Mar 082014
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

Source: CADTM Europe

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The CADTM affirms its full and complete solidarity with the people of Cyprus and their organisations struggling against privatizations in the energy, telecoms, and shipping sectors – privatizations required by the Memorandum imposed by the Troika in March 2013. Cyprus is the fourth country to be placed under the budgetary supervision of the European Union, after Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

In the face of the demonstrations of 27 February (a 3-day renewable strike by Electricity Authority of Cyprus workers and a strike by longshoremen at the ports of Limassol and Larnaca), the Parliament was unable to reach a majority to adopt the initial bill (25 votes for, 25 against, 5 abstentions; a majority of 29 is required for adoption). The following day the government handed in its resignation. The media, in total complicity with the Troika, have observed total silence over this situation – an extraordinary one, to say the least.

Despite the refusal expressed by the population in the streets, the Cypriot legislators have just adopted (4 March), by a vote of 30 to 26, a bill that is only a slightly modified version of the one they had themselves rejected the preceding week and which would result in the privatisation of the major public services: EAC (electricity), CYTA (telecoms), and CPA (the port authority). This new version of the law claims to guarantee the jobs of the employees of these companies, but no one actually believes that.

Adoption of the law was a condition for the granting of a new 236-million € tranche of the 10-Bn € loan granted by the Troika in March 2013.

The causes of the crisis in Cyprus have been clearly identified: 

1) A hypertrophied banking system
 that was completely out of control. The banks, who have considerable liquid assets provided by the “financial markets,” have recklessly made risky investments.

In 2012, Cyprus’s banks speculated on the restructuring of the Greek debt – 40% of their external commitments, which cost them 4.5 Bn €, or the equivalent of a quarter of Cyprus’s GDP, and brought on the collapse of this overinflated sector (whose assets represent seven times the country’s GDP).

These private losses were then promptly transformed into public debt. These debts are totally illegitimate and must be abolished, along with those stemming from the assistance plan!

graph-3-ca531

In 2009 and 2010, Cyprus’s public debt was only 52.4% and 60.8% of GDP, whereas in the Euro zone as a whole it was 80% of GDP in 2010.

In Germany, the percentage was 74.5% in 2009 and 82.5% in 2010.

2) A tax situation that is highly advantageous for companies: Corporate tax, which until the Memorandum was at an official rate of 10%, has only been raised to 12.5% (not enough to resolve the budget deficit).

To obtain the 10-Bn € assistance plan from the Troika (9 Bn € from the ECB and 1 Bn € from the IMF), Cyprus’s government also agreed to the restructuring of its banking system, a 10% reduction in public expenditures, and the privatization of the island’s main public sectors.

The IMF, represented in Cyprus by a former executive of Lehman Brothers, itself recognizes the economic ineffectualness of such measures. The IMF’s goal is not to provide support for the population of Cyprus, but to protect and guarantee the interests of the creditors! That is why the agents of the IMF must be run out of Cyprus, along with the representatives of the European Commission and the ECB!

Aside from the obvious risk of growth in unemployment (forecast to reach 19.4% in 2014), Cypriots fear skyrocketing prices, with wages and pensions already reduced by 20% in one year. The people’s mobilisation, practically uninterrupted for months, goes well beyond the industry sectors that are directly concerned.

Rubbish bins brought by the population are piled up in front of bank branches. There are regular interruptions of electrical power and the people are besieging the Parliament and official buildings. All sectors, both private and public, are present around the Parliament, demonstrating their opposition to the Troika’s structural adjustment plan.

The CADTM considers:

  • that the entire debt of Cyprus to the Troika is illegitimate and odious, and must be abolished in its entirety;
  • that the austerity plan imposed by the Troika must be revoked.

The population does not want to pay for the speculators and the wealthiest 1%. International solidarity must organise as soon as possible in support of this exemplary struggle. The CADTM will do all it can.

Translation by Snake Arbusto

Photo : CC – Eu Council Eurozone
Discussion before the meeting begins : Christine LAGARDE, IMF ; Thomas WIESER, President of the EFC (Economic and Financial Committee) and Michael SARRIS, Finances Minister of Cyprus (on the right).

Mar 042014
 

By SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

Obama As God

I’ve been thinking back on my youth recently, to the 60s, and to how convinced we were back then that there was such a thing as progress, to how sure we were that by the time we were old, the world would have changed. I was an American, and I had been raised on perpetual progress in all areas – technology, human rights, quality of life – and was sure that the world would be a more peaceful and prosperous place by now.

But now as I watch the news on television I see that sabers are again rattling, that the Russians are being warned by the US State department that the consequences will be severe if they attempt to keep Crimea in their sphere of influence. The TV news doesn’t mention the fact that the crisis in Crimea – that is, in Ukraine – was directly caused by the US and its NATO allies through their fomenting of the overthrow of the Yanukovich government.

Why? The supposed reason is that Yanukovich in Ukraine and Putin in Russia are despotic leaders and that the real majority of the people – not the “elites” whom these near-dictators serve – aspire to true democracy. The kind of democracy that exists in the US and France and the UK, for example. The real reason is that Washington and NATO have a master plan for continually extending their influence throughout the globe and that that master plan involves breaking up what was once the USSR into a number of smaller states that can be brought into the NATO fold and their resources channeled into the coffers of the elites in the NATO countries. This is of course in direct contradiction with the promises made at the time of the breakup of the former USSR and the de facto dissolution of the Warsaw pact – that NATO would not expand into the territory formerly covered by the Pact.

Back in the 60s, and for decades before then, the US and its allies were engaged in the same kind of interference in the affairs of other parts of the world – always on the pretext of “protecting democracy” or “midwifing freedom,” or some similar formulation. Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954 are examples that immediately come to mind. Never was it admitted that the machinations, and when the machinations failed, the direct military interventions, were in fact intended to protect the vital interests – meaning the financial interests – of the USA – meaning the elite that was in power, and is still in power. And, of course, there is another reason for the machinations and the ever-present threat of military action that is always in the background: justifying the existence of the US/NATO military machine and the $1.67 trillion* spent on it annually. Spent… or should we say extracted from the populations of the US and the NATO countries?

As I grow old and face the world of today, where the progress of technology seems to have been accompanied by regression in human rights and quality of life, I can only wonder, watching the news, how my attempts to make sense of my own life and make peace with my own past, natural as old age approaches, can make any sense in such a context. It’s as if the leaders of the world were eternally young and eternally stupid – like the gods of the mythology our culture is founded on. It’s as if we – when I say “we,” I mean we as Americans, as French, as German, or as British, as represented by the leaders we have duly elected through our admittedly imperfect but at least functioning democratic processes – were trying to play at being Immortals by interfering in the lives of ordinary people to satisfy our own infantile need to have our way, our childish greed, never being satisfied with the wealth we have, or our pusillanimous desire to know everything everyone everywhere is thinking and saying. Is our democratic system really such a model for the rest of the world when those we put in power behave in this way? How much longer can we remain human if we continue to allow our leaders to play at being gods?
___________________
*source: SIPRI

Jun 132013
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

BMpCTgxCMAA307o.jpg-large

Since June 11, Greece has become a scandalous “cultural exception” in Europe: The country no longer has public radio and television.

The Greeks, already brought to their knees by the financial crisis, are stunned by the brutal suddenness of the measure, which reminds them of the period when they lived under a dictatorship, and are mobilizing in large numbers.

This decision is in direct contradiction with the European treaties, which hold that the existence of a public broadcasting service is a determining criterion of the health of democracy in a country. The shutdown is one more step in the process of dismantling of a country under the austerity plans imposed by the EU and the Troika.

In solidarity with the Greek people, Mediapart is organizing an event on Tuesday, June 18 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Artists, journalist, and Greek and French intellectuals will be there to speak and to defend the necessity for a public broadcasting service that is independent of political or other powers.

On this occasion, Edwy Plenel, in the name of Mediapart, will issue a citizens’ appeal in the name of the Europe that stands for culture and freedom of information.

The complete, detailed program will be sent out on by Monday, June 17. The event is free and open to the public.

Translated by SnakeArbusto

Jun 132013
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

Greek unions organised a 24 hour strike in support of ERT - Photo by Giorgos Panagakis

Greek unions organized a 24 hour strike in support of ERT – Photo by Giorgos Panagakis

“No Signal.” That was the last message to be broadcast on June 11 at 11:00 PM (local time) by the Greek public broadcasting network ERT. Broadcasting has ended. The radical – and unprecedented – measure was taken without forewarning just as the leaders of Greece’s “Troika” creditors (EU-ECB-IMF) are in Athens.

Public broadcasting belongs to the many government entities that were to be restructured or merged under the Memorandum of Understanding between Greece and its lenders. According to the unions, in closing ERT, the government is meeting the objective imposed on it by Greece’s creditors – eliminating 2,000 public-sector jobs by the end of June – with one stroke of the pen. It is justifying its decision by citing low ratings for the public radio stations and television channels, and also their lack of financial resources, in particular from advertising.

The government did say that the public entity would re-open someday in another form, with a drastically reduced workforce. Government spokesman Simos Kédikoglou revealed the details of a proposed law on the creation of a “new Greek radio, Internet, and television” to be called Nerit S.A. and which would begin operation by the end of August, with 1,200 employees. In the meantime, the current workforce of 2,656 will receive compensation and will be allowed to apply for jobs with the new company.

“They’re saying they’ll re-open in September. But in Greece, nothing’s more permanent than ‘temporary’,” ERT radio General Manager Dimitris Papadimitriou observed.

An explosive economic measure 

The unions have called on Greeks to take to the streets to protest the shutdown. The protest is supported by certain personalities in Greek public life who are dependent on Greece’s public broadcasting – starting with Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, Primate of the Greek Church, who immediately joined the movement along with the majority of the priests. “It has to be understood that only public television and radio broadcast the Mass on Sunday morning, every day of Holy Week, the week before Easter, at Christmas and on August 15 (the feast of the Dormition or Assumption). It provided hope and comfort for those among the faithful who are unable to go to church, as well as to Greeks living abroad. Remember that there are as many Greeks abroad as in Greece itself, and the Mass broadcast was a little piece of Greece for them,” the Archbishop said.

Orthodox Catholicism is the state religion in Greece, and 90% of the country’s population, according to official figures, is Orthodox. Religious broadcasts are carried on all four public channels, including the international one.

Greeks in Venezuela, the USA, and Japan called with messages of support for the personnel. One of them said on the air, just before programming was shut down, that the national public network was the only way for him not to forget the language of his native country and be able to observe religious celebrations in his home.

Several hundred persons were still assembled late Wednesday afternoon in front of ERT’s headquarters in Athens’s northeastern suburbs. A solidarity concert was planned for Wednesday evening.

Sophie Rosenzweig / ARTE Journal

Translated by SnakeArbusto

Status of Greek public broadcasting:

ERT in figuresIts history goes back to the 1950s. With 35 broadcasting locations, ERT reaches the most remote corners of the Greek Aegean islands and employs nearly 2,700 persons, including some 680 journalists and 200 musicians and singers.ERT, via its international Greek-language radio frequency and the ERT World channel, provides a vital link to a country whose language is spoken by more than seven million diaspora Greeks scattered around the world from Egypt to Australia and including the United States.

 

Edition spéciale : ARTE Journal diffusé en grec:

ERT: On the Edge:

Thousands of Greek showing solidarity outside the ERT building in Athens:

Published: Wed. Jun 12 12:00:00 CEST 2013

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RELATED ARTICLE: 

ERT shutdown: Greeks say “This is junta!” @ http://stopcartelnews.blogspot.com.es/2013/06/ert-shutdown-greeks-say-this-is-junta.html

Apr 272013
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stands with an Egyptian army official as he salutes before laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt. Pool/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stands with an Egyptian army official as he salutes before laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt.
Pool/Getty Images

Isn’t it funny that just a week after the Boston bombings and the announcement that a terrorist plot driven by Iran was foiled in Canada, the word has gone out that what we have feared for so long (or to put it another way, what we have been prepared to accept for so long) has come about: Dr. Assad has stepped over the red line – or is at least standing on it, with one foot ready to come down on the other side (the former is the Republican take, the latter the Democrat)?

In contrast, take a look at this (note the date – March 19th): http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34344.htm
And look quick, because it might not be there much longer.

Also note how Chuck Hagel said yesterday that the reports were not to be taken seriously, while stopping short of criticizing Israeli intelligence:

“(Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday the U.S. effort to determine whether Syria has used chemical weapons is a “serious business” that cannot be decided in a rush just because several countries believe evidence supports that conclusion.

“Suspicions are one thing, evidence is another,” Hagel told reporters as he wrapped up a visit to Egypt that included talks about Syria and other regional issues.

“I think we have to be very careful here before we make any conclusions (and) draw any conclusions based on real intelligence. That’s not at all questioning other nations’ intelligence. But the United States relies on its own intelligence.” “

But today, 24 hours later, Mr. Hagel… stepped over the line:

“ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. intelligence has concluded “with some degree of varying confidence,” that the Syrian government has used sarin gas as a weapon in its 2-year-old civil war, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

Hagel, speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi, said the White House has informed two senators by letter that, within the past day, “our intelligence community does assess, with varying degrees of confidence, that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically, the chemical agent sarin.”

“It violates every convention of warfare,” Hagel said. “

When you’re a new defense secretary, you learn fast…

Mar 082013
 

By SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

image001

It was interesting to see how the French media reacted to the announcement of the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. I usually frequent what in the US would be called the “liberal” media. For example, I listen to France-Culture, a public radio station. (Yes, France has public radio, and it’s actually publicly funded and commercial-free.) France-Culture is the only radio station I have ever run across that features a regular program on architecture. It also carries the Sunday morning Mass from Notre-Dame cathedral. But that doesn’t keep it from energetically criticizing the government when it deserves it.

But after the predictable mention of Chávez’s improving his people’s lot thanks to his country’s mineral wealth, France-Culture’s evening news story on Chávez called him a “nationalist.” That term is a heavily loaded one in France. Nationalism is seen as a major cause of the Great War. Hitler and Mussolini were nationalists.

And the use of the term wasn’t even accurate. Chávez was an internationalist, one of whose achievements has been to unite several Latin American countries who are determined to follow a different path from the one proposed for them by the US… a path that has been disastrous for the peoples of Latin America – where, after all, the US is basically the successor of the Spanish and Portuguese colonizers who bled the continent for centuries. Remember the Maine?

Listening further, I noticed a general tendency to focus on Chávez’s personality – admittedly colorful – rather than on his achievements. There seemed to be a fixation on the fact that most of what he achieved – cutting the poverty rate in half, land reform, making education and health care accessible to all, etc. – is owed to his government’s control of Venezuela’s rich oil resources, and the suggestion that all that good had been done for purely electoral motives. As if it weren’t natural for a country’s resources to be used to better the lives of its people…

But it was later, watching the evening news on ARTE TV – another hotbed of the liberal media – that I began to wonder whether the same narrative was informing the coverage in all the media. The reports harped on Chávez’s ties to “dictators” like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Ghaddafi, as if to suggest that this president who went out of his way to legitimize his power through elections was a dictator himself, or as if to conveniently forget that France and the US both supported Saddam and Ghaddafi when it was perceived as being in their interest. The tone of the reports was often one of raillery. They seemed determined to portray Chávez as some kind of comic-opera potentate – again seeming to forget France’s own embarrassment over having a “bling-bling” president whose sartorial model seemed to be John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Chávez was sneeringly referred to as the “Little father of the peoples,” again in a clear attempt to tar him with the brush of totalitarianism. He was portrayed as having created and maintained a “personality cult.”

Sarko&Khadaf2

As for Chávez’s economic policies, again the prevailing theme was that he had made himself popular among the masses by buying their favor with oil revenues. At one point we were told that Chávez “used Venezuela’s oil wealth to enrich the poor.” Enrich the poor? By creating a system of markets that put food more within their reach? Were we supposed to imagine indolent peasants sporting Rolex watches and toying with iPhones while drinking champagne on café terraces (as the French are fond of doing)? In the background seemed to be the unchallenged assumption that the purpose of oil – or any of the natural resources in which Latin America, like Africa, abounds – is to enrich someone.

Later, on ARTE’s 28 Minutes commentary/discussion program, a lone representative of orthodoxy found himself outgunned by the other commentators on the panel – all with perfectly legitimate mainstream credentials. The same commonplaces were brought up, only to be deflated by sober, informed comments:

The personality cult: There is a nuance to be made between a personality cult and a leader who is genuinely adored by his people, even if he has gone out of his way to cultivate that love.

The “dictator”-by-association meme: All realistic leaders cultivate alliances that further the interests of their people. (This would have been a good time to flash the picture of Sarkozy and his “brother” Ghaddafi.)

Chávez’s playing fast and loose with the constitutional process: Someone quickly mentioned Jacques Chirac’s dissolution of the French legislature in 1997, and the discussion abruptly ended.

Chávez is a friend of the evil ayatollahs’ regime in Iran: Venezuela and Iran are among the founders of OPEC; would it be realistic to expect him to put an end to such a long-term alliance?

Then another major argument was brought out: Chávez’s “de-industrialization” of Venezuela. Could this be a reference to the IMF’s classifying the country as “slow to recover?” Should Venezuela follow the example of most of the other major Latin American countries and de-populate its countryside, shrink its public sector, privatize all its resources and public services, increase its dependency on foreign debt and on the major powers, allow its wealth to be siphoned off for the benefit of the global elite, and allow its population to serve as a pool of cheap labor for international capital? Perhaps the problem, as the mainstream media see it, is that Hugo Chávez did the opposite. He encouraged his people, and the people of other Latin American nations, to walk a different path, to finally shake off the domination of the powerful, to make the word “development” mean something other than enrichment for the global few and continuing poverty and oppression for their people. He spurred the creation of BancoSur as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He dared to challenge the dollar as the foundation stone of the world’s economy. Could it be for all those reasons that the mainstream media seem to be hoping that Hugo Chávez is dead? Viva Chávez!

Mar 012013
 

By SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

Hachette_missile001

Current events have caught up with this post. It started when I bought my son, who was studying for his brevet exams – here in France the brevet is your ticket out of middle school and into high school – a review workbook for his Civics exam. The educational system being highly centralized in France, the curricula are nationwide and schoolbook publishing is a lucrative industry. Which may explain why French capitalists and their friends in politics tend to take an interest in it… But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My son began studying the book and at one point came and showed me the caption on a picture in a section entitled Les menaces pour la paix et la sécurité (“Threats to Peace and Security”). The picture is of a missile being fired, and the caption reads “Un missile à capacité nucléaire iranien” (“A nuclear-capable Iranian missile”). The picture was one of several “documents” that are supposed to serve as a basis for “reflection and discussion by students.” The strong implication is that Iran has a military nuclear program, and even nuclear warheads. This is being presented to my son and his generation of French middle-school kids as a simple fact.

Yet a little reading in the mainstream information media will demonstrate that it is anything but a fact. Iran is a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is in charge of surveillance of compliance with that treaty, has rejected “allegations” (mostly coming from the US and its allies) that Iran is pursuing development of nuclear weapons1.

The fact is that the United States and its allies, including France, have been exerting pressure on Iran to cease its program of uranium enrichment – to which it is entitled under the terms of the aforementioned treaty –, supposedly as a guarantee of Iran’s intention not to pursue development of a nuclear weapon. In the meantime, the NATO/US military machine has been stepping up its presence in the region, as if it were doing everything in its power to push Iran towards developing a weapon for purposes of deterrence.

So I looked to see who the publisher of the workbook is. The publisher turns out to be Hachette Éducation, the largest publisher of textbooks in France, with 1.052 billion euros in sales in 2007. Hachette Éducation is a division of Hachette Livre, which is part of the Lagardère group. The Lagardère group originates in the takeover of the French press-publishing giant Hachette by arms manufacturer Matra in 1980. The group today has a co-controlling share in EADS, which in 2010 ranked seventh in the list of the top ten weapons merchants, with 12.3 billion euros in sales. “Among EADS’s divisions is Matra BAe Dynamics, formed in 1996 via a merger of the missile business of BAe (BAe Dynamics) and half of the missile business of Matra Défense. (The other half remained as Aerospatiale Matra Missiles).”2

So a textbook writer working for Hachette would probably have little trouble finding stock photos of missiles to fill in a page in a Civics workbook…

According to the Reference for Business Company History Index3, in the controversial 1980 takeover of Hachette by Matra “[then French president] Giscard d’Estaing’s government supported Matra, its principal arms supplier” amid fears that “The publishing industry [was] gradually losing its financial and intellectual independence…” Were those fears justified? Well, today, 70% of the French press is controlled by arms manufacturers Lagardère and Dassault4. A 2004 article in The Economist5 expressed concern over the increasing influence of armaments makers on the French press and publishing industry. Isn’t it disturbing to see that the largest textbook publisher in France is part of an arms manufacturing group? And, given the incestuous relationship between business and government in France, that taxpayers’ money is being used to produce these textbooks?

As I said, current events have caught up with this post. The workbook dates from a couple of years ago, and so was published under the Sarkozy regime. Sarkozy, of course, is alleged to have long-standing ties to the US in general and to the CIA in particular. “Sarkozy the American” was the man who ended France’s tradition of keeping the US and NATO at arm’s length by returning France to NATO’s integrated military structure after a 43-year absence6,7. Sarkozy also demonstrated a taste for military adventurism when he spearheaded the 2011 attack on Ghaddafi’s Libya.

When a Socialist president was elected last year, the issue of France’s participation in NATO and her military adventurism was very much a part of the campaign, and current president François Hollande, playing on his pacifist political inheritance, had promised “to re-examine the NATO question.” He has been accused by his political opponents of wanting to slash France’s military budget. But today he has shown himself to be as eager as Sarkozy was to “prove his mettle as a leader” and engage his country in war – for purely “humanitarian” motives, of course. And the mainstream press, unsurprisingly, has furthered that narrative.

Taking the train into Paris yesterday, I noticed that the billboard frames that line the tracks – usually devoted to yogurt or cheese or the latest vampire movie – were mostly displaying advertisements for France’s modern army. The billboards depict fit young men and women in camouflage, training in combat techniques or young men in Robocop-like crowd-control gear standing on a railway platform holding assault rifles, “protecting the population.” The French Army is recruiting 10,000 young men and women. Meanwhile, the French auto industry plans to fire 11,000 workers between now and 2015 – with the consent of the unions and the government.

It made me realize that in fact nothing has changed. France is one of the world’s leading armaments producers. And countries whose economies depend heavily on the production of weapons of war need to remain in a constant state of war. That state of war needs to be justified to the population, and the population needs to be provided with an enemy from whom it needs to be protected. Or else the war-waging needs to be sanitized, as is now being done with Syria and Mali, and as was done with Libya and earlier with Serbia/Kosovo, by convincing the population that what is being done with its tax money is “humanitarian intervention.” And that is where the press comes in.

Examples of how the press promotes the enterprise of war can be seen every day. During the preparation for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 they were ubiquitous and egregious. The lesson of the Vietnam war was learned well. No reporter is allowed direct access to a combat area, and the information they have access to is kept under strict control.  The mainstream press now supports the official narrative of what is happening wherever the US/NATO intervenes – currently in Syria and Mali. Is that surprising, given the degree of control the warplane makers have over the press?

But it goes farther than that. The culture of war is etched in myriad ways into the official and popular culture of countries where armaments are the lifeblood of the economy. Nick Turse, in The Complex, reveals how the Pentagon provides support for the development of computer shooter games and war movies. The recent film Zero Dark Thirty is reportedly the result of direct collaboration with the Obama administration8. What passes for entertainment – some would even call it art – is in fact metaprogramming, designed to ensure that the message Obama sent to the world in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech – that it’s going to be business as usual – is not forgotten: “We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”

Presumably – in France, at least – violent conflict will be on the menu into our children’s lifetimes, too, and our textbooks need to condition them to accept that. Why? Is it because Obama’s words are, sadly, true? Or is it for another reason? Is it because the publisher of the textbooks is also a merchant of death?

______________________________________________________________

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction#Alleged_weaponization_studies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction#Alleged_weaponization_studies

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Matra.html

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/50/Matra-Hachette-S-A.htm

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/50/Matra-Hachette-S-A.html

http://www.ifj.org/fr/articles/journalists-challenge-european-commission-over-media-concentration-in-france

http://www.economist.com/node/2560576″ http://www.economist.com/node/2560576

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sarkozy-s-three-way-nato-bet

http://www.sott.net/article/161965-Sarkozy-Hello-NATO-Goodbye-France

http://www.sott.net/article/161965-Sarkozy-Hello-NATO-Goodbye-France

8 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kathryn-bigelow-bin-laden-movie-mark-boal-white-house-328830