How Belgium Turned Brussels Into An ISIS Powder Keg

BelgiumBelgian police stage a raid in search of suspected Muslim fundamentalists linked to the attacks in Paris, in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek on November 16, 2015.

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About a dozen years ago, I stepped into a Brussels taxi and gave the driver a note with an address on it. He took it silently, set the meter and drove off through the city’s bustling, high-end hotel district. The gleaming steel and glass storefronts for Gucci, Tiffany and Dior soon gave way to grittier streets.

I was on a mission to find and photograph a house where a friend’s father, a B-17 pilot, had been hidden by the anti-Nazi underground during World War II. A riveting book about his daring escape from Brussels through France, The Freedom Line, suggested that the neighborhood where he was hidden was populated back then by middle-class burghers living in neat rows of pastel-colored brick townhouses.

“Why are you going there?” my driver asked, his North African, Arab features—dark eyes and wiry black hair—framed by the rear view mirror.

I told him my story.

“It’s very different now,” I recall him saying. “It’s all Arab.” And then, unprompted, he delivered a bitter lecture on the history of Arabs in Belgium, how they were imported from North Africa in the 1950s and 1960s as cheap labor to work in the factories. Most of those businesses had moved on, he said, leaving the immigrants unemployed with no real future for decades.

In January, youth unemployment sat at nearly 23 percent, according to official estimates. “Although there are no statistics for Muslim employment levels,” the Euro-Islam website says, citing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “the foreign-born have unemployment rates more than twice that of indigenous Belgians.”

The street I was looking for in 2004 abuts the Schaerbeek neighborhood, where on Tuesday Belgian police were desperately searching for perpetrators of the spectacular attacks hours earlier on the Brussels airport and a metro station. The Islamic State group, known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 80. The group has called for Muslims in the West to rise up and carry out attacks on their own.

Authorities have said their hunt for extremists since last November’s attacks in Paris have been hindered by a passive acquiescence on the part of Muslim immigrants to the presence of anti-Western militants in their midst.

(On Tuesday, an umbrella group of Belgian Muslims condemned the attacks, saying they “complicate the efforts of society…and the entire Muslim community in favor of a harmonious coexistence.” Previously, the group had been “criticized…for not condemning the violence of the group that calls itself the Islamic State,” according to the Religion News Service.)

Read more: http://europe.newsweek.com/isis-brussels-belgium-islamic-state-attacks-dead-airport-terrorists-murdered-439695?

Genocide, Ecocide And The Empire Of Chaos

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The Hypocrisy of the Western and American media

By Professor John McMurtry

The true nature of western civilization is hard to grasp from within, says Professor John McMurtry, because we perceive it through media whose primary purpose is not to convey the truth, but conceal it. What is actually playing out is a global war of empire and capital against the Earth and her people, backed up by the omnipresent threat of overwhelming force.

In 2014 philosopher John McMurtry was invited to co-operate with Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei in drafting the Supreme Leader’s ‘Open Letter to the Youth in Europe and North America‘. This was followed by a second such letter written in November 2015, following the terrorist attacks in Paris.

In the process of advising on the second letter McMurtry was asked a number of  penetrating questions about the ways of the US-led ‘neoliberal’ west, and the depths of shared crises that have long been off-limits to the mainstream media discourse.The first question: “What in general do the Western media hide and not let people know?”

“It is all so confusing until one recognizes that it is the same underlying pattern throughout. The corporate rich always get richer while peoples and their environments are ever more predated and looted in the name of their ‘security’ and ‘freedom”

The first duty of the mass media is to conceal

In general, the mass media across cultures are propaganda systems for those who own or control them. But the Western media lead the world in silencing one ultimate issue confronting all peoples on Earth – the despoliation of the world’s life support systems by transnational corporate globalization.

They talk only of ‘climate warming’, not destabilization of planetary life cycles at every level. They promote only market-growth solutions which are known not to work.

No-one talks of US-led ‘globalization’ itself as the underlying disorder. No science or story defines the common cause of the spasmic extinctions everywhere, the oceanic pollutions, the fish stock collapses across all waters, and the ever larger-scale looting of resources across borders.

It is a deeper causal mechanism than even US empire. Transnational money tides increasingly devour and poison all that exists with even Communist Party China destroying its own air to breathe and grounds of a human life.

Western media are the lead PR vehicles for this limitlessly life destructive invasion and growth – the nature of fascism in all forms. Financial fascism is never named in the media, and so its world floods of private money sequences, commodities and public waste grow and multiply beneath detection.

Throughout the corporate media present only isolated problems, competitive spectacles and ads for the system. Humanity`s common life ground and universal needs are screened out. ‘Reforms’ are only more corporate marketizations and bank-driven dispossessions.

The underlying law of corporate globalization is undeniable, but taboo to name. Whatever stands against the transnational corporate market as the cosmic engine of humanity’s well-being is anathematized and annihilated in one nation after another.

The methods range from bombing social infrastructures in Slavic and Arab societies to silencing and reversing undeniable facts exposing the lies of the system. No alternative to feeding resources into the life-blind growth juggernaut has arisen at a productive level. The media repel any real economic reform as unthinkable.

In this borderless chaos of corporate globalization which now strips even the social infrastructures of the European Union to pay big banks and dispossess workers, the mass media select out whatever joins the dots of the cumulative catastrophe unfolding on both social and ecological planes.

Full article  http://www.theecologist.org/Interviews/2986750/genocide_ecocide_and_the_empire_of_chaos.html