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The Open Society and its Worst Enemies

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Last week’s bloody events in Paris demonstrate yet again that a noninterventionist foreign policy, far from being a luxury, is an urgent necessity — literally a matter of life and death. A government that repeatedly wages wars of aggression — the most extreme form of extremism — endangers the society it ostensibly protects by gratuitously making enemies, some of whom will seek revenge against those who tolerate, finance, and symbolize that government and its policies. (On the specific connection between the Paris attacks and wars of aggression, see my “Understanding the Paris Violence.”)

Obviously, the police in more or less open societies — “but rather less than more” — cannot fully prevent the kind of violence that occurred at Charlie Hebdo and the kosher grocery Hyper Cacher. Some or all of the killers, who were known to authorities, reportedly spent time in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen with al-Qaeda or the Islamic State — organizations, let us recall, that were not in those places or did not exist before George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 and started bombing other Muslim societies in his “war on terror.” But travel abroad is not necessary to carry out horrendous attacks. The Internet provides all the information a would-be killer could want to pull off a mass atrocity. “Lone wolf” operations executed by “self-radicalized” individuals are by nature virtually undetectable, even with a battalion of spies and suborned informants or sophisticated eavesdropping regimes.
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Charlie Hebdo Shootings: False Flag?

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The Charlie Hebdo affair has many of the characteristics of a false flag operation. The attack on the cartoonists’ office was a disciplined professional attack of the kind associated with highly trained special forces; yet the suspects who were later corralled and killed seemed bumbling and unprofessional. It is like two different sets of people.

Usually Muslim terrorists are prepared to die in the attack; yet the two professionals who hit Charlie Hebdo were determined to escape and succeeded, an amazing feat. Their identity was allegedly established by the claim that they conveniently left for the authorities their ID in the getaway car. Such a mistake is inconsistent with the professionalism of the attack and reminds me of the undamaged passport found miraculously among the ruins of the two WTC towers that served to establish the identity of the alleged 9/11 hijackers.

It is a plausible inference that the ID left behind in the getaway car was the ID of the two Kouachi brothers, convenient patsies, later killed by police, and from whom we will never hear anything, and not the ID of the professionals who attacked Charlie Hebdo. An important fact that supports this inference is the report that the third suspect in the attack, Hamyd Mourad, the alleged driver of the getaway car, when seeing his name circulating on social media as a suspect realized the danger he was in and quickly turned himself into the police for protection against being murdered by security forces as a terrorist.
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The Police Threat Is Too High

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The hypocrisy of American police is beginning to bother even law and order conservatives. The New York Police Department is rivaling the black community in Ferguson in keeping alive the murders of their community members.

We are constantly reminded of how dangerous it is to be a police officer. A total of 50 police officers were reportedly killed last year in the “line of duty,” but the police themselves managed to kill 1,029 Americans during the same time period, most of whom were unarmed and innocent of wrongdoings.

In other words, any encounter between the public and the police is more than 20 times more dangerous for the public than for the police.

That should raise questions about the absence of restraint on the ability of police to use deadly force as a first resort. Yet authorities and white communities invariably defend police violence against the public.

If Americans had half-decent educations, Americans would know that power comes from precedent. The police, like the executive branch, have now established themselves above the law. The laws that apply to the public do not apply to police, US presidents, presidential appointees, NSA, and CIA.
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EU-Backed Libyan Government Bombs EU Citizens But No New No Fly Zone in Sight

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Responsibility for the killing of at least two EU citizens in an air raid on the port of Derna on 5th January has been admitted by the EU-backed Libyan government based in the eastern Libyan port of Tobruk.[1] The bombing is the latest sign that violence in Libya is spiralling out of control. With two rival governments and at least 30 local militias fighting for control over the country’s energy resources and lucrative people smuggling rackets, the European Union is paralysed by the legacy of its backing for the NATO intervention against Colonel Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. Apart from the French President, the other EU leaders have hidden their heads in the sand and refused to comment. President Hollande, however, popped up only to insist France will not re-intervene in Libya.

Between 2004 and 2010, relations between the West and Gaddafi’s Libya had improved after years of sanctions following the downing of the Pan-Am 747 over Lockerbie in December, 1988. Gaddafi supplied oil and gas to the EU, not least the old colonial power, Italy, and his regime also cracked down on people smuggling which had imposed a huge burden on Italy in particular as the nearest EU destination for thousands of African migrants.

But the so-called Arab Spring chilled EU-Libyan relations dramatically. Within days of protests beginning, the EU governments which had previously courted the Colonel reverted to denouncing him as a terrorist and genocidal killer.
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