Paris, France. If there is one thing you did not want to be in France in 1944, it was a suspected Nazi collaborator or a woman who slept with a German. In 1962, the last thing you wanted to be in Algeria was a Harki; an Algerian who fought against the independence of his country and in favor of French rule.

UnknownA lot has been made of Donald Trump’s refusal to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. As a wealthy young man, he probably knew much better than we Grunts did, what that war was all about.  At the same time, when Muhammad Ali died this year, little was made in the mainstream media about his refusal to serve when he said: “I got nothing against the Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me nigger.”  1  The major reason for this is the US has never drawn the right conclusions on that war even though the military did.

They came in their hundreds of thousands. Jews, Muslims (although fewer than hoped for), Christians and atheists: Students, workers, the unemployed and the bourgeoisie. They said “I am Charlie.” “I am Ahmed.” (the policeman executed at Charlie Hebdo). “I am a Jew.” Or, they just said nothing.

They were anarchists, communists and ultra nationalists, social democrats and conservatives. There were also islamophobes and anti-Semites. The one thing that united them all was their refusal to yield to fear and their desire to keep the freedom to think what they want and to be able to say it in public without facing obscurantist violence. This coming together of those who want the right to disagree with each is extraordinary. France, which gave us the enlightenment, 1789 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is still Une Grande Nation.

What happened in Oslo Friday is a tragedy but it is no different than what is happening in the world on a daily basis.  What is different is it happened to blond-haired-blue-eyed kids.  What I find outrageous is that all of a sudden we are shocked in our comfortable Western countries. There are some deaths that are worth more than others in our selective outrage. Let me explain briefly.

Mauvaise foi: that is what the French call a bare-faced lie you tell to a person you know is aware you are lying but you pretend everything is up front and normal. This year, in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya, the French have demonstrated they are the masters at mauvaise foi.

Oh my God. He wrote words on a piece of paper ! Ah, but what words? Terrorist words! Words like ‘Taliban’, ‘Al Qaeda’ and ‘Mujahid’. He must be a terrorist. Quick, everybody run. Quick, pass new laws taking away more of our freedoms. We are not safe.

On June 10, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Europeans they need to spend more on Defense and play a greater role or the US would take its military toys and play somewhere else. The threat has the Europeans squirming and it may mark a major turning point in Europe’s balance of power.

It is amazing to see how those in the mainstream press simply ignore anybody who leaves the ‘official frame’ set by the ‘respected authorities’. The limits of debate are narrow and ‘official speak’ is full of new euphemisms and phraseology with meaningless content destined to join ‘collateral damage’ in the dustbin of used spin. Let us look at some examples.

The first lie is “pro-Ouatara forces captured Gbagbo”. Lets look at the events. On Saturday night and all day Sunday, French attack helicopters fired rockets at the Presidential compound in direct violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1975 which gave a mandate for protecting civilians and not taking sides. Then on Monday morning, as reported by al Jazzeera, a column of thirty French armored vehicles and French special forces moved in on the residence. Fighting lasted the whole day. Now they tell us the Ivorians took Gbagbo.

To further underscore the lie, the video of Gbagbo’s arrest was released by the French! Maybe once the French took the compound they let Ouattara’s thugs in for the camera. Lets not forget that up until Saturday, Ouattara’s troops were being pushed back all over the city. A clear sign of the support Gbagbo has.