Nouakchott, Mauritania: On August fourth Mauritanian anti-slavery activists staged a sit-in before a Nouakchott   police station to prevent them from releasing a woman the public prosecutor had just indicted for slavery.  The police intervened.  Thirteen abolitionists were hospitalized and nine arrested with one sentenced to prison for “unauthorized gathering and rebellion”.  The suspected slave owner has disappeared as has the young girl allegedly enslaved.

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.

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.

The Israelis say Syria paid protesters to go to the Golan Sunday to protest the ongoing Israeli occupation of the heights as if this justifies using live fire against unarmed demonstrators in which as many as 25 people were killed and 350 wounded.  That the accusation rather than the killings gets the lede is insane.

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.

Laurent Gbagbo must understand violence will get him nowhere,” said French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet while French attack helicopters and troops attacked Abidjan.

There is a new Euphemism: “protecting civilians”. This is the catch word used to provide air to ground support to rebels in the Libyan desert and it now used to justify France’s destruction of the Ivorian Army while pro-Ouattara rebels conduct the ground offensive.