George Weigel — The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God — Videos

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LaDefense

“Democracy Without God?” by George Weigel

Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace, Pope John Paul II – Books (2008)

George Weigel (born 1951) is an American author and political and social activist. He currently serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Weigel was the Founding President of the James Madison Foundation. He is the author of the best-selling biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope and Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace.

Weigel was born and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University. He later received his masters degree from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. He has received 18 honorary doctorate degrees, as well as the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture.

Weigel lived in Seattle, serving as Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant Dean of Studies at the St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore, and Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle, before returning to Washington, D.C. as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Weigel served as the founding president of the James Madison Foundation (not to be confused with the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation) from 1986 to 1989. In 1994, he was a signer of the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

He currently serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow and Chair of Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C..

Each summer, Weigel and several other Catholic intellectuals from the United States, Poland, and across Europe conduct the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society in Krakow, in which they and an assortment of students from the United States, Poland, and several other emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe discuss Christianity within the context of liberal democracy and capitalism, with the papal encyclical Centesimus Annus being the focal point.

Weigel and his wife Joan live in North Bethesda, Maryland. He has three children.

He is a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Weigel writes and serves on the Institute board for the Institute for Religion and Public Life, which publishes First Things, an ecumenical publication that focuses on encouraging a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.

The main body of Weigel’s writings engage the issues of religion and culture.

Weigel advocates a U.S. foreign policy guided not by utopian notions about how nations should behave, but by moral reasoning. “From the Iliad to Tolstoy and beyond, that familiar trope, “the fog of war,” has been used to evoke the millennia–old experience of the radical uncertainty of combat. Some analysts, however, take the trope of “the fog of war” a philosophical step further and suggest that warfare takes place beyond the reach of moral reason, in a realm of interest and necessity where moral argument is a pious diversion at best and, at worst, a lethal distraction from the deadly serious business at hand.”

In some cases, he adds, moral reasoning may require that the United States support authoritarian regimes to fend off the greater evils of moral decay and threats to the security of the United States. For Weigel, America’s shortcomings do not excuse her from pursuing the greater moral good.

Weigel achieved much fame for writing Witness to Hope, a biography of the late Pope John Paul II, which was also made into a documentary film. In 2004 Weigel wrote an article in Commentary magazine, entitled “The Cathedral and the Cube”, in which he used the contrast between the modernist Grande Arche, and the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, both located in Paris, France, to illustrate what he called a loss of “civilizational morale” in Western Europe, which he tied to the secular tyrannies of the 20th century, along with, more recently, plummeting birthrates and Europe’s refusal to recognize the Christian roots of its culture. Weigel questions whether Europe can give an account of itself while denying the very moral tradition through which its culture arose: “Christians who share this conviction (that it is the will of God that Christians be tolerant of those who have a different view of God’s will) — can give an account of their defense of the other’s freedom even if the other, skeptical and relativist, finds it hard to give an account of the freedom of the Christian.” This is a theme sounded clearly by Marcello Pera and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (from 2005 to 2013 Pope Benedict XVI), in their book Without Roots: the West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, for which Weigel authored the foreword. In 2005, he expanded the article into a book, The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God.

Ten Things To Know About Pope Francis (George Weigel – Acton Institute)

Top 10 Immigrant Countries

The ten countries with greatest number of foreign born residents.
10. Spain 6.5 million immigrants (13.8% of pop)
9. Australia 6.5 million immigrants (27.7%)
8. Canada 7.3 million immigrants (20.7%)
7. France 7.4 million immigrants (11.6%)
6. United Kingdom 7.8 million immigrants (12.4%)
5. United Arab Emirates 7.8 million immigrants (83.7%)
4. Saudi Arabia 9.1 million immigrants (31.4%)
3. Germany 9.8 million immigrants (11.9%)
2. Russia 11 million immigrants (7.7%)
1. USA 45.7 million immigrants (14.3%)

The World in 2015: Global population and the changing shape of world demographics

Demographic Winter – the decline of the human family (Full Movie)

Future World Populations (2050)

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Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Posted on February 13, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Blogroll, Communications, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, European History, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Missiles, Money, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Rifles, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Story 1: Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Civil-War-In-Ukrainemap ukraineRussian_language_map_Ukraineukraine-map

Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick?

A previous cease-fire last year between Ukraine and the Russian-backed rebels barely took hold, eventually collapsing altogether. What are the chances the new agreement will last? Gwen Ifill talks to Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

Can Russia-Ukraine Cease-Fire Hold Without U.S. Help?

Ukraine Russia ceasefire agreed

Minsk Deal Reaction: Participants emerge after night-long peace talks

Minsk deal provides hope for peace in eastern Ukraine but leaders warn ‘major obstacles’ remain

How This Cease-Fire Between Russia And Ukraine Is Different

New Ukraine Peace Deal Met With Distrust

Skepticism in Ukraine, after a peace deal is hammered out between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. Under the agreement Ukraine will trade broad autonomy for the east to get back control of its Russian border by the end of 2015. (Feb. 12)

Putin briefs press after marathon Minsk talks on Ukraine peace deal

Russian president Vladimir Putin is giving a press conference after 14-hour talks with the leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine on the Ukrainian crisis in Minsk, Belarus

Russia vs Ukraine – War & Peace 2015

The European Union may impose further sanctions if a ceasefire deal sealed in Minsk between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels is not fully implemented, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said after an EU summit in Brussels tonight.

Fresh from brokering a deal in Minsk between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ms Merkel told a news conference that EU leaders had asked the European Commission to prepare further sanctions in case the ceasefire did not hold.

“We hold open the possibility, if these new agreements are not implemented, that we must take further measures,” she said, adding that existing sanctions could only be lifted when the grounds that led to them are removed.The leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia had committed to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a joint declaration distributed by the Kremlin.

“The main thing which has been achieved is that from Saturday into Sunday there should be declared without any conditions at all, a general ceasefire,” Mr Poroshenko told journalists.

Ms Merkel and Mr Hollande had joined Mr Poroshenko and Mr Putin for a marathon negotiating session that began early on yesterday evening and continued into this morning. As the fighting escalated, the US began openly talking of arming Ukraine to defend itself from “Russian aggression”, raising the prospect of a proxy war in the heart of Europe between Cold War foes.

US President Barack Obama said he has yet to make up his mind on the question of sending weapons.

He spoke by phone to Mr Putin on Tuesday, and the White House said he warned the Russian leader that the costs would rise if Russia kept aiding the separatists.

The White House released a statement today welcoming the ceasefire, saying that the move represents a “potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty”.

As the French and German leaders’ peace initiative was announced, pro-Russian rebels appeared determined to drive home their advantage ahead of a deal.

Armoured columns of Russian-speaking soldiers with no insignia have been advancing for days around Debaltseve, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.

On the Russian side of the border, Russia has begun military exercises in 12 regions involving more than 30 missile regiments, RIA news agency reported this morning, citing a Defence Ministry official.

World War 3 : The Beast to arm Ukraine as the Russian Bear mobilizes 100,000 troops (Feb 02, 2015)

US ‘should send Ukraine arms’

Ukraine Conflict Reignites U.S. Considers Sending Arms | NBC Nightly News

The Ukraine Crisis: Withstand and Deter Russian Aggression

Obama on Ukraine: A diplomatic path for now

Last Hope for Minsk Peace Talks: Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France leaders to meet in Belarus

Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Europe plunged into energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine Gas prices rise in London Bulgaria reaches ‘crisis’ point

Russia cut gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent today, plunging the continent into an energy crisis ‘within hours’ as a dispute with Ukraine escalated.

This morning, gas companies in Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply.

Six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine today, in a sharp escalation of a struggle over energy that threatens Europe as winter sets in.

Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments from Russia through Ukraine.

Gas Battle: Ukraine Vs Russia – An Animated History

WW3 RUSSIA Set To CUT OFF All GAS SUPPLIES to UKRAINE

 

‘Ukraine gas poker with Russia not over’

Published on Oct 31, 2014

Moscow and Kiev have sealed a gas agreement after several hours of tense talks in Brussels. Previous rounds in recent weeks had failed. The deal on supplies and transit to Europe has allayed EU fears of staying in the cold this winter. Geopolitical analyst William Enghdal says the deal won’t solve anything in the longterm.

 

 

Marathon talks produce Ukraine peace deal; cease-fire Sunday

The peace deal reached Thursday for Ukraine, if it holds, would be a partial win for both Moscow and Kiev: Ukraine retains the separatist eastern regions and regains control of its border with Russia, while Russia holds strong leverage to keep Ukraine from ever becoming part of NATO.

But neither side came away from the marathon talks unscathed.

There’s no sign Russia will soon escape the Western sanctions that have driven its economy down sharply, and Kiev’s price for regaining control of the border with Russia is to grant significant new power to the east.

But the complicated calculus of whether any side came out truly ahead can’t be determined unless a single, straightforward term is fulfilled: halting the shooting and artillery salvos that have killed more than 5,300 people since April. That is supposed to happen on Sunday, at one minute after midnight.

A cease-fire called in September never fully took hold and fighting escalated sharply in the past month. Questions remain about whether either side possesses the will or discipline to ensure a truce this time.

The cease-fire is to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observer mission in Ukraine.

But that “will probably go nowhere if there isn’t a huge political will to beef up the OSCE, pull in many more monitors, give them clear support,” said analyst Judy Dempsey, an associate of the Carnegie Europe think-tank.

The OSCE mission head, Ertugrul Apakan, said Thursday that he expected it would expand by the end of the month to about 500 observers, up from about 310 currently, the Interfax news agency reported.

Under the terms of the deal reached after 16 hours of talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the next step is to form a sizeable buffer zone between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels. Each side is to pull heavy weaponry back from the front line, creating a zone roughly 30-85 miles (50-140 kilometers) wide, depending on the weapon caliber.

Then come the knotty and volatile political questions.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters the deal envisages special status for Ukraine’s separatist regions, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, maintained there was no consensus on any sort of autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine.

In addition, the agreement foresees the regions being able to form their own police forces and to trade freely with Russia, both of which would bring a degree of division and uncertainty within Ukraine that could be leverage to keep the country out of NATO.

Those measures would require constitutional reform, certain to be a highly fraught process.

“Anything that has to go through the Ukrainian parliament has a huge question mark attached to it,” said Eugene Rumer of the Carnegie center. “It is going to be the subject of a huge and very fierce debate in Kiev.”

Only after such reform is passed would Ukraine’s full control over its border with Russia be restored, according to the pact.

Aside from the political resolution of the east’s status, Ukraine also faces severe challenges with its troubled economy, which is close to bankruptcy. On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund agreed to give Ukraine a new bailout deal worth $17.5 billion (15.5 billion euros). The World Bank, meanwhile, announced it was ready to commit up to $2 billion to help Ukraine with reforms, to fight corruption and for other purposes.

Despite the uncertainties, the agreement’s initiators saw it as a step forward.

“We now have a glimmer of hope,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who brokered the talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk together with French President Francois Hollande.

“But the concrete steps, of course, have to be taken. And we will still face major obstacles. But, on balance, I can say what we have achieved gives significantly more hope than if we had achieved nothing.”

As for Putin, he told reporters: “It was not the best night of my life.”

“But the morning, I think, is good, because we have managed to agree on the main things despite all the difficulties of the negotiations,” the Russian leader said.

Battles continued Thursday even as the talks went on, and Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russia sent 50 tanks and a dozen heavy weapons overnight into Ukraine.

In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, residents who have seen their city pounded daily by artillery since late May were skeptical of the deal.

“We will see whether there will be a cease-fire or not,” said resident Tatyana Griedzheva. “You have seen it with your own eyes, the kind of cease-fire that we have already had.”

A previous cease-fire in September was violated repeatedly as Ukrainian forces and the rebels both tried to gain more ground.

Poroshenko stressed that the pact contains “a clear commitment to withdraw all foreign troops, all mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” a reference to the Russian soldiers and weapons that Ukraine and the West say Russia has sent into eastern Ukraine to back the rebels.

Moscow has denied the accusations, saying any Russian fighters were volunteers, but the sheer number of sophisticated heavy weapons in the rebels’ possession belies that.

Still, Merkel said, in the end, Putin exerted pressure on the separatists to get them to agree to the cease-fire.

“I have no illusions. We have no illusions. A great, great deal of work is still necessary. But there is a real chance to make things better,” she said.

In Brussels, European Union President Donald Tusk said the test of the Minsk agreement will be whether the weekend cease-fire holds in eastern Ukraine.

The French-German diplomatic offensive came as President Barack Obama considered sending U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine, a move that European nations feared would only widen the hostilities.

“The true test of today’s accord will be in its full and unambiguous implementation, including the durable end of hostilities and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The urgency felt by all sides was underlined by the extraordinary length of the talks, which began Wednesday evening and continued uninterrupted through the night as crowds of reporters waited anxiously in a marble-floored, chandeliered convention hall in Minsk.

While the four leaders hailed the agreement, Russia and Ukraine still disagreed on how to end the fighting around Debaltseve, a key transport hub between the rebels’ two main cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin said the rebels consider the Ukrainian forces there surrounded and expect them to surrender, while Ukraine says its troops have not been blocked.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/leaders-minsk-crucial-ukraine-peace-talks-28908311

 

 

Russia–Ukraine gas disputes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe

The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries—that threaten natural gas supplies in numerous European countries dependent on natural gas imports from Russian suppliers, which are transported through Ukraine. Russia provides approximately a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU.[1]

A serious dispute began in March 2005 over the price of natural gas supplied and the cost of transit. During this conflict, Russia claimed Ukraine was not paying for gas, but diverting that which was intended to be exported to the EU from the pipelines. Ukrainian officials at first denied the accusation,[2][3] but later Naftohaz admitted that natural gas intended for other European countries was retained and used for domestic needs. The dispute reached a crescendo on 1 January 2006, when Russia cut off all gas supplies passing through Ukrainian territory.[4] On 4 January 2006, a preliminary agreement between Russia and Ukraine was achieved, and the supply was restored. The situation calmed until October 2007 when new disputes began over Ukrainian gas debts. This led to reduction of gas supplies in March 2008. During the last months of 2008, relations once again became tense when Ukraine and Russia could not agree on the debts owed by Ukraine.[5]

In January 2009, this disagreement resulted in supply disruptions in many European nations, with eighteen European countries reporting major drops in or complete cut-offs of their gas supplies transported through Ukraine from Russia.[6][7] In September 2009 officials from both countries stated they felt the situation was under control and that there would be no more conflicts over the topic,[8][9] at least until the Ukrainian 2010 presidential elections.[10] However, in October 2009, another disagreement arose about the amount of gas Ukraine would import from Russia in 2010. Ukraine intended to import less gas in 2010 as a result of reduced industry needs because of its economic recession; however, Gazprom insisted that Ukraine fulfill its contractual obligations and purchase the previously agreed upon quantities of gas.[11]

On June 8, 2010, a Stockholm court of arbitration ruled Naftohaz of Ukraine must return 12.1 billion cubic metres (430 billion cubic feet) of gas to RosUkrEnergo, aSwiss-based company in which Gazprom controls a 50% stake. Russia accused Ukrainian side of siphoning gas from pipelines passing through Ukraine in 2009.[12][13] Several high-ranking Ukrainian officials stated the return “would not be quick”.[14]

Russia plans to completely abandon gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine after 2018.[15][16]

Historical background

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, oil import prices to Ukraine reached world market levels in 1993. However, gas import prices and transit fees remained below European levels for Russian exports to Europe through pipelines in Ukraine; these were set in bilateral negotiations.[17] At the same time Ukraine remained the main transit corridor for Russia’s gas export. In 2004–2005, 80% of Russian gas exports to the European Union were made through Ukrainian Territory.[18][19]Two-thirds of Gazprom’s revenue comes from the sale of gas that crosses Ukraine.[20]

Ukraine’s own annual gas consumption in 2004–2005 was around 80 billion cubic metres (2.8 trillion cubic feet), of which around 20 billion cubic metres (710 billion cubic feet) were produced domestically, 36 billion cubic metres (1.3 trillion cubic feet) were bought from Turkmenistan, and 17 billion cubic metres (600 billion cubic feet) were received from Russia in exchange for transport of Russian natural gas. The remaining 8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) were purchased from Russia.[21] The gas trading system differed substantially from the gas sale to the European Union and caused problems in the form of large-scale deliveries of relatively cheap Russian gas causing an increase of energy-intensive industries and supporting Ukraine’s status as one of the world’s least energy-efficientcountries and largest gas importers, the accumulation of Ukrainian debts and non-payment of same, unsanctioned diversion of gas and alleged theft from the transit system, and Russian pressure on Ukraine to hand over infrastructure in return for relief of debts accumulated over natural gas transactions.[17]

Gas trading was conducted under a framework of bilateral intergovernmental agreements which provided for sales, transit volumes, gas prices, gas storage, and other issues such as the establishment of production joint ventures.[citation needed] Commercial agreements were negotiated between the relevant companies within the guidelines and dictates of that framework and supplemented by annual agreements specifying exact prices and volumes for the following year.[citation needed] Gas sales prices and transit tariffs were determined in relationship to each other.[17] Commercial agreements and trade relations have been non-transparent and trade has been conducted via intermediaries such as Itera, EuralTransGaz, and RosUkrEnergo. RosUkrEnergo’s involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian gas trade has been controversial. There are allegations that the company is controlled by Semion Mogilevich and its beneficiaries include strategically placed officials in the Russian and Ukrainian gas industries and governmental structures related to the energy sector.[20][22] Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made accusations that RosUkrEnergo is owned by a business ally of Ukraine’s ex-president, Viktor Yushchenko.[23] The Ukrainian investigation into RosUkrEnergo, during Yulia Tymoshenko‘s first term as Prime Minister, was closed after she was fired by Yushchenko in September 2005.[24]

According to a contract between Gazprom and Naftohaz signed on 21 June 2002, payment for the transfer of Russian natural gas through the Ukrainian pipelinesystem had been made in exchange for no more than 15% of the gas pumped through Ukrainian territory to be taken in lieu of cash.[citation needed] This contract was supposed to be valid until the end of 2013.[citation needed] On 9 August 2004, the two companies signed an addendum to the contract, according to which the amount of gas given as a payment was calculated based on a tariff of US$1.09 for the transportation of 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas over a distance of 100 kilometres (62 mi); the addendum further stated the price of the natural gas supplied to Ukraine was to be $50 per 1,000 cubic meters (approximately $1.40 per million Btu).[25]This price was constant notwithstanding the gas prices in the European markets.[26] According to the addendum the price was not subject to change until the end of 2009.[25] Gazprom argued that this addendum was only applicable provided that the two countries sign an annual intergovernmental protocol that has higher legal status for specifying the terms of gas transit.[27] According to Gazprom, the addendum becomes void as the annual protocol had not been signed for 2006 under the required terms.[28] Russia claimed that Gazprom’s subsidies to the Ukrainian economy amounted to billions of dollars.[29]

According to the agreement of 2006, RosUkrEnergo was to receive no more than 20 percent of the total delivered gas, which in 2007 was 15 billion cubic metres (530 billion cubic feet) of 73 billion cubic metres (2.6 trillion cubic feet).[citation needed]

Disputes of the 1990s

Initial disputes concerning gas debts and non-payment appeared immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[citation needed] As a result of disputes over non-payments by Ukraine, Russia suspended natural gas exports several times between 1992 and 1994. This led to the illicit diversion of Russian natural gas exports from transit pipelines by Ukrainian companies and institutions in September 1993 and November 1994.[citation needed] The siphoning of gas was acknowledged by Ukraine, while accusations of other diversions were disputed.[17] In September 1993, at a summit conference in Massandra, Crimea, Russian President Boris Yeltsin offered to Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to forgive Ukrainian debts in return for control of the Black Sea Fleet and Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal.[30][citation needed]After a strong negative reaction from politicians in Kiev, the idea was abandoned.[17] An intergovernmental agreement was drafted on gas issues, including a clause stating Ukraine would permit Gazprom to participate in the privatization of Ukrainian enterprises in gas and other sectors.[citation needed] In March 1994, a Ukrainian deputy prime minister agreed with Russia that Gazprom could acquire a 51% stake in the pipeline system. In early 1995, Russia and Ukraine agreed to create a joint company, Gaztransit, to operate Ukraine’s natural gas transit infrastructure in exchange for the cancellation of a substantial portion of Ukraine’s debts to Russia. These agreements were never implemented, and in November 1995, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, adopted a law prohibiting the privatization of oil and gas assets.[17]

In 1998, Gazprom and Naftohaz made a contract under which Gazprom would pay for the transit of volumes of gas, which established a link between gas prices and transit tariffs,[citation needed] but this contract did not resolve the issue of already incurred gas debts.[17] In 1998, Gazprom alleged that Ukraine had illegally diverted gas meant for export to other European countries and suspended exports of oil and electricity to Ukraine in 1999.[citation needed] Gazprom also claimed that Ukraine’s gas debt had reached $2.8 billion.[18] In 2001, Deputy Prime Minister Oleh Dubyna acknowledged that in 2000 alone 8–7 billion cubic metres (280–250 billion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas had been siphoned off from export pipelines.[17] The debt issue was settled on 4 October 2001, by the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on Additional Measures Regarding the Provision of Transit of Russian Natural Gas on the Territory of Ukraine (the 2001 Transit Agreement).[18]

Dispute of 2005–2006

Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a meeting on 29 December 2005, with Alexei Kudrin (Russian Finance Minister), Viktor Khristenko(Russian Energy Minister), Alexander Medvedev (Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom board), Ivan Plachkov(Ukrainian Energy Minister) and Alexey Ivchenko (CEO of Naftohaz), in which the dispute was discussed.

In 2005, negotiations over gas prices for 2006 started. Gazprom insisted on a new price of $160 per 1,000 cubic meters.[citation needed] The Government of Ukraine agreed, with the stipulation that price increases were to be gradual, in return for increased gas transit fees and changing the method of payment for transit from payment in kind to cash.[31][verification needed] In May 2005, it was revealed that 7.8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) of gas which Gazprom had deposited in Ukrainian storage reservoirs during the previous winter had not been made available to the company.[citation needed] It remained unclear if the gas was missing, had disappeared due to technical problems, or had been stolen.[32] This issue was resolved in July 2005 by agreement between Gazprom, Naftohaz and RosUkrEnergo, according to which Naftohaz received 2.55 billion cubic metres (90 billion cubic feet) of gas as partial settlement of the Russian gas transit over 2005 services and 5.25 billion cubic metres (185 billion cubic feet) was sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo who has to receive it from Naftohaz.[33] However, the negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz over gas prices and a new gas supply agreement failed.[34] On 1 January 2006, Gazprom started reducing the pressure in the pipelines from Russia to Ukraine.[34]

Although Russia cut off supplies only to Ukraine, a number of European countries saw a drop in their supplies as well.[3] TheEuropean Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and several affected member states warned that blocking of gas deliveries was unacceptable.[citation needed] Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, expressed the opinion that all Post-Soviet states should pay market prices for their energy needs in order to improve the efficiency of their economies.[35]

The supply was restored on 4 January 2006, after the preliminary agreement between Ukraine and Gazprom was settled.[36] The five-year contract was signed, although with prices set for only six months. According to the contract, the gas was sold not directly to Naftohaz, but to the intermediary Russian-Swiss company RosUkrEnergo. The price of natural gas sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo rose to $230 per 1,000 cubic metres, which, after mixing it in a proportion of one-third Russian gas to two-thirds cheaper supplies from Central Asia, was resold to Ukraine at a price of $95 per 1,000 cubic metres.[37][38] The parties also agreed to raise the tariff for transit from US$1.09 to US$1.60 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 km; this applied not only to the transit of Russian gas to Europe, but also Turkmen gas through Russia to Ukraine.[citation needed] On 11 January 2006, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko confirmed that the conflict had been concluded.[citation needed]

One possible reason for this conflict is the more pro-NATO and European Union-style approach of the new “orange” government of Ukraine.[citation needed] Russia disagreed, stating they did not want to subsidize former Soviet republics.[39]

Dispute of 2007–2008

Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko at a meeting of the Russian–Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission at the Kremlin on 12 February 2008, at which the gas dispute was discussed.

On 2 October 2007, Gazprom threatened to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid debt of $1.3 billion.[40] This dispute appeared to be settled on 8 October 2007.[41] On 5 January 2008, Gazprom warned Ukraine that it would reduce its gas supplies on 11 January if $1.5 billion in gas debts were not paid.[42] Presidents Putin and Yushchenko announced on 12 February 2008, an agreement on the gas issue.[43] Ukraine would begin paying off its debts for natural gas consumed in November–December 2007 and the price of $179.5 would be preserved in 2008.[44][44] The presidents also decided to replace RosUkrEnergo and UkrGazEnergo with two new intermediaries, creating them as joint ventures of Gazprom and Naftohaz.[45]

At the end of February 2008, Gazprom threatened to reduce the supply of natural gas to Ukraine beginning on 3 March 2008, unless the pre-payment for 2008 was paid.[46][47] The Ukrainian government said it paid for the natural gas which was consumed in 2007, but refused to pay the bill for 2008.[48] A Gazprom spokesman claimed that the bill for 1.9 billion cubic metres (67 billion cubic feet) of gas deliveries to Ukraine valued around $600 million remained unpaid. Ukraine disagreed as that debt accumulated in recent months when Russia used its own gas to make up for a shortfall in less expensive Central Asian gas.[49] On 3 March, Gazprom cut its shipments to Ukraine by 25% and an additional 25% the next day, claiming that the $1.5 billion debt still was not paid, although Ukrainian officials stated it had indeed been paid.[50] Gas supplies were restored on 5 March after Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Naftohaz CEO Oleh Dubyna agreed during negotiations by phone on a settlement. On 6 March, the Ukrainian cabinet refused to execute the gas agreements made by presidents Yushchenko and Putin. The Ukrainian cabinet did not want to pay in advance for 2008, and it opposed the creation of a Naftohaz–Gazprom venture that would sell gas in Ukraine.[51] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko stated that Ukraine did not need any additional joint ventures, and as of 1 March 2008, UkrGazEnergo is no longer operating in Ukraine’s domestic gas market.[52]

Dispute of 2008–2009

Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko (12 February 2008)

The gas crisis of 2009 began with a failure to reach an agreement on gas prices and supplies for 2009. Ukraine owed a debt of $2.4 billion to Gazprom for gas already consumed, and Gazprom requested payment before the commencement of a new supply contract.[53] In December 2008, despite Ukraine’s repayment of more than $1 billion of its debt, Gazprom maintained its position, intending to cut the supply of natural gas to Ukraine on 1 January 2009, if Ukraine did not fully repay the remainder of $1.67 billion debt in natural gas supplies and an additional $450 million in fines levied by Gazprom.[54][55][56] On 30 December, Naftohaz paid $1.522 billion,[57] of the outstanding debt, but the two parties were not able to agree on the price for 2009. Ukraine proposed a price of $201, and later increased their proposed price to $235, while Gazprom demanded $250 per 1,000 cubic meters.[58] Negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz were interrupted on 31 December.[59]

On 1 January 2009, exports to Ukraine of 90 million cubic meters of natural gas per day were halted completely at 10:00 MSK. Exports intended for transhipment to the EU continued at a volume of 300 million cubic meters per day.[60] President Yushchenko requested that the European Union become involved in the settlement of this dispute in a letter to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.[61] A Ukrainian delegation including Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Yeliseyev, the President’s Representative for Energy Issues Bohdan Sokolovsky, and Deputy Head of Naftohaz Vadym Chuprun visited the Czech Republic as the first stop on a tour of a number EU member states to hold consultations on the gas crisis.[62][63]

On 2 January 2009, Hungary, Romania, and Poland reported that pressure in their pipelines had dropped. Bulgaria also reported that their natural gas supply was dropping, affecting the shipment of natural gas to Turkey, Greece, andMacedonia. Furthermore, the United Kingdom Government announced that it was preparing to enter its gas reserves after gas pressure had dropped from the continent.[64][65][66] On 4 January 2009, both RosUkrEnergo and Gazprom filed lawsuits against Ukraine and Naftohaz respectively with the Stockholm Tribunal of the Arbitration Institute.[67][68] Ukraine also filed lawsuits with the tribunal.[69] According to Naftohaz, RosUkrEnergo owes the company $40 million for services in transportation of natural gas.[70] On 5 January 2009, Kiev’s economic court banned Naftohaz from transshipping Russian natural gas in 2009 at the price of $1.60 per 1,600 cubic meters per 100 kilometers. The court declared contracts made by Naftohaz for the transit of natural gas through Ukraine void because the contracts were signed by Naftohaz without authorization from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.[71] On 30 March 2010, the Stockholm tribunal ordered Naftohaz to pay RosUkrEnergo around $200 million as a penalty for various breaches of supply, transit, and storage contracts.[72] On 8 June 2010, the tribunal ordered Naftohaz to return 11 billion cubic metres (390 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to RosUkrEnergo. The tribunal further ordered that RosUkrEnergo would receive from Naftohaz a further 1.1 billion cubic metres (39 billion cubic feet) of natural gas in lieu of RosUkrEnergo’s damages for breach of contract.[72][73]

On 5 January 2009 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructed Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to reduce natural gas exports to Europe via transshipment through Ukraine by quantities equivalent to the amounts of gas which Ukraine had allegedly siphoned from the pipelines since deliveries ended on 1 January 2009.[74] On 7 January, all Russian natural gas exports via Ukraine were halted amid accusations between the two parties.[75][76][77] Several countries reported a major fall in supplies of Russian gas starting on 7 January; Bulgaria, Moldova, and Slovakia were among the most affected by these supply drops.[6][78][79]

Talks between Naftohaz and Gazprom resumed overnight on 8 January 2009.[75][80][81] Ukraine agreed to guarantee the unfettered transport of natural gas on the condition that Gazprom would guarantee and supply technical gas for Ukraine’s gas transit system to function; this was denied by Russia.[82] The supplies to Europe were not restored although the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia agreed to the deployment of an international monitoring group to the gas metering stations between Russia and Ukraine.[83][84][85][86] Naftohaz blocked the transit of gas, blaming a lack of pressure in the pipeline system and saying the design of the Soviet-built pipeline meant it could not ship gas entering through the Sudzha metering station governing gas leaving through the Orlivka metering station without cutting off the Donetsk region, Luhansk region, and portions of the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine.[87][88][89] Naftohaz suggested a technically more feasible alternative through the Valuyki and Pisarevka metering stations but was refused.[90][91][92]

Signing of the deal reached at theMoscow summit on 19 January 2009, byOleh Dubyna and Alexei Miller (with Yulia Tymoshenko and Vladimir Putin standing in the background)

On 17 January 2009, Russia held an international gas conference in Moscow. The EU was represented by the Presidency, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Říman, and the EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, so that the European Union could speak with one voice.[93][94][95] Ukraine was represented by the Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.[96] The conference did not achieve any solution to the crisis, and the negotiations continued bilaterally between Prime Ministers Putin and Tymoshenko. Early on 18 January 2009, after five hours of talks, Putin and Tymoshenko reached a deal to restore gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine.[97][98] Both parties agreed that Ukraine would start paying European prices for its natural gas, less a 20% discount for 2009, and that Ukraine would pay the full European market price starting in 2010. In return for the discounts for 2009, Ukraine agreed to keep its transit fee for Russian gas unchanged in 2009. The two sides also agreed not to use intermediaries.[99][99] On 19 January 2009,Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and the head of Naftohaz Oleh Dubyna signed an agreement on natural gas supply to Ukraine for the period of 2009-2019.[100][101][102] Gas supplies restarted on 20 January 2009, and were fully restored on 21 January.[103]

According to the EU Commission and Presidency, the Russia–Ukraine gas disputes caused irreparable and irreversible damage to customers’ confidence in Russia and Ukraine, causing Russia and Ukraine to no longer be regarded as reliable partners.[89][91][95] According to reports, due to the gas crisis Gazprom lost more than $1.1 billion in revenue for the unsupplied gas.[104] Ukraine also incurred losses as a result of the temporary closure of its steel and chemical industries due to the lack of gas. Ukraine also lost $100 million of potential revenue in transit fees from natural gas.[104]

There were also accusations of illegal siphoning of natural gas by Ukraine; however, these accusations were not confirmed.[105][106] The issue of technical gas used to fuel compressor stations and to maintain gas pressure in the pipeline network remained unclear.[107][108] Some sources asserted that the responsibility for providing the technical gas falls to Ukraine,[109] while others say that this is the responsibility of Gazprom.[110]

There were several theories as to alleged political motives behind the gas disputes, including Russia exerting pressure on Ukrainian politicians or attempting to subvert EU and NATO expansions to include Ukraine.[111][112][113] Others suggested that Ukraine’s actions were being orchestrated by the United States.[86] Both sides tried to win sympathy for their arguments fighting a PR war.[114][115]

In August 2009, it was agreed that loans worth $1.7 billion would be given to Ukraine to help it provide stable supplies of Russian gas to Europe by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in return for reforms in Ukraine’s gas sector.[1]

On 28 December 2009, the Slovakian government announced that Russia warned it would stop oil supplies to Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic over a transit price dispute with Ukraine.[116] However, the next day, Ukraine’s Naftohaz issued a statement confirming that Russia agreed to a 30% increase in the transit fees through Ukraine. The alleged rise in the tariff would be from $7.8 to $9.50 (or €6.6) per tonne of oil going through Ukraine in 2010. Additionally, unlike previous payments, new payments would be made in Euros as this was one of Ukraine’s demands. Russia and Ukraine also agreed on the volume of oil to be transported through Ukraine. The overall amount of oil to be transported to Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary through Ukraine in 2010 will be 15 million tonnes—a decrease from 17.1 million tonnes in 2008.[117]

2010 natural gas agreement

Prologue

After meeting her Russian counterpart Putin, Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko declared on 3 September 2009, “Both sides, Russia and Ukraine, have agreed that at Christmas, there won’t be [any halt in gas supplies], as usually happens when there are crises in the gas sector. Everything will be quite calm on the basis of the current agreements”.[118] Tymoshenko also said that the Ukrainian and Russian premiers had agreed that sanctions would not be imposed on Ukraine for the country buying less gas than expected and that the price of Russian gas transit across Ukraine may grow 65% till 70% in 2010.[119] A week before Gazprom had said it expected gas transit fees via Ukraine to rise by up to 59% in 2010.[8]

On 8 October 2009 Tymoshenko announced that Ukrainian 2010 natural gas imports will be significantly less than in previous years “because we have less need for natural gas”. Because of its economic recession the industries require far less gas. In response to Tymoshenko Gazprom Chief Executive Alexey Miller stated that Ukraine should stick to the January (2009) contract for 2010.[11]

On 16 November 2009 Commissioner for Energy at the European Commission Andris Piebalgs stated that Russia and the European Union do not expect another gas conflict with Ukraine. According to him there were no gas price negotiations or questions other than that of gas payments.[120]

On 20 November 2009, the gas deal of 18 January 2009, was altered after a meeting between Tymoshenko and Putin in Yalta; meaning Ukraine would not be fined for buying less gas then the old contract stipulated, this was done in view of the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis.[121] On 24 November 2009 Gazprom and Naftohaz signed these supplements to the contract of 19 January 2009 on the purchase and sale of natural gas; according to the supplements, the annual contracted amount of gas to be supplied to Ukraine in 2010 has been set at 33.75 billion cubic metres (1.192 trillion cubic feet), instead of the 52 billion cubic metres (1.8 trillion cubic feet) contracted earlier. The documents signed by the sides also stipulated that there will be no fines related to the amount of gas consumed by Naftohaz in 2009.[122] Over the first ten months of 2009 Naftohaz has purchased 18.85 billion cubic metres (666 billion cubic feet) of gas with the contracted volume being 31.7 billion cubic metres (1.12 trillion cubic feet).[123]

On 15 December 2009, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko stated he expects no problems with Ukraine over gas supplies at New Year.[124]

Agreement

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko were in Moscow late March 2010 to negotiate lower gas prices; neither clearly explained what Ukraine was prepared to offer in return.[125] Following these talks Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated that Russia was prepared to discuss the revision of the price for natural gas it sells to Ukraine.[126]

Signing of the deal reached at the Kharkivsummit on 21 April 2010 by Dimitry Medvedev and Viktor Yanukovych

On 21 April 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement[127] in which Russia agreed to a 30 percent drop in the price of natural gas sold to Ukraine. Russia agreed to this in exchange for permission to extend Russia’s lease of a major naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port ofSevastopol for an additional 25 years with an additional five-year renewal option (to 2042-47).[128] As of June 2010 Ukraine pays Gazprom around $234/mcm (thousand cubic meter).[129]

This agreement was subject to approval by both the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments.[128] They did ratify the agreement on 27 April 2010.[130] The Ukrainian parliament ratified it after several eggs were thrown towards thespeaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn, by deputies and other incidents.[131][132][133] Opposition members in Ukraine and Russia expressed doubts the agreement would be fulfilled by the Ukrainian side.[130][134]

Yanukovych has defended the agreement as a tool to help stabilise the state budget.[135] Opposition members in Ukraine described the agreement as a sell out of national interests.[135]

Dispute of 2013–2014

Crimean crises

Further information: 2014 Crimean crisis

In February 2014, Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz sued Chornomornaftogaz for delayed debt payments of 11.614 billion UAH (almost €1 billion) in the Economic Court of the Crimean Autonomous Republic.[136]

In March 2014, Crimean authorities announced that they would nationalize the company.[137] Crimean deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev said that Russia’sGazprom would be its new owner.[138] A group of Gazprom representatives, including its head of business development, has been working at the Chornomornaftogaz head office since mid-March 2014.[139] On April 1, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak said that Gazprom would finance an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea.[140]

On 11 April 2014 the U.S. Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it had added Chornomornaftagaz to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List as part of the third round of U.S. sanctions.[141] Reuters quoted an anonymous U.S. official who explained that the United States wanted to make it impossible for Gazprom to “have dealings with Chornomorneftegaz”, and if that were to happen, Gazprom itself could face sanctions.[140]

The European Union followed suit on May 13, 2014, the first time its sanctions list has included a company (in addition to Chornomorneftegaz, a Crimean oil supplier called Feodosia was also included).[142][143]

June 2014 gas supplies to Ukraine cut off

In an attempt at energy independence, Naftogaz signed a pipeline access deal with Slovakia‘s Eustream on April 28, 2014. Eustream and its Ukrainian counterpart Ukrtransgaz, owned by Naftogaz, agreed to allow Ukraine to use a never used (but aging, at 20 years old) pipeline on Slovakia’s eastern border with Uzhhorod inwestern Ukraine. The deal would provide Ukraine with 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas beginning in autumn of 2014 with the aim of increasing that amount to 10 billion cubic meters in 2015.[142]

On 1 April 2014 Gazprom cancelled Ukraine’s natural gas discount as agreed in the 17 December 2013 Ukrainian–Russian action plan because its debt to the company had risen to $1.7 billion since 2013.[144][145] Later that month the price “automatically” jumped to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters because the Russian government annulled an export-duty exemption for Gazprom in place since the 2010 Kharkiv Pact (this agreement was denounced by Russia on 31 March 2014[146]).[147][148] On 16 June 2014 Gazprom stated that Ukraine’s debt to the company was $4.5 billion.[147] On 30 May 2014 Ukraine paid $786 million to Gazprom.[149]

After intermediary (that had started in May 2014[147]) trilateral talks between EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Ukraine and Russia failed on 15 June 2014 the latter halted (after a deadline of 10 a.m. Moscow time passed without it receiving payment[147]) its natural gas supplies to Ukraine the next day.[144]Unilaterally Gazprom decided that Ukraine had to pay upfront for its natural gas.[150] The company assured that its supplies to other European countries would continue.[150] Ukraine vowed to “provide reliable supply of gas to consumers in Ukraine and we will provide reliable transit to the European Union”.[147] At the time about 15 percent of European Union’s demand depended on Russian natural gas piped through Ukraine.[147]

After trilateral months of talks between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia a deal was reached on 30 October 2014 in which Ukraine agreed to pay (in advance) $378 per 1,000 cubic metres to the end of 2014, and $365 in the first quarter (ending on 31 March) of 2015.[151] Of its debts to Gazprom Ukraine agreed to pay of $1.45bn immediately, and $1.65bn by the end of 2014.[151] It was agreed that the European Union will be acting as guarantor for Ukraine’s gas purchases from Russia and would help to meet outstanding debts (using funds from existing accords with the European Union and IMF).[151] The total package was worth $4.6bn.[151] According to European Union officials the deal secured that there would be no natural gas supply disruptions in other European countries.[151]

See also

Part of a series on the
History of Ukraine
Coat of arms of Ukraine
Ukraine portal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Ukraine_gas_disputes

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march photo

FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO-DEMO

Paris-unity-marchUnity-rally

Fox News Ralph Peters: Yesterday President Obama Chose The Side of Terrorists!

Kerry: Paris Attack Is “Vicious Act Of Violence” -Paris Terror Attack – Ralph Peters – Stuart Varney

No Americans in Paris: U.S. Absence Draws Criticism at Home

[youyoutube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0qaWnZchPA]

Why Obama was Absent from Paris Unity Rally against Terrorism? CNN

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Leaders fr France & 40 Countries Lead Peace March in Paris | Video

This BBC World headline-only news clip was created based on footage recorded at 2200hrs SGT on 11 Jan 2015. Huge crowds and some 40 world leaders are taking part in a unity march in Paris after 17 people were killed during three days of deadly attacks. More than a million are expected to march through the streets. “Paris is the capital of the world today,” French leader Francois Hollande said. “The whole country will rise up.” The marchers hope to demonstrate unity after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a supermarket.

Ralph Peters: You kill the terrorists…”you leave behind smoking ruins & crying widows”

Col Ralph Peters on Maj Hassan follow the money

 

Historic Footage of President John F. Kennedy’s Funeral

November 25th, 2014 marks the 51st anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. John F. Kennedy made his first formal visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1961, to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the conclusion of the ceremony President Kennedy spoke to more than 5,000 people gathered in the Memorial Amphitheater.

President Kennedy’s address began; “We meet in quiet commemoration of a historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. … It is a tragic fact, that war still more destructive and still sanguinary followed [World War II]; that man’s capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow man.”

Eleven days prior to Kennedy’s assassination he returned to Arlington for the 1963 Armistice Day services. This time he did not address the crowd in the amphitheater.

On Nov. 22, 1963, while on a campaign trip to Dallas, President Kennedy was shot and killed.

President Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25th, 1963. There are only two U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The other is William Howard Taft, who died in 1930.

President Kennedy’s coffin taken to Arlington.

President Kennedy’s coffin is taken from St. Matthews Cathedral in Washington D.C. to Arlington National Cemetery over the Potomac on November 25, 1963. Cardinal Cushing of Boston presides at the gravesite on the Curtis Lee Mansion hillside in Arlington, Virginia at Arlington National Cemetery. At the grave world leaders are seen such as the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Salassie, President Charles DeGualle, German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, and new President Lyndon Johnson. Army Sergeant Keith Clark plays taps after the gun salute. After this, The flag which rested on President Kennedy’s casket is handed to Jacqueline Kennedy, who then lights the eternal flame. With Mrs. Kennedy are the President’s brothers Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Eric Holder, top U.S. officials no-shows at Paris unity rally

The U.S. attorney general, in Paris for a terrorism summit with French President Francois Hollande, did not join world leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the march and rally that drew a million people days after 12 were shot at satirical paper Charlie Hebdo. Others such as Obama and Vice President Biden were also not in attendance.

More than 40 heads of state came together in Paris to denounce a wave of terrorism that defiled the City of Light last week — yet there was one glaring exception: The U.S. sent only a low-level official.

French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and dozens of other world leaders all took part in the powerful denunciation of last week’s terror attacks that left 17 innocents dead.

Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas set aside their differences to march together on Boulevard Voltaire.

THE NEWS SAYS: Obama, U.S. pols skipping Paris rally is a shameful failure

Kerry: Criticism of U.S.’s absence in Paris is ‘quibbling’

But the nation that stands as the symbolic face of the war on terror was nowhere in sight.

Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden showed up — and in fact, America’s only representative was its relatively unknown and low-profile ambassador to France.

Obama and Biden had empty public schedules Sunday, but the White House declined to comment on why they didn’t go.

The natural choice — Secretary of State Kerry, a Francophile who speaks the language — was in India for a longstanding engagement with the prime minister, White House officials said.

Kerry told NBC News he believed the uproar was “quibling.”

“We have offered, from the first moment, our intel, our law enforcement and all of our efforts, and I really think that, you know, this is sort of quibbling a little bit,” Kerry told the network.

Attorney General Eric Holder did go to Paris — but only for an anti-terrorism summit convened by Hollande ahead of the unity rally. Holder left Hollande and the others sometime after the group exited the Elysee Palace. Around the time other world leaders and dignitaries boarded buses to get to the front of the march, Holder was taping an interview for “Meet the Press,” NBC confirmed.

The White House said the attorney general was returning to the U.S. on Sunday night, The New York Times reported.

That left ambassador Jane Hartley, who raised more than $500,000 in campaign funds for President Obama, to carry thetorch.

“If the highest-ranking official is an ambassador, I would say that’s a serious mistake,” said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), noting that America has asked other countries for troops in Afghanistan and Syria. “We are looking for cooperation from around the world … weshould have had someone therewho is instantly recognizable (so people) see …and say, ‘That’s the United States of America.’”

Plenty of regular New Yorkers were outraged, too.

“It’s really shameful that Obama, or even Biden, didn’t go to France,” said Tim Green, 43, who attended a vigil at the Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side on Sunday night. “It was a major terrorist attack. We know what that feels like. I hope the French know the American people stand with them, even if our President didn’t show it.”

Obama has made several public statements of support for Hollande, and U.S. security agencies are in near-constant communication with France, a senior Obama official said.

The official also suggested that security for Obama and Biden might have been too distracting — but that didn’t seem to be the case for other world leaders, including Netanyahu, who later went to a synagogue with Hollande and gave a speech.

“Today I walked the streets of Paris with the leaders of the world to say enough terrorism, the time has come to fight terrorism,” Netanyahu said.

Sunday’s rally brought out the biggest crowd in Paris’ history — even bigger than Liberation Day in World War II, local police said. Hundreds of thousands held up “Je Suis Charlie” signs or carried candles and flowers. The victims’ families wept as they walked along the boulevard named for the Enlightenment figure who helped define free speech.

One protester held a banner with Voltaire’s most famous line: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”

The official head count was more than 1.3 million — but French media estimated nearly 3 million. Nationally, nearly 4 million crammed into cities from Brittany to the Riviera. The rallies were echoed around the globe, in cities including London, Toronto, Madrid, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and on the streets of Brooklyn.

“It will have a chilling effect that America did not show up (at the Paris rally),” said filmmaker Leo Herrera, 33, in front of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn on Sunday. “This goes into the heart of what free speech is, so we should have a really visible reaction. I don’t think Obama sent any message, and that’s the problem.”

Meanwhile, the remaining staffers of Charlie Hebdo — the satirical magazine attacked last week by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi — said they’ll publish the next issue Wednesday.

Vice President Joe Biden also did not attend the rally.
Vice President Joe Biden also did not attend the rally.

Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen said it directed the slaughter to avenge the disrespect to the Prophet Muhammad, a frequent target of the weekly’s satire.

The hunt for clues about the Kouachis — who were killed in a police shootout Friday — and their accomplices continued, with new developments Sunday:

Amedy Coulibaly, 32, the third terrorist, who killed a policewoman and four Jewish hostages at a kosher grocery store Friday, and shot a jogger two days earlier, made a ghostly appearance in a new video uploaded on militant websites. In it, Coulibaly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Coulibaly also suggested he and the Kouachis had worked together — even though they were suspected of ties to Al Qaeda — a rival to the Islamic State.

His widow, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, continues to elude authorities, who believe she holds key information about sleeper terrorist cells in France and elsewhere. She’s being sought in Turkey and Syria.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/eric-holder-u-s-dignitaries-no-shows-paris-unity-rally-article-1.2073821

 

A terrorist attack or workplace violence?

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Be on the lookout for people who lack a sense of humor and/or are easily offended. Political correctness kills.

On Wednesday two terrorist gunmen dressed in black with hoods masking their faces, apparently followers of the religion of peace, attacked and killed 12 including 10 employees and contributors of the provocative leftist satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, in their Paris headquarter offices and two police officers. Ten others were wounded, five critically. One of the police officers, Ahmed Merabet, pleaded for mercy as he was shot in the head at point-blank range. Most French police officers are unarmed as are French citizens.

Witnesses said the terrorists brandished and fired AK-47 rifles or “Kalashnikovs’ and shouted in fluent French, “We are from al-Qaida in Yemen.” “The Prophet has been avenged.” And “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for “God is great.”

The terrorists shot and killed Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief and cartoonist Stephane Charbonner, aka Charb, deputy editor, economist and writer Bernard Marist, and cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Philippe Honore and Bernard Verlac, aka Tignous, columnist Elsa Cayat, sub-editor Mustapha Qurrad, maintenance man Frederic Boisseau, a visitor Michel Renard,  and Charbonnier’s police bodyguard Franck Brinsolaro.

Charlie Hebdo published cartoons and articles satirizing Islam and its Prophet Muhammad as well as other religions, including Christianity and Judaism. The paper also satirizes politicians, feminism, homeland security and nuclear energy. The Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed in 2011 with Molotov cocktails and destroyed after it had published satirical cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad. A year later, Charbonnier dismissed repeated threats against his life by stating: “I would rather die standing than live kneeling.”

The terrorists gained access to the Charlie Hebdo offices when cartoonist Corrine Rey, aka Coco, returned with her young daughter from kindergarten and was confronted and brutally threatened by the gunmen. They wanted her to enter the security system digi-code on the interphone so they could enter into the newspaper’s offices. Rey entered the code and then hid under a desk with her daughter. Rey saw the gunmen shoot two other cartoonists, Wolinski and Cabu. Rey said the shooting in the offices lasted about five minutes.

A police witness said the terrorists were asking for editor and cartoonist Charbonnier by name and shouting, “Where is Charb? Where is Charb?” The witness said, “They killed him, then sprayed everyone else.”

The terrorist gunmen exited the building and started shooting in the streets, according to witnesses. They shot and killed a police officer who arrived on the scene on a mountain bike. The gunmen fled in a black car. Police and security forces gave chase, but the gunmen abandoned their car when it was in an accident and escaped with a hijacked car.

The French police subsequently identified the two terrorist gunmen as French nationals and brothers Cherif Kouchi, 32 and Said Kouchi, 34. The brothers came back from Syria last summer. The younger brother was arrested in 2005 and sentenced in 2008 to three years in prison with 18 months suspended, for his involvement in a network sending volunteers to fight in Iraq with an al-Qaida affiliate. A third suspect Hamyd Mourad, 18, surrendered to police at Charleville-Meziers late Wednesday evening.

According to news reports, the brothers went to Syria last year where they were sent by al-Qaida to Yemen for terrorist training. Former White House counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clark said, “This looks like a team that was selected, trained probably over the course of a long period of time and sent in with this particular target in mind.” On Friday according to the Associated Press, a member of al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen said the group directed the attack on the French magazine.

Last Friday morning French security forces killed the Kourchi brothers who fired their weapons as they exited from a printing factory north of Paris. A hostage who had been held by the brothers was released unharmed.

National leaders expressed their reaction and support of France and the French people.

President Barack Obama said, “I want to express my deepest sympathies to the people of Paris and the people of France for the terrible terrorist attack that took place earlier today. … The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press also underscores that these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The values that we share with the French people – a universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can’t be silence by the senseless violence of a few.”

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said, “This is a direct savage attack on one of the principles of the French Republic we hold the most dear: Freedom of expression.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “Shooting in France is not only an attack on French citizens, but freedoms of press and speech.

British Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons said, “I know this House and this country stands united with the French people in opposition to all forms of terrorism and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy. These people will never take us off these values.”

French President Francois Hollande called for a day of mourning and said, “Our greatest strength is our unity.”

In cities across France, the people are coming out for “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) rallies.

A similar Islamic terrorist attack took place in the United States on Nov. 5, 2009 at Fort Hood, the nation’s largest Army post. U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, M.D., psychiatrist, and practicing Muslim of Palestinian descent, shot and killed 13 people (12 soldiers and one civilian) and wounded 32, mostly uniformed soldiers. A civilian police Sergeant Mark Todd exchanged gunfire with Hasan, who was wounded four times and paralyzed from the waist down. Hasan was subsequently found guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder in 2013 and was sentenced to death.  Hasan has yet to be executed.

In a memorial service for the Fort Hood victims, Obama refused to acknowledge that Islamic terrorism has a role in the shooting and said, “no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts.” The Obama administration instead considered the slaughter as “workplace violence.” This despite the fact that Hasan was yelling “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and had exchanged emails with the American born imam Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida terrorist leader in Yemen. Obama subsequently authorized in 2011 al-Awlaki’s killing by missiles fired by two Predator drones.

On Sept. 11, 2012, an al-Qaida affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, attacked and killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and wounded 7 Americans, some seriously. Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice knew this was a well-planned, organized and executed terrorist attack, yet repeatedly mislead and lied to the American people claiming it was a “spontaneous demonstration” caused by an inflammatory YouTube video.

Obama went to the United Nations on Sept. 25, 2012, and said, “A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world” and “I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video.  And the answer is enshrined in our laws:  Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.” Later in his remarks, he said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.”

While Obama at least described the latest incident as a terrorist attack, he refuses to describe it as an Islamic jihadist terrorist attack, which all three events clearly were. The aim of those who practice political correctness is not to tell the truth but to limit and ideally stop the free expression and exchange of ideas and opposing points of view. Political correctness lives in the Obama administration. Political correctness kills. Time to tell the whole truth, not half-truths, Mr. President.

Raymond Thomas Pronk is presenter of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday -Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

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Breaking News: Islamic Fanatic Terrorist Gunmen Attack French Leftist Satire Magazine Charlie Hebdo Killing 12 , Wounding 11 Others, 5 In Critical Condition — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Story 1: Breaking News: Islamic Fanatic Terrorist Gunmen Attack French Leftist Satire Magazine Charlie Hebdo Killing 12 , Wounding 11 Others, 5 In Critical Condition — Videos

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Victims of Terrorist Attack

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Be on the lookout for people who lack a sense of humor and/or are easily offended. Political correctness kills.

On Wednesday two terrorist gunmen dressed in black with hoods masking their faces, apparently followers of the religion of peace, attacked and killed 12 including 10 employees and contributors of the provocative leftist satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, in their Paris headquarter offices and two police officers. Ten others were wounded, five critically. One of the police officers, Ahmed Merabet, pleaded for mercy as he was shot in the head at point-blank range. Most French police officers are unarmed as are French citizens.

Witnesses said the terrorists brandished and fired AK-47 rifles or “Kalashnikovs’ and shouted in fluent French, “We are from al-Qaida in Yemen.” “The Prophet has been avenged.” And “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for “God is great.”

The terrorists shot and killed Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief and cartoonist Stephane Charbonner, aka Charb, deputy editor, economist and writer Bernard Marist, and cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Philippe Honore and Bernard Verlac, aka Tignous, columnist Elsa Cayat, sub-editor Mustapha Qurrad, maintenance man Frederic Boisseau, a visitor Michel Renard,  and Charbonnier’s police bodyguard Franck Brinsolaro.

Charlie Hebdo published cartoons and articles satirizing Islam and its Prophet Muhammad as well as other religions, including Christianity and Judaism. The paper also satirizes politicians, feminism, homeland security and nuclear energy. The Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed in 2011 with Molotov cocktails and destroyed after it had published satirical cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad. A year later, Charbonnier dismissed repeated threats against his life by stating: “I would rather die standing than live kneeling.”

The terrorists gained access to the Charlie Hebdo offices when cartoonist Corrine Rey, aka Coco, returned with her young daughter from kindergarten and was confronted and brutally threatened by the gunmen. They wanted her to enter the security system digi-code on the interphone so they could enter into the newspaper’s offices. Rey entered the code and then hid under a desk with her daughter. Rey saw the gunmen shoot two other cartoonists, Wolinski and Cabu. Rey said the shooting in the offices lasted about five minutes.

A police witness said the terrorists were asking for editor and cartoonist Charbonnier by name and shouting, “Where is Charb? Where is Charb?” The witness said, “They killed him, then sprayed everyone else.”

The terrorist gunmen exited the building and started shooting in the streets, according to witnesses. They shot and killed a police officer who arrived on the scene on a mountain bike. The gunmen fled in a black car. Police and security forces gave chase, but the gunmen abandoned their car when it was in an accident and escaped with a hijacked car.

The French police subsequently identified the two terrorist gunmen as French nationals and brothers Cherif Kouchi, 32 and Said Kouchi, 34. The brothers came back from Syria last summer. The younger brother was arrested in 2005 and sentenced in 2008 to three years in prison with 18 months suspended, for his involvement in a network sending volunteers to fight in Iraq with an al-Qaida affiliate. A third suspect Hamyd Mourad, 18, surrendered to police at Charleville-Meziers late Wednesday evening.

According to news reports, the brothers went to Syria last year where they were sent by al-Qaida to Yemen for terrorist training. Former White House counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clark said, “This looks like a team that was selected, trained probably over the course of a long period of time and sent in with this particular target in mind.” On Friday according to the Associated Press, a member of al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen said the group directed the attack on the French magazine.

Last Friday morning French security forces killed the Kourchi brothers who fired their weapons as they exited from a printing factory north of Paris. A hostage who had been held by the brothers was released unharmed.

National leaders expressed their reaction and support of France and the French people.

President Barack Obama said, “I want to express my deepest sympathies to the people of Paris and the people of France for the terrible terrorist attack that took place earlier today. … The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press also underscores that these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The values that we share with the French people – a universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can’t be silence by the senseless violence of a few.”

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said, “This is a direct savage attack on one of the principles of the French Republic we hold the most dear: Freedom of expression.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “Shooting in France is not only an attack on French citizens, but freedoms of press and speech.

British Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons said, “I know this House and this country stands united with the French people in opposition to all forms of terrorism and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy. These people will never take us off these values.”

French President Francois Hollande called for a day of mourning and said, “Our greatest strength is our unity.”

In cities across France, the people are coming out for “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) rallies.

A similar Islamic terrorist attack took place in the United States on Nov. 5, 2009 at Fort Hood, the nation’s largest Army post. U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, M.D., psychiatrist, and practicing Muslim of Palestinian descent, shot and killed 13 people (12 soldiers and one civilian) and wounded 32, mostly uniformed soldiers. A civilian police Sergeant Mark Todd exchanged gunfire with Hasan, who was wounded four times and paralyzed from the waist down. Hasan was subsequently found guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder in 2013 and was sentenced to death.  Hasan has yet to be executed.

In a memorial service for the Fort Hood victims, Obama refused to acknowledge that Islamic terrorism has a role in the shooting and said, “no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts.” The Obama administration instead considered the slaughter as “workplace violence.” This despite the fact that Hasan was yelling “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and had exchanged emails with the American born imam Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida terrorist leader in Yemen. Obama subsequently authorized in 2011 al-Awlaki’s killing by missiles fired by two Predator drones.

On Sept. 11, 2012, an al-Qaida affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, attacked and killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and wounded 7 Americans, some seriously. Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice knew this was a well-planned, organized and executed terrorist attack, yet repeatedly mislead and lied to the American people claiming it was a “spontaneous demonstration” caused by an inflammatory YouTube video.

Obama went to the United Nations on Sept. 25, 2012, and said, “A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world” and “I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video.  And the answer is enshrined in our laws:  Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.” Later in his remarks, he said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.”

While Obama at least described the latest incident as a terrorist attack, he refuses to describe it as an Islamic jihadist terrorist attack, which all three events clearly were. The aim of those who practice political correctness is not to tell the truth but to limit and ideally stop the free expression and exchange of ideas and opposing points of view. Political correctness lives in the Obama administration. Political correctness kills. Time to tell the whole truth, not half-truths, Mr. President.

Raymond Thomas Pronk is presenter of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday -Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

Gunmen Kill At Least 12 In ‘Terrorist Attack’ At French Satirical Newspaper

PARIS (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — Three masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people, including its editor, before escaping in a car. It was France’s deadliest postwar terrorist attack.

CBS News’ Elaine Cobbe reports that, according to witnesses, two armed and masked men walked into the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and opened fire in the entrance hallway, killing people as they saw them. The gunmen reportedly sought out members of the newspaper’s staff by name during the rampage through the 2nd floor office, which lasted between five and 10 minutes, according to witnesses.

Security forces were hunting for the gunmen who spoke flawless, unaccented French in the military-style noon-time attack on the weekly newspaper, located near Paris’ Bastille monument. The publication’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims.

President Francois Hollande called the slayings “a terrorist attack without a doubt,” and said several other attacks have been thwarted in France “in recent weeks.”

France raised its security alert to the highest level and reinforced protective measures at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transportation. Schools closed across Paris, although thousands of people jammed Republique Square near the site of the shooting to honor the victims.

Top government officials held an emergency meeting and Hollande planned a nationally televised address later Wednesday evening.

Former CIA Official: Sydney Attack ‘Guaranteed’ To Happen In US

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which also left four people critically wounded, and was condemned by world leaders as an attack on freedom of expression, but praised by supporters of the militant Islamic State group.

Clad all in black with hoods and carrying machine guns, the attackers forced one of the cartoonists arriving at the office building with her young daughter to open the door with a security code.

The staff was in an editorial meeting and the gunmen headed straight for the paper’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier – widely known by his pen name Charb – killing him and his police bodyguard first, said Christophe Crepin, a police union spokesman. Minutes later, two men strolled out to a black car waiting below, calmly firing on a police officer, with one gunman shooting him in the head as he writhed on the ground, according to video.

Ten journalists and two police office were killed, Crepin said, including one assigned as Charb’s bodyguard and another who had arrived on the scene on a mountain bike. Among the dead were Bernard Maris, an economist who a contributor to the newspaper and was heard regularly on French radio, and Georges Wolinski, a celebrated cartoonist who also worked for Paris Match magazine.

“Hey! We avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo,” one of the men shouted in French, according to a video shot from a nearby building and broadcast on French TV. Other videoshowed two gunmen in black at a crossroads who appeared to fire down one of the streets. A cry of “Allahu akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great”- could be heard among the gunshots.

The video showed the killers moving deliberately and calmly. One even bent over to toss a fallen shoe back into the small black car before it sped off. The car was later found abandoned in northern Paris, police said.

Luc Poignant of the SBP police union said the attackers switched to another vehicle that had been stolen.

A reporter for Britain’s Telegraph newspaper in Paris told Sky News that the first two officers to arrive, who were apparently unarmed, fled after seeing gunmen armed with automatic weapons and possibly a grenade launcher.

Corinne Rey, the cartoonist who said she was forced to let the gunmen in, said the men spoke fluent French and claimed to be from al Qaeda. In an interview with the newspaper l’Humanite, she said the entire shooting lasted perhaps five minutes.

The Guardian reports a witness in the office building said one of the gunman asked where Charlie Hebdo was located.

“Then someone opened the door to our office and asked where Charlie Hebdo was. He had a rifle. We backed away. Afterwards he left, we heard gunfire. We went to the windows, there were two men running with guns, speaking in bad French … They were shouting outside, and shooting again. Afterwards I saw someone leaving the building with his hands covered in blood,” the unnamed witness said, according to The Guardian.

The security analyst group Stratfor said the gunmen appeared to be well-trained, “from the way they handled their weapons, moved and shot. These attackers conducted a successful attack, using what they knew, instead of attempting to conduct an attack beyond their capability, failing as a result.”

Both al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have repeatedly threatened to attack France. Just minutes before the attack, Charlie Hebdo had tweeted a satirical cartoon of the Islamic State’s leader giving New Year’s wishes:

Charlie Hebdo has been repeatedly threatened for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and other sketches. Its offices were firebombed in 2011 after an issue featured a caricature of the prophet on its cover. Nearly a year later, the publication again published Muhammad caricatures, drawing denunciations from the Muslim world because Islam prohibits the publication of drawings of its founder.

Another cartoon, released in this week’s issue and entitled “Still No Attacks in France,” had a caricature of a jihadi fighter saying “Just wait – we have until the end of January to present our New Year’s wishes.” Charb was the artist.

“This is the darkest day of the history of the French press,” said Christophe DeLoire of Reporters Without Borders.

The last tweet from the magazine came less than an hour before the reports of a shooting. It was a picture depicting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, with a message wishing him, “Best wishes.”
“The motive here is absolutely clear; trying to shut down a media organization that lampooned the Prophet Mohammad,” CBS News security consultant and former CIA deputy chief Mike Morell told “CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose. “What we have to figure out here is the perpetrators and whether they were self-radicalized or whether they were individuals who fought in Syria and Iraq and came back, or whether they were actually directed by ISIS or al Qaeda.”

Morrell added a warning that law enforcement and intelligence agencies would need to “worry about copycat attacks, not only in France but in the rest of the world, and I would even say in the broader world to include the United States.”

ISIS Leader Calls For ‘Volcanoes Of Jihad’ In Recording

The New York Police Department released a statement, saying it had a detective stationed in Paris and “will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

“There are standing contingency plans in place to adjust police deployments based on any unfolding situation in the world. That includes how we use and where we position and deploy specialized police resources, said Deputy Commissioner Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller.

In the winter 2014 edition of the al Qaeda magazine Inspire, a so-called chief describing where to use a new bomb said: “Of course the first priority and the main focus should be on America, then the United Kingdom, then France and so on.”

In 2013, the magazine specifically threatened Charb and included an article titled “France the Imbecile Invader.”

An al Qaeda tweeter who communicated Wednesday with AP said the group is not claiming responsibility, but called the attack “inspiring.”

CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate also noted on “CBS This Morning” that “France has been dealing with the problem of French foreign fighters flowing into Syria and Iraq and coming back into France.”

He says it may be more likely, however, that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was carried out by “self-radicalized individuals, individuals who take their prompt from the propaganda of these groups and took it upon themselves, perhaps, to attack.”

Zarate pointed to the attack by young French Muslim man Mohamed Merah, who shot up a Jewish community center in the country’s south in March 2012, as an example of this sort of violence.

“France is not new to this, and the perpetrators could be a wide spectrum of individuals who were inspired to attack fellow French citizens,” said Zarate.

President Obama said he has reached out to Hollande to express his sympathies for the attack in Paris Wednesday. In remarks before a meeting with Secretary Kerry and Vice President Biden, Obama called the shootings “cowardly and evil.”

“The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom of speech, freedom of the press,” Obama said.

He continued, “A universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.” The president promised the U.S. would stand with France and said that U.S. counterterrorism was providing assistance to the French to help hunt for those responsible for the shooting.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country stood united with France,

“We stand squarely for free speech and democracy. These people will never be able to take us off those values,” Cameron said in the House of Commons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also condemned the attack as a “cynical crime,” and pledged cooperation in fighting terrorism,

Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Union of French mosques, condemned the “hateful act,” and urged Muslims and Christians “to intensify their actions to give more strength to this dialogue, to make a united front against extremism.”

On social media, supporters of militant Islamic groups praised the move. One self-described Tunisian loyalist of al Qaeda and the Islamic State group tweeted that the attack was well-deserved revenge against France.

Elsewhere on the Internet, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie was trending as people expressed support for weekly and for journalistic freedom.

Standing together in defiance, thousands gather across France to show support for 12 people slaughtered by ‘Al Qaeda’ gunmen in attack on Paris magazine as manhunt for terrorists continues

  • Masked gunmen storm Paris headquarters with AK-47s shouting ‘Allahu akbar!’ and ‘the Prophet has been avenged’
  • Stalked building asking for people’s names before killing the editor, three cartoonists and the deputy chief editor
  • Editor Stephane Charbonnier had famously shrugged off threats, saying: ‘I’d rather die standing than live kneeling’
  • Horrific footage shows a police officer begging for his life before being shot in the head at point-blank range
  • Cartoonist Corrine Rey told how she cowered with her young daughter as she watched two colleagues gunned down
  • Killers fled in stolen car across eastern Paris after a ‘mass shoot-out’ with police officers and remain on the loose  
  • Militants believed to be from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula which was behind plane bomb plots in U.S. and UK
  • Newspaper had earlier posted a picture of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on its Twitter account
  • Publication’s offices were firebombed in 2011 for publishing satirical cartoon of Prophet Mohammed
  • White House had previously criticised Charlie Hebdo in 2012 for publishing its religiously sensitive cartoons

Thousands of people gathered across Europe tonight to show their support to an anti-Islamist newspaper, after its offices in Paris were targeted today by suspected Al Qaeda militants who massacred 12 people.

Among those slaughtered was a police officer as he begged for mercy.

Masked attackers brandishing Kalashnikovs burst into the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, opening fire on staff after seeking out journalists by name in France’s deadliest post-war terrorist attack.

Clad all in black with hoods and speaking flawless French, the militants forced one of the cartoonists – who was at the office with her young daughter – to open the door.

Witnesses said the gunmen were heard shouting ‘we are from the Al Qaeda in Yemen’, ‘the Prophet has been avenged’ and ‘Allahu akbar!’ – Arabic for ‘God is great’ – as they stalked the building.

They headed straight for the paper’s editor and cartoonist, Stephane Charbonnier, killing him and his police bodyguard, who had been recruited to protect him after extremists firebombed the offices in 2011 over a satirical cartoon about the Prophet Mohammed.

A year later, Mr Charbonnier famously dismissed threats against his life, declaring: ‘I would rather die standing than live kneeling.’

The militants also killed three other renowned cartoonists – men who had regularly satirised Islam – and the newspaper’s deputy chief editor.

Despite a shoot-out with armed officers, the gunmen escaped in a hijacked car and remain on the loose this evening, leaving the French capital in virtual lockdown as police and soldiers flooded the streets to join the search.

President Barack Obama offered U.S. help in pursuing the gunmen, saying they had attacked freedom of expression.

But it also emerged that the White House had previously criticised Charlie Hebdo in 2012 over its Prophet Mohammed cartoon, saying the images would be ‘deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory.’

Meanwhile, horrific footage emerged showing an injured police officer slumped on the pavement as two gunmen approached him outside the office minutes later.

In an apparent desperate plea for his life, the officer is seen slowly raising his hand towards one of the attackers, who responds by callously shooting him in the head at point-blank range.

Scroll down for videos and audio 

Demonstration: Protesters at the Place de la Republique  in Paris tonight,  following an attack by gunmen on the offices of Charlie Hebdo

Demonstration: Protesters at the Place de la Republique in Paris tonight, following an attack by gunmen on the offices of Charlie Hebdo

Elsewhere: People gather at the Place Royale in Nantes to show their solidarity for the victims of the attack  on the offices of the satirical weekly

Elsewhere: People gather at the Place Royale in Nantes to show their solidarity for the victims of the attack on the offices of the satirical weekly

Brutal execution: A police officer pleads for mercy on the pavement in Paris before being shot in the head by masked gunmen during an attack on the headquarters of the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, a notoriously anti-Islamic publication

Brutal execution: A police officer pleads for mercy on the pavement in Paris before being shot in the head by masked gunmen during an attack on the headquarters of the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, a notoriously anti-Islamic publication

Gunned down in cold blood: Horrific footage shows the injured police officer slumped on the pavement as two of the gunmen approach. In a desperate plea for his life, the officer slowly raises his hand towards one of the attackers, who callously shoots him at point-blank range

Gunned down in cold blood: Horrific footage shows the injured police officer slumped on the pavement as two of the gunmen approach. In a desperate plea for his life, the officer slowly raises his hand towards one of the attackers, who callously shoots him at point-blank range

'Massacre': The gunmen are seen brandishing Kalashnikovs as they move in on the injured police officer from their vehicle outside the office

‘Massacre’: The gunmen are seen brandishing Kalashnikovs as they move in on the injured police officer from their vehicle outside the office

Emergency: Police officers and firefighters gather in front of the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris today after gunmen stormed the building

Emergency: Police officers and firefighters gather in front of the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris today after gunmen stormed the building

Critical: Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo after the shooting

Critical: Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo after the shooting

Despite a fierce firefight with police, the men were able to get away in a hijacked car, and, within an hour of the atrocity, appeared to have disappeared without trace.

France raised its security alert to the highest level and reinforced protective measures at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transportation.

President Francois Hollande described the bloodbath as a ‘barbaric attack against France and against journalists’ and vowed to hunt down those responsible.

Jacques Myard, French MP with opposition party UMP, said: ‘We knew something would happen. The (security) services used to say to us it’s not if but when and where. We know that we are at war. The Western nations – like Britain, France, Germany – we are at war.’

The Queen today sent her ‘sincere condolences to the families of those who have been killed’ in the attack, while Prime Minister David Cameron described the murders as ‘sickening’.

Social media users have responded to the Charlie Hebdo massacre with an outpouring of solidarity using the hashtag #jesuischarlie which is trending on Twitter.

By 4.15pm, nearly five hours after the attack, it had already been tweeted more than 250,000 times, according to one social analytics website.

Thousands of people also jammed Republique Square near the site of the shooting to honor the victims, holding aloft pens and papers reading ‘Je suis Charlie’ – ‘I am Charlie.’

Guy Verhofstadt, the President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe tweeted: ‘A tragic day for the freedom of speech #jesuischarlie.’

Marches have also been organised through Paris and London in support of journalistic freedom.

As well as the AK47 assault rifles, there were also reports of a rocket-propelled grenade being used in the attack, which took place during the publication’s weekly editorial meeting at around 12pm (11pm GMT), meaning all the journalists would have been present.

A young mother and cartoonist who survived the massacre told how she had let the suspected Al Qaeda killers into the office.

Corrine Rey said she had returned from picking up her young daughter from a kindergarten when she was confronted by two heavily armed men wearing balaclavas.

‘I had gone to pick up my daughter at day care, arriving in front of the building, where two masked and armed men brutally threatened us,’ said Ms Rey, who draws under the name ‘Coco’.

‘They said they wanted to go up to the offices, so I tapped in the code,’ said Ms Rey, referring to the digi-code security system on the interphone.

Ms Rey and her daughter hid under a desk, from where they saw two other cartoonists being executed. ‘They shot Wolinski and Cabu,’ she said. ‘It lasted five minutes. I had taken refuge under a desk.’

Faces of the victims: Among the journalists killed were (l to r) Charlie Hebdo's deputy chief editor  Bernard Maris and cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Stephane Charbonnier, who is also editor-in-chief, and Bernard Verlhac, also known as Tignous

Faces of the victims: Among the journalists killed were (l to r) Charlie Hebdo’s deputy chief editor Bernard Maris and cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Stephane Charbonnier, who is also editor-in-chief, and Bernard Verlhac, also known as Tignous

At large: The gunmen are seen near the offices of the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo before fleeing in a car. They remain on the loose

At large: The gunmen are seen near the offices of the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo before fleeing in a car. They remain on the loose

Forensic experts examine the car believed to have been used as the escape vehicle by gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office

Forensic experts examine the car believed to have been used as the escape vehicle by gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office

A truck tows the car apprently used by armed gunmen who stormed the Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people

A truck tows the car apprently used by armed gunmen who stormed the Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people

A police photographer (partially hidden) works with investigators as they examine the impacts from machine gun fire on a police vehicle

A police photographer (partially hidden) works with investigators as they examine the impacts from machine gun fire on a police vehicle

Ms Rey said the men ‘spoke French perfectly’ and ‘claimed they were ‘Al Qaeda terrorists’.

Gunmen reportedly told another witness: ‘You say to the media, it was Al Qaeda in Yemen.’

A police source told the Liberation newspaper the gunmen were asking for the Mr Charbonnier by name, shouting: ‘Where is Charb? Where is Charb?’

The source added: ‘They killed him then sprayed everyone else.’

Mr Charbonnier was included in a 2013 Wanted Dead or Alive for Crimes Against Islam article published by Inspire, the terrorist propaganda magazine published by Al Qaeda.

The latest tweet published by the newspaper’s official Twitter account earlier in the day featured a cartoon of Abu Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, who wishes everyone ‘good health’.

Cartoonists Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski were all also reported dead.

Radio France chief executive Mathieu Gilet later announced on Twitter that a contributor, Bernard Maris, was another of the victims.

Meanwhile, there were reports of a car explosion outside a synagogue in Sarcelles, a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, just hours after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The blast, which happened at around 1.30pm GMT, is not thought to be connected to the massacre, according to Paris Metro which quoted the mayor of Sarcelles.

Florence Pouvil, a salesperson at Lunas France on Rue Nicolas Appert, opposite the Charlie Hebdo offices, told MailOnline: ‘I saw two people with big guns, like Kalashnikovs outside our office and then we heard firing. We were very confused.’

‘There were two guys who came out of the building and shot everywhere. We hid on the floor, we were terrified.

‘They came from the building opposite with big guns. It has a bunch of different companies inside. Some of our co-workers work there so we were frightened for them.

‘They weren’t just firing inside the Charlie Hebdo offices. They were firing in the street too.

‘We feared for our lives so we hid under our desks so they wouldn’t see us. Both men were dressed in black from head to toe and their faces were covered so I didn’t see them.

‘They were wearing military clothes, it wasn’t common clothing, like they were soldiers.’

According to the New York Times, one journalist at the Charlie Hebdo office, who asked not to be named, texted a friend after the shooting to say: ‘I’m alive. There is death all around me. Yes, I am there. The jihadists spared me.’

A man is carried into an ambulance. Ten people were reportedly in wounded, four critically, in the attack by suspected Al Qaeda militants

A man is carried into an ambulance. Ten people were reportedly in wounded, four critically, in the attack by suspected Al Qaeda militants

Life-threatening: An injured person is evacuated outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office

Life-threatening: An injured person is evacuated outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office

Several people were left critically wounded when terrorists carried out a ‘military-style’ attack on the newspaper office

Several people were left critically wounded when terrorists carried out a ‘military-style’ attack on the newspaper office

Shell-shocked: A woman cries outside the office. Witnesses reported hearing loud gunfire and at least one explosion during the attack

Shell-shocked: A woman cries outside the office. Witnesses reported hearing loud gunfire and at least one explosion during the attack

Trail of destruction: Police inspect the damage after a collision between police cars at the scene during a firefight with Islamic militants

Trail of destruction: Police inspect the damage after a collision between police cars at the scene during a firefight with Islamic militants

ARE PARIS GUNMEN FROM YEMENI AL QAEDA CELL BEHIND PLANE BOMB PLOTS IN THE U.S. AND BRITAIN?

The gunmen being hunted by police over the Charlie Hebdo attack are believed to be from militant group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The group was established by Yusef al-Ayeri in 2003 in Saudi Arabia, but was forced to flee to Yemen after a series of attacks drove them back.

Yemen’s weak government allowed the group to rally and gain members, though they are only thought to have around 400 troops today.

While their attacks initially focused on targets in the Middle East, such as an attempted suicide attack on Saudi Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, they quickly spread to Western targets.

On Christmas Day in 2009, they were implicated in the underwear bomb plot after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was discovered on a Detroit-bound plane trying to detonate liquid explosives in his underpants.

The following year AQAP also took responsibility for a plot to blow up two devices hidden inside printer cartridges loaded on to cargo planes travelling from Yemen to the United States.

One device was discovered during a stopover at East Midlands Airport in Britain, while another was uncovered in Dubai.

According to Stanford University the group is currently lead by Yemen-born Nasser al-Wuhayshi, who is an apprentice of Osama Bin Laden and was imprisoned for a time in Yemen, but escaped in 2006 along with 22 others.

The group has a global jihadist agenda. Like ISIS, they aim to create a single Arab caliphate, covering Pakistan Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and the Levant – the area encompassing Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Israel.

If today’s attack is confirmed as coming from AQAP, it will be the first time the group has used lone-wolf style tactics, in which gunmen act alone or in small groups to attack targets.

Officers were involved in a gunfight with the men, who escaped in a hijacked car and sped away from the office towards east Paris

Officers were involved in a gunfight with the men, who escaped in a hijacked car and sped away from the office towards east Paris

On red alert: After the first shots rang out, it is thought that three policemen on bicycles were the first to respond to the atrocity 

On red alert: After the first shots rang out, it is thought that three policemen on bicycles were the first to respond to the atrocity

Benoit Bringer, a journalist with Agence Premiere Ligne, told the iTele network he saw several masked men armed with machine guns

Benoit Bringer, a journalist with Agence Premiere Ligne, told the iTele network he saw several masked men armed with machine guns

Carnage: A police official, Luc Poignant, said he was aware of one journalist dead and several injured, including three police officers

Carnage: A police official, Luc Poignant, said he was aware of one journalist dead and several injured, including three police officers

Terror: In footage filmed from a rooftop, people are seen running for cover as the gunmen rampage through the building

Terror: In footage filmed from a rooftop, people are seen running for cover as the gunmen rampage through the building

A picture posted on Twitter appearing to show people taking refuge on the roof of the Charlie Hebdo office

A picture posted on Twitter appearing to show people taking refuge on the roof of the Charlie Hebdo office

Targeted: A picture posted on Twitter reportedly showing bullets in one of the windows of the Charlie Hebdo offices

Targeted: A picture posted on Twitter reportedly showing bullets in one of the windows of the Charlie Hebdo offices

Another witness, Gilles Boulanger, who works in the same building, told Itele: ‘A neighbour called to warn me that there were armed men in the building and that we had to shut all the doors.

‘And several minutes later, there were several shots heard in the building from automatic weapons firing in all directions. So then we looked out of the window and saw the shooting was on Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, with the police. It was really upsetting. You’d think it was a war zone.’

French journalist, Stefan De Vries, told Sky News: ‘There was protection at the door but they killed the police officers, they executed them and they started shooting in the offices.’

An unnamed eyewitness told the BBC World Service: ‘When I arrived at the scene it was quite disturbing as you can imagine. There were several corpses on the floor.

‘We saw the number of casualties was very high, so we just tried to help as we could – there were a lot of people down on the floor and there was blood everywhere.

‘I’m very traumatised by this attack and everything and now we’re in psychological hell where we’re being attended to by professionals.’

Benoit Bringer, a journalist at the scene who works next door, took refuge on the roof of the building, which is in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

He said: ‘There were very many people in the building. We evacuated via the roof just next to the office. After around ten minutes we saw two heavily armed, masked men in the street’.

Another witness said: ‘There was a loud gunfire and at least one explosion. When police arrived there was a mass shoot-out. The men got away by car, stealing a car.’

A police official, Luc Poignant, said: ‘It’s carnage.’

After the shooting, hundreds of comments were posted on the Charlie Hebdo Twitter page, with one user, David Rault, writing: ‘A sad day for freedom of expression.’

Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief Gerard Biard escaped the massacre because he was in London.

He told France Inter: ‘I am shocked that people can have attacked a newspaper in France, a secular republic. I don’t understand it.

‘I don’t understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war.’

High alert: French soldiers patrol at the Eiffel Tower after the Charlie Hebdo shooting as the militants are hunted across the city

French soldiers patrol at the Eiffel Tower after a shooting at a French satirical newspaper, in Paris, France, Wednesday, Jan. 7

A French soldier patrols in front of the Eiffel Tower on January 7, 2015 in Paris as the capital was placed under the highest alert status after heavily armed gunmen shouting Islamist slogans stormed French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and shot dead at least 12 people in the deadliest attack in France in four decades. Police launched a massive manhunt for the masked attackers who reportedly hijacked a car and sped off, running over a pedestrian and shooting at officers. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGETJOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

France reinforced security at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transport after masked gunmen stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices

Mr Biard said he did not believe the attack was linked to the newspaper’s latest front page, which featured novelist Michel Houellebecq, who has previously sparked controversy with comments about Islam.

And he said the newspaper had not received threats of violence: ‘Not to my knowledge, and I don’t think anyone had received them as individuals, because they would have talked about it. There was no particular tension at the moment.’

A visibly shocked French President François Hollande, speaking live near the scene of the shooting, said: ‘France is today in shock, in front of a terrorist attack.

‘This newspaper was threatened several rimes in the past and we need to show we are a united country.

‘We have to be firm, and we have to be stand strong with the international community in the coming days and weeks.

‘We are at a very difficult moment following several terrorist attacks. We are threated because we are a country of freedom

‘We will punish the attackers. We will look for the people responsible.’

Defiant: Stephane Charbonnier, known by his pen name Charb, was editor of Charlie Hebdo, and gunned down by men with assault weapons

Defiant: Stephane Charbonnier, known by his pen name Charb, was editor of Charlie Hebdo, and gunned down by men with assault weapons

Mr Charbonnier was named as one of nine men the extreme Islamist group were targetting (pictured centre right). Their photographs were printed alongside the caption ‘a bullet a day keeps the infidel away’

Tragic: Cartoonist Georges Wolinski was named by officials as one of those shot dead at the offices of Charlie Hebdo

Tragic: Cartoonist Georges Wolinski was named by officials as one of those shot dead at the offices of Charlie Hebdo

Cartoonist Cabu

Bernard 'Tignous' Verlhac was gunned down by terrorists today

Lead cartoonist Jean ‘Cabu’ Cabut (left) was among the 12 massacred by terrorists in Paris today, along with Bernard ‘Tignous’ Verlhac (right)

Radio France chief executive Mathieu Gilet announced on Twitter that a contributor, Bernard Maris (above right) was another of the victims

Radio France chief executive Mathieu Gilet announced on Twitter that a contributor, Bernard Maris (above right) was another of the victims

The Queen today sent her ‘sincere condolences to the families of those who have been killed’ in the attack.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron described the murders as ‘sickening’.

He added: ‘We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.’

The British Foreign Office immediately updated is advice for travellers heading to Pairs, warning: ‘There is a high threat from terrorism.’

It added: ‘If you’re in Paris or the Ile de France area take extra care and follow advice of French authorities.’

Luce Lapin and Laurent Leger, who have both worked at Charlie Hebdo, were using Twitter hours before the attack, with the most recent tweet posted by Lapin praising cartoonist Cabu.

It read: ‘Cabu, a great man! And honest, he doesn’t eat foie gras.’

While Leger’s made a political point about taxes.

It said: ‘Macron [French ministry of economy] wants more billionaires in France, the same that use tricks for not paying ISF [solidarity tax on wealth].’

Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Union of French mosques, condemned the ‘hateful act,’ and urged Muslims and Christians ‘to intensify their actions to give more strength to this dialogue to make a united front against extremism’.

Location: Officers were involved in a gunfight with the men, who escaped in a hijacked car and sped away from the office towards east Paris

Location: Officers were involved in a gunfight with the men, who escaped in a hijacked car and sped away from the office towards east Paris

‘100 LASHES IF YOU DON’T DIE OF LAUGHTER’: HOW CHARLIE HEBDO HAS BECOME A BYWORD FOR ANTI-ISLAMISM

Charlie Hebdo has become a byword for offensive statements in France after taking several highly provocative swipes at Islam.

The newspaper once named Prophet Mohammed as its guest editor, published cartoons of the holy figure in the nude, and once renamed itself Sharia Hebdo with the cover slogan ‘100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter’.

The controversy began in 2006 when the publication reprinted now-infamous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed by Danish artist Kurt Westergaard.

When the images originally appeared they lead to days of protests across the Middle East and in Western cities. The decision to reprint the images landed the then-editor in court under anti-terror laws, though he was later acquitted.

The Hebdo offices were burned to the ground in 2011 when attackers used Molotov cocktails to start a blaze early in the morning of November 2.

There was nobody in the building at the time, and the target was instead thought to be the newspaper’s computer system, which was completely destroyed.

Riot police were forced to stand guard outside the building for days following the attack, as the editors took a defiant stance, choosing to reprint the cartoon images multiple times.

In 2012 they again printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as a deliberately provocative gesture while violent protests were taking place across the Middle East.

The following year the newspaper’s office again had to be surrounded by riot officers after they published a cartoon booklet depicting the Prohpet naked as a baby and being pushed in a wheelchair.

On the final page of the booklet there was a note from the editor, Stephane Charbonnier, saying the images were ‘halal’ because Muslims had worked on them, and that they were factually accurate as they had been derived from descriptions in the Koran.

The satirical publication, widely seen as France’s answer to Private Eye, prides itself on a mixture of tongue-in-cheek reporting and investigative journalism.

Hebdo’s current office building has no notices on the door to prevent a repeat of the attacks that have occurred in the past.

In an interview with De Volkskrant in January 2013, Mr Charbonnier revealed he had been placed under constant police protection for four months after one of the cartoon issues was published.

He shrugged off criticism that he was only publishing the images to gain notoriety for Hebdo, and insisted that he was instead defending the right to free speech.

Mr Charbonnier pointed out that the newspaper had poked fun at feminism, nuclear energy and homeland security, but the Islam issues always attracted the most publicity.

The offices of the same newspaper were burnt down in a petrol attack in 2011 after running a magazine cover of the Prophet Mohammed as a cartoon character.

At the time, the editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier, said Islam could not be excluded from freedom of the press.

He said: ‘If we can poke fun at everything in France, if we can talk about anything in France apart from Islam or the consequences of Islamism, that is annoying.’

Mr Charbonnier, also known as Charb, said he did not see the attack on the newspaper as the work of French Muslims, but of what he called ‘idiot extremists’.

'We have to be stand strong with the international community': A visibly shocked French President François Hollande arrives at the scene, where he promised to bring those responsible to justice

‘We have to be stand strong with the international community’: A visibly shocked French President François Hollande arrives at the scene, where he promised to bring those responsible to justice

The cover showed Mohammed saying: ‘100 lashes if you are not dying of laughter’.

This week’s Charlie Hebdo also featured the author Houellebecq, whose new novel imagines Muslims taking over the French government in 2022.

Inside, there was an editorial, attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, and more cartoons – one showing the Prophet with a clown’s red nose.

Depiction of the Prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam, but the newspaper denied it was trying to be provocative.

A firebomb attack gutted the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in November 2011 after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammed on its cover.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/01/07/charlie-hebdo-terror-attack/

HOW ATTACK ON CHARLIE HEBDO HQ UNFOLDED

10.28am – The satirical magazine updates its Twitter page with a cartoon of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In it, he wishes everyone ‘good health’.

10.57am – The AFP news agency reports shots have been fired at the French weekly magazine, on Boulevard Richard Lenoir.

11.17am – Eyewitness accounts emerge showing the immediate aftermath of the scene.

11.22am – AFP confirms the first death as a result of the shooting. Three minutes later it confirms the death toll has risen to 10.

11.31am – President Francois Hollande is en-route to visit the magazine’s offices shortly, officials say

11.36am – The death toll is increased to 11 and then to 12.

11.46am – Paris is put on maximum alert following the attacks.

11.49am – Prime Minister David Cameron condemns the attack: ‘The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.’

11.54am – Mr Hollande, in an address near the scene of the massacre, says the shooting was ‘undoubtedly a terrorist attack’. He adds: ‘We fight threats and we will punish the attackers.’

11.59am – The first tweet is posted containing the hashtag £JeSuisCharlie in solidarity with the victims, the magazine and its supporters.

12.26pm – French officials confirm gunmen who carried out the attack are still at large. At least two criminals are believed to be involved.

12.38pm – The White House condemns Paris attack in the ‘strongest possible terms’.

1.30pm – AFP says dead include three cartoonists and editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb.

2.13pm – French internal minister Bernard Cazeneuve says ‘three criminals’ were involved in the attack. They remain at large.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2900259/Gunmen-kill-11-Charlie-Hebdo-attack.html

PLAY VIDEO|1:05

Witness Videos of Paris Terror Attack

Witness Videos of Paris Terror Attack

Several videos showing the gunmen outside the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, have surfaced online. The footage includes scenes of graphic violence.

Video by Natalia V. Osipova on Publish DateJanuary 7, 2015. Photo by Reuters TV.

Continue reading the main storyShare This Page

PARIS — At least two masked gunmen on Wednesday burst into the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper that had drawn threats for lampooning Islam, killing 12 people in a methodical hail of gunfire, fleeing by car as they battled on the street with the police and setting off a wide manhunt for the killers.

There were unconfirmed news reports late Wednesday that the police had arrested three suspects, all French nationals, including two brothers.

The terrorist attack on the newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, was among the deadliest in postwar France, setting the nation on edge, sending shockwaves through Europe and threatening to deepen the distrust of France’s large Muslim population. The attack came at a time when Islamic radicalism has become a central concern of security officials across Europe.

The attack, carried out with automatic weapons, was carried out with an unusual degree of military-style precision. President François Hollande of France calledit a display of extraordinary “barbarism” that was “without a doubt” an act of terrorism. He declared Thursday a national day of mourning.

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He also raised the nationwide terror alert to its highest status, saying several terrorist attacks had been thwarted in recent weeks as security officials here and elsewhere in Europe have grown increasingly wary of the return of young citizens from Syria and Iraq, where they went to wage jihad.

The French authorities put some schools on lockdown for the day, and added security at houses of worship, news media offices and transportation centers, and conducted random searches on the Paris Metro.

The Paris prosecutor, François Molins, said witnesses said the attackers had screamed “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great” during the attack, which the police characterized as a “slaughter.”

Corinne Rey, a cartoonist known as Coco, who was at the newspaper office during the attack, told Le Monde that the attackers spoke fluent French and had said they were part of Al Qaeda.

An amateur video of the assailants’ subsequent gunfight with the police, showed the men shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” The video, the source of which could not be verified, also showed the gunmen killing a police officer as he lay wounded on a nearby street.

Graphic: Paris Newspaper Shooting: The Sequence of Events

The victims at Charlie Hebdo included some of the country’s most revered and iconoclastic cartoonists. The weekly’s editorial director, Stéphane Charbonnier, had already been received light police protection after earlier threats, the police and the prosecutor said. An officer assigned to guard the newspaper’s offices and its top editor was among the victims.

As news of the attack spread, an outpouring of grief mixed with expressions of dismay and demonstrations of solidarity for free speech. By the evening, not far from the site of the attack in the east of Paris, thousands gathered at Place de La République — young and old, and various classes — some chanting, “Charlie! Charlie!” or holding signs reading, “I am Charlie” — the message posted on the newspaper’s website.

Spontaneous vigils of hundreds and thousands formed in other cities around France and elsewhere in Europe.

Mr. Molin, thprosecutor, said that two men armed with AK-47 rifles and wearing black hoods, had forced their way into the weekly’s offices about 11:30 a.m., firing at people in the lobby, before making their way to the newsroom on the second floor, interrupting a news meeting and firing at the assembled journalists.

The attackers then fled outside, where they clashed three times with the police, shooting one officer as he lay on the ground on a nearby street. They then fled in a black Citroen, and headed north on the right bank of Paris. During their escape, prosecutors said, they crashed into another car and injured its female driver, before robbing and abducting a bystander.

Deadly Attack in Paris

Demonstrators with signs reading “I am Charlie” in Paris on Wednesday after an attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The police said the precision with which the assailants handled their weapons suggested that they had received military training. During the attack, which the police said lasted a matter of minutes, several journalists hid under their desks or went to hide on the roof, witnesses said.

Meziani Zina, 32, who works at the reception of an employment center across from the building, said she heard several loud shots ringing from the weekly’s headquarters.

One journalist who was at the weekly during the attack and asked that her name not be used, texted a friend after the shooting: “I’m alive. There is death all around me. Yes, I am there. The jihadists spared me.”

Treasured by many, hated by some, and indiscriminate in its offensiveness, Charlie Hebdo has long reveled in provoking.

In 2011, the office of the weekly was badly damaged by a firebomb after it published a spoof issue “guest edited” by the Prophet Muhammad to salute the victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections. It had announced plans to publish a special issue renamed “Charia Hebdo,” a play on the word in French for Shariah law.

Photo

Clockwise from top left, the cartoonists Jean Cabut, known as Cabu; Bernard Verlhac, who used the name Tignous; Georges Wolinski; and Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb, who was also the editorial director of Charlie Hebdo.CreditStephane De Sakutin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Police said the dead included four celebrated cartoonists at the weekly, including its Mr. Charbonnier, known as Charb, Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.

Mr. Charbonnier stoked controversy and earned the ire of the Muslim community in 2006, when he republished satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that had been published in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. His last cartoon for Charlie Hebdo featured an armed man who appeared to be a Muslim fighter with a headline that read: “Still no attacks in France. Wait! We have until the end of January to give our best wishes.”

The police said that an abandoned black Citroen with silvered wing-mirrors, used by the gunmen, was later discovered in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.

A senior United States counterterrorism official said on Wednesday that the American authorities were following the developments in Paris closely, but that they had not yet identified any individuals or groups who might be responsible for the attack.

Michael J. Morell, the former deputy director of the C.I.A. and now a consultant to CBS News, said it was unclear whether the attackers acted on their own or were directed by organized groups.

Photo

The cover of the current issue of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

“This is the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the attacks in London in July of 2005,” Mr. Morell said. “The motive here is absolutely clear: trying to shut down a media organization that lampooned the Prophet Muhammad. So, no doubt in my mind that this is terrorism.”

RECENT COMMENTS

This isn’t all about Mohammed. This is because of the political criticism.

He added, “What we have to figure out here is the perpetrators and whether they were self-radicalized or whether they were individuals who fought in Syria and Iraq and came back, or whether they were actually directed by ISIS or Al Qaeda.”

Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, one of France’s largest, expressed horror at the assault on Charlie Hebdo. “We are shocked and surprised that something like this could happen in the center of Paris. But where are we?” he was quoted as saying by Europe1, a radio broadcaster.

“We strongly condemn these kinds of acts and we expect the authorities to take the most appropriate measures.” He added: “This is a deafening declaration of war. Times have changed, and we are now entering a new era of confrontation.”

The attack comes as thousands of Europeans have gone to join jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria, further fueling concerns about Islamic radicalism and terrorism being imported. Those concerns have been particularly acute in France where fears have grown that militants are seeking to target French citizens in retaliation for the government’s support for the United States-led air campaign against jihadists with the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Obama on U.S. Solidarity With France

In reaction to the deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, President Obama said the United States would provide France with “every bit of assistance” in fighting terrorism.

Video by AP on Publish DateJanuary 7, 2015. Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press.

Last month, Prime Minister Manuel Valls ordered hundreds of additional military personnel onto the streets to beef up security after a series of attacks across France raised alarm about Islamic terror.

In Dijon and Nantes, a total of 23 people were injured when men drove vehicles into crowds, with one of the drivers shouting an Islamic rallying cry. The authorities depicted both drivers as mentally unstable. The attacks came after violence attributed to lone-wolf attackers in London in 2013, inCanada in October and last month in Sydney, Australia.

In September, fighters in Algeria aligned with the Islamic State beheaded Hervé Gourdel, a 55-year-old mountaineering guide from Nice, and released a video documenting the brutal killing. Mr. Gourdel was kidnapped after the Islamic State called on its supporters to target Europeans to avenge the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

President Obama issued a statement condemning the attack. “Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended,” he said. “France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials, and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.”

The former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, called the assault a “direct and savage attack against one of our most revered republican ideals: the freedom of expression.”

In a condolence letter addressed to President Holland, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany expressed condolences on behalf of the German people.

“This horrible act is not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and the domestic security of France,” Ms. Merkel said. “It also stands as an attack on the freedom of expression and the press, a core element of our free, democratic culture that can in no way be justified.”

Correction: January 7, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated the location of the abandoned car believed to have been used by the gunmen, using information from the police. It was found in the 19th Arrondissement, not the 20th.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/world/europe/charlie-hebdo-paris-shooting.html?_r=0

Charlie Hebdo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charlie Hebdo
Charlie-Hebdo-logo.jpg

Logo of the weekly Charlie Hebdo
Type Weekly satirical
news magazine
Format Magazine
Founded 1970,[1] 1992
Political alignment Left-wing
Headquarters Paris, France
Circulation 45,000
ISSN 1240-0068
Website charliehebdo.fr

Charlie Hebdo (French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁli ɛbdo]; French for Charlie Weekly) is a French satirical weekly newspaper, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics, and jokes. Irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, the publication is strongly antireligious[2] and left-wing, publishing articles on the extreme right, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, politics,culture, etc. According to its former editor, Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), the magazine’s editorial viewpoint reflects “all components of left wing pluralism, and even abstainers”.[3]

It first appeared from 1969 to 1981; it folded, but was resurrected in 1992. Charb was the most recent editor, holding the post from 2009 until his death in the attack on the magazine’s offices in 2015. His predecessors were François Cavanna(1969–1981) and Philippe Val (1992–2009).

The magazine is published every Wednesday, with special editions issued on an unscheduled basis.

On 7 January 2015, during the weekly editorial board meeting, suspected Islamic terrorists gunned down and killed 10 journalists and two police officers at the newspaper’s Paris office.[4][5]

History

François Cavanna, one of the founders of Charlie Hebdo

In 1960, Georges “Professeur Choron” Bernier and François Cavanna launched a monthly magazine entitled Hara-Kiri.[6]Choron acted as the director of publication and Cavanna as its editor. Eventually Cavanna gathered together a team which included Roland Topor, Fred, Jean-Marc Reiser, Georges Wolinski, Gébé (fr), and Cabu. After an early reader’s letter accused them of being “dumb and nasty” (“bête et méchant”), the phrase became an official slogan for the magazine and made it into everyday language in France.

1969–1981

In 1969, the Hara-Kiri team decided to produce a weekly publication – on top of the existing monthly magazine – which would focus more on current affairs. This was launched in February as Hara-Kiri Hebdo and renamed L’Hebdo Hara-Kiri in May of the same year.[citation needed] (‘Hebdo’ is short for ‘hebdomadaire’ – ‘weekly’)

In November 1970, the former French president Charles de Gaulle died in his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, eight days after a disaster in a nightclub, theClub Cinq-Sept fire caused the death of 146 people. The magazine released a cover spoofing the popular press’s coverage of this disaster, headlined “Tragic Ball at Colombey, one dead.”[6] As a result, the journal was once more banned, this time by the Minister of the Interior.

In order to sidestep the ban, the team decided to change its title, and used Charlie Hebdo.[1] The new name was derived from a monthly comics magazine calledCharlie Mensuel (Charlie Monthly), which had been started by Bernier and Delfeil de Ton in 1968. Charlie took its name from Charlie Brown, the lead character ofPeanuts – one of the comics originally published in Charlie Mensuel – and was also an inside joke about Charles de Gaulle.[7] In December 1981, publication ceased.

1992–2010

In 1991, Gébé, Cabu and others were reunited to work for La Grosse Bertha, a new weekly magazine resembling Charlie created in reaction to the First Gulf War and edited by comic singer Philippe Val. However, the following year, Val clashed with the publisher, who wanted apolitical mischief, and was fired. Gébé and Cabu walked out with him and decided to launch their own paper again. The three called upon Cavanna, Delfeil de Ton and Wolinski, requesting their help and input. After much searching for a new name, the obvious idea of resurrecting Charlie-Hebdo was agreed on. The new magazine was owned by Val, Gébé, Cabu and singer Renaud Séchan. Val was editor, Gébé artistic director.

The publication of the new Charlie Hebdo began in July 1992 amidst much publicity. The first issue under the new publication sold 100,000 copies. Choron, who had fallen out with his former colleagues, tried to restart a weekly Hara-Kiri, but its publication was short-lived. Choron died in January 2005.

In 2000, journalist Mona Chollet was sacked after she had protested against a Philippe Val article which called Palestinians “non-civilized”.[8] In 2004, following the death of Gébé, Val succeeded him as director of the publication, while still holding his position as editor.

Controversy arose over the publication’s edition of 9 February 2006. Under the title “Mahomet débordé par les intégristes” (“Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists”), the front page showed a cartoon of a weeping Prophet Muhammad saying “C’est dur d’être aimé par des cons” (“it’s hard being loved by jerks”). The newspaper reprinted the twelve cartoons of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and added some of their own. Compared to a regular circulation of 100,000 sold copies, this edition enjoyed great commercial success. 160,000 copies were sold and another 150,000 were in print later that day.

In response, French President Jacques Chirac condemned “overt provocations” which could inflame passions. “Anything that can hurt the convictions of someone else, in particular religious convictions, should be avoided”, Chirac said. The Grand Mosque, the Muslim World League and the Union of French Islamic Organisations(UOIF) sued, claiming the cartoon edition included racist cartoons.[9] A later edition contained a statement by a group of 12 writers warning against Islamism.[10]

The suit by the Grand Mosque and the UOIF reached the courts in February 2007. Publisher Philippe Val contended “It is racist to imagine that they can’t understand a joke” but Francis Szpiner, the lawyer for the Grand Mosque, explained the suit: “Two of those caricatures make a link between Muslims and Muslim terrorists. That has a name and it’s called racism.”[11]

Future president Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to be read in court expressing his support for the ancient French tradition of satire.[12] François Bayrou and future president François Hollande also expressed their support for freedom of expression. The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) criticized the expression of these sentiments, claiming they were politicizing a court case.[13]

On 22 March 2007, executive editor Philippe Val was acquitted by the court.[14] The court followed the state attorney’s reasoning that two of the three cartoons were not an attack on Islam, but on Muslim terrorists, and that the third cartoon with Mohammed with a bomb in his turban should be seen in the context of the magazine in question which attacked religious fundamentalism.

In 2008, controversy broke over a column by veteran cartoonist Siné which led to accusations of antisemitism and Siné’s sacking by Val. Siné sued the newspaper for unfair dismissal and Charlie Hebdo was sentenced to pay him 90,000 in damages.[15] Siné launched a rival paper called Siné Hebdo which later became Siné Mensuel. Charlie Hebdo launched its Internet site, after years of reluctance[citation needed] from Val.

In 2009, Philippe Val resigned after being appointed director of France Inter, a public radio station to which he has contributed since the early 1990s. His functions were split between two cartoonists, Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier) and Riss (Laurent Sourisseau). Val gave away his shares in 2011.[citation needed]

2011–present

The paper’s controversial 3 November 2011 issue, renamed “Charia Hebdo” (a reference to Sharia law) and “guest-edited” by Muhammad, depicted Muhammad saying: “100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing.”

New head office Rue Serpollet (fr) in Paris

Debris outside the paper’s offices following the November 2011 attack

In the early hours of 2 November 2011, the newspaper’s office in the 20th arrondissement[16] was fire-bombed and its websitehacked. The attacks were presumed linked to its decision to rename a special edition “Charia Hebdo”, with the Islamic Prophet Mohammed listed as the “editor-in-chief”.[17] The cover, featuring a cartoon of Mohammed by Luz (Renald Luzier), had circulated on social media for a couple of days.

Charb was quoted by AP stating that the attack might have been carried out by “stupid people who don’t know what Islam is” and that they are “idiots who betray their own religion”. Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, said his organisation deplores “the very mocking tone of the paper toward Islam and its prophet but reaffirms with force its total opposition to all acts and all forms of violence.”[18] François Fillon, the prime minister, and Claude Guéant, the interior minister, voiced support for Charlie Hebdo,[16] as did feminist writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who criticised calls for self-censorship.[19]

In September 2012, the newspaper published a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammed, some of which feature nude caricatures of him.[20][21] Given that this came days after a series of attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East, purportedly in response to the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, the French government decided to increase security at certain French embassies, as well as to close the French embassies, consulates, cultural centers, and international schools in about 20 Muslim countries.[22] In addition, riot police surrounded the offices of the magazine to protect against possible attacks.[21][23][24]

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticised the magazine’s decision, saying, “In France, there is a principle of freedom of expression, which should not be undermined. In the present context, given this absurd video that has been aired, strong emotions have been awakened in many Muslim countries. Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour oil on the fire?”[25] However, the newspaper’s editor defended publication of the cartoons, saying, “We do caricatures of everyone, and above all every week, and when we do it with the Prophet, it’s called provocation.”[26][27]

January 2015 attack

On 7 January 2015, at least two gunmen opened fire at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, killing at least 12, and seriously wounding 11.[4][28] Staff cartoonists Charb,Cabu, Honoré, Tignous, and Wolinski[29] along with economist Bernard Maris, and two police officers standing guard at the magazine were all killed.[30][31][32][33]

President François Hollande described it as a “terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity”.[34]

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Jump up to:a b McNab 2006, p. 26: “Georges Bernier, the real name of ‘Professor Choron’, [… was] cofounder and director of the satirical magazine Hara Kiri, whose title was changed (to circumvent a ban, it seems!) to Charlie Hebdo in 1970.”
  2. Jump up^ Charb. “Non, “Charlie Hebdo” n’est pas raciste !”. Le Monde. Retrieved 4 March2014.
  3. Jump up^ «Charlie Hebdo, c’est la gauche plurielle» [archive] sur lecourrier.ch du 9 avril 2010
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Deadly attack on office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo”. BBC News.
  5. Jump up^ Bremner, Charles (7 January 2015). “Islamists kill 12 in attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo”. The Times.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b Lemonnier 2008, p. 50.
  7. Jump up^ Cavanna et “les cons”, Le Monde, 14 February 2014
  8. Jump up^ L’opinion du patron, Les Mots Sont Importants, 4 March 2006.
  9. Jump up^ “Caricatures : Charlie Hebdo relaxé : CFCM Tv – Culte Musulman et Islam de France – HAJJ 2012 – Halal”. Cfcm.tv. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 21 December2011.
  10. Jump up^ “Writers’ statement on cartoons (March 1, 2006)”. BBC News. 1 March 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  11. Jump up^ Heneghan, Tom, “Cartoon row goes to French court”, IOL, 2 February 2007 at 06:37pm.
  12. Jump up^ e-TF1 (15 December 2011). “Caricatures : Le soutien de Sarkozy à Charlie Hebdo fâche le CFCM – France – TF1 News”. Lci.tf1.fr. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  13. Jump up^ “Charlie Hebdo : Sarkozy accusé de politiser le procès – L’EXPRESS”. Lexpress.fr. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  14. Jump up^ “French cartoons editor acquitted”, BBC, 22 March 2007 14:33 GMT.
  15. Jump up^ Charlie Hebdo doit verser 90 000 euros à Siné, Libération, 17 December 2012.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b Boxel, James (2 November 2011 ). “Firebomb attack on satirical French magazine”. Financial Times. Retrieved 19 September 2012.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. Jump up^ “BBC News: Attack on French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo (November 2, 2011)”. Bbc.co.uk. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  18. Jump up^ AP via Google.
  19. Jump up^ Peter Worthington (9 November 2011). “Extremists hurt non-militant Muslims the most”. Toronto Sun. QMI.
  20. Jump up^ “Charlie Hebdo publie des caricatures de Mahomet”. BMFTV (French) Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  21. ^ Jump up to:a b Vinocur, Nicholas (19 September 2012). “Magazine’s nude Mohammad cartoons prompt France to shut embassies, schools in 20 countries”. Reuters. The National Post. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  22. Jump up^ Samuel, Henry (19 September 2012). “France to close schools and embassies fearing Mohammed cartoon reaction”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 September2012.
  23. Jump up^ Khazan, Olga (19 September 2012). “Charlie Hebdo cartoons spark debate over free speech and Islamophobia”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 September2012.
  24. Jump up^ Keller, Greg; Hinnant, Lori (19 September 2012). “Charlie Charlie Hebdo Mohammed Cartoons: France Ups Embassy Security After Prophet Cartoons”. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  25. Jump up^ Clark, Nicola (19 September 2012). “French Magazine Publishes Cartoons Mocking Muhammad”. The New York Times. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  26. Jump up^ “French leaders sound alarm over planned Mohammad cartoons”. Reuters. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  27. Jump up^ Stefan Simons (20 September 2012). “‘Charlie Hebdo’ Editor in Chief: ‘A Drawing Has Never Killed Anyone'”. Spiegel Online.
  28. Jump up^ Charlie Hebdo attack: What we know so far
  29. Jump up^ “Attentat contre « Charlie Hebdo » : Charb, Cabu, Wolinski et les autres, assassinés dans leur rédaction”. LeMonde.fr (in French).
  30. Jump up^ “EN DIRECT. Massacre chez “Charlie Hebdo” : 12 morts, dont Charb et Cabu”.Le Point.fr (in French).
  31. Jump up^ “Les dessinateurs Charb et Cabu seraient morts”. L’Essentiel (in French) (France: L’Essentiel). 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  32. Jump up^ Conal Urquhart. “Paris Police Say 12 Dead After Shooting at Charlie Hebdo”.Time. Witnesses said that the gunmen had called out the names of individual from the magazine. French media report that Charb, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist who was on al Qaeda most wanted list in 2013, was seriously injured.
  33. Jump up^ Victoria Ward. “Murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonist was on al Qaeda wanted list”. The Telegraph.
  34. Jump up^ Charlie Hebdo shooting: At least 12 killed as shots fired at satirical magazine’s Paris office
Bibliography
  • Lemonnier, Bertrand (2008). “L’entrée en dérision”. Vingtième Siècle: Revue d’histoire 98: 43–55. JSTOR 20475319.
  • McNab, James P. (2006). “Bloc-notes Culturel: l’année 2005”. The French Review 80 (1): 16–29. JSTOR 25480584.

Further reading

External links

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo

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A History of Syria — Videos

Posted on September 4, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Immigration, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Rifles, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Documentary BBC – A History of Syria (2013)

Syria: What’s Behind the Conflict

On Syria’s History of Inclusiveness

Know Your News! Understanding the Syrian Revolution in Under 4 Minutes

The Balkanization of Syria Part 1

Published on Aug 5, 2013

Part 1 of an interview with Jeremy Salt on the Syrian conflict conducted by Susan Dirgham. Recorded in Melbourne on 29 July, 2013

Foreign Attempts to Divide Syria Through Sectarianism Part 2

Part 2 of an interview with Jeremy Salt on the Syrian conflict conducted by Susan Dirgham. Recorded in Melbourne on 29 July, 2013.

Syria, Academics and the Media Part 3

Published on Aug 5, 2013

Part 3 of an interview with Jeremy Salt on the Syrian conflict conducted by Susan Dirgham. Recorded in Melbourne on 29 July, 2013.

Syria, Education and Propaganda Part 4

Published on Aug 5, 2013

Part 4 of an interview with Jeremy Salt on the Syrian conflict conducted by Susan Dirgham. Recorded in Melbourne on 29 July, 2013.

The Role of the Media in Disinformation about Syria Part 5

Published on Aug 5, 2013

Part 5 of an interview with Jeremy Salt on the Syrian conflict conducted by Susan Dirgham. Recorded in Melbourne on 29 July, 2013.

Syria – A History of Cultural Diversity Part 6

Published on Aug 5, 2013

Part 6 of an interview with Jeremy Salt on the Syrian conflict conducted by Susan Dirgham. Recorded in Melbourne on 29 July, 2013.

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Week-end au château de Versailles

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Remembering the 68th Anniversary of the D-Day landings 1944-2012–Videos

Posted on June 6, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Education, European History, Foreign Policy, High School, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Video, War, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

WW II in Colour 9/13 [Overlord]

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NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT | Charles Durning | PBS

Background Articles and Videos

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 12,000-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving almost 7,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June; more than 3 million troops were in France by the end of August.
Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on D-Day itself came from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Free French Forces and Poland also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also minor contingents from Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway. Other Allied nations participated in the naval and air forces.
Once the beachheads were secured, a three-week military buildup occurred on the beaches before Operation Cobra, the operation to break out from the Normandy beachhead, began. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to expand the foothold on France, and concluded with the closing of the Falaise pocket on 24 August, the Liberation of Paris on 25 August, and the German retreat across the Seine which was completed on 30 August 1944.

D-Day 6.6.1944 [1/5] BBC Documentary

D-Day 6.6.1944 [2/5] BBC Documentary

D-Day 6.6.1944 [3/5] BBC Documentary

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UPDATED March 26, 2011 

Weekly Address: The Military Mission in Libya

Libya, Serbia, Iraq… Libya: Become US President, Declare War!

 

Obama Authorizes U.S. Military Action Against Libya

 

Scowcroft: Avoiding Mission Creep in Libya

 

Libya is going to be more than a no-fly zone operation

“A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn’t preventive war, that is war.

~President Dwight D. Eisenhower, news conference, August 11,  1954

 

 

Why Is Obama Encouraging Brazil to Drill for Oil, But He Won’t Do the Same Here?

 

Obama – Drill in Brazil, but Not Here

 

OBAMA / LYBIA / WHAT IS NEXT!

 

END WAR: AJ Explains U.S. Government Backing Libyan Al-Qaeda, A Globalist Tool Used Against Soviets

 

SA@TAC – Obama’s Libyan War

 

LIBYA – CAMERON AND SARKOZY BEATING THE DRUMS OF WAR


 

Italy and Libya, a tale of money, oil and colonial scars

 

Hillary Clinton and Obama had ‘Extensive Contacts’ with UK in BP’s Lockerbie Release Deal

Madsen: Lockerbie Bomber released to bailout British banks

 

 

Lockerbie Justice Takes Backseat?

 

Iran’s Insidious Role In The United Kingdom’s Politics

 

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 1

 

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 2

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 3

The CIA and Flight 103 Lockerbie Bombing Part 4

 

Lockerbie Bomber Truth 1/2

 

Lockerbie Bomber Truth 2/2

 

Lockerbie Bombing Evidence Newsnight Scotland pt 1

 

END WAR: Ron Paul Repeats No-Fly-Zone Is An Act Of War Requiring Congressional Approval

 

Ron Paul To Introduce A Bill That Says The President Can’t Impose A NO-Fly Zone Over Libya!

 

Don’t tread on me

Last weekend the President of the United States in his capacity as  Commander in Chief ordered the launching of 122 cruise missiles and dozens of military fighter aircraft and naval warships to attack the Libyan military command and control installations.

America is now at war with Libya or more precisely, the  Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

The goal is the killing of Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi and securing oil and natural gas resources for European countries and allies of the United States including Italy, France, Germany and Great Britain.

President Obama follows the lead of former President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair in initiating yet another preventive war on an Islamic tribal nation.

THE BEST DEFENSE: Preventive War

 

Europe and in particular  Italy, France, and Great Britain needed an uninterrupted supply of oil and natural gas from Libya.

A civil war in Libya might eventually lead to the destruction of BP’s  oil refineries in Libya and in turn the disruption of the flow of oil and natural gas from Libya to Europe.

The United States is now backing rebels many of them allied with the Liberation Islamic Fighting Group–al Qaeda.

President Obama now has the United States providing air support for the rebels including the Moslem Bortherhood, Islamic Jihidists and  al Qaeda and intervening in a civil war among over 140 clans or  tribes of Libya.

What is next?

Singing the Libyan national anthem at a White House dinner to honor the freedom fighters or Islamic Jidhadists?

Allahu Akbar (God is Great)

Gives new meaning to the term green energy.

Andrew McCarthy: “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America”

CNN: Libya, a nation of tribes

Navigating Libya’s tribal maze

Great Britain, France and Italy all need oil and natural gas.

The cover story for the so-called “kinetic military action” or no-fly-zone is humanitarian aid and intervention to prevent a genocide in Libya by  Revolutionary Leader Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI.

The progressive radical socialist in America are allied with the Islamic jihadists.

Whatever Libya’s role in the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 bombing, the Iranian government contracted for the death of American citizens and soldiers as payback for the accidental shooting down of an Iran Air Flight 655  by the United States naval cruiser Vincennes that was in Iranian territorial waters.

 

Iran’s Insidious Role In The United Kingdom’s Politics.

 

U.S. cruiser downs Iranian airliner — July 3, 1988

 

(1/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

(2/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

(3/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

(4/4) Iran Air Flight 655 (Mistaken Identity)

 

 

Where is Congress?

Where is mainstream media?

Banging on the war drums.

Neo-Libs Rejoice As UN Declares War On Libya

The warfare and welfare economy and state needs another war to create another bubble or boom.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt Chapter 2 – “The Broken Window”

 

War is the ultimate broken windows stimulus policy.

The fight for oil and political power resulted in the deaths of 290 people on civilian jet airliner Iran Air Flight 655 on July 18, 1988 and the deaths of 259 people on civilian jet airliner Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 people in Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988.  

Time for the American people to put a stop to this madness of the government interventionists both at home and abroad.

Time to have another drink with Bob:

Let Libyans Fight Their Own Battles…

 

Obama Hates US…

 

DRILL! DRILL!! DRILL!!!

 

Thomas Barnett: The Pentagon’s new map for war and peace 

 

Libya Erupts in Now-Contiguous North African Democratization Wave – Wikistrat CoreGap

 

The Most Persistent Economic Fallacy of All Time!

 

The Precautionary Principle Who Benefits?

 

 

Background Articles and Videos

Inside al Qaeda

 

Libya frees al Qaeda linked group

The Neoconservative Media by the Southern Avenger

The Iran problem with Hanson and Baer

 

On the NRO Libya Editorial, I Respectfully Dissent  

 

By Andrew C. McCarthy

 

“…Contrary to the editors’ claim, a military campaign to pick a winner between Qaddafi (for whom we were vouching for up until a few weeks ago) and the “rebels” (who include anti-American jihadists) would not be “commensurate with our interests.” It could not be, for such campaigns, as the editorial concedes, have “costs and risks.” Our interests are calculated by weighing those costs and risks against the anticipated benefits. To justify the use of military force, the benefits have to be clear and substantial, and their pursuit must be supported by the public. The fate of Libya is just not that important. Qaddafi is a creep, but he hasn’t done anything to us since our government absolved him seven years ago. If he falls, no one will weep. But that doesn’t make it worth a single American life to move him out so the “rebels” can move in.

Arab League members have been lushly armed by the U.S. for years. Why don’t we suggest that they band together to drive Qaddafi out, just like they have banded together several times to try to wipe out Israel? Why don’t we let our great NATO ally Turkey take a time-out from trying to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas to deal with its own backyard?

To borrow General McChrystal’s words about Afghanistan, Libya is not our war. The editors observe that “waiting for U.N. or even NATO approval is a formula for inaction,” but there are very good reasons for inaction. Putting aside Security Council authoritarians like China and Russia, who have their own reasons for protecting Qaddafi, many other countries see the potentially catastrophic downsides of getting involved and say, “No thanks.” Why do we need to be the ones to take on the empirically thankless task of stepping in between warring Muslims who are united only by their disdain for America and the West? 

It is not easy to explain to our troops and their loved ones why the combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have devolved into increasingly pointless nation-building exercises, continue to be worth their sacrifice. But at least in those missions, there were clear U.S. national security reasons for the initial invasions. At least in those missions, we are still killing and capturing some terrorists who might otherwise attack the U.S. In Libya, there are no similar U.S. interests. Yet NR is not only undertaking to support a forcible intervention; the editors lay the groundwork for supporting “other options” to be considered once Qaddafi’s offensive has been checked. Intended of not, that leaves the door ajar to yet another long-term, troop-intensive occupation, the editors’ protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. And is it not worth at least a mention that among the “costs and risks” of military intervention in a Muslim country is that, regardless of how well-meaning we are, mainstream Islam construes sharia to require attacks against Western forces that attack Muslim countries? By intervening — even if some Muslim countries are asking us to intervene, history tells us — we would guarantee intensified calls by influential Islamic clerics for jihad against us. …”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/262377/nro-libya-editorial-i-respectfully-dissent-andrew-c-mccarthy

Our Blood and Treasure, for Britain and France

“…Britain is so desperate for drilling rights in Libya that it engineered the release and repatriation of the Libyan bomber of Pan American Flight 103, ignoring international outrage. France is one of the major importers of Libyan oil, and France accepted trivial compensation for a Libyan mid-air bombing of one its flights, UTA 772. The incident, like Pan Am 103, was settled by Gaddafi’s government paying monetary compensation to the victims’ families.

After tolerating the murder of its citizens in order to get access to Libya’s easily refined oil, Britain and France saw in Libya’s uprising the handwriting on the wall. Gaddafi might end up on the scrap heap of history, and what Britain and France needed was a new Libyan partner.

With Britain and France ostensibly standing up for the “democratic” opposition and the media bringing the visual horror of Gaddafi’s words and deeds to the world, the Obama administration could not continue to sit on the sidelines. Yet the media has been beating the drums over the “democratic” opposition, but there has been no real analysis of what the opposition will bring to the political process, if they do win.

In the meantime, Hillary Clinton’s earlier warning that no-fly zones are ineffectual because they don’t stop troops and tanks has been superseded in this conflict by the French. Their air force has been doing more than just keeping Libyan planes out of the air. They shot up Libyan tanks and armor, carving out seemingly new rules of engagement without objection, until the Arab League began to complain.

If the Arab League wanted to stop Gaddafi, they didn’t have to wait until his forces were near victorious, nor did they really need the West to carry out the attacks. Egypt and Saudi Arabia alone could have defeated Gaddafi, but ultimately they had no desire to do so. What they had was the desire to rhetorically enter the fray and to posture appropriately for the international community when it appeared Gaddafi would win. After all, the continual fall of Arab tyrants and despots threatens the Arab League itself, an organization comprised of despots and tyrants.

Obama has dragged us into yet another endless war in the Islamic world, a war where the military mission is clear, as it was in the early days of Iraq, and where the strategy and endgame are totally undefined. Britain’s and France’s strategic interests in this conflict are unambiguous. America’s? They are no clearer than they are in Zimbabwe and a host of other places where people are wantonly oppressed and killed by tyrants. …”

http://209.157.64.201/focus/f-bloggers/2693532/posts

Preventive War

A preventive war or preventative war is a war initiated to prevent another party from attacking, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. Preventive war aims to forestall a shift in the balance of power[1] by strategically attacking before the balance of power has a chance to shift in the direction of the adversary. Preventive war is distinct from preemptive war, which is first strike when an attack is imminent.[1] Preventive war undertaken without the approval of the United Nations is illegal under the modern framework of international law,[2] though Robert Delahunty and John Yoo from the George W. Bush administration maintained in their discussion of the Bush Doctrine that these standards are unrealistic.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preventive_war

Bush Doctrine

The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various related foreign policy principles of former United States president George W. Bush. The phrase was first used by Charles Krauthammer in June 2001 [1] to describe the Bush Administration’s unilateral withdrawals from the ABM treaty and the Kyoto Protocol. The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to secure itself against countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups, which was used to justify the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.[2]

Different pundits would attribute different meanings to “the Bush Doctrine”, as it came to describe other elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a potential or perceived threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate; a policy of spreading democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating terrorism; and a willingness to unilaterally pursue U.S. military interests.[3][4][5] Some of these policies were codified in a National Security Council text entitled the National Security Strategy of the United States published on September 20, 2002.[6]

The phrase “Bush Doctrine” was rarely used by members of the Bush administration. The expression was used at least once, though by Vice President Dick Cheney, in a June 2003 speech in which he said, “If there is anyone in the world today who doubts the seriousness of the Bush Doctrine, I would urge that person to consider the fate of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.”[7] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Doctrine

Oil and Gas in Libya
– Overview

“…Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), holds the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Libya had proved oil reserves of 41.464 billion barrels at the end of 2007 or 3.34 % of the world’s reserves.

Oil exploration in Libya began in 1955, with the key national Petroleum Law No. 25 enacted in April of that year (a new petroleum law is currently under development). Libya’s first oil fields were discovered in 1959 (at Amal and Zelten — now known as Nasser), and oil exports began in 1961.

Libya is Africa’s major oil producer and one of Europe’s biggest North African oil suppliers. Supplies from North Africa to Europe destinations have the advantage of being both timely and cost effective. According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Libya produced an average of 1847.7 thousand barrels of crude oil per day in 2007, 2.2% of the world total and a change of 0.5 % compared to 2006. Libya’s economy is based on oil and exports contribute between 75% and 90% of State revenues.

Foreign involvement in Libya was severely reduced as a result of the sanctions and embargoes emplaced upon it, especially between the years of 1992 and 1999. Access to oil industry equipment and technology was restricted and Libya is reliant on foreign investment to keep the industry active.

Libya has very low production costs and the oilfields are close to the refineries and markets of Europe. In addition, despite almost half a century of exploration, Libya remains largely unexplored with vast oil and gas potential. The under-exploration of Libya reflects the impact of sanctions formerly imposed on the country.

According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Libya had 2007 proved natural gas reserves of 1.49 trillion cubic metres, 0.84% of the world total, while producing 15.2 billion cubic metres, 0.51% of the world total, in the same period.NOC controls the whole of the downstream sector together with its numerous subsidiaries and overseas arms, Umm Jawwaby Oil Services and OilInvest with its two subsidiaries of Gatoil and Tamoil

The Umm Jawwaby Oil Services acts as the Libyan National Oil Company’s procurement arm based in London. Libya is a direct producer and distributor in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Egypt. In Italy, Tamoil Italia, which is based in Milan and has approximately 2,100 service stations, controls about 5% of the country’s retail market for oil products and lubricants. …”

http://www.mbendi.com/indy/oilg/af/lb/p0005.htm

 USS Vincennes (CG-49)

“…The fourth USS Vincennes (CG-49) is a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruiser. In 1988, the ship shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 civilian passengers on board, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children.

The ship was launched 14 April 1984 and sponsored by Marilyn Quayle, wife of Indiana Senator Dan Quayle. The Vincennes was named for the Battle of Vincennes during the Revolutionary War, while the previous Vincennes heavy cruiser and Vincennes light cruiser were named for the city of Vincennes, Indiana. She was commissioned at Pascagoula 6 July 1985, Captain George N. Gee in command. The ship normally carries guided missiles, rapid-fire cannons, and two Seahawk LAMPS helicopters for anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, personnel transfers, and other purposes.

As of 2008, the Vincennes is mothballed and slated for scrapping. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Vincennes_(CG-49)

Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655)

“…Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) was a civilian jet airliner shot down by U.S. missiles on 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz, toward the end of the Iran–Iraq War. The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2-203 operated by Iran Air, was flying from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when it was destroyed by the U.S. Navy’s guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children,[1] ranking it seventh among the deadliest airliner fatalities.[2] It was the highest death toll of any aviation incident in the Indian Ocean and the highest death toll of any incident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world. Vincennes was traversing the Strait of Hormuz, inside Iranian territorial waters, and at the time of the attack IR655 was within Iranian airspace.[3]

According to the US government, the crew identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter. The Iranian government maintains that the Vincennes knowingly shot down the civilian aircraft. The event generated a great deal of controversy and criticism of the U.S. Some analysts have blamed U.S. military commanders and the captain of the Vincennes for reckless and aggressive behavior in a tense and dangerous environment.[4][5]

In 1996, the United States and Iran reached “an agreement in full and final settlement of all disputes, differences, claims, counterclaims” relating to the incident at the International Court of Justice.[6] As part of the settlement, the United States agreed to pay US$61.8 million, an average of $213,103.45 per passenger, in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims. However, the United States has never admitted responsibility, nor apologized to Iran.[7]

As of summer 2009 Iran Air was still using flight number IR655 on the Tehran–Dubai route.[8] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

Pan Am Flight 103

“…Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways’ third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. On Wednesday 21 December 1988, the aircraft flying this route—a Boeing 747–121 named Clipper Maid of the Seas—was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members.[1] Eleven people in Lockerbie, in southern Scotland, were also killed as large sections of the plane fell in the town and destroyed several houses, bringing total fatalities to 270. As a result, the news media has named the event the Lockerbie bombing.

On 24 February 2011, resigned justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil revealed that Muamar Gaddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing.[2] …”

“…Based on a 1995 investigation by journalists Paul Foot and John Ashton, a number of alternate explanations of the plot to commit the Lockerbie bombing were listed by The Guardian’s Patrick Barkham in 1999.[122] Following the Lockerbie verdict in 2001 and the appeal in 2002, attempts have been made to re-open the case amid allegations that Libya was framed. One theory suggests the bomb on the plane was detonated by radio. Another theory suggests the CIA prevented the suitcase containing the bomb from being searched. Iran’s involvement is alleged, either in association with a Palestine militant group, or that it was involved in loading the bomb while the plane was at Heathrow. The US Defense Intelligence Agency alleges that Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur (Ayatollah Mohtashemi), a member of the Iranian government, paid US$ 10 million for the bombing:

Ayatollah Mohtashemi: (…) and was the one who paid the same amount to bomb Pan Am Flight 103 in retaliation for the US shoot-down of the Iranian Airbus.[123]

Other theories implicate Libya and Abu Nidal, and apartheid South Africa. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103

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