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[Norm’s note: I’ve made very minor alterations to the text as indicated by [brackets]. ]

By Umberto Pascali

Global Research, January 10, 2015

Macedonia TV

Question: Mr. Pascali, an unprecedented drama is developing in France under our eyes. After marked terrorists killed 12 people at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo, new terrorist acts are striking France. Hostages have been taken in a Paris store after a murder, two suspects are surrounded by the French police with the prospect of a long siege.

Confusing and terrifying news are coming from the field and from the press wires. One of the suspects for the Charlie Hebdo massacre give[s] himself up to the police claiming to have been in school at the moment of the massacre. The media report that the suspect authors of the massacre have been for several years on a US and British Terrorist Database and, thus, they were well known and had been even previously arrested. The video of the terrorists killing a policemen in front of the Charlie Hebdo building, and the scared reaction of the civilian population are creating the climate of what has been called the European September 11. What is going on?

Pascali: There is no doubt, of course, we are in the middle of a terrorist operation. A real terrorist operation has two aspects. First the actual act with people killed. But second, and most important, the capability of terrorizing the targeted population. A terrorist action is a tactic, a military tactic one can call it, that target[s] a [much] larger group than the immediate victims. The real target — beyond the men and women who were cynically slaughtered, often under the eyes of the camera – is the population. To terrorize the population and to blackmail the leadership of a country. The message for the government is: You are not able to defend your people, we have taken over; now you have to accept our conditions!

A terrorist act that does not reach – and affect — the vast public does not accomplish its purpose. The purpose is to terrorize everybody, to terrorize us. One should be well aware of this, keep one’s head cool and understand what’s really going on and who is doing what to whom. Of course there is the element of un-clarity, of fear, of “how could that happen? How could that happen in the center of Paris against an obvious terrorist target with terrorists that were well known to the France, US, British security and intelligence? How? What’s next?… In military text books this is called the “fog of war” and it’s a great advantage to be able to provoke [hysteria] or paralyz[e] reaction in the adversary.

Question: You say the target is to “terrorize the population and to blackmail the government.” What’s the purpose of all this?

Pascali: This is the question one has to answer now. France has a large Muslim population, it has been involved in military attacks against Arab countries and areas. During the presidency of Nikolas Sarkozy it implemented a strong policy of domestic repression especially in the Arab inhabited French cities’ [peripheries]. The measures against the Islamic veil… etc. And yet there was nothing comparable to this. ISIS or ISIL, the terrorist umb[r]ella organization created with the men financed and trained by Western intelligence to destroy Syria, and devastate [Libya], Iraq, Yemen and so on – This phantomatic ISIS, never attacked France or Europe. Consider also that the killers at the Charlie Hebdo were clearly well trained men, militarily trained. They had inside intelligence. They dressed in special forces attire, not like fundamentalist suicide squads. They were masked, the opposite of what fundamentalists would do. They spoke native French. They did no destroy the “blasphemous material” they supposedly came to destroy – again as the modus operandi of ISIS dictates. If we have to believe the first reports on their identity, they were French citizens, they were well known to the security forces of France and above all their name[s], data and profile[s] [were] in a special list compiled by US and British intelligence. Despite their obvious military training, they acted like in a rehearsed movie scene. They put up a show: “Tell people we are Al Qaeda from Yemen.” They moved slowly, too slowly as if they wanted to be seen and maybe filmed.

Question: So why?

Pascali: You have to ask yourself: what did France do that could [have] brought this “punishment”? It cannot be a small tactical thing. Well the biggest strategic change in the strategy of the French government was the declaration by Hollande on the necessity to put an end to the sanctions against Russia and to launch an era of cooperation between Europe and Russia. On Janury 4, three days before the massacre[,] he gave an unprecedented two-hour interview to France Inter radio: “The sanctions must stop now!”

He stated:

“If Russia has a crisis, it is not necessarily good for Europe, I’m not for the policy of attaining goals by making things worse, I think that sanctions must stop now… Mr Putin does not want to annex eastern Ukraine. He has told me that. What he wants is to remain influential. What he wants is for Ukraine not to fall into the NATO camp.”

In a few days there will be the meeting that should put an end to the Anglo-American sponsored Ukrainian Crisis, to put an end to the artificial split between Europe and Russia: the January 15 summit in Kazakhstan, where Ukraine Prime Minister Pe[t]ro Peroshenko will meet Vladimir Putin together with Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel. Hollande said he was very optimistic that an agreement will be reached[:] “I will go to Astana on January 15 on one condition, which is that there should be a possibility of making new progress… And I think there will be progress!”

Question: France and Hollande personally ha[ve] taken the initiative to organize a rapprochement between Europe and Russia…

Pascali: Exactly. And I do not have to underline how crucial, how game-changing the French initiative is. Hollande had already shown the direction he was taking in the unannounced private tète a tète with Putin last [D]ecember, back from a mission in Kazakhstan. Hollande, who had appeared to be one of the closest all[ies] of the liberal imperial policy of Obama/Brzezinski, had to change radically. His party had become almost irrelevant. His credibility was at 12%, while the French were running towards any alternative that [would condemn] them to misery and war, especially the Front National of Le Pen who is openly praising Putin. The Ukrainian crisis, with the US sponsored coup in Kiev, the attempt to establish a NATO base in Crimea, the ferocious pressures on the European leaders to go against their own and their people[‘s] economic and strategic interests in order to create the escalation towards a real war with Russia – all this insane plan was undermined by the French decision. And in the financial centers of Wall Street and in the city of London, this strategy of war is considered nothing less than the last option to survive. The last option of that looting system. So… three days later France was attacked and confronted with a scenario of civil war…

Question: What will happen now?

Pascali: Now there is a war fought on the land of France.  The element of confusion and hysteria is the most important component of the strategy. However there is not much in terms of depth. The fundamental interests of France, of Europe will not change. There is nothing the destabilizers can offer if not misery and war. So I am confident that the blitzkrieg will fail this time. This, of course, depends also on what the rest of Europe will do, on what Italy and especially Germany [will do]. Once France has taken a position, clearly the rational forces in Germany, what I call the Alfred Herrhausen party will become much more prominent, starting with the deputy chancellor and economic minister Sigmar Gabriel. He who told Bildam Sonntag on January 4:

“Those who want to destabili[z]e Russia economically and politically even more are pursuing completely different interests from us.”

Some in Europe and in the United States want to smash Russia but

“That is not [in] Germany’s or Europe’s interest. We want to help solve the conflict in Ukraine, not to force Russia to its knees. The goal was never to push Russia politically and economically into chaos. We want to help solve the conflict in Ukraine, not to force Russia to its knees. Whoever wants that will provoke a much more dangerous situation for all of us in Europe.”

Talking to those who want to push Germany into war with Russia, Gabriel reminded them that Russia was a nuclear power….

Question: And how [d]o you see the situation in the Balkans and in Macedonia, in this context? What does all this means for Macedonia?

Pascali: First of all, leaders of governments must keep in mind that the purpose of this terrorist – or non orthodox warfare – operation, [which] is to scare and paralyze. To prevent responsible people form taking the right decision [for] their people. They must also understand that this attack is not a sign of strength. It is a sign of desperation and weakness. They have threatened now the whole Europe, but most likely Europe is already lost for them – or better is already on the way to a new independence. You in Macedonia are lucky to have statesman like Nikola Gruevski who has a strategic mind, moral courage and is capable [of] transforming objective weaknesses in the Macedonia situation into subjective strengths… he’s capable of implementing a Gaullist policy – 360 degrees… tous azimuts. This has given Macedonia a role much bigger than the perceived size of the country. Macedonia now is part of the big regional game in the Balkans and even more.

In fact, the moment is dangerous but it is dangerous because we are on the verge of an historical breakthrough, the emerging of a new more just system of international relation and economic progress. This is particularly true in the Balkans.

Question: Why in the Balkans?

Pascali: Because this area has already de facto conquered a notable margin of independence. It is actually reversing the centuries long enslavement process devised by the old British Empire: Balkanization. This terrible word, Balkanization, meant the pulverization of any country into smaller and smaller entities easily manipulable and unable to defend themselves. It was the most extreme version of the “divide et impera” tactic. Look at the Balkans, what they had done. You had Turkey, in a confrontation with Greece, in a confrontation with Macedonia, in confrontation with Albania. Croatia versus Serbia, Bosnia divided. Kosovo transformed in a NATO zona franca… Bulgaria, Romania… Turkey on its side had to be against Russia (a basic tenet of the British colonial geopolitics), in a war with Syria etc.

Now you begin to see the opposite. The populations that had been forced into this geopolitical experiment by the British mad scientist[s], are defeating the manipulation, the Balkanization. Turkey now has found a common ground with Russia for their common interest. Hungary rebelled against the big banks. Greece is close to elect[ing] Alexis Tsipras as Prime Minister reversing the previous policy of misery and war. This is going to change the dynamics with both Turkey and Macedonia. What were supposed to be guinea pig[] countries for the enjoyment of the imperial techniques… are now rebelling against the mad scientist[s]. They are not to be “profiled” and used one against the other. The Balkans is becoming an area of great development. China and Russia (that themselves have overcome the geopolitical trick that dictates they would fight each other for ever) is creating a concrete collaborative alliance with the countries of the Balkans. The big infrastructural project that Europe has talked about but never really started, are now starting with Chinese investment. A river of development and thus peace and reconciliation will flow from Turkey to Greece, Macedonia, Serbia. Rapid, super modern and fast transportation project (see for example the Budapest Belgrade train) into Austria and north Europe. The gas pipeline from Russia and Turkey [is] more alive then ever…

It is almost understandable ( I don[‘t] want to be cynical) the murderous reaction of those who were used to rule, d[i]vide and loot this crucial area of the world. They are [losing] the big game.

Question: But the danger of terrorism…?

Pascali: I was proposing some time ago that Greece and Macedonia ask Vladimir Putin to mediate their differences. You can imagine such string forces like China and Russia starting a close relation for their mutual benefit with the Balkan countries. China takes care – to simplify – of the economic side of things. If you begin to solve the economic and strategic problems, then the question of terrorism, I believe, become[s] manageable. An antiterrorist alliance with the Eurasian countries together with economic cooperation could target the real centers of terrorism. Could put an end to the modern use of this bloody non-orthodox warfare… Macedonia is in a good position to propose to the other countries the creation of such an Antiterror alliance.

The important thing is to keep your head cool. Do not be impressed by the bloody [fireworks] of a collapsing empire. And cut surgically the terrorist tentacles…