French invasion of Mali, its real deathly face

French soldier in Mali with skull mask

This photo of a French Foreign Legion soldier, part of the invasion of Mali, shows the real face of that war.

That war is not “against Al Qaeda terrorism” (supported by the French government in Libya, and still in Syria). It is not for women’s rights, human rights or secularism.

It is in support of a military dictatorship.

It brings death, mainly to Malian civilians.

This war is a neo-colonial war.

The French top brass did not like the deathly honesty of the Foreign Legion soldier’s mask. It undermined war propaganda.

Pentagon-Al Qaeda alliance in Syria?

This video is called Unarmed Men Executed By Free Syrian Army/Al Qaeda.. And These Are The Good Guys?

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Washington’s proxy in Syria: Al Qaeda

9 August 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday issued a warning against anyone “attempting to exploit the misery of the Syrian people, either by sending in proxies or sending in terrorist fighters.” She insisted that such actions would “not be tolerated.”

Neither she nor the State Department cared to spell out precisely which countries or organizations were being warned. Hidden behind Clinton’s hypocritical statement is the reality that US imperialism and its allies are themselves relying on, bankrolling and arming just such “proxies” and “terrorist fighters” to pursue their war for regime-change in Syria.

Chief among these forces is Washington’s supposed arch enemy, the Islamist terrorist organization Al Qaeda.

The growing acknowledgment within official circles that Al Qaeda is playing a decisive role in Syria’s civil war exposes both the real nature of the US-backed bid to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the fraud of Washington’s “war on terror.”

Having for months dismissed as “propaganda” the Syrian government’s statements that it is battling Al Qaeda terrorists, the corporate media and sources close to the US government are now not only acknowledging the role of this organization in the Syrian events, but celebrating it.

The major US news networks all carried reports on Monday and Tuesday highlighting Al Qaeda’s presence inside Syria. These follow a report in the New York Times late last month that Al Qaeda is operating in the heart of the so-called Syrian “revolution” through three groups: the Al Nusra Front for the People of the Levant, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and Al Baraa ibn Malik Martyrdom Brigade.

The frankest admission of the significance of Al Qaeda’s role came Monday in an article posted on the web site of the Council on Foreign Relations by Ed Husain, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies and one of the council’s chief analysts on Islamist political movements in the Middle East.

Husain wrote: “The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective… Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.”

America’s Syrian Jihad: An Old War in New Clothes: here.

The United States and its Comrade-in-arms, Al Qaeda: here.

The Dangerous Global Consequences of a Syria Intervention: here.

Washington is intensifying its bloody intervention to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: here.

Grisly videos show yet more Syrian atrocities: here.

The “Free Syrian Army” are hardly paragons of virtue in this dirty war: here.

US efforts to bring down the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria focus on collusion with Turkey’s Justice and Development Party: here.

Yesterday US and NATO officials discussed plans for a US military invasion of Syria to bring down Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, after US President Barack Obama announced that the US was contemplating a direct attack on Syria at a press conference Monday night: here.

United Nations experts warned today that an increasing number of “foreign elements” including jihadis are now operating in Syria: here.

US proxy war in Syria spreads to Lebanon and Iraq: here.

Bin Laden’s death, truth and lies

Osama bin Laden

By Gareth Porter, Truthout in the USA:

Exclusive Investigation: The Truth Behind the Official Story of Finding Bin Laden

Thursday, 03 May 2012 09:07

A few days after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a “senior intelligence official” briefing reporters on the materials seized from bin Laden’s compound said the materials revealed that bin Laden had, “continued to direct even tactical details of the group’s management.” Bin Laden was, “not just a strategic thinker for the group,” said the official. “He was active in operational planning and in driving tactical decisions.” The official called the bin Laden compound, “an active command and control center.”

The senior intelligence official triumphantly called the discovery of bin Laden’s hideout, “the greatest intelligence success perhaps of a generation,” and administration officials could not resist leaking to reporters that a key element in that success was that the CIA interrogators had gotten the name of bin Laden’s trusted courier from al-Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo. CIA Director Leon Panetta was quite willing to leave the implication that some of the information had been obtained from detainees by “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Such was the official line at the time. But none of it was true. It is now clear that CIA officials were blatantly misrepresenting both bin Laden’s role in al-Qaeda when he was killed and how the agency came to focus on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In fact, during his six years in Abbottabad, bin Laden was not the functioning head of al-Qaeda at all, but an isolated figurehead who had become irrelevant to the actual operations of the organization. The real story, told here for the first time, is that bin Laden was in the compound in Abbottabad because he had been forced into exile by the al-Qaeda leadership.

The CIA’s claim that it found bin Laden on its own is equally false. In fact, the intensive focus on the compound in Abbottabad was the result of crucial intelligence provided by the Pakistani intelligence agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Truthout has been able to reconstruct the real story of bin Laden’s exile in Abbottabad, as well as how the CIA found him, thanks in large part to information gathered last year from Pakistani tribal and ISI sources by retired Pakistani Brig. Gen. Shaukat Qadir. But that information was confirmed, in essence, in remarks after the bin Laden raid by the same senior intelligence official cited above – remarks that have been ignored until now.

In his campaign to win the election as a war president, Barack Obama flatters the worst vices of chauvinism and panders to the most vulgar and brutal idea of the qualities that define a leader and the actions that ennoble a country. No alchemy of eloquence can atone for the confession of moral surrender involved in such a boast: here.

Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s new film chronicling the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden, which opened in select theaters December 19, has largely received rave reviews and garnered a host of awards and nominations as the year’s best movie. It is a shameful work, and this reception says far more about the state of the media and the popular culture industry in the US than it does about the film itself: here.

Opinion: Pakistan must release the Osama bin Laden report: here.

Seymour Hersh on death of Osama bin Laden: ‘It’s one big lie, not one word of it is true’: here.

Sworn testimony by an FBI supervisor has confirmed that the FBI recruited an informant close to Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s, who was later employed by the CIA. Both agencies concealed this fact from the commission established to investigate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: here.

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Australia: book banned which was OK when Bin Laden was official US ally

Censorship, cartoonBy Mike Head:

Australian government revives book banning

26 October 2006

With the assistance of the state Labor governments, the federal Australian government is carrying out overt political censorship of books.

So far, two Islamic volumes have been banned and preparations are underfoot to tighten censorship laws by agreement with the states.

The current campaign began in February, when federal attorney-general Philip Ruddock moved to take more control over censorship rulings.

Ruddock announced that the two committees responsible for classifying books, films, TV programs, video games and other material—the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board—would be integrated into his department.

Previously, they were within the Office of Film and Literature Classification, a formally independent agency.

In June, Ruddock applied to the Review Board to outlaw eight Islamic texts and one film, even though the Classification Board had previously cleared them, on the advice of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

None of these agencies thought the books incited any crime, threatened public safety or contravened the expanded sedition laws passed late last year.

According to the AFP, the material was “descriptive rather than inciting any type of violence”.

Ruddock’s intervention followed a media witchhunt, led by the Murdoch newspaper stable.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph’s headline on May 15, for example, screamed, “Muslim ‘Books of Hate’ Get OK”.

The newspaper demanded the banning of the books for, among other things, encouraging hostility toward police among Muslim youth.

The seven government-appointed members of the Review Board proscribed two books, Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan, but allowed six others. As well as a film of a speech by a lecturer at an American university.

People who display or sell the censored material can be jailed for up to two years.

The two outlawed books were written by Sheikh Abdullar Azzam, who was killed in Afghanistan in 1989.

Ironically, both sought to justify the Islamic fundamentalist war against the Soviet-backed regime that ruled at the time in Kabul.

There was no move to ban the books in the 1980s, because the US and its allies, including Australia, were backing the Islamic groups as “freedom fighters”.

In its decision on Defence of the Muslim Lands, the Review Board acknowledged that the book, including its preface by Osama bin Laden, was written in 1984 as a “call to arms” against the Soviet invasion, “which was condemned at the time by much of the Western world including Australia, the UK and the US”.

Australia: computer game censored.