First published January 20, 2015.

Jens Stoltenberg

He signed the book of condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack on the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo and, defining it as «an outrageous attack on the freedom of press», he declared that «terrorism in any form can never be tolerated or justified».

Just words that could, however, never be articulated by Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, a military organization that uses terrorist attack against radio-television offices as a systematic instrument of war. This was used against the Serbian radio television at Belgrade, struck by a Nato missile on 23 April 1999, caused the death of 16 journalists and technicians. Nato did the same thing in the war in Libya, bombing in 2011 the radio-television? of Tripoli. Ditto in the war in Syria, when in the summer of 2012 combatants trained and armed by the CIA (in the same camps from which it seems came the attackers of Paris) had attacked the television station at Aleppo and Damascus, killing ten journalists and technicians.

On these terrorist attacks that fell, Western media is almost completely silent. Virtually no one has ventured out on the street with the photos and names of the victims. On the other hand, the attack against Charlie Hebdo was given resounding media coverage across the world. And, by manipulating the natural feeling of condemnation for the attack and condolences for the victims, Charlie Hebdo has been erected by a vast political spectrum as a symbol of the fight for freedom. Leaving out of consideration the controversial role of this journal, with its «sacriligeous» comic strips, we would place it «at the left of the left».

In 1999 the director of Charlie Hebdo, Philippe Val, supports with a series of editorials and cartoons the Nato war against Yugoslavia, comparing Milosevic to Hitler and accusing Serbs of carrying out in Kosovo «pogroms» similar to those the Nazis inflicted on the Jews. It continued in the same vein in 2011 when Charlie Hebdo (although with Philippe Val no longer at the helm) contributes to justifying the Nato war in Libya, depicting Gaddafi as a ferocious dictator that tramples his people with his boots and who bathes in a tank overflowing with blood. The same line in 2012 in relation to Syria, when Charlie Hebdo, representing President Assad as a cynical dictator that crushes women and children under the wheels of his tanks, contributes to justifying the USA/NATO military operation.

In this context, we add a series of cartoons, the magazine’s attempt to ridicule Mohammed. Even if the magazine satirizes other religions at the same time, the cartoons of Mohammed are tantamount to tanks of petrol thrown on a terrain already alight, of the Arab and Muslim world. And they appear even more despicable to the eyes of the vast majority of Muslims because they are Parisian intellectuals that are ridiculing their religion and their culture, having banished from their mind the fact that France subjugated entire peoples, not only exploiting and massacring them (in Algeria alone more than a million died) but imposing upon them their language and culture.

Paris pursues a neo-colonial variant of this policy even today. Therefore there is no reason to be stunned if, in the Arab and Muslim world, that had for the most part condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris, some protest against Charlie Hebdo. To those that in the West that wave the banner of «freedom of the press», we ask: What should you do, if you find on the street pornographic pictures of your mother and father? Surely it is not wrong for you to be outraged? Should this not constitute an act designed to provoke you? Would you be wrong in thinking that lurking behind, is the hand of someone that seeks to declare war upon you?

Anoosha Boralessa
Il Manifesto (Italy)