultant and is the founder and director of Palestine Agency and Palestine Documentation Center and founder and owner of several businesses in technology and services. His articles are also featured on JeffersonCorner.com, PalestineNote.com and Ramallah Online.

[Jan 14, 2015] Je Suis Charlie Attack Sparks Debate on Free Speech Limits

They attacked weak, never powerful.
ABC News

Are we all Charlie now?

"Je suis Charlie" ? I am Charlie ? was the cry that that raced around the world in the wake of the murderous attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. It has been displayed on placards, scrawled as graffiti and shared millions of times on social media.

Soon, though, came a riposte: "Je ne suis pas Charlie" ? I am not Charlie ? as the tragedy triggered a debate about free speech and its limits, and whether the right to offend should always be used.

For many civil libertarians, the issue was clear. Charlie Hebdo had published crude, rude cartoons that mocked everyone from politicians to the pope to the Prophet Muhammad. It saw its mission as challenging taboos and sacred cows. The best way to honor the 12 killed and stand up for free speech was to print the cartoons again.

The group Index on Censorship ran a selection of Charlie Hebdo cartoons online and called on other publications and websites to follow suit, "to show that fear should not be allowed to stifle free expression." Historian Timothy Garton Ash said that if newspapers didn't publish the images, "the assassins will have won."

Some websites and newspapers did print the Muhammad cartoons. But many, especially in the U.S. and Britain, did not, saying they violated editorial policies against willfully giving offense.

The Associated Press has decided not to run the images, explaining, in part, that "AP tries hard not to be a conveyor belt for images and actions aimed at mocking or provoking people on the basis of religion, race or sexual orientation. ... While we run many photos that are politically or socially provocative, there are areas verging on hate speech and actions where we feel it is right to be cautious."

Alan Rusbridger, editor of the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper, said "we completely defend Charlie Hebdo's ethos and values and the right to offend in the way that they did."

But he said that "there are some very offensive ones that the Guardian would never in the normal run of events publish" ? and it would be wrong to change in response to terrorism.

Others point out that in all societies freedom of speech has its limits. In France, several people have been arrested this week for glorifying the killings on social media. And even staunch defenders of free speech may be alarmed that #Jesuiskouachi ? identifying with the brothers who were the assailants in the Charlie Hebdo attack ? has become a Twitter hashtag.

Some who condemned the killings used the "I am not Charlie" hashtag to express unease at what they saw as publishing hurtful, inflammatory and sometimes racist images. Charlie Hebdo once depicted a black government minister as a monkey, and in 2012, amid an uproar over an anti-Muslim film, the magazine published drawings of Muhammad naked and in demeaning or pornographic poses.

Such Muhammad images offend many ordinary Muslims and, some argued, target a community that already feels beleaguered in France: under-represented in the corridors of power, over-represented in prison, and stigmatized by a law against religious displays that bans headscarves in schools and face-covering veils in public places.

American cartoonist Joe Sacco drew a cartoon in response to the attacks in which he mused that "lines on paper are a weapon, and satire is meant to cut to the bone. But whose bone?"

"Though tweaking the noses of Muslims might be as permissible as it is now believed to be dangerous, it has never struck me as anything other than a vapid way to use the pen," Sacco wrote.

Charlie Hebdo's supporters say such criticism misses crucial context: The newspaper's humor stands in a tradition that mocks hypocrisy and punctures pretension without fear or favor. French journalist Anne-Elisabeth Moutet described it as "rude, obscene, irreverent, and anti-religious ... the last true heir of the French revolutionary and republican traditions."

Amid the heated debate, some Muslims and others embraced a third hashtag: "Je suis Ahmed," in tribute to Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim policeman shot dead by the attackers.

Lebanese writer Dyab Abou Jahjah tweeted: "I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so. #JesuisAhmed." His tweet has been reposted more than 25,000 times.

Julien Casters, a magazine editor in Morocco who was the first to tweet #JesuisAhmed, said the slogan had become popular "because a number of Muslims felt stigmatized by the attack."

"(Sharing) this hashtag is a way of saying, 'We are Muslims and we are also victims of the religious fanaticism,'" he told the AP in an email.

As the free speech debate rages, one thing seems clear ? Charlie Hebdo has not been silenced.

Individuals, media organizations and the French government have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the cash-strapped newspaper going. Before the attack, Charlie Hebdo sold fewer than 100,000 copies a week. The next issue will have a print run of 1 million.

---

[Jan 14, 2015] Charlie Hebdo -- Paul Craig Roberts

PaulCraigRoberts.org

The Charlie Hebdo affair has many of the characteristics of a false flag operation. The attack on the cartoonists' office was a disciplined professional attack of the kind associated with highly trained special forces; yet the suspects who were later corralled and killed seemed bumbling and unprofessional. It is like two different sets of people.

Usually Muslim terrorists are prepared to die in the attack; yet the two professionals who hit Charlie Hebdo were determined to escape and succeeded, an amazing feat. Their identity was allegedly established by the claim that they conveniently left for the authorities their ID in the getaway car. Such a mistake is inconsistent with the professionalism of the attack and reminds me of the undamaged passport found miraculously among the ruins of the two WTC towers that served to establish the identity of the alleged 9/11 hijackers.

It is a plausible inference that the ID left behind in the getaway car was the ID of the two Kouachi brothers, convenient patsies, later killed by police, and from whom we will never hear anything, and not the ID of the professionals who attacked Charlie Hebdo. An important fact that supports this inference is the report that the third suspect in the attack, Hamyd Mourad, the alleged driver of the getaway car, when seeing his name circulating on social media as a suspect realized the danger he was in and quickly turned himself into the police for protection against being murdered by security forces as a terrorist.

Hamyd Mourad says he has an iron-clad alibi. If so, this makes him the despoiler of a false flag attack. Authorities will have to say that despite being wrong about Mourad, they were right about the Kouachi brothers. Alternatively, Mourad could be coerced or tortured into some sort of confession that supports the official story. https://www.intellihub.com/18-year-old-charlie-hebdo-suspect-surrenders-police-claims-alibi/

The American and European media have ignored the fact that Mourad turned himself in for protection from being killed as a terrorist as he has an alibi. I googled Hamid Mourad and all I found (January 12) was the main US and European media reporting that the third suspect had turned himself in. The reason for his surrender was left out of the reports. The news was reported in a way that gave credence to the accusation that the suspect who turned himself in was part of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Not a single US mainstream media source reported that the alleged suspect turned himself in because he has an ironclad alibi.

Some media merely reported Mourad's surrender in a headline with no coverage in the report. The list that I googled includes the Washington Post (January 7 by Griff Witte and Anthony Faiola); Die Welt (Germany) "One suspect has turned himself in to police in connection with Wednesday's massacre at the offices of Parisian satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo;" ABC News (January 7) "Youngest suspect in Charlie Hebdo Attack turns himself in;" CNN (January 8) "Citing sources, the Agence France Presse news agency reported that an 18-year-old suspect in the attack had surrendered to police."

Another puzzle in the official story that remains unreported by the presstitute media is the alleged suicide of a high ranking member of the French Judicial Police who had an important role in the Charlie Hebdo investigation. For unknown reasons, Helric Fredou, a police official involved in the most important investigation of a lifetime, decided to kill himself in his police office on January 7 or January 8 (both dates are reported in the foreign media) in the middle of the night while writing his report on his investigation. A google search as of 6pm EST January 13 turns up no mainstream US media report of this event. The alternative media reports it, as do some UK newspapers, but without suspicion or mention whether his report has disappeared. The official story is that Fredou was suffering from "depression" and "burnout," but no evidence is provided. Depression and burnout are the standard explanations of mysterious deaths that have unsettling implications.

Once again we see the US print and TV media serving as a ministry of propaganda for Washington. In place of investigation, the media repeats the government's implausible story.

It behoves us all to think. Why would Muslims be more outraged by cartoons in a Paris magazine than by hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed by Washington and its French and NATO vassals in seven countries during the past 14 years?

If Muslims wanted to make a point of the cartoons, why not bring a hate crime charge or lawsuit? Imagine what would happen to a European magazine that dared to satirize Jews in the way Charlie Hebdo satirized Muslims. Indeed, in Europe people are imprisoned for investigating the holocaust without entirely confirming every aspect of it.

If a Muslim lawsuit was deep-sixed by French authorities, the Muslims would have made their point. Killing people merely contributes to the demonization of Muslims, a result that only serves Washington's wars against Muslim countries.

If Muslims are responsible for the attack on Charlie Hebdo had voted in the UN with Palestine against the US-Israeli position. This assertion of an independent French foreign policy was reinforced by the recent statement by the President of France that the economic sanctions against Russia should be terminated.

Clearly, France was showing too much foreign policy independence. The attack on Charlie Hebdo serves to cow France and place France back under Washington's thumb.

Some will contend that Muslims are sufficiently stupid to shoot themselves in the head in this way. But how do we reconcile such alleged stupidity with the alleged Muslim 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo professional attacks?

If we believe the official story, the 9/11 attack on the US shows that 19 Muslims, largely Saudis, without any government or intelligence service support, outwitted not only all 16 US intelligence agencies, the National Security Council, Dick Cheney and all the neoconservatives in high positions throughout the US government, and airport security, but also the intelligence services of NATO and Israel's Mossad. How can such intelligent and capable people, who delivered the most humiliating blow in world history to an alleged Superpower with no difficulty whatsoever despite giving every indication of their intentions, possibly be so stupid as to shoot themselves in the head when they could have thrown France into turmoil with a mere lawsuit?

The Charlie Hebdo story simply doesn't wash. If you believe it, you are no match for a Muslim.

Some who think that they are experts will say that a false flag attack in France would be impossible without the cooperation of French intelligence. To this I say that it is practically a certainty that the CIA has more control over French intelligence than does the President of France. Operation Gladio proves this. The largest part of the government of Italy was ignorant of the bombings conducted by the CIA and Italian Intelligence against European women and children and blamed on communists in order to diminish the communist vote in elections.

Americans are a pitifully misinformed people. All of history is a history of false flag operations. Yet Americans dismiss such proven operations as "conspiracy theories," which merely proves that government has successfully brainwashed insouciant Americans and deprived them of the ability to recognize the truth.

Americans are the foremost among the captive nations.

Who will liberate them?

[Jan 14, 2015] Glenn Greenwald nails the Charlie Hebdo affair

PaulCraigRoberts.org

Glenn Greenwald nails the Charlie Hebdo affair:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/09/solidarity-charlie-hebdo-cartoons/

Sunday morning news channels report a huge "anti-terror" rally in France with 50 "world leaders" flown in to participate, including the Chancellor of Germany and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Spain.

This looks more and more like an orchestrated affair. Assembling "world leaders" in such a short time reminds me of the 10,000 man army ready to occupy Boston in response to the Marathon Bombing.

[Jan 14, 2015] Suspicions are growing that the French shootings are a false flag operation

Jan 11, 2015 | PaulCraigRoberts.org

Suspicions are growing that the French shootings are a false flag operation

I do not know these sites or their credibility. I do know the mainstream media, and it has no credibility.

Considering the number of real journalists on war fronts, not cartoonists in Paris, killed by Washington funded and organized ISIS, including filmed beheadings, the uproar over the cartoonists' deaths has the appearance of orchestration. Whether or not it is a false flag operation, the shootings are being used for a wider purpose or purposes.

Among these purposes is bringing France back into Washington's orbit. The French president had recently said that the sanctions against Russia should be terminated. Hollande was allying himself with French economic interests instead of with Washington's hegemonic foreign policy.

Another purpose is to stifle the growing European sympathy for the Palestinians and to realign Europe with Israel.

Another purpose is to counter the rising opposition in Europe to more Middle Eastern wars. The American neoconservatives have not completed their agenda. Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Saudi Arabia are still standing.

And there can be other purposes not apparent to me.

My recommendation is that you not believe the print and TV media, but think. The failure of Americans to think is why they are 13 years into war and live in a police state.

[Jan 14, 2015] Al Qaeda claims responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attacks

Jan 14, 2015 | DW.DE

Militant Islamist organization al Qaeda in Yemen has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. The news came as copies of the "survivors' edition" sold out in France.

[Jan 14, 2015] Memorial service held for police killed in Paris attacks

Dead people don't tell tales...
The Guardian

Lt Franck Brinsolaro, 49, was a protection officer assigned to the Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb. Ahmed Merabet, 40, was gunned down outside the magazine offices as gunmen Saïd and Chérif Kouachi made their escape on Wednesday. Clarissa Jean-Philippe, 26, was shot by the Kouachis' accomplice Amély Coulibaly after the trainee officer was called to a car accident in the Montrouge area of Paris with two other colleagues.

The Kouachis and Coulibaly were subsequently killed by police.

[Jan 14, 2015] Charlie Hebdo killings: 'Don't be afraid. I won't kill you. You're a woman' by Kim Willsher

Why brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi got so easily into protected by police office of the magazine? Who let them in?
The Guardian

One of the survivors of the Charlie Hebdo massacre has given a chilling account of how her life was spared by one of the terrorist gunmen.

Sigolène Vinson, a writer at the satirical magazine, described how she hid as Kalashnikov-toting brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi picked off colleagues one by one. Eleven people at the magazine died and a police officer was murdered as the gunmen fled.

Vinson said she had been in the kitchen making a coffee when the Kouachi brothers burst into the editorial meeting.

"We heard two pops … we all wondered what it was," Vinson told Le Monde newspaper.

She said Franck Brinsolaro, a police protection officer assigned to Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane "Charb" Charbonnier, got up and appeared to be reaching for his pistol.

"He said 'Don't move'. I threw myself on the ground … I knew it wasn't firecrackers."

Vinson crawled towards some offices when the door of the editorial office burst open and a man cried: "Allahu akbar … where is Charb?"

"I heard gunfire. I didn't look back, I didn't want to stare death in the face and I was sure I was going to die," she said.

She joined other staff hiding in a colleague's office where they could hear but not see the killing spree.

"They didn't fire in bursts, they shot one bullet after another. Slowly. Nobody shouted. Everyone must have been taken completely by surprise," Vinson said.

Vinson heard footsteps and more gunfire. One of the gunmen, later identified as Saïd Kouachi, looked around an office wall and took aim.

"I looked at him. He had big dark eyes, a gentle look. I felt he was slightly troubled, like he was searching for my name," she said.

"He said 'don't be afraid, calm down. I won't kill you. You're a woman, we don't kill women. But think about what you do, what you do is bad. I'm sparing you and because I've spared you, you will read the Qur'an'.

"I thought it quite cruel of him to ask me not to be afraid when he'd just killed everyone and was aiming at me with his gun. I thought it unfair to say that what we'd done was wrong, when good was on our side.

"I nodded my head, to maintain some kind of contact. I didn't want to lose eye contact because Jean-Luc [layout editor] was under the table … I fully understood that if this guy didn't kill women, he killed men."

She said Saïd Kouachi turned towards the editorial room where his brother Chérif had shot Elsa Cayat, another Charlie writer, and shouted: "We don't kill women," three times. The men then left.

Vinson described the scene of horror next door. She stepped over colleagues' bodies to reach her mobile phone in her coat pocket and called the emergency services.

"It's Charlie, come quickly. They are all dead … they're all dead," she told them.

Charlie Hebdo attack Helicopters hunt for suspects in woods of France

CNN.com

Longpont, France (CNN)An intense manhunt for two brothers wanted in the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre focused Thursday on northern France's Picardy region, where sources close to the investigation said a police helicopter might have spotted the suspects.

Authorities believe that Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, entered a wooded area on foot, the sources told CNN's Chris Cuomo. Now investigators are using helicopters equipped with night vision tools to try to find them, the sources said.

Earlier Thursday, a police helicopter glimpsed what investigators believed to be the fugitives in the same area, near Crepy-en-Valois, France.

Police flooded the region, with heavily armed officers canvassing the countryside and forests in search of the killers. They came after a gas station attendant reportedly said the armed brothers threatened him near Villers-Cotterets in Picardy, stole gas and food, then drove off late Thursday morning.

About 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the gas station, police blocked a rural country road leading to the French village of Longpont. Authorities have not commented in any detail, but pictures showed heavily armed police officers with shields and helmets in the blocked-off area.

Hours later, a CNN team witnessed a convoy of 30 to 40 police vehicles leaving a site near Longpont.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls put the Picardy region on the highest alert level, that same level that the entire Ile-de-France region, including Paris, is already under.

As the search for the suspects intensified, details emerged about their past travels -- and possible training abroad.

Said Kouachi went to Yemen for training, a French official told CNN. The training he received included instruction from al Qaeda's affiliate there on how to fire weapons, a U.S. official said, citing information French intelligence provided to the United States.

In addition to northern France, other parts of the country have also been under scrutiny.

More than 80,000 police were deployed nationwide Thursday, France's interior minister said.

Earlier Thursday, a gunman -- dressed in black and wearing what appeared to be a bulletproof vest, just like those who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices -- shot and killed a female police officer in the Paris suburb of Montrouge. A municipal official was seriously wounded in that attack, France's interior minister said. One person was arrested, Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman said, though it's not known whether the shooter is still at large.

Authorities have called that a terror attack, but they haven't connected it to Wednesday's slaying of 12 at the satirical magazine's Paris headquarters.

Latest updates at 10:15 p.m. ET

• Investigators found empty containers and gasoline inside a car driven by the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack, according to U.S. and Western officials who say they received information from French intelligence about the vehicle. The suspects may have intended to use the items to make rudimentary explosives such as Molotov cocktails, the officials told CNN's Pamela Brown, Barbara Starr and Deborah Feyerick.

Charlie Hebdo to publish next Wednesday

While its business is satire, Charlie Hebdo has been the subject of serious venom.

That includes its publication of cartoons lampooning the Muslim prophet, Mohammed, which some found very offensive.

Satirical magazine is no stranger to controversy

The magazine's offices were fire-bombed after that in 2011, on the same day the magazine was due to release an issue with a cover that appeared to poke fun at Islamic law.

It was attacked again Wednesday, when two masked men entered its offices not far from the famed Notre Dame Cathedral and the Place de la Bastille.

On their way into the building, they asked exactly where the offices were. The men reportedly spoke fluent French with no accent.

They barged in on the magazine's staff, while they were gathered for a lunchtime editorial meeting. The gunmen separated the men from the women and called out the names of cartoonists they intended to kill, said Dr. Gerald Kierzek, a physician who treated wounded patients and spoke with survivors.

The shooting was not a random spray of bullets, but more of a precision execution, he said.

The two said they were avenging the Prophet Mohammed and shouted "Allahu akbar," which translates to "God is great," Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said.

Cell phone cameras caught the two gunmen as they ran back out of the building, still firing. One of them ran up to a wounded police officer lying on a sidewalk and shot him point-blank.

It was the deadliest attack in Europe since July 2011, when Anders Behring Brevik killed 77 people in attacks on government buildings in Oslo, Norway, and at a youth camp on the island of Utoya.

But it won't stop Charlie Hebdo. Pelloux told CNN affiliate BFMTV that thousands of copies of the magazine will be published next Wednesday. Proceeds from the issue will go to victims' families, France's Le Monde newspaper reported.

'It was their only mistake'

Authorities have released few details on why they've zeroed in on the Kouachi brothers. But they have pointed to one key clue found inside a getaway car the gunmen apparently used: Said Kouachi's identification card. It was discovered by investigators as they combed the vehicle for clues after impounding it.

"It was their only mistake," said Dominique Rizet, BFMTV's police and justice consultant, reporting that discovering the ID had helped French investigators

Other evidence also points to the brothers' involvement, according to U.S. officials briefed by French intelligence.

Police hunting for the Kouachi brothers have searched residences in a number of towns, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Who are the suspects?

An ISIS radio broadcast Thursday praised the attackers, calling them "brave jihadists." There was no mention of a claim of responsibility for the attack.

Officials were running the brothers' names through databases to look for connections with ISIS and al Qaeda.

A third suspect, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, turned himself in to police, a source close to the case told the AFP news agency. In French media and on social media, classmates of Mourad, who is in his final year of high school, said he was with them at school at the time of the attack.

Cazeneuve said that nine people overall have been detained in connection with the Charlie Hebdo attack.

But the Kouachi brothers remain on the run.

'Parisians will not be afraid'

The victims' names were splashed Thursday across newspapers as heroes for freedom of expression. "Liberty assassinated." "We are all Charlie Hebdo," the headlines blared.

They included two police officers, Stephane Charbonnier -- a cartoonist and the magazine's editor, known as "Charb" -- and three other well-known cartoonists known by the pen names Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous. Autopsies on the victims were underway Thursday, Cazeneuve said.

Flags flew at half-staff on public buildings and events were canceled Thursday, a national day of mourning. Crowds gathered in the rain in Paris in the victims' honor, many holding up media credentials and broke into applause as the silence ended. The bells of Notre Dame Cathedral tolled across the city.

"I can't remember such a day since 9/11," said Klugman, Paris' deputy mayor. "The country really is in a kind of shutdown in respect and memory of the 12 people killed."

The day earlier, thousands poured into streets in hordes in a show of solidarity, holding up pens and chanting, "We are Charlie!" Similar demonstrations took place in cities in addition to Paris, including Rome,

On Thursday, demonstrators once again vowed that nothing would silence them.

Standing in Paris' Place de la Republique, Lesley Martin sounded defiant as she waved an "I am Charlie" sign.

"I am not afraid," she said. "Tonight I'm here and, if tomorrow I have to be here, I don't care if anybody comes and just wants to do something really bad here. I'm not afraid to die."

Cartoonists took a profane aim at the world

CNN's Atika Shubert reported from France, CNN's Greg Botelho and Catherine E. Shoichet wrote this story from Atlanta. CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Laura Smith-Spark, Pamela Brown, Barbara Starr, Deborah Feyerick, Jim Sciutto, Jim Bittermann, Ben Brumfield, Jethro Mullen, Khushbu Shah, Anas Hamdan, Max Foster, Greg Morrison, Bryony Jones, Michael Martinez and Ray Sanchez also contributed to this report.

[Jan 13, 2015] Mentor of Charlie Hebdo gunmen has been UK-based by Josh Halliday, Duncan Gardham and Julian Borger

11 January 2015 | The Guardian

Djamel Beghal, who has emerged as a mentor to two of the gunmen involved in last week's attacks in Paris, has been on the radar of western intelligence agencies for more than 15 years.

The French-Algerian moved from France to Britain in 1997, and became a regular worshipper at London's Finsbury Park mosque and a disciple of the radical preachers Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. He came to be seen by UK and French intelligence as one of al-Qaida's leading recruiters in Europe.

He was back in the news last week after it emerged that he was one of the links between Chérif Kouachi, one of the brothers behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket and also a policewoman.

French investigators believe Kouachi was radicalised by Beghal in prison, where he was serving a 10-year sentence for a plot to bomb the US embassy in Paris. Kouachi later visited Beghal when he was under house arrest in the Auvergne region of southern France. So did Coulibaly and his partner, Hayat Boumeddiene. She told police that they had gone there for "crossbow practice".

Beghal left Algeria to study in France when he was 22. He married Sylvie, a French citizen, in 1990, while working as a youth worker and attempting to recruit Islamic converts in Corbeil-Essonnes, a small town on the river Seine south of Paris.

His first known contact with the authorities dates back to 1996, when he was questioned in France because his phone number had been found in the possession of a suspected terrorist. He was allowed to go free but remained under close surveillance in France.

In 1997, Beghal moved his family to Leicester, apparently earning money by making sandwiches and working for a homeless charity while studying information technology. But he made frequent trips to London and the Finsbury Park mosque.

According to legal documents in the case against Abu Qatada, who was deported from Britain after an 11-year battle, Beghal became an "extremist" under the influence of the preacher and was a member of a group involved in "distributing propaganda material" around Britain with Abu Qatada. Abu Qatada is also believed to have inspired him to move to Jalalabad in Afghanistan in November 2000.

When he was arrested at Abu Dhabi airport in July the next year, he claimed to have been travelling from Pakistan to Morocco with the wife and children of a friend. But he was suspected of returning to Europe to lead Osama bin Laden's war on the west after a year of training with senior al-Qaida commanders in Afghanistan.

In a vivid account of his interrogation in Abu Dhabi given to the campaign group Cage in 2011, Beghal claimed he had been forced to endure deafening sounds and suffocating smells while being deprived of sleep, food and light.

Beghal said he had been interrogated and beaten by a British-accented agent who asked him solely about his connections with the UK. He said he was questioned about Leicester and prominent Muslims in London – chiefly Abu Qatada. "They wanted me to accuse Abu Qatada at any cost," Beghal told Cage. "He would insist with brutality to reveal the link between Abu Qatada and Osama bin Laden, whom he called Abu Abdallah."

Under interrogation, Beghal admitted to receiving training in Afghanistan, to meeting Abu Zubaydah – a key lieutenant of Bin Laden – and to travelling back to France to attack the US embassy in Paris.

Back in France he withdrew this confession but was convicted in March 2005 on terrorism charges and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.

He was released in 2009 but put under house arrest in the village of Murat, in the Auvergne, where he appears to have been visited by several aspiring jihadis including Kouachi and Coulibaly. They were all arrested in May 2010, accused of attempting to free Smaïn Aït Ali Belkacem, a convicted terrorist jailed for a 1995 bombing of the Paris metro.

Beghal's wife, Sylvie, still lives in Leicester with their four children in a four-bedroom terraced house overlooking a park. She is mounting a supreme court challenge to anti-terrorist legislation after she was questioned by police on 4 January 2011 at East Midlands airport.

She was cautioned for failing to disclose information requested by officers under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act.

She pleaded guilty at Leicester magistrates court, but later brought unsuccessful appeals to the high court and court of appeal. In November 2014, she took her legal challenge to the supreme court, supported by the Muslim Council of Britain, Islamic Human Rights Commission and Cage.

In a statement after one court hearing, Sylvia Beghal said: "Once again my husband is punished for something he didn't do … We just want to be left alone and live a peaceful life."

[Jan 13, 2015] French police chief committed suicide after Charlie Hebdo attack

Jan 13, 2015 | Telegraph

A high-ranking judicial police chief in Limoges committed suicide last Wednesday hours after being asked to file a report on the Charlie Hebdo killings, it has emerged.

Helric Fredou, 45, the deputy director of the regional judicial police in Limoges turned his gun on himself last Wednesday night, hours after Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people in an Islamist rampage, including two policemen.

He had been tasked with investigating the family of one of the victims, but died before handing in the report.

He had reportedly interviewed families of Charlie Hebdo victims in the hours after the attack.

It is not known if his decision to commit suicide has any link to the Charlie Hebdo killings.

Charlie Hebdo Attack 'False Flag' Debate Intensifies By Tommy Hansen

Caravan Daily

Experts tell Anadolu Agency the fears that 'terror attacks' are being orchestrated to demonise Muslims 'must be considered seriously and investigated'

COPENHAGEN - Experts have said fears aired in discussions largely on social media and online about the Charlie Hebdo massacre being associated with "false flag" operations or western agents must be taken seriously after it emerged the two Kouachi brothers accused of the slaughter in Paris had been on British and US intelligence services terror watch lists for years.

Debate over possible motives for the attacks and concerns of possible "orchestration" intensified on Tuesday, a day after a story on a BBC-lookalike web page which raised questions about the authenticity of YouTube footage of the killing of a police officer by a gunman during the Charlie Hebdo shootings, went viral on social media.

Concerns increased after European media reported that both Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out the massacre at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine and were later killed in a shoot-out with police in a French village on Friday, had been identified as a "potential terror threat" and placed on a watch and no-fly list by British authorities in 2010.

UK daily The Guardian reported the brothers had been flagged in a U.S. database as "terrorist suspects" and barred from flying into the U.S. after they were identified as being part of a terror cell established in 2003 to send volunteers to Iraq.

The reports added to concerns over the nature and direction of the U.S.-led "war on terror" and motives behind the political and military construct, launched during the George W. Bush administration in the U.S. following the 9/11 events in New York in 2011.

'Europeans opposing wars'

Many online and social media users raised concerns over what many said were a pattern of U.S. and UK intelligence service involvement with the perpetrators of "terror" attacks.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Associate editor at the Wall Street Journal and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under the Reagan Administration, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the events in Paris appeared to have been a "false flag" operation carried out with the involvement of Western intelligence agencies, in order to bring France "back into Washington's orbit" and to "realign Europe with Israel".

Roberts explained: "I don't say it was a false flag operation. I say it has the marks of a such.

"Another reason would be to get rid of the rising opposition in Europe against more Middle Eastern wars. "

He went on: "Considering the number of journalists on war fronts who have been killed by Washington-funded and organized ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the uproar over the cartoonists' deaths has the appearance of orchestration.

"Whether or not it is a false flag operation, the shootings are clearly being used for a wider purpose or purposes, to create hatred against Muslims and support the 'war on terror', launced by then-U.S. President George W. Bush immediately after September 11."

'War with Iran'

His comments added to concerns long-debated on social media over comments made in 2007 by retired 4-star U.S. Army general General Wesley Clark, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.

Clark said in a video interview in 2007 with U.S. journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now that a classified memo referred to him by a general of the U.S. Joint Staff during the initial bombings of Afghanistan showed: "We're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and – finishing off – Iran."

Daniele Ganser, director of the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER), told Anadolu Agency: "Researchers must try to find out whether the recent terrorist attacks in Paris were a false flag operation carried out in order to discredit Muslims globally and justify the bombing of Muslim nations, which has been going on for many years now and continues.

He explained: "During the Cold War, 'false flag' terrorist attacks were carried out in Europe by criminals linked to European secret services, the CIA and also NATO.

"A network of secret armies known as 'Gladio' prepared for secret warfare in case of a Soviet invasion."

'Britain manipulates radicals'

He went on: "During that time. the official enemy of Washington and NATO was communist Russia.

"In the absence of an invasion, criminals within the Gladio network carried out terrorist attacks in Italy and other countries and planted fake evidence in order to discredit the Communists."

Ganser observed that NATO countries have bombed several Muslim countries in recent years, including Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria.

Kevin Barrett, editor at U.S. war veterans' online news site, Veterans Today, said on Monday: "The British government has a long history of working with radical Salafi and Wahhabi figures, which it protects and manipulates in order to achieve its political objectives."

Spoof BBC story

Their comments came a day after a story on a BBC-lookalike web page which raised questions about the authenticity of YouTube footage of the killing of a police officer by a gunman during the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris last week went viral on social media.

The false story stated that a "video clip broadcast by news agencies across the world in relation to the recent events in Paris is now under scrutiny" referring to perceived anomalies in a YouTube video of the actual Charlie Hebdo massacre.

The web link pointed to the existence of what it described as "place markers" in the video of two gunmen killing a police officer – two dark lines at a right angle on the road where the gunmen's car is centered when the video begins, as well as a shoe positioned squarely in front of the car door from which the armed passenger exits.

The text suggested a break in the footage which appeared after the policeman was "apparently" shot in the head, showed after it restarted the passenger-side gunman returning to the vehicle, which then appeared to be sited slightly behind its original position – with a second dark line at right-angles to the road direction showing up more clearly by the offside front wheel.

U.S. military expansion

The gunman then picked up the shoe and carried it with him back into the car.

The text also quoted a "David Mayhew" saying: "If the video shows events as they actually occurred, then in my opinion it is most likely that the firearm shown is discharging blanks rather than conventional ammunition", describing him as a "forensic and ballistics expert".

The fake article concludes: "Whilst numerous theories have sprung up concerning this and other details, the general consensus among not just skeptics, but some major news agencies, is that the entire event was a 'False Flag' attack perpetrated by the CIA and/or Mossad in a "psy-ops" exercise to rouse hatred against Islam and support for what has been so far, a failing campaign in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East".

Such discussions mirrored authentic critics on the internet and social media sites who have repeatedly voiced concern over what the U.S.-led "war on terror" and the constant military expansion and warring led by the U.S. which has marked the post-9/11 period. - aa.com.tr

[Jan 12, 2015] M of A - Some Additional Bits On The Hebdo Attack

Gerry1211 | Jan 10, 2015 12:24:25 PM | 6

Let's remember the bombings of Rome RR stations as well as other bombings just so we could, at that time, accuse the Communists. Gladio/CIA was very active all across Europe at that time. It included the killing of Italian PM Aldo Moro. There has not been one European election in which the CIA did not interfere.

So, when Francois Hollande decided to support an independent Palestinian State, subsequently supported Palestinian membership in the ICC, Netanyahu had a cow and said France would be sorry.
Subsequent statements by Hollande that sanctions against Russia should be stopped because they were bad for Europe got him in hot water with the hegemon.

What better way then to create a false flag operation by well trained operatives who, believe it or not, just happened to know that there was a meeting going on at Charlie Hebdo that had all the players in one room, to punish France AND to accuse and revile the Muslims. Killing 2 flies with one stone. Very conveniently they spoke fluent French. Very unprofessional and shabby to leave their own identification in the car. Reeks like Mohammed Atta whose passport miraculously survived the fire during 911. Anyone remember the Boston bombing?

And then we have another altercation with a hostage taker in a Orthodox Jewish Deli just in case WE didn't get IT after Charlie Hebdo killings. Yes we know, it is the evil Muslim terrorists who are against freedom of speech and hate the Jews. Missing is the sordid reality that France together with the West has funded/trained and aided terrorism of ISIL in Libya, Iraq and Syria.

So France can engage in terrorism in the M.E. but the world falls apart if they receive in kind, not necessarily by real terrorist, most likely patsies on behalf of a "greater good" snowing the people of France and the world as Gladio/CIA/Mossad engage in terror in France. I am against killing for whatever reason, but I am definitely NOT Charlie.

Wait for the next installment.

Cynthia | Jan 10, 2015 12:11:36 PM | 5

I try to use Molly Ivins' words as my guideline:

"There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity - like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule - that's what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel - it's vulgar."

And as Max Blumenthal, as well as Bernhard, pointed out, Charlie Hebdo fired a cartoonist (Maurice Sinet/Siné) for ONE allegedly anti-Semitic article and cartoon, for which he received death threats from the Jewish Defense League (JDL):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin%C3%A9

The rag was definitely not an equal opportunity offender.

No, I'm not much of a Charlie, meaning that my tolerance for racist, shock-jock satire, especially directed at the powerless, is very low.

H/T: Ritzl @ Mondoweiss

Oui | Jan 10, 2015 12:52:21 PM | 8

Info can be read here. It was not a cartoon but remarks by Maurice Siné in his column on July 2, 2008. A lawsuit had been filed by LICRA (Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme) on two occasions, in 1982 and in 2008 against cartoonist Maurice Siné:

Sinet is subpoenaed September 9, 2008 before the 6th Criminal Chamber (press) the High Court of Lyon by the Licra for "inciting racial hatred". The hearing on the merits has been scheduled for January 29, 2009. It was finally held on 27 and 28 January 2009.

On February 24, 2009, he was acquitted in Lyon, judges considering that Sinet had used his right to satire. In March, Sinet is however dismissed a libel suit brought against Claude Paris Askolovitch .

On 30 November 2010, the High Court of Paris condemned Charlie Hebdo for moral and financial prejudice against Sinet. The judgment states in fact that "it can not be claimed that the terms of the chronic Sine ... are anti-Semitic or that it has made a mistake by writing. "Rotary Publishing, publisher of the weekly, will have to pay 40,000 euros in damages to Maurice Sinet for breach of contract. Charlie Hebdo appealed, and in December 2012, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed the conviction and increases the amount of damages to 90,000 . [Source: Wikipedia]

Noirette | Jan 10, 2015 1:16:04 PM | 10

France is the no. 1 W. country that is 'supposedly' vulnerable to civil strife thru manipulation of the Arab-muslim dimension - large no. present thru long-standing cheap-labor immigration, colonialist past and yes *present*, racism against Arabs, etc. - but it resisted until recently (but see the Merah shootings in 2012, but who remembers that? See how fast that indignation goes down the memory hole?)

The original idea of terrorist attacks (since some time before 9/11, other topics left out,..) was to whip up hate against enemies of Israel - Arabs, muslims - who coincidentally had their expensively-clad cotton derrières sitting on massive spouting oil reserves. 9/11 was then used to justify invading 'n destroying Afghanistan and Iraq.

Russia, Turkey, others, all in raucous yet uniform chorus after 9/11, we TOO will FIGHT TERRORISM, etc. (First! our own internal enemies! ..ha ha..) The only terrorism and contra-terror rationales or actions the Hegemon allows are against Ayrabs, sand-niggers, muslims, radical islamists etc. without any exceptions. Note good Muslims can exist, e.g. moderate rebels in Syria or the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi, in Egypt.

Islamist terrorism became a wet-dream script for a) provocateurs, thin on the ground, but maybe some cartoonists who earn good pay, b) authoritarians, law enforcement, arms sellers, bio-warfare types, etc., c) those who want to show subservience, loving hands, to the USA.

Add on, d) non-white angry potential criminal sadist or murderer, as there is some support, rationale, etc. hovering to be embraced thru the pretense of love for the Prophet.

C. Kouachi, in F

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clCRRyTvWMo

Partial trans NSBC http://tinyurl.com/n69jo5g

Makes for a heady mix, as I said before, I'm surprised there haven't been more deathly attacks.

It is too tempting, too easy.

Even a modest terrorist attack, outsourced very cheaply, easy to organise, maybe 50K per terrorist (they make money too), three cars, some bombs, phones, or guns, etc., peanuts, can bring tremendous profits, a very lucrative investment, in terms of funding for police, military, weapons, new IT programs, surveillance matériel, experts, pundits on board from day one, new Gvmt. anti-terror program staffed with 150 ppl, justification for Gvmt. surveillance, control, etc. With minimal loss of life! (Surely this is a well-touted excuse?)

Ok, ideally you should torture some folks, but you can pretend to do that or skip it for now.

[Jan 12, 2015] Who Should be Blamed for Muslim Terrorism by ANDRE VLTCHEK

I doubt the Muslims in Middle Ages were so benign as author described. They regularly raided Ukraine and other European countries for slaves. Slave trade in Africa was mainly in their hands.
Jan 11, 2015 | CounterPunch
A hundred years ago, it would have been unimaginable to have a pair of Muslim men enter a cafe or a public transportation vehicle, and then blow themselves up, killing dozens. Or to massacre the staff of a satirical magazine in Paris! Things like that were simply not done.

When you read the memoirs of Edward Said, or talk to old men and women in East Jerusalem, it becomes clear that the great part of Palestinian society used to be absolutely secular and moderate. It cared about life, culture, and even fashion, more than about religious dogmas.

The same could be said about many other Muslim societies, including those of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Indonesia. Old photos speak for themselves. That is why it is so important to study old images again and again, carefully.

Islam is not only a religion; it is also an enormous culture, one of the greatest on Earth, which has enriched our humanity with some of the paramount scientific and architectural achievements, and with countless discoveries in the field of medicine. Muslims have written stunning poetry, and composed beautiful music. But above all, they developed some of the earliest social structures in the world, including enormous public hospitals and the first universities on earth, like The University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco.

The idea of 'social' was natural to many Muslim politicians, and had the West not brutally interfered, by overthrowing left-wing governments and putting on the throne fascist allies of London, Washington and Paris; almost all Muslim countries, including Iran, Egypt and Indonesia, would now most likely be socialist, under a group of very moderate and mostly secular leaders.

***

In the past, countless Muslim leaders stood up against the Western control of the world, and enormous figures like the Indonesian President, Ahmet Sukarno, were close to Communist Parties and ideologies. Sukarno even forged a global anti-imperialist movement, the Non-Allied movement, which was clearly defined during the Bandung Conference in Indonesia, in 1955.

That was in striking contrast to the conservative, elites-oriented Christianity, which mostly felt at home with the fascist rulers and colonialists, with the kings, traders and big business oligarchs.

For the Empire, the existence and popularity of progressive, Marxist, Muslim rulers governing the Middle East or resource-rich Indonesia, was something clearly unacceptable. If they were to use the natural wealth to improve the lives of their people, what was to be left for the Empire and its corporations? It had to be stopped by all means. Islam had to be divided, and infiltrated with radicals and anti-Communist cadres, and by those who couldn't care less about the welfare of their people.

***

Almost all radical movements in today's Islam, anywhere in the world, are tied to Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative, reactionary sect of Islam, which is in control of the political life of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other staunch allies of the West in the Gulf.

To quote Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Sindi:

"It is very clear from the historical record that without British help neither Wahhabism nor the House of Saud would be in existence today. Wahhabism is a British-inspired fundamentalist movement in Islam. Through its defense of the House of Saud, the US also supports Wahhabism directly and indirectly regardless of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Wahhabism is violent, right wing, ultra-conservative, rigid, extremist, reactionary, sexist, and intolerant…"

The West gave full support to the Wahhabis in the 1980s. They were employed, financed and armed, after the Soviet Union was dragged into Afghanistan and into a bitter war that lasted from 1979 to 1989. As a result of this war, the Soviet Union collapsed, exhausted both economically and psychologically.

The Mujahedeen, who were fighting the Soviets as well as the left-leaning government in Kabul, were encouraged and financed by the West and its allies. They came from all corners of the Muslim world, to fight a 'Holy War' against Communist infidels.

According to the US Department of State archives:

"Contingents of so-called Afghan Arabs and foreign fighters who wished to wage jihad against the atheist communists. Notable among them was a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden, whose Arab group eventually evolved into al-Qaeda."

Muslim radical groups created and injected into various Muslim countries by the West included al-Qaeda, but also, more recently, ISIS (also known as ISIL). ISIS is an extremist army that was born in the 'refugee camps' on the Syrian/Turkish and Syrian/Jordanian borders, and which was financed by NATO and the West to fight the Syrian (secular) government of Bashar al-Assad.

Such radical implants have been serving several purposes. The West uses them as proxies in the wars it is fighting against its enemies – the countries that are still standing in the way to the Empire's complete domination of the world. Then, somewhere down the road, after these extremist armies 'get totally out of control' (and they always will), they could serve as scarecrows and as justification for the 'The War On Terror', or, like after ISIS took Mosul, as an excuse for the re-engagement of Western troops in Iraq.

Stories about the radical Muslim groups have constantly been paraded on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, or shown on television monitors, reminding readers 'how dangerous the world really is', 'how important Western engagement in it is', and consequently, how important surveillance is, how indispensable security measures are, as well as tremendous 'defense' budgets and wars against countless rogue states.

***

From a peaceful and creative civilization, that used to lean towards socialism, the Muslim nations and Islam itself, found itself to be suddenly derailed, tricked, outmaneuvered, infiltrated by foreign religious and ideological implants, and transformed by the Western ideologues and propagandists into one 'tremendous threat'; into the pinnacle and symbol of terrorism and intolerance.

The situation has been thoroughly grotesque, but nobody is really laughing – too many people have died as a result; too much has been destroyed!

Indonesia is one of the most striking historical examples of how such mechanisms of the destruction of progressive Muslim values, really functions:

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the US, Australia and the West in general, were increasingly 'concerned' about the progressive anti-imperialist and internationalist stand of President Sukarno, and about the increasing popularity of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). But they were even more anxious about the enlightened, socialist and moderate Indonesian brand of Islam, which was clearly allying itself with Communist ideals.

Christian anti-Communist ideologues and 'planners', including the notorious Jesuit Joop Beek, infiltrated Indonesia. They set up clandestine organizations there, from ideological to paramilitary ones, helping the West to plan the coup that in and after 1965 took between 1 and 3 million human lives.

Shaped in the West, the extremely effective anti-Communist and anti-intellectual propaganda spread by Joop Beek and his cohorts also helped to brainwash many members of large Muslim organizations, propelling them into joining the killing of Leftists, immediately after the coup. Little did they know that Islam, not only Communism, was chosen as the main target of the pro-Western, Christian 'fifth column' inside Indonesia, or more precisely, the target was the left-leaning, liberal Islam.

After the 1965 coup, the Western-sponsored fascist dictator, General Suharto, used Joop Beek as his main advisor. He also relied on Beek's 'students', ideologically. Economically, the regime related itself with mainly Christian business tycoons, including Liem Bian Kie.

In the most populous Muslim nation on earth, Indonesia, Muslims were sidelined, their 'unreliable' political parties banned during the dictatorship, and both the politics (covertly) and economy (overtly) fell under the strict control of Christian, pro-Western minority. To this day, this minority has its complex and venomous net of anti-Communist warriors, closely-knit business cartels and mafias, media and 'educational outlets' including private religious schools, as well as corrupt religious preachers (many played a role in the 1965 massacres), and other collaborators with both the local and global regime.

Indonesian Islam has been reduced to a silent majority, mostly poor and without any significant influence. It only makes international headlines when its frustrated white-robed militants go trashing bars, or when its extremists, many related to the Mujahedeen and the Soviet-Afghan War, go blowing up nightclubs, hotels or restaurants in Bali and Jakarta.

Or do they even do that, really?

Former President of Indonesia and progressive Muslim cleric, Abdurrahman Wahid (forced out of office by the elites), once told me: "I know who blew up the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. It was not an attack by the Islamists; it was done by the Indonesian secret services, in order to justify their existence and budget, and to please the West."

***

"I would argue that western imperialism has not so much forged an alliance with radical factions, as created them", I was told, in London, by my friend, and leading progressive Muslim intellectual, Ziauddin Sardar.

And Mr. Sardar continued:

"We need to realize that colonialism did much more than simply damage Muslim nations and cultures. It played a major part in the suppression and eventual disappearance of knowledge and learning, thought and creativity, from Muslim cultures. Colonial encounter began by appropriating the knowledge and learning of Islam, which became the basis of the 'European Renaissance' and 'the Enlightenment' and ended by eradicating this knowledge and learning from both Muslim societies and from history itself. It did that both by physical elimination – destroying and closing down institutions of learning, banning certain types of indigenous knowledge, killing off local thinkers and scholars – and by rewriting History as the history of western civilization into which all minor histories of other civilization are subsumed."

From the hopes of those post-WWII years, to the total gloom of the present days – what a long and terrible journey it has been!

The Muslim world is now injured, humiliated and confused, almost always on the defensive.

It is misunderstood by the outsiders, and often even by its own people who are frequently forced to rely on Western and Christian views of the world.

What used to make the culture of Islam so attractive – tolerance, learning, concern for the wellbeing of the people – has been amputated from the Muslim realm, destroyed from abroad. What was left was only religion.

Now most of the Muslim countries are ruled by despots, by the military or corrupt cliques. All of them closely linked with the West and its global regime and interests.

As they did in several great nations and Empires of South and Central America, as well as Africa, Western invaders and colonizers managed to totally annihilate great Muslim cultures.

What forcefully replaced them were greed, corruption and brutality.

It appears that everything that is based on different, non-Christian foundations is being reduced to dust by the Empire. Only the biggest and toughest cultures are still surviving.

Anytime a Muslim country tries to go back to its essence, to march its own, socialist or socially-oriented way – be it Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, or much more recently Iraq, Libya or Syria – it gets savagely tortured and destroyed.

The will of its people is unceremoniously broken, and democratically expressed choices overthrown.

For decades, Palestine has been denied freedom, as well as its basic human rights. Both Israel and the Empire spit at its right to self-determination. Palestinian people are locked in a ghetto, humiliated, and murdered. Religion is all that some of them have left.

The 'Arab Spring' was derailed and terminated almost everywhere, from Egypt to Bahrain, and the old regimes and military are back in power.

Like African people, Muslims are paying terrible price for being born in countries rich in natural resources. But they are also brutalized for having, together with China, the greatest civilization in history, one that outshone all the cultures of the West.

***

Christianity looted and brutalized the world. Islam, with its great Sultans such as Saladin, stood against invaders, defending the great cities of Aleppo and Damascus, Cairo and Jerusalem. But overall, it was more interested in building a great civilization, than in pillaging and wars.

Now hardly anyone in the West knows about Saladin or about the great scientific, artistic or social achievements of the Muslim world. But everybody is 'well informed' about ISIS. Of course they know ISIS only as an 'Islamic extremist group', not as one of the main Western tools used to destabilize the Middle East.

As 'France is mourning' the deaths of the journalists at the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo (undeniably a terrible crime!), all over Europe it is again Islam which is being depicted as brutal and militant, not the West with its post-Crusade, Christian fundamentalist doctrines that keeps overthrowing and slaughtering all moderate, secular and progressive governments and systems in the Muslim world, leaving Muslim people at the mercy of deranged fanatics.

***

In the last five decades, around 10 million Muslims have been murdered because their countries did not serve the Empire, or did not serve it full-heartedly, or just were in the way. The victims were Indonesians, Iraqis, Algerians, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Iranians, Yemenis, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, and the citizens of Mali, Somalia, Bahrain and many other countries.

The West identified the most horrible monsters, threw billions of dollars at them, armed them, gave them advanced military training, and then let them loose.

The countries that are breeding terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are some of the closest allies of the West, and have never been punished for exporting horror all over the Muslim world.

Great social Muslim movements like Hezbollah, which is presently engaged in mortal combat against the ISIS, but which also used to galvanize Lebanon during its fight against the Israeli invasion, are on the "terrorist lists" compiled by the West. It explains a lot, if anybody is willing to pay attention.

Seen from the Middle East, it appears that the West, just as during the crusades, is aiming at the absolute destruction of Muslim countries and the Muslim culture.

As for the Muslim religion, the Empire only accepts the sheepish brands – those that accept extreme capitalism and the dominant global position of the West. The only other tolerable type of Islam is that which is manufactured by the West itself, and by its allies in the Gulf – designated to fight against progress and social justice; the one that is devouring its own people.

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: "Fighting Against Western Imperialism". 'Pluto' published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called "Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear". His feature documentary, "Rwanda Gambit" is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

[Jan 12, 2015] Is the Islamic State Really Such a Psychological Enigma by JOHN GRANT

Jan 11, 2015 | CounterPunch

By all means let's mourn together; but let's not be stupid together.

- Susan Sontag

The costly debacle known as the Iraq War put the US government in a tough spot that's now exacerbated by the rise of the Islamic State in Anbar Province and western Syria.

A recent New York Times story referred to the Islamic State (also ISIS or ISIL) as a "conundrum" - "a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army." The focus of the story was Major General Michael Nagata, who heads something within the Pentagon known as the Strategic Multilayer Assessment. The Times called it an "unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration." Besides this theoretical effort to delve into the psychology of the Islamic State, General Nagata has been assigned by President Obama the practical battlefield task of training local Syrian and Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State.

"We do not understand the movement," General Nagata said of the Islamic State. "And until we do, we are not going to defeat it. We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea." The Islamic State's efforts to reach into places like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and even Afghanistan "is a huge area of concern," said Lisa Monaco, Obama's counterterrorism adviser. CIA Director John Brennan said, "We have to find a way to address some of these factors and conditions that are abetting and allowing these movements to grow."

General Nagata's concern is this: "There is a magnetic attraction to I.S. that is bringing in resources, talent, weapons, etc, to thicken, harden, embolden I.S. in ways that are very alarming." In other words, the Pentagon and the US government are seriously scared of the Islamic State and what it means in the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia. General Nagata, we're told, wants to introduce complexity into the conundrum. Some might say it's a bit late in the game for that. To his credit, the general seems to realize that the Islamic State is playing the US like a fiddle. "They want us to become emotional. They revel in being called murderers when the words are coming from an apostate. They are happy to see us outraged," he says. This suggests that, so far, US belligerence has played right into the hands of the Islamic State, and General Nagata knows it.

The problem with General Nagata's effort is it fails to include in the analysis the elephant sitting in the room. That elephant is the culpability of the United States of America in fomenting the rise, and the sustaining power, of the Islamic State. Without us, there would be no Islamic State. The disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq started with the criminalization of the ruling Ba'ath Party and the absolute disbanding of the Iraqi military. This stupid decision was further exacerbated by a desperate and ruthless campaign of focused killing in Anbar Province to neutralize the leadership of the Sunni insurgency that - surprise! - rose in direct opposition of our invasion and occupation. Our cavalier exhibition of "shock and awe" on Iraqi society ended up turning the keys to the country over to the out-of-power Shiites allied with our worst enemy, Iran. Besides being ill-conceived and dishonest, what we did in Iraq was an incredible insult to Sunnis.

In February 2004, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was captured and held by US forces in the Camp Bucca prison for 10 months; he was released in December. We can only presume he was not treated like a first class citizen. Baghdadi's two deputies are former Iraqi generals stripped of power by Paul Bremer, the Kissinger protégée assigned the role of proconsul in the US invasion and occupation. Other leaders in the Islamic State are Sunni veterans of Saddam's army familiar with Anbar Province.

The point is it's impossible to understand the Islamic State unless one realizes it's an entity fueled by grave resentment and vengeance for the strategically stupid imperial blundering the United States did in Iraq. And since, like Iraq War Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush, the United States never can say it's sorry or admit to any wrong doing, you have to wonder whether all the mysterious psychological talk General Nagata and his experts are sharing with the press is not actually a ruse. It seems disingenuous as long as the Bush's Great Imperial Blunder is not considered in a cause and effect role.

A cursory look at the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia should make it clear that many powerless, struggling elements in that part of the world tend to fall back on ethnic and religious roots as ideological fuel to sustain their struggle. One of the prime functions of religion is to explain the mystery of death, to place one's inevitable death into a larger narrative of meaning. When life reaches rock bottom, religion helps make sense of it all. People in Muslim lands are no different. Religion can be a major motivator for a crusade against oppressive demons. Events like the Iraq War have made us a demon for many. For us in the US, our self-perceived exceptionalism has become a religion.

Virginia Postrel says what General Nagata calls the "magnetic attraction" of the Islamic State can be quite compelling. "The result is a 21st-century Islamic version of the medieval Christian Crusades. Islamic State promises ordinary men adventure, fellowship and religious significance if they fight infidels and heretics in a distant land."

Full disclosure, for anyone who might think otherwise, I detest ISIS or the Islamic State. Killing and chopping off heads as a way to advance one's interests is repugnant to me. But so is the rash invasion and occupation of a nation that, despite its gangster leader and the embargo, had a lot going for it. Before the Gulf War, Iraq was approaching first world status in some areas. When I was in Baghdad in December 2003, I ran into many educated and sophisticated Iraqis who told me Saddam was, indeed, a monster, but that if you went about your business and stayed out of politics life was good. Our invasion tossed a huge bomb into that state of affairs. We wrecked the place. We turned it from an imperfect nation into a festering wound that's far more dangerous now than it was in early 2003. Actions have consequences.

The Islamic State is, more than anything, a symptom of that grave wound inflicted by the United States on Iraq. General Nagata and his experts no doubt talk realistically about this in secret. It's only a great enigma in the public relations realm. We all know by now that embarrassment is the primary cause for most secrecy. That's true today in spades. Our military institutions now deal with US citizens in two very distinct modes: Secrecy or Public Relations. Wikileaks, Edward Snowden and Michael Risen work in the no-man's in between those two modes. General Nagata's notion of a great mystery is probably a PR tack. Don't think cause and effect; think mystery. Everybody loves a good mystery.

The brilliant Stanley McChrystal, for instance, was a master at straddling this divide. During the Shock & Awe invasion, he was the charming one-star PR officer who gave the daily press briefing. Other talents soon became evident and he shot up the ranks to four stars. He led the deeply secret operation in Anbar Province assigned to lop off the heads of the Sunni insurgency our invasion had flushed out. He turned a sluggish intel operation into a streamlined effort that could analyze laptops, phones and documents obtained in night raids and parlay the information gained into three or four more raids before the sun came up. Many of these raids were to kill leaders of the insurgency. Torture was a tool. Reportedly, men and women wore civilian clothes with no rank and used fictitious names - all to make accountability difficult to impossible. Before his effort became public it was known among reporters as "the Salvadoran option." Salvadoran for death squads.

The so-called "surge" was about a lot more than additional troops. It was a ruthless campaign to hunt down and kill people who had been designated in the common argot of our times as "terrorists." In the minds of the people hunted, they were brave individuals fighting an invading force. (Consider how you'd feel if someone invaded your neighborhood and kicked in your door at 3 AM.) A friend of mine was in the army at a base in Abu Ghraib, the town where the notorious prison was located. He told me, "I must have kicked in a thousand doors." He also told me it eventually dawned on him the only reason his unit was being attacked was because he was in the town kicking in doors.

Tonight, I watched Bill O'Reilly fulminate on the killing of 12 people by gunmen in Paris. He went on how this made it clear we are at war with Islam. Although it happened in Paris, he blamed Barack Obama and Mayor Bill DiBlasio for being wimps not up to the task of protecting America. Of course, it never occurs to people like O'Reilly to cast even an iota of blame for endangering America on people like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, among those who dishonestly gave America the Iraq War that gave us the Islamic State.

I've been a peace activist so long it seems to come down to this: If like Susan Sontag (quoted above) you advocate for justice and for understanding something fully before acting, you are un-American. And, of course, there's an argument for this that rests on the glorious history of American imperialism. As George Bush put it: "You're either with us or against us." Back at the dawn of the empire, Teddy Roosevelt liked to pump up his chest and bloviate about the need to intervene in "states unable to manage themselves." As H. Rap Brown put it: "Violence is as American as cherry pie." It has been thus for so long now it seems nigh impossible to alter the cycle. The formula works this way: Never mention the violent horrors you've unleashed on others; instead, act like you're a virgin assaulted by Jack the Ripper. Make it seem the evil doers are trying to destroy civilization itself. And do your best to shut up people like Susan Sontag. Then check your stock portfolio and play a round of golf.

"What we have been asked to do will take every ounce of creativity that we have," General Nagata says of his task to psyche out the Islamic State. "This may sound like a bizarre excursion into the surreal, but for me it is about avoiding failure." The good general's experience and devotion to complexity aside, I submit he's not being quite candid with us. For one, the failure has already happened in Iraq. The Bush Administration opened Pandora's Box and the boogie men are loose.

The Pandora myth does, however, have a positive twist: Zeus knew the curious Pandora would open the box (it was actually a jar) and release all the evils of the world. So he put at the bottom of the jar the quality of hope. Thus, despite all the evils of the world, hope always remains. Instead of inciting more violence, fueling even more hatred and playing even more into the hands of the Islamic State, maybe the best way for the United States to deal with the Islamic State is to simply ignore it. Let it burn itself out. If a violent crime is committed by a Muslim against someone in the West, by all means let's hunt the culprit down and punish him. If we really had faith in our cherished civilization and were as smart as Sontag would have us be, we would be confident loose cannons can't destroy us. The only way we will be destroyed is by ourselves.

JOHN GRANT is a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent three-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper.

[Jan 11, 2015] Here's some nice, timely, black propaganda from Der Speigel

marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al, January 11, 2015 at 10:18 am
Here's some nice, timely, black propaganda from Der Speigel:
Assad's Secret: Evidence Points to Syrian Push for Nuclear Weapons

http://www.spiegel.de/international/

For years, it was thought that Israel had destroyed Syria's nuclear weapons capability with its 2007 raid on the Kibar complex. Not so. New intelligence suggests that Bashar al-Assad is still trying to built the bomb. And he may be getting help from North Korea and Iran….

Nuclear? Check!
I-ran? Check!
North Korea? Check!
Secret? Check!
Findings of western intelligence agencies? Check!

So, a day after the girlfriend of one of the Charlie Hebdo murderers is discovered to have already disappeared to Turkey and believed to have gone to Syria (not to fight for Assad of course) we get this. Timing, timing, timing. To distract us from the fact that the West are state sponsors of terrorism in Syria and that the Charlie Hebdo attacks fairly likely have a link to opposition groups in Syria that the West has been financing.

When the dying German journalist (I can't remember his name) said that the big media are fully infiltrated by the spy agencies and co-opted, this Der Speigel piece can hardly be a better example. But, but they're supposed to be left-leaning some might say. Whether left or right, they spread-em when told.

Expect in the coming days and months all sorts of excuse to a) boost surveillance powers; b) restrict voters rights; c) say that the sooner Assad is assassinated (because that is the accurate word) then the sooner westerners will stop going to terrorist training camps funded by the West and the Gulf arab states and coming back to Europe to kill people.

It's the same old trope, over and over and over again. 1 million Iraqis dead since 2003, not to mention a bit less between 1990 & 2003; Afghanistan 'liberated', Libya turned in to dust etc. Who needs to be reminded of stupid facts when you can get out of bed take a couple of hours out of your life to say 'Je Suis Charlie' and then forget about it all again?

I liked the calm and reasonable position regarding the terrorist attack in Paris Rostislav Ishchenko

vk.com

People argue whether it can be morally justified to kill French cartoonists because the obnoxious character of their jokes. Let's look at this matter without anger and prejudice.

First, a word and a picture, too, can kill. And often did. So, from this point of view "jokers" and murderers are equal.

Secondly, murderers, too, could "make a joke" (well with a foreign to French public and unusual for Europeans sense of humor). Nobody asked them why had killed the "jokers". They were simply shot by the French police. And while externally it was definitely a murder, if there was a proper judicial process, I would exclude the possibility of the line of defense that this mass murder was only externally was murder, but in fact it was a joke - and as such also belongs to the high art.

Thirdly, if the French government pretends to believe the Ukrainian assurances that in Odessa, the anti-fascists burned themselves (for provocative purposes, performing under FSB instruction) that Donbass militias fire at themselves using heavy artillery (to specially provoke ukies to get such a fire), and so on. In view of this popular Western interpretation of Odessa events, I think it will be easy to convince the jury that the staff of "Charlie Hebdo" deliberately provoked their murder, with the aim of increasing the circulation of the publications.

If we consider what happened from the point of view of Russian culture the killing of "the jokers" it is, of course, a grave crime, no excuses. But, from the point of view of Russian culture, "the jokers" were also criminals.

If we are going to consider the event from the point of view of Western culture, then nothing happened. One group of people exercised their right to freedom of expression of their views, systematically spreading blasphemous provocative cartoons. Another group of people also took advantage of the right to freedom of expression of their views, killing the first group. And police responded to restore the balance of free speech and shot the killers.

From the point of view of radical Islam, it was their religious duty to kill "the jokers". While from the standpoint of Christianity (I mean both Orthodox and Catholic branches) "jokers" certainly should be forgiven. So Christians do not kill such people. Christians forgive them. They were killed by Muslims. And if we adhere strictly to the point of view of Christian morality murderers probably also should also forgiven, leaving the question of guilt and retribution to the Lord, who specifically proclaimed: "The vengeance is mine and I will repay".

What I want to demonstrate by points above is that it is impossible to assess what happened from the point of view of moral norms as "jokers" intentionally took himself out of the scope of moral norms. They just believed that they are safe in French society. They made a mistake.

When I wrote in Kyiv political texts, long before the revolution, I also knew that I could killed. Attacks on anti-fascists (including armed) happened regularly starting a few years ago. When I write political lyrics in Moscow, I understand that theoretically junta apologists have the technical ability to reach me here too. It's not difficult, just expensive. There enough mad people in this world and their quantity recently only increases. So in this world publicly voicing a viewpoint that a large number of armed men does not like put the speakers at risk. Whether you want to understand that or you don't, but in a way it is difficult to penalize people who decided to ruin you, if you seek to destroy their ideology. As the latter in a way worse than physical destruction, destroying the purpose of life. And is a conviction for which many people sacrificed their lives in the past and for some many people will sacrifice their life in the future.

So it is necessary either to remain silent and not to play in the political-ideological games, or not to be offended that you it happens that you have a mark on your back. Alpinists mortality is higher than that of political correspondents. They made their choice. They believe their risk is justified. They don't make claims against the mountains. Political journalist is also essentially a solder in the war. And help for the cause he defends and promotes from a good journalist can be higher than that of the platoon of tanks. But journalists die on the front line far less often than tank crew members. Think about it.

[Jan 11, 2015] About terrorist attacks and cynicism of Western ideology

While several points deserve your attention, the author mixed two completely different topics: West and neoliberalism. In a way people in the West is the same victim of neoliberalism as people of Russia. I think a lot of people in the West (may be majority) what to see Bush and Cheney in the jail for their Iraq adventure. But they can do nothing because the elite now is completely isolated from people and elections, at least in the USA, as very similar to the elections in the USSR. I also do not understand why Europeans need to react stronger to events in Syria or Russia then in France? Is not it natural to react stronger to news within your county or neighbouring country then news from a county thousands miles away? I guess it's the same reaction as Russians have?
January 10, 2015 | http://matveychev-oleg.livejournal.com/1837790.html

Original taken from xommep in About terrorist attacks and cynicism

Another article on the topic of cynicism Western ideology -- for example, yesterday's massacre in Paris.

I mentioned in passing in the recent article that the cannibalism of the West manifests itself most clearly in times of terrorist attacks. The most recent illustration is French massacre. Not a week passed since the terrorists shot the staff of the French satirical magazine. Everybody who was at this time at the office. Twelve people are dead. Moreover most victims were journalists. Well, here we go. Predictable outrage at this horrible act. World leaders race raised to send condolences and Putin and Medvedev of cause joined the chorus. In principle they acted morally, and reacted as they should --- people died, in time of peace; but does not leave a strange feeling of familiar one-sided coverage typical for Western MSM in coverage of Syrian, Russian and Ukrainian events.

As we all know, in 2003 year, the stronghold of democracy invaded the state at the other end of the Earth by the name of Iraq and started randomly disperse kilotons of democracy on the country population including women and children. In the end, war was kind of over (although the American contingent in the county is is in thousands), but now civil war is raging in full swing; in this war, the attacks of the scale of the French happens ...every month. As we can see from this link - every month in Baghdad terrorists kill more than a dozen people; do we see the world leaders react to this and publicly send their condolences to Iraq government? Such events no longer are even mentioned in Western MSM. Why do this, one Untermensch more, one Untermensch less, who cares !. that means that terrorist acts are not in a horrible act in themselves - it all depends who is the victim; if the victim is white plantation owner (aka progressor), then yes, the world should grief; but if any Negros, Arabs or yellow people are killed, West can't care less.

Maybe blame the identity of the victims to the journalistic fraternity and the attack on freedom of speech? Yes, with regard to Western journalism, then the whole world must fight in hysterics - remember the same Politkovskaya, which the West still we cannot forget. But if you take some Russian journalists killed in Ukraine or Ukrainian - they don't give a damn. During last year's war in Ukraine journalists from both sides was constantly getting into trouble - and whether the world community's response to such horrible acts? Yeah, nothing. Even when they capture Bloomberg-affiliated journalist, or Ukrainian military captured and tortured Ukrainian journalists (I can find the link right now) and "the world public opinion" demonstrates that it can't care less. Those uncivilized natives, Ukranian and Russian Untermensch deserve what they got.

As has been shown in the article above, the ideology of the West has nothing to do with "human rights" or "freedom of speech" - because freedom means freedom to speak could anyone, not only representatives of the top 20 countries; because in this case it's just cruel colonialism. And shom did see? Merkel, Obama, Cameron - all expressed their strong conviction that they will stand for our values to the last French journalist. And what are your values, let me ask? If revealing the truth - then why do you not stand for Russian or Ukrainian journalists? And here is a nice article: last year a few dozen journalists were killed in Syria. Most of them Syrians. So who cares?

After the terrorist attack at Sheremetyevo airport in 2011 the President of Georgia said that this is the price paid for "separatism" South Ossetia and Abkhazia. After the terrorist attack on Dubrovka the main guilt was laid on Putin -- he did not managed to save all hostages; And yes, of course, it was "payback for Chechnya". See how interesting it turns out - when they kill Russian we are Russians are guilty. And when their folk is killed then immediately sorrow and universal screams.

The origin of this attack is "multiculturalism". Unlike "melting pot" it stirs up nationalism and does not contribute to the interpenetration of cultures. Instead of mutual respect peoples (which is the Foundation of the Russian statehood), in Europe rages tolerance, i.e. just desire to swipe the problem under the carpet. I wrote already about this problem in the article about the Unification of Nations. "Freedom of speech" in the European sense means permissiveness and does not take into account cultural characteristics of all participants in the community - and in Europe the Muslims already make up a significant part of the society because of short-sighted policy (the path we also took). It is logical that if you make fun of everything, regardless of the person, you can get in stigma - although, of course, method of response used are clearly beyond any civilized norms. It's a horrible crime, no question about it. But look at the cartoons to get a better grasp of the situation. Examples of cartoons can be found here (18+).

In General, for they fought for, they now got. Enough already with affection and rolling eyes at the sight of the white colonists - they are under any pretext will conduct its own colonial policies, always at our expense.

Let me remind you that after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the United States went to war on terror, which killed thousands of times more people - mainly such as innocent as the victims in new York; here it might well be the same plot. Under the covers of rage about civilians victims, national security state will bolted on and life will get worse - under usual politician speeches about universal human values, democracy and freedom of speech.

That does not may that we should justify terrorism - of course, it's inhuman and victims have to be mourned. But the fact that in one place inflated hysteria was launched about the victims of the terrorist attacks, and in another place controlled by the same people - the attacks have become almost commonplace, raise certain thoughts. In my opinion, all this European "democracy" for a long time stinks of blatant racism and fascism, separating whites and niggers, Ubermensch and Untermensch. And their declared values is a smoke screen designed to deserve their real intentions so that oppressed people of the world did not know about the true goals and values of Western civilization.

Roughly, this is about the war West conducts against other countries.

[Jan 10, 2015] Boko Haram's 'deadliest massacre': 2,000 feared dead in Nigeria

From Wikipedia: Boko Haram ("Western education is forbidden"), officially called Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad ("People Committed to the Prophet's Teachings for Propagation and Jihad"), is a militant and self-professed Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria with additional activities in Chad, Niger and Cameroon.[4] The group is lead by Abubakar Shekau and membership has been estimated to number between a few hundred and a few thousand. The group is designated as a terrorist organization by New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and the United Nations Security Council, which declared it an al-Qaeda affiliate and imposed the al-Qaeda sanctions regime on the group.[4][5][6]
The Guardian

Hundreds of bodies – too many to count – remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International described as the "deadliest massacre" in the history of Boko Haram.

Fighting continued on Friday around Baga, a town on the border with Chad where insurgents seized a key military base on 3 January and attacked again on Wednesday.

"Security forces have responded rapidly, and have deployed significant military assets and conducted air strikes against militant targets," said a government spokesman.

District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims are children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.

"The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous," Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defence group that fights Boko Haram, told the Associated Press.

He said the civilian fighters gave up on trying to count all the bodies. "No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now," Gava said.

An Amnesty International statement said there are reports the town was razed and as many as 2,000 people killed.

If true, "this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram's ongoing onslaught," said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.

The previous bloodiest day in the uprising involved soldiers gunning down unarmed detainees freed in a 14 March 2014 attack on Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri city. Amnesty said then that satellite imagery indicated more than 600 people were killed that day.

[Jan 10, 2015] Charlie Hebdo massacre aftermath LIVE UPDATES

RT News

Tom Tolle, Jan 10, 2015|

apparently many of the french are starting to doubt the official story, too especially after the chief investigator of Charlie Hebdo was found dead in his office.

Mel S.

It is worth making note that.....

1) mulch-religious Nations and communities who have lived together in peace for centuries are beginning to experience friction with their Muslim neighbors.

2) Compassionate and peaceful countries who have granted safety, dignity & hope for growth and prosperity for millions of foreigners through their welcoming immigration policies are now in being driven by pain to become persecutors and crusaders.

3) Since 911, the US has managed to propagate fear and terror on every corner of the planet through aggressive promotion of Islamism and terrorism.

4) Terror threats and/or actual attacks have repeatedly served as pretexts to important political moves that seem to advance ONLY US foreign policy objectives at the expense of the American people as well as other nations throughout the world.

5) Almost every "terror" event or allegation world-wide has served as a catalyst for interventions that involve military action, promote the creation of violence groups, increase US interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign States or give US defense contractors access to foreign assets.

6) In most cases that we have seen so far, the USA is always the first to volunteer in some sort of retaliation or intervention even if it is none of its business to do so.

One must wonder what type of intervention campaign is going to be come this time around. I wonder what the political gains would be for the French Government? of US Foreign policy?…or perhaps Yemen will end up like Libya and Iraq?…….or worst yet, they may just come out and admit officially that the "war on terror" will now be acknowledged as "the war on islamization" so that laws can be issued for the open and direct intimidation, criminalization & detention of all Muslims? …who knows! It is a strange world we live in.

Paris gunman's partner 'crossed into Syria'

RT News

A source told Reuters that Boumeddiene left France last week and took a plane to Syria via Turkey.

"On January 2, a woman corresponding to her profile and presenting identity papers took a flight from Madrid to Istanbul," a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

She reportedly had a return ticket for January 9, but never took that flight. Boumeddiene was traveling with an unnamed man.

A senior Turkish security official revealed that France and Turkey are now cooperating in the search.

"After they informed us about her ... we identified her mobile phone signal on Jan 8," the source said. "We think she is in Syria at the moment but we do not have any evidence about that ... She is most probably not in Turkey," the source said, adding the last time her phone appeared online was Thursday.

... ... ...

According to various reports, Boumeddiene is one of seven children. Her mother died very young and her father struggled to support the family financially.

She is said to have allegedly lost her job as a cashier after she began to wear a niqab, following her conversion to Islam.

Le Monde reported that she got married to Coulibaly in a religious ceremony in 2009, which is not officially recognized by French civil authorities. According to the same report, the pair was questioned by police in 2010 and Coulibaly served time in jail for his involved in a failed attempt to help the author of a deadly 1995 attack on the Paris transport system escape from prison.

Police found out that Boumeddiene was also connected to the Cherif and Said Kouachi, the two gunmen behind the attack on Charlie Hebdo's headquarters in Paris on Wednesday, where 12 people were shot.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that Boumeddiene kept a close touch with Cherif Kouachi's wife. Around 500 phone calls have been uncovered between the two of them just in the last two years. Kouachi's wife is currently being questioned by police.

There have been conflicting reports as to Boumeddiene's involvement in the Paris attacks. Some media claimed that she was present at the shooting of a policewoman by Coulibaly on Thursday, others originally reported she was at the Paris kosher market with the gunman on Friday.

Terror suspect Cherif Kouachi 'I was ready to go and die in battle'

CNN.com

One of the two main terrorists accused in this week's attacks in Paris had a long history of jihad and anti-Semitism, according to court documents that CNN obtained in conjunction with French newsmagazine L'Express.

In a 400-page court record, Cherif Kouachi was described as wanting to travel to Iraq through Syria "to go and combat the Americans."

... ... ...

On Friday, security forces surrounded and killed Kouachi, 32, and his older brother, Said, 34, in Dammartin-en-Goele, France, the town's mayor said. The Kouachi brothers were wanted in Wednesday's massacre at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that left 12 people dead.

... ... ...

In the 2007 French court documents, Cherif Kouachi stated in a deposition, "I was ready to go and die in battle," and "I got this idea when I saw the injustices shown by television on what was going on over there. I am speaking about the torture that the Americans have inflicted on the Iraqis."

The court documents -- dated December 2007 -- stem from a 2005 arrest. They say Cherif Kouachi was raised in orphanages and foster homes from a young age, and became involved in a group in Paris' 19th arrondissement. He was arrested with other young men from that part of Paris for a conspiracy to go to Iraq and fight as jihadists.

In the documents, prosecutors outlined strong details of Kouachi's interest in jihad, interest in martyrdom and strong links to anti-Semitism, attacking and killing Jews.

Kouachi stated he came to the idea of jihad through Farid Benyettou, a well-known spiritual leader who's been long associated in France with supporting jihad and terrorism, and is associated with a mosque in the 19th arrondissement.

Through Benyettou, Kouachi was studying how to wield arms and use Kalashnikovs. Under a section titled "Motivations of Influence" describing Kouachi, court records said he stated "the wise leaders in Islam told him and his friends that if they die as martyrs in jihad they would go to heaven" and "that martyrs would be greeted by more than 60 virgins in a big palace in heaven."

The documents also said, "(F)or him any place on earth where there is such an injustice is justification for jihad; what was going on Iraq was in his eyes such an injustice."

The mosque, called La Mosquee de Stalingrad, has since been demolished and appears to be under construction.

Court records show Kouachi said he didn't consider himself a good enough Muslim, and said he had only been to the mosque two or three times before he met Benyettou, and he had been smoking cannabis.

Kouachi told investigators he committed himself to the idea of jihad during Ramadan in 2004. He told his friends he was going to Syria to fight.

The documents say when police interviewed his accomplices they stated that Kouachi "said he was ready to firebomb and to destroy Jewish shops in Paris."

When officials confronted Kouachi with that information, he told them "that's not exactly what I said. ... I don't hide having proposed anti-Semitic ideas, but I would note that I never really would have done that."

[Jan 10, 2015] Who profits from killing Charlie By Pepe Escobar

Jan 08, 2015 | Asia Times

... Cui bono?

Careful planning and preparation; Kalashnikovs; rocket-propelled grenade launcher; balaclavas; sand-colored ammunition vest stuffed with spare magazines; army boots; piece of cake escape in a black Citroen. And the icing on the lethal cake; faultless Paris-based logistical support to pull that off. A former top French military commander, Frederic Gallois, has stressed the perfect application of "urban guerrilla technique" (where are those notorious Western counter-terrorism "experts" when one needs them?)

They might have spoken perfect French; others said it was broken French. Anyway, what matters is that they uttered the magic word; "We're al-Qaeda." Better yet; they told a man in the street, "Tell the media that this is al-Qaeda in Yemen", which means, in American terror terminology, al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), which had Charlie Hebdo's editor/cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier ("Charb") on a hit list duly promoted by AQAP's glossy magazine Inspire. Accusation: "Insulting the Prophet Mohammed."

And just to make sure everyone had the perpetrators implanted on their brain, the killers also said, "Allahu Akbar"; "We have killed Charlie Hebdo"; and "We have avenged the Prophet."

Case closed? Well, it took only a few hours for French police to identify the (usual?) suspects; French-Algerian brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi. The third man - the driver of the black Citroen, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad - then turned himself in with an ironclad alibi. So the third man remains a cipher.

They all wore balaclavas. The Kouachi brothers have not been captured. But the police seem to know very well who they are. Because they found an abandoned ID in the black Citroen (oh, the troubles of being a command in a rush ...) How come they didn't know anything before the carnage?

Right on cue, Cherif Kouachi's bio was splattered all over. He was on a global watch list. Along with six others, he was sentenced in May 2008 to 3 years in prison for "terrorism"; in fact unloading a dozen young Frenchmen via madrassas in Egypt and Syria to none other than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the killed-by-an-American-missile former head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the spiritual father of Daesh/ISIS/ISIL.

Also right on clue, a full narrative was ready for mass consumption. The key point; French police privileges the hypothesis of "Islamic terrorism". According to their "experts", this could be an attack "ordered from abroad and executed by jihadis coming back from Syria that have escaped us", or it could be "suburban idiots that radicalized themselves and concocted this military attack in the name of al-Qaeda."

Scrap option two, please; this was a pro job. And staying with option one, this points right at - what else - blowback. Yes, they could be Daesh/ISIS/ISIL mercenaries trained by NATO (crucially, France included) in Turkey and/or Jordan. But it might get even false-flag nastier. They could also be former or current French special forces.

Blast Islam, will travel

Predictably, Islamofascism peddlers are already having a field day/week/month/year. For simpletons/trolls/hordes exhibiting an IQ worthy of sub-zoology, when in doubt, demonize Islam. It's so convenient to forget that untold millions from Pakistan's tribal areas to street markets across Iraq continue to feel pain devastating their hearts and lives as they are expendable victims of the jihadi mindset - or "Kalashnikov culture", as it is known in Pakistan - profiting the "West", directly or indirectly, for decades now. Think ritual droning of Pakistani, Yemeni, Syrian, Iraqi or Libyan civilians. Think Sadr City witnessing carnages over 10 times worse than Paris.

What French President Francois Hollande defined as "an act of exceptional barbarism" - and it is - does not apply when the "West", France in the front line, from King Sarko to General Hollande himself, weaponizes, trains and remote-controls assorted mercenaries/beheaders from Libya to Syria. Oh yeah; killing civilians in Tripoli or Aleppo is perfectly all right. But don't do that in Paris.

So this, in the heart of Europe, is what blowback feels like. This is what people feel in the Waziristans when a wedding party is incinerated by a Hellfire missile. In parallel, it's absolutely impossible that the oh so sophisticated Western intel network had not seen blowback coming - and was impotent to prevent it (how come the scapegoats du jour, the Kouachi brothers, were not in the gallows?)

Of course the ultra-elaborate Western counter-terrorism expert network - so proficient at strip-teasing us all at every airport - saw it coming; but in shadow warland, portmanteau "al-Qaeda" and its myriad declinations, including "renegade" Daesh/ISIS/ISIL, are used as much as a mercenary army as a convenient domestic threat "against our freedoms".

Who profits?

US Think Tankland, also predictably, is busy spinning the drama of an "intra-Muslim" split which provides jihadis a lot of geopolitical space to exploit - all this sucking the Western world into a Muslim civil war. This is absolutely ridiculous. The Empire of Chaos, already during the 70s, was busy cultivating jihadi/Kalashnikov culture to fight anything from the USSR to nationalist movements all across the Global South.

Divide and Rule has always been used to fan the flames "intra-Islam", from the Clinton administration getting cozy with the Taliban to the Cheney regime - helped by Persian Gulf vassals - advancing the sectarian Sunni/Shi'ite schism.

Cui bono, then, with killing Charlie? Only those whose agenda is to demonize Islam. Not even a bunch of brainwashed fanatics would pull off the Charlie carnage to show people who accuse them of being barbarians that they are, in fact, barbarians. French intel at least has concluded that this is no underwear bomber stunt. This is a pro job. That happens to take place just a few days after France recognizes Palestinian statehood. And just a few days after General Hollande demanded the lifting of sanctions against the Russian "threat".

The Masters of the Universe who pull the real levers of the Empire of Chaos are freaking out with the systemic chaos in the racket they so far had the illusion of controlling. Make no mistake - the Empire of Chaos will do what it can to exploit the post-Charlie environment - be it blowback or false flag.

The Obama administration is already mobilizing the UN Security Council. The FBI is "helping" with the French investigation. And as an Italian analyst memorably put it, jihadis don't attack a vulture hedge fund; they attack a satirical rag. This is not religion; this is hardcore geopolitics. Reminds me of David Bowie: "This is not rock'n roll. This is suicide."

The Obama administration is already mobilized to offer "protection" - Mob-style - to a Western Europe that is just, only just, starting to be diffident of the pre-fabricated Russian "threat". And just as it happens, when the Empire of Chaos mostly needs it, evil "terra" once again rears its ugly head.

And yes, I am Charlie. Not only because they made us laugh; but because they were sacrificial lambs in a much nastier, gruesome, never-ending shadowplay.

Pepe Escobar's latest book is Empire of Chaos. Follow him on Facebook. He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

(Copyright 2015 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

Sheikh Waqasuddin

If France escapes punishment for its sins and its crimes, whether in Haiti, Africa or in Asia, then we can rest assured that there is no God. Not a personal God the likes of which us simple folks have always believed in. But if there is a God, and by that I mean a real God, then they will be recompensed for what they used to do and what they continue to do till this day. Lest we forget I think it bears reminding that it was France which was intimately involved in the Sikes-Picot Agreement which split the Middle East into the fragmented pieces we see today, which is directly responsible for the bloodshed we are witnessing today. They were also amongst the nations that plundered China during the times of the Open Doors Policy.

What kinds of crimes have they not committed? Not only during times of their initial colonization, but also the barbaric massacres during decolonization. The colonized debate hotly amongst themselves till this day whether the despoliation of the British was worse or that of the French. Does France think that the promise of God's Divine Punishment was a tale of deluded old men? That God is but a figment of their imagination? Wise men of yore had warned that God's Justice does not sleep forever, and those guilty parties that are responsible for creating and upholding the rule of the jungle that we witness in our world today will be destroyed by the Wrath of God.

And they shall know that He is God, the Almighty, and that He Exists, and they shall recognize Him through His Punishment. France the nationalist chauvinist, who plundered and looted other nations out of false pride in its superiority, SHALL FALL!

Anita Sent

I'll add - only a day after UN said Palestine is to join ICC. Much like when MH17 went down at the same time that Israel's ground invasion started. I hate sounding like a crazy conspiracy theorist, but these events are becoming hard not to notice and gives me an uneasy feeling in my gut.

Dyer Danforth

Mossad, Mossad, Mossad.

Mark Thomason

Perhaps they would if they could. They've done worse. But they could not possibly be stupid enough to think they'd get away with this. Could they?

Boris M. Garsky

How did the police ID the terrorists so quickly? Good police work or an anonymous tip? The suspects were allegedly to be under the watchful eye of the secret service. What happened.? They just returned from Syria as ISIS terrorists, were known to be associated with Al Queada, recruited fighters for Al Queada, taught and encouraged terrorist acts and managed to secure Kalashnikov rifles and in broad daylight massacre 12 people. Under these circumstances, the secret service, including the Mossad would have informants up the rectums of the terrorists. Did the government know of the plan and did the government or Mossad encourage the attack? Most certainly. More than likely, the Mossad targeted the terrorists, encouraged the terrorist act, including supplying the weapons. Once the act was committed, the Mossad leaked the identities. There is no other explanation.

For thirty plus years, the french intelligence service has kept the Mossad on a short leash, however, sarkozy and hollande changed that. Now terrorism returns to France. Keep in mind that the publication also defamed the Mossad, not just Muslims. First reports, after the identification stated the the suspects were close to apprehension, then they were in custody, then no-one knew where they were and now it is known that they are in algiers? If this isn't a false flag then I don't know what is. There will certainly be a large backlash against the Muslim population. Is this an attempt to diffuse hollandes already historic blunders and low standing in the polls? I don't know, but this all bodes ill for Europe if they allow the Mossad to run wild.

Beatrice Mcartney

It's very clear. I said from the first moments. The father is mossad and the God father is cia and these 2 hunting men Kouachi are 2 small fish with records in global hunting ;) well and carefully choosen bu specialist to corespond with the profile of the perfect terrorist for this case....perfectly match.....

How much stupid do they think that all the people are to believe that a terrorist are going to make his crime with an identity card and he will loose it in the car??? That was the best maximum joke of stupid fake of services.

Ivan Novoroľník

remember find of 9/11 hijacker passport on top of WTC rubble? :-)

Kevin Quinn

The same way the Ukrainians quickly IDed the rebels shooting down MH17 ... or the FBI IDed the norks as the Sony hackers ..... they were 'watching'.

Frank Calamia

This time Pepe you have gone nuts! Are you asleep at the wheel as Muslims murder and rape in the name of Muhammad? You said, "Only those whose agenda is to demonize Islam was somehow the objective of the massacre at Charle!!! " Islam demonizes itself by the slaughter of Christians and the rape of little girls. Stop apologizing for Islam's crimes. Use your pen to out the evil nature of the Islamic ideology. But, you can not help yourself, can you. You have to blame everything evil in the world on the CIA--your so called Masters of the Universe. Frankly, take your blow back or false flag

ahmed.sal99

You have betrayed your criminal origins. Whose armies are in Islamic lands? who is droning and murdering innocent women and children? this will never end until the west is deposited into the dustbin of history,..and that will happen its only a question of time.

Parvin Darabi

You forgot about the assassination of iranian scientists and military men, the student and worm virus which was intended to destroy iran nuclear power plant and kill thousands of innocent people.

What about the murder of the Palestinian in Dobai? The West can't always be on the giving end sometime they are on the receiving one. But the wrong people get killed. This is the work of Mosad and CIA.

Pzyklon Geheime

Nice tin foil hat session, Pepe....the Arabs and Muslims are innocent. It was the Jews that killed Ali, Husain, and Hassan too. Blame the Jews...Islam split and is dying. Blame the Jews. Muslims want to immigrate and have an iPhone.

ahmed.sal99 (signed in using yahoo)

We need to realize that colonialism did much more than simply damage Muslim nations and cultures. It played a major part in the suppression and eventual disappearance of knowledge and learning, thought and creativity, from Muslim cultures. Colonial encounter began by appropriating the knowledge and learning of Islam, which became the basis of the 'European Renaissance' and 'the Enlightenment' and ended by eradicating this knowledge and learning from both Muslim societies and from history itself. It did that both by physical elimination – destroying and closing down institutions of learning, banning certain types of indigenous knowledge, killing off local thinkers and scholars – and by rewriting History as the history of western civilization into which all minor histories of other civilization are subsumed."

From the hopes of those post-WWII years, to the total gloom of the present days – what a long and terrible journey is has been!

The Muslim world is now injured, humiliated and confused, almost always on the defensive.

It is misunderstood by the outsiders, and often even by its own people who are frequently forced to rely on Western and Christian views of the world.

What used to make the culture of Islam so attractive – tolerance, learning, concern for the wellbeing of the people – has been amputated from the Muslim realm, destroyed from abroad. What was left was only religion.

Now most of the Muslim countries are ruled by despots, by the military or corrupt cliques. All of them closely linked with the West and its global regime and interests.

As they did in several great nations and Empires of South and Central America, as well as Africa, Western invaders and colonizers managed to totally annihilate great Muslim cultures.

What forcefully replaced them were greed, corruption and brutality.

It appears that everything that is based on different, non-Christian foundations is being reduced to dust by the Empire. Only the biggest and toughest cultures are still surviving.

Anytime a Muslim country tries to go back to its essence, to march its own, socialist or socially-oriented way – be it Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, or much more recently Iraq, Libya or Syria – it gets savagely tortured and destroyed.

The will of its people is unceremoniously broken, and democratically expressed choices overthrown.

For decades, Palestine has been denied freedom, as well as its basic human rights. Both Israel and the Empire spit at its right to self-determination. Palestinian people are locked in a ghetto, humiliated, and murdered. Religion is all that some of them have left.

The 'Arab Spring' was derailed and terminated almost everywhere, from Egypt to Bahrain, and the old regimes and military are back in power.

Like African people, Muslims are paying terrible price for being born in countries rich in natural resources. But they are also brutalized for having, together with China, the greatest civilization in history, one that outshone all the cultures of the West.

arius1071

The US Deep State benefits, again, against the emergence of a multipolar world.

Charles Tonirownov

Let me make it clear from the outset that I do not believe in any religion and the stuff that goes with it. I also strongly detest terrorism and the taking of innocent lives. However, there are billions of people in the world who believe in one religion or another. I respect them all for their beliefs, and I hope they accord the same to me.

Freedom of the press is not freedom to mock or insult people's cherished beliefs. Why don't you use that freedom to educate masses about who the real terrorists are in the world?.

Let us, however, not be pushed by media propaganda to believe that this heinous act of murder was by Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State terrorists who defy even Islam, as they have been killing Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, etc. They are simply equal opportunity murderers organized and paid, you know by which countries.

Could these terrorists be a part of what France has sent to Syria? Are the terrorists coming home to roost? Was this done to prepare public psyche for a US attack on another Muslim country? Only time will tell.

brandoninmerryland

Now that the incident is over, let's ck Pepe's acumen. First after Charlie, the shooting perps crossed paths running down the street-a pro no-no. Also what pros rely on robbing gas stations for logistics (gimmee some of those Huggies)? They were orphans, confused and seeking ID-clearly ISIS fodder, but not pros, Mossad or CIA. Pepe and some commenters have lost their (Ockam) razors.

John Rintala

All Western intelligence agencies, which includes Mossad of course, have to do is to simply allow something others are planning to go forward; and they are aware of almost everything.

They can filter jihadi actions to suit their purposes. Those that do not serve their strategic purposes get Hellfire missiles; those that do serve their strategic purposes are allowed to go forward to further create the proper political climate.

That is all. It is not complicated.

Kevin Quinn

Army boots? That was a sneaker one of the gunmen retrieved after it fell off his foot when he was exiting the car to shoot at a bike cop, hardly the seasoned professionals one might expect. And what 'operative', even a retarded one - brings his ID on a mission and has it lying about loose to be left behind with the weapons cache?

Rule one, leave nothing behind, just like 9/11. Unlike the 'dancing Israelis', a clean get-away and an overnight Aliyah.

Laura Prezio

Excellent article...Can you tell us where to find some of the security video that must have been recorded? Has anyone tracked the cell phone tower beeps? Of course its unlikely that the media will demand such details as long as the majority are going along with the narrative, but the truth does matter and so the actual pictures and ballistic identity matter.

belphegor692003

The Mossad-Saudi terror nexus with their Arab patsies and the commando thugs who "got away".
LOL how stupid do they think people are nowadays?

Everyone is wise to all the dirty tricks and if you take an incident like this at face value, especially in this day and age, then you have no sense.

candel1212

I am sure everything is just as it seems, as the authorities tell us, why would such honorable men do anything other than tell the truth. But in the real world one cannot trust anything except one's own sound judgment guided by higher powers. This empire of dirt is just that.. I suspect things are not as they are portrayed. The wolves again slaughter the sheep, but few know who the wolves are, what they are, or even that they are.

toxiclogik

Aside from the usual suspect many here already have mentioned, I think Muslim Jihadists in general will benefit. After Danish cartoonist and Charlie, Western journalists will now think twice about creating insulting imagery of Islam.

Jon Micheal

Sorry Pepe, have disagree here, the Algerians of France are the scum of the earth.

[Jan 10, 2015] Ex-CIA bin Laden hunter Paris gunmen have probably planned a second act

Jan 08, 2015 Telegraph
The three gunmen in the Paris attacks have probably planned a dramatic "second act" to the murder of ten journalists at Charlie Hebdo, a former senior CIA agent who was involved in the search for Osama bin Laden has told The Telegraph.

Michael Scheuer, who led the hunt for bin Laden from 1996-1999, said the gunmen's decision to hide their identities and plot their escape suggested their mission was not at an end, and could be capped by a jubilant propaganda video celebrating their successful mission.

"They weren't suicide guys, given the fact that they wore gloves and masks," Mr Scheuer said. "The effort that went into this suggests that there is a second part to this. Whether it's another attack or a video I don't know.

Charlie Hebdo - The Chickens Come Home To Roost

Jan 7, 2015 | M of A

MRW | 10:30:03 AM | 10===

Why are Americans so lacking in self-reflection that they can't see this is the consequence of the results of their actions? We killed 1.5 million and displaced over 2 million Iraqis on a lie, and we don't expect blowback? We go batshit when 3,000 are killed, cower in fear, tossed away our personal liberties like a bunch of woosies, and start two wars--over 3,000 dead people.

And they're missing 3.5 million out of a population of 40 million and we don't expect retaliation? We taught the ISIS fighters after we dismantled thier army, destroyed their infrastructure, water, and electricity, then abandoned them.

We destroyed Libya and lives. We almost destroyed Syria. We're poking Russia now, and we've impoverished the Ukraine.

And the only response here is to bitch, or joke, about living under Sharia law as if that's a threat? Meanwhile, the animosity towards us is growing so that we are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. And for what? The neocons' fascistic Israel?

jfl | Jan 7, 2015 10:30:50 AM | 11

I agree that these people and the Danes were pigs and just asking for it ... although of course they do not 'deserve' to get this kind of treatment, no one does.

I'm sure it's not literally a false flag, but I can imagine the agents in the panopticon knowing that it was about to go down and keeping mum. It suits them. That was my original assessment of their extent of involvement in 9/11, although as time goes by and information is amassed I wonder know if they were not actively involved in the collapse of the towers ...

Another question occurs to me now ...

' While it supports Jihadis in Syria France is now deploying an air craft carrier to the Persian Gulf to attack the Islamic State in Iraq. '

... is that one of Russia's aircraft carriers?

===

ralphieboy | Jan 7, 2015 11:09:43 AM | 18

"Unlike U.S. "liberals" most of the world does not consider free speech as an absolute right. Indeed like screaming "fire" in a filled theater, insulting the believe of other people is likely to get you hurt in most parts of the world. To claim such insults should not matter is itself an insult in that it declares one culture, that of absolute free speech rights, to be superior to other values. It is indecent."

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke and fuck you if you cannot take free speech. Don't like what they said? You are free to express your outrage IN WORDS and even in actions, but not in violence against people or destruction of property. What the fuck is so hard to understand about that?

===

Lysander | Jan 7, 2015 11:59:50 AM | 21

I always consider false flag as a possibility. Anybody can shout "Allahu Akbar." From MCClatchy:
Other evidence suggests they may be linked to a top French al Qaida operative, David Drugeon, who has been the target at least twice of U.S. airstrikes in Syria over the last four months.

Witnesses inside the magazine's offices told the French newspaper Humanité that both attackers spoke perfect French and claimed to be members of al Qaida.

Drugeon, who many experts believe was initially a French intelligence asset before defecting to al Qaida, previously masterminded a 2012 "lone wolf" attack on French soldiers and Jewish targets in the southern French city of Toulouse. That attack killed seven people before the perpetrator, a French citizen named Mohammed Merah who French intelligence believes had been trained by Drugeon, was killed by a police sniper after a long a violent standoff with security force

Hat Tip to Xymphora

RUKidding | Jan 7, 2015 12:11:01 PM | 22

If it looks like a False Flag & quacks like a False Flag...

Either it was developed by the PTB and/or they knew about it and let it happen.

The French satirists don't deserve to have this happen to them, but I consider it, at the very very least, to be extremely poor taste to mis-characterize a religion like that. Disgusting, in fact, and quite unnecessary.

Ergo, live by the sword & die by the sword, and stop whining about it later. If you play with fire, you have to be prepared to be burned. If that's too real for you, then don't do it. Tired of "freedumb of speech" crap in this regard.

Duly noted also that almost immediately there is "nooz" about Hollande calling for ending sanctions on Russia. Coincidence?????? Pull my other leg, please.

RUKidding | Jan 7, 2015 12:56:51 PM | 30

I've seen posts on other blogs where commenters point out that, while they in no way condone the murder of the satirists, one has to consider that if you play with fire, you might get burned. No one is *agreeing* with, supporting or condoning the murder. Yet, one might also point out the factual reality that France, like the USA, has participated (to a lesser extent than the USA) in killing many thousands of people various parts of MENA. No: two wrongs don't make a right, but people do sometimes retaliate. Again: pointing factual reality; not condoning murder.

Yet on various blogs suddenly the trolls appear and conveniently start accusing "lefties" of condoning or agreeing with this murder... mostly based on how "lefties" agree with the purported Muslims (are they really muslims? are they ISIS? I don't know. Do you?) in killing the satirists.

Then all sorts of condescending/dissing lectures start.

Gee I'm sure all these same talking points are entirely coincidental, especially the dissing of so-called "lefties."

Just saying...

Oui | Jan 7, 2015 12:57:53 PM | 31===

In 2012, WH Criticized the Prophet's Caricatures
Obama on Paris shooting: "It's a terrorist attack."

In 2012, the White House criticized Charlie Hebdo's publication of the caricatures as "deeply offensive to many." During the September 19, 2012, press briefing, then-spokesman Jay Carney questioned "the judgment of publishing something like this."

"We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory," he added a week after the Benghazi consulate raid.

okie farmer | Jan 7, 2015 1:08:10 PM | 32===

Posted this on the open tread a few minutes ago.

Almost certainly a false flag. Meaning: that KSA has been funding, arming jihadists all over the globe, and KSA security services all run by the CIA. Automatic weapons in France? How? Provided by SOMEONE. Who? The video showed to me what looked like a well trained profession hit team.

@John

wow, not even 48 hours ago the headlines splashed all over the msm were all Hollande calling for an end to sanctions against Russia!

The Israeli-Saudi nexus must be considered in this incident - Israel to supply the weapons and the Saudis(CIA) the training and money.

farflungstar | Jan 7, 2015 1:35:44 PM | 37===
okie farmer 32

the FF flag angle makes sense - how these people get an RPG and automatic weapons? Can you just buy those in a French gun shop? Especially with Ayrab Mooslims probably being watched and profiled?

Gotta be careful when you got so many different brands of spooks and creeps and maybe ppl on the inside looking the other way with an agenda crawling all over you - they don't give a crap who they murder, who they frame and who takes the fall - as long as it isn't them.

If and when they catch the perps, will they be tortured until confessing or will they freely brag or lie about their origins and paymasters?

Lunatics who do these things on their own seem to get caught or blow themselves away - the professionals know how to leave the scene and not blow their fingers off either.

okie farmer | Jan 7, 2015 1:44:31 PM | 39===
They won't catch them
the professionals know how to leave the scene

If indeed it's a false flag, the perpetrators will have escape already prepared - by their outside collaborators I would add.

"Chickens coming home to roost" or "Blowback". Fully agree.

A "western (european ???) intelligence officer" told Mitchell Prothero (McClatchy Newspapers): "We are expecting blowback somewhere in the future". Well, that blowback seems to be here & now.

But where is this "blowback" coming from ? Ukraine, Iraq, ISIS, Libya (also a hotbed of muslim extremism), Turkey (the US & NATO poured billions into the Fetullah Gülen movement and with that money dozens of madrassas were founded in Central Asia), ............

Willy2 | Jan 7, 2015 1:57:40 PM | 43===

Anonymous | Jan 7, 2015 2:00:32 PM | 44===
Willy2

Trained? Did you watch the shoot out with the cop? They ran around like confused kids with guns.
Their training, if any, was probably from Syria or Libya.

radiator | Jan 7, 2015 2:16:05 PM | 46===
I watched the video and how these two guys check the situation and just finish off the cop looks indeed like it's part of their everday job. On the other hand, a libyan/syrian mercenary might be used to check out an area and just shoot everyone who still moves on the ground.
Just findt it strange how they can escape in a car through the center of a town like paris in bright daylight while half of the cities cops are after them and the video is already up on youtube :-/.
But I might as well buy that this is a genuine islamist attack of no specific political pragmatism, with the only purpose of "revenging" ones beliefs.
Anyway, it's a sad thing. Cartoonists, satirists and the like are, to me, these days some of the more "valuable" guys around and often among the last ones that haven't been bought completely. Don't know if that's true about the CH guys, but from what I read about them, they were actualy believers in the necessity to insult everyone, which i agree with 100%. In a way, if CH insulted someone the terrorists believed in, they in return killed someone or -thing I believed in.
If this was a genuine attack, I'd hope they catch these guys and have them face the families of those they have killed.
radiator | Jan 7, 2015 2:40:44 PM | 52
#47
you're probably right, for a military person this might be just a standard procedure. I was just surprised at how routinely they went about it. being a fanatical person a revenge crusade, I'd expected some more emotional behaviour, but that's just irrational imagination i guess.

i think satire is quite important, in germany eg i often get the impression that the few and far between quality satirist mags are the last ones left that are not bought and part of the mainstream propaganda or for that matters anyone's propaganda

DuBois | Jan 7, 2015 2:45:20 PM | 53===
"Unlike U.S. "liberals" most of the world does not consider free speech as an absolute right. Indeed like screaming "fire" in a filled theater, insulting the believe of other people is likely to get you hurt in most parts of the world. To claim such insults should not matter is itself an insult in that it declares one culture, that of absolute free speech rights, to be superior to other values. It is indecent."

Unlike the US, where we honor the place of religion in society without, yet, giving any particular one a special place alongside the government, France is very serious about keeping religion out of the public sphere. The French consider this to be an intrinsic part of republican virtue. Americans were shocked when the burka was banned in France, but it made good sense in a French context. As I recall, the ban provoked whining and protest from Muslims but very little from non-Muslims. If you want to live in France, it is legitimate to demand that French republicanism be respected. If you want some other culture to be valued above all others, go elsewhere.

If you have lived in a Gulf country, you will be aware that any religion but the Wahabbi brand of Islam is not only suppressed, it is insulted in public by public figures. Am I justified to go after Saudi or Qatari religious figures in their own country because of it? I don't think so. There are many gentler, more tolerant varieties of Islam, but they are not the ones murdering people around the world.

IhaveLittleToAdd | Jan 7, 2015 2:59:41 PM | 55===
"insulting the believe of other people is likely to get you hurt in most parts of the world... it declares one culture, that of absolute free speech rights, to be superior to other values."

It seems unnecessary, but I would argue that free speech is a step forward for society. b seems to make this point in his argument too. Purveyors of free speech are not superior to others, but free speech has marked advantages to getting shot for lampooning dubious forces. We relentlessly criticize our own governments and to this point it has not resulted in anyone kicking my door in and shooting me.

b does make the prevailing point though, in that the net aggression is asymmetrical yet the coverage would indicate westerners are being barbered in excess. I reckon that one more attack on our deployed troops garners little attention, while something like this shakes the world's nervous system. It's all sad. Lost lives that will all but guarantee an overreaction that will cost additional civil liberties and even more lives.

MRW | Jan 7, 2015 3:12:59 PM | 56===
35,

In 2010, Brian Michael Jenkins, the acknowledged top security expert in the country then (for 40 years), appeared before the Senate. I don't have a link right now but you can look him up. He worked for the RAND Corporation then. On the penultimate page, he made the cogent argument that the 1970s in the US was *far* more dangerous from a security point of view than the 00s. He said we had more plane hijackings--and it was true--and terrorist groups (I remember some group from Germany with Baden in the name, then there all the Latin Americans), and that generally.the country was far more unsafe than now.

Of course, wer weren't scaredy-cats then, cowering with our fingers in our mouths. We weren't exactly the Brits 'Carrying On' the way they did during the Blitz, but we sure as hell didn't have hard-ons for amygdala-fueled fear and drama the way we're addicted to it now.

Uncle $cam | Jan 7, 2015 3:21:32 PM | 59===
My question is, not just WHO filmed this? But who broadcast it, when did it "go live". It looks to be a professional. So how did they know to be at the right place on the roof, at the right time? And to film an out right execution w/out any emotion expressed what so ever? Seems seriously suspect. I'd start there. If we had treated this, all these matters as police detective work in the first place, instead of paramilitary action 'lets' roll' bullshit, (When I say from the beginning, I mean from day one of the WTC collapse) then we let the evidence decide, not the media, the talking cunts, not the ideology. But tangible non subjective observation and artifacts.
MRW | Jan 7, 2015 3:30:12 PM | 62===
53,

The Wahhabis are like the Christian Fundies with a jolt of Dispensationalism and a little snake-waving thrown in. Their sect is 214 years old. Created in tents on the sand. For those who don't know, Islam does not have a priestcraft, or a hierarchy, unless a bunch of people get together and agree to it. The Imams and Ayatollas are scholars, not religious leaders, contrary to what we may think. There are no set of volumes called Sharia Law. Sharia exists the way the code of honor exists at West Point. In your head as a common understanding.

BTW, the McClatchy article that Lysander linked to above is good. McClatchy is the only good newspaper left in this country. They have the best reporters and editors. McClatchy was the ONLY US newspaper to get the lies about why we were going to war in Iraq right, and they did it with shoe leather. They only got the Pulitzer for it two or three years later when they were found to be correct. McClatchy names a former French Intelligence asset as the perp, some guy who says he subsequently joined Al Qaeda.

Oui | Jan 7, 2015 3:38:59 PM | 63===
Untill the culprits are found, don't take anthing off the table for investigators. Especially not a false flag operation!

The weapons used, the military planning and execution plus a clean get-away. A professional hit not performed by a religious zealot or a vengeful extremist. The gravity of the crime to execute 12 persons in cold blood goes way beyond an average bomb or suicide attack or the planning by a "loner," These weapons could have been smuggled throughout Europe, the crime mafia also possess these weapons and everything can be bought at the right price. From the Yugoslav and Bosnian wars there are many remnants. A diplomatic pouch is also a strong bet to smuggle these weapons. I won't call out names, but Paris always has been a playground for intelligence agents from all major powers, including Khomeiny's Islamists and the Mossad.

Oui | Jan 7, 2015 3:39:30 PM | 64===
Plenty of liquidations in the EU including the unsolved execution style murder of four in Cheveline in the Haut Savoy on Sept. 5, 2012.

Anonymous | Jan 7, 2015 3:42:52 PM | 65===
Oui

. "I won't call out names, but Paris always has been a playground for intelligence agents from all major powers, including Khomeiny's Islamists and the Mossad".

Lol Iran is behind this now? Even shiites? I expect high standards here at MoA to be frank.

Willy2 | Jan 7, 2015 3:53:12 PM | 66===
ZEROHEDGE: "Three Paris Terrorists Identified"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-07/three-paris-terrorists-identified

Demian | Jan 7, 2015 3:54:08 PM | 67===
Not every terrorist act is a false flag. This is blowback. Russia warned Western leaders about this. If you support terrorists in Syria, they will gain combat experience, and they may come to Europe to effectively perform terrorist acts there.

What this looks like to me is the Islamic State bringing the fight to Europe.

As for the free speech and satire angle, it is fairly obvious that Islam is a false religion, a heretical spin-off of Christianity. Therefore, attacking it with "satire" is completely unnecessary, and is also tasteless and rude, because even though Muslims worship an idol, they are still human beings, so their beliefs should be treated with respect.

spinworthy | Jan 7, 2015 3:57:54 PM | 69===
Connect the dots.

Hollande stops into Moscow 'unexpectedly' last month, and then says absolutely nothing upon return to France (just had to get those Mistrals off his mind).

This past weekend Hollande says sanctions on Russia must end (he had to wait a little while so that people forgot about his layover).

This week - BOOM! a major 'terrorist' attack in Paris! How's that for blowback Mr. Hollande?
Looks like someone wanted to remind Hollande who's the boss, any takers?

Anonymous | Jan 7, 2015 4:08:10 PM | 72===
slothrop

Maybe because Chechnya is INSIDE Russia compared to Syria, Iraq that is NOT inside the US/NATO.

Just admit that Russia is right about blowbacks, what in it for you?

slothrop | Jan 7, 2015 4:10:22 PM | 74===
in the jurisprudence of American speech law, none of these parodies of religion rise to the level of "incitement to imminent lawless action." In other words, these are just fucking cartoons.

We "respect" beliefs by making sure that all beliefs are open to occasional rhetorically hyperbolic ridicule. Clearly, some people don't have a sense of humor. And people who don't have a sense of humor are seldom good candidates for members of a liberal society.

Almand | Jan 7, 2015 4:13:02 PM | 75===
In the discussions of this attack I've seen online and amongst my peers, I've got a hypothesis that liberalism has supplanted Christianity as the real true faith of the West ( while of course while keeping its influences). The same way people in the West feel about free speech being attacked is similar to the way Muslims feel about depictions of Mohammad. The difference of course, like many have already stated, is that our beliefs are regarded as superior to theirs and more deserving of protection and quarter. Of course I have very little regard for Islam (or any Abrahamic faith), which seem to bring nothing but war and oppression in their wakes. Just my opinion.

Funny that b mentions the bombing in Sanaa. The men who died were there to sign up to defend their neighborhoods and protect the public. Who cares, though. They are just part of the faceless brown mass, the same one that shot up the newspaper in Paris, and thus are not worthy of being considered human or even thought of as individuals.

The PEGIDA types and other anti-Muslim forces just got a late Christmas gift. Expect mosques to be vandalized and other retaliatory violence.

Anonymous | Jan 7, 2015 4:17:02 PM | 77

slothrop

Yes because killing millions is just a joke, you whine when 11 is killed in your "neighborhood" but support western wars all over the world. Get a grip for crying out loud.

brian | Jan 7, 2015 4:52:42 PM | 80===

UNGA condemns paris massacre
UN General Assembly President and Security Council condemned Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150107/1016634751.html … pic.twitter.com/tQ3eGjSVli

.....BUT did they also condemn the Odessa massacre?
'Russia still has not received an answer from the United Nations concerning the May tragedy in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told RIA Novosti in an interview.'
but then:
'"Back in May, we have raised this issue before the UN Secretariat, we demanded an investigation into those incidents and expressed hope that the UN authorities would give an exacting evaluation of the events and condemn such action, which does not adhere with the UN practice," Gatilov said.

"The secretariat assured us back then that they were in contact with the Kiev authorities and would inform us of the results. To this day, we have not been informed about the results," he added.'
http://sputniknews.com/world/20140906/192687875/UN-Not-Responding-to-Russias-Request-of-Odessa-Tragedy.html

UN as silent now as NATO killings in Libya

Demian | Jan 7, 2015 4:53:14 PM | 81===
I had a look at an anti-Islamophobia Web site I knew about, Loonwatch.com, and had a look at blogs it links to. So far, the only post I've seen about this attack was by Juan Cole. His take was that this was an attack by al-Quaeda to increase Islamophobia in Europe, in order to radicalize European Muslims.

I find that interpretation of this terrorist act strange. My impression is that al-Qaeda is pretty much a thing of the past (when it comes to the Middle East as opposed to north Africa) and that it has evolved into the Islamic State. The Islamic State aspires to become a caliphate, whereas al-Qaeda had no such aspirations. If one views this terrorist attack in the context of the emergence of IS/ISIS, then what this attack looks like is a message from Muslims that the days of the West subjugating the Muslim world are over. The Islamic State is capable of taking the war to the enemy's turf.

Laguerre | Jan 7, 2015 5:05:58 PM | 86===
Like b, I don't think this was a false-flag.

If one can characterise jihadi-type operations, which is probably not at all justified, it is that they are aimed at slaughtering a maximum of the civilians of the supposed enemy, e.g. bombs outside mosques. That is what happened here.

What we know about false-flags in the Middle East suggests that they are less interested in killing people, but rather in a maximum political effect, e.g. the bombing of the Golden Dome in Samarra, where no-one at all was killed.

By the way, the French police have a very poor reputation. I am not at all surprised that they failed to pick up the killers.

Demian | Jan 7, 2015 5:21:27 PM | 90===
Here is a quote from an op-ed at Al Jazeera America:
There is an old Parisian tradition of cheeky humor that respects nothing and no one. The French even have a word for it: "gouaille." Think of obscene images of Marie-Antoinette and other royals, of priests in flagrante delicto with nuns, of devils farting in the pope's face and Daumier's caricatures of King Louis-Philippe, whom he portrayed in the shape of a pear. It's an anarchic populist form of obscenity that aims to cut down anything that would erect itself as venerable, sacred or powerful.
Well, sorry to have to break the news to multiculturalists, but gouaille arose from a Christian culture. It is alien to Muslim culture. Thus, another aspect of this tragedy is that it illustrates the internal contradictions of the multiculturalism which the Empire has imposed upon Europe. According to multiculturalism, speech must be free, so satire attacking religions should be celebrated, but Islam should be treated as just as European as Christianity, even though according to Islam, speech defaming the Prophet is an attack on Islam, and so must be avenged.
Laguerre | Jan 7, 2015 5:46:36 PM | 94===
They're talking about 2 Algerian brothers and a third person. This tends to confirm b's hypothesis of payback, and also the idea of lone-wolf.

I am not surprised. There are many quasi-alQa'ida groups in France. It is not surprising that someone might have have felt to have been driven over the edge.

One should recall the Algerian war at the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, where there was open conflict on the streets of Paris, not that long ago. 17 Algerians were thrown in the Seine. Then again there was the Algerian bomb in the metro in 1995, which killed more than today. I'd be surprised if Parisians are overwhelmed by today.

Oui | Jan 7, 2015 6:10:23 PM | 98===
On such an occasion France24 asks the views of Meyer Habib to explain today's act of terror in Paris …

The position of France in the UN Security Council is quite crucial … the three terror suspects "lost" their ID cards in the abandoned Citroen C3. Sure. Let's wait for real evidence. Sensing a false flag operation.

Israel to call in French envoy to protest vote in UN Security Council

WhoIs Meyer Habib?

Immediately following the vote, Meyer Habib, a center-right lawmaker and close friend of Netanyahu, said …

"France today chose the wrong partner and I fear repercussions in relations with Israel, the only democracy in the region…While radical jihad killed citizens of France and other parts of the free world, legitimization is given to the establishment of a state run by corrupt people and terrorists."

Demian | Jan 7, 2015 6:13:05 PM | 100===
@Laguerre #93:
the idea of lone-wolf
From what I read, the attackers acted with military precision. This was a paramilitary operation, not a crude terrorist attack like a suicide bombing. And I would say that the attackers not getting caught was part of the message. The attackers had paramilitary training and/or combat experience, which by definition rules out their being lone wolves, IMO.

This is not to say that I am claiming that this attack was ordered and planned by the ISIS high command. But I do think that the attackers and ISIS are on the same wavelength. And I don't think "radical Muslim" is a useful category anymore. I read this act as an event in the process of the shift to a multipolar world. That involves not just Eurasia emerging as an opposite pole to the US, but also the Muslim world becoming free of its current subjugation by the West.

Luca K | Jan 7, 2015 6:19:45 PM | 102===

Adlai Stevenson stated:
"A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular."

This is an accurate statement. So, how many truly free societies can
we find in the West? Not many, if any. The argument for free speech,
even more so in Europe than ZUSA, is used with extreme hypocrisy and
only when it suits the interests of the hostile elite.

An European wrote this in regards to the events in France:

"Media luvvies all round europe were banging on about 'free expression'
and the 'freedom to speak without fear of persecution'
and other such tosh.
If you are in the US you won't probably understand that here in Europe
we don't actually have free speech.
We have guidelines and laws to coerce one into saying nice stuff and
even nasty comments should be done with respect etc. More tosh.

So I ask here why when it is ok for this magazine to produce many
cartoons being extremely rude to religious icons and Gods-Prophets
etc, which have led to this mass murderous outrage, that it isn't ok
to discuss the subject of the holocaust being the biggest lie and con
of the last one hundred years?

France was famous for the Robert Faurisson(French scholar with a
different take on what happened to the Jews during WWII) situation
whereby loads of clever blokes with large IQs and small penises
decided that to question whether it (the holocaust) actually happened
(as alleged) should be made illegal because 'it happened so we know
that it was possible, so there must be no discussion'.
I paraphrase a little but the results is the same.
'Of the four million Jews under Nazi control in WW2, six million died
and alas only five million survived.' "

There u have it; the flagrant double standarts! Free speech to attack
Religion, particularly Islam but also Christianity, good!
Free speech to discuss the West's sickly new 'religion', the
holohoax, bad!!

Let us remember that the holocau$t is a set of alleged historical
facts,which obviously should be possible to scrutinize, as long as
one sees History as a Science(in fact it is one of the most prostituted
professions, together with jornalism and a few others).
While a Religion is something intrinsically dogmatic, one needs to
have faith, to believe... that is, btw, why the Israeli dissident
Gilad Atzmon, refers to the holohoax as a Religion.

Besides this most sacred of cows, there are many other issues that
cannot be freely and safely discussed in Western societies. Take
your pick; Race and race differences, Immigration, the negative
impacts of multicultiralist ideology, Jewish power, etc.

B writes:
"Unlike U.S. "liberals" most of the world does not consider free speech as an absolute right."

Got news for u;
U.S liberals also use free speech only when it suits them. Controversial
issues might not land u in jail, as in your beloved "free" Germany
(ZUSAS vassal), but u will be out of a job and ostracized in the media
in no time!

Demian | Jan 7, 2015 6:27:37 PM | 103===

@Oui #97:
Sensing a false flag operation.
Certainly the possibility of an Israeli false flag should always be considered, but I don't see Israel getting much benefit out of this, so I don't see why it would go through the trouble.

I hate to sound like a trendy leftist, but to suspect that this is a false flag is to deny Muslims agency.

somebody | Jan 7, 2015 7:31:46 PM | 110===

The people French police are in the process of arresting are marginals, easy to recruit. Religion hardly has a part in this.

France has been deeply involved in its former colonies eg Hollande backing Turkey's buffer zone proposals.

This "blowback" has as likely a secret service background as not. This is Marine le Pen who will profit politically.

Marine Le Pen : "S'allier au gouvernement syrien, c'est la politique du moins pire"

This here is an example of the strange way France has been treating Syrian Jihadis.

I would say the attack is a message.

jfl | Jan 7, 2015 7:36:05 PM | 111===

@97

I imagine the Israelis knew this was coming up - they have the NSA's entire raw feed in addition to their own taps, and unlike the NSA/CIA they can actually 'decipher' the languages of the Middle East in real time - and they apparently said nuthin'.

What to Say When You Have Nothing to Say?


Charlie Hebdo was not in reality a model of freedom of speech. It has ended up, like so much of the "human rights left", defending U.S.-led wars against "dictators".

I wonder if the assassins were CIA-trained? Probably some of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's "moral equivalents of our founding fathers" left over from his adventures contra-Assad in Syria.

somebody | Jan 7, 2015 8:05:03 PM | 114===

Listen, you conspiracy theorists, Russian, Syrian, Algerian secret services are professional, why do you insult them. This is not going Hollande's or the Trans-Atlantic way.

In a strange way, one of these very professional acting assassins has lost his carte d'identite.

somebody | Jan 7, 2015 8:22:36 PM | 115===

How did this happen?
Une pièce d'identité retrouvée

Selon nos informations, les enquêteurs ont retrouvé une pièce d'identité dans la Citroën C3. Laquelle n'est évidemment pas celle du propriétaire de la voiture volée, mais bien celle d'un des suspects de l'attaque contre Charlie Hebdo.

La police resserre son étau autour de deux frères de 32 et 34 ans originaires de Paris, bien connus des services de police et revenus de Syrie l'été dernie. Le troisième homme serait un SDF de 18 ans.

Le frère cadet avait été mis en examen en janvier 2005 pour " association de malfaiteurs en relation avec une entreprise terroriste ". Interpellé la veille de son départ pour Damas, il appartenait à une fillière de recrutement qui cherchait à envoyer de jeunes djihadiste en Irak.

Il avait été condamné à six ans de prison ferme. Il avait 22 ans à l'époque.

Avant de rejoindre Paris, il avait vécu quelques années à Rennes, où il a suivi des cours lycée Bréquigny, en section sports-étude football. Ne parvenant pas à passer professionnel, il a passé et obtenu un brevet d'éducateur sportif, à Rennes.

Arrested on departure to Syria intending to fight against Iraq, spent 6 years in prison for intent to join the Iraqi insurgency, back to Syria intending to fight against Assad, returning to France without problem but "well known to the police".

There are so many ways one can look at this. Just on the surface, of course, one cannot condone the killings. Insulting another's faith is, clearly, not a good idea either (I don't get the point of the cartoons - never thought Mohammed was particularly funny). But the false flag operation cannot be ruled out - would a potential killer really take his/her ID w them? Seems sorta preposterous... They were 'definitively' identified a little too quickly... But a good post, B. (And let's recall the time before 1979, when the Soviet Union was conned into marching into Afghanistan... militant Islam did not exist bef the US support for the so called mujahedin (at least not in its current, violent reincarnation.)

GoraDiva | Jan 7, 2015 8:22:56 PM | 116===

"In a strange way, one of these very professional acting assassins has lost his carte d'identite."

Indeed, Said Cherif left his passport in the gateway car!? Professional killer?

So, French police identified the perpetrators without catching them - I guess video was enough for them (police). Congratulation.

neretva'43 | Jan 7, 2015 8:34:46 PM | 117===

Of course... Reichstags was burned by communist.

On freedom of speech:
"How Tarek Mehanna Went to Prison for a Thought Crime" http://www.thenation.com/article/177750/how-tarek-mehanna-went-prison-thought-crime

neretva'43 | Jan 7, 2015 8:54:33 PM | 120===

This must be part of a ploy to drown out the China-CELAC forum taking place. That piece of news is actually positive and constructive.
The news from my dear France is negative and toxic.
Pepe Escobar is correct when he calls The West; The Empire of Chaos, wither there was once a time the whole world wanted to be like the West. Now the reasons as to one would wish to emulate this cesspool of disbelief, racism and neoliberal corruption is beyond me.
Fuck the EU?
Yes, indeed.

Fernando | Jan 7, 2015 9:29:13 PM | 123===

Interesting detail from the Guardian:
A witness said the gunmen climbed out wielding a rocket launcher and yanked an elderly man out of the car behind. The man insisted on taking his dog out of the car before the attackers drove off, and they let him. They climbed into the Renault Clio telling bystanders: "You can tell the media we're from al-Qaida in Yemen."
The most interesting development to wait for now is whether the gunmen and their driver will be caught. Given how "professionally" they acted, I would be surprised if they will be. The operation was so well executed that I get the impression that someone was running them. Thus, there would have been a well thought out escape plan.

I haven't seen anyone compare this to the Boston marathon bombings, although that was the previous Muslim terrorist attack on a western country that produced a considerable number of casualties. This attack comes across as much better executed than the Boston one.

To explain why I am being so clinical about this: I see this as an operation that is part of a fourth generation war. (Terrorism is a tactic employed in fourth generation warfare.)

Demian | Jan 8, 2015 12:00:46 AM | 128===

An interesting development:
There are many questions around the 18-year-old who handed himself in to police. …

Hamyd is being described as a suspect but reports - some unconfirmed and all from unnamed sources - surfaced a few hours ago that he did so only because he saw his name published online. Itele cited its own sources when it reported Hamyd went to police to tell them he was innocent and had been in school at the time of the attack.

Social media in France is now showing numerous apparent students and friends proclaiming Hamyd's innocence, with some posting under the hashtag "#MouradHamydInnocent" that he had been with them in class.

This supports what I had suspected: that an ID had been left in the car to throw police onto a false trail.

Demian | Jan 8, 2015 12:17:29 AM | 129===

A writer for the Financial Times shows some common sense. Unsurprisingly, he gets viciously attacked by the zombies posting comments.
Charlie Hebdo has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling French Muslims. …

some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark's Jyllands-Posten, which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims, but are actually just being stupid.

Common sense when it comes to matters of religion is no longer permitted in the Anglosphere, so that post was changed. (I don't know what the new version says because it is behind a paywall.)

Demian | Jan 8, 2015 1:23:12 AM | 130===

b., not every enemy of American hegemony is an ally you should be justifying and apologizing for b/c you happen to oppose US hegemony yourself. These guys are murdering scumbags who are trying to impose religious restrictions on free expression in a European country to which they are newcomers. The West has every right to be outraged by this. These men aren't pretending to be muslims, they are muslims. Europe needs to realize they can't accommodate them without seriously altering its culture and traditions.

J. Bradley | Jan 8, 2015 2:20:19 AM | 131===

#KnowYourScumbags

"… impose religious restrictions on free expression in a European country to which they are newcomers."

Are you justifying and apologizing for scumbags like LePen and Wilders? The ziocons have fought a War of Terror after 9/11 by advocating Islamophobia, see FEAR INC. The murders of people like Theo van Gogh and these people in Paris is useful PR for extremists from all sides.

Look in the mirror and see the scumbags of George Bush & Co for invading and destroying Iraq. Rumsfeld providing readable military briefings/orders by quotes from the Christian bible. After the 9/11 attacks, how well was freedom of speech preserved in the land of Liberty?
- no criticism to fight an unlawful war
- embedded reporters in Iraq (censored)
- scores of journalists targeted and killed with WH approval

Why didn't the Congress 9/11 commission publish the 28 pages implicating the royals of Saudi Arabia, why did the NJ prosecutors let the three Mossad agents return to Israel?

Why the extensive propaganda in US admirable media on all foreign adventures by the Obama asministration and the war crimes being committed on a daily basis? Indeed, know your scumbags …

Oui | Jan 8, 2015 3:03:46 AM | 135===

@Fuck God #132:

Nobody is saying they "had it coming". The point is that Western Europe wants to be multicultural, but isn't willing to take the cognitive leap to understand that Islam is different from Christianity, and one way in which it is different is that while Christians will tolerate any insults to their religion by "turning the other cheek", Muslims may not, because their idea of how one respects God (or Allah, in their case) is different from that of Christians. And I am not an apologist for Islam. That's just how it is. As I said above, I believe that the Christian God is the one true God, whereas Allah is an idol.

@Oui #130:

I am willing to entertain the possibility that this was a false flag. I looked at a few blogs BTW, and nobody expressed what I suggested here, that this was a move by some Muslim paramilitary group, inspired by the successes of ISIS, to take the West's war against the Muslim world to the West. My intuition tells me that this act was motivated not by "Islamic fundamentalism" but resistance to Western hegemony. I guess I have that impression because that is my reading of 9/11.

@J. Bradley #129:

These men aren't pretending to be muslims, they are muslims. Europe needs to realize they can't accommodate them without seriously altering its culture and traditions.
I am going to take the liberty here of expressing a little Russian nationalism and saying that I believe that Russia is the only successfully multicultural European society. There is religious freedom in Russia, and something like 15% of the population are Muslims, but it is clear to everyone that Russian Orthodoxy is the primary religion. Russian Muslims do not seem to mind this, and things have been this way for centuries. This solution of the "Muslim problem" comes easily to Russia, because Russians are used to dealing with Muslims, since they underwent several centuries of occupation by the Mongols, who were Muslims. (In fact, my ancestors were Mongol Muslims who converted to Christianity because they decided to stay in Russia instead of leaving with the Mongol Horde.) Since Western European countries (other than Spain) have not had such a centuries-long exposure to Islam, I'm afraid I can't think of any solution to their Muslim problem. Certainly the Anglozionist multicultural model is failing. The only hope I can see is, as truthbetold suggests at #107, if Eurasia becomes a block, then Christian primacy, and hence social harmony, can be restored.

Demian | Jan 8, 2015 3:51:55 AM | 138===

@Fuck God #132:

Nobody is saying they "had it coming". The point is that Western Europe wants to be multicultural, but isn't willing to take the cognitive leap to understand that Islam is different from Christianity, and one way in which it is different is that while Christians will tolerate any insults to their religion by "turning the other cheek", Muslims may not, because their idea of how one respects God (or Allah, in their case) is different from that of Christians. And I am not an apologist for Islam. That's just how it is. As I said above, I believe that the Christian God is the one true God, whereas Allah is an idol.

@Oui #130:

I am willing to entertain the possibility that this was a false flag. I looked at a few blogs BTW, and nobody expressed what I suggested here, that this was a move by some Muslim paramilitary group, inspired by the successes of ISIS, to take the West's war against the Muslim world to the West. My intuition tells me that this act was motivated not by "Islamic fundamentalism" but resistance to Western hegemony. I guess I have that impression because that is my reading of 9/11.

@J. Bradley #129:

These men aren't pretending to be muslims, they are muslims. Europe needs to realize they can't accommodate them without seriously altering its culture and traditions.
I am going to take the liberty here of expressing a little Russian nationalism and saying that I believe that Russia is the only successfully multicultural European society. There is religious freedom in Russia, and something like 15% of the population are Muslims, but it is clear to everyone that Russian Orthodoxy is the primary religion. Russian Muslims do not seem to mind this, and things have been this way for centuries. This solution of the "Muslim problem" comes easily to Russia, because Russians are used to dealing with Muslims, since they underwent several centuries of occupation by the Mongols, who were Muslims. (In fact, my ancestors were Mongol Muslims who converted to Christianity because they decided to stay in Russia instead of leaving with the Mongol Horde.) Since Western European countries (other than Spain) have not had such a centuries-long exposure to Islam, I'm afraid I can't think of any solution to their Muslim problem. Certainly the Anglozionist multicultural model is failing. The only hope I can see is, as truthbetold suggests at #107, if Eurasia becomes a block, then Christian primacy, and hence social harmony, can be restored.

Demian | Jan 8, 2015 3:51:55 AM | 138===

@Anonymous #137:

I am a heterodox Christian, because even though I believe that Christianity is the true religion (this does not mean that one should not take some other religions seriously, above all Buddhism), I do not believe that God exists. This position is very German, by the way.

Yes, Christianity is "based on" Judaism. Christianity was actually a reform of Pharisaic Judaism. Contemporary Judaism, i.e., Rabbinic Judaism, emerged as a reaction to Christianity, in other words, was produced by a rejection of Jesus' and Paul's reforms of Pharisaic Judaism. Christianity is an older religion than contemporary Judaism. Many evangelical Christians know this, but in general, very few Westerners do, because they are not aware that contemporary Judaism is not the Judaism laid out in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Pharisaic Judaism stopped being viable after the second destruction of the Temple, because worship as laid out in the Hebrew Bible took place in the Temple. That destruction occurred after the death of Christ. This is the simple reason why Christianity is older than today's Judaism. (Of course, there is more to it than that, such as when the texts of the two religions became canonical.)

As for "Islam [being] a big historic part of Russia: Russia has assimilated Islam while maintaining its Christian identity, so I don't see where there is any decadence.

Demian | Jan 8, 2015 4:52:35 AM | 142===

Info about Kouachi brothers in Paris, previous arrest and teachings by Farid Benyettou, a janitor-turned-street preacher.

Radicalized by US Invasion and Abu Ghraib Torture

Oui | Jan 8, 2015 5:01:40 AM | 143===

One would ALMOST have to be convinced that b is an intel asset, programming MoAs to not connect the dots, and instead, fall back on feckless, senile diatribes about 'free speech'.

Remember 1967 Six Days War, when Mossad effectively dealt with pre-emptive attacks (how?) by six neighboring countries, while destroying the only US asset, the USS Liberty sigint spy ship (remember there were no spy satellites in 1967!), before the USS Liberty could intercept the rat-out communications that tipped Israel off. My guess is Egypt sold out their partners, rather than risk IL nuclear retribution, ...or having a new Arab neighbor.

So it's not too much of a leap, since Mossads literally grow up in Arab society, and every Mossad agent is fluent not only in Arabic, but their entire dialectic, and can impersonate, say, a false-flag attack using 19 Saudi and Egytian dupes, who probably thought they would make a few bucks by hijacking some US airliners, as had been done many times before, only to find, to their horror, the planes were on UAV autopilot, programmed by GPS to fly into the WTC all without any human intervention, or ability to override the controls. They were useful idiots, none of them trained in 757 flight controls. Like taking candy from a baby.

Then the 'magic passport' pristine on the ground, and instant list of 19 names.

You'll recall that this is 'mindwar'. This is the Final Putsch of the NeoCon Third Way. That now we are, as Mossad asset Lindsey Graham puts it, in Religious War with Islam™, at a time when French President Hollande just publicly called for an end to Russian sanctions, and Germany is being overrun with fascist hooligans, and Breitbart has nothing to rag on.

US/UK needed a false flag action BAD!

So they found some dupe, drugged him, or tortured him, who knows, then two Mossad agents made a thoroughly military execution, leaving the dupe's body at the scene, and posting in another 'miracle bullet' and/or 'miracle passport' CIA signature the names of two more poor dupes who had probably just been at a 'Workers Wanted in Saudi Arabia!' job conference held by Mossad agents, and given up their personal identity information for a shot at dinars.

So CIA/Mossad turned the tide, Hollande and Merkel are emasculated once again, the Empire is safe, and Kill All Muslims™ is back in prime time. Oh, maybe for a month it will hover there, ...what better venue than to assassinate media members, you remember the Palestine Hotel in Iraq? They can probably get two more weeks of spin out of this before the dupes are 'discovered and killed in a shootout', probably already being held some an abandoned incinerator or broken pottery factory in the south, waiting to die in a hail of bullets.

Then more months of media terror. Perpetual Crusades.

This is 'mindwar'. This is Full Spectrum Dominance domestic espionage and propaganda. This is a coordinated attack on RU and IR oil production, and Uke heavy-lift rocket engines for Boeing/Lockheeds new $100Bs, maybe $1000Bs Mission Mars. This is bigtime trillion $ shyte. This is LOOTING of the highest order by Mil.Gov and the Fed and International Bank-Brokers.
They know what's coming, they see fund balance updates and projections every nanosecond.

But b would have you believe that three angry young men donned black leather and conducted a ruthless military execution, after they watched The Mechanic two or three times. Foobar!!

Behold, ...Your Brave New World.

ChipNikh | Jan 8, 2015 6:29:00 AM | 146===

Let do a count on the number chickens coming home to roost - it's gonna be one crowded chicken coop, to say the least.

Not long ago these jihadi retards were the peace-loving, democracy drenched revolutionaries that Western leaders were falling head over heels and all lining up to support. Meetings upon meetings, many fund raising conferences all aimed at whitewashing the jihadi credentials of these retards and re-branding them as democracy loving "moderate" jihadis,sorry, I mean "opposition"...

Assad had warned them of the stupidity of their madness but noooone was heeded - that evil diktator that "murdered his own people" must go, dammit!!! France air-dropped weapons to them in Libya, supported them in Syria/Lebanon.

A quick look at the chicken list make one shiver. Islamic front(moderate, Saudi version), Al-Nusra front(somewhat moderate but...depends), FSA (purely moderate except that they work with Nusra and the many others non-moderates) then we have the ultimate ISIS/ISIL (these guys will feel offended if they're tagged with moderate).

There's lots of guns all over thanks to the stupidity of EU/Western leader who not too long ago armed and trained them and STILL arming and training them.

Another dimension is how dual citizen Israelis living in Europe/West are aggressively pushing anti-Muslim/immigrant hate through shady front organizations. For them, it's better to focus the European mind on the "evil" Islam instead of their genocide in Palestine.

Sad to say but the amount of chickens coming back home is scary..To think these retards have now been trained on how to cook C4 type explosives, advanced weapons training/tactics etc etc makes me wanna crap myself...May the souls of the innocent rest in peace.

Sad days :(

Zico | Jan 8, 2015 6:45:14 AM | 148===

114

"Arrested on departure to Syria intending to fight against Iraq, spent 6 years in prison for intent to join the Iraqi insurgency, back to Syria intending to fight against Assad, returning to France without problem but "well known to the police"."

In other words, the kid had ZERO EXPERIENCE with conducting a MILITARY-STYLE EXECUTION.

?You think you can learn military assassination by playing Call of Duty and watching The Mechanic V? Just the same way, the mercs who DO military executions, and there are 10,000s of them, cannot UNLEARN that precision, and act like a couple of drugged up 20-somethings.

This was exactly like what it looks like: military execution. ? You think Mossad would have the slightest heartburn about assassinating a bunch of French flaming liberal journalists?! You think the two who made a precise escape will be the same who die in a hail of bullets?

This is mannah from NeoCon heaven, delivered hot and piping direct from Hebron.

ChipNikh | Jan 8, 2015 6:54:47 AM | 150===

130

"They even found their ID cards in the abandoned Citroen C3."

That's a classic CIA/MOSSAD signature, like the 'miracle bullet' on Kennedy's gurney or the 'miracle passport' found on the ground at WTC, or the 'miracle street cam photo' of the two dupe 'Boston bmobers'. That's their SIGNATURE. That's how they MARK THEIR TURF. That's how they IDENTIFY THEMSELVES TO THEIR PAYMASTERS. Like the origami crane in Blade Runner.

Any good military assassin will abandon their escape vehicle in the first few miles. What better opportunity than to shed their leathers, plant the IDs, crash into another car to stop traffic, then strong arm a new car, one that would take hours before the poor drivers and distracted police completed an investigation report 1+1=3!

Now 'shots fired at police' in the South of Paris, because that's where Mossad is holding the two other dupes whose IDs they seized when the dupes applied for a job in Saudi Arabia. Who's gonna believe two dead Muslims cut down in a hail of bullets, with shots being fired at the police by snipers on the roof? Look how well that worked in Kiev!

ChipNikh | Jan 8, 2015 7:13:41 AM | 152===

So, b, you are pushing the exact line the msm is pushing that this is an attack on 'free speech'. As if the attackers would really care about something that was done in 2011?!
Really?

"That the Charlie Hebdo satire was indecent and insulting does not justify the murderous attack, but explains the probable motivation of the attackers. It is deeply wrong to kill people for their speech"

No thinking outside of the box. Not considering that exactly what is being presented by the msm and you is exactly that which the unwashed masses are to believe?
If this was really about the cartoons, why would these attackers wait so long? That doesn't even make sense

And the blowback meme- Yet another msm narrative
Blowback is of course just another logical fallacy
It assumes the conclusion in the premise and put a total brake on considering any other possibility- You can't know this is blowback, you can only assume it is- Of course 'blowback' goes along so handily with the free speech meme being pushed by yourself and the msm and this 'alternative' blog is just putting cherry on top of the nonsense sundae!

Penny | Jan 8, 2015 7:25:43 AM | 154===

I give credence to Pepe's Escobar's (and b's) version of events. PepeEscobar:

"The Masters of the Universe who pull the real levers of the Empire of Chaos are freaking out with the systemic chaos in the racket they so far had the illusion of controlling. Make no mistake - the Empire of Chaos will do what it can to exploit the post-Charlie environment - be it blowback or false flag."

The Obama administration is already mobilized to offer "protection" - Mob-style - to a Western Europe that is just, only just, starting to be diffident of the pre-fabricated Russian "threat". And just as it happens, when the Empire of Chaos mostly needs it, evil "terra" once again rears its ugly head."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-01-080115.html

madisolation | Jan 8, 2015 7:42:56 AM | 155===

As I said before, I always consider false flag until evidence comes out to prove otherwise. But so far the evidence more and more confirms false flag and not "blowback." Perhaps some here don't take Land Destroyer seriously. I think they should.

We now know that:

1) The culprits were in Syria, where France along with other countries have been openly arming, training and financing to destroy that country.
2) We know they have been terror suspects for a long time and have been under surveillance for a while.
3) Despite being under surveillance, they manage to obtain several automatic weapons and a rocket launcher and bring them to Paris.
4) They conveniently leave ID at the scene.

The point Tony Cartalucci of LD makes though, is how the public is distracted by topics of "free speech," "immigration," "assimilation" etc. The corporate media will not direct the public's attention to the above for facts, even if they mention them in passing as if they were trivial details.

Note also how cleverly the targets are selected. They pick something that 1) is plausible and 2) will get many Muslims themselves debating about the "free speech" canard.

As a Muslim myself I say openly I don't care what a bunch of 4th rate cartoonists posing as anti-establishmentarians do. I certainly don't want them harmed physically. The correct response to their insults was the Iranian one back in 2007. Namely the holocaust cartoon contest. In other words, you make fun of our religion then we make fun of your "religion." Hey, it's all just free speech right? It's only satire. Totally nonviolent.

Lysander | Jan 8, 2015 9:43:10 AM | 164===

@spinworthy

Isnt it funny that in a few days time (jan15) that the Russians Germans French and Ukrainians are meeting in Astana Kazakhstan to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, and guess whose not being invited to those talks?

and please take pity on poor Victoria (Fuck the EU)Nuland (not).

I guess that Cameron Obama is well pissed off about that.

Never mind, at least John Kerry speaks very good French.

chris m | Jan 8, 2015 9:58:33 AM | 166===

Lysander | Jan 8, 2015 9:43:10 AM | 162

Whether or not it is an explicit false flag, the US has long paid (whether directly or indirectly, who cares) and supported Wahabbist 'extremists' (mostly from Saudi Arabia or directly paid by Saudi Arabia) (or chumps or players) who carry out 'terrorist' acts that advance US and Western capitalist goals. The US doesn't need to support or direct specific acts. As long as there is a steady drumbeat of 'terror' then those who benefit from the post-9/11 neo-fascism, security statism, corporate globalization and militarism will continue to benefit, and that 'project' will continue to advance.

fairleft | Jan 8, 2015 10:33:28 AM | 167===

One of the attackers clearly yells "Bullshit" in the edited video. Yet another case of a false flag attack. They got away "a plein soleil" in Paris, spoke perfect French and with professional cold blood killed a wounded policeman (revenging Islam? I don't think so). And, how easy is it to get a rocket launcher and those weapons in France? Needless to say, the masterminds already had the "culprits" lined up, which will me massacred in the near future so that they cannot speak. All of this hours after Hollande opened up the possibility for lifting sanctions on Russia. This whole thing stinks.

Raymond | Jan 8, 2015 10:44:24 AM | 168===

Think Operation Gladio and the stay behinds.....

Also consider that France was really, really looking to get out of the Russian sanctions- Hollande was talking this up starting at least a month ago...

Could that have been a factor in the choice of locales for the attack?
I rounded up just a few news articles at my place dating back to mid December of Hollande's 'appeasement'

Once you except the meme of blowback all options come off the table and that's not realistic

@163- I was curious how you were reconciling the glaring differences in the two analysis?

Penny | Jan 8, 2015 10:48:40 AM | 169===

Can anyone seriously believe that one of the attackers left his ID (!) on the car? Professionals attackers? Again, this whole false flag operation stinks.

Raymond | Jan 8, 2015 10:56:09 AM | 170===

I haven't read all the posts yet, so if any of you have already made the reference, I apologize for any duplication. What to my mind is a fair 'interpretation' of the event at hand:

http://journal-neo.org/2015/01/08/paris-shooters-just-returned-from-nato-s-proxy-war-in-syria/

Regards to all

Norm | Jan 8, 2015 11:41:44 AM | 172===

GLADIO V.2 or V.3 at work here folks. Notice the clusterfuck of arguments on this thread gnashing back and forth with little logic, except for the standard discourse ('justifiable blowback' versus 'muslims are animals')?

As in any of theses externally planned false flag attacks of the recent past there is a partial information disclosure strategy that results in greater confusion and tension in the immediate aftermath. From there the dominant controlling memes will be extracted in due time.
I agree that this attack was intended as punishment for France/Hollande - but not the kind of punishment everybody here is arguing about and not from the 'usual' parties as have been regularly paraded in the media.

Face it folks, the so-called global war on terror is a geo-strategic gambit by certain western powers and they have been driving the narrative since day one. None of this shit is as its being presented to any of us, just think clearly back to 9-11 and you should be able to calibrate your skepticism back to where it belongs.

spinworthy | Jan 8, 2015 11:42:37 AM | 173===

This isn't blowback, it's Operation Gladio, in my view.

relament | Jan 8, 2015 11:51:19 AM | 174===

What Pepe Escobar fails to highlight in his "cui bono?" analysis -- maybe I missed it; I read it quickly -- is the National Front clearly benefits here. Le Pen was already polling ahead. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre I don't see how she loses. The MSM analysis seems to me be on the money. The UKIP, the National Front, the burgeoning nativist movement in Germany -- all have been bolstered by Charlie Hebdo.

With Europe in deflation, a split in the ECB between Germany and Draghi, Syriza positioned to take power in Greece, the eurozone is headed for serious instability.

Mike Maloney | Jan 8, 2015 11:52:07 AM | 175===

I think we need to be careful not to conflate what the journalists and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were doing with the idea of 'inciting hatred'. Because people (no matter how numerous) believe something wholly and absolutely, does not mean they are immune from having their beliefs challenged, particularly when they are living within an unapologetically democratic society. At the risk of a spot of reductio ad absurdum, Hitler and the Nazis were pretty firm in their beliefs about Aryan supremacy – should we have given them a freer rein on the basis that to challenge (or even poke fun at) their beliefs would have been to cause offence? And where would you draw the line? Is it just the media which should retain a respectful distance from such things, or would you have to start exerting strong editorial controls over programmes like 'Family Guy' who regularly lampoon Christian and Islamic themes and have a far greater reach than a left-wing French-language magazine. The men who carried out these attacks are clearly lunatics. We need to spend our time attempting to understand how these and other young people are becoming radicalised and encouraged into acts of extreme violence if we're ever going to find any sort of solution to this puzzle. Western governments clearly have an integral role to play in this process, but not through the suppression of hard won, democratic principles.

Francois | Jan 8, 2015 12:14:55 PM | 176===

@ Raymond #166
They got away "a plein soleil" in Paris, spoke perfect French and with professional cold blood killed a wounded policeman (revenging Islam? I don't think so)

FWIW: That policeman was Ahmed Merabet , a Muslim as was Mustapha Ourrad who worked and was killed inside Charlie Hebdo

Yul | Jan 8, 2015 12:27:22 PM | 177===

174
and the moronic "free-speech" bandwaggonists just bleat on and on,like the good little sheeple that they are, completely ignoring the few intelligent points raised in opposition to the moronic "free speech" group-think in this thread on this subject so far,

. . . . Natch . . .

Baa baa dump sheep,

Rogan Josh | Jan 8, 2015 12:28:00 PM | 178===

free-speech is what allows you to indiscriminately call someone a moron. but you can't see the irony in it can you?!

Francois | Jan 8, 2015 12:34:54 PM | 179===

that NBC fuckup yesterday was not american-sourced, and "where the fuck did they get those ?" : it was from the Charente Libre who first published that nonsense @ 23h50 (Paris Time), even if they specified "unconfirmed". NBC took the bait anyway 1h later and got ridiculed afterwards.

http://www.charentelibre.fr/2015/01/07/fusillade-a-l-arme-automatique-a-charlie-hebdo,1933643.php
Jan 7, 23h50 : "Selon plusieurs sources policières, non confirmées officiellement, le Raid aurait interpellé à Reims deux des suspects auteurs de la tuerie de Charlie Hebdo. Le troisième homme recherché aurait été abattu. Ce serait le plus jeune, âgé de 18 ans."

zingaro | Jan 8, 2015 1:16:13 PM | 180===

Norm thank for the link. Cartalucci has the same take as me.

okie farmer | Jan 8, 2015 1:16:59 PM | 181===

why all the big fuss about this particular terrorist attack?
why the wall-to-wall coverage about whodunit, and what are we going to do about it?

The French are perfectly capable of sorting this out all by themselves.
and so has the rest of europe been dealing with such threats for the past 100+ years.

Thanks, but no thanks.
we dont need Cameron Obamas help.

ps have the Americans located that black box from the 911 incident yet?
no? i didnt think so.

Rogan Josh | Jan 8, 2015 1:56:37 PM | 183===

@ 174

At the risk of a spot of reductio ad absurdum, Hitler and the Nazis were pretty firm in their beliefs about Aryan supremacy – should we have given them a freer rein on the basis that to challenge (or even poke fun at) their beliefs would have been to cause offence?

Clearly not. This isn't about the principle of denigration or offense per se. It is about power. Satire is the denigration of the powerful to take it down a peg, not the denigration of an oppressed, insular minority (Muslims within French society) or the denigration of an oppressed people in foreign lands (Muslims in the Middle East attacked by Western powers). Making fun of the weak and the poor only contributes to their marginalization and empowers their oppressors. It is necessarily a right-wing, reactionary activity.

ee | Jan 8, 2015 1:58:19 PM | 184===

Satire is the denigration of the powerful to take it down a peg, not the denigration of an oppressed, insular minority (Muslims within French society) or the denigration of an oppressed people in foreign lands (Muslims in the Middle East attacked by Western powers).

ee | Jan 8, 2015 1:58:19 PM | 184

astounding that this even needs to be explained to these fools

Rogan Josh | Jan 8, 2015 2:32:58 PM | 185===

"Unlike U.S. "liberals" most of the world does not consider free speech as an absolute right. Indeed like screaming "fire" in a filled theater, insulting the believe of other people is likely to get you hurt in most parts of the world. To claim such insults should not matter is itself an insult in that it declares one culture, that of absolute free speech rights, to be superior to other values. It is indecent."

What utter horsesh*t! Free speech IS an absolute right, get over it. It is in no way similar to screaming "fire" in a filled theater! Are you mad? Insulting the belief [sic] of other people is as much a right as anything else. Where rights get violated is if the recipient(s) of the insult retaliate violently. They are perfectly free to SAY anything they want in response, but they have no right to be violent. I find your assimilation of western culture to be indecent, rather. Free speech is a natural right, and any natural person may exercise free speech rights, and there should never be any retaliation except with more speech. Shame on you for making this statement.

You're basically saying that I have to accept all religions, no matter how ridiculous, without comment. Clearly you are not interested in the rights of people across the world. Up until that comment, I thought you were a reliable source of information for free people everywhere. And I thought you were making sense. You'd rather have a religion free to expand and indoctrinate without objection. I'm afraid that your view has nothing to do with freedom, so no thank you to that.

Michael | Jan 8, 2015 2:33:12 PM | 186===

A good quote from Saker
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.ru/2015/01/i-am-not-charlie.html
So no, I am most definitely NOT Charlie this morning and I am disgusted beyond words with the obscene display of doubleplusgoodthinking "solidarity" for a group of "caviar-lefties" who made their money spitting in the souls of billions of people and then dared them to do something about it.

And I am under no illusion whatsoever about the fact that cui bono clearly indicates that the French regime either organized it all, or let it happen or, at the very least, makes maximal political use of it all.

But most of all, I am disgusted with all those who play along and studiously avoid asking the right questions about all this.

I guess they really are "Charlies" all of them.

Anonymous | Jan 8, 2015 2:48:39 PM | 189===

LandDestroyer
In the recent attack in Paris, France, the canards of
  • "free speech,"
  • "condemning radical Islam,"
  • "tolerance," and
  • "extremism"
have all taken center stage, displacing the fact that the terrorists who carried out the attack were long on the leash not of "Islamic extremists" but Western intelligence agencies, fighting in a Western proxy war, as a member of a well-funded, armed, and trained mercenary force that has, on record since as early as 2007, been an essential component of Western foreign policy.

Canards . . .

If it looks like a duck . . . . .

Rogan Josh | Jan 8, 2015 3:43:31 PM | 190===

Found obkects include 1 passport,. 1 black islamist banner

recalls the found objects in Attas car on 9-11

brian | Jan 8, 2015 3:49:37 PM | 191===

why i'm not charlie:

'In 2002, Philippe Val, who was editor in chief at the time, denounced Noam Chomsky for anti-Americanism and excessive criticism of Israel and of mainstream media. In 2008, another of Charlie Hebdo's famous cartoonists, Siné, wrote a short note citing a news item that President Sarkozy's son Jean was going to convert to Judaism to marry the heiress of a prosperous appliance chain. Siné added the comment, "He'll go far, this lad." For that, Siné was fired by Philippe Val on grounds of "anti-Semitism". Siné promptly founded a rival paper which stole a number of Charlie Hebdo readers, revolted by CH's double standards.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/07/what-to-say-when-you-have-nothing-to-say/

brian | Jan 8, 2015 3:52:15 PM | 192===

Patsies identified and caught through careless discarding of personal ID? Check.
Commando thugs escape? Check?
French gov't chastened after voicing support for Palestinian state? Check.
French gov't re-think on Russian sanctions maybe halted? Check.
Any Saudi-Mossad connections ignored (Except by "conspiracy theorists")? Check.
Rabid Islamophobes like Peter King calling for over-the-top retaliation? Check.

These seem to always happen curiously if and when a US client-poodle-colony remembers it has a brain and its own interests and starts to think it can act on its own.

Sorry, but we've all seen this show before and know how it plays out.

farflungstar | Jan 8, 2015 4:21:24 PM | 193===

Idk about this Charlie Hebdo attack, though it would be a good oppo to attempt to find out how these things are organised...

The last I looked at in detail was the Boston Bombings. Blatant FF (false flag) if one likes, I am *absolutely* certain. More, in a way, a 'managed event' (not! contradictory with FF), creating spectaculars for the public, a buzz, participation, akin to a well planned demo - an event were a celeb shows up after a lot of mystery hot air - a Pussy Riot gig, etc., here with some (limited) maiming and deaths. Movie fiction meets, or melds with, reality, Guy Debord x 100.

It's aim, I felt, was more to practise this kind of staging, the giving out of scripts which must remain secret, testing the top-down chain of command, etc. re. all the participants - police, media - some actors are lowly journos on the ground or just informal recorders, an important sporting event after all (1) - (top) organisors of the marathon, ambulance and emergency, and most vital, hospitals, where the victims were, or were not, treated. Sandy Hook (about which I know nothing at all) has some of the same flavor.

The BB actors (no names from me, but ppl from the public who were witnesses and told the tale(s), living victims and families of victims) have to be set up, carefully chosen and hansomely paid, and imho this was the most difficult part - as it is the easiest to pierce by an outside observer.

Police and media already act out a role in a chain of command, and are themselves as to their identities but can hide under their roles, they didn't see, don't know, obeyed orders, can't say, etc.

The actors have faces, have names, voices and accents, and also, wear clothes (funny that, the organisers forgot it - 2) have a past (or none), are interviewed, appear on the TV, though only the most convincing are put in front of the cameras.

They can be traced, or if they can't, if their identities come up 'empty' see e.g. "Yes I've lived in Boston all my life and entered the Marathon 3 times, here is my wife Cindy who works at Quincy hospital and treated one of the victims, too sad, - wipes imaginary tear - yes we live in X …our name is spelled with ph.. .." - ?? err ?? nobody home? Face turns up three look alikes, all aspiring actors, you get the picture..) Overall though it was extremely well done.

This attack in F is less sophisticated. The usual plot of enraged muslims, individuals with arms acting in a closed envrionment, a sneak thing, against an 'enemy'.

D. Johnstone agrees with me about Charlie Hebdo (see my previous post)…

*Charlie Hebdo* was not in reality a model of freedom of speech. It has ended up, like so much of the "human rights left", defending U.S.-led wars against "dictators".

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/07/what-to-say-when-you-have-nothing-to-say/

I'd add C. Hebdo was dead racist, extreme. In fact many of its cartoons etc. would have been actionable under the 'incitation to hatred' and 'against racism' etc. French laws, but nobody took action (a complaint is necessary, there is no automatic prosecution), as *Muslims* were targeted, and Catholics, Jews, and others, well understood they should not bite the hand that feeds.

C. Hebdo managed to publish insulting, horribly degrading, things about Jews, 3, these are not published or mentioned in the Angloworld, and the LICRA (jewish lobby) and others hardly ever (or never? oh imho never) complained. Any small town newspaper that did the equivalent, in even one sketch or op-ed, would have been shut down and its editors facing huge fines and suspended jail sentences, not to mention a private person or a lonely pamphleteer, who who have been - err, crucified, life absolutely ruined for evah. All understood that C. Hebdo had to appear as an 'all purpose mocker' so as to allow the rabid anti-muslim message a legit platform.

Some of the background. About the mechanics of the attack, idk.

Demian at 73 I don't disagree w. you.

1. data remained on the web for weeks. Cleaning all that up took time, a lot of staff.

2. Victim is at Marathon (dozens of pics, long vids) in striped T, black pants, and with green socks, is hauled away in pieces, and later interviewed after recovery, same T and same socks! err just one sock…

3. some ex. http://tinyurl.com/nodh3bb

Noirette | Jan 8, 2015 4:37:12 PM | 194===

farflungstar | Jan 8, 2015 4:21:24 PM | 193

Russian agents on English blog spaces pointing fingers at America yet again after a tragedy? Check

He who smelt it first, dealt it. I thought it was North Korea initially, but now I'm sure it was Russia witnessed by its aggressive accusations.

Cold N. Holefield | Jan 8, 2015 4:41:09 PM | 195===

No, satire is the psychical sword that strikes at the heart of tyranny in all its manifest forms. Religions are inherently tyrannical.

Cold N. Holefield | Jan 8, 2015 4:44:30 PM | 196===

A question: why is there no blood for the cops head when he got shot?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2be_1420632685

Ron | Jan 8, 2015 4:49:26 PM | 197===

I'm sorry, but no. Freedom of speech should be a fundamental right. They had every right to be as insulting and inflammatory as they wanted. Those who didn't like it could simply not read it, or silently rage, or voice their anger just as vocally and publicly as the original offense. What they don't have is a right to use violence as a response, nor is it remotely 'understandable' that they did. The perpetrators of this attack are monsters, pure and simple, and whether this is ultimately a form of blowback and the magazine merely the final trigger or not doesn't matter. So they insulted your Prophet. Well you know what? That's too fucking bad for you. You don't get to take life or inflict injuries because of that.

As for the inane 'don't get to yell fire in a crowded theater' argument, yes, actually, you do. A theater is private property, the people running it have the say about what you can or can't do there. Further it would be real nice if people using that quote actually knew the context in which it was given:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-fire-in-a-crowded-theater-quote/264449/

It was about suppressing speech against the draft, and it was a ruling that was over-ruled over 40 years ago.

Saghei | Jan 8, 2015 5:01:48 PM | 198===

How do they ban Dieudonne but are content to let Charlie carry on?

Is it because: making fun of jews = bad, making fun of Muslims = good?

Guess no double standard there!

195 - Russian agents? How can you tell? Lot of people think AmeriKa is behind bad shit that goes on all over the place - I mean, given what has been revealed about saintly and benighted AmeriKa over the last dozen years, can you blame anyone, not just Russian agents, from pointing fingers at AmeriKa?

farflungstar | Jan 8, 2015 5:07:56 PM | 199===

continued from 199
Plus, France was doing a rethink of sanctions re: Russia. Why would the Russians blow that shit up on their own and hurt themselves? Doesn't quite wash to blame them.

farflungstar | Jan 8, 2015 5:11:08 PM | 200===

@135
If I lived in France I'd be voting for Marine Le Pen. I'd vote for any reasonable person who can admit that European immigration rates need to be sharply reined in. I am also opposed to the ziocon wars and the foreign policy of the current US and EU establishment. Is Marine Le Pen in support of Hollande and Sarkozy's neocon foreign policy? I don't think so.

The killers of the Charlie Hebdo staff are not reacting to French foreign policy in the ME. They are religious fanatics killing people who dare to ridicule their idols. If these guys had attacked a war-mongering newspaper or a think tank or a government official then it would make sense to claim this was a response to French aggression or intrusion into Middle Eastern affairs.

However, two of the attackers had gone to Jihad in Syria which the French government has been instrumental in bringing about. It is possible that these men would have not been radicalized or motivated enough to commit murder had the US, UK and Fr not made Syria into a terrorist training ground. So, on that basis France could be considered to blame for this and b. is somewhat right about "chickens coming home…" but the personal motives of the killers is still religious and these guys are worst kind of imperialists in their own fanatical way.

J. Bradley | Jan 8, 2015 5:23:10 PM | 202===

Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack highlights MSM's selective compassion
Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack once again showed the world that the Western mainstream media can be vISILant ... when it is in the Western interests.

A rightful uproar over the deaths of journalists in Paris makes MSM's silence, ignorance and quiet approval of Kiev's atrocities in Donbass all the more apparent.

Not only Kiev's atrocities in Donbass but the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's drone assassinations of women, children and wedding parties in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and wherever else he just happens to be feelin' like killin' with no reason.

Not only Kiev's atrocities in Donbass but the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's and his European Unit sidekicks' murder of 100,000 Syrians.

Not only Kiev's atrocities in Donbass but Bush' and the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's murder of 1,000,000 Iraqis.

Not only Kiev's atrocities in Donbass but the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's, UK's, France's, Germany's murders worldwide.

jfl | Jan 8, 2015 6:12:25 PM | 205===

J bradley

It is about foreign policy how many times must this be told?
911 happend because of the same reason.

Anonymous | Jan 8, 2015 6:29:10 PM | 206===

at J. Bradley

That you are racist rag is self evident, just as those are/were from that "satirical" journal. Should I say for that matter you are Nazi, I suspect you will take this as a compliment. All Europeans are. About their barbaric extension over the pond one should not waste space and time.

Now, your dream come true, you have the "reason" to hate Muslims - everywhere, and Islam. But you always hated them, there were always clash of civilization in your mind, and your behavior.

Otherwise, anyone who is talking and commenting about "free speech", is in the government narrative/propaganda and missing the point.

neretva'43 | Jan 8, 2015 6:49:52 PM | 207===

A question: why is there no blood for the cops head when he got shot?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2be_1420632685

Ron | Jan 8, 2015 4:49:26 PM | 197

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/france-false-flag-shooting-attackers-spliced-in-and-cops-cut-out-whilst-man-in-bullet-proof-vest-watches/

The body of the "policeman" never recoiled from the shot in the slightest and no blood spatter. Passport found. Precision of attack.

False Flag. See excellent remarks by ChipNikh, Penny and Josh Rogan above.

fast freddy | Jan 8, 2015 8:18:17 PM | 208===

The cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo made fun of EVERYBODY. Christians, Jews, Muslims, politicians, corporations, bankers and any PTB.

Uh, no not so much:

"Charlie Hebdo was not in reality a model of freedom of speech. It has ended up, like so much of the "human rights left", defending U.S.-led wars against "dictators".
In 2002, Philippe Val, who was editor in chief at the time, denounced Noam Chomsky for anti-Americanism and excessive criticism of Israel and of mainstream media. In 2008, another of Charlie Hebdo's famous cartoonists, Siné, wrote a short note citing a news item that President Sarkozy's son Jean was going to convert to Judaism to marry the heiress of a prosperous appliance chain. Siné added the comment, "He'll go far, this lad." For that, Siné was fired by Philippe Val on grounds of "anti-Semitism". Siné promptly founded a rival paper which stole a number of Charlie Hebdo readers, revolted by CH's double standards.

http://xymphora.blogspot.com/2015/01/je-ne-suis-pas-charlie.html

Lysander | Jan 9, 2015 1:00:59 AM | 219===

farflungstar | Jan 8, 2015 5:07:56 PM | 199

Saudi Arabia seems to be blocking Nigeria from its oil reserves via Boko Haram.

German papers say Paris suspects were on US terror list.

France has been meddling - using extremists - in Syria - all along, it is their former colony, remember. Same applies to Turkey, same applies to Israel. Algerien secret services know a thing or two about French secret services. Same applies to Syrian secret services.

Strange news are on the internet involving Qatar, Israel, Britain - rumors apply to France and Turkey, too.

You would think the rat lines to Syria were closely watched by all the above. I would also doubt that French secret services are incompetent.

somebody | Jan 9, 2015 1:06:48 AM | 221===

@Jack #218:

Your post made me take the trouble to find an unedited video which shows the execution of the policeman. I finally found one. Jesus, is that brutal. The gunman delivers what Russians call the control shot without changing his gait at all. A journalist in a Sky News segment concludes from the behavior of the gunmen that they have probably killed before, and it is hard not to agree with him.

Also, sorry, it is hard for me to believe that people so professional are religious fanatics acting on a grudge. This was a special op, the purpose of which we do not know. Yes, it could have very well been a false flag. As for Mossad, (1) I doubt that Mossad has any experienced killers who speak French without an accent; (2) I still think that several countries, including France, had more of a motive to do this than Israel did.

Anyway, those men are so well trained that obviously there was someone else supervising the operation; another reason to think so is that the men initially went to the wrong building, which means that it was not they who reconnoitered it. Since this was a professional operation, the chances of these men getting caught are nil.

@juliania #220:

Why then was this a target? I submit, for the reason that it is high profile, a symbol of French cultural values, as was the World Trade Center in New York. In this respect, any symbol of 'western decadence' will do
You could well be right about that. As for the men being criminals, after watching the video, I have the impression that they were working for some intelligence agency. We don't usually call people who are following the orders of a government criminals.

Demian | Jan 9, 2015 1:55:46 AM | 222===

Love how moa suddenly got flooded with new names all repeating the same "free speech" bs. Paid trolls?

Anonymous | Jan 9, 2015 3:02:16 AM | 223===

Syria: Paris attack price of French politics
Ja'afari said, "We have repeatedly said and warned the French government about working with the terrorists, about manipulating the terrorists. And we told them 'one day it will return to you.'"

He cited former French Interior Minister and current Prime Minister Manuel Valls as saying in 2013, "I cannot as a minister of interior prevent the French jihadists from going to Syria to fulfill their jihad."

"The French Minister of Foreign Affairs [Laurent] Fabius said something worse in 2012. He said that the Islamist jihadists are doing well in Syria," according to the Syrian official.

"Now they call them terrorists because today they are killing French people. But when they used to kill Syrian people, they were considered jihadist."


The obvious is beginning to sink in?

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 3:30:10 AM | 224===

@216

And it's the criminal collaborator Abbas who is withholding the aid already received for the Gazans from them.

Even the West Bank Palestinians hate the Gazans? Or will someone there fnally get rid of the US/Israeli appointed Abbas?

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 3:34:28 AM | 225===

@Anonymous #223:

I honestly don't think there's a free speech issue here. I'm American, so I'm all for free speech. I find the laws that many European countries have criminalizing criticism of the official account of the Holocaust to be barbaric and to go against everything that Western civilization is about. They break the separation of church and state, by making the Holocaust Religion the official state religion. But even if you have the right to free speech, that does not mean that you should stupidly and provocatively use it to insult other people's deeply held beliefs, especially if you are not making any kind of point that tells someone anything they didn't already know. But that's exactly what Charlie Hebdo did with their stupid Islamophobic cartoons.

Charlie Hebdo supports the fascist junta in Kiev, by the way.

somebody at #221 gave a link to a story about Israel secret service recruiting Algerian youth to fight in Syria. That is interesting. It means that Israel could be controlling the Charlie Hebdo gun men. It is also possible that another country contracted out to Israel the Charlie Hebdo op.

I find this whole affair pretty painful. It reminds me so much of the Boston Marathon bombings, with the massive manhunt and police in paramilitary garb invading people's homes.

Demian | Jan 9, 2015 3:38:56 AM | 226===

@Demian 226: "Charlie Hebdo supports the fascist junta in Kiev, by the way."

Evidence please. Les preuves, svp.

Snake Arbusto | Jan 9, 2015 4:18:27 AM | 227===

"Free Speech" hypocrisy in the aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo

In 2003, when the Bush administration invaded Iraq, French popular opposition was so overwhelming that the government led by President Jacques Chirac was compelled to oppose the war, even in the face of massive political pressure from the United States. Now, 12 years later, as President François Hollande is striving to transform France into the United States' principal ally in the "war on terror," the attack in Paris plays into his hands.

In the midst of this orgy of democratic hypocrisy, no reference is made to the fact that the American military, in the course of its wars in the Middle East, is responsible for the deaths of at least 15 journalists. In the on-going narrative of "Freedom of Speech Under Attack," there is no place for any mention of the 2003 air-to-surface missile attack on the offices of Al Jazeera in Baghdad that left three journalists dead and four wounded.

Nor is anything being written or said about the July 2007 murder of two Reuters journalists working in Baghdad, staff photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh. Both men were deliberately targeted by US Apache gunships while on assignment in East Baghdad.

The American and international public was first able to view a video of the cold-blooded murder of the two journalists as well as a group of Iraqis-taken from one of the gunships-as the result of WikiLeaks' release of classified material that it had obtained from an American soldier, Corporal Bradley Chelsea Manning.

And how has the United States and Europe acted to protect WikiLeaks' exercise of free speech? Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, has been subjected to relentless persecution. Leading political and media figures in the United States and Canada have denounced him as a "terrorist" and demanded his arrest, with some even calling publicly for his murder. Assange is being pursued on fraudulent "rape" charges concocted by American and Swedish intelligence services. He has been compelled to seek sanctuary in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, which is under constant guard by British police who will seize Assange if he steps out of the embassy. As for Chelsea Manning, she is presently in prison, serving out a 35-year sentence for treason.

That is how the great capitalist "democracies" of North America and Europe have demonstrated their commitment to free speech and the safety of journalists!

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 4:45:41 AM | 228===

@227

Charlie Hebdo endorses the neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine and its bombings of Ukrainian citizens

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 4:48:19 AM | 229===

Lest we forget: "Rainbow Warrior"(Wikipedia)

The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, codenamed Opération satanique, was an operation by the "action" branch of the French foreign intelligence services, the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE), carried out on 10 July 1985. During the operation, two operatives sank the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand on its way to a protest against a planned French nuclear test in Moruroa. Fernando Pereira, a photographer, drowned on the sinking ship.

France initially denied responsibility, but two French agents were captured and charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, willful damage, and murder. As the truth came out the resulting scandal resulted in the resignation of the French Defence Minister Charles Hernu.

As part of a plea bargain, the two agents pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to ten years in prison, but in fact spent just over two years confined to the French island of Hao before being freed by their government in breach of its treaty obligation. . . .

x | Jan 9, 2015 5:10:40 AM | 230===

@227 Sorry, but that doesn't at all look like a Charlie cartoon to me. I'll need more evidence than that - actual pages from _Charlie_.

Just as an aside, the satirical weekly _Le Canard enchaîné_ does indeed seem to be on the demonize-Russia bnadwagon. I was greatly disappointed to see that, and I'd be greatly disappointed to see that _Charlie_ actually supports the coup regime. But I'd have to see it. Si je vois, je crois. Noirette, you seem to have little use for _Charlie_. Maybe you can prove to me that they support the Kiev coup regime? Merci d'avance.

Snake Arbusto | Jan 9, 2015 5:35:40 AM | 231===

As France shows the world that she is a champion of free speech and a free press in the wake of the attack, a little history is in order. The name of the weekly _Charlie Hebdo_ was changed from its original name, _Hara-Kiri Hebdo_, after the paper was banned by the French government for publishing a tasteless headline after the death of Gen. de Gaulle. The ban meant that the paper could not be sold on newsstands - which, then as now, is enough to kill a publication in France (note that one of the killers is supposed to have said, "We killed _Charlie_").

From Wikipedia:
____________
In November 1970, following the death of Charles de Gaulle at his home in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, the weekly Hara-Kiri Hebdo bore the headline " Bal tragique à Colombey : 1 mort " (En: "Tragic ball in Colombey: 1 death").

The choice of the title refers to a tragedy of the same month: a fire at a discothèque where 146 people were killed. As a result, the magazine was immediately and permanently banned from sale to minors and publicity by the minister of the interior Raymond Marcellin.

Charlie Hebdo was started immediately afterwards. Charlie in the title refers to General de Gaulle (said Georges Wolinski); but it was the name of another magazine from Éditions du Square Charlie Mensuel, named after the character Charlie Brown from Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts.
_____________________

Snake Arbusto | Jan 9, 2015 5:46:12 AM | 232===

France24 – reports the Kouachi brothers were in Yemen and had met AQ operatives. Source from a group of 4/5 journalists who had met AQ leadership recently in Yemen.

French police have cornered the two suspects in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële, 40 km north from Paris, in a printshop in an industrial zone in a hostage situation. Journalists are nearby after they were escorted by police to the village.

Paris Attack: 'Martyrs of Liberty'

Oui | Jan 9, 2015 6:58:21 AM | 233===

Boko Haram is active in northern Nigeria while oil production is mainly in the Niger's Delta in the southern coast. Though it seems reasonable that Saudi Arabia may have some hand on arming or supporting Boko Haram as an extreme islamist force I don't see any relation with Nigeria's oil production.

ThePaper | Jan 9, 2015 6:58:48 AM | 234===

Charlie Hebdo police officer shooting zoomed in - cop head-shot in slow mo - no blood

2nd video

Rogan Josh | Jan 9, 2015 7:10:40 AM | 235===

@231

I actually know nothing about 'Charlie', other than of it's cheap, offensive - and stupid and deadly as it turns out - tricks played on the bigots who read it, with it's redflag cartoons waved at Islam ... I hope I'll hear no more of it now.

I assume it was hip 'mainstream', and mainstream means with the imperial party line.

What to Say When You Have Nothing to Say?

Freedom of the press is also freedom to be vulgar and stupid from time to time.

Charlie Hebdo was not in reality a model of freedom of speech. It has ended up, like so much of the "human rights left", defending U.S.-led wars against "dictators".

In 2002, Philippe Val, who was editor in chief at the time, denounced Noam Chomsky for anti-Americanism and excessive criticism of Israel and of mainstream media. In 2008, another of Charlie Hebdo's famous cartoonists, Siné, wrote a short note citing a news item that President Sarkozy's son Jean was going to convert to Judaism to marry the heiress of a prosperous appliance chain. Siné added the comment, "He'll go far, this lad." For that, Siné was fired by Philippe Val on grounds of "anti-Semitism". Siné promptly founded a rival paper which stole a number of Charlie Hebdo readers, revolted by CH's double standards.

In short, Charlie Hebdo was an extreme example of what is wrong with the "politically correct" line of the current French left.


Evidence of hypocrisy, although no real evidence there of "support for the fascist junta in Kiev", but they seem to have sung in the same key, and Diane Johnstone has yet to lead me astray.

The senseless murders seem to play into no one's hands but the Empire's. I imagine there is a connection there - the perps trained by the CIA/NATO, striking back at the authors of their mad skills?

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 7:18:58 AM | 236===

@233 France24 is reporting that the press are not being allowed within one kilometer of the industrial park in Dammartin:

__________
La commune est quadrillée et aucune échappatoire ne semble possible : tous les accès de la zone industrielle de la ville sont bouclés et elle est entourée de champs plats et détrempés à perte de vue. La presse est bloquée par les forces de l'ordre à environ un kilomètre de l'endroit où se déroulent les opérations.
_____________

Snake Arbusto | Jan 9, 2015 7:43:55 AM | 237===

@231 I haven't kept up with _Charlie_ regularly lately. But one thing I can say for certain is that they are not Islamophobic or anti-Semitic. They are against religious hypocrisy in all its forms, yes.

I heard a contributor say in a radio interview that the editorial meeting on Wednesday concerned an upcoming issue whose theme was combating racism.

I started reading Charlie in 1972, and have read it with pleasure on an off since. I do not consider myself a bigot, and you should be careful about throwing that term around, whatever your reaction to the scatological nature of Charlie's humor. Have you ever read Rabelais or Villon?

Snake Arbusto | Jan 9, 2015 7:52:48 AM | 238===

Snake Arbusto

Charlie made comics like this:
http://www.islametinfo.fr/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/1418433_226701860837248_576295875_n.jpg

That's as you know the french politician. I dont see how that is not racism.
Also anyone can draw a stupid pic humilitating a religion, is this really what generate money and fame today? Havent we evolved from that?

Anonymous | Jan 9, 2015 8:23:53 AM | 239===

sorry for the conspirationists but after they led their ID in the car (you have to understand the guys want to die as martyrs anyway, so they want advertisment and told a guy they stole his car from to tell the media they are doing it on behalf of al qaeda in yemen, which indeed had put the head of "Charb" the director of charlie hebdo, on its list of "a bullet a day keep the unfaithful away" some years ago)
they were seen in a gas station yesterday (with black hoods and guns) and are just having a hostage taking right now
this of course did not hinder Hollande of having a live speech from the ministry of interior just as the hostage crisis was still unresolve, and shortly before a second hostage taking started in Vincennes (by a guy who killed a policewoman yesterday in montrouge and injured a civil employee)
when you think that there was a couple of killings during the christmas holidays with guys running into crowds shouting allah akbar you really think the french police is useless

Mina | Jan 9, 2015 8:24:19 AM | 240===

New assault, man occupy jewish store outside Paris, allegedly have 2 people been shot.
https://twitter.com/RobPulseNews/status/553533571886219265/photo/1

Anonymous | Jan 9, 2015 8:43:14 AM | 241===

Lysander @219

Oh yes, Charlie Hebdo is making fun of everybody, especially of French people. But you're not French so you don't know anything about these guys.

They are probably hated by a lot of people! But they are also our guardrails and French people were gut wrench by this gunning. I don't think you realize how bad this is.

To answer your example: there are laws against anything slightly anti-Semite in France (in Germany as well) because of WWII and what happened to Jews at that times. Charb was probably coerced.

So you would like the same protective laws for Muslims, Christians, politicians, corporations, military and bankers? You might get what you want and you'll have to shut up on anything and everything.

Take a look:
https://www.google.com/search?q=charlie+hebdo&biw=1920&bih=922&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=C-CvVNjYN8mSyATdnoKQAg&ved=0CD8QsAQ

aliena | Jan 9, 2015 9:39:04 AM | 242===

@ 241, so there are laws against anything 'slightly antisemitic' but, you can do anything to deliberately provoke Muslims and call it free speech? Those Charlie guys are easily coerced by the French government but they really are champions of liberty? Anyway, I'm falling for the canard I warned others about. This is a false flag. It is not about free speech. The French need to look at the evidence if they really want to get at the culprits...but since there are laws against anything 'slightly antisemitic' it might be hard.

Lysander | Jan 9, 2015 10:24:19 AM | 243===

Lysander

Very true.

"Maurice Sinet was fired from Charlie Hebdo for anti-semitism. He was ordered "to write a letter of apology or face termination. The cartoonist said he would rather "cut his own balls off", and was promptly fired.[4]" "Maurice Sinet also reported a death threat posted on a site run by the Jewish Defence League. The text said "20 centimeters of stainless steel in the gut, that should teach the bastard to stop and think".[6]
http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/2rqvtf/til_that_after_the_muhammed_cartoons_controversy/

Anonymous | Jan 9, 2015 10:34:24 AM | 244===

So now they are dead, now no questions could be asked, just great!

Anonymous | Jan 9, 2015 11:24:29 AM | 245===

Snake you need to google Charlie's cartoons of the past few years. Whatever they 'were about' in the 70s is immaterial.

Now it's 99% Islamophobia, mirroring Der Sturmer. With a 1% nod to 'other' religions, and sex-scandals, etc., just to keep their 'image' up I guess.

JFC just a quick google can tell you this. De-invest from your nostalgia, please.

L Bean | Jan 9, 2015 12:35:14 PM | 246===

A must-read:
(...) In particular, the west has spent years bombing, invading and occupying Muslim countries and killing, torturing and lawlessly imprisoning innocent Muslims, and anti-Muslim speech has been a vital driver in sustaining support for those policies.

IN SOLIDARITY WITH A FREE PRESS: SOME MORE BLASPHEMOUS CARTOONS

Michał | Jan 9, 2015 1:26:38 PM | 247===

love free speech in france.
go to jail for saying holocaust is BS.
dieudonné also loves french tolerance for his humor.

5 dancing shlomos | Jan 9, 2015 2:27:04 PM | 248===

@242

The French government let them be, yes.
Except when it comes to Judaism because of our past. French people have a strong anti-Semitic tendency, enough to deport a lot of Jews during WWII. So there are laws. Doesn't mean they didn't try to blaspheme Judaism to a certain point (see Shoah Hebdo for example)! But Sarkozy was a special A-h***!

Why Charlie Hebdo Must Be Free to Offend All - Even Us
http://forward.com/articles/212292/why-charlie-hebdo-must-be-free-to-offend-all-ev/

aliena | Jan 9, 2015 2:40:08 PM | 249===

Isn't anyone else sick of the false flag nutters, the Jewish conspiracy freaks, and now the excuse the religious freak weirdos who would defend Charles Manson if he attended one anti-imperialist protest. What is most of the time such a great blog is often ruined by all of this garbage. Conspiracy isn't informed comment..

Fuck God | Jan 9, 2015 4:41:58 PM | 250===

@250

That's routine for this site.

Saghei | Jan 9, 2015 5:04:57 PM | 251===

Lol all of a sudden a source say it have ties to Yemen. Soon to be bombed I guess..sigh.

Anonymous | Jan 9, 2015 5:05:04 PM | 252===

France sends warship to persian Gulf, everyone was puzzled, now AQ in Yemen is being implicated, if you remember Houthis now effectively control most of Yemen.IRGC is now in direct control of Yemeni state apparatus running hospital,prisons,ports,banks,airports. The Saudi proxies have been comprehensively beaten. Suddenly France has resources to attack Yemen, hit the Houthis under the guise of attacking AQ in Yemen, stopping their control of the border area of Saudi. Clever SOB, sacrifice few goyims to achieve their ambitions.

papa | Jan 9, 2015 5:12:58 PM | 253===

getting weirder and weirder - lone wolf theory definitively does not apply.
Amedy Coulibaly, who along with a woman accomplice took five hostages in a kosher bakery in Paris, was named by the police as the man who murdered a policewoman on Thursday. He was also linked to the Kouachi brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo murders through, among others, Djamel Beghal, a senior al-Qaeda member and convicted terrorist.

Intercepts on telephone calls by the French security service reportedly showed Coulibaly and the Kouachis had recently planned to visit Beghal in Murat, Cantal, where he is under house arrest, but turned back after fearing they would come under suspicion. Coulibaly is said to have met Cherif and Said Kouachi in 2004 and 2005 when they were part of the "Buttes Charmont" group which organised the travel of Muslims to Iraq to fight US forces. The group was dismantled by French intelligence but later reactivated. Their mentor was Faird Benyettou, who worked as a cleaner in a Paris mosque where, it is claimed, he met Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi.

Coulibaly, 32, was jailed for five years over a plot with Beghal to free Smain Ait Al Belkacem, a former member of the Algerian Salafist GIA movement who was sentenced to life for a 1995 attack on a train in Orsay in which eight people died. Just before his arrest Coulibaly met Nicolas Sarkozy at a conference over disenfranchised young people arranged at the Élysée Palace. Afterwards Coulibaly said: "In truth he [Sarkozy] impressed me, whether you like him or not, he is the president."

Coulibaly's girlfriend, Hayat Boumedienne, 26, who carried out the attack on the grocery alongside him, had also met Beghal in the past, according to reports.

The attackers had been on intelligence services radar in America as well as France. The Kouachis were put on a US "no-fly list" of suspected terrorists. The CIA had told French intelligence that Said Kouachi had been to Yemen and almost certainly took part in training with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Questions are being asked about how the jihadists still managed to build an arsenal of automatic rifles and explosives, then carry out the deadliest terror attack in France in recent times.

This here is the Daily Telegraph on Beghal

At the time of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Beghal was suspected by European intelligence agencies of being the man chosen by al-Qaeda to open a terror front in Europe, beginning with the planned suicide attack on the US Embassy in Paris.

After he was arrested at Dubai airport in July 2001, Beghal told his interrogators he would travel around Britain in the late 1990s recruiting young Muslims for jihad. Even among the many extremists who congregated at Finsbury Park Mosque, he was regarded as one of the most dangerous.

This here is Djamel Beghal and this here is the guy he tried to free.

somebody | Jan 9, 2015 5:39:53 PM | 254===

@249 Bean I've kept up with _Charlie_ since it started up again in 1992, and the picture you paint of its being racist and Islamophobic is inaccurate. A mainstay of the paper was Bernard Maris, an economist who was writing some of the most cogent commentary to be found anywhere in the French, British or US press. New voices like Riyad Sattouf were moving in interesting new directions, using comics to observe contemporary life. Etc. I would urge you to actually read the paper and suspend your distaste for some of the cartoons. _Charlie_ was never politically correct-but then neither were Rabelais and Voltaire.

I am definitely not a victim of my own nostalgia. My new life in France is better than anything I experienced as a youth. If only France were not following the path of the US in becoming a police state and pursuing neocolonialism... Unfortunately, now that _Charlie_ is to be "saved" by the French state, its soul will die. We are not _Charlie_. We are the most godless, most ruthless empire the planet has ever seen, and also the most insidious, because we manipulate our populations with illusions like solidarity and freedom of expression while maintaining our domination through violence and the threat of violence. The politicians are the real terrorists, because it is they who will kill _Charlie_.

Snake Arbusto | Jan 9, 2015 6:23:23 PM | 255===

@247

That is an excellent article. Greenwald has caught them with their pants down ...

IN SOLIDARITY WITH A FREE PRESS: SOME MORE BLASPHEMOUS CARTOONS


"to blaspheme the Prophet transforms the publication of these cartoons from a pointless act to a courageous and even necessary one, while the observation that the world would do well without such provocations becomes a form of appeasement."
... not only it possible to engage in this malodorous attack on Islam without opprobrium ... it is essential! Only terrorists would not do so!

Less hatred and mindless slander. Not more.

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 6:26:52 PM | 256===

So, I think we can close the case on whether this was a false flag.

Jeremy Scahill: Al Qaeda Source: AQAP Directed Paris Attack

It's nice that this got resolved so quickly, so that "conspiracy theorizing" will be nipped in the bud. Also, The Intercept is now living up to the high expectations that people initiallly had of it.

Demian | Jan 9, 2015 6:38:05 PM | 257===

Demian

Whats next a.source.saying santa claus is real?
Lets not accept everything.msm tells you.

Anonymous | Jan 9, 2015 7:13:11 PM | 258===

I'll redundantly re-post jfl's link.

greenwald

Guess this is the best and most important point you can make about this tragedy: make people aware of their mindlessness and subconscious assesments.

radiator | Jan 9, 2015 7:44:02 PM | 259===

62

More to the point, the Western White Media description 'Sharia Law' is a misnomer: 'sharia' means 'law', the way 'jaweh' means 'g-d'. You don't say the Israeli's Jaweh G-d, nor do you describe Afghans as Afghanis, their nation's currency, a Western-imposed currency, I might add, just like their Neo National Flag and National Anthem, all crafted in the White West.
Imagine if China imposed their version of a national flag and anthem on US Rabbinicals." )

"This land is Amero!
It is the pride of every American.
The land of peace, the land of the bmob.
Its sons are all brave.

This is the country of every lineage,
The land of Hillbillys and Ubangis,
Protestants, Catholics and Wikkans,
The Chosen and The Mil.Gov.

With them, Aristocrats and Crackers,
Professionals, National Athletes,
the Biker Brothers and Queers,
Also Hispanics and Latinos.

This Land will shine for ever,
Like the sun in the blue sky.
In the chest of North America,
It will remain like the heart forever.

We will follow the one God;
We all say, Mammon is great!
We all say, Mammon is great!
Lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu

ChipNikh | Jan 9, 2015 7:51:29 PM | 260===

@ChipNikh #260:

I don't understand what you are saying. What the hell do you mean by "g-d" and "G-d"? Those aren't even words.

Demian | Jan 9, 2015 8:02:01 PM | 261===

@259

It was not 'my' link, it was 'Michal's @247 ... in truth it was and is Glenn Greenwald's and I'm sure it will be linked-to everywhere ...

Not so Jeremy Cahill's ' A source within al Qaeda ... ' article. I also agree with @258. The article is nothing but an anonymous assertion of responsibility by someone who says they are al Qaeda.

Paul Craig Roberts reviews the past, and present ... Charlie Hebdo and Tsarnaev's Trial: Cui bono?.

I have no way of knowing who was behind the murders of the Charlie board, but to rule out the US/Israeli terrorist agencies is certainly premature. I read now that the 'perps' are safely dead, and of course dead men tell no tales. I also read of a French ship steaming for Yemen.

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 8:31:37 PM | 262===

98

All you need to understand the military blowback following from Hollande's support for a Palestinian State and an End to Economic Sanctions against Russia, was described to me by an old peacenik friend, a Kibbutzim, Sephardim, former Israeli, pushed out in 1984 by the massive wave of 'White' ex-Soviet Jew emigres, who now control Israeli government, foreign policy, Zionism and Expansionism, as an expression of the former aggressive Soviet state.

Hollande, himself a Jew, threatened the 'White' Israeli power-structure at it's very core. And that explains exactly the #JeSuisCharlie Operation and the Kosher Deli Cover Operation, conducted in retaliation for Hollande's betrayal of that former-Soviet regime in Hebron.
(A former-Soviet regime that US Rabbinical NeoCons are in sycophant slavish servitude to.)

Ironically, my Sephardim Israeli-American friend, who hates 'White' Israelis, hates Muslims more, and that's why you'll never see a USA/UK/IL Regime returning to a World of the Free.

And here's the principal reason:

'Give me Toothpaste and Sea Salt, I can Heal the World.'

What Mil.Gov doesn't directly loot, rape and slaughter, MIC-Health, MIC-Prisons, MIC-BigAg, MIC-BigEnergy, MIC-SeniorNursingCare and MIC-Education will rapidly 'wipe off the map of history', ...and yet here we are with a global communication system that's free and widely distributed, free language translators, blogs, MOOCs, and more wealth in circulation than at any time in human history to solve our problems, ...but we can't seem to organize!

This proves the Ancient Greek theory that the gods are laughing at us. But you don't have to go all sardonic like George Carlin, just roll up your damn sleeves~! I pick up trash at the park and tutor kids after school. It's a small thing, but the kids can enjoy a clean park and understand why education, in its many streams and tracks, is a lifelong pursuit.

Or, you can binge-watch NetFlix while you binge-Twitter away on Facebook, sending selfies from the shower with football lips, and slurping on your Uber Big Gulp Apocalypse Edition.

'Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer.'

Klaatoo barada nikto

On to Demos~! On to Phobos~!

ChipNikh | Jan 9, 2015 8:32:24 PM | 263===

@Anonymous #258:

Please don't be so smug. Jeremy Scahill is a respected journalist, and The Intercept, while financed by an American oligarch, is not exactly "msm". In any case, the corporate media is reporting this, so this is going to become the accepted story, by everyone but conspiracy theorists:

Al Qaeda Yemen claims Charlie Hebdo attack as twin sieges end

A government source said the brothers had emerged from the building and opened fire on police before they were killed.
Something makes me think that they had seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. These brothers were bicultural: they understood both French and Muslim culture. Inspire is basically a jihadist glossy teen magazine. Because of globalization, Arabs and Muslims in general are becoming well versed in Western culture, and that makes them more effective at resisting their subjugation by the West.

Demian | Jan 9, 2015 8:42:45 PM | 264===

Wow

the tards are determined to turn this into a Scahill and Agent Grunwald Soggy Biscuit Wankfest

"business as usual" then, for this place

Rogan Josh | Jan 9, 2015 9:00:57 PM | 265===

Please don't be so smug. Jeremy Scahill is a respected journalist, and The Intercept, while financed by an American oligarch, is not exactly "msm".

Seriously f'n LAME

Scahill is nothing but a shithead Liberal Interventionist masquerading as a "Journalist"

Rogan Josh | Jan 9, 2015 9:03:43 PM | 266===

Family died as a result of shelling in Donetsk

As a sequence of direct hit of the house № 20, 60 years USSR died family. It was pointed out by witnesses that the flat was struck the second time.

Saker has a 'Je Suis Donbass' graphic at his site ... along with the news that his 'best friends' have reviled and deserted him over his I am NOT Charlie post.

The same people who cried out for Qaddafi's blood and the destruction of Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine ... and now more new recruits ... are lining up behind Charlie, and the "clash of civilizations".

jfl | Jan 9, 2015 9:26:45 PM | 267===

@267

Good, he deserves to be abandoned. Saker is a fucking nutjob. The only reason I visit his site is for news on Ukraine. If better, less obviously insane sources existed I would drop him altogether in a heartbeat.

As it is I have to wade through his inane ramblings about 'Anglo-Zionists', Freemasons, evil Catholics and of course homophobia to get to anything worthwhile. His comments section is invariably even more mad by an order of magnitude.

Saghei | Jan 9, 2015 10:13:46 PM | 268===

IRBIL, Iraq Videos show Paris gunmen were calm as they executed police officer, fled scene

McClatchy DC

Drugeon, who many experts believe was a French intelligence asset before defecting to al Qaida, is alleged to have masterminded a 2012 "lone wolf" attack on French soldiers and Jewish targets in the southern French city of Toulouse. That attack killed seven people before the perpetrator, a French citizen named Mohammed Merah, who French intelligence believes had been trained by Drugeon, was killed by a police sniper after a long, violent standoff with security forces.

The Controversial Cartoons That Are Said To Have Inspired The Terrorist Attack Against Charlie Hebdo ThinkProgress

At least 12 people were killed in a shooting at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday morning. Multiple masked gunmen entered the building, opened fire on the writers, and escaped in a getaway car. The shooters reportedly yelled "Allahu Akhbar" ("God is greatest") during the assault and "We have avenged the prophet" as they sped out of the office. Among the confirmed dead are two police officers and Stephane Charbonnier, a journalist and editorial director. French President Francois Hollande has called the shooting "a terrorist attack." The gunmen and driver are still at large.

The French Muslim community has condemned the attack. Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, announced on behalf of French Muslims, "I want to denounce the horror and the unspeakable and show our compassion. We condemn what just [happened] in the name of all Muslims. This is an act of war in the middle of Paris. "

Chances are, if you've heard of Charlie Hebdo before, it has been because their satire has inspired the ire of Islamic extremists; the target of the magazine's humor is frequently religious, political and social mores.

Charlie Hebdo by Chris Bertram

January 7, 2015 | Crooked Timber
We don't have all the facts about the attack on Charlie Hebdo, but it seems very likely that it was carried out by extreme Islamists as revenge for the magazine's satirizing of Islam. I'm sure there will be a lot of comment over the next few days about the symbolic and principled aspects, the need to stand up for freedom of speech, and so on. I don't dissent from that, but I'm finding it hard to see past the immediate horror of ten, eleven or more human beings, journalists, gunned down like that in a West European capital city. Awful.

The attack comes just after the Islamophobic marches in Germany by Pegida and the many reports of desperate refugees fleeing Syria in unseaworthy hulks. No doubt the Islamophobic parties, the Front National, UKIP and the rest will try to take advantage and ordinary Muslims will feel more isolated and threatened. We need to remember that most of the victims of extremists of this type have been everyday people who happen to be Muslims, we owe those victims our solidarity and to resist the voices who will try to shut them out. We can do that by affirming that citizenship and inclusion are for everyone, regardless of religion, and that we will help those fleeing from persecution by IS and the like.

Merian 01.07.15 at 4:36 pm

What I hate about this, beyond the obvious (loss off life …), is how this event will retroactively justify Charlie Hebdo's style of arrogant islamophobic superiority. (I don't know how many have followed this very long running controversy - I recommend the texts by Mona Chollet, if your read French, for context: L'obscurantisme beauf - Les mots sont importants (lmsi.net).)

Even just writing this here will appear as if I'm blaming the victims, which I'm not. They had the absolute right to their editorial line, and my agreement or disagreement are irrelevant.

Maybe that's these people's ulterior goal, I often think.

Andrew F. 01.07.15 at 6:29 pm

The greatest enemy of equal rights, of humane refugee and immigration policies, of peace and understanding between human beings, is not any Western government, nor many non-Western governments, but people like these three gunmen.

As to some of the comments in this thread, it is important that acts like this are openly and vehemently condemned within Muslim communities for three reasons.

First, open and vehement condemnation is needed to combat the perverse and barbaric ideology that people like these gunmen use to motivate and justify their actions, and that serve as a point of coordination for such people to connect, combine and develop resources and capabilities, and finally devise plans and execute them.

Second, cooperation from those within Muslim communities is needed to prevent these attacks from occurring. If extremist elements are taking root, if extremist elements are recruiting, and if extremist elements already exist, intelligence must be gathered so that, if necessary, preventive action can be taken.

Third, open and vehement condemnation weakens the support that bigoted anti-Muslim groups and ideologies might draw from an event like this.

In the ideological space, what extremists like these gunmen want to create is the perception of a clash of civilizations, encouraging persons to choose sides as the gunmen see them. Ironically, anti-Muslim groups contribute energy to the establishment of the perception, aiding the terrorists.

The counterattack in the ideological space must be: this is not a clash between civilizations, but a clash between civilization and the uncivilized, between those who value human life and those who out of ignorance and savagery desecrate themselves and brutalize others.

And while I do not wish to exaggerate this attack, which will hopefully remain an isolated incident, dwarfed in human cost by the annual toll of motor vehicle accidents and ordinary murder, it is worth remembering that the lines between many who celebrate these three gunmen and seek to emulate them, and the offices of newspapers everywhere, would be thin indeed were it not for aggressive counterterrorist efforts in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq, and in other places around the world.

Roger Gathmann 01.07.15 at 7:04 pm

I see at the NYT that a bunch of people want the paper to publish the cartoons mocking Mohammed, seemingly in blissful ignorance of CharlieH's cartoons, for instance, showing Jesus sodomizing the good lord and such. I'd love to see their reaction to that! I mean, the piss christ seemed to many to be beyond the beyond.

The particular strain of Islam that the killers adhere to is easy to locate. It is the state ideology of Saudi Arabia. And as long as we have a discussion in which, vaguely, these radical Moslems have to be repressed, and we pretend that we don't see that our ally and the elite in the Gulf states finance and nourish this kind of shit – because we love their oil and their "moderation" – we will get nowhere.

There were millions of Moslems in Europe in the sixties and seventies. It was in the eighties, when the Saudis, under the blessing of the anti-communist West, started a mass global campaign of building mosques, that the terrorism started. It is happening in Bosnia today, for instance – the takeover of mosques by other Moslem believers by the Saudi-financed Wahabists. The interconnection between the Saudis and the financial and political elites seems to be too strong to be penetrated, but someday questions will have to be asked about why this has been going on. I'm not a big subscriber to the terrorist export industry, which is mostly bogus, but I think Sarah Ehrenfeld is right, here: http://acdemocracy.org/their-oil-is-thicker-than-our-blood/

stevenjohnson 01.07.15 at 7:13 pm

Instead of racist hysterics that lay out ultimata for Muslims a la @37 and defend Christendom's bloody performance as anti-terrorism, shouldn't a little common sense be used? Gunmen supposedly shouting "Allahu akbar" doesn't make them Muslims. Government agencies or rightist militant groups are entirely capable of performing this deed to advance a new military intervention or anti-immigrant/anti-Muslim legislation, either in their own persons or by false flag recruitment. I can't but think anyone who dismisses this possibility is letting their prejudices show.

But, if it did happen that the individuals were Muslims ordered by a jihadi group to undertake this provocation, then the most likely aim was to portray the indiscriminate response against Muslims as indiscriminate hatred of Muslims. That's a very difficult argument to refute, which means a serious desire to thwart the assassins' will means keeping a cool head.

And, on a personal level, a desire for simple justice for murder victims, really does imply a concern for who actually did it. Using an atrocity to make political points like a Jerry Coyne (who managed to use dead bodies for a shot at… Ben Affleck!) or Lubos Motl, demeans the victims. Why add insult to such a grave injury?

stevenjohnson 01.07.15 at 7:19 pm

Following the link @41, I noted that the author claims that the Saudis have betrayed the US by appeasing Iran. I think this woman is either insane or completely dishonest. For what it's worth (?)

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/American_Center_for_Democracy

David 01.07.15 at 10:06 pm

For those who are interested, there is now a much better and more complete picture of what happened this morning. See for example Le Monde: http://www.lemonde.fr/attaque-contre-charlie-hebdo/article/2015/01/07/comment-s-est-deroulee-l-attaque-contre-charlie-hebdo_4550930_4550668.html#xtor=RSS-3208
Among other things, this makes it clear that the first reports, suggesting a high degree of preparation and intelligence, were greatly exaggerated. In fact, the attack seems more opportunistic – the attackers first went to the wrong building.
French police claim to know who the alleged perpetrators are:
See http://www.metronews.fr/info/attentat-a-charlie-hebdo-les-trois-suspects-ont-ete-identifies/moag!6R1qjYdgLbxjQ/

Peter Dorman 01.07.15 at 10:59 pm

First, I share the emotions of the OP: this is simply a horrible event. Yes, I know many more are killed each moment in perfectly ordinary, quotidian ways, but these people were part of the lives of millions (that's the real cost of death - to the living), and the motive behind their murder was heinous.

That said, I think it's necessary to pull back and consider the larger picture. Europe has become more open, not just through policy, but also the social, cultural and technological forces of globalization. Its destiny cannot be separated from that of the next door Muslim world. And that other world is in crisis. Tyranny is the norm, not the exception. Economies are weak and harshly divided. The oil curse has become a nightmare. A large part of the region is in civil war, and in much of the rest it is only that this war has been repressed. Of course, western intervention (and forbearance of Israel) has made matters much worse. In any such crisis there will be a surplus of groups that direct their frustration toward national/religious/racial Others.

No doubt the CH attack will lead to more stringent surveillance and policing. There will be calls for the good people on "both sides" to come together. Some of this will be productive. But my pessimistic view is that unless there is significant progress toward democracy, human rights and economic opportunity in the Muslim world, the outlook in Europe as well is not good.

We need solidarity on a very large scale.

engels 01.07.15 at 11:26 pm

Nato defends TV bombing
Nato has defended its bombing of Serbia's state television station, saying it was a legitimate target and a "ministry of lies".

Al-Jazeera 'hit by missile'
A US missile has hit the Baghdad offices of Arab news service al-Jazeera television, killing one member of staff and wounding another, the station reported on Tuesday

MPs leaked Bush plan to hit al-Jazeera
Two Labour MPs have defied the Official Secrets Act by passing on the contents of a secret British document revealing how President George Bush wanted to bomb the Arabic TV station, al-Jazeera.

Mitch Guthman 01.07.15 at 11:43 pm

Here is a link to the video of Hassan Chalghoumi referred to by Jesús Couto Fandiño #33:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ohth5jn

Here is statement by UOIF (an umbrella organization of conservative French Islamic groups) condemning the attack and calling upon all French Muslims to show their solidarity by participating in marches or rallies in memory of the victims and stating that a delegation of the management of the UOIF went [to one of the many demonstrations today] in order to show their solidarity. (NB, there were many marches and demonstrations today throughout France in hommage or to show solidarity). http://preview.tinyurl.com/o96a966

Here is a statement by the Grand Mosque of Paris condemning the attack: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ka3cyf9

They are in French and I couldn't find English versions but the statements are in very simple, very direct and very strong French and I believe that Google Translate will handle it nicely.

The video is in French but I'm trying to have it subtitled in English and will update this comment when that's accomplished.

Also, Arun Kapil has offered an excellent comment and the best collection of links:

https://arunwithaview.wordpress.com/

Watson Ladd 01.07.15 at 11:56 pm

LWA, it might amuse you to learn just what it took to make Europe and the Americas into what it is today. Violence, lots of it: the heads of multiple kings, several civil wars, which combined into a Continent-wide conflagration. Even during the supposedly peaceful 19th century, revolutionary violence extracted a toll. But it was never necessary to resort to genocide: most people are unwilling to die for a lost cause.

Arabs and Persians are not different from us. They too have a history of liberal and revolutionary politics: Ataturk overthrew one self-described caliphate, and there is no reason liberals in Iran could not do the same. Afghanistan was run by the Communist Party before Islamists seized it and plunged it into the dark ages. Today it has a relatively democratic government. Pakistan was a hotbed of labor unionism, before decades of Islamist and military rule destroyed civil society. Palestinian terrorism used to be carried out by Stalinists, and now is conducted by Islamists.

Watson Ladd 01.08.15 at 12:47 am

The Communist government lasted after the end of the USSR occupation, only falling when the money ran out. The Taliban and mujahadeen were somewhat popular, but the majority of their support came from outside Afghanistan. Besides, we shouldn't let a Vendee or two deter us from our commitments to human rights.

LWA (Liberal With Attitude) 01.08.15 at 12:54 am

I saw a series of photos somewhere from an Afghan ex-pat showing Afghanistan in the 1950's, showing that universities there were coed, and had plenty of young engineers and intellectuals in Western dress.

I doubt it was universal, but the point of his memoirs was that its a mistake for us Westerners to imagine that all Muslim countries are irrevocably and monolithically primitive and barbaric.

More importantly, we just assume that progress runs only forward- But religious fundamentalism can arise anywhere, and turn back the clock to the Dark Ages anywhere.

I note with grim lack of surprise that Bill Donohue, the American Catholic version of a Taliban mullah, is gingerly sympathizing with the rage that the attackers felt, stopping just short of endorsing the attack.

Omega Centauri 01.08.15 at 2:47 am

False flag attacks are relatively rare. I think there is a good reason. Anyone holding a terrorist attitude thinks of and perhaps even does some planning for them. [I'm defining terrorist attitude, as holding some agenda (usually nationalist, but sometime ideological or religious) as far more important than human lives -even innocent lives.]

But, the potential damage to ones cause of a botched false-flag operation (especially if it causes casualties and outrage, but the who-done it is obvious to the public) can be fatal to the oh-so important cause. So they aren't attempted very often.

Ronan(rf) 01.08.15 at 3:00 am

I find Scott Atran's answer most plausible:

"If so many millions support jihad, why are only thousands willing to kill and die for it? We shall see that young men willing to go kill and die for jihad were campmates , school buddies, soccer pals, and the like, who become die-hard bands of brothers in a tragic and misbegotten quest to save their imagined tribal community from Crusaders, Jews, and other morally deformed, unrepentant, and therefore subhuman beings. It's in groups that they find the camaraderie of a cause , however admirable or abhorrent, and the courage and commitment that come from belonging to something larger. Terrorists generally do not commit terrorism because they are extraordinarily vengeful or uncaring, poor or uneducated, humiliated or lacking in self-esteem , schooled as children in radical religion or brainwashed, criminally minded or suicidal, or sex-starved for virgins in heaven. Terrorists, for the most part, are not nihilists but extreme moralists- altruists fastened to a hope gone haywire. And there is basis for real moral grievance, whether one believes exclusively in secular human rights or in the religious ethics of the house of Abraham. There's no excuse, "collateral damage" or otherwise, for the killing of innocents in Afghanistan , Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, and elsewhere. But a divine justice that rewards the killing of innocents in the name of an eye for an eye, exalting death over life for its own believers, is the will to power of a cruel and sadistic Moloch that would leave the whole world blind."

(also for anyone interested Olivier Roy's 'Globalised Islam: The Search for a New Ummah' makes similar arguments, which I cant really recall at the moment)

Ronan(rf) 01.08.15 at 3:20 am

I also think that explains the neocons, btw.

ZM 01.08.15 at 6:47 am

Chris Bertram,

"We need to remember that most of the victims of extremists of this type have been everyday people who happen to be Muslims, we owe those victims our solidarity and to resist the voices who will try to shut them out."

I don't know if this got international coverage or not. In Australia during the tragic recent siege and killings incident in Sydney some Muslims/Middle Eastern people were scared taking public transport in case they were attacked due to the hostage taker and killer being Muslim and people started a Twitter hashtag #illridewithyou to show solidarity . These are some articles about it -

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-15/illridewithyou-hashtag-takes-off-following-siege/5969102

"Sadly, we also saw a rush of racist hatred towards innocent people. But we saw an even greater outpouring of solidarity by ordinary people with the ordinary people who were being threatened with this violence and abuse, crystallised in what can only be described as a love poem written by the people to the people, namely 'I'll ride with you'.

It looked like a simple offer of human support and protection to people of the Muslim faith who were in danger as they rode on the buses, trams and trains across Australia the next morning. But it was always more than this. In its concreteness it was also a deeply profound declaration of a vision for a just and inclusive Australia. It was particularly beautiful because it came from ordinary people and it so strongly struck a chord with ordinary people."
http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=42421#.VK4m20ZXfCQ

Ze Kraggash 01.08.15 at 8:25 am

Just a few days ago:
http://www.newsweek.com/940-cars-torched-france-new-year-celebrations-296360
"940 cars were set on fire across France by frenzied revellers as they welcomed the arrival of the New Year, according to France's Interior Ministry.

Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry told French broadcaster BFM-TV that the car burning was most frequent in eastern France, as well as in the suburbs of Paris, particularly in the banlieues (ghettos) of Seine-Saint-Denis, which were the epicentre of riots protesting police brutality in 2005 resulting in the torching of more than 10,000 cars."

Something's rotten in the land of social democracy.

Maybe this is something similar to the workplace and school massacres of the late 1980s and 1990s in the US…

reason 01.08.15 at 8:43 am

Just a small question – who is insisting that the moslem communities "apologise" for what happened? I don't think anybody here did. They are not responsible for the attacks. But it seems to me that there is a lack of public demostrations from the moslem communities of condemnation for the attackers and their ideology. It could of course be that is as some people have suggested the fault of the press, but their seems to have been plenty of coverage for Kurdish anti-Turk demonstrations and vice versa.

The scale of the problem (and the number of young Europeans ruining or giving their lives for IS) suggests that now is the time stop being passive about this, before deep rifts open in European communities.

reason 01.08.15 at 9:16 am

P.S.
Yes and more fingers needed to pointed at Saudi Arabia as the source of this plague.

J Thomas 01.08.15 at 10:17 am

#107 Collin Street

> How would you find out how rare successful false flag attacks are?

"It seems implausible that adding "and we have to pretend to be someone else the whole time" makes your operation more likely to succeed, wouldn't you think?"

Not particularly relevant.

So a comparison of rates of unsuccessful false-flag operations to unsuccessful non-false-flag operations is - absent evidence to support the otherwise-implausible claim that [see first para] - a pretty good [conservative] proxy for total false-flag operations to total non-false-flag operations, and for successful &c to &c.

False-flag operations that fail to meet their official objectives can be almost as effective - or more effective, depending - as those that do. An unsuccessful attempt by arabs to attack the White House with poison gas might generate just the right amount of outrage, while a successful attempt might not only generate too much but also put the wrong person into the presidency.

Then there's the question whether a particular group which is blamed for an attack makes a public denial. Would they say "We agree with the intent of whoever did this, and we would have been glad to do it, but in fact we did not do this one"? Or would they claim credit? We might estimate this by looking at how often more than one terrorist group claims credit for a particular incident. As far as I know, AQ stopped denying doing 9/11 after the first few months. But if they didn't do it, still it would be a troubling tactical decision to admit not doing it.

They had been blamed for a previous WTC attack by egyptians, when the main connection was that one of the conspirators had attended an AQ infantry training camp. I haven't heard that they denied that one. Iraq captured one of the conspirators and after interrogation Saddam speculated that it was done by Israel, USA, or factions in Saudi Arabia or Egypt. That is, he didn't trust the cover story but he had no idea what the truth was.

Consider the Lavon affair, a failed false-flag operation with serious consequences. Apparently it failed because the leader of the group had been a double agent all along. Also it was done by egyptian jews recruited by Israel, who were not good at denying their involvement. Israel would have done far better to pretend to be an arab fanatical group and recruit arab fanatics who could then be caught to confirm the story. Israel publicly denied the attacks for 51 years.

I have no evidence how common it is for false-flag operations to "succeed" by being attributed to the wrong groups. I don't understand why you would think you know.

bunkerbuster 01.08.15 at 10:50 am

While it seems rational to ask moderate Muslims to be more vocal about distancing themselves from the quasi-religious gangsters who kill and destroy in their religion's name, such a demand is shamefully naive and, often, echoes with the sound of a bigot clearing their throat.

Muslims from Syria to Pakistan, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt are laying down their lives to protest against radical Islam. They are not just protesting, they are fighting against it from the mosque, from the courts and, even, on the battlefield. The implication that this isn't happening betrays a vast ignorance about the Islamic world and the conflicts dividing it.

In America, moderate Muslims are widely ignored in the media in favor of heavy coverage of radical Islam, adding a very tragic irony to the claim that Muslims just don't speak out enough. Moderate Islam is involved in schools, hospitals and charities across the Middle East and around the world, but that simply doesn't warrant coverage. That's fine, since news isn't supposed to be about the ordinary things in life that lack urgency or alarm. But when media consumers then turn around and pretend moderate Islam doesn't actually exist, you have to question their motives and their intelligence…

Jim Buck 01.08.15 at 11:14 am

I find it interesting that you'd omit the subsequent invasion and occupation by the USSR

I find it interesting that you omit US manoeuvres in Afghanistan, prior to the Soviet intervention. S' not as if it's a big secret:

http://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/brzezinski_interview

You might say, they were so vicious, they made the Islamicists look attractive by comparison.

What a Taliban spokesman did say was that the Soviets were much cleaner fighters because they engaged hand-to-hand with their Afghan opponents; whereas the Americans preferred: fighting prisoners to death; bombing wedding parties; and avoiding the more manly aspects of warfare.

http://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/brzezinski_interview

Ronan(rf) 01.08.15 at 3:41 pm

J Thomas -it doesn't have to be true in every case. His case studies were quite interesting, and it does seem to say quite a lot about these types of Al Q 'self starter' groups.

Beyond that though, my emphasis was more on his argument that they aren't monsters but 'extreme moralists.' People who like to write Islamic terrorism (specifically the Al Qaeda ideological 'brand') off to 'western imperialism' do a real disservice to the people who sign up. It is oddly patronishing, removing all agency from the individual, imagining them solely as the product of our play/out victimisation.

US foreign policy can work as one part in a radicalisation process, but usually as a small part, and something approaching a post hoc justification. But anyway, plenty of people become radicalised by US human rights abuses in *positive ways* (campaigners, researchers, layman humanitarians etc), so the question is what radicalises some people to violence, but others to peaceful , positive contributions ?
The other thing we have to understand is that these people *believe in this ideology.* This isnt the product of false conciousness, or shouldn't be seen through the western lefts romantic notions of postcolonial political struggles, these individuals are reactionary Utopianists. They believe fundamentally in this radical, religious based ordering of society. They believe it will come about, and see themselves as positive moral actors bringing it into existence. They are not reacting mindlessly to western provocation. They are certainly creating strategies to provoke response and develop narratives to build support, but the driving force at the core is a vision of society (much like communism, facism, or even the worldview of the neocons) that is millenarian, Utopian and morally serious, if awful.
So religion is important,and it's not. If it wasn't Islamic Utopianism it'd be something else, but it is Islamic Utopianism so people should take the Islamic part seriously.

Obviously there are differen't seasons of this stuff. In largely nationalist, or distributionalist, struggles (Palestine, Lebanon etc where there are governing structures, domestic constiuents, different narratives) it (imo) explains less. This is just one of the ways society and politics is structured in those societies, along sectarian/ethnic,/class grounds, and so a specific cleavage becomes salient and built into the conflict.

But in the case of groups like Al Qaeda and the vision they propagate, it is morally serious, if akin to facism (as an aspiration for society if not a threat), and will probably inspire a low level terrorist campaign across the west (with perhaps bigger gains elsewhere) for decades.

stevenjohnson 01.08.15 at 5:10 pm

If an asset for a security agency or militant group recruits operatives while posing as a representative of another agency or group, that is a false flag recruitment. Any public actions carried out then would be false flag operations, as I understand it.

In a purely domestic context, a supposed militant turned while in jail might pretend not to be working for the police but someone else. This is commonly called provocation or entrapment. But I think that is essentially the same thing, making it useful to call the possibility "false flag" when uncertain of a purely domestic context.

MPAVictoria 01.08.15 at 6:17 pm

ELIZABETH STOKER BRUENIG on Disavowal Politics. Worth a read.

"..the urge to call for disavowal isn't very good for politics. It can encourage the behavior it intends to discourage and it can cripple movements that have good intentions by conflating them with ones who have only bad intentions. Further, it can distort good messages and engender further resentment where it already exists, which is the last thing anybody should want in a particularly tense political moment."

http://elizabethstokerbruenig.com/2014/12/21/disavowal-politics/

J Thomas 01.08.15 at 7:22 pm

#159 MPAV

Unless you are feeling brave then take up the bet I offered further up thread.

Sucker bet. You say there are basicly no false-flag operations. So you make a bet that would be a fair one if there was an 80% chance that the mass media do not announce that this particular incident was false-flag within 6 months.

But of course if most false-flag incidents go unreported in the mass media, it would be unlikely that this one does in 6 months.

I propose a better bet. You bet me 20 to 1 that this incident is not reported as false-flag in any of the traditional "secretive" websites like Stratfor within the next 2 years.

It has to be a traditional site, not one that I could get printed on, not that I would do that to win a bet.

If it is reported but essential details have been reliably falsified, that doesn't count. So it has to be plausibly true, not Laurie Mylroie quality.

In case we disagree whether it's plausible enough, ask some reputable person we agree about ahead of time to arbitrate? William Timberman? I suspect John Quiggen would be too busy, but of course anybody could be too busy, we'd have to ask.

Donald Johnson 01.08.15 at 7:29 pm

"Yeah, that's why I said Donald."

You praised tough counterterrorism activities in Yemen and Syria and Iraq–given that much of that activity in Yemen has included drone strikes, it's not at all clear that we haven't increased hatred of the US with such activities. And mentioning Syria in this context is just weird–again, numerically the Assad regime is killing vastly more Islamic extremists than we are. In Iraq our invasion helped cause the plague of Islamic extremism in the region, and our current allies the Shiites there have committed so many atrocities against Sunnis it drove many Sunnis into the arms of ISIS.

In that comment you also said this–

"The greatest enemy of equal rights, of humane refugee and immigration policies, of peace and understanding between human beings, is not any Western government, nor many non-Western governments, but people like these three gunmen."

Why talk like this? It's obvious that Western actions, including Western abuses of human rights, have fueled Islamic extremism. People who join jihadist groups sometimes do so out of a misguided sense of moral outrage (others may do so simply because the thought of killing people in a supposedly noble cause excites them). Islamic extremism in turn incites more Western atrocities. I jump on you because you consistently downplay Western atrocities–in my opinion, attitudes like yours are part of the problem.

Suzanne 01.08.15 at 7:32 pm

Here is how Denmark is coping with the problem of returning jihadis:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/09/denmark-introduces-rehab-syrian-fighters-201496125229948625.html

Seems much more promising than throwing the book at them, and Denmark is not forgoing tougher measures when called for. In addition they are being firm with the religious authorities – no encouragement of travel for jihad, period, or suffer consequences.

Ronan(rf) 01.08.15 at 9:18 pm

"We should understand that aggressive counterterrorist efforts abroad prevent like-minded men from developing the organization, and the monetary, technical, and human resources to travel west or north for a few hours and make a much more bloody statement."

This really needs qualification (as the statement itself is so broad, which " counterterrorist efforts" specifically ?) and some show of evidence for your general argument.

My understanding is that even among experts sympathetic towards US 'counterror efforts' they don't view things like the drone war as an unqualified 'success' (or at least they elaborate on what they mean by success) . There's some evidence, but it's contested, that it has helped retard Al Qaeda growth, but there's still a lot of debate on it and there are certainly costs -even from a purely 'national interest' perspective – associated. And of course there are plausibly useful alternatives that the policy crowds out.

I don't think the opposite is true either though (that it leads to significant blowback) Christine Fair, iirc, has conducted polling from the FATA region in pakistan which shows that most people are unaware of the drone attacks, and that the radicalising effect is pretty limited. (I'll try find the article later)
Your general position on US policy – and I don't mean this snarkily – is just so generous all of the time, and blinkered to any alternative. It seems to be a case of 'if it's happening it's good, and there really is no other option available.'

I genuinely don't know how you deal with these situations – the breakdown of order in the Levant and North Africa – or how you deal with these security threats ( which are real though much more limited than claimed ) and I'm not opposed to using force at times. But we really do need better ideas at this stage than the same old.

J Thomas 01.08.15 at 9:56 pm

"I propose a better bet. You bet me 20 to 1 that this incident is not reported as false-flag in any of the traditional "secretive" websites like Stratfor within the next 2 years."

I have never heard of that site. So it is unacceptable to me.

Your ignorance should not be the determining factor here. Stratfor attempts to present a cynical superior view of world events. They sometimes spread rumors that the mass media ignore. I don't consider them reliable, but sometimes their speculations check out. Other times, no.

http://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical-diary/paris-attack-underscores-deeper-malaise#axzz3OGhaeN2X

Their current take on this event is that it may have been done by home-grown muslims or by muslims associated with one or another international conspiracy. Either way, their view is that this is primarily a muslim/muslim argument and that they bother westerners to affect their popularity among their own people. We are extras and spear-carriers in their own drama. The claimed jihadi strategy is to get us to oppress muslims in western nations etc, so that muslims at home will be more sympathetic to jihad.

I have no idea whether they will consider the possibility that this is a false-flag thing done by somebody else within the next 2 years. I mostly don't follow Stratfor and I don't know how likely they are to choose one idea and hang onto it as hard as they can.

20 to 1 does not leave enough room with my limit of 100 dollars for much money for needy pugs. 5 to 1 is my offer.

That's low, but it might be acceptable if the other terms work out. If you reject Stratfor, what sites would you definitely accept?

If you'll accept any CT member to arbitrate, I'll suggest we ask William Timberman after we get all the other details straight.

Ronan(rf) 01.09.15 at 1:23 am

No problem. Keep in mind though my evidentary standard, ie nothing less than an admittance of complicity by Obama.

A bit more on the radicalisation topic

https://acrossthegreenmountain.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/background-on-the-19th-network-paris-france-2000-2013/

which seems to support Atran's position noted above (small networks of close friends from the same area) Also worth noting that a lot of them are from poorer areas, *normally* the demographics skew better educated/wealthier.

Andrew F. 01.09.15 at 4:39 am

MPA, J Thomas, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The bet should be that reasonably persuasive evidence of responsibility either by the French Government or by a right-wing, anti-immigrant, group emerges.

The loser must append: "[name of winner] is brilliant and I have been humbled in a prior argument." to all comments for no period less than a year and to no less than 365 comments. The false flag narrative is really beyond silly. I suggest a bet be made and we move, or we simply move on.

Donald Johnson @163: You praised tough counterterrorism activities in Yemen and Syria and Iraq–given that much of that activity in Yemen has included drone strikes, it's not at all clear that we haven't increased hatred of the US with such activities.

The Yemeni tribes are another matter. Hatred by them may have increased, though since we've long been viewed as allied with their worst enemies we've never been on their Christmas card list. But more importantly, among the key players in AQAP – the bomb-makers and the operatives – an ideology has already taken root. Combined with sufficient support, those bomb-makers and operatives could cause quite a bit of damage in Europe and the US. They haven't – and it's because of aggressive efforts against them.

And mentioning Syria in this context is just weird–again, numerically the Assad regime is killing vastly more Islamic extremists than we are.

Aggressive counterterrorism isn't simply about a body count, but to the extent Assad's forces kill al Nusra and ISIL elements, that works to our favor. Of course one must consider the means by which Assad's forces do so, and whether there is a credible alternative in place to Assad loyalists or Islamists in much of Syria.

In Iraq our invasion helped cause the plague of Islamic extremism in the region,

Well, first off, I was talking about CT efforts, which the 2003 invasion was not.

As to Islamic extremism in the region, it was a major problem long before 2003.

Why talk like this? It's obvious that Western actions, including Western abuses of human rights, have fueled Islamic extremism.

That's a very Western-centric view. In fact we really should separate the motivations of alienated immigrants to the West from those fighting a struggle for power in their home region.

The former, for the most part (there are some big exceptions), are a small percentage of those who fell off the normal track for advancement as one moves through life, cannot see any normal way forward to gain a position of respect and security, are filled with anxiety and anger, and are ripe for the plucking by extremist recruiters or propaganda material. The problem isn't Western atrocities so much as it is despair at leading a successful life through the channels available to them.

The latter, those indigenous to the various regions in question, are fighting a power struggle at home. The US is hated because (i) it is the main actor in every fevered conspiracy theory that runs through these worlds like street food through a tourist, and most importantly (ii) the US is a vital component of order in the Middle East, especially with respect to the governments that Islamists most desire to overthrow. Their attacks on the US, and Europe, have underlying strategic considerations; the propaganda fluff that they feed to angry young men on the net, around the camp fires, is simply a way of selling a war undertaken for much more self-interested reasons. But they sell much more than anger at the US or Europe. They sell wages, and respect, the prospect of family and of an elevated status in a community. They sell an identity and a vision, as all good recruiters for causes do, and then they use these men and women for their own strategic purposes.

The wet dream of the Islamists, or to put it differently the strategic objective of Islamist terrorism directed against the West, is to cause the West to consider any "interference" with such extremist groups to be so costly in blood that the West will cease to do so. It's quite the fantasy, but stupid wars often involve men in position of some power who imagine they are in possession of much more – and they perish when their dreams meet reality.

Islamic extremism in turn incites more Western atrocities. I jump on you because you consistently downplay Western atrocities–in my opinion, attitudes like yours are part of the problem.

They're not, unfortunately – I wish they were, since they'd be easier to stop. Islamist extremists grow from the combination of well funded and radical streams of ideology, corrupt or failing governments, and economic and social hopelessness. The US and Europe can have some positive effect towards changing those things, but it will take decades, and we're really side-players in that particular drama. In the meantime, we have to deal with actual threats – actual bombs being devised and tested for use on aircraft bound for Europe and America, actual mass casualty plots (by whatever means) being planned inside and outside targeted countries, and so forth, actual organized movements to defeat governments in that region and install themselves.

While we make what nudges we can to move policies in those regions in a good direction, we must deal with the threats facing us – and, relative to the insurgents and terrorists, better governments in the region.

And in the meantime, we will continue to degrade the capacity of these networks to organize, develop, and execute attacks abroad, of which this atrocity in France is but one example, on a smaller scale, of what they would like to do.

The strategic lesson that their leadership must learn is this: if you wish to succeed, you cannot attack the West, and you cannot offend their values to such an extent that they feel they must respond. If you do, your network will be destroyed, your power will be lost, you will lose respect, and you will bring ruin to any who are close to you. Those that learn this will survive, perhaps even thrive. Those that don't will die.

Mitch Guthman 01.09.15 at 6:10 am

Andrew F. at 187,

Up until a few hours ago, I was thinking along the same lines, especially in thinking that their plan involved escaping to someplace like Iraq where they'd be relatively safe. Now, I'm just confused about what their plans were for getting away.

Presumably they did want to get away because they took what I assume was the precaution of having a lookout and driver for their getaway car. Also, unless they were very lucky, they seem to have had a sense of exactly how long they could stay at the Charlie Hebdo offices before heavily armed police reinforcement would arrive. And, of course, they hid their faces with masks-clearly, they intended not merely to evade capture but also to avoid being identified, which strongly suggests that they could envision either hiding out in France or returning once the initial hue and cry blew over.

They had sophisticated weapons, at least some training in their use, and plenty of ammunition. That suggests planning and the participation of others who supplied the weapons. As you say,
the careful timing of the attack, the calmness in returning to their car and their quick getaway away from the site of the attack suggests either significant advance planning or remarkable luck.

Assuming that the authorities are correct about the identities and probable whereabouts of the killers, I'm now leaning towards luck. Despite their initial calmness, they get into an accident at Place du Colonel Fabien and abandon their black car which has something in it that facilitates their identification.

Significantly, in light of the information provided by Ronan(rf), the car is abandoned in the 19e arrondissement which suggests that they were counting on being hidden by the members of the Islamist cell them and among inhabitants who might have been expected to be sympathetic to their cause and unlikely to betray them to the authorities. But they apparently don't go to the 19e but seem to run helter skelter. Significantly, they don't seem to have any money-perhaps because they lost in when they abandoned the black car or perhaps because they just don't have any money.

Are they just on the run and improvising or are they moving towards a backup contact and a pickup somewhere else in France, perhaps in a suburb near Paris?

David 01.09.15 at 10:42 am

IIRC, "Al Qaeda in Yemen" is actually Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and is a relatively small group with a largely regional focus. It's unlikely that they could (or would want to) conduct operations in Europe, and certainly not against a magazine that none of those in command could read.

But the French government said yesterday that one of the brothers had known links with networks for the recruitment of French volunteers to fight in the Middle East, and these things often work in both direction. As I said, it looks as though the brothers had at least some outside help, but their tactics are clearly not classic AQ ones (wanting to survive, concealing their identity, trying to escape) so I think we should reserve judgement for the time being.

Ronan(rf) 01.09.15 at 12:27 pm

ie http://www.fpri.org/geopoliticus/2015/01/who-attacked-charlie-hebdo-paris-assessing-jihadi-attack-west-isis-vs-al-qaeda#.VK9AkyitoFM.twitter

J Thomas 01.09.15 at 12:28 pm

#216 David

IIRC, "Al Qaeda in Yemen" is actually Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and is a relatively small group with a largely regional focus. It's unlikely that they could (or would want to) conduct operations in Europe, and certainly not against a magazine that none of those in command could read.

The US-centric view I linked earlier has it that they want us to attack them in muslim countries so they will get more support at home. Also as ISIS gets more attention, AQ would want to do something to stay important. I think that's possible. But just as the argument says that their motives are primarily about each other and not about us, the argument itself is part of a western argument about us, and not so much about them. If attacking them more brings them more support, maybe it would be a mistake to hit them harder. On the other hand, if we attack them hard enough to KILL THEM ALL and the dog they rode in on, then their own tactic was a mistake.

Maybe they try to manipulate us based on their fantasies about us, while we try to manipulate them based on our fantasies about them.

J Thomas 01.09.15 at 12:33 pm

#217 Peter T

Likewise, "network" here can be taken to mean "talks to like-minded people", and "linked to AQ" means "knew someone who knew someone who went to Afghanistan". "Following AQ tactics" means "watches TV, surfs the net and has picked up a few tips".

Yes, if Timothy McVeigh had links to the NRA it wouldn't mean much at all. If he had links to a particular militia which provided training in urban warfare, that might mean more but it wouldn't have to.

P O'Neill 01.09.15 at 12:35 pm

Anyone who thinks AQAP is regional and illiterate regarding western media may want to bing AQAP + Inspire…

Donald Johnson 01.09.15 at 2:41 pm

"As to Islamic extremism in the region, it was a major problem long before 2003."

True. The US supported it in Afghanistan. Israel initially supported Hamas as a counterweight to the PLO. I'm not saying that the West created Islamic extremism, only that we contributed to its rise. For example–

"the US is a vital component of order in the Middle East, especially with respect to the governments that Islamists most desire to overthrow. "

Support for corrupt authoritarian regimes is one way we've done this. Support for Israel no matter what it does is another way we discredit our alleged ideals. The use of torture is another. It would be nice if the conflict could be treated as civilized Westerners vs. uncivilized barbarians, but unfortunately there are uncivilized barbarians everywhere one looks.

And anyway, you identify a big part of the problem. The US is associated with governments like those of Egypt and Iraq which are repressive and create support for terrorism.

"That's a very Western-centric view. In fact we really should separate the motivations of alienated immigrants to the West from those fighting a struggle for power in their home region."

I don't claim that terrorist leaders are all a bunch of misguided idealists who are motivated solely by moral outrage at Western atrocities, any more than I think Dick Cheney is a fine public-spirited man who wanted to invade Iraq because he loves democracy. If the leaders of ISIS and the Taliban and others were merely outraged by Western colonialism, it would be hard to understand why the bulk of their victims are their fellow Muslims. But Western hypocrisy fuels recruitment for their cause, just as 9/11 was ideal propaganda fodder for someone like Dick Cheney.

To JThomas–Leaving aside her nastier comments to you, something MPA said upthread is correct. You tend to argue for points of view ad nauseam. I like some of your posts, but not when you go off on one of these pointless tangents. Sometimes I can't even tell if you are giving your own point of view or just trying to give an encyclopedic recitation of all possibilities no matter how unlikely. If there is actual evidence of Charlie Hebdo being a false flag operation, bring it forward. If there isn't, then fine, note the (remote) possibility, but it's not very interesting without evidence. Occam's razor and all that.

J Thomas 01.09.15 at 3:10 pm

#234 Donald Johnson

If there is actual evidence of Charlie Hebdo being a false flag operation, bring it forward. If there isn't, then fine, note the (remote) possibility, but it's not very interesting without evidence.

I see no evidence yet about who if anyone supported this particular attack.

I apologize for going on about it. I've tended to let this sort of thing happen sometimes when I point out a possibility in passing - look, here's something we don't actually know - and somebody announces that my possibility is actually impossible, can't ever happen, no way, only an idiot Truther would imagine such a thing. So I ask for their evidence and it's we don't need any steenking evidence, it would be extraordinary if that came true so it needs extraordinary evidence but the other side is not extraordinary and needs no evidence whatsoever, it's just true unless proven false beyond all possible doubt. And I let myself get trolled.

I'm going to make a solid attempt to respond less to idiots.

Andrew F. 01.09.15 at 4:57 pm

Peter T @214: Ah. The endless urge to get into a pissing contest and win. No analysis, no attempt to understand, just "hit them until they die or cower away". Same logic as Vietnam, Iraq, Cuba…Funny that often the same people who take this line brandish flags with "Live Free or Die" on them (not that Andrew F does anything so crass). No amount of failure teaches.

No, you're taking a comment about one line of effort and wrongly interpreting it as a comment about what the overall strategy should be.

I distinguished between the motivations of the leadership (which are strategic), those who join existing organizations (like ISIS) from local populations, and those who live in the West and are disaffected.

I noted the lack of ordinary avenues for advancement and social hopelessness in the case of disaffected individuals in the West, and the same (in addition to corrupt and abusive political institutions) in foreign areas.

I noted the importance of fostering cooperation within Muslim communities in the West, both in terms of undercutting radical ideologies supportive of violence and in terms of intelligence collection.

However, there are existing networks abroad with significant expertise in explosives, substantial knowledge of relevant techniques of planning, organization, and execution, and an ideology and leadership supportive of terrorist attacks against US and European targets.

US ability to effect meaningful social and political reform in areas where these networks are centered is minimal without the deployment of resources for a time and at a cost that would be politically unacceptable to the electorate and that would divert resources from national objectives of greater priority. These networks are also centered in areas where the local government is unable or unwilling to control them.

Though countering these networks involves multiple lines of effort, many of which are non-violent, direct action is therefore a vital component to degrading their ability to mount attacks. Eliminating key nodes, or clusters of nodes, within the networks does effect an immediate reduction in their capabilities while also producing follow-on effects that further weaken the network and enable additional operations against it. There simply is no other way to achieve their reduction at an acceptable cost.

Violent, militarized non-state actors will be a persistent feature of the world for some time. In most cases, the leadership will care about their own power, prestige, and survival. There is therefore an opportunity for deterrence. Deterrence here requires the establishment of a strong belief that to adopt a strategy of violence against the US or Europe, or to take action that will draw the US and Europe into a conflict, is to ensure the failure and destruction of one's organization, one's self, and potentially many other things one cares about. Not all organizations that use terrorism also target the US and Europe. Some quite wisely have an explicit policy of not doing so, precisely because it would provoke a reaction contrary to their interests.

Direct action that has become necessary against existing networks should be leveraged where possible to contribute to the deterrence of other networks, or the future leadership of existing networks, from provoking the US into a conflict.

So Peter, I'm not interested in a pissing match. I'm interested in encouraging actors to better assess their options in pursuing their goals so as to reduce unnecessary future violence. This will not prevent the occasional person or group from terrorist violence within the West, but it will help prevent far more serious acts of violence that some non-state actors are quite interested in achieving.

Ronan(rf) 01.09.15 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for those links Donald Johnson, they're very good. I don't know how I feel about it personally, mainly as I've not seen enough of the cartoons to form an opinion. I do think it's a pity that the 'debate' has become one about free speech, rather than what it should be – law and order and protecting people from violence. This has suited both sides, the Al Qaeda faction and the anti Islam right who (over the decade) have used the rhetoric of free speech absolutism (which I generally agree with) as a soundbite cause in their moronic 'civilisation war.'
This Joe Sacco cartoon is also alright

http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/jan/09/joe-sacco-on-satire-a-response-to-the-attacks

js. 01.09.15 at 9:52 pm

Is this also "squeez[ing] alien events into familiar boxes":

Assia is typically Parisian, in her dress, accent and lifestyle. But that did not prevent her from being reminded, at every turn, of her otherness. 'Assia, what sort of name is that?' people would ask her since she was a child. With its strong centralising traditions, France shuns expressions of difference, notably the hijab, but continues to treat French citizens of Muslim origin as foreigners. Second and third-generation citizens are still routinely described as 'immigrants'. The message: don't wear the hijab, you're French; but don't bother applying for this job if your name is Mohammed. 'When my brothers were growing up,' Assia told me, 'they would be stopped by the police ten to fifteen times a day – on the bus, getting off the bus, on their way to school, on their way home. Girls weren't stopped; only boys. The French are more comfortable with "Fatima" than with "Mohammed".' French women of North African origin are doing better than men – which in part explains why some of the unemployed men take to dominating their mothers and sisters, as if they were their property, their only property. Assia is one of many French Maghrébins who have found it much easier to live outside France.

J Thomas 01.09.15 at 10:31 pm

#269 Stephen

How can anyone prove that the alleged killers, who believed themselves to have been recruited by an AQ group, had not really been recruited by the French security forces/US government/?

If you can get true information from AQ that they were AQ members following AQ plans, then you have it. Unless AQ itself is a false front for some western government etc. Or unless AQ is lying for their own reasons.

And of course some traveling AQ member could himself be a double agent and really take orders from someone else. Imagine for example that 9/11 was planned and paid for by AQ as a contingency measure, something they could do in some extreme crisis, and then somebody else figured out how to trigger it for just 4 planes but not the rest…. If there's the chance that their electronic communications can be changed out from under them, so their agents actually follow somebody else's orders, that would sure explain their fetish for courier messages.

How can anyone prove that the alleged killers, allegedly dead, are not alive and well after a pretended death?

Hey, why are you asking *me* these questions instead of the people who are sure they know it is not a false-flag thing? Ask them how they can find out whether they're right.

Over to you, J Thomas

I pass. I couldn't prove it was happening if it was - unless somebody gets clumsy or venal and reveals it. People find the question boring. They don't want to think about it. It's really none of our business. We need to give the various secret organizations their privacy.

Let's talk about something else.

Ronan(rf) 01.10.15 at 1:07 am

I'd link to this as well (though I dont agree with everything in it)

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-the-time-of-the-assassins-114115.html

'Understanding' is a two way street, everyone has to make an effort.
I think a lot of the problems Shatz views as local to France, are broader. The anti semitism, and patriarchy, in the banlieues exist in Damascus and Rammalah as well. Are they really primarily the result of poverty, discrimination and France not excepting responsibility for its colonial crimes ? The poverty he identifies as driving radicalisation is *not* (in general) a good predictor of radicalisation – terrorists generally skew wealthier and more educated than the general population.
That doesnt mean the questions he raises aren't legit, but it's too strong a case and he too readily dismisses the position of ideology(or more specifically ideas) and the broader political context. (I do agree that Packer's article, which he's riffing from, is mostly banalities though)

Abbe Faria 01.10.15 at 1:28 am

The 284 agency link's really good. It's worth also reading Al Qaida's 2000-2020 strategy. You can go back to 2005 and read things that panned out more or less according to a plan.

http://m.spiegel.de/international/a-369448.html

As for Mumbai style attacks – I may be wrong, and we only see so many attacks out of many that must be planned. But back in 2010 when that was busted France, Germany and the UK were still all in Afghanistan. Recently, we've had targetted attacks on soldiers in Canada and the UK and the 2012 shooting in France, and stabbings of police in New York and Australia, and attacks on Jews, and continuing assassination attempts on mohammed cartoonists. Any of these could have been directed at the ordinary populace, but weren't – it's just strikes me that the method's changing slightly.

Ronan(rf) 01.10.15 at 1:34 am

abbe faria – you're probably right. It was more a stray thought on my part .. I think you're probably closer to the truth.

Mitch Guthman 01.10.15 at 2:02 am

Ronan(rf) at 286,

I think that some of this is common with all of the Western European countries who basically saw immigrants as a source of cheap labour and assumed that men would come to make some money in France, Germany or England and then go home to their families or, if they already had families, would return to their country of origin. There really wasn't any planning about how to integrate these people into very closed-knit, homogenous countries because there was any intention they either say or become integrated. Providing expensive social services such as education and housing for people who were seen as "guest workers" tended to defeat the purpose of importing cheap labour.

At the same time, there was a theory on the part of some on the left that the host countries should respect the immigrants' culture by empowering those patriarchal and tribal aspect that dominated the socities from whence many of these immigrants came. It was assumed that the attractiveness of French society would cause immigrants to gradually become more integrated, which would inevitably loosen the hold of the very conservative cultural and religious practices that differed greatly from those of the secular French. The inevitable conflicts between the host and immigrant culture were generally downplayed but the result was to heighten the isolation of the incomers and make their eventual intregration into the host culture more difficult.

I think we're seeing all of those themes playing out in France today. I have very little knowledge of most immigrants from Muslim countries but I do know that Maghrebian immigrants have been largely excluded from French society. They are not accommodated by the educational system, are discriminated against by many employers and have extremely high rates of youth unemployment. Their ever increasing ghettoization and isolation in the banlieues has caused many Beur youths to be become "disintegrated" from a French society that doesn't want them, thinks it was a mistake to let them into the country and considers them basicly "dirty Arabs" and gravitate to a version of Islam that validates them as worthy individals and offers an opportunity to strike back at the French.

The growth of a version of Islam that demands strict adherence to its religious dictates (including such outward manifestations of faith as the voile)and is offended at violations of its mores by nonbelievers conflicts with an established tradition of Laïcité in the host culture that is offended by religious intrusions into public spaces. I believe this is a major barrier to assimilation, as well as a source of tension between Muslims and the indigenous French.

I think part of the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attack was a realization that in France blasphemy against Islam is now punishable by death. Right now, France is terrified of becoming Pakistain. I think that unless the Islamic community in France can find a way to accommodate themselves to a French society that wants religion to be practed in the heart and in the home but not in public spaces, there terroristic attacks will only grow more intense and more frequent and the backlash from the host society will be harsher and more intolerant as well.

Roger Gathmann 01.10.15 at 2:09 am

290 – I do. If Sacco was listing true offenses against Moslem belief, I don't think charlie Hedbo would even count over the last couple of years. How about the destruction of the shrines to the Sufi saints in timbuctu? http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/06/2012630101748795606.html Or the blowing up of three mosques in Mosul by the Islamic state, a group to which the killers were allied? But apparently these don't count as Muslims according to the penultimate frame in Sacco's cartoon, which implies that Western journalists have been the main victim of the Islamic State – while all is hunky dory with "muslims". It is that conglomerating term which, I think, ties Sacco to the very thing he is criticizing in Charlie Hebdo, which also seemed to see Muslims as some blank global other. It is a rather infuriating fiction, a critique vitiated by its own unconscious prejudice.

Mitch Guthman 01.10.15 at 2:25 am

Donald Johnson at 291,

A great many people who comes from many faiths and walks of life have regularly and strongly denounced Charlie Hebdo. An earlier incarnation of the publication was shuttered because people were furious at their extremely offensive treatment of De Gaulle's death. They've been taken to court, boycotted and picketed. Newspaper columnists and television commentators have frequently condemned them.

But the response of Charlie Hebdo to people denouncing their work as crude and uncivil was to become even cruder and ruder. Charlie Hebdo is indeed very much in the business of giving gratuitous offense. Mockery of religion is their bread and butter. The question, then, is whether they should refrain from exercising their right to blaspheme. I say no. Self-censorship out of fear is the same as giving the Islamists the power to censor.

There can be no prohibition against blasphemy in a republic. If God is unhappy at being mocked, let him appear in the Place de la République and speak for himself, something which one assumes the Supreme Being is perfectly capable of doing. In the absence of such an appearance, I say let men speak for themselves and leave God out of it.

I don't want to live in a country where there are limits against blasphemy that are enforced by religious lunatics armed with AK-47's. Basically, I don't want to live in what Pakistan has become.

engels 01.10.15 at 2:28 am

It seems to me that Sacco's implicit point – that two drug dealers who drifted through their twenties trying to be celebrities, and converted to a narrow sect of Islam, are representative of the Moslem community – is absurd

Why would anyone think Sacco believes this? He thinks the cartoons are offensive to Muslims. He doesn't think Muslims favour murder as retaliation. (They don't, and no-one sane thinks they do.)

He explicitly says that there is something 'deeply wrong' with the murderers but explicitly advises against concluding that there is something deeply wrong with Muslims. This is in itself shows he does not think the first represents the second (in case there were there was any reason to attribute such a crazy view to him in the first place…)

engels 01.10.15 at 2:40 am

Self-censorship out of fear is the same as giving the Islamists the power to censor.

You should try to get this guy re-instated then:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/4351672/French-cartoonist-Sine-on-trial-on-charges-of-anti-Semitism-over-Sarkozy-jibe.html

Roger Gathmann 01.10.15 at 3:24 am

I don't think they are non-sequitors. Cartoons are always built on implications. The implication is pretty clear in Sacco's cartoon. Charlie Hebdo offended "Moslems" – meaning apparently all Muslims. CH was operating within a context that is not too subtlely likened to cartoons of Jews in 1933. Then there is a final panel representing driving the "Moslems" into the sea.
Who is doing this driving?
Apparently white Westerners, no?
Now, of course, it would be a non-sequitor to say that CH was contributing to driving Muslims into the sea. They are just, like anti-semites in 1933, making fun of Muslims. And are afraid of being accused of being anti-semitic, hence the firing of Maurice Senet – which. as he doesn't tell us, happened under another editorial board. But whatever.
My point is that this idea of "moslems" being driven into the sea ignores a number of things. First, it supposes that all muslims are offended by the caricatures in CH. This is I think wrong. It ignores the fact that the "muslims" who have been most driven into the sea and most wounded in their religious cult have been wounded by exactly the belief of the people who killed the CH staff. If one can imagine a Jewish group in 1933 that went around killing Hassid and destroying their temples, I think we would have a parallel – but that didn't happen, and the parallel makes little sense. Except of course that we always have to reach for Hitler in order to find something "evil". In general, if I boil Sacco down to his sequitors, his implicit accusation is that CH was especially anti-Muslim. And this we cant support.My counter accusation is not that Sacco ignored that CH supported "moderate Muslims" – a phrase that is ridiculous. My point is that Sacco is right that CH grouped all Muslims together, the first step in prejudice against Muslims, and b, that Sacco then proceeds to do the same thing – save for the nasty Muslims, who are left unexplained. He even seems to think all Muslims are opposed to the image of Muhammed, which one would think is an idea that was exploded long ago.(here's a nice You tube about how pious images of the prophet are sold in the souk in Teheran). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxyFwf8gRzQ
I find it hard to take Sacco very seriously, with the dodging, the generalizing, and the exploitation of Maurice Senet without linking to his site.

engels 01.10.15 at 3:40 am

First, it supposes that all muslims are offended by the caricatures in CH.

No, it doesn't. If I say that (eg.) violent pornography is offensive to women, or that minstrel shows are offensive to black people, it doesn't mean that every single woman or black person on the planet must personally take offence at them (that would be ridiculous and as a matter of fact won't be true). Saying this, does not mean that I view eg. women or black people as a monolithic entity. You are confused.

In general, if I boil Sacco down to his sequitors, his implicit accusation is that CH was especially anti-Muslim. And this we cant support.

You haven't argued this but even if you're right it wouldn't matter when the effect of their calculated shows of contempt will always be different on a relatively powerless group than it will be on a relatively powerful one.

js. 01.10.15 at 4:53 am

'Understanding' is a two way street

Are power, discrimination and marginalization also "two-way streets"? I'm not trying to be facetious here, but there's a reason that, e.g., it's a bit odd to tell black people in the US that they really should be paying more attention to white people problems. It's also pretty strange that you'd pick Ramallah of all places as a contrast class. What is that supposed to show exactly?

Mitch Guthman 01.10.15 at 5:00 am

Engels at 296,

Unfortunately, my memory is dim and I'm too lazy to do much Googling but I am slightly familiar with the case because it got some coverage on a legal website that I like. I've never actually seen any Siné's work (except the cats). I've certainly never seen any of his cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, a magazine that I've read only once and would never have bought again but for this tragedy. In any case, I don't think the affair represents the hypocrisy you seem to think it does.

To begin with, I don't think any of us could get Siné his job back, even assuming he wanted it, which apparently he doesn't. He mentions on his blog that the French courts did give him some money in his suit against the magazine. I don't remember what happened in the other suits and couldn't find it on his website.

The one perfectly symmetrical, but truly ironic, thing-and something I never knew until I looked at his website- was that Siné received death threats from the Jewish Defense League, which is still today very active in Paris, especially during the recent riots.

The Sine Hebdo website brought back a few memories.The Jean Sarkozy affair seems to have been a very convoluted business with many different facets, at least some of which were obviously quite personal to the individuals involved. There were a lot of personalities at Charlie Hebdo and I gather from the press that, like reasonably famous people everywhere, they didn't always get on perfectly with each other or with everyone in the circles in which they moved.

One of the things you might have noticed in their obituaries was that many of the victims at Charlie Hebdo were quite famous and beloved but mainly for things they did away from the magazine. Again, reading between the lines, many of these people moved in circles where personal friendships may have been called upon by prominent French Jews in this affair.

Another aspect was that the cartoon and the article were basically cheap shots at Jean Sarkozy for something very intimate and personal in his life that had nothing to do with politics or his father. I certainly have no idea how young Sarkozy feels about his Jewish ancestors (which he does, in fact, have) or his marriage but probably neither did Siné. Which made it a cheap shot as far as I was concerned.

Perhaps of even greater significance than the arguably anti-Semitic aspects of the cartoon was that Siné was very possibly on the wrong side of the line between satire and slander, especially because the cartoon was illustrating an article (which I've never read) that made claim about Jean Sarkozy's reasons for the marriage and his alleged conversion. The lawyer's website that had posts on the case that thought the article was significant because it seemed to be actually reporting on very specific facts about very specific people and therefore needed to be truthful. French defamation law is well beyond me but I believe it is not very forgiving. Much closer to the English model than the American.

As I say, I think a lot of people, including me, thought going after young Jean Sarkozy for something this personal was a seriously cheap shot-far beneath even the remarkably low standards of Charlie Hebdo-which is saying quite a bit. Jean Sarkozy is fair game for a lot of stuff, but this really was beyond the pale. I would certainly never have published that piece as described. I don't know that I would have fired Siné for refusing to apologize but I don't know that I wouldn't, either.

Siné himself doesn't seem to be holding a grudge. Neither does he seem to see himself as the victim of a double standard, as you seem to be painting him. He now has what appears to be his own extremely offensive rag and a blog to go with it. I've never read it but a quick glance at the website as I am writing this comment seems to confirm that Sine Hebdo is firmly in the grand and gratuitously offensive Charlie Hebdo tradition.

I wouldn't ever subscribe to it but he says he's totally skint, so I might buy a t-shirt if they come in a size extra-fat and he'll send it to me in the states. If he's got cat cartoons to sell, I might buy one. So there's two ways to support the guy because, really, it's true that you can't go home again.

Ze Kraggash 01.10.15 at 8:27 am

According to wikipedia, France has hate speech laws:
"The hate speech laws in France are matters of both civil law and criminal law. Those laws protect individuals and groups from being defamed or insulted because they belong or do not belong, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or because they have a handicap."

"In 2006, the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo released a special issue which featured cartoons pertinent to Islam, including some from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. A Muslim organization initiated criminal proceedings against Philippe Val, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, for insulting a group of people because of their religion. In March 2007, the court of first instance acquitted Val. The first court of appeal confirmed the lower court's judgment on the ground that the cartoons targeted only terrorists or fundamentalists--not the whole Muslim community."

Hey, maybe the frogs/cheese-eating surrender monkeys should get 'em some better judges.

Val 01.10.15 at 9:31 am

bianca steele @ 235
The interesting thing about your response is that I gave you an example of vile abuse that a woman wearing a headscarf was subjected to, and you haven't acknowledged it. I also told you that I was subjected to extremely frightening threats of violence when I tried to intervene in a case where another woman was being subjected to racist abuse (for the record, it was on a tram, she was Asian, the abuse was racist and misogynistic, and I was also subjected to misogynistic abuse when I objected). Probably doesn't take much imagination to understand that it was pretty horrible for all concerned, including me, but you have completely ignored that also.

It's not the first time I've come up against this kind of refusal to acknowledge the reality of racist and sexist abuse, but I'm not going to try to argue about it with you any further. This stuff happens, but if you don't want to acknowledge it, you probably won't, no matter what I or anyone else say to you. But it's definitely not off topic, and people like me aren't trying to "chaperone" anyone, no matter what you may think. I was actually in fear of my life in the incident I talked about, and people have actually been killed for standing up to bullies. Calling us do-gooders, while offering no better solutions, just isn't helpful.

Val 01.10.15 at 9:45 am

bianca steele @ 235 (again)
Again, I'm not arguing, just trying to explain – the point about using twitter, or other forms of social media, to draw attention to this stuff, is to try to mobilise support – so that if someone like me tries to stop a case of bullying and abuse, others will also get involved, rather than being bystanders. In Melbourne recently there was a case – I can't remember all the details – but several passengers and the bus driver all intervened, and the bullying was stopped. Violence can't always be prevented, but I think social media can help to prevent both the racist bullying and the retaliatory bullying of anyone who protests about it.

David 01.10.15 at 10:28 am

Drawing some threads together, perhaps:
For fifty years there has been immigration into France from "Muslim" countries, initially the Maghreb (and especially Algeria). Most immigrants did not consider themselves "Muslims" in anything except a cultural sense. For the first half of that period, they generally integrated well, especially women, and moved up the traditional immigrant social ladder. Mixed marriages were common. In those days, there was little unemployment and the school system worked well. This changed with mass unemployment, harder-line government policies and the instrumentalisation of immigration as a threat, as well as lack of interest in educating the children. At the same time, poverty and violence in the Maghreb and elsewhere brought unprecedented numbers of new immigrants (2M over the last decade according to the government) mostly into poor areas where education and social services are stretched to breaking point, and which get little help from central government.
Over the last fifteen years, elite discourse in France, inspired very much by the US neoconservatives, has identified Islam and Muslims as a main enemy; On the Right, this is traditional racialism, on the Left it's wrapped up with the rights of women etc. but amounts in practice to the same thing. Muslims are the only community in France which is systematically targeted this way, including by the media. As a result, an essentially secular, culturally Muslim but otherwise French, community has been in part successfully radicalised – one is tempted to say, radicalised by the very people who needed an enemy to fight against.
It's not just Charlie either. Polemical articles and quite unpleasant cartoons stigmatising Muslims are quite common in the French media ("Le Canard enchainé" which should know better, is often disgraceful in this respect) and there have effectively been no sanctions. But nobody bothers attacking Christians, because few French people go to Church, and Jews (and most recently Roms, the new target) are effectively off limits. So the weakest, poorest and least educated section of French society is subject not only to economic and social discrimination, but also to official vituperation and unofficial mockery, and is confronted daily with stories of attacks by France on Muslim states, and grisly accounts of atrocities committed by Muslims, all over the world. I wonder how you and I would feel.
At this point, some idiot at the back gets up and says "this doesn't justify killing people". Please leave the room, because you haven't understood the issue, which is not abstract moral justification, but concrete results – karma, if you like. If you do stupid things, shit happens. Stupid things have been done ….

Abbe Faria 01.10.15 at 11:30 am

Muslims were murdering people for offenses against their religion before neoconservatism and the war on terror. There are indigenous traditions in France, and other European countries which have fought hard won battles for secularism and to make bringing religion into public affairs taboo. Muslims (and other groups like Sikhs who've tried the same thing) have tried to put religion back on the table, and yes people do resent them for reopening old battles. But filtering that through a US lense is mistaken.

Abbe Faria 01.11.15 at 3:03 am

Colonisation was unjust – Europeans should have stayed in their lands. I wish the ending of The Tempest had influenced Europeans in the 1600s but it didn't. Since the Europeans chose to change other cultures via colonisation (and two world wars etc) they cannot with any sense of justice object to migrants from those cultures changing European cultures.

ZM. You have a warped understanding of history. Muslims invaded Europe first and got as far as the Pyrenees and Vienna. Most the Middle East was never colonised. Most the bits that were got themselves invaded as Europeans who wanted to stay in Europe kept being forcibly migrated and sold as slaves by Barbary pirates (yeah, that's the culture change you're objecting to, supression of widespread sex slavery; the one you're supporting is supression of free speech). BTW Turkey was the aggressor in WWI.

john c. halasz 01.11.15 at 5:48 am

"I think the Ottoman Empire launched an Imperial war of aggression against Russia, France and the UK. And lost. Note which religious grouping was trying to expand into which continent (clue: Christians and Asia are the wrong answer), that's not European colonialism."

I tend to stay out of these sorts of threads because I don't want to participate in rival displays of irrelevant self-righteousness, but that bit is a remarkable display of irrelevant and fictitious historiography.

Abbe Faria 01.11.15 at 11:38 pm

And another thing! I suppose these big rallies are nice if they make everybody feel better, but I'm wondering if there's anything concrete they are intended to accomplish. To keep speech free?

Absolutely. Some of the biggest asshole politicians on the planet are on this march. Putting people like Netanyahu, Lavrov, Orban, Davutoglu, Bongo and King Abdullah in a position where to sate global opinion they're compelled to march down Boulevard Voltaire for free speech is very politically constructive – even if they don't believe it.

Ronan(rf) is also right that the attacks (and insults to Islam) are just going to keep happening again and again. The two worries are the far right response – either within the political system (National Front) or insurectionist (Breivik) – or that they inflame religious/race riots. Trying to get popular opinion to shut these out is important.

engels 01.12.15 at 12:21 am

Classic Terry Eagleton review of The Trouble with Principle:

It is one of the minor symptoms of the mental decline of the United States that Stanley Fish is thought to be on the Left. By some of his compatriots, anyway, and no doubt by himself. In a nation so politically addled that 'liberal' can mean 'state interventionist' and 'libertarianism' letting the poor die on the streets, this is perhaps not wholly unpredictable.

Stanley Fish, lawyer and literary critic, is in truth about as left-wing as Donald Trump. Indeed, he is the Donald Trump of American academia, a brash, noisy entrepreneur of the intellect who pushes his ideas in the conceptual marketplace with all the fervour with which others peddle second-hand Hoovers. Unlike today's corporate executive, however, who has scrupulously acquired the rhetoric of consensus and multiculturalism, Fish is an old-style, free-booting captain of industry who has no intention of clasping both of your hands earnestly in his and asking whether you feel comfortable with being fired. He fancies himself as an intellectual boot-boy, the scourge of wimpish pluralists and Nancy-boy liberals, and that ominous bulge in his jacket is not to be mistaken for a volume of Milton. […]

519 bianca steele 01.12.15 at 12:30 am
@518

Ironic, since for Eagleton (at least 1980s Eagleton) the center of his left literary criticism was Michel Foucault, who now is himself being described (though I'm not able to understand the back-and-forth) as having flirted more seriously with neoliberalism than most of his followers would find themselves comfortable with.