|This article appears in the February 17, 2006 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
From Islamophobia to War:
The Danish Cartoon Affair
by Michelle Rasmussen, Tom Gillesberg, and Dean Andromidas
On the evening of Jan. 31, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw held a ministerial dinner at his official residence in London, where he played the instrumental role of mediating an agreement among his American, French, Russian, and Chinese counterparts that would open the way to bringing the Iranian nuclear issue to the United Nations Security Council. This would be a decisive step in the drive for a near-term U.S. military attack on Iran.
Within a few hours, on the morning of Feb. 1, leading dailies in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and the British-government-owned BBC-Online, published a series of highly inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Their publication sparked an explosion of seemingly spontaneous demonstrations, riots, and violence throughout the Islamic world. Originally published in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten on Sept. 30, 2005, the issue had been confined to a controversy between Danish Islamophobic "free speech" neo-conservatives, the Danish Islamic community, and diplomatic tension between Denmark and many Islamic countries.
Then, at the end of January, coinciding with Jack Straw's dinner, the situation escalated. On Feb. 1, several big European newspapers published the cartoons, and it was as if the "Clash of Civilizations" had exploded internationally, with Denmark at the epicenter. Demonstrations took place throughout the Muslim world, Danish flags were burned in the streets across the Middle East, peaking with the burning down of Danish and Swedish embassies in Damascus, and the Danish consulate in Beirut. As a result, a massive boycott was announced by Arab countries against Danish products.
Thus the international stage was set for the International Atomic Energy Agency on Feb. 4 to refer the Iran nuclear question to the UN Security Council.
Make no mistake: This whole controversy is being carefully orchestrated on both sides. As LaRouche warned on Feb. 3, it is the "London-centered synarchist circles who are orchestrating this showdown," whose aim is to set up a one-world fascist bankers' dictatorship. Cooperating with London is Dick Cheney's controller, U.S. resident synarchist George P. Shultz.
The Danish Schiller Institute, Lyndon LaRouche's chief collaborators in Denmark, hit the streets of Copenhagen with a mass leaflet entitled, "Stop a Clash of Civilizations That Will Give Us Permanent Chaos and War."
On Feb. 7 Danish Schiller Institute leader Michelle Rasmussen intervened on a live webcast of the well-known "Sputnik" program of Denmark's mass circulating daily, Politiken. Rasmussen warned that "If this crisis is to be solved, it is necessary to unveil how this is feeding into a larger agenda. Historically the British elite have used a divide-and-conquer strategy, especially in the Middle East. They are misusing this crisis to promote their agenda. The British are using their influence with Cheney and the neo-cons on the one side, and the Muslim Brotherhood on the other, to get a new war with Iran. It is time to listen to the wise words of Lyndon LaRouche so that we can stop being manipulated."
From Islamophobia to World War III
Following the burning down of the Danish legations, Denmark's Foreign Minister, Per Stig Moeller, declared, "There are forces who want a Clash of Civilizations." If the Foreign Minister is concerned about the "forces," he should take careful note of LaRouche's warning, and he hasn't got far to look.
Jyllands-Posten, which first ran no fewer than 12 defamatory cartoons on Sept. 30, is Denmark's leading right-wing daily, well-known as a follower of London's line from the days of the Cold War, through the Balkan crisis of the 1990s, and has now become the leading mouthpiece for the neo-conservatives, and particularly for the spreading of Islamophobia.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Jyllands-Posten was the only Danish daily to ignore an appeal to the Danish media by then-Social Democratic Prime Minister Paul Nyrup Rasmussen, not to publish inflammatory editorials comparing the attacks to the Clash of Civilizations. On Nov. 20, 2001, Jyllands-Posten published an editorial stating that the attacks "demonstrate the truthfulness of the sensational thesis that professor Samuel P. Huntington put forward ... in his book on The Clash of Civilizations." The editorial went on to tout the "freedom ideals of the West," and the "Middle-Ages-darkened perception of the world" of Islam. It took up Huntington's racist notion that "time is on the side of Islam" because of the high birth rate in Islamic countries, and warns its readers not to "sell out" to the "realists" who claim that only a minority of the Islamic world abides by the fundamentalist creed. Since that editorial, the daily has been well known for its Islamophobic line.
Another very significant reflection of where Jyllands-Posten stands politically, is the fact that it had been instrumental in founding and financing a new Danish think-tank called CEPOS (The Danish Center for Political Studies). With half a million crown donation ($80,000) from the Jyllands-Posten Fund, CEPOS opened its doors on March 10, 2005, and is modelled after two of Washington's high temples for the neo-conservative movement, the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, as well as the London-based Adam Smith Institute, and the Institute of Economic Affairs.
On its advisory board, and an honorary member of its board of directors, is George P. Shultz. (Shultz not only hand-picked key members of the Bush Administration, he is the controller of Vice President Dick Cheney, and one of the architects of the war drive against Iran.) Other members of the advisory board, although lesser lights than Shultz, hail from the American Enterprise Institute, the University of Chicago, and British, as well as other American universities and institutes.
Flemming Rose, culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, commissioned 12 cartoonists to draw cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, after being informed that another Islamophobe, the author Kaare Bluitgen, was unable to get cartoonists to illustrate a children's book on the life of Mohammed. Despite being warned by religious experts that pictures of the Prophet are prohibited by the Islamic religion, and that it would be highly inappropriate and offensive to publish them, Rose, in a statement announcing the publication of the cartoons, wrote that the concern about making fun of religious feelings "is less important" than what he called following the "slippery slope of self-censorship."
In October 2004, Rose travelled to the United States, where he had been a correspondent for another Danish daily in the 1990s. He went to Philadelphia, where he interviewed Daniel Pipes, director and founder of Middle East Forum, and the website "Campus Watch," which has been accused of "McCarthyite intimidation" of professors who criticize Israel. Pipes, who is one of the top Islamophobes in the United States, is also a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, whose co-chairman is George Shultz.
Upon his return to Denmark, Rose published a highly favorable interview with Pipes, entitled "The Threat of Islam." After this Rose-Pipes connection was circulating on the Web, Pipes posted a statement claiming he was the victim of a "conspiracy theory." While acknowledging the interview, Pipes claims he has had no contact whatsoever with Rose since, and has nothing to do with the cartoons. Nonetheless it is obvious that a bond in the realm of "common ideals" persists.
Coming to the support of Rose, vice chairman of CEPOS, David Gress, in an interview Feb. 8 on Danish Radio, called the conflict between Islam and the West the "new Cold War," in which those who refuse to support Jyllands-Posten are like those who were "appeasers" of the Soviet Union, and those who are fighting the new "cultural war" are like the Cold Warriors of old.
Between 2001 and 2003, Gress had been the "John M. Olin Professor of History of Civilizations" at Boston University. This is the same Olin family of the infamous Olin Foundation, which has given millions to finance the neo-conservative movement in the United States. Gress, was formerly a journalist for Jyllands-Posten, and is one of two CEPOS founders on the board of directors of the Danish daily.
The bringing of Denmark into the epicenter of the Clash of Civilizations, is forcing members of the Danish political elite to protest loudly. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, Denmark's former Foreign Minister, and former head of Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's European-style Liberal party, Ventre, already has called the publication of the cartoons a "stunt," and called for Jyllands-Posten chief editor Carsten Juste to resign because of his "mistaken judgment." Ellemann-Jensen added, "I am saying this now, because the current Foreign Minister and Prime Minister can't say it, but as an ordinary person who has a certain judgment of how the world works, I can do so...."
Ellemann-Jensen, who also is a founding member of CEPOS, strongly supported 22 former Danish diplomats with expertise in Islamic countries, who had denounced the publication of the cartoons, and demanded that the government take positive action and meet with Muslim leaders to resolve the crisis.
The publication of the cartoons in French and other European papers on Feb. 1 was a straight international synarchist operation. For example, the French-based and internationally active "Reporters Without Borders," which has been instrumental in supporting the publication of the cartoons, is in fact an Anglo-American-French synarchist intelligence operation. On the French side, it receives financing from the office of the President of France, the Foreign Ministry, as well as top corporations. On the American side, it receives financing from the National Endowment for Democracy, and the right-wing Miami-based Center for a Free Cuba, a notorious anti-Castro group. In its work with the latter organization, Reporters Without Borders cooperates closely with Otto Reich, who is currently President Bush's Special Envoy to the Western Hemisphere. More importantly, Reich, an old Iran-Contra hand who is from Florida, and has been the chief advocate of the anti-Castro groups, is in fact a crony of George Shultz, for whom he served as "Special Advisor" between 1983 and 1986, when Shultz was Secretary of State.
Another indication of the control of this operation by financier synarchists, is the fact that the editor responsible for publishing the cartoons in the French daily France Soir, Jacques Lefranc, is the former general manager of the French-based Banque de Participations et de Placements. BPP is very active in the Middle East, and enjoys many links with the French intelligence services. The publication of the cartoons cost LeFranc his job.
Britain's Muslim Brotherhood Assets
Target Arab Leaders
A senior European security source told EIR that the publication of the cartoons in February by other European countries was clearly a "guided" operation on both sides, to mobilize Islamophobia throughout Europe. Nonetheless, it is also "guided" in the Middle East. The "guides" in Southwest Asia are run through British intelligence assets in the Muslim Brotherhood, who are active from Morocco to Pakistan. Recall that the first round of cartoons was an almost non-issue in the Islamic world until a second set of far more inflammatory cartoons began circulating at the end of January, some of which had never been published in the Western press. Circulation of these cartoons expanded tremendously after Feb. 1.
The same source pointed out that only 200 demonstrators took part in burning down the Danish consulate in Beirut. They were clearly part of an orchestrated operation by "certain groups" in Lebanon. As far as the entire country was concerned, it was not an issue, and in fact served to destabilize the very sensitive Lebanese internal political situation.
He warned that the demonstrations in Damascus were most likely backed by elements within the government, since no one could get away with such an action, without some official backing. Syria, he said, is playing a dangerous game, and falling into a trap by thinking it can get some political support in the Arab street, in an attempt to take the lead on the issue, before the Muslim Brotherhood could use it to launch a destabilization.
The way hardliners in Iran are taking up the issue reveals that they, too, are playing their part in this British-orchestrated crisis. In reaction to the cartoons, Iran threatened to launch an economic boycott against Denmark, which provoked the European Union to threaten economic sanctions in retaliation. Thus, Iran is offering an opportunity to launch sanctions independent of the United Nations and the nuclear issue!
Similarly, the cartoons served to inflame the streets of Gaza just at the time that Hamas, which had just won the Palestinian elections, was in sensitive negotiations with various Palestinian factions, and Egypt, to form a government that could continue to receive financial support from the European Union. The chaos also gave hotheads in the Israeli security services an excuse to escalate targetted assassinations of Palestinian militants.
A senior Danish journalist, with many years of experience, told EIR that this whole controversy is aimed against Jordan, Egypt, and other western-oriented states. He feared the inflaming of the Arab street would serve as a cover for the assassination of a major Arab leader.
There are no forces, either in Europe or Southwest Asia, who are politically capable of stopping this orchestration. Only through blocking this synarchist drive in the United States, is there hope for stopping this Clash of Civilizations.