July 1, 2015
By Barrie Zwicker and Graeme MacQueen (Special to Truth and Shadows)
Despite his being an international outlaw, Kevin Barrett of Wisconsin has been able to turn out a prodigious number of truth-oriented radio programs, articles and published books, including his latest, the anthology We Are NOT Charlie Hebdo! Free Thinkers Question the French 9/11.
Oh, right, that’s why he’s an international outlaw. His status was confirmed, at least north of the Canada-U.S. border, by Canada’s hard right Harper government. At the end of May the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) turned Barrett back at the border in a hostile manner, preventing him from fulfilling a Toronto speaking engagement.
Barrett might not have had much more luck entering France or Israel, considering that many of the 22 contributors to We Are NOT Charlie Hebdo! provide evidence that those massacred in Paris did NOT die at the hands of jihadist Muslims but under orders from the Deep State, in a false flag operation with heavy Israeli involvement.
One can only hope that Barrett’s mistreatment at the hands of the politicized CBSA will spur sales of this important book.
Why is the book important? In part, because it’s a successful experiment—a rapidly-produced substantial response to a lethal state propaganda action.
Vincent Salandria, one of the first critics of the official narrative of the JFK assassination, wrote:
A successful political assassination is carried out to produce policy changes. Those policy changes generally take effect quickly. Consequently, it behooves a democratic citizenry to come promptly to their own reasoned conclusions about the killing of their head of state. Citizens cannot leave to their government, which under republican principles is their mere servant, to shape their thinking on such a vital issue. (1998)
Once a lethal event is staged—whether the event is the killing of a head of state, as in the case Salandria addressed, or a political massacre, as in the Charlie Hebdo case—the planned policy, legal and other actions and changes will rapidly be initiated: civil society’s critical response must also be rapid. Kevin Barrett rose to the occasion.
The obstacles are formidable. When elements of the state have facilitated or carried out the crime, the state will obscure the facts. It will drag its feet, produce distortions, red herrings, bombast, unbelievable coincidences and outright lies. It will do all in its considerable power to control the messaging while impeding citizens in their efforts to get at the facts. In this, the state has a distinct advantage.
After each lethal event a new truth community emerges. By definition, truth communities are chary about going beyond the evidence. Honouring evidence is at the heart of truth movements. By the same token, the state’s lies cannot always be clearly proven. Nevertheless, we must be courageously frank when we find official narratives unconvincing. We must proceed with what Bertrand Russell called “critical receptiveness.”
And this is the spirit of Barrett’s anthology. He offers readers a broad mix of thinkers with an array of approaches. Some authors concentrate on questioning the official account of the killings. Others leave this entirely to one side and concentrate on explaining how, regardless of what did or did not happen, the repressive response of the state must be rejected. Different authors, different emphases. But every contributor rejects “I am Charlie.”
The contributors provide a wide range of ideological positions as well as a range of views on religion. How unusual and refreshing for Muslims to be given a full voice. And to be able to read, in the same volume, an array of non-believers. (Vitchek: “I am an atheist, but I am not Charlie Hebdo!”) They all stir the pot as it must be stirred.
Do we, the reviewers, agree with everything in this book? Certainly not. Pro-humanist lefties that we are, we’re impatient with the heterosexist comments scattered through the volume, as well as with the claim, expressed by Barrett and one or two of the contributors, that secularism is a blight. Barrett writes:
Today, all of the features of pre-1960s American society would be decried by the radical secularists who have seized power in the West as symptoms of massive and systematic discrimination in favor of religious believers against non-believers.
We think it most dubious that pre-1960s American society is a worthy benchmark. And Barrett, uncharacteristically, has not made his claim well. More importantly, we don’t agree at all that “radical secularists” have seized power in the West; we would say it is militaristic market-fundamentalist capitalists, who see religious groupings as pawns while insincerely trotting out defenses of liberal freedoms when it suits them, that have seized power.
Barrett asks: “Will we have a pluralistic religious world or an irreligious McWorld of ruthlessly-enforced and globally-uniform ‘totalitarian tolerance?’ That is the real question underlying the debate about human rights and religion.”
But is that the real question? We don’t think so. We think that undermining a viciously immoral empire can be accomplished only by people of clear moral vision, but we have seen that some of these people will be conventionally religious and some not. Religion historically has not proven itself a reliable protector of life, or of the vulnerable, or of freedom, or of the creative spirit. That Pope Francis is proving such a departure from most of his predecessors highlights this opinion.
We don’t for a moment suggest, however, that we disagree with most of Barrett’s contributions. On the contrary, we find them informed, thoughtful and original.
Under Barrett’s guidance, the defence of Muslims and of Islam is a major theme of this book, and we believe this is as it should be. Several contributors explicitly or implicitly pose the question about the Hebdo killings: “Who benefitted?” The answer is that it could not be Muslims. Quite the reverse. Once again Muslims are the generalized scapegoats. Israel, however, was an immediate beneficiary—which, as several contributors note, was also the case with 9/11.
Specific or circumstantial linkages with Israel include, as John Andrew Morrow writes, that Charlie Hebdo “deliberately set out to offend the sensibilities of Christian and Muslim believers. Tellingly, however, the paper never provoked Jews.” Why?
Charlie Hebdo in fact was extra-sensitive about possibly offending Jews. Back in 2009 Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Maurice Sinet, known to the world as Siné, faced charges of “inciting racial hatred” for a column he wrote following the engagement of Jean Sarkozy to Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, heiress of a major consumer electronics company. Commenting on rumours that Jean intended to convert from Catholicism to Judaism (Jessica’s religion) for social success, Siné quipped, “He’ll go a long way in life, that little lad.” Charlie Hebdo‘s editor, Philippe Val, said Sinet’s piece was offensive and asked Siné to apologize. Siné refused, saying, “I’d rather cut my balls off.” He was fired, which arguably saved his life. Plus he won the lawsuit.
Barbara Honegger writes that leading up to the Paris shootings “the lower house of the French Parliament voted to recommend the recognition of Palestine as a state, to which Israeli prime minister Netanyahu warned that France was making a grave mistake; and France had voted in favor of International Criminal Court (ICC) membership for Palestine at the United Nations. France was also spearheading an effort at the U.N. to pass a Security Council resolution to restart and conclude the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and the French foreign minister had stated publicly that if it failed, France would officially recognize Palestine as a state. With France taking multiple official measures openly sympathetic to Muslim Palestinians, real Islamic zealots would never have chosen such a time to murder innocent French civilians.”
Other and broader strands in the book include:
- The abuse and manipulation of language in the service of hatred and mass murder. “Terrorist, like other terms of abuse directed mainly at Muslims, is a weaponized term designed to legitimize ethnically-specific mass murder. Obviously one cannot fight a war against an abstract noun; the term war on terror makes no sense except as part of a homicidal conditioning program. The bizarre notion of a ‘war on terror’ is a euphemism for ‘mass murdering Muslims’ who are the main recipients of the terrorist label,” Barrett writes in the opening piece.
- The psychological dimension of false flag ops. “The people who script false flag events like to hit our subconscious to get us going emotionally. So here we have a Jewish synagogue, and the street name is Crystal Street. It could be a coincidence,” says Danish investigative journalist Ole Dammegard. “They’re going for the emotional impact, following the problem-reaction-solution template. And the emotion this time is for us to feel sorry for the Jewish population and blame someone else, take the pressure off the state of Israel so they can continue doing what they’re doing.”
- The timing of false flag ops repeatedly shows that they cannot be pure happenstance. Besides Barbara Honegger’s points about France being sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, Webster Tarpley pointed out that President Hollande had also called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia and was preparing to sign a compromise agreement on Ukraine in Astana on January 15th. On January 7th, just eight days before this potential détente the Charlie Hebdo massacre derailed everything. The Astana meeting was called off.
- Additionally, Tarpley notes, Hollande in a radio interview two days before the massacre, “demanded an end to the economic sanctions imposed on Ukraine Russia. Second, he rejected the idea that France should militarily occupy Libya, a reckless adventure. Thirdly, he undercut both German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Samaras by assuming a very relaxed posture in regard to the January 25th Greek elections, in sharp contrast to the hysterical scare propaganda being heard around the EU about the apocalyptic dangers of a Syriza victory.
- “On the Russia sanctions,” Tarpley continues, “Hollande stated categorically: ‘I think the sanctions must stop now. They must be lifted if there is progress. If there is no progress the sanctions will remain…Mr. Putin does not want to annex eastern Ukraine. He has told me that…What he wants is to remain influential. What he wants is for Ukraine not to fall into the NATO camp.’
- “It was pure heresy,” concludes Tarpley, “one of the biggest breaks with the Anglo-Saxon lockstep since the death of de Gaulle.”
- The rampant hypocrisy of the Western world, the American Empire and perhaps Zionism most of all. “The hypocrisy and double standards have become stupendous,” writes Tony Hall. “They are marked in the disparity between hate speech laws designed to silence criticism of Israel and Zionism on the one hand and officialdom’s encouragement and embrace of expressions of Islamophobia on the other.”
- Freedom of speech is not absolute anywhere, and its defense is frequently entangled with the hypocrisies. As Lawrence Davidson writes: “On January 10th, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared war against ‘radical Islam’ because its practitioners had attacked ‘our values, which are universal.’ That last claim is an example of French hubris getting in the way of reality. For better or worse, French values are definitely not universal. They are just another version of culturally determined practices which, in terms of speech, set the limits of what the powers-that-be find permissible. These limits may be broader than the ones promoted by Islamists but, as we have seen, they are not open-ended.”
- This book could sport an internal awards system. We propose two categories. First is Paragraph Most Likely to be Remembered as a Tour de Force.
Our candidate is this by Thaddeus J. Kozinski: “When a narrative emerges whose explanation for a massively violent event and the meaning of the concomitant crisis becomes official, unquestionable, and authoritative; when it includes, and without empirical evidence or investigative inquiry, the assignation of innocence and exceptionalism to the victims, and utter depravity and terrifying power to the designated criminals; when dissent from this narrative is socially forbidden, even to the extent of legal harassment and prosecution; when it spawns behavior in contradiction with itself, such as the committing of acts of terror in the name of eradicating terrorism, or restricting and punishing free speech in the name of expanding and protecting it; when the narrative is immediately supported, echoed, and policed by the vast majority of the ruling classes, including both the mainstream and “alternative” (gate-keeping) left and right; when it successfully unites and synthesizes otherwise opposed factions of the [population]—liberals with neoconservatives, libertarians with statists, humanists with Nietzscheans, theists with atheists; when rational scrutiny and frank discussion of obvious explanatory holes in the narrative are forbidden; and when the ritualistic, annual remembrance of an event and recitation of its hallowed story, particularly the harrowing portrayal of the demonic villains to which it assigns all blame for both the increasing domestic strife among citizens and the perpetual Manichean war against the newest “enemy,” instills and evokes primordial fear and religious awe in the [population]; when the narrative of an event or series of connected events possesses all of these attributes, or even just a few of them, we know we are dealing with no chance and ordinary phenomenon.”
The Single Chapter to Read if You Don’t Read Any Others Award, for these reviewers, goes to former U.S. Congresswoman and courageous Truth and human rights activist Cynthia McKinney.
McKinney offers a very helpful theoretical framework. She envisions the world’s diverse campaigns against Deep State deception as parts of a unitary “global truth movement,” a “complex adaptive system” essential at this moment in history.
“Unmasking the Deep State,” she adds, “is the best way to thwart its accelerating merger with the Public State—a circumstance that could render the political process and the operation of the Public State irrelevant.”
McKinney also earns a Special Mention for Best Metaphor. After referring to the multi-pronged and successful campaign to unseat her after she served six Congressional terms with distinction she writes:
“Most of the current crop of Congresspersons know from my example that the Deep State is riddled with landmines of self-protection. Best to say nothing, do nothing, and know nothing—for any motion at all could set off a deadly device.”
This speaks volumes to the suppression and manipulation of legislators in the “free Western democracies.”