The BBC led their 10 O’clock News today with a five minute piece on the delay to the Chilcot report. It gave a retrospective on the Iraq War that did not mention, once, Weapons of Mass Destruction as the raison d’etre but told us the war “removed a brutal dictator”. They said the dead of the war were in thousands – not hundreds of thousands, not even tens of thousands. “Thousands died”, they said. Literally true, but diminishing the scale. They could equally have said dozens died, also literally true – just an awful lot of dozens.
Then they allowed Blair unanswered and unquestioned to speak sincerely to camera about how much he wanted the report published, and the reporter stated without challenge that Blair had not delayed publication and had not objected to the publication of his correspondence with President Bush – both statements which are a very long way from the whole truth.
Even by recent BBC standards, it was the most vomit inducing production. They compounded it by finishing with Ed Miliband in parliament demanding publication, when he has a shadow cabinet packed with the very criminals who launched the illegal war – a fact they did not note. Anti-war opinion was briefly represented by – Nick Clegg!!!
I do not recognise what the British state has become. Or rather I do recognise precisely what kind of state it has become, and it bears no relation to the democracy it claims to be.
In this globalised world, if we launch weapons of great destructive power into communities abroad, incinerating and shredding women and children, we cannot avoid the fact that those who identify with those communities – ethnically, culturally and religiously – will take revenge on people here. If we are lucky it will be revenge on combatants. If we are unlucky it will be on our innocents. But either way, the truth is this. We caused it.
We caused it by our invasions, occupations and bombings of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, none of which had ever attacked the UK. We caused it by all the dead women and children that British bombs, missiles or bullets killed accidentally. We caused it by the terrible deaths of the people we killed deliberately, who were only defending their country from foreign invaders, just as most of us would do. We caused it by the detainees killed or tortured. As a country, the United Kingdom caused it.
This is not the 19th century. Imperialist aggression now brings a danger of retaliation from empathetic communities embedded in western societies. This is so obvious as not to need stating. The danger of terrorism from Islamic sources would be much reduced if we just minded our own business on the international scene.
All that is very obvious. It does not, however, seem to have occurred to John Sawers, immediate past head of MI6, who has no sensible thoughts at all of the causes of terrorism. The right wing like to think that anyone opposed to the West is, by definition, spontaneously evil. If only they could look in the mirror sometimes and ask why people hate us, that would be a major psychological breakthrough. I have known John Sawers a great many years, and he is somebody who looks in the mirror very often. Sadly, not for that purpose.
At least he has the intellectual honesty to admit an open advocacy of the extreme big brother society. Abandoning the notion of smart intelligence, he has come out with a justification of the mass surveillance society which Snowden revealed. We cannot prevent terrorism without spying on innocent people, he declares.
In a sense, that is a truism. I have very often argued that it is impossible to prevent all evil and daft to try. You have a far, far higher chance of being murdered by a member of your own family than you have by a terrorist. Over the last 10 years terrorists have been responsible for almost exactly 1% of all murders in the UK. Let me type that again. In the last ten years terrorists have been responsible for almost exactly 1% of all murders in the UK. And about 0.007% of woundings. It remains true that the most likely person to kill you is in your own family. It is worth remembering that the number of people who died in the Charlie Hebdo atrocity was the same number murdered in France on average every week.
Now assuming the aim is to prevent murder rather than make propaganda, let us concentrate for a moment on – don’t worry, you will never in your life be asked to do this again, unless by me – let us concentrate on the 99% of murders which are not by terrorists. To take the John Sawers system, if we had permanent CCTV monitoring of every kitchen in the UK, we could probably prevent quite a few of those murders and a vast amount of non-fatal violence. It would take an enormous police and security service, of course, but we are getting there anyway. Sawers’ point is completely correct in logic – you cannot prevent all murders without massive surveillance of the innocent. It would have been even more correct if you just stopped the sentence at you cannot prevent all murders. Precisely the same is true of the tiny risk to individuals that is murder by terrorism.
The surest way to reduce the terrorist threat in the UK is to stop bombing or invading other countries. That simple fact needs to be screamed from the rooftops. The next thing you can do is solid old fashioned evidence-based police and intelligence work. The least effective thing you can do is simply trawl the email and online chat of millions of people. That clogs up the intelligence system with a vast mound of undigestable information, and results in the conviction of fantasists and boastful men who, while unpleasant, are guilty of nothing but thought crime. It is exactly the same result as if you tackled murder by arresting everyone who in an email or chat wished harm to their husband or wife. It is wrong to express that, but the percentage who would have really gone on to murder would be vanishingly small.
The great worry is the presumption which is sneaking in to the mainstream media narrative that it is the responsibility of the state to prevent all crime before it happens. It is not, and that is not an achievable goal. The restrictions on liberty it would entail would do more damage to society than crime itself, which mankind has managed to live with since civilisation began. The entire debate around terrorism needs to be recalibrated. The answer is not the ultimate Big Brother surveillance state. The answer is to stop our hideous violence towards communities abroad.
Small Jewish ultra-orthodox newspaper Hamevaser digitally removed female world leaders present at Sunday’s unity march after Charlie Hebdo attacks.
A small Jewish ultra-Orthodox newspaper in Israel has found itself in the spotlight after digitally removing Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel from a photo of this week’s Paris march.
World leaders had linked arms to march in Paris against terrorism after Islamic extremists killed 17 people. At the march, Merkel stood in the front row between the French president, François Hollande, and Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
But readers of the Hamevaser newspaper’s Monday edition didn’t know, as she had been digitally removed, leaving Abbas standing next to Hollande. Israeli media joked it was meant to bring Abbas closer to Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu, who was standing nearby.
Within the insular ultra-Orthodox community, pictures of women are rarely shown, due to modesty concerns. In Jerusalem, ultra-Orthodox vandals frequently deface buses and billboards with advertising deemed to be immodest.
The picture in Hamevaser also cut out other women, like the Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, though the newspaper clumsily left her dark glove on the sleeve of a marcher. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was cropped out.
Binyamin Lipkin, editor of Hamevaser, said the newspaper is a family publication that must be suitable for all audiences, including young children.
“The eight-year-old can’t see what I don’t want him to see,” he told Israel’s Channel 10 television station. “True, a picture of Angela Merkel should not ruin the child, but if I draw a line, I have to put it there from the bottom all the way to the top.”
He also said he did not want to tarnish the memories of the people killed in the attacks.
“Including a picture of a woman into something so sacred, as far as we are concerned, it can desecrate the memory of the martyrs and not the other way around,” he said.
In 1945, overseen by Alfred Hitchcock, a crack team of British film-makers went to Germany to document the horror of the concentration camps. Despite being hailed as a masterpiece, the film was never shown. Now, in a documentary called Night Will Fall, the full story of its creation and suppression is being told.
“In the spring of 1945,” says the narrator, over bucolic springtime shots of the German countryside, “the allies advancing into the heart of Germany came to Bergen-Belsen. Neat and tidy orchards, well-stocked farms lined the wayside, and the British soldier did not fail to admire the place and its inhabitants. At least, until he began to feel a smell …”
So begins a British film about the Holocaust that was abandoned and shelved for 70 years because it was deemed too politically sensitive. The smell came from the dead, their bodies burned or rotting; or from malnourished, often disease-ridden prisoners in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, near all those thriving German farms.
As allied troops liberated such camps across what had been German-occupied Europe, the British Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein (who later founded Granada Television) was commissioned to make a documentary that would provide incontrovertible evidence of the Nazis’ crimes.
Bernstein assembled a remarkable team, including the future Labour cabinet minister Richard Crossman, who wrote the film’s lyrical script, and Alfred Hitchcock, who flew in from Hollywood to advise Bernstein on its structure. They set to work on a documentary entitled German Concentration Camps Factual Survey. As they worked, reels of film kept arriving, sent by British, American and Soviet combat and newsreel cameramen from 11 camps, including Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and Bergen-Belsen. As well as the dead, the footage showed starved survivors and human remains in ovens.
In one piece of film, from Majdanek concentration camp, we see huge bags containing human hair. Collected from the murdered, it would have been carefully sorted and weighed. “Nothing was wasted,” says the narrator. “Even teeth were taken out of their mouth.” Bernstein’s film then cuts to a large pile of spectacles. “If one man in 10 wears spectacles,” we are asked, “how many does this heap represent?”
Now, 70 years on, director and anthropologist André Singer has made a documentary called Night Will Fall, to be screened on Channel 4 later this month, telling the extraordinary story of filming the camps and the fate of Bernstein’s project.
Singer tracked down and interviewed survivors who appeared in the original footage. Among them was Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, now 89, who recalled the day British troops arrived at Belsen-Bergen. “It was an unbelievable moment. Suddenly, you hear English spoken. ‘You should remain calm. Don’t leave the camp. Help is one the way.’ That sort of thing.”
Lasker-Wallfisch and her sister, Renate, had been moved from Auschwitz as the Nazis retreated from the advancing Red army the previous year. At Auschwitz, Lasker-Wallfisch had been a member of the camp orchestra, playing cello as the slave labourers left camp for work each day and again when they returned. She also performed at concerts for the SS.
“It is difficult to describe,” Lasker-Wallfisch says of her liberation. “You spend years preparing yourself to die and suddenly you’re still here. I was 19. Every British soldier looked like a god to us. It was not what we expected, to be still alive – but there we were.” The sisters settled in Britain after the war. Anita played in the English Chamber Orchestra and became renowned as a solo cellist.
The sisters were exceptional. “I should have known this but didn’t,” says Singer. “Some of those who were liberated remained in those camps for five years after liberation. Often they had nowhere else to go – certainly not to Britain or the US. We didn’t want them.”
Singer also interviews another illustrious Holocaust survivor, a Croatian named Branko Lustig. He was a child in Belsen, so sick at the time of liberation that when he heard a strange noise he thought he’d arrived in heaven to a chorus of angels’ trumpets. In reality, they were the bagpipes played by Scottish soldiers.
Many years later, Steven Spielberg chose Lustig, by then a film-maker, to be a producer for Schindler’s List. Lustig has a theory about why British authorities suppressed Bernstein’s film. “At this time, the Brits had enough problems with the Jews.” By that, no doubt, he means that Britain was dealing with Zionists agitating for a Jewish homeland in the British mandate of Palestine – and seeing the full extent of Jewish suffering would only inflame them.
Singer says he’s already had flak for including Lustig’s theory. “Why the film was scuppered is not very well documented,” he says. “But Branko may well have a point.” Singer points out that in 1945, the incoming Labour government’s foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, was anti-Zionist and unsympathetic to the foundation of a Jewish state. But he concedes there is no strong proof. “The only documentary evidence we have is a memo from the Foreign Office saying that screening such an ‘atrocity film’ would not be a good idea.”
Part of the reasoning for that memo, Singer argues, is that the British thought the Germans needed to be nurtured as allies against the growing power of the Soviet Union. But were such compunctions realistic? Would showing the film to postwar Germany have been a propaganda reverse for the British, serving to alienate the Germans and tip the emerging cold war in the Soviets’ favour? Singer doubts it.
No matter. The film, which some have called a forgotten masterpiece of British documentary, was shelved for 70 years. Bernstein died in 1993 and, according to Singer, one of his regrets was not completing his Holocaust documentary.
Footage from his unfinished film, however, proved key to the prosecution of camp commandants at the Nuremberg and Lüneburg trials in 1945. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch recalls testifying at Lüneburg against, among others, Bergen-Belsen commandant Josef Kramer, known as “the Beast of Belsen”. Her evidence was supported by film that contradicted the accused’s defence. “Kramer had said he didn’t have the food to feed his prisoners and that was why they were in such a state. The footage destroyed that,” says Singer. Kramer and other officers from Bergen-Belsen were hanged that year.
Bernstein’s film never got the chance to be as revered as later Holocaust documentaries, including Lanzmann’s Shoah, Resnais’s Night and Fog, and Ophüls’ The Sorrow and the Pity. As Singer explains, an incomplete version was shown at the Berlin film festival in 1984 and on PBS in the US in 1985 under the title Memory of the Camps. Only recently did a team from the Imperial War Museum complete and digitise the picture.
Into the gap left in 1945 by the suppression of Bernstein’s film came another documentary, made by the great Hollywood director and exiled Austrian Jew Billy Wilder. But Wilder’s Death Mills was a hectoring piece of propaganda, keen to indict Germans, while Bernstein and Crossman had attempted to make their film a warning to all of humanity. “Bernstein’s was a work of art by comparison,” says Singer, “mainly because of Crossman’s lyrical script.”
Certainly, German audiences didn’t enjoy Death Mills. Wilder recalls that when it was screened in Würzburg, there were 500 in the audience at the start and only 75 at the end. Whether German Concentration Camps Factual Survey would have had a similar reception is debatable. It would have been anything but easy viewing, not least when Crossman’s script indicted those who lived near Dachau concentration camp but affected ignorance of the barbarism that took place there: “Germans knew about Dachau but did not care.”
Crossman’s script ends with these words: “Unless the world learns the lessons these pictures teach, night will fall. But, by God’s grace, we who live will learn.” Does Singer go along with that? “I wish they had proven to be correct, but since 1945 there have been a number of genocides that have not been stopped by lessons from the past.”
That said, Singer still thinks such deeply upsetting and horrific images should be seen. “I was born on 4 May 1945, so I’m of a generation who knew about these things, but I have sons of adult age who knew little. We need images like this for the new generation.”
So does he think Night Will Fall should be shown in schools? “I do,” he says, “but there’s a strong body of opinion against. It’s seen as too upsetting. But we’re in an age where such imagery is so prolific. I think the imagery in Bernstein’s film and mine, if used in the right context, can only help understanding.
“We can only truly understand the horror of war if we use images like this.”
Algeria is the post-colonial wound that still bleeds in France.
Algeria. Long before the identity of the murder suspects was revealed by the French police – even before I heard the names of Cherif and Said Kouachi – I muttered the word “Algeria” to myself. As soon as I heard the names and saw the faces, I said the word “Algeria” again. And then the French police said the two men were of “Algerian origin”.
For Algeria remains the most painful wound within the body politic of the Republic – save, perhaps, for its continuing self-examination of Nazi occupation – and provides a fearful context for every act of Arab violence against France. The six-year Algerian war for independence, in which perhaps a million and a half Arab Muslims and many thousands of French men and women died, remains an unending and unresolved agony for both peoples. Just over half a century ago, it almost started a French civil war.
Maybe all newspaper and television reports should carry a “history corner”, a little reminder that nothing – absolutely zilch – happens without a past. Massacres, bloodletting, fury, sorrow, police hunts (“widening” or “narrowing” as sub-editors wish) take the headlines. Always it’s the “who” and the “how” – but rarely the “why”. Take the crime against humanity in Paris this week – the words “atrocity” and “barbarity” somehow diminish the savagery of this act – and its immediate aftermath.
We know the victims: journalists, cartoonists, cops. And how they were killed. Masked gunmen, Kalashnikov automatic rifles, ruthless, almost professional nonchalance. And the answer to “why” was helpfully supplied by the murderers. They wanted to avenge “the Prophet” for Charlie Hebdo’s irreverent and (for Muslims) highly offensive cartoons. And of course, we must all repeat the rubric: nothing – nothing ever – could justify these cruel acts of mass murder. And no, the killers cannot call on history to justify their crimes.
But there’s an important context that somehow got left out of the story this week, the “history corner” that many Frenchmen as well as Algerians prefer to ignore: the bloody 1954-62 struggle of an entire people for freedom against a brutal imperial regime, a prolonged war which remains the foundational quarrel of Arabs and French to this day.
The desperate and permanent crisis in Algerian-French relations, like the refusal of a divorced couple to accept an agreed narrative of their sorrow, poisons the cohabitation of these two peoples in France. However Cherif and Said Kouachi excused their actions, they were born at a time when Algeria had been invisibly mutilated by 132 years of occupation. Perhaps five million of France’s six and a half million Muslims are Algerian. Most are poor, many regard themselves as second-class citizens in the land of equality.
Like all tragedies, Algeria’s eludes the one-paragraph explanation of news agency dispatches, even the shorter histories written by both sides after the French abandoned Algeria in 1962.
For unlike other important French dependencies or colonies, Algeria was regarded as an integral part of metropolitan France, sending representatives to the French parliament in Paris, even providing Charles de Gaulle and the Allies with a French “capital” from which to invade Nazi-occupied north Africa and Sicily.
More than 100 years earlier, France had invaded Algeria itself, subjugating its native Muslim population, building small French towns and chateaux across the countryside, even – in an early 19th-century Catholic renaissance which was supposed to “re-Christianise” northern Africa – converting mosques into churches.
The Algerian response to what today appears to be a monstrous historical anachronism varied over the decades between lassitude, collaboration and insurrection. A demonstration for independence in the Muslim-majority and nationalist town of Sétif on VE Day – when the Allies had liberated the captive countries of Europe – resulted in the killing of 103 European civilians. French government revenge was ruthless; up to 700 Muslim civilians – perhaps far more – were killed by infuriated French “colons” and in bombardment of surrounding villages by French aircraft and a naval cruiser. The world paid little attention.
But when a full-scale insurrection broke out in 1954 – at first, of course, ambushes with few French lives lost and then attacks on the French army – the sombre war of Algerian liberation was almost preordained. Beaten in that classic post-war anti-colonial battle at Dien Bien Phu, the French army, after its debacle in 1940, seemed vulnerable to the more romantic Algerian nationalists who noted France’s further humiliation at Suez in 1956.
French military police drive through Algiers during the insurrection (Keystone/Getty Images)
What the historian Alistair Horne rightly described in his magnificent history of the Algerian struggle as “a savage war of peace” took the lives of hundreds of thousands. Bombs, booby traps, massacres by government forces and National Liberation Front guerrillas in the “bled” – the countryside south of the Mediterranean – led to the brutal suppression of Muslim sectors of Algiers, the assassination, torture and execution of guerrilla leaders by French paratroopers, soldiers, Foreign Legion operatives – including German ex-Nazis – and paramilitary police. Even white French sympathisers of the Algerians were “disappeared”. Albert Camus spoke out against torture and French civil servants were sickened by the brutality employed to keep Algeria French.
De Gaulle appeared to support the white population and said as much in Algiers – “Je vous ai compris,” he told them – and then proceeded to negotiate with FLN representatives in France. Algerians had long provided the majority of France’s Muslim population and in October 1961 up to 30,000 of them staged a banned independence rally in Paris – in fact, scarcely a mile from the scene of last week’s slaughter – which was attacked by French police units who murdered, it is now acknowledged, up to 600 of the protesters.
A crowd of Algerian demonstrators outside Government House, carrying Charles de Gaulle posters during the Algerian war of independence in 1985 (Getty Images)
Algerians were beaten to death in police barracks or thrown into the Seine. The police chief who supervised security operations and who apparently directed the 1961 massacre was none other than Maurice Papon – who was, almost 40 years later, convicted for crimes against humanity under Petain’s Vichy regime during the Nazi occupation.
The Algerian conflict finished in a bloodbath. White “pied noir” French colonists refused to accept France’s withdrawal, supported the secret OAS in attacking Algerian Muslims and encouraged French military units to mutiny. At one point, De Gaulle feared that French paratroopers would try to take over Paris.
When the end came, despite FLN promises to protect French citizens who chose to stay in Algeria, there were mass killings in Oran. Up to a million and a half white French men, women and children – faced with a choice of “the coffin or the suitcase” – left for France, along with thousands of loyal Algerian “harki” fighters who fought with the army but were then largely abandoned to their terrible fate by De Gaulle. Some were forced to swallow their own French military medals and thrown into mass graves.
Algerian rebels training to use weapons in 1958 (Getty Images)
But the former French colonists, who still regarded Algeria as French – along with an exhausted FLN dictatorship which took over the independent country – instituted a cold peace in which Algeria’s residual anger, in France as well as in the homeland, settled into long-standing resentment. In Algeria, the new nationalist elite embarked on a hopeless Soviet-style industrialisation of their country. Former French citizens demanded massive reparations; indeed, for decades, the French kept all the drainage maps of major Algerian cities so that the new owners of Algeria had to dig up square miles of city streets every time a water main burst.
And when the Algerian civil war of the 1980s commenced – after the Algerian army cancelled a second round of elections which Islamists were sure to win – the corrupt FLN “pouvoir” and the Muslim rebels embarked on a conflict every bit as gruesome as the Franco-Algerian war of the 1950s and 1960s. Torture, disappearances, village massacres all resumed. France discreetly supported a dictatorship whose military leaders salted away millions of dollars in Swiss banks.
Algerian Muslims returning from the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan joined the Islamists in the mountains, killing some of the few remaining French citizens in Algeria. And many subsequently left to fight in the Islamist wars, in Iraq and later Syria.
Enter here the Kouachi brothers, especially Chérif, who was imprisoned for taking Frenchmen to fight against the Americans in Iraq. And the United States, with French support, now backs the FLN regime in its continuing battle against Islamists in Algeria’s deserts and mountain forests, arming a military which tortured and murdered thousands of men in the 1990s.
As an American diplomat said just before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the United States “has much to learn” from the Algerian authorities. You can see why some Algerians went to fight for the Iraqi resistance. And found a new cause…
Some killings are reported on in a slightly different manner from how the Charlie Hebdo killings have been. Rewriting a drone killing as a gun killing (changing just a few words) would produce something like this:
Freedom Fighters Gun Strike in Europe Is Said to Have Killed 12 Militants
PARIS, France — At least 12 foreign militants were believed to have been killed in a freedom fighter gun strike in the North Paris tribal region on Wednesday morning, a Liberation security official said.
The Liberation official said guns fired 128 precision bullets into a compound in the Cafe Au Lait subdistrict at 6:40 a.m. The area is close to the headquarters of numerous French businesses.
“The guns targeted a base of a French commander known as Francoise, killing 12 French militants. Two militants are wounded,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the news media.
It was unclear whether Francoise was there at the time of the attack. The local news media has reported that he is allied with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and engaged in plans to ship troops and weaponry to Western Asia.
Gun strikes in France, often attributed to Muslims, prompt regular diplomatic protests from the entire Western world.
Separately, the Liberation military said four terrorist hide-outs and a training center for bombers were damaged by gun strikes late Saturday in a remote suburb of the nearby South Paris tribal region.
In a brief statement, the military said that “6 terrorists, including some bomber pilots, were killed in precise gun strikes.” There was no independent confirmation of the military’s claim.
Last summer, the Liberation military launched a long-awaited offensive against French and foreign militants holed up in the Western Europe region. The military claims that it now controls 0.4 percent of the region.
NATO attacks in recent years have left hundreds of thousands dead.
In contrast, rewriting a Charlie Hebdo report as a drone report might produce something like this:
Drone attack on Pakistani house kills 12
Drone pilots have shot dead 12 people at the home of their grandmother in an apparent militant Imperialist attack.
Four of the family’s youngest generation, including its new-born infant were among those killed, as well as two friends visiting at the time.
A major police operation is under way to find three drone pilots believed to be hiding out in Langley, Virginia.
President Mamnoon Hussain said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.
It is believed to be the deadliest attack in Pakistan since last Tuesday, when another drone — or possibly the same one — sent a missile into a picnic killing 18.
The distant faceless attackers opened fire with hellfire missiles in the sky above the family’s home and faced no opposition. They later flew the drone higher in the sky, presumably recording video footage, the buzzing of their deadly machine still audible below as rescuers waited for it to leave before daring to search for survivors.
People had been “murdered in a cowardly manner”, presidents and leaders around the globe remarked in unison. U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the “horrific shooting”, offering to provide any assistance needed “to help bring these terrorists to justice”.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “It was a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime. It was also a direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy, on the safety of a family in its home.”
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in a tweet: “The murders in Pakistan are sickening. We stand with the Pakistani people in the fight against terror.”
Eurocentric clubs and Christian churches around the world rushed to condemn the killing.
Footage shot by an eyewitness outside the house shows scattered rubble and what appears to be bits of flesh and clothing hanging from a nearby tree.
There are two ways to look at the alleged terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo
One is that in the English speaking world, or much of it, the satire would have been regarded as “hate speech,” and the satirists arrested. But in France Muslims are excluded from the privileged category, took offense at the satire, and retaliated.
Why would Muslims bother? By now Muslims must be accustomed to Western hypocrisy and double standards. Little doubt that Muslims are angry that they do not enjoy the protections other minorities receive, but why retaliate for satire but not for France’s participation in Washington’s wars against Muslims in which hundreds of thousands have died? Isn’t being killed more serious than being satirized?
France is suffering from the Washington-imposed sanctions against Russia. Shipyards are impacted from being unable to deliver Russian orders due to France’s vassalage status to Washington, and other aspects of the French economy are being adversely impacted by sanctions that Washington forced its NATO puppet states to apply to Russia.
This week the French president said that the sanctions against Russia should end (so did the German vice-chancellor).
This is too much foreign policy independence on France’s part for Washington. Has Washington resurrected “Operation Gladio,” which consisted of CIA bombing attacks against Europeans during the post-WW II era that Washington blamed on communists and used to destroy communist influence in European elections? Just as the world was led to believe that communists were behind Operation Gladio’s terrorist attacks, Muslims are blamed for the attacks on the French satirical magazine.
The Roman question is always: Who benefits? The answer is: Not France, not Muslims, but US world hegemony. US hegemony over the world is what the CIA supports. US world hegemony is the neoconservative-imposed foreign policy of the US.
According to National Public Radio, Charlie Hebdo is about free speech. The US has free speech, claim NPR’s pundits, but terrorists have taken it away from the French.
Just how does the US have free speech when NY Times reporter James Risen was psychologically put on the rack to force him to reveal his source, despite the fact that Risen and his source are protected by the US Constitution and whistleblower protections. Clearly, in the US “national security” has trumped everything else.
“National security” has nothing to do with national security. It has only to do with protecting the criminals in the US government from accountability for their crimes. Every time you hear Washington invoke “national security,” you know for a 100% fact that the government has committed yet another crime. National security is the cloak for Washington’s criminal operations. “National security” prevents the government’s crimes from coming to light and, thereby, protects government from accountability.
One wonders what role “national security” will play in the trial of alleged Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev has been in custody since April 2013 and under indictment since April 22, 2013. Yet jury selection is only now beginning in January 2015. Why this long delay? The guarantee of a speedy trial no longer means anything, but with all sorts of charges in addition to the bombing for which the government claims eye witnesses and confessions and with the Tsarnaev brothers already convicted in the media, the long delay is a puzzle. Yet, we have not heard from Dzhokhar Tsarnaey himself. It is difficult to push away the thought that Dzhokhar’s trial has been delayed in order to compete his conditioning and acceptance of his guilt and in order for the many questions raised by alternative media to be forgotten.
The print and TV media have dished up the government’s explanation without investigation. However, the alternative media have taken great exception to every aspect of the case. As the US government has taught us since the Clinton regime, the safest assumption is that everything the government says is a lie.
The most suspicious aspect of the event was the speed with which an army of 10,000 heavily armed troops consisting of police from various jurisdictions and National Guard soldiers outfitted in military gear and provided with tanks or armored personnel carriers were on the streets of Boston. Never before has such a massive force equipped with military heavy equipment been employed in a manhunt, much less for one wounded, unarmed, 19-year old kid.
For such a force to be assembled and deployed so quickly suggests pre-planning. What was presented as a manhunt for one badly wounded suspect looks more like a test case and precedent for locking down one of America’s largest cities, while squads of troops evicted US citizens from their homes at gunpoint and conducted indiscriminate searches of houses that contributed nothing to apprehending the alleged suspect. The chances are zero that any household would have harbored a badly wounded unarmed fugitive dying from the lack of medical care.
Not only was Boston and its suburbs locked down, the Federal Aviation Administration restricted airspace over Boston and issued a “ground stop” for Logan airport. Why?
Several other cities in Massachusetts and even some other states put their police forces on alert. Why?
On the scene were the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the CIA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Counterterrorism Center. The US Attorney General committed the full resources of the US Department of Justice.Why?
The only plausible answer is to raise the fear level in order to gain the public’s acceptance of the lockdown of Boston and police invasions of citizens’ homes. It makes no sense that danger from a badly wounded unarmed 19 year-old could possibly justify such expense and trampling of constitutional rights of citizens.
The gullible always say that if a conspiracy existed someone would have talked. But people do talk. It just doesn’t do any good. For example, during George W. Bush’s first term a NSA whistleblower leaked to the New York Times that the NSA was bypassing the FISA Court and spying on American citizens without warrants. Under US law, NSA was in a conspiracy with the Bush regime to commit serious felonies (possibly for the purpose of blackmail), but the New York Times spiked the story for one year until George W. Bush was re-elected and the regime had time to ex post facto legalize the felonies.
Operation Gladio was a conspiracy kept secret for decades until a President of Italy revealed it.
The Northwoods Project was kept secret until years afterward when the second Kennedy Commission revealed it.
More than one hundred first responder police and firemen report hearing and personally experiencing multiple explosions floor by floor and even in the sub-basements of the World Trade Center twin towers, and these testimonies had no effect whatsoever.
It only took one high school physics professor to shoot down NIST’s account of the collapse of WTC 7. The fact that it has been conclusively proven that this building was brought down by controlled demolition has had no effect on the official story.
The co-chairmen and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission published books in which they say that information was withheld from the Commission, that the US Military lied to the Commission, and that the Commission “was set up to fail.” Neither Congress, the media, nor the US public had any interest in investigating why information was withheld, why the military lied, and why the Commission was set up to fail. These extraordinary statements by the leaders of the official investigation had no impact whatsoever.
Even today a majority of the US population believes Washington’s propaganda that Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed some provinces. Neither judgement nor intelligence are strongpoints of the American public and juries.
Government tells Americans whatever story the government puts together and sits and laughs at the gullibility of the public.
Today the US public is divided between those who rely on the “mainstream media” and those who rely on the alternative Internet media. Only the latter have any clue as to what is really happening.
The stories of Charlie Hebdo and the Tsarnaev brothers will be based not on facts but on the interests of government. As in the past, the government’s interest will prevail over the facts.