​Who profits from killing Charlie?

Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
Candles are placed next to a sign reading 'Je suis Charlie' (I am Charlie) and a pen in La Rochelle on January 7, 2015, as people gathered to pay tribute to the twelve people killed in an attack by two armed gunmen on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. (AFP Photo/Xavier Leoty)
A pro-style jihadist commando attack in Europe’s heart. Cui bono?

Careful planning and preparation, Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenade launcher, balaclavas, sand-colored ammunition vest stuffed with spare magazines, army boots, easy escape in a black Citroen…

And the icing on this particularly lethal cake: faultless Paris-based logistical support to pull it all off. A former top French military commander, Frédéric Gallois, has stressed the perfect application of “urban guerrilla technique” (where are those notorious Western counter-terrorism “experts” when one needs them?)

Some said they spoke perfect French, while others maintained their command of the language was mangled and broken. Anyway, what matters is that they uttered the magic word: “We’re Al-Qaeda.” Better yet, they told a man in the street: “Tell the media that this is Al-Qaeda in Yemen,” which means, in American terror terminology, Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), which had Charlie Hebdo’s editor/cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier (“Charb”) on a hit list duly promoted by AQAP’s glossy Inspire magazine. Accusation: "Insulting the Prophet Mohammed."

And just to make sure everyone had the perpetrators implanted on their brain, the killers also said, “Allahu Akbar”,“We have killed Charlie Hebdo” and “We have avenged the Prophet.”

Foreign journalists and other people hold placards that read "I am Charlie" during a campaign at a bookstore in Beijing January 8, 2015 for the victims of the shooting at the Paris offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. (Reuters/Jason Lee)

Case closed? Well, it took only a few hours for French police to identify the (usual?) suspects: French-Algerian brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi. The third man, the driver of the black Citroen, apparently 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, then turned himself in with an ironclad alibi. So the third man remains a cipher.

They all wore balaclavas. The Kouachi brothers have not been captured, but the police seem to know very well who they are. Because they found an abandoned ID in the black Citroen (oh, the troubles of being a command in a rush…) How come they didn’t know anything before the carnage?

Right on cue, Cherif Kouachi’s bio was splattered all over the shop. He was on a global watch list. Along with six others, he was sentenced in May 2008 to 3 years in prison for “terrorism”; in fact unloading a dozen young Frenchmen via madrassas in Egypt and Syria to none other than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the killed-by-an-American-missile former head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the spiritual father of Daesh/ISIS/ISIL.

Slovenian journalists hold pens and placards reading in French "I am Charlie" during a gathering in tribute of victims of the attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, on January 8, 2015 in Ljubljana, a day after two gunmen killed 12 people in an Islamist attack at Charlie Hebdo's editorial office in Paris. (AFP Photo/Jure Makovec)

Also right on clue, a full narrative was ready for mass consumption. According to French police “experts,” this could be an attack “ordered from abroad and executed by jihadists coming back from Syria that have escaped us,” or it could be “suburban idiots that radicalized themselves and concocted this military attack in the name of Al-Qaeda.”

Scrap option two, please; this was a pro job. And staying with option one, this points right at – what else - blowback. Yes, they could be Daesh/ISIS/ISIL mercenaries trained by NATO (crucially, France included) in Turkey and/or Jordan. But it might get even false-flag nastier. They could also be former or current French special forces.

Blast Islam, will travel

Predictably, Islamofascism peddlers are already having a field day/week/month/year. For simpletons/trolls/hordes exhibiting an IQ worthy of sub-zoology, when in doubt, demonize Islam. It’s so convenient to forget that untold millions from Pakistan’s tribal areas, to street markets across Iraq, continue to feel pain devastating their hearts and lives as they are expendable victims of the jihadist mindset – or “kalashnikov culture”, as it is known in Pakistan – which has been profiting the West directly or indirectly, for decades now. Think ritual droning of Pakistani, Yemeni, Syrian, Iraqi or Libyan civilians. Think Sadr City witnessing carnage 10 times worse than Paris.

What French President Francois Hollande defined as “an act of exceptional barbarism” – and it is – does not apply when the West, France in the front line, from King Sarko to General Hollande himself, weaponizes, trains and remote-controls assorted mercenaries/beheaders from Libya to Syria. Oh yeah, killing civilians in Tripoli or Aleppo is perfectly alright, but don’t do that in Paris.

People observe a minute of silence in Istanbul on January 8, 2015 for the victims of an attack by armed gunmen on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7 which left at least 12 dead and many others injured. (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

So this, in the heart of Europe, is what blowback feels like. This is what people feel in the Waziristans when a wedding party is incinerated by a Hellfire missile. In parallel, it’s absolutely impossible to credit that the sophisticated Western intel network had not seen blowback coming – and was impotent to prevent it.

Of course the ultra-elaborate Western counter-terrorism expert network – so proficient at stripteasing us all at every airport - saw it coming; but in shadow warland, portmanteau “Al-Qaeda” and its myriad declinations, including “renegade” Daesh/ISIS/ISIL, are used as much as a mercenary army as a convenient domestic threat “against our freedoms.”

Who profits?

US Think Tankland, also predictably, is busy spinning the drama of an “intra-Muslim” split, which provides jihadists with a lot of geopolitical space to exploit – all this sucking the Western world into a Muslim civil war. This is absolutely ridiculous. The Empire of Chaos, already during the 70s, was busy cultivating jihadist/Kalashnikov culture to fight anything from the USSR to nationalist movements all across the Global South. Divide and Rule has always been used to fan the “intra-Islam”, flames from the Clinton administration getting cozy with the Taliban to the Cheney regime – helped by Persian Gulf vassals - advancing the sectarian Sunni/Shiite schism.

Cui bono, then, killing Charlie? Only those whose agenda is to demonize Islam. Not even a bunch of brainwashed fanatics would pull off the Charlie carnage to show people who accuse them of being barbarians that they are, in fact, barbarians. French intel at least has concluded that this was no underwear bomber stunt. This was a pro job that happened to take place just a few days after France recognized Palestinian statehood. And just a few days after General Hollande demanded the lifting of sanctions against the Russian “threat.”

People gather next to signs reading ''I am Charlie'' and candles placed on the ground, after observing a minute of silence in the old Harbor in Marseille on January 8, 2015 for the victims of an attack by armed gunmen on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7 which left 12 people dead. (AFP Photo/Anne-Christine Poujoulat)

The Masters of the Universe, who pull the real levers of the Empire of Chaos, are freaking out with the systemic chaos in the racket they so far had the illusion of controlling. Make no mistake, the Empire of Chaos will do what it can to exploit the post-Charlie environment – be it blowback or false flag.

The Obama administration is already mobilizing the UN Security Council. The FBI is “helping” with the French investigation. And as an Italian analyst memorably put it, jihadists don’t attack a vulture hedge fund; they attack a satirical rag. This is not religion, but hardcore geopolitics. Reminds me of David Bowie: “This is not rock ’n roll. This is suicide.”

The Obama administration is already mobilized to offer “protection” – Mob-style – to a Western Europe that is just, only just, starting to be diffident to the pre-fabricated Russian “threat.” And just as it happens, when the Empire of Chaos mostly needs it, evil “terra” once again rears its ugly head.

And yes, I am Charlie. Not only because they made us laugh; but because they were sacrificial lambs in a much nastier, gruesome, never-ending shadow play.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.