Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil, is the roving correspondent for Hong Kong/Thailand-based Asia Times and analyst for Toronto/Washington-based The Real News. He has extensively covered Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, China, Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East. He travels extensively. He lives between Sao Paulo, Paris and Bangkok. Since the mid-1980s he has lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles and Singapore/Bangkok. He was contributing editor to The Empire and the Crescent (Amal Books, Bristol); Tutto in Vendita (Nuovi Mondi Media, Italy); and Shia Power: Next Target Iran? (Vallentine Mitchell, London) and is associated with the Paris-based European Academy of Geopolitics.

Pepe Escobar is a published author. His latest book is Empire of Chaos. His other books include Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).


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Who profits from killing Charlie?

And yes, I am Charlie. Not only because they made us laugh; but because they were sacrificial lambs in a much nastier, gruesome, never-ending shadowplay.

Candles are placed next to a sign reading 'Je suis Charlie' (I am Charlie) and a pen in La Rochelle on January 7, 2015, as people gathered to pay tribute to the twelve people killed in an attack by two armed gunmen on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. (AFP Photo/Xavier Leoty)

Candles are placed next to a sign reading ‘Je suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) and a pen in La Rochelle on January 7, 2015, as people gathered to pay tribute to the twelve people killed in an attack by two armed gunmen on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. (AFP Photo/Xavier Leoty)

By Pepe Escobar

 

Putin did it. Sorry, he didn’t. In the end, it was not Russia “aggression” that attacked the heart of Europe. It was a pro-style jihadi commando. Cui bono?

Careful planning and preparation; Kalashnikovs; rocket-propelled grenade launcher; balaclavas; sand-colored ammunition vest stuffed with spare magazines; army boots; piece of cake escape in a black Citroen. And the icing on the lethal cake; faultless Paris-based logistical support to pull that off.

A former top French military commander, Frederic Gallois, has stressed the perfect application of “urban guerrilla technique” (where are those notorious Western counter-terrorism “experts” when one needs them?)

They might have spoken perfect French; others said it was broken French. Anyway, what matters is that they uttered the magic word; “We’re al-Qaeda.” Better yet; they told a man in the street, “Tell the media that this is al-Qaeda in Yemen”, which means, in American terror terminology, al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), which had Charlie Hebdo’s editor/cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier (“Charb”) on a hit list duly promoted by AQAP’s glossy magazine Inspire. Accusation: “Insulting the Prophet Mohammed.”

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

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

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

A source said the items were found in the abandoned black Citroen.

A source said the items were found in the abandoned black Citroen.

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

Slovenian journalists hold pens and placards reading in French "I am Charlie" during a gathering in tribute of victims of the attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, on January 8, 2015 in Ljubljana, a day after two gunmen killed 12 people in an Islamist attack at Charlie Hebdo's editorial office in Paris. The massacre, the country's bloodiest attack in half a century, triggered poignant and spontaneous demonstrations of solidarity around the world. Charlie Hebdo is famed for its irreverent views of religion and its decision to publish controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. AFP PHOTO / JURE MAKOVEC

Slovenian journalists hold pens and placards reading in French “I am Charlie” during a gathering in tribute of victims of the attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, on January 8, 2015 in Ljubljana, a day after two gunmen killed 12 people in an Islamist attack at Charlie Hebdo’s editorial office in Paris. The massacre, the country’s bloodiest attack in half a century, triggered poignant and spontaneous demonstrations of solidarity around the world. Charlie Hebdo is famed for its irreverent views of religion and its decision to publish controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. AFP PHOTO / JURE MAKOVEC

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

Scrap option two, please; this was a pro job. And staying with option one, this points right at – what else – blowback. Yes, they could be Daesh/ISIS/ISIL mercenaries trained by NATO (crucially, France included) in Turkey and/or Jordan. But it might get even false-flag nastier. They could also be former or current French special forces.

Blast Islam, will travel

Predictably, Islamofascism peddlers are already having a field day/week/month/year. For simpletons/trolls/hordes exhibiting an IQ worthy of sub-zoology, when in doubt, demonize Islam. It’s so convenient to forget that untold millions from Pakistan’s tribal areas to street markets across Iraq continue to feel pain devastating their hearts and lives as they are expendable victims of the jihadi mindset – or “Kalashnikov culture”, as it is known in Pakistan – profiting the “West”, directly or indirectly, for decades now. Think ritual droning of Pakistani, Yemeni, Syrian, Iraqi or Libyan civilians. Think Sadr City witnessing carnages over 10 times worse than Paris.

FRANCE-ATTACKS-MEDIA-GOVERNMENT

This is a pro job. That happens to take place just a few days after France recognizes Palestinian statehood. And just a few days after General Hollande demanded the lifting of sanctions against the Russian “threat”.

What French President Francois Hollande defined as “an act of exceptional barbarism” – and it is – does not apply when the “West”, France in the front line, from King Sarko to General Hollande himself, weaponizes, trains and remote-controls assorted mercenaries/beheaders from Libya to Syria. Oh yeah; killing civilians in Tripoli or Aleppo is perfectly all right. But don’t do that in Paris.

So this, in the heart of Europe, is what blowback feels like. This is what people feel in the Waziristans when a wedding party is incinerated by a Hellfire missile. In parallel, it’s absolutely impossible that the oh so sophisticated Western intel network had not seen blowback coming – and was impotent to prevent it (how come the scapegoats du jour, the Kouachi brothers, were not in the gallows?)

Of course the ultra-elaborate Western counter-terrorism expert network – so proficient at strip-teasing us all at every airport – saw it coming; but in shadow warland, portmanteau “al-Qaeda” and its myriad declinations, including “renegade” Daesh/ISIS/ISIL, are used as much as a mercenary army as a convenient domestic threat “against our freedoms”.

Who profits?

US Think Tankland, also predictably, is busy spinning the drama of an “intra-Muslim” split which provides jihadis a lot of geopolitical space to exploit – all this sucking the Western world into a Muslim civil war. This is absolutely ridiculous. The Empire of Chaos, already during the 70s, was busy cultivating jihadi/Kalashnikov culture to fight anything from the USSR to nationalist movements all across the Global South.

Divide and Rule has always been used to fan the flames “intra-Islam”, from the Clinton administration getting cozy with the Taliban to the Cheney regime – helped by Persian Gulf vassals – advancing the sectarian Sunni/Shi’ite schism.

Cui bono, (who benefits) then, with killing Charlie? Only those whose agenda is to demonize Islam. Not even a bunch of brainwashed fanatics would pull off the Charlie carnage to show people who accuse them of being barbarians that they are, in fact, barbarians. French intel at least has concluded that this is no underwear bomber stunt. This is a pro job. That happens to take place just a few days after France recognizes Palestinian statehood. And just a few days after General Hollande demanded the lifting of sanctions against the Russian “threat”.

The Masters of the Universe who pull the real levers of the Empire of Chaos are freaking out with the systemic chaos in the racket they so far had the illusion of controlling. Make no mistake – the Empire of Chaos will do what it can to exploit the post-Charlie environment – be it blowback or false flag.

The Obama administration is already mobilizing the UN Security Council. The FBI is “helping” with the French investigation. And as an Italian analyst memorably put it, jihadis don’t attack a vulture hedge fund; they attack a satirical rag. This is not religion; this is hardcore geopolitics. Reminds me of David Bowie: “This is not rock’n roll. This is suicide.”

The Obama administration is already mobilized to offer “protection” – Mob-style – to a Western Europe that is just, only just, starting to be diffident of the pre-fabricated Russian “threat”. And just as it happens, when the Empire of Chaos mostly needs it, evil “terra” once again rears its ugly head.

Foreign journalists and other people hold placards that read "I am Charlie" during a campaign at a bookstore in Beijing January 8, 2015 for the victims of the shooting at the Paris offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. (Reuters/Jason Lee)

Foreign journalists and other people hold placards that read “I am Charlie” during a campaign at a bookstore in Beijing January 8, 2015 for the victims of the shooting at the Paris offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. (Reuters/Jason Lee)

And yes, I am Charlie. Not only because they made us laugh; but because they were sacrificial lambs in a much nastier, gruesome, never-ending shadowplay.

 

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Posted by on January 8, 2015, With 0 Reads, Filed under Afghanistan War (2002-?), Africa, Africa Wars, Asia, Australia & Oceana, Europe, Libyan Civil War (2011-?), North America, Syria War (2008-?), Ukraine War (2014-?), War, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Responses to "Who profits from killing Charlie?"

  1. Gary Corseri  January 9, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Bravo, Pepe Escobar! Few writers/journalists say it as well, as honestly, as courageously as you do! The “Empire of Chaos” will now spread the tentacles of the Surveillance/Propaganda State all over the “Western” world. Our MSM will dig deeply–about half an inch!–beneath the surface and conclude: Crazy Islamic Fascists! Take cover! Surrender more rights to the militarized police! All in the name of “Freedom of Expression”? Samuel Huntington laid the academic groundwork in the 90s with his “clash of civilizations” nonsense. And not one of our pundits inquired: Why? Why should there be? What have we done to inspire such a clash? (Not one made Christ’s point about not criticizing the splinter in one’s neighbor’s eye while there was a “log” in one’s own!) Would the French Empire’s interventions/wars in the Middle East and Africa for at least 2 centuries have something to do with this denouement? (Napoleon’s troops took pot-shots at the Sphynx in Egypt!–about 200 years ago!) So, sure–“blowback,” big time! We’re in an age of Global Wars, Global Revolutions, Global Civil Wars. Might as well run around naked because we’re all surveilled!

    Poet-Journalist-Truth-tellers like Escobar are among our real heroes now–surveying from Olympian heights, but down with the people, too. From the heights of history and with the sweating proles as well.

    One crucial point needs to be made: This attack on Charlie H. was not about “freedom of expression” as the pols and global MSM has spun it. After all, in many European countries there are laws against any questioning of the official narrative about “The Holocaust”–can’t question the numbers, the motivations, the methodology, etc. Nein! Verboten! Then, why is it permissible to depict the religious leader of 1 billion Muslims as some kind of violent, crazed jackass? Is this about freedom of expression… or good and bad judgment?

  2. rexw  January 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Where did the Paris shooters get their weapons and training? President Francois Hollande said three months ago that “France had delivered weapons and training to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “. As they also delivered for the slaughter of thousands in Libya, now a failed state. One of the largest arms suppliers along with the US and Britain, these terrorist activities are coming home to bite the hand that profitably supplies it. Sad as it was yesterday for the innocents, on your head be it, Monsieur le President.

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