Monday, January 12, 2015

False Flags, Charlie Hebdo and Tsarnaev’s Trial: Cui bono?

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 12.01.2015 | 13:45

According to news reports, police found the ID of Said Kouachi at the scene of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Does this sound familiar? Remember, authorities claimed to have found the undamaged passport of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers among the massive pulverized ruins of the twin towers. Once the authorities discover that the stupid Western peoples will believe any transparent lie, the authorities use the lie again and again. The police claim to have discovered a dropped ID is a sure indication that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an inside job and that people identified by NSA as hostile to the Western wars against Muslims are going to be framed for an inside job designed to pull France firmly back under Washington’s thumb.
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?
Another way of seeing the attack is as an attack designed to shore up France’s vassal status to Washington. The suspects can be both guilty and patsies. Just remember all the terrorist plots created by the FBI that served to make the terrorism threat real to Americans. [4]
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.
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.
A non-gullible person must wonder if the bombing was an orchestrated event for the purpose of coordinating state, local, and federal governments in the lockdown of a major city. A poll of Bostonians last July found that 42 percent harbored doubts about the official version of events.
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.

Well known writers Thierry Meyssan and Kevin Barrett see the “terrorist” attach on Charlie Hebdo as a false flag attack. See [1] and [2]
Update: According to news reports, one of the accused in the attack on Charlie Hebdo when hearing that he was being sought for the crime turned himself in to police with an ironclad alibi[3]

It’s Past Time to Wake Up, America, and Look Around by Ann Jones and Tom Dispatch

Is This Country Crazy? Inquiring Minds Elsewhere Want to Know Sunday, January 11, 2015 It’s past time to wake up, America, and look around byAnn Jones Americans who live abroad — more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government) — often face hard questions about our country from …
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Das andere Europa

Russland und der Westen

von Karl Müller
Verschiedene Medien haben am Ende des vergangenen Jahres europäische Stimmen zu Wort kommen lassen oder zitiert, die mit dem Konfrontationskurs gegen Russland nicht einverstanden sind.
Hier eine kleine Auswahl:
«Ich kann doch nicht übersehen, und das ist an sich kein Zufall, Henry Kissinger, Helmut Schmidt, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, sogar, natürlich, Helmut Kohl, von Michael Gorbatschow ganz zu schweigen, sind alles alte Herren – und sie sind gemeinsam der Auffassung: Es gibt keine Stabilität in Europa ohne Russland, sondern nur mit Russland. Und ich fühle mich in dieser Gesellschaft sehr wohl.» Das sagte Egon Bahr in einem Interview mit dem Magazin Compact (Ausgabe 1/2015). Der heute 92jährige ist einer der Väter der deutschen Entspannungspolitik in den sechziger und siebziger Jahren. Sein Wort hat bis heute international Gewicht.
Ungarns Premierminister Viktor Orban hat sich im ungarischen Fernsehen erneut zur Rolle der USA in Europa geäussert und diese kritisiert («Deutsch-Russische Wirtschaftsnachrichten» vom 24.12.2014). Orban wirft den USA vor, «in unzulässigem Ausmass in der Innenpolitik mitteleuropäischer Länder mitzumischen». Zum geplanten Abkommen TTIP sagte er: «Es ist unübersehbar, dass es bei der Handels- und Energiepolitik um klare amerikanische Interessen geht.» Mittels des Ukraine-Konfliktes wollten die USA «uns in einen Konflikt hineinziehen, der für uns nur schädlich ist. Zwischen Russland und den USA beginnt ein kalter Krieg, an dem wollen wir nicht teilhaben.»
Interessant auch das, was die «Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung» am 20. Dezember aus Frankreich berichtete. Zwar heisst es im Untertitel abwertend: «Frankreichs Rechte verehrt Russland als Verteidiger der christlichen Zivilisation», der Text selbst lässt aber auch Stimmen aus anderen politischen Lagern zu Wort kommen. «Einer der schärfsten Kritiker der Sanktionspolitik [gegen Russland] ist der UMP-Abgeordnete Thierry Mariani. Der frühere Verkehrsminister verfügt über gute Kontakte in Wirtschaftskreise und nutzt diese, um die Beziehungen zu Russland trotz der Sanktionen zu pflegen. ‹Was sich beim Sturz Janukowitschs in der Ukraine ereignet hat, ist nichts anderes als ein vom Westen und der Nato unterstützter Putsch›, sagte Mariani.»
Der Franzose Mariani steht mit dieser Analyse auch im Westen keineswegs alleine. Hier sei nur an den US-amerikanischen ­Politikwissenschaftler John J. Mearsheimer erinnert, der in seiner ausführlichen Analyse «Warum der Westen an der Ukraine-Krise schuld ist» (Original in Foreign Affairs vom September/Oktober 2014; deutsche Übersetzung in Zeit-Fragen, Nr. 22 vom 9.9.2014) zu dem Ergebnis kommt, in der Ukraine habe «Washington […] den Staatsstreich offenkundig unterstützt».
Mariani, so die «Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung» weiter, finde mit seiner Position auch in seiner Partei viel Unterstützung, insbesondere bei denjenigen, die sich nach wie vor der Politik des ehemaligen Staatspräsidenten und Generals de Gaulle verpflichtet fühlen, der ein «Europa vom Atlantik bis zum Ural» gefordert hatte. Aus der französischen Linken äusserte sich der ehemalige Verteidigungsminister Jean-Pierre Chevènement. Chevènement wirbt für eine strategische Partnerschaft mit Russland. Deutlich auch die Aussage des Wortführers der französischen Linkspartei, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Er kritisierte die offizielle Politik. Frankreich reagiere gegenüber Moskau «nur noch wie ein Vasall Amerikas».
Einem Bericht der «Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung» vom 27. Dezember kann man entnehmen, dass der Präsident der Republik Tschechien, Milos Zeman, ebenfalls zu den Kritikern der westlichen Russland­politik gehört. Präsident Zeman wird mit den Worten wiedergegeben, dass man die Wahrheit über die Lage in der Ukraine eher vom russischen Aussenminister Lawrow als von den Nachrichtendiensten der Nato erfahre. In der Ukraine finde ein «Bürgerkrieg» statt, von einer russischen Aggression könne keine Rede sein. Die Sanktionen gegen Russland widersprächen dem «Dialog der Zivilisationen».
Interessant auch das, was die «Neue Zürcher Zeitung» am 27. Dezember aus Deutschland berichtete. Gleich zu Beginn heisst es: «Die deutschen Sozialdemokraten haben zunehmend Mühe mit den Sanktionen gegen Russland. […] Vertraute des Aussenministers [Frank-Walter Steinmeier von der SPD] sprechen sich dafür aus, die Sanktionen zu lockern.»
Intern, so die Zeitung weiter, «wird in der SPD darauf verwiesen, dass es in anderen EU-Ländern wie Italien, Ungarn, Bulgarien oder der Slowakei starke Kräfte gebe, die auf eine rasche Aufhebung der Sanktionen drängten». Der deutsche Aussenminister habe der Kanzlerin widersprochen, nachdem diese im australischen Sydney einen scharfen Ton gegen Russland gewählt hatte. Man dürfe sich durch öffentliche Äusserungen «nicht die Möglichkeit verbauen, zur Entspannung und Entschärfung des Konflikts beizutragen».
In dieselbe Richtung weist ein Treffen deutscher und russischer Medienvertreter am 18. Dezember im russischen Sotschi. Das Treffen fand trotz beziehungsweise wegen der angespannten Beziehungen statt und wurde vom «Petersburger Dialog» veranstaltet. Einstimmig, also von deutschen und russischen Journalisten getragen, wurde folgende kurze Resolution verabschiedet:
«Die Arbeitsgruppe Medien des Petersburger Dialogs tagte am 18. Dezember 2014 in Sotschi. Nach einer kontroversen und mit grosser Leidenschaft geführten Diskussion über den Zustand der deutsch-russischen Beziehungen fordern beide Seiten, den Petersburger Dialog als zivilgesellschaftliches Gespräch beider Länder fortzusetzen. In dieser spannungsgeladenen Zeit wird ein solches Forum mehr denn je gebraucht. Die Teilnehmer wollen daran mitwirken, die öffentliche Debatte zu versachlichen. Gerade Journalisten müssen zur verbalen Abrüstung beitragen. Bei dieser wichtigen Aufgabe dürfen sie nicht behindert werden. Für das gegenseitige Verständnis ist es förderlich, sich auf nach wie vor bestehende Gemeinsamkeiten zu besinnen. Einen guten Anlass dafür bietet der bevorstehende 70. Jahrestag des Kriegsendes und der Befreiung Deutschlands vom Nationalsozialismus. In dieser Verantwortung wird die AG Medien des Petersburger Dialogs weiterarbeiten. Wir erwarten dabei Unterstützung von den Regierungen beider Länder.» (Hervorhebungen durch den Autor)
Der deutsche Koordinator des Treffens, der Rundfunkdirektor des Mitteldeutschen Rundfunks MDR, Johann Michael Möller, wurde am 29. Dezember wie folgt von der «Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung» wiedergegeben: «Wie andere Gäste beklagt auch MDR-Hörfunkdirektor Johann Michael Möller, der Koordinator auf deutscher Seite, den alarmierend aggressiven, geradezu gesinnungsprüferischen Ton in deutschen Medien, wenn es um das Thema Russland und die Ukraine gehe.»
Alle diese Stimmen, das muss man hinzufügen, werden in denjenigen europäischen Medien, die der offiziellen Politik der USA verpflichtet sind, mit sehr viel Polemik überschüttet. Aber nach wie vor gibt es diese Persönlichkeiten, die sich davon nicht abschrecken lassen. Das Ringen wird auch im Jahr 2015 weitergehen. An uns Bürger richtet sich die Frage, was wir dafür tun können, dass das andere Europa an Gewicht gewinnt.
Vielleicht hilft dabei auch das, was die «Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung» am letzten Tag des Jahres, am 31. Dezember, als «Pragmatismus» im britischen «Sicherheitsestablishment» bezeichnete. Tony Brenton, der frühere britische Botschafter in Moskau, wird am Ende des Artikels mit folgenden Worten zitiert: «In den Tagen, als die Aussenpolitiker noch in langen Zeiträumen dachten, hätte die Aussicht einiges Unbehagen ausgelöst, dass Europa sich mit einem verbitterten, nuklear bewaffneten Russland anlegt, das gleichzeitig seine Beziehungen zu China ausbaut […]. Ist es nicht an der Zeit, auf ein fraglos geschwächtes Russland zuzugehen und einen Ausweg aus der Ukraine zu finden, der jedermanns Interessen berücksichtigt?»  

On Leaving America

Mr. Edwin D. Etherington,
Wesleyan University,
Middletown, Conn.
Dear Mr. President,
I hereby ask you to accept my resignation as a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies at Wesleyan University. At the same time, I wish to thank you, as best I can, for the hospitality which you have shown me during my stay here. The very least I owe to you, to the faculty, and to the students is an account of my reasons for leaving Wesleyan.
Let me begin with a few elementary considerations. I believe the class which rules the United States of America, and the government which implements its policies, to be the most dangerous body of men on earth. In one way or another, and to a different degree, this class is a threat to anybody who is not part of it. It is waging an undeclared war against more than a billion people; its weapons range from saturation bombing to the most delicate techniques of persuasion; its aim is to establish its political, economic, and military predominance over every other power in the world. Its mortal enemy is revolutionary change.
Many Americans are deeply troubled by the state of their nation. They reject the war which is being waged in their name against the people of Vietnam. They look for ways and means to end the latent civil war in the ghettos of American cities. But most of them still hold on to the idea that these crises are unfortunate accidents, due to faulty management and lack of understanding: tragical errors on the part of an otherwise peaceful, sane, and well-intentioned world power.
To this interpretation I cannot agree. The Vietnam war is not an isolated phenomenon. It is the most visible outcome and, at the same time, the bloodiest test case of a coherent international policy which applies to five continents. The ruling class of the United States has taken sides in the armed struggles of Guatemala and Indonesia, of Laos and Bolivia, of Korea and Colombia, of the Philippines and of Venezuela, of the Congo and of the Dominican Republic. This is not an exhaustive list. Many other countries are governed, with American support, by oppression, corruption, and starvation. Nobody can feel safe and secure any more, not in Europe, and not even in the United States itself.
There is nothing surprising and original about the simple truth I am stating here. I have no space to qualify and differentiate it in any scientific way. Others, many of them American scholars like Baran and Horowitz, Huberman and Sweezy, Zinn and Chomsky, have done so at great length. From what I could gather here, the academic community does not think much of their work. It has been called old-fashioned, boring, and rhetorical; the outgrowth of a paranoid imagination or simply communist propaganda. These defense mechanisms are part of the Western intellectual’s standard equipment. Since I have frequently met with them here, I take the liberty of examining them more closely.
The first argument is really a matter of semantics. Our society has seen fit to be permissive about the old taboos of language. Nobody is shocked any more by the ancient and indispensable four-letter-words. At the same time, a new crop of words has been banished, by common consent, from polite society: words likeexploitation and imperialism. They have acquired a touch of obscenity. Political scientists have taken to paraphrases and circumlocution which sound like the neurotic euphemisms of the Victorians. Some sociologists have gone so far as to deny the very existence of a ruling class. Obviously, it is easier to abolish the word exploitation than the thing it designates; but then, to do away with the term is not to do away with the problem.
A second defense device is using psychology as a shield. I have been told that it is sick and paranoid to conceive of a powerful set of people who are a danger to the rest of the world. This amounts to saying that instead of listening to his arguments it is better to watch the patient. Now it is not an easy thing to defend yourself against amateur psychiatrists. I shall limit myself to a few essential points. I do not imagine a conspiracy, since there is no need for such a thing. A social class, and especially a ruling class, is not held together by secret bonds, but by common and glaringly evident self-interest. I do not fabricate monsters. Everybody knows that bank presidents, generals, and military industrialists do not look like comicstrip demons: they are well-mannered, nice gentlemen, possibly lovers of chamber music with a philanthropic bent of mind. There was no lack of such kind people even in the Germany of the Thirties. Their moral insanity does not derive from their individual character, but from their social function.
Finally, there is a political defense mechanism operating with the assertion that all of the things which I submit are just communist propaganda. I have no reason to fear this time-honored indictment. It is inaccurate, vague, and irrational. First of all, the wordCommunism, used as a singular, has become rather meaningless. It covers a wide variety of conflicting ideas; some of them are even mutually exclusive. Furthermore, my opinion of American foreign policy is shared by Greek liberals and Latin American archbishops, by Norwegian peasants and French industrialists: people who are not generally thought of as being in the vanguard of “Communism.”
The fact is that most Americans have no idea of what they and their country look like to the outside world. I have seen the glance that follows them: tourists in the streets of Mexico, soldiers on leave in Far Eastern cities, businessmen in Italy or Sweden. The same glance is cast on your embassies, your destroyers, your billboards all over the world. It is a terrible look, because it makes no distinctions and no allowances. I will tell you why I recognize this look. It is because I am a German. It is because I have felt it on myself.
If you try to analyze it, you will find a blend of distrust and resentment, fear and envy, contempt and outright hate. It hits your President, for whom there is hardly any capital left in the world where he can show his face in public; but it also hits the kind old lady across the aisle on the flight from Delhi to Benares. It is an indiscriminate, a manichaean look. I do not like it. I do not share your President’s belief in collective graft and in collective guilt. “Don’t forget,” he told his soldiers in Korea, “there are only 200 million of us in the world of three billion. They want what we’ve got, and we’re not going to give it to them.” Now it is perfectly true that we all take some share in the pillage of the Third World. Economists like Dobb and Bettelheim, Jalée and Robinson have shown ample evidence for the contention that the poor countries, which we are underdeveloping, subsidize our economies. But surely Mr. Johnson is overstating his case when he implies that the American people are but a single, solid corporate giant fighting for its loot. There is more to admire in America than meets Mr. Johnson’s eye. I find little in Europe that could compare with the fight put up by people in SNCC, SDS, and in Resist. And I may add that I resent the air of moral superiority which many Europeans nowadays affect with respect to the United States. They seem to regard it as a personal merit that their own empires have been shattered. This, of course, is hypocritical nonsense.
However, there is such a thing as a political responsibility for what your own country is doing to the rest of the world, as the Germans found out to their cost after both World Wars. In more than one way, the state of your Union reminds me of my own country’s state in the middle Thirties. Before you reject this comparison, I ask you to reflect that nobody had heard or thought of gas chambers at that time; that respectable statesmen visited Berlin and shook hands with the Chancellor of the Reich; and that most people refused to believe that Germany had set out to dominate the world. Of course, everybody could see that there was a lot of racial discrimination and persecution going on; the armament budget went up at an alarming rate; and there was a growing involvement in the war against the Spanish revolution.
But here my analogy breaks down. For not only do our present masters wield a destructive power of which the Nazis could never dream; they have also reached a degree of subtlety and sophistication unheard of in the crude old days. Verbal opposition is today in danger of becoming a harmless spectator sport, licensed, well-regulated and, up to a point, even encouraged by the powerful. The universities have become a favorite playground for this ambiguous game. Of course, only a dogmatic of the most abominable sort could argue that censorship and open repression would be preferable to the precarious and deceptive freedom which we are now enjoying. But, on the other hand, only a fool can ignore that this very freedom has created new alibis, pitfalls, and dilemmas for those who oppose the system. It took me three months to discover that the advantages which you gave me would end up by disarming me; that in accepting your invitation and your grant, I had lost my credibility; and that the mere fact of my being here on these terms would devalue whatever I might have to say. “To judge an intellectual it is not enough to examine his ideas: it is the relation between his ideas and his acts which counts.” This piece of advice, offered by Régis Debray, has some bearing on my present situation. To make it clear that I mean what I say, I have to put an end to it.
It is a necessary, but hardly a sufficient, thing to do. For it is one thing to study imperialism in comfort, and quite another thing to confront it where it shows a less benevolent face. I have just returned from a trip to Cuba. I saw the agents of the CIA in the airport of Mexico City taking pictures of every passenger leaving for Havana; I saw the silhouettes of American warships off the Cuban coast; I saw the traces of the American invasion at the Bay of Pigs; I saw the heritage of an imperialist economy and the scars it left on the body and on the mind of a small country; I saw the daily siege which forces the Cubans to import every single spoon they use from Czechoslovakia and every single gallon of gasoline from the Soviet Union, because the United States has been trying for seven years to starve them into surrender.
I have made up my mind to go to Cuba and to work there for a substantial period of time. This is hardly a sacrifice on my part; I just feel that I can learn more from the Cuban people and be of greater use to them than I could ever be to the students of Wesleyan University.
This letter is a meagre way of thanking you for your hospitality, and I very much regret that it is all I have to offer in return for three peaceful months. I realize, of course, that my case is, by itself, of no importance or interest to the outside world. However, the questions which it raises do not concern me alone. Let me therefore try to answer them, as best I can, in public.
Yours faithfully,
Hans Magnus Enzensberger

January 31, 1968

An Orgy of Democratic Hypocrisy: “Free Speech” in the Aftermath of the Attack on Charlie Hebdo By David North, Information Clearinghouse

January 11, 2015 "ICH" - "WSWS" - The attack on the editorial offices of CharlieHebdo has shocked the public, which is horrified by the violent deaths of 12 people in the center of Paris. The video images, viewed by millions, of the gunmen firing their weapons and killing an already-wounded policeman have imparted to Wednesday’s events an extraordinary actuality.
In the immediate aftermath of the shootings, the state and media are seeking to exploit the fear and the confusion of the public. Once again, the political bankruptcy and essentially reactionary character of terrorism is exposed. It serves the interests of the state, which utilizes the opportunity provided by the terrorists to whip up support for authoritarianism and militarism. 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 these efforts Hollande can rely on the media, which in such circumstances directs all its energies toward the emotional manipulation and political disorientation of the public. The capitalist media, skillfully combining the suppression of information with half-truths and outright lies, devises a narrative that is calculated to appeal not only to the basest instincts of the broad public, but also to its democratic and idealistic sentiments.
Throughout Europe and the United States, the claim is being made that the attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo was an assault on the freedom of the press and the unalienable right of journalists in a democratic society to express themselves without loss of freedom or fear for their lives. The killing of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and editors is being proclaimed an assault on the principles of free speech that are, supposedly, held so dear in Europe and the United States. The attack on Charlie Hebdo is, thus, presented as another outrage by Muslims who cannot tolerate Western “freedoms.” From this the conclusion must be drawn that the “war on terror”—i.e., the imperialist onslaught on the Middle East, Central Asia and North and Central Africa—is an unavoidable necessity.
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” allegations 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!
The dishonest and hypocritical narrative spun out by the state and the media requires that Charlie Hebdo and its murdered cartoonists and journalists be upheld as martyrs to free speech and representatives of a revered democratic tradition of hard-hitting iconoclastic journalism.
In a column published Wednesday in the Financial Times, the liberal historian Simon Schama places Charlie Hebdo in a glorious tradition of journalistic irreverence that “is the lifeblood of freedom.” He recalls the great European satirists between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries who subjected the great and powerful to their withering scorn. Among their illustrious targets, Schama reminds us, were the brutal Duke of Alba, who in the 1500s drowned the Dutch struggle for freedom in blood; the French “Sun King,” Louis XIV; the British Prime Minister William Pitt; and the Prince of Wales. “Satire,” writes Schama, “became the oxygen of politics, ventilating healthy howls of derision in coffee houses and taverns where caricatures circulated every day and every week.”
Schama places Charlie Hebdo in a tradition to which it does not belong. All the great satirists to whom Schama refers were representatives of a democratic Enlightenment who directed their scorn against the powerful and corrupt defenders of aristocratic privilege. In its relentlessly degrading portrayals of Muslims, Charlie Hebdo has mocked the poor and the powerless.
To speak bluntly and honestly about the sordid, cynical and degraded character of Charlie Hebdo is not to condone the killing of its personnel. But when the slogan “I am Charlie” is adopted and heavily promoted by the media as the slogan of protest demonstrations, those who have not been overwhelmed by state and media propaganda are obligated to reply: “We oppose the violent assault on the magazine, but we are not—and have nothing in common with—‘Charlie.’”
Marxists are no strangers to the struggle to overcome the influence of religion among the masses. But they conduct this struggle with the understanding that religious faith is sustained by conditions of adversity and desperate hardship. Religion is not to be mocked, but understood and criticized as Karl Marx understood and criticized it:
Religious distress is … the expression of real distress and also the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
“To abolish religion as the illusory happiness of the people is to demand their realhappiness. The demand to give up illusions about the existing affairs is the demand to give up a state of affairs that needs illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of the vale of tears, the halo of which is religion.” [Contribution to Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law, in Marx and Engels Collected Works, Volume 3 (New York, 1975), pp. 175-76]
One has only to read these words to see the intellectual and moral chasm that separates Marxism from the unhealthy milieu of the ex-left political cynicism that has found expression in Charlie Hebdo. There has been nothing enlightening, let alone edifying, in their puerile and often obscene denigration of the Muslim religion and its traditions.
The cynically provocative anti-Muslim caricatures that have appeared on so many covers of Charlie Hebdo have pandered to and facilitated the growth of right-wing chauvinist movements in France. It is absurd to claim, by way of defense of Charlie Hebdo, that its cartoons are all “in good fun” and have no political consequences. Aside from the fact that the French government is desperate to rally support for its growing military agenda in Africa and the Middle East, France is a country where the influence of the neo-fascist National Front is growing rapidly. In this political context, Charlie Hebdo has facilitated the growth of a form of politicized anti-Muslim sentiment that bears a disturbing resemblance to the politicized anti-Semitism that emerged as a mass movement in France in the 1890s.
In its use of crude and vulgar caricatures that purvey a sinister and stereotyped image of Muslims, Charlie Hebdo recalls the cheap racist publications that played a significant role in fostering the anti-Semitic agitation that swept France during the famous Dreyfus Affair, which erupted in 1894 after a Jewish officer was accused and falsely convicted of espionage on behalf of Germany. In whipping up popular hatred of Jews, La Libre Parole [“Free Speech”], published by the infamous Edoard Adolfe Drumont, made highly effective use of cartoons that employed the familiar anti-Semitic devices. The caricatures served to inflame public opinion, inciting mobs against Dreyfus and his defenders, such as Emile Zola, the great novelist and author of J’Accuse.
The World Socialist Web Site, on the basis of long-standing political principles, opposes and unequivocally condemns the terrorist assault on Charlie Hebdo. But we refuse to join in the portrayal of Charlie Hebdo as a martyr to the cause of democracy and free speech, and we warn our readers to be wary of the reactionary agenda that motivates this hypocritical and dishonest campaign.

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Wer profitiert vom Terror?

Nach dem Terrorangriff auf das linke Satiremagazin Charlie Hebdo in Paris: Mit klarem Kopf analysieren, was hinter dem Verbrechen steht

Von Georges Gastaud

Georges Wolinski bleibt in unserer Erinnerung als einer, der den

Georges Gastaud ist Sprecher der nationalen politischen Leitung der Initiative »Pôle de Renaissance Communiste en France« (Pol der Kommunistischen Wiedergeburt in Frankreich – PRCF), in deren Namen der Text am 7. Januar verbreitet wurde. PRCF ist aus einer ehemaligen Strömung innerhalb der Französischen Kommunistischen Partei (PCF) hervorgegangen. Der Text ist von jW leicht gekürzt. Die Übersetzung besorgte Georges Hallermayer.

Geradewegs der mittelalterlichen Finsternis entsprungen haben Terroristen kaltblütig unbewaffnete Menschen abgeschlachtet. Fassungslosigkeit und Empörung. Zwölf Tote, schwer Verletzte … Wir teilen den Schmerz und den Abscheu, die die den Opfern Nahestehenden empfinden wie auch die Bürger aller Weltanschauungen, die die Säkularität des Staates und die Redefreiheit vertreten, wie alle jene, die es ablehnen, auf unserem Boden die »Straftat der Blasphemie« wieder einzuführen. Das Delikt wurde durch die laizistischen Gesetze (eine Reihe von Gesetzen zur Trennung von Staat und Kirche, die zwischen 1902 und 1905 als Konsequenz aus der Dreyfus-Affäre und zur Bekämpfung des reaktionären Klerikalismus der katholischen Kirche in Frankreich verabschiedet wurden, jW) abgeschafft, um die kirchlich verbreitete Angst zu überwinden. Alle Opfer verdienen unseren Respekt, aber uns sei ein besonderes Gedenken an Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier) erlaubt, der die Gedenkversammlung des PRCF zum 70. Jahrestag von Stalingrad unterstützt hatte, an Georges Wolinski, einen der wenigen Zeichner, der über Jahrzehnte hinweg Antikommunismus und Antisowjetismus bekämpfte, der mutig das sozialistische Kuba verteidigte, oder an Bernard Maris, der die aktuellen Erklärungen des PRCF gegen die europäische Einheitswährung nachhaltig unterstützte. Der PRCF verurteilt aufs schärfste diese schreckliche Tat, die in keiner Weise entschuldigt werden kann, ebenso wie die Täter und Urheber.
Unabhängig vom Abscheu haben wir uns mit klarem Kopf diesen Taten zu stellen und zu analysieren, was hinter diesem Verbrechen steht. Nichts deutet bis jetzt klar auf die Hintermänner. Marine Le Pen hat ein Attentat »fundamentalistischer Islamisten« angeprangert. Diese Hypothese ist selbstverständlich plausibel, aber es ist nur eine Hypothese und eine beabsichtigte Provokation des Front National, der hofft, aus den Ereignissen Profit zu schlagen, um für seine fremdenfeindlichen Unternehmungen zu mobilisieren. Vergessen wir nicht die 77 von dem Nazi Anders Breivik in Norwegen Ermordeten oder die 40 von Nazis bei lebendigem Leib Verbrannten in Odessa. Die religiösen Fundamentalisten haben kein Monopol auf den Terror, ganz und gar nicht!
Wer bewaffnet den islamistischen Fundamentalismus? Wer finanziert ihn? Wer hat ihn gefördert?Die Regierung der USA und ihre Vasallen, Saudi-Arabien, Katar sowie gewisse der NATO ergebene Regierungen arabischer Länder. Sie sind es, die die Fundamentalisten anwerben und gegen arabische Kommunisten benutzen, gegen demokratische Bewegungen und die Arbeiterbewegung dieser Länder im besonderen. Die USA haben Osama bin Laden und seine Folterknechte finanziert gegen die afghanische Volksregierung und gegen die Sowjetische Armee, die die Regierung in Kabul um Hilfe rief aufgrund eines dem internationalen Recht entsprechenden Beistandsvertrags. Man erinnere sich an Anwar Al-Sadat, der in Ägypten die Moslembrüder gegen fortschrittliche Kräfte einsetzte. Und wer bewaffnet und finanziert heute »Daesch« (»Islamischer Staat«, jW), wenn nicht die mit den Imperialisten befreundeten Regimes von Katar oder von Kuwait, deren prinzipieller Feind das unabhängige und souveräne Syrien ist? Und wer erinnert sich noch daran, wer das amtierende Staatsoberhaupt von Libyen ermorden ließ und unbekümmert dieses Land in der Nähe zu unseren Grenzen fanatischen Fundamentalisten auslieferte? Es handelt sich um die Herren Sarkozy, Cameron und Obama, die auf die Vorwürfe des großen abendländischen Reisenden Bernard-Henri Lévy reagierten. In Wirklichkeit ist der islamische Fundamentalismus eine der Kreaturen des Imperialismus, eine Kreatur, die nach klassischem Muster sich zeitweise gegen seine Erschaffer wendet: Sadat, ermordet durch Moslembrüder, die Attentate am 11. September 2001 in Manhattan, die Taliban, die sich gegen den Westen wenden, nachdem sie zu Tausenden afghanische Studenten, aktive Kommunisten und laizistische Lehrer umgebracht haben, die ihr Land alphabetisierten.

Wer profitiert von dem Verbrechen? Das ist ebenso zu fragen. Welche politischen Kräfte gedeihen mit dem antiarabischen Rassismus? Wer sind die politischen Kräfte, die die Realität des Klassenkampfes durch die Phantasmagorie des Rassenkampfes zu ersetzen suchen, durch den Kampf der Ethnien und der Religionen? Das sind die Kräfte der galoppierenden Faschisierung, bei der die Elemente der klassischen Rechten jeden Tag die Resultate des vom Front National gesäten Hasses ernten, unterstützt von solchen Pseudointellektuellen wie Éric Zemmour (2011 wegen Aufstachelung zum Rassenhass verurteilter Redakteur der Tageszeitung Le FigarojW). Mehr denn je nährt dieses ständige Brandmarken, das Klassifizieren der muslimischen Bevölkerung die schlimmsten Ressentiments, ohne diese in irgendeiner Form zu rechtfertigen. Diese Ressentiments ihrerseits wiederum »rechtfertigen« scheinbar den Hass muslimischer Arbeiter, eine Todesspirale, die es zu brechen gilt, bevor unser Land und die ganze EU der vollständigen Faschisierung erliegen.
In welchem ideologischen Klima fand dieses grauenvolle Verbrechen statt? Es ist das der Faschisierung der Gesellschaft, der ideologischen Medienkampagne um Éric Zemmour, Alain Soral (rechtsextremer Essayist, jW) und Dieudonné (Komiker und rechtsextremer, antisemitischer Aktivist, jW), um den islamophoben Bourgeois Michel Houellebecq (in Frankreich meistgelesener Schriftsteller, jW) herum. Es ist das Klima eines mehr und mehr offenen arabischen Antiarbeiterrassismus, wie er in der Weigerung eines Bürgermeisters zum Ausdruck kommt, ein Roma-Baby zu bestatten, in den Erklärungen eines Premierministers, der die Roma als »nicht integrierbar« beurteilt, kurz: in einem verdorbenen Klima, das an die dunkelsten Stunden unseres Landes erinnert. Und welche gesellschaftliche Macht versucht, das Risiko einer sozialen Revolution zu vermeiden, sie zu vernichten, falls sie in einen Kampf umschlägt, der verschiedene Schichten des Volkes oder/und verschiedener Religionen ergreift, in einen Kampf, der die Klasseninteressen sichern würde? Die Antwort kann nur sein: das Großkapital.
Die Regierung von François Hollande ist nicht unschuldig daran, dass dieses tödliche Klima entstanden ist: wegen einer neokolonialen Haltung und der Unterwerfung unter die EU und die NATO. Sie ist noch weiter als Nicolas Sarkozy gegangen bei der Einmischung in den Syrien-Konflikt, bei den neokolonialen Interventionen »à la Françafrique« (Côte d’Ivoire, Zentralafrikanische Republik, Mali), der überharten Haltung gegen den Iran, der kaum verhüllten Unterstützung des Massenmörders Benjamin Netanjahu, alles bei gleichzeitiger Pflege der Kontakte zu den schlimmsten feudalen Regimes am Golf. Wir haben immer gesagt, der Kampf gegen den fanatischen Terrorismus in Frankreich ist untrennbar verbunden mit dem Kampf gegen »unseren« Imperialismus, der täglich den Boden für roheste Gewalt bereitet.
Deshalb weist der PRCF die »Union sacrée« (entsprach in Frankreich im Ersten Weltkrieg dem »Burgfrieden« von SPD und Gewerkschaften mit dem Kaiserreich, jWmit François Hollande und Bernard Cazeneuve kategorisch zurück. Angesichts der enormen Schwierigkeiten auf sozialem Gebiet werden sie die Situation ausnutzen, um ihre Angriffe auf soziale Errungenschaften und Freiheitsrechte zu verschärfen. Der PRCF ruft im Gegensatz dazu zu einer breiten antifaschistischen, patriotischen Volksfront auf, gerichtet auf sozialen Fortschritt, echte republikanische Laizität, demokratische Freiheitsrechte, Frieden, nationale Souveränität, gegen das Großkapital und gegen seine atlantische EU, deren Streben nach Maximalprofit Chaos auf der ganzen Welt verbreitet.
* Georges Wolinski bleibt in unserer Erinnerung als einer, der den Antikommunismus humoristisch aufspießte: »Unsere Tochter, verlobt mit einem Schwarzen, Juden, einäugig und hinkend!« – »Liebling, sei so lieb und sag‘ ihnen nicht gleich, dass du Kommunist bist.«
10.01.2015 / Schwerpunkt / Seite 3Inhalt