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Sunday, 11 January 2015

'Good cop' physically stops bad cop from abusing handcuffed man

good cop_bad cop

© Youtube

As the nation has been torn apart by police violence and abuse, many citizens have begun to wonder whether there are any good cops at all. Critics have suggested that if there are "good cops," they should be out there stopping the bad cops from abusing their power.

So where are these legendary "good cops"?

Right here, in the video below, it would seem...

[embedded content]

We can see from the video that the arresting officer repeatedly tries to pull up the suspect by his restrained arms, contorting and twisting his shoulder joints in a way that was causing him sheer agony.

But another officer comes to the suspect's aid, not once, not twice, but at least three times physically stopping the arresting officer from abusing the suspect.

If you think that all cops SHOULD take a stand like this, then help us SPREAD THE WORD!


Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Spain seeks to control freedom of movement in EU in Charlie Hebdo aftermath

© AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre

Spanish riot police officers and Spanish civil guards stand guard as Moroccans throw stones at a gate at the Beni-Enzar crossing between the Spanish enclave of Melilla and Morocco, in Melilla

Madrid wants to see changes made to the treaty governing the visa-free Schengen area, which would allow Spain to introduce border controls to stem the tide of Islamic militants returning from the Middle East, the country's interior minister has said.

"We are going to back border controls and it is possible that as a consequence it will be necessary to modify the Schengen treaty," Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told the daily in an interview on Saturday.

"The existing mobility in the European Union is facilitating the movements (of jihadists) to any country and also to our country," he continued.

The minister and his European counterparts are set to discuss the future of Schengen during a meeting in Paris on Sunday.

Diaz is not the first European politician to consider revamping or altogether suspending the Schengen zone in response to the deadly attacks in and around Paris this week, which left 20 dead, including three attackers.

On Friday, The leader of France's rightwing Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen, told French President Francois Hollande that the country should "immediately suspend Schengen to be able to control our borders" in what she called an "essential element in the fight against terrorism."

© Reuters / Stephane Mahe

Paris Mosque rector Dalil Boubakeur (front), French political, religious and personalites take part in a solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris January 11, 2015.

The agreement allows for both freedom of movement for both European citizens, Schengen visa holders and those who can travel in the area visa-free. Freedom of movement is considered "a fundamental right" guaranteed by the EU to its citizens.

, which would aid in sharing passenger information between member states.

"We are convinced of the need for such a tool, to follow those who travel to terrorist operating theaters or who return from there," he said.

He further said that the hate speech, particularly anti-Semitic messages and attempts to recruit young people to militant organizations, needed to be tackled online in a way that did not stop the internet from being a venue of free expression.

"We need to work more closely with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and if possible removal of all content that amounts to an apology for terrorism or calls for violence and hatred," he said.

© AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

A man holds a placard reading "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) during a Unity rally “Marche Republicaine” on January 11, 2015 in Strasbourg, eastern France, in tribute to the 17 victims of the three-day killing spree.

Fears of another terror attack in Europe are running high following the recent shootings in France. On Sunday, a report in the Germany daily , citing intelligence from the US National Security Agency, warned that the events in France may be the first in a wave of attacks to strike Europe.

The intelligence, reportedly citing conversations between Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) leaders, said a series of European cities could be attacked, including Rome.

EU and US security ministers also met at France's interior ministry on Sunday to discuss a joint response to terrorism in the wake of the Paris assault. The meeting was held just hours before a massive parade through Paris, where hundreds of thousands of people, along with dozens of world leaders, came in a show of solidarity and remembrance for those who lost their lives.

Following the meeting, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said European interior ministers had agreed to ratchet up cooperation in an effort to halt future terrorist attacks.

The White House further announced it had incited its allied to Washington for a February 18 security summit in Washington to try and stem the tide of violent extremism.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Charlie Hebdo cartoonists scorns supporters: 'We vomit on you'

© AFP Photo/Pierre Duffour

Dutch comic book author Bernard Willem Holtrop, aka Willem, signs books in Angouleme, central France, on January 31, 2014

A prominent Dutch cartoonist at heaped scorn on the French satirical weekly's "new friends" since the massacre at its Paris offices on Wednesday.

"We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It really makes me laugh," Bernard Holtrop, whose pen name is Willem, told the Dutch centre-left daily in an interview published Saturday.

France's far-right National Front leader "Marine Le Pen is delighted when the Islamists start shooting all over the place," said Willem, 73, a longtime Paris resident who also draws for the French leftist daily .

He added: "We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends."

Commenting on the global outpouring of support for the weekly, Willem scoffed: "They've never seen ."

"A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against . They didn't know what it was. Now it's the opposite, but if people are protesting to defend freedom of speech, naturally that's a good thing."

Willem was on a train between northwestern Lorient and Paris when he learned of Wednesday's attack by two Islamist gunmen as the paper was holding its weekly editorial meeting.

He told : "I never come to the editorial meetings because I don't like them. I guess that saved my life."

Willem stressed that must continue to publish. "Otherwise, (the Islamists) have won."

Source: AFP

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Wild boar population soars in Britain, causing motorway collisions

wild boar

Ministers are considering bringing out a 'beware of boar' road sign to warn drivers of the animals straying on to the road

Ministers are considering bringing out a 'beware of boar' road sign following a fatal motorway collision involving one of the wild animals last week.

The new sign could be erected along stretches of roads near 'infested' areas, along with barriers to keep out the 20 stone animals.

The plans, to be discussed by transport officials, follow the death of Raymond Green, who died when his car collided with a boar that had strayed onto the M4 in Wiltshire.

The animal was then struck by an articulated lorry and led to the busy stretch of motorway closing for eight hours.

Boars have caused crashes in the past, with France and Germany already using signs to warn drivers of the animals.

The new road sign would show a red triangle with a large boar leaping across a road, the Sunday Times reported.

There are already similar signs in place for warnings of cattle, wild horses or ponies, deer, ducks, toads and general 'wild animals' on the road.

Roads minister John Hayes said Mr Green's death had shocked him and that he had asked transport officials to draw up a report on accidents caused by wild boar.

He said: 'Road safety in the context of wild boars is an emerging issue that needs to be addressed.

'The addition of a warning sign for wild boar in areas with populations of the animals would be a sensible step to encourage people to slow down and watch out.'

boars cause highway crash

Boar have caused crashes in the past, with France and Germany already using signs to warn drivers of the animals

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimates there are around 1,000 boar living wild in Britain, but some experts claim that the true figure is at least ten times that.

Scientists recently found two populations of wild boar comprising up to 4,000 in the Forest of Dean Kent.

Wild boar can run up to 30mph and weigh around 20 stone when fully grown. They can also jump 6ft.

In 2013 people living in and around the Forest of Dean said they were increasingly uneasy about the number of wild boar nearby.

Wild boar dug up land where the ashes of loved ones were scattered at the Pan Tod Beacon beauty spot on Ruardean Hill outside Cinderford, Gloucestershire. The animals also destroyed grass verges in the area and in 2013 the Forestry Commission announced a cull on the population.

In 2008 one had to be shot at Ruardean Primary School and two years later the animals destroyed a football pitch.

And last week a prized Gloucestershire Old Spot pig owned by Prince Anne was killed by a boar after it broke into the pen at her Gatcombe Park estate near Avening in Gloucestershire.


Wild boar were hunted to extinction in Britain several centuries ago.

But their population has started to rise again after several programmes to reintroduce them in the last fifteen years.

There are now thriving herds spreading out into the countryside.

Boar are usually secretive and nocturnal and are likely to stay out of the way of humans.

When fully grown a wild boar weighs around 20 stone and can jump 6ft.

They can also travel large distances and reach speeds of 30mph.

In medieval times, boar from the Royal Forest were supplied for the Royal table - there is a record of an order for 100 boar and sows for a Christmas feast in 1254.

Boar are known to inhabit parts of the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.

The animals have roamed wild in the Forest of Dean in 2004, after a 700 year absence.

They started to populate the wild in 1999 after several escaped from a farm and in 2004 a group of 60 were dumped - further boosting wild populations.

Since then the population has grown steadily - with complaints about them digging up graveyards, gardens and grass verges.

Farming of wild boar in Britain became fashionable in the 1970s and boar originating from the European mainland were kept under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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The value of wealth

© Ann Rosener, Office of War Information

July 1942. Back at the Melrose Park Buick plant near Chicago.

We need to do a lot more thinking, and take a far more critical look at ourselves, than we do at present. We're not even playing it safe, we're only playing it easy. And that's just not enough. The marches in Paris and numerous other cities today were attended by people who mean well, but who should ask themselves if they want to be part of what was predictably turned into a propaganda event by 'world leaders'. One thing is for sure; the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff would not have approved of it.

The leaders hark back to usual suspect slogans like we defend 'Liberty', 'Freedom of Expression' and 'Our Values'. But we can't turn our backs on the fact that 'our values' these days include torture and other fine 'tactics' that make people in other parts of the world turn their backs on us. We might want - need - to march to express our feelings about torture executed in our name, as much as to express our horror at cartoonists we never heard of being the target of automatic weapons.

There are major armed conflicts going on in 6 different Arab countries, and 'we' play a part in all of them. We get up in the morning and prepare to march against violence in our own streets, but we should perhaps - also - protest the violence committed in our name on other people's streets just as much. We may feel innocent as we're marching, but that's simply because we refuse to look at ourselves in the mirror. And we must be able to do better than that. Both to be the best we can be (which is still a valid goal), and to prevent future attacks.

And that's not nearly the entire story. Our governments play 'divide and rule' both domestically and abroad. They play nations against each other in far away parts of the globe, and poor vs rich and generation vs generation at home. If you want a better world, don't look at your leaders to make that happen. They like the world the way it is; it got them where they are. Moreover, they're all beholden to numerous supra-national organizations that are the real power behind the throne across the globe; NATO, IMF, EU, World Bank et al.

If you want a better world, and one in which the risk of attacks like the one this week goes down, you'll have to look at yourself first, and take it from there. Marching in a mostly self-righteous parade in which the wrong people form the first line is not going to do it. You're not going to solve this sitting on your couch. Our world is not just financially bankrupt, and in deep debt to boot, it's also about as morally broke as can be.

We therefore have to rethink our world just about from scratch. Or else. We've lived chasing the recovery carrot for years now, but the economy won't recover; it can't. There hasn't been any real growth since at least the 1980s, the only thing there's been is increasing debt levels that we mistook for growth.

A great first example of how to do this rethinking was provided late last year, and I referred to it before, by UofM Amherst economics professor James K. Boyce:

Protecting Money or People?

Imagine that without major new investments in adaptation, climate change will cause world incomes to fall in the next two decades by 25% across the board, with everyone's income going down, from the poorest farmworker in Bangladesh to the wealthiest real estate baron in Manhattan. Adaptation can cushion some but not all of these losses. What should be our priority: reduce losses for the farmworker or the baron? For the farmworker, and a billion others in the world who live on about $1 a day, this 25% income loss will be a disaster, perhaps the difference between life and death.

Yet in dollars, the loss is just 25 cents a day. For the land baron and other "one-percenters" in the U.S. with average incomes of about $2,000 a day, the 25% income loss would be a matter of regret, not survival. He'll find a way to get by on $1,500 a day. In human terms, the baron's loss pales compared with that of the farmworker. But in dollar terms, it's 2,000 times larger. Conventional economic models would prescribe spending more to protect the barons than the farmworkers of the world.

It's how we think. Boyce describes it perfectly. We chase money, no questions asked, and even call it no. 1. And unless we change the way we think, one Manhattan land baron will be saved, and 1000 Bangla Deshi farmers and their entire families will either drown or be forced higher inland, where there are already too many people just like them. A dollar or a person. Our present economic models know which one to choose. But we should have more than mere economic models guide us.

Michael Lewis - yes, him - provides another wonderful example in the New Republic. I tried to make the quote as short as I could, but, hey, Lewis is .. Lewis. The original title was 'Extreme Wealth Is Bad for Everyone - Especially the Wealthy' (Getting rich won't make you happy. But it will make you more selfish and dishonest). The Week turned in into this:

What Wealth Does To Your Soul

When I was 14, I met a man with a talent for restoring a sense of fairness to a society with vast and growing inequalities in wealth. His name was Jack Kenney, and he'd created a tennis camp, called Tamarack, in the mountains of northern New Hampshire. The kids who went to the Tamarack Tennis Camp mostly came from well-to-do East Coast families, but the camp itself didn't feel like a rich person's place: It wasn't unusual for the local health inspectors to warn the camp about its conditions, or for the mother of some Boston Brahmin dropping her child off, and seeing where he would sleep and eat for the next month, to burst into tears.

Kenney himself had enjoyed a brief, exotic career as a professional tennis player - he'd even played a doubles match on ice with Fred Perry - but he was pushing 60 and had long since abandoned whatever interest he'd had in fame and fortune. He ran his tennis camp less as a factory for future champions than as an antidote to American materialism - and also to the idea that a person could be at once successful and selfish.

Jack Kenney's assault on teenaged American inequality began at breakfast the first morning. The bell clanged early, and the kids all rolled out of their old stained bunk beds, scratched their fresh mosquito bites, and crawled to the dining hall. On each table were small boxes of cereal, enough for each kid to have one box, but not enough that everyone could have the brand of cereal he wanted. There were Froot Loops and Cheerios, but also more than a few boxes of the deadly dark bran stuff consumed willingly only by old people suffering from constipation.

On the second morning, when the breakfast bell clanged, a mad footrace ensued. Kids sprung from their bunks and shot from cabins in the New Hampshire woods to the dining hall. The winners got the Froot Loops, the losers a laxative. By the third morning, it was clear that, in the race to the Froot Loops, some kids had a natural advantage. They were bigger and faster; or their cabins were closer to the dining hall; or they just had that special knack some people have for getting whatever they want. Some kids would always get the Froot Loops, and others would always get the laxative. Life was now officially unfair.

After that third breakfast, Kenney called an assembly on a hill overlooking a tennis court. He was unkempt and a bit odd; wisps of gray hair crossed his forehead, and he looked as if he hadn't bathed in a week. He was also kind and gentle and funny, and kids instantly sensed that he was worth listening to and wanted to hear what he had to say.

"You all live in important places surrounded by important people," he'd begin. "When I'm in the big city, I never understand the faces of the people, especially the people who want to be successful. They look so worried! So unsatisfied!" Here his eyes closed shut and his hands became lobster claws, pinching and grasping the air in front of him. "In the city you see people grasping, grasping, grasping. Taking, taking, taking. And it must be so hard! To be always grasping-grasping, and taking-taking. But no matter how much they have, they never have enough. They're still worried. About what they don't have. They're always empty."

"You have a choice. You don't realize it, but you have a choice. You can be a giver or you can be a taker. You can get filled up or empty. You make that choice every day. You make that choice at breakfast when you rush to grab the cereal you want so others can't have what they want."

On the fourth morning, no one ate the Froot Loops. Kids were thrusting the colorful boxes at each other and leaping on the constipation cereal like war heroes jumping on hand grenades. In a stroke, the texture of life in this tennis camp had changed, from a chapter out of Lord of the Flies to the feeling between the lines of Walden. Even the most fantastically selfish kids did what they could to contribute to the general welfare of the place, and there was not a shred of doubt that everyone felt happier for it. The distinction between haves and have-nots, winners and losers, wasn't entirely gone, of course. But it became less important than this other distinction, between the givers and the takers.

So far for the Jack Kenney story. Michael Lewis continues:

What is clear about rich people and their money - and becoming ever clearer - is how it changes them. A body of quirky but persuasive research has sought to understand the effects of wealth and privilege on human behavior - and any future book about the nature of billionaires would do well to consult it.

One especially fertile source is the University of California at Berkeley psychology department lab overseen by a professor named Dacher Keltner. In one study, Keltner and his colleague Paul Piff installed note takers and cameras at city street intersections with four-way Stop signs. The people driving expensive cars were four times more likely to cut in front of other drivers than drivers of cheap cars.

The researchers then followed the drivers to the city's crosswalks and positioned themselves as pedestrians, waiting to cross the street. The drivers in the cheap cars all respected the pedestrians' right of way. The drivers in the expensive cars ignored the pedestrians 46.2% of the time - a finding that was replicated in spirit by another team of researchers in Manhattan, who found drivers of expensive cars were far more likely to double-park.

In yet another study, the Berkeley researchers invited a cross section of the population into their lab and marched them through a series of tasks. Upon leaving the laboratory testing room, the subjects passed a big jar of candy. The richer the person, the more likely he was to reach in and take candy from the jar - and ignore the big sign on the jar that said the candy was for the children who passed through the department.

Maybe my favorite study done by the Berkeley team rigged a game with cash prizes in favor of one of the players, and then showed how that person, as he grows richer, becomes more likely to cheat. In his forthcoming book on power, Keltner contemplates his findings:

If I have $100,000 in my bank account, winning $50 alters my personal wealth in trivial fashion. It just isn't that big of a deal. If I have $84 in my bank account, winning $50 not only changes my personal wealth significantly, it matters in terms of the quality of my life - the extra $50 changes what bill I might be able to pay, what I might put in my refrigerator at the end of the month, the kind of date I would go out on, or whether or not I could buy a beer for a friend. The value of winning $50 is greater for the poor, and, by implication, the incentive for lying in our study greater. Yet it was our wealthy participants who were far more likely to lie for the chance of winning fifty bucks.

There is plenty more like this to be found, if you look for it. A team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute surveyed 43,000 Americans and found that, by some wide margin, the rich were more likely to shoplift than the poor. Another study, by a coalition of nonprofits called the Independent Sector, revealed that people with incomes below 25 grand give away, on average, 4.2% of their income, while those earning more than 150 grand a year give away only 2.7%. A UCLA neuroscientist named Keely Muscatell has published an interesting paper showing that wealth quiets the nerves in the brain associated with empathy.

If you show rich people and poor people pictures of kids with cancer, the poor people's brains exhibit a great deal more activity than the rich people's. "As you move up the class ladder," says Keltner, "you are more likely to violate the rules of the road, to lie, to cheat, to take candy from kids, to shoplift, and to be tightfisted in giving to others. Straightforward economic analyses have trouble making sense of this pattern of results."

But that wouldn't work, you think? Not for you, not in today's world, and certainly not for the political class? Well, we happen to have the example of a real life president of a nation who questions all we tend to think is 'normal'. Back in October, HuffPo had this portrait of Uruguayan President José Mujica. And please see this against the backdrop of US presidential candidates raising hundreds of millions of dollars even just for their preliminary campaigns.

Mujica says what I often have, that money should be kept out of a political system, because if it isn't it will end up buying and eating that system whole. Too late for the US and Europe, but perhaps not for Uruguay.

'World's Poorest President' Explains Why We Should Kick Rich People Out Of Politics

People who like money too much ought to be kicked out of politics, Uruguayan President José Mujica told CNN en Español [..] "We invented this thing called representative democracy, where we say the majority is who decides," Mujica said in the interview. "So it seems to me that we [heads of state] should live like the majority and not like the minority." Dubbed the "World's Poorest President" in a widely circulated BBC piece from 2012, Mujica reportedly donates 90% of his salary to charity.

Mujica's example offers a strong contrast to the United States, where in politics the median member of Congress is worth more than $1 million and corporations have many of the same rights as individuals when it comes to donating to political campaigns. "The red carpet, people who play - those things," Mujica said, mimicking a person playing a cornet. "All those things are feudal leftovers. And the staff that surrounds the president are like the old court."

"I'm not against people who have money, who like money, who go crazy for money," Mujica said. "But in politics we have to separate them. We have to run people who love money too much out of politics, they're a danger in politics... People who love money should dedicate themselves to industry, to commerce, to multiply wealth. But politics is the struggle for the happiness of all."

Asked why rich people make bad representatives of poor people, Mujica said: "They tend to view the world through their perspective, which is the perspective of money. Even when operating with good intentions, the perspective they have of the world, of life, of their decisions, is informed by wealth. If we live in a world where the majority is supposed to govern, we have to try to root our perspective in that of the majority, not the minority."

"I'm an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we're forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness."

He lives on a small farm on the outskirts of the capital of Montevideo with his wife, Uruguayan Sen. Lucia Topolansky and their three-legged dog Manuela. He says he rejects materialism because it would rob him of the time he uses to enjoy his passions, like tending to his flower farm and working outside. "I don't have the hands of a president," Mujica told CNN. "They're kind of mangled."

Mujica is the kind of man, make that human being, who should be in charge of all countries. Money and politics don't mix, or at least not in a democracy. And I don't see any exceptions to that rule. Mujica is right: if and when the majority of people in a country are poor, which is true just about everywhere, and certainly in the Anglo world and most EU countries, then their president should be poor too.

And inevitably, if you would follow the example of your president, so should his people. Not dirt poor, not starving, just being content with basic necessities for you and your family. And then tend to your flower farm, or your vegetable farm, your kids.

Sounds stupid. I know. But we haven't had any real growth in decades, and the wizard's curtain is being lifted on the fake growth we did have since too. So maybe the economy's not all that cyclical after all, or maybe the cycles are longer than we would like, Kondratieff 70 year like. Or even longer.

Ask anyone if they would like to have $1000, or $10,000 or $1 million or more, and you know that the answer would be. But Michael Lewis shows that none of it would make you any happier, if you already have - or make - enough to survive on. Still, it's generally accepted that more is always good.

And then you have the president of Uruguay, admittedly a small country and in South America to boot, who says that only poor people can truly represent poor people, who will always be in the majority in whichever country you may live in, and that that is the core of democracy.

Here's thinking we are absolutely clueless when it comes to the value of wealth, and that we keep chasing more of it because we're not smart enough to recognize that value. And that that's why we have torture and wars and all the other things that make us so ugly. We have absolutely no clue what the value of wealth is. And as long as we don't, we shouldn't have any.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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In asking Russia for help, NATO makes screeching U-turn on its 'Russian aggression' narrative

NATO's civilian figurehead Jens Stoltenberg this week urged Russia to be a partner against terrorism. He was speaking the day after the deadly gun attack on a magazine in Paris where 12 people, including three police officers, were killed by assailants purporting to be affiliated with radical Islamists.

During a visit to Germany, the NATO general secretary called upon Moscow to be "an ally in the fight against terrorism" - adding: "We think it is important that Russia, which is our biggest neighbour in Europe, and NATO are working together on important issues like fighting terror."

Well, how about that for a screeching U-turn? After all, has it not become NATO policy, since the Ukraine crisis blew up last year, to terminate all security co-operation with Russia in a bid to ostracise the latter?

Only a few weeks ago, Stoltenberg and other NATO officials were accusing Russia of being the biggest threat to security in Europe, asserting without evidence that Moscow has aggressive designs on Ukraine, the Baltic states and other eastern European countries. According to NATO, Russian leader Vladimir Putin is on a revanchist revamp of the Soviet Empire, casting a sinister spectre over the entire continent.

The former Norwegian premier has been banging the war drum against Russia in perfect timing with the same hostile beat as his predecessor, the insufferable Danish robot Anders Fogh Rasmussen. When Stoltenberg took over the NATO role last mid-year his first official visit was to rush to Poland in a pointed show of solidarity with eastern European members of the US-led military alliance, who he claimed were living under the shadow of Russian "expansionism".

Stoltenberg's military counterpart in NATO, four-star American General Philip Breedlove has for months been sounding like a broken record, reiterating over and over that Russian forces have invaded Ukraine to subvert the Western-backed Kiev regime. Breedlove has never produced any verifiable evidence to support his wild assertions that are posited as "top intelligence".These tiresome incendiary claims have strangely become muted recently, suggesting more than a hint of disingenuousness from the General. How can Russia be launching military invasions month after month with no cumulative evidence to that effect, and then, lo and behold, all is quiet on the eastern front, as must be gleaned from Breedlove's recent insouciance on the matter.

Nevertheless, such shrill alarmism from Breedlove and Stoltenberg has been used to justify NATO warplanes multiplying their patrols over the Baltic Sea and eastern Europe; as well as NATO warships streaming into the Black Sea; and an inordinate increase in US military hardware, including missiles, tanks and troops, in the region under Washington's so-called Atlantic Resolve initiative. All this to allegedly protect the European damsel-in-distress from drooling Russian aggression.

This war-footing by NATO and its tendentious accusations against Moscow have formed the basis for unprecedented American and European economic sanctions on Russia. The Western sanctions have been met with Russian counter-measures, which together have led to the worse deterioration in relations since the formal end of the Cold War. The toll on European farmers and the EU's economic power house Germany have been particularly severe, threatening to plunge the bloc into deeper recession.

That alarming context makes Stoltenberg's appeal to Russia this week - to be a partner with NATO in the fight against terrorism - all the more spectacularly incongruous.

On the one hand, NATO has been vilifying Russia for behaving like a tyrant threatening European borders and freedom, waging a "hybrid war" against small defenceless nations to snuff out their dreams of Western democracy; then on the other hand, simultaneously, NATO is appealing to this same Russian tyrant in order to help defeat terrorism. This breath-taking contradiction involves a stupendous feat of double think that reveals more than it was supposed to.

Recall, too, that US President Barack Obama has on at least two high-profile occasions publicly equated Russia with international terrorism. When he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York and the G20 forum in Brisbane, Australia, at the end of last year, Obama explicitly framed Russia's alleged aggression in Europe along with the terrorism of radical Islamists as the top threat to world peace.

Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry, America's supposed urbane diplomat, has waxed lyrical with faux historical analogies comparing Russia's President Putin to fascist European dictators during the darkest episodes of the 20th Century, accusing the Kremlin of trying to change the borders of countries "down the barrel of gun". (The Americans have some cheek to bandy about that particular complaint given their track record of destroying countries and killing millions of civilians that do not comply with their strategic interests.)

However, with the flip of a coin, it seems, all this grave anti-Russian bombast is suddenly redundant, with the US-led NATO alliance, through its European civilian cypher Stoltenberg, apparently stretching out the hand of co-operation to Russia.

No doubt, the Norwegian NATO clerk has by now received a sharp phone call from his American bosses for this week daring, or being stupid enough, to waver from the official narrative of Russia being the consummate menace to Western values and world peace. One can imagine the consternation in the Pentagon and White House: "Who the hell does that Norwegian puppet think he is blabbing about Russian partnership?"

What to make of Stoltenberg's U-turn and the hilariously mixed messages from NATO? Is Russia a menacing threat to world peace or is it a partner in safeguarding world peace? Or is NATO suffering from degenerative schizophrenia?

One deduction is that the NATO general secretary evidently does not believe the propaganda claims of his own organisation and his own previous words, which have sought to denigrate and criminalise Russia over the Ukraine crisis. How could he mouth such arrant contradictions otherwise?

If Stoltenberg is not convinced about the narrative of Russia as "the aggressor" that's simply because the claims made by NATO, and further politicised by Washington and Brussels, are groundless. They are concoction, fabrication, fiction, lies, you name it, all used for nefarious political reasons to serve elite power interests in Washington and Europe. Those interests revolve around driving a geopolitical wedge between Europe and Russia and to undermine the latter as new pole in a multipolar global economy, thus shoring up the decrepit US dollar as reserve currency and the hegemony of Western finance capital - which, by the way, is crucifying millions of Western citizens.

Despicably, this baseless propaganda is driving the global economy into deeper difficulties, inflicting misery on millions of workers and their families, including American, European and Russian. Not only that but NATO's anti-Russian propaganda has led to a dangerous militarisation in Europe on Russia's borders, leading Moscow to belatedly change its defence doctrine to define NATO as its main threat. NATO's reckless posturing against Russia is heightening the risk of all-out war - all for the sake of satisfying elite Western power interests.

Yet in the blink of an eye, Jens Stoltenberg, the most senior civilian representative of NATO, lets us know the truth with his conspicuous U-turn this week inveigling Russia as a partner against terrorism. The truth being that Russian is evidently not a threat to world peace. The real threat to world peace, by deduction, is NATO and its political masters in Washington and Brussels.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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FLASHBACK: Interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: A man of reason in a sea of madness

Bashar el Assad

The Full Paris Match interview of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, granted in Damascus on November 28th.

Paris Match: Mr. President, three years into this war, and considering how things have turned out, do you regret that you haven't managed things differently at the beginning, with the appearance of the first signs of the revolution in March 2011? Do you feel that you are responsible for what happened?

Bashar el Assad: Even in the first days of the events, there were martyrs from the army and the police; so, since the first days of this crisis we have been facing terrorism. It is true that there were demonstrations, but they were not large in number. In such a case, there is no choice but to defend your people against terrorists. There's no other choice. We cannot say that we regret fighting terrorism since the early days of this crisis. However, this doesn't mean that there weren't mistakes made in practice. There are always mistakes. Let's be honest: had Qatar not paid money to those terrorists at that time, and had Turkey not supported them logistically, and had not the West supported them politically, things would have been different. If we in Syria had problems and mistakes before the crisis, which is normal, this doesn't necessarily mean that the events had internal causes.

Paris Match: Your army is blamed for its excessive use of force during this war. Why are civilians shelled?

Bashar el Assad: When a terrorist attacks you with weapons, how do you defend yourself and your people, with dialogue?! The army uses weapons when the other side uses them. For us in Syria, it is impossible to have our objective as shelling civilians. There's no reason to shell civilians. If we are killing civilians, in other words killing our people, fighting terrorists at the same time, and fighting the states which stand against us and which support terrorists, like the Gulf countries, Turkey, and the West, how could we stand for four years? If we haven't been defending the people, we wouldn't have been able to stand all this pressure. Consequently, saying that we are shelling civilians doesn't make any sense.

Paris Match: Satellite imagery of the cities of Homs and Hama show completely destroyed neighborhoods; and the United Nations, of which your country is a member, talks about 190,000 people having been killed in this war. Were all the people in those neighborhoods terrorists?

Bashar el Assad: First of all, you need to verify the figures provided by the United Nations. What are the sources of these figures? The figures being circulated in the world, particularly in the media, are exaggerated and inaccurate. Second, images of destruction are not only obtained through satellite images, they are there actually on the ground, and they are accurate. When terrorists enter a certain region and occupy it, the army has to liberate it, and there is a battle. So, naturally, there is destruction. But in most cases, when terrorists enter a certain area, civilians flee from it. In fact, the largest number of victims in Syria is among the supporters of the state, not the other way round; and a large number of those were killed in terrorist attacks. Of course, when you have war and terrorism innocent people die. This happens everywhere in the world. But it is impossible for a state to target civilians.

Paris Match: According to the United Nations too, there are three million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, what amounts to one eighth of Syria's population. Are all those allied with terrorists?

Bashar el Assad: No, no. Those who left Syria are generally people who left because of terrorism. There are those who support terrorism, and there are those who support the state but left because of the security situation. There is also a significant number of those who do not support any side.

Paris Match: From a military perspective, do you have the means which enable you to win this war?

Bashar el Assad: Now we are fighting states, not only gangs. Billions of dollars are spent on those gangs. They receive arms from different countries, including Turkey. So, it is not an easy war from a military perspective. Nevertheless, the Syrian Army is winning in many places. On the other hand, no one can say how this war will end or when. But the major war for them in the beginning was how to win the hearts of the Syrians; and they have lost this war. The communities which embraced terrorists have become very small, and that is the reason why the army is winning. So, we have to look at this war militarily, socially, and politically.

Paris Match: But they haven't lost yet, since half your territories are out of your control.

Bashar el Assad: The Syrian Army doesn't have a presence everywhere, and it's impossible for it to be everywhere. Consequently, in any place that the Syrian Army doesn't have a presence, terrorists cross the borders and enter that region. But the Syrian Army has been able to regain control over any region it decided to enter. This is not a war between two armies where you can say that they took a certain part and we took another part. The war now is not like that. We are talking about terrorist groups which suddenly infiltrate a city or a village. That's why it's going to be a long and difficult war.

Paris Match: Many people say that the solution lies in your departure. Do you believe that your departure is the solution?

Bashar el Assad: The president of any state in the world takes office through constitutional measures and leaves office through constitutional measures as well. No President can be installed or deposed through chaos. The tangible evidence for this is the outcome of the French policy when they attacked Gaddafi. What was the result? Chaos ensued after Gaddafi's departure. So, was his departure the solution? Have things improved, and has Libya become a democracy? The state is like a ship; and when there is a storm, the captain doesn't run away and leave his ship to sink. If passengers on that ship decided to leave, the captain should be the last one to leave, not the first.

Paris Match: This means that the captain is prepared to die. You talked about Gaddafi. Do you fear facing the same fate and to meet your death like Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi?

Bashar el Assad: A captain doesn't think of life and death, he thinks of saving his ship. If the ship sinks, everybody will die, so we would rather save the country. But I want to stress an important point here. Remaining president had never been my objective, before, during, or after the crisis. But we as Syrians will never accept that Syria become a western puppet state. This is one of our most important objectives and principles.

Paris Match: Let's talk about ISIS. Some people say that the Syrian regime encouraged the rise of Islamic extremists in order to divide the opposition. How do you respond to that?

Bashar el Assad: In Syria we have a state, not a regime. Let's agree on the terms first. Second, assuming that what you are saying is true, that we supported ISIS, this means that we have asked this organization to attack us, attack military airports, kill hundreds of soldiers, and occupy cities and villages. Where is the logic in that? What do we gain from it? Dividing and weakening the opposition, as you are saying? We do not need to undermine those elements of the opposition. The West itself is saying that it was a fake opposition. This is what Obama himself said. So, this supposition is wrong, but what is the truth? The truth is that ISIS was created in Iraq in 2006. It was the United States which occupied Iraq, not Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in American prisons, not in Syrian prisons. So, who created ISIS, Syria or the United States?

Paris Match: The Syrians we meet in Damascus talk about sleeping Jihadi cells in the West more than they talk about the war against ISIS. Isn't that strange?

Bashar el Assad: Terrorism is an ideology, not an organization or a structure; and ideology doesn't acknowledge any borders. 20 years ago, terrorism used to be exported from our region, particularly from Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia. Now, it is coming to our region from Europe, especially from France. The largest percentage of the European terrorists coming to Syria are French; and you had a number of incidents in France. There was also an attack in Belgium against a Jewish museum. So, terrorism in Europe is no longer asleep, it is being awakened.

Paris Match: The Americans, in their war against ISIS, are tactical allies. Do you still think that their intervention constitutes a violation of national sovereignty?

Bashar el Assad: First, you said that it is tactical, and this is an important point. You know that tactics without a strategy do not produce results, so it will not defeat terrorism. It is an illegal intervention, first because it is not authorized by a Security Council resolution, and second because it did not respect the sovereignty of a state, Syria, in this case. So, it is an illegal intervention, and consequently constitutes a violation of sovereignty.

Paris Match: According to Agence France Presse, your air forces made at least 2,000 sorties in 40 days, and this is a huge number. When your aircraft cross the alliance's aircraft, for instance on their way to shell Raqqa, do you coordinate or do you have a non-aggression agreement?

Bashar el Assad: There is no direct coordination. We attack terrorism everywhere, regardless of what the United States, or the alliance it leads, is doing. You might find it strange that the number of daily Syrian air strikes against terrorists is larger than that launched by the alliance. There's no coordination; and at the same time you need to realize that the alliance's airstrikes are merely cosmetic.

Paris Match: But these airstrikes are helping you, and one reason why U.S. Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel resigned is that he believed that they support your government and your positions.

Bashar el Assad: Don't you see that this question contradicts the earlier question, in which you said that we support ISIS? This means that we are ISIS's enemies.

Paris Match: I said that some people say, sometimes, that you have supported ISIS to divide the opposition.

Bashar el Assad: And I didn't mean "you" by my remark, I meant "those" people.

© Paris Match

Bashar al-Assad and Paris Match reporter Régis Le Sommier

Paris Match: Since one result of the alliance's airstrikes, from an American perspective, was Chuck Hagel's resignation, do you think that the alliance's airstrikes are helping you?

Bashar el Assad: Terrorism cannot be destroyed from the air, and you cannot achieve results on the ground without land forces who know the geographical details of the regions and move in tandem with the airstrikes. That's why, and after two months of the alliance's airstrikes, there are no tangible results on the ground in that direction. And that's why saying that the alliance's airstrikes are helping us is not true. Had these airstrikes been serious and effective, I would have said that they would be certainly useful to us. But we are the ones fighting the battles against ISIS on the ground, and we haven't felt any change, particularly that Turkey is still extending direct support to ISIS in those regions.

Paris Match: On July 14th, 2008, you stood on the presidential podium in the Champs Elysees on the sidelines of the Mediterranean summit. Today, the French government considers you an outcast. How do you feel about that?

Bashar el Assad: The good relationship which extended from 2008 to 2011 was not based on a French initiative. It had two sides: the first was an American effort to make the French government influence the Syrian role, particularly in relation to Iran. The second side was a result of Qatar urging France to improve relations with Syria. So, the good relations with France had American and Qatari motives and were not the product of an independent will. Today, there is no difference since both administrations, I mean those of Sarkozy and Hollande, are not independent.

Paris Match: Francois Hollande still considers you an opponent. Do you believe that you can revive relations with him some time in the future?

Bashar el Assad: The issue has nothing to do with personal relations, for I don't know him to start with. It has to do with relations between states and institutions, relations based on the interests of two nations. When there is any French official, or French government, seeking mutual interests, we will deal with them. But this administration is acting equally against the interests of our people and against the interests of the French people. As for him considering me a personal enemy, I don't see the logic of that. I'm not competing with Hollande for anything. I believe that Hollande's competitor in France now is ISIS, because his popularity is close to that of ISIS.

Paris Match: Are there chemical weapons in Syria today, yes or no?

Bashar el Assad: No. When we announced this, it was a clear announcement, and when we decided to abandon chemical weapons, our decision was final.

Paris Match: But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accuses you of violating the agreement because you used chlorine. Is that true?

Bashar el Assad: You can find chlorine in any house in Syria. Everyone has chlorine, and any group can use it. But we haven't used it because we have traditional weapons which are more effective than chlorine, and we do not need to use it. We are fighting terrorists, and using traditional weapons without concealing that or being shy about it. So, we don't need chlorine. These accusations do not surprise us; for when did the Americans say anything true about the crisis in Syria?

Paris Match: Have you used chemical weapons?

Bashar el Assad: We haven't used this kind of weapons; and had we used it anywhere, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people would have died. It's impossible for these weapons to kill, as it was claimed last year, only one hundred people or two hundred people, particularly in areas where hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions, of Syrians live.

Paris Match: In your latest visit to Paris in November 2010, I conducted an interview with your wife, Mrs. Asmaa al-Assad. Do you miss traveling outside the borders of your country?

Bashar el Assad: Traveling is not one of my hobbies anyway; and my visits were not for tourism, but for work. What I truly miss is Syria as it was. This is what we miss. And of course we miss the existence of a different world, a world which has logical and moral relations. At that time, we used to have great expectations for the development of our region, for more intellectual openness. We used to believe that France, with its cultural heritage, is the country which is most capable of playing this role with Syria in the Middle East.

Paris Match: Your wife used to consider herself an ambassador of modernity. How does she live in Syria, and how does she feel about what is happening in Syria, particularly that she hasn't left the country?

Bashar el Assad: Like all Syrians, she feels pain. Both of us feel pain for the destruction and the blood we see in Syria, to see Syria going backwards decades and not years. It's painful to see the country which used to be one of the top five countries in the world in terms of security become a safe haven for terrorists. It is also painful for both my wife and I to see our belief that the West will help us in our bid for development and openness go in the opposite direction, and what is even worse, to see the West having allies among these medieval states in the Gulf, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Paris Match: People describe you as being very close to your children. How do you explain to them what is happening to your country when you return home in the evening?

Bashar el Assad: Of course, this discussion goes on in every Syrian house now; and the most difficult thing in this discussion is when you deal with children whose social consciousness has developed during this crisis. There are two basic questions asked, not only in our family but in many families. The first question: how can people who believe or say they are defending God and Islam kill and murder? This is a case which is not easy to explain, and children ask whether these people know that they are wrong. And the answer here is that there are those who know but make use of religion for private purposes, and there are ignorant people who do not know that religion is good. They think, instead, that religion means killing.

The second question: why does the West launch an aggression against us, and why does it support terrorists and destruction? Of course, they do not say the West in general, they specify certain countries, including the United States, France, and Britain. Why do they do that? Have we done anything to hurt them? We also explain to them that people are something, and states are something else.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Freedom of speech? International Business Times asks if Mossad was behind Paris attacks, then unpublishes and apologizes

The unpublished a story that suggested that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, carried out the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine .The Jan. 8 story's headline was "Charlie Hebdo Attack and Mossad Link: Is Israel Venting Its Fury for France's Recognition of Palestine State?."

According to a screenshot of the article posted on Twitter, the said that "Mossad of Israel is a prime contender" for who was behind yesterday's attack on .

"It is believed that Israel has a grouse against France, especially because French MPs voted in favour of recognising the Palestinian state and also France voted against Israel at the UN recently, conspiracy bloggers such as 'Aangirfan' note," the article said.

iMediaEthics asked editor-in-chief Peter S. Goodman for more information about the article and how it made it to publication. "The article was published by our site in India, which serves an Indian audience. It was edited in Bangalore," Goodman wrote. "Complaints on social media drew the attention of our editors in New York and we immediately took down the offending story and issued an apology."

Goodman went on, "That story does not represent journalism in any sense and it has no place on our site. is a fast-growing global operation and we have substantially changed our culture in the last year, elevating our standards. This is a process, and there will inevitably be problems, but we are fully committed to eliminating stories that no pass muster and replacing them with quality work."

Below see a screenshot of the article.

In a tweet responding to a critical reader, editor Goodman commented that the story was yanked for a "breach of standards" and that the publication "will do better."

Now, in place of the article is an editor's note and apology that reads:

"A story reporting on conspiracy theorists who allege a link between Israeli intelligence and the Paris shootings should never have been published and we have therefore removed it from our site. The story was beneath our standards and we apologize for this basic lapse in judgement."

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Amnesty reports Western proxy army Boko Haram kills close to 2,000 in latest attacks

© AFP Photo / HO

Boko Haram fighters parading on a tank in an unidentified town

Boko Haram, the extremist Islamic group that wants to enforce Sharia Law across Nigeria, has inflicted mass casualties in northeast Nigeria. Some reports put the number of fatalities as high as 2,000.

Amnesty International, communicating with experts on the ground in Nigeria, has said the assault on the town of Baga could be the deadliest attack by Boko Haram since the extremist group surfaced in 2009.

"The attack on Baga and surrounding towns looks as if it could be Boko Haram's deadliest act in a catalogue of increasingly heinous attacks carried out by the group," said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has quoted some sources that say the town has been razed, with as many as 2,000 people killed. If true, that would mark a "disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram's ongoing onslaught against the civilian population," Eyre added.

#Nigeria: Massacre possibly deadliest in Boko Haram's history #humanrights http://t.co/lBTIE71ZAR

- AmnestyInternational (@AmnestyOnline) January 9, 2015

Yanaye Grema, a 38-year-old fisherman, was part of a citizen's militia to defend the town but the extremist Islamic group overpowered them.

"People fled into the bush while some shut themselves indoors," Grema told AFP from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. "The gunmen pursued fleeing residents into the bush, shooting them dead."

It wasn't until Tuesday night that he discovered the scale of the attack.

"For five kilometres (three miles), I kept stepping on dead bodies until I reached Malam Karanti village, which was also deserted and burnt," he said.

Mike Omeri, Nigerian government spokesman, said the military on Friday was battling the insurgents around Baga, where the fundamentalist Islamic group seized a major military base last week.

"Security forces have responded rapidly, and have deployed significant military assets and conducted airstrikes against militant targets," Omeri said in a statement, as quoted by AP.

Although officials are still in the process of securing the town and attending to the wounded, early accounts indicate most of the victims were the elderly and children, who were unable to escape the town after the assault began.

Boko Haram massacred more than 2000 people in Nigeria this week. They're not Muslims, they're genocidal monsters.

- Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 9, 2015

"The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous," Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defense group that fights Boko Haram, told The Associated Press.

"No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now," Gava said.

According to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations, the 5-year insurgency claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in 2014 alone. The violence has displaced more than a million Nigerians, while hundreds of thousands have escaped into neighboring Chad and Cameroon.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Oops! Alleged Paris attackers funded by Pentagon dinner guest Awlaki


Just another coincidence... Senior Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al Awlaki was clicking glasses together at the Pentagon with American military brass just months after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Also, "coincidentally," he had in fact met at least one of the several alleged hijackers. He also, just before being liquidated by a US drone attack in 2011, allegedly funded the terror cell responsible for the recent Paris shootings.

Corroborating claims by French security agencies, a bizarre interview conducted just before the death of terror suspect Chérif Kouachi reveals that he had been in Yemen and in direct contact with none other than Anwar Al Awaki - the notorious Al Qaeda leader allegedly killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

The in an article titled, "Paris shootings: Listen to terrorist Amedy Coulibaly's bizarre conversation with hostage during supermarket siege," quoted Kouachi as saying:

We are just telling you we are the defenders of the prophet and that I Chérif Kouachi have been sent by Al Qaida of Yemen and that I went over there and that Anwar Al Awaki financed me.

Not only was Anwar Al Awaki a senior leader in Al Qaeda, he also infamously spent dinner with top brass at the Pentagon shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks in Washington, New York, and over Pennsylvania.

CBS News would report in their article, "Qaeda-Linked Imam Dined at Pentagon after 9/11," that:

Anwar al-Awlaki - the radical spiritual leader linked to several 9/11 attackers, the Fort Hood shooting, and the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an airliner - was a guest at the Pentagon in the months after 9/11, a Pentagon official confirmed to CBS News.

Awlaki was invited as "...part of an informal outreach program" in which officials sought contact "...with leading members of the Muslim community," the official said. At that time, Awlaki was widely viewed as a "moderate" imam at a mosque in Northern Virginia.

At the same time, the FBI was also interviewing Awlaki about his contacts with three of the 9/11 attackers - Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al Midhar and Hani Hanjour - who were all part of the crew of five that hijacked the American Airlines jet that hit the Pentagon.

The list of "coincidences" and "accidents" is so far impressive and include the following:

1. French authorities arrested and imprisoned Chérif Kouachi in 2005 for terrorism. He would be released in 2008 after sentencing was suspended for "time served," this despite evidence suggesting Kouachi may have even gone as far with his plot as travel to Yemen. would report in their article, "The Details of Paris Suspect Cherif Kouachi's 2008 Terrorism Conviction," that:

Kouachi was arrested in January 2005, accused of planning to join jihadists in Iraq. He was said to have fallen under the sway of Farid Benyettou, a young "self-taught preacher" who advocated violence, but had not actually yet traveled to Iraq or committed any acts of terror. Lawyers at the time said he had not received weapons training and "had begun having second thoughts," going so far as to express "relief" that he'd been apprehended.

2. Kouachi and brother Said would be implicated in another terrorist plot again in 2010 but were not prosecuted due to a lack of evidence. The BBC in their report titled, "Charlie Hebdo attack: Suspects' profiles," would state:

In 2010 Cherif Kouachi was named in connection with a plot to spring another Islamist, Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, from jail - a plot hatched by Beghal, according to French anti-terror police.

Belkacem used to be in the outlawed Algerian Islamic Armed Group (GIA) and was jailed for life in 2002 for a Paris metro station bombing in 1995 which injured 30 people.

Said Kouachi, 34, was also named in the Belkacem plot, but the brothers were not prosecuted because of a lack of evidence.

3. With French intelligence agencies' knowledge, the Kouachi brothers would then travel to Yemen in 2011, receiving weapons training directly from Al Qaeda. CNN's report titled, "France tells U.S. Paris suspect trained with al Qaeda in Yemen," would report:

A U.S. official says the United States was given information from the French intelligence agency that Said Kouachi traveled to Yemen as late as 2011 on behalf of the al Qaeda affiliate there. Once in Yemen, the older brother of the two received a variety of weapons training from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) -- the affiliate in Yemen -- the official said, including on how to fire weapons. It is also possible Said was trained in bomb making, a common jihadist training in Yemen. Two other U.S. officials confirmed that information about the Yemeni travel was passed to the U.S. from French intelligence agencies.

In addition, French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview broadcast on CNN International that one of the brothers traveled to Yemen in 2005. Taubira would not say which brother.

Admissions that one of the brothers had traveled to Yemen in 2005, suggests the possibility he may indeed have received weapons training from Al Qaeda before his arrest and imprisonment later that same year.

4. It was reported that the brothers then fought in Syria before returning last summer, approximately 6 months ago. would report in an article titled, "Manhunt continues for two French terror suspects," that:

The brothers were born in Paris of Algerian descent. Cherif was sentenced to three years in prison on terrorism charges in May 2008. Both brothers returned from Syria this summer.

5. Also about 6 months ago, French intelligence decided the suspects' serial offences along with their direct contact with Al Qaeda - including the receiving of terrorist training and battlefield experience fighting along side them in Syria - were "low risk" cases and therefore not worthy of their attention.

Astoundingly, UK's would report in their article, "Revealed: Police stopped watching Paris killers six months ago after terror cell of kosher deli attacker and his crossbow jihadi wife - who has fled to Syria - were deemed 'low-risk'," that:

The world's most wanted female terrorist has fled to Syria, it was revealed last night - as police admitted they stopped surveillance on her deadly Parisian cell six months ago because they were deemed 'low-risk'.

The would go on to report on other cell members including Amedy Coulibaly, also killed by police during the recent shootings and attacks in Paris - also a notorious serial offender, known terrorist, and also previously arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison for terrorism.

"Who decided this cell was "low risk" six months ago? That is probably where the French people should begin searching for justice - if justice is in fact what they seek."

Six months, coincidentally, is also about the typical length (6-10 months) of security and intelligence "sting operations" targeting terrorists. It provides an appropriate time frame within which an event like the recent attacks could have been planned, funded, and eventually carried out. The public is expected to believe this obvious terror cell who had been in and out of prison for terrorism over the course of a decade and in direct contact with Al Qaeda, was suddenly dropped from the attention of French intelligence just in time for them to carry out their most spectacular crime to date?

Who decided this cell was "low risk" six months ago? That is probably where the French people should begin searching for justice - if justice is in fact what they seek.

Europe Has Been Here Before

Unfortunately, these "coincidences" and "accidents" are not coincidences and accidents at all. They fit an obvious pattern of staged provocations within the context of an intentionally engineered "strategy of tension," identical but scaled up from what NATO was exposed to have committed during the Cold War as part of its "stay behind networks," more commonly known as "Operation Gladio."

Indeed, if NATO could carry out attacks during the Cold War, targeting Western Europeans in deadly brutality designed to appear as the work of NATO's enemies, why would NATO now be suddenly excused from the investigation as a prime suspect? With the "coincidences" and "accidents" described above, those occupying the highest of France's political, military, and intelligence offices, should be removed, tried, and imprisoned for criminal negligence at the very least.

As the puzzle pieces continue to fit together, the picture that appears is one of brazen, intentional provocation either to divide society at home, or wage war abroad, or both. And as this picture comes into focus, the rhetoric designed to distract the public from seeing it will reach a fevered pitch.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Be afraid! Paris massacre possible prelude to wave of Europe-wide attacks - media citing NSA

Charlie Hebdo

© AFP Photo / Thomas Samson

Rescue service workers and firefighters gather near the site of a shooting on the morning of January 8, 2015 in Montrouge, south of Paris.

The deadly events that unfolded in France over the last week may be the first in a wave of attacks to strike Europe, a German daily reports, citing NSA intercepts of communications between Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) leaders.

Paris was marked as the first in a series of European cities to be attacked, including Rome, the report in the German tabloid Bild read. However, the article didn't furnish details of a concrete plan to launch an attack.

The US National Intelligence Agency (NSA) also reportedly had information that Cherif and Said Kouachi, the brothers who carried out the mass shooting at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, had contacts in the Netherlands.

Police were said to have been put on high alert after intelligence learned that Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorist who killed a policewoman on Thursday in Paris and another four people in a kosher supermarket in Vincennes on Friday, may have activated sleeper cells which aim to attack law enforcement, CNN reported

Charlie Hebdo

© AFP Photo / Bertrand Guay

A man holds a cardboard reading "Hommage to the Victims-Heros" as people gather on the Place de la Republique (Republic Square) in Paris before the start of a Unity rally “Marche Republicaine” on January 11, 2015.

In a slickly produced video released online, Coulibaly swears allegiance to "Caliph Ibrahim", also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed IS leader.

When asked by an unidentified interviewer if he had any links to Cherif and Said, Coulibaly responded:

"The brothers of our team were split into two groups...I went out a bit against the police."

Despite Coulibaly's declared allegiance to IS, Cherif had earlier claimed he was trained and financed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen.

On Saturday, one of the Al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen, Harith al-Nadhari, posted a video online threatening France with vengeance.

"Soldiers who love Allah and are His messengers are amongst you," he said.

"They do not fear death. They seek martyrdom in the name of Allah."

Charlie Hebdo

© AFP Photo / Joel Saget

People gather at the foot of the centrepiece of Place de la Republique, a statue of Marianne, in east Paris on January 11, 2015 prior to a huge march.

Police are still searching for Hayat Boumeddiene, the girlfriend or possibly wife of Coulibaly. Although the 26-year-old had initially been described as being armed and dangerous, security sources later said that she wasn't in France at the time of the attacks.

Police initially suspected Boumeddiene may have played a role in organizing the Paris attacks. Turkish security sources, however, told AFP that she arrived in Turkey on January 2, and had since likely moved on to Syria.

At least 20 people, including the three attackers, were killed in a spate of attacks in and around Paris this week.

Following the bloody culmination of events on Friday, French President Francois Hollande warned that the threats facing France were not over.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Reporter on Meet the Press: U.S. foreign policy responsible for Islamic radicalization

NBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin

On Sunday, NBC's spent the majority of its program discussing the fallout of the terrorist attack in Paris, France and how the world should respond. While much of the program focused on the challenges associated with identifying and stopping such attacks, NBC News reporter Ayman Mohyeldin chose to partially blame American foreign policy for the rise of Islamic extremism.

Speaking during a pre-recorded segment from Dearborn, Michigan, Mohyeldin argued that "for some, radicalization and attacks against the U.S. stems from anger at American foreign policies and wars in the Middle East."

The segment began with the NBC reporter highlighting how America's Muslim leaders are working with the local community to assimilate "a constant stream of new immigrants" entering the United States. After detailing how American Muslims assimilate at higher rates than their European counterparts, Mohyeldin insisted that U.S. actions have contributed to radicalism:

For some, radicalization and attacks against the U.S. stems from anger at American foreign policies and wars in the Middle East. While the overwhelming majority of muslims have successfully assimilated and integrated into U.S. society, the challenge remains to find individuals who may be on the fringes of the communities and are also alienated.

[embedded content]

The NBC reporter then turned to Muslim activist Kassem Allie to blame anti-Muslim attitudes in America for the rise of extremism:

Whether it's the internet or television, this Islamophobia that has been going on for the last several years has been -- has hurt. It has really hurt.

The segment concluded with Mohyeldin claiming that the true victims of terrorism is the Muslim community and how "with every attack carried out around the world, it's the Muslim community that feels the blowback."

Ayman Mohyeldin's sentiments are nothing new given the NBC reporter's history of excusing the actions of extremists around the world. On October 6, 2014 Mohyeldin refused to label Muslim extremism as the greatest threat to civilization today. The NBC reporter has also been known for his biased reporting during the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict and his frequent use of Palestinian talking points to criticize Israel.

See relevant transcript below.


January 11, 2014

CHUCK TODD: Well, as we have been discussing, France is still reeling from this week's atrocities. Attacks carried out by terrorists born and raised in France. So why do a small minority of European Muslims become radicalized and why is there less of a problem in the American Muslim community? Ayman Mohyeldin of NBC News, we asked him to go to Dearborn, Michigan just outside of Detroit, a city where Muslims make up more than a third of that population.

AYMAN MOHYELDIN: The attacks in France may be over but questions about the attackers are just beginning. Men who are young, economically disadvantaged, politically and culturally disenfranchised like the Kouachi brothers are ripe for exploitation by militant recruiters and radicals. But do similar conditions exist here in the U.S.?

UNKNOWN PERSON: An extremist in Paris. And that action, we don't accept it at all.

MOHYELDIN: No say some of America's Muslim leaders and activists.

RON AMEN: I think America is generally a more accepting country of newer immigrants. That's what this country was built on.

MOHYELDIN: We travelled to Dearborn, Michigan, a city with one of America's largest and oldest Muslim and Arab communities and where a constant stream of new immigrants are arriving.

AMEN: Some of them don't even speak any English yet so they come to the mosque. If we can't give the service that they need, we have contacts to make those services available to them.

MOHYELDIN: 65% of Muslims in Europe say they identify with their faith before their national identity. In the U.S., it's considerably less, at about 45%.

KASSEM ALLIE: We believe that you can be fully American and fully Muslim and practice your faith freely without restriction.

MOHYELDIN: Mohammed Abdrabboh is a lawyer and activist in the local Muslim community.

MOHAMMED ABDRABBOH: The person who came, emigrated here 20 years ago named Mohammed, their grandson who is a Mohammed is now Mike. I see an assimilation on a lot of different levels.

MOHYELDIN: But for some, radicalization and attacks against the U.S. stems from anger at American foreign policies and wars in the Middle East. While the overwhelming majority of Muslims have successfully assimilated and integrated into U.S. society, the challenge remains to find individuals who may be on the fringes of the communities and are also alienated.

ALLIE: We will be able to inoculate them against being radicalized regardless of where it may come from. Whether it's the internet or television, this Islamophobia that has been going on for the last several years has been -- has hurt. It has really hurt.

MOHYELDIN: That's because with every attack carried out around the world, it's the Muslim community that feels the blowback. For , Ayman Mohyeldin.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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The first question to ask after a terror attack: Was it a false flag?

false flag

Governments from around the world admit they've used the bully's trick ... attack first, and then blame the victim:

  • Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the "Mukden Incident" or the "Manchurian Incident". The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: "Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the "Incident" was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ...." And see this

  • A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that - under orders from the chief of the Gestapo - he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson

  • Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union's Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 - while blaming the attack on Finland - as a basis for launching the "Winter War" against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War, and Putin

  • Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind "evidence" implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)

  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister

  • The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece - also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey - and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence

  • The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change

  • As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil , and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

  • 2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make "a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]".

  • And Official State Department documents show that - only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed - the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals

  • The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 ... manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war

  • A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that - as part of its "Cointelpro" campaign - the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists

  • The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted "escape tools" on a prisoner - a member of the Red Army Faction - which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on

  • The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him "to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident", thus framing the ANC for the bombing

  • An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)

  • Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)

  • According to the Washington Post , Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

  • The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings

  • As reported by BBC, the New York Times , and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the "war on terror"

  • Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that - in July 2001, at the G8 summit in Genoa - planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters

  • Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks - as shown by a memo from the defense secretary - as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime, that Cheney "probably" had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not 'doing their homework' in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil ... not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous "lone wolf" claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers)

  • Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having "our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda's ranks, causing operatives to doubt others' identities and to question the validity of communications."

  • United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

  • Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians

  • Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)

  • At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence

  • Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters

  • A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat

  • U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then "drop" automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants

  • The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence - Prince Bandar - recently admitted that the Saudi government controls "Chechen" terrorists

  • High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government - a fellow NATO country - carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government

  • The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others

  • Britain's spy agency has admitted to (and see this) that it carries out "digital false flag" attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material ... and blaming it on the target

So Common ... There's a Name for It

The use of the bully's trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago.

"False flag terrorism" is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy's strategy of tension.

The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy's flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a "false flag" attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval , air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

"This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector."

- Plato

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

- U.S. President James Madison

"A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! "In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule."

― Friedrich Nietzsche

"Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death".

- Adolph Hitler

"Why of course the people don't want war ... 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 to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

"The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened".

- Josef Stalin

People Are Waking Up to False Flags

People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.

More people are talking about the phrase "false flag" than ever before.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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