The Charlie Hedbo Rally: Media Distortions and Hypocrisy in Paris

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paris-march-jan11-2a-955px-400x209Sunday headlines said huge crowds massed in Paris. Protected by “unparalleled” security, according to AP. 

Including thousands of police and military forces. Along the two-mile Boulevarde Voltaire route marchers took.

An “unprecedented tribute,” said Reuters. Showing “unity and defiance,” claimed The New York Times.

“(S)olidarity following three days of terrorist attacks that badly shook the nation,” said the Washington Post.

“Paris displays defiance with huge rally,” headlined the Wall Street Journal.

“Paris urged to ‘come in numbers’ to defy Islamist terror,” said the Los Angeles Times.

London’s Guardian said one million “expected for anti-terror rally.”

Al Jazeera headlined “Huge crowds attend Paris solidarity rally.”

BBC said “Vast Paris rally…Unity after 17 people were killed during three days of deadly attacks.”

Le Figaro said “(A)ll major (Parisian) streets are saturated” leading to “place de la Republique.”

Le Monde headlined “(H)uge crowds marched against terrorism in Paris and France.”

An invitation circulating on social media said: “Indignation. Resistance. Solidarity, I am Charlie.”

Organizers said Sunday’s rally expressed solidarity for “freedom of the press. (F)reedom of speech. France won’t be cowed by terrorists.”

Around 40 world leaders attended. Reuters said 44. Some reports said 50. Including around two dozen Western European ones.

Current French President Francois Hollande and former president Nicolas Sarkozy were accompanied by Germany’s Angela Merkel. Britain’s David Cameron.

Spain’s Mariano Rajoy. Italy’s Matteo Renzi. EU Council President Donald Tusk. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Junker.

Other European leaders. Eight African ones. Outgoing US Attorney General Eric Holder and US ambassador to France Jane Hartley representing America.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney represents Canada. Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman represent Israel.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov represents Russia. Putschist/oligarch president Petro Poroshenko represents Ukraine.

NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoletenberg is there. So is European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas arrived.

One source lists the following participating countries in alphabetical order:

Albania. Algeria. Austria. Belgium. Benin. Britain. Bulgaria. Canada. Croatia. Czech Republic. Denmark. Gabon. Egypt. Finland. Georgia.

Germany. Greece. Hungary. Israel. Jordan. Latvia. Niger. Mali. Palestine. Poland. Portugal. Romania. Russia. Spain. Sweden. Switzerland.

The Netherlands. Tunisia. Turkey. United Arab Emirates. Ukraine. United States.

To encourage turnout, public transport into and throughout Paris is free on Sunday. International train operator Thalys cut fares to the capital.

Right-wing National Front leader Marine Le Pen urged her supporters to rally outside Paris. In retaliation for exclusion from event preparations.

French officials condemned Paris killings. The way US ones denounced the deaths of New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.

“(M)ourning the loss of these brave souls,” said New York Governor  Andrew Cuomo. Vice President Biden joined him on site. Obama sent a message of condolence.

In response to last week’s Paris killings, he ludicrously called them “an attack on journalists…on our free press … underscor(ing) the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom.”

“(O)ur thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who’ve been lost in France, and with the people of Paris and the people of France.”

Obama’s comments are rife with hypocrisy. Other Western leaders voice similar Big Lies.

Israel’s Netanyayu is a serial liar. US-led NATO leaders and Netanyahu are war criminals multiple times over.

Who mourns for millions US-dominated NATO victims? Murdered in cold blood? Noncombatant men, women and children.

Lost Palestinian lives. Slaughtered by Israel. Others ruthlessly persecuted.

What about on average one defenseless Black youth per day killed by US cops?

Who holds solidarity marches for justice? Mourns victims. Supports surviving family members. Rallies for justice.

Demands state-sponsored terrorism end. The madness of one imperial war after another. Senseless slaughter and destruction.

Trillions of dollars down a black hole of war profiteering, waste, fraud and abuse. Wars are dirty. Merciless. Unjust. Lawless.

Good ones don’t exist. Poet Robert Burns said “(m)ore inhumanity has been done by man himself than any other of nature’s causes.”

“Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.” Out of sight and mind worldwide. Every day of the year.

Who notices their suffering? Who explains their grief? Who televises it?

What world leaders express solidarity? Which ones demand no more wars?

George Santanyana said “(o)nly the dead have seen the end of war.”

Howard Zinn denounced the myth of good wars. Preventing peace. Perpetuating violence.

WW II was worst of all. WW III if waged will be the war to end all future ones. Today’s destructive WMDs can end life on earth.

Zinn said “(w)e need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.”

No “flag (is) large enough to cover the shame of killing (millions) of innocent people.”

Over a century ago, Mark Twain expressed outrage about America slaughtering Filipinos. Things were like today on a smaller scale.

Imperial conquest is vicious. Having nothing to do with liberating oppressed people.

Or championing democracy. Free expression. A free press. Freedom of assembly, association, and religion.

The right of people to hold ruling authorities accountable. Receive redress for grievances. Institute governance of, by and for everyone. Equitably and just. A new dawn.

Mark Twain said “I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines.”

“We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.”

“And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”

“We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields, burned their villages, turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors, (and) subjugated the remaining ten million by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket…”

He proposed a new American flag. Envisioning one “with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.”

Appalled that General Jacob Smith ordered his troops to “kill and burn.”

“(T)his is no time to take prisoners,” he said. (T)he more you kill and burn, the better.”

“Kill all above the age of ten. (T)urn (the Philippines into) a howling wilderness.”

Wars are lunatic acts. Resolving nothing. Preventing any hope for peace. Begetting endless violence.

Waging perpetual wars reflects official US policy. Crimes of war, against humanity and genocide follow. Millions of corpses attest to America’s barbarity.

Paris mourns 17 lost lives. Avoidable tragedies. Victims deserving to live. Get equitable and just treatment.

Who mourns for the daily victims of US-dominated NATO ruthlessness? From ongoing imperial direct and proxy wars.

Endless ones. Countless millions affected worldwide. The dead, dying, mutilated, suffering, deprived and exploited.

Who rallies on their behalf? Who demands lawless imperial slaughter end? Who accepts nothing less than peace, equity and justice?

Who puts their bodies on the line for them? Who resists growing tyranny in Western societies?

Who fights for democratic freedoms fast slipping away? Who demands responsible governments replace ill-serving ones? Who goes all out for what matters most?

Public rallies achieve nothing. Nor high-minded rhetoric. Committed grassroots activism for change alone works.

Sustained for the long haul. No matter the cost. The alternative is continued subjugation. Ruler/serf societies. Ones unfit to live in.

The kind Washington intends instituting worldwide. Unless mass public outrage stops it once and for all.

Rally for right over wrong daily. Support what matters most. Forget about Je suis Charlie.

Propaganda rubbish shoved down our throats. By Western oppressors vital to oppose. The fundamental issue of our time!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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EU risks €40bn hemorrhage from Russia sanctions in 2014 – Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev)

RT news

Economies across the European Union will lose about €40 billion this year, with the damage estimated to widen to €50 billion in 2015, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, citing figures from the EU itself.

There are so far no exact figures for the damage incurred, but the European Union has made some preliminary estimates and said the damage could be as high as €40 billion this year, Sergey Lavrov said.

The Foreign Minister was addressing a group of business leaders at the Association of European Businesses (AEB), a Moscow-based lobby group that represents the interests of more than 600 European companies in Russia.

Lavrov called forsanctions against Russia that target state-owned companies as well as individuals, to be lifted. Then Russia would cancel the country’s one-year food ban against the EU, a penalty which could cost the EU $6.6 billion in exports.

“Decisions in Brussels, in particular, to impose sanctions against Russia, were made under strong American pressure,” Lavrov said.

Russia announced the food ban in August, but only after the West had introduced several rounds of sanctions over the country’s perceived role in the Ukraine crisis.

According to Lavrov, sanctions are a “one-way tool” and that Russia never wanted to join the tit-for-tat political game – but was forced to.
Trade, South Stream

Despite the diplomatic standoff, Russia is still interested in deepening integration, and creating a free trade zone with the EU. Trade between Russia and the EU is $440 billion and thousands of companies do regular day-to-day business in Russia.

In September, the AEB penned a letter to the EU and Russian governments asking to keep business relations between the two groups functional.

Lavrov hopes that the EU will drop their political rhetoric and focus on business.

One of the main points of cooperation Lavrov hopes will remain intact is the South Stream gas pipeline project that will deliver gas to south and central Europe without crossing through Ukraine, which has proved an unreliable transit partner.

The pipeline will deliver about 64 billion cubic meters to Europe, Russia’s biggest gas client.

“This project will minimize the risks to supplies of Russian gas for EU consumers, which is fully consistent with Brussels’ goal to ensure energy security in Europe,” Lavrov said.

Since the Ukraine crisis began to unfold and splinter relations between Brussels and Moscow, the project has faced many roadblocks, from countries being forced to halt construction, to the EU raising questions on whether it violates anti-monopoly laws.