When state leaders participated in a parade against terrorism and in support of freedom of speech a few days later, these state leaders got the opportunity for some positive exposure. Some were focused on the fact that Obama didn’t show up, but maybe that was just as well. Among those who did attend were the Russian Foreign Minister, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador, the Prime Ministers of Turkey, Israel, Britain, the Federal Chancellor of Germany and President of France (+ the previous one). These have been very involved in combating freedom of expression, as well as “helping” countries like Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Libya. They clearly have great capacity for double standards, but media reluctantly reported this criticism in Norway. When VG ran this short article, they referred to a student and human rights activist named Daniel Wickham. He made a list of people to show the hypocrisy. These accusations started on social media. It’s almost like the paper didn’t want to appear critical and only reported on a student making these allegations. So they didn’t take any responsibility.
We are perhaps not talking about a conspiracy or agenda, but it is interesting to see what was reported just before the shots were fired in Paris. Mail Online was just one of many news outlets that wrote about allegations that implicated Prince Andrew. He was accused of having had sex with a minor. But this story may not be big enough alone.
The US has a lot of experience with shifting alliances. They support dictators and terrorist groups when this will promote their interests. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. Most of these alliances end (such as the alliance with Saddam Hussein). There is another alliance right now that is shaky. There have been some discontent among the Syrian rebels because they are not getting heavy enough weapons from the United States. Meanwhile Russia is trying to negotiate with the opposition in Syria. They invited 28 prominent members of the Syrian opposition for talks in Moscow on January 26. The invitation was issued before Christmas and it was rejected on January 7 (same day as the Charlie Hebdon shootings).
The US has said that they will not cooperate with rebels who are terrorists, but it is difficult to distinguish them from each other. There are reports from Syria suggesting that many of the rebels aren’t much better than the regime. Many believe, for example, that the rebels used chemical weapons on civilians and tried to blame the enemy.
In another story Human rights organizations accuse Ukraine of using the “illegal” cluster bombs in densely populated areas. Some countries are playing with semantics when they say that this munition isn’t illegal as they haven’t ratified the Convention on Cluster Munition.
About the same time as the terrorist attack in Paris, Boko Haram killed 2,000 people in Nigeria. This was reported later, but didn’t get the same attention as the massacre in Paris.
If one wishes to draw attention away from something the economy is probably a good candidate from something you don’t want focus on. There are still people who believe that we are going to experience a significant decline in the world economy this year. It seems like there are more and more people beginning to think about life after the US dollar too. There are at least many sites that offer advice on what people should do if the US currency collapses. The news outlets also had some pretty dramatic headlines about the Russian economy before this happened, especially right before Christmas. It sounded so dramatic in fact that we were left to wonder if the Russian stability was endangered, especially as the oil price has taken a large fall. Suddenly that story vanished.
I don’t know if there is an agenda, or if media just have difficulties following several stories simultaneously. There are perhaps other stories than those I mentioned that are more relevant, but I think it is valid a point that some stories often disappear when media have an extreme focus on one. When this story has absolutely zero newsworthiness, one can wonder what is going on. If this was a conspiracy an operation like that would be called a red herring or a false flag. It is of course impossible to determine when that happens, but there is a general trend now that we need alternative news outlets because mainstream media isn’t doing serious journalism.
I don’t like these drawings that clearly are meant to do harm, but I do think it‘s a good idea to make jokes, not least at the clergy. This case is suitable for just that. When Saudi Arabia got some snow recently someone thought it would be a good idea to make a snowman. That was illegal. This would have been a good alternative, Charlie Hebdo, and then you had probably received some Muslim support too. Best of all, you would not have spread hatred. Who knows, maybe that is the way to slowly change Islam? Surely it’s not the point to ridicule everything that is not French?