Bulletin N° 641


Subject:  ON ‘JE SUIS . . . .’ (fill in the blank).



12 January 2015
Grenoble, France



Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


The formation of union sacrée in 1914 represented the end of the anti-war movement in France. When Edouard Vaillant, the socialist deputy and Communard of 1871, and Albert de Mun, the right-wing officer in Thiers’ army that repressed the Commune, shook hands the resistance was formally broken. Before the war ended, over 11% of the French population lay dead or mutilated (nearly 6 million out of a population of 40 million),with similar casualty rates throughout Europe. The Socialist Jules Guesde joined the conservative Catholic lawmaker, Denys Cochin, in the new war cabinet of Raymond Poincaré ‘la guerre’, launching the careers of Ferdinand Foch, Joseph Joffre, Philippe Pétain, Robert Georges Nivelle, and a host of other military leaders. Enshrouded in the magic of religious symbols, this war ended with the bitter deaths of millions, both civilians and soldiers.


But what was this magic spell, this art of mass mobilization that dispels class consciousness with esprit de corps patriotism, and displaces class conflicts with national militarism; that transforms the desire for human emancipation into a compulsion for conquest? Raymond Williams, borrowing from George Lukács, among others, suggested that all art can be differentiated into three phases of human practice: the ‘practical’, the ‘magico-religious’, and the ‘aesthetic’. According to this scheme, ‘practical’ relates to the satisfaction of perceived human needs ‘within historically determined social and material conditions.’ The ‘magico-religious’ phase relates to encounters with perceived human limits (thought by some to be historically determined, while by others to be always intractable) which inspire imaginative images and stories that are ‘magico-religious’ in so far as they are offered as ‘objectively real’, ‘transcendent’ and ‘demanding belief’.


The third phase of human practice is the ‘aesthetic,’ which is neither a practical search for satisfaction of determined needs, nor is it a representation offered as ‘objectively real’ and demanding magico-religious belief. The aesthetic image is closed and real in itself; it is designed for and/or has ‘aesthetic’ properties or effects, like ‘beauty’, or more specific qualities like ‘harmony’, proportion’, ‘form’, etc. . . . .


Williams goes on to say that culture as a complex signifying system is different from other kinds of systemic social organization, like the more specific signal systems or systems of signs. The signifying system of culture must also be distinguished from economic and political systems, and from kinship and family systems. Each of these systems operates by its own rules and can only be understood in its own terms. Not only does each have its own signifying system –representing relations between conscious, communicating human beings—but these systems are necessary component parts of a larger and more general signifying system, the Social System. (Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1983)


The mobilization for war, by this definition, is the art of ‘suspending disbelief’ and producing representations as ‘objectively real” which demand belief and all but prohibit connections with any larger system. In other words, a bubble is produced, and, much like a bad dream, one finds oneself captured, temporarily at least, by a human construction –not for long, but long enough sometimes to forfeit one’s life. Eventually, other systems, such as the political economic system and the ecological system, combine with the complex signifying system of culture to produce different perceptions and new human practices within the larger Social System.


One way to understand the violence and slaughter that occurred in the Great War is to examine the number of casualties aand deaths. Exact figures are still in dispute, because of different definitions used each category, the questionable accuracy of the recording system used and the loss or destruction of a number of official documents. The data in the tables below reflect numbers from several sources and are consistant with most experts' current estimates.
Country Total Mobilized Forces Killed Wounded Prisoners and Missing Total Casualties Casualties as % of Forces
Russia 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500,000 9,150,000 76.3
British Empire 8,904,467 908,371 2,090,212 191,652 3,190,235 35.8
France 8,410,000 1,357,800 4,266,000 537,000 6,160,800 73.3
Italy 5,615,000 650,000 947,000 600,000 2,197,000 39.1
United States 4,355,000 116,516 204,002 4,500 323,018 7.1
Japan 800,000 300 907 3 1,210 0.2
Romania 750,000 335,706 120,000 80,000 535,706 71.4
Serbia 707,343 45,000 133,148 152,958 331,106 46.8
Belgium 267,000 13,716 44,686 34,659 93,061 34.9
Greece 230,000 5,000 21,000 1,000 27,000 11.7
Portugal 100,000 7,222 13,751 12,318 33,291 33.3
Montenegro 50,000 3,000 10,000 7,000 20,000 40.0
TOTAL 42,188,810 5,142,631 12,800,706 4,121,090 22,062,427 52.3
Germany 11,000,000 1,773,700 4,216,058 1,152,800 7,142,558 64.9
Austria-Hungary 7,800,000 1,200,000 3,620,000 2,200,000 7,020,000 90.0
Turkey 2,850,000 325,000 400,000 250,000 975,000 34.2
Bulgaria 1,200,000 87,500 152,390 27,029 266,919 22.2
TOTAL 22,850,000 3,386,200 8,388,448 3,629,829 15,404,477 67.4
GRAND TOTAL 65,038,810 8,528,831 21,189,154 7,750,919 37,466,904 57.5

U.S. Casualties in Major Wars
War Number Serving Battle Deaths Disease & Accidents Wounded Total Casualties
Revolutionary War NA 4,435 NA 6,188 NA
War of 1812 286,730 2,260 NA 4,505 NA
Mexican War 78,718 1,733 11,550 4,152 17,435
Civil War 2,213,363 140,414 224,097 281,881 646,392
Spanish-American War 306,760 385 2,061 1,662 4,108
World War I 4,743,826 53,513 63,195 204,002 320,710*
World War II 16,353,659 292,131 115,185 670,846 1,078,162
Korean War 5,764,143 33,651 NA 103,284 NA
Vietnam War 8,744,000 47,369 10,799 153,303 211,147
Persian Gulf War 467,539 148 145 467 760
NA = Not available
* Does not include the number of soldiers missing in action
Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Source: http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/resources/casdeath_pop.html


In the 11 items below CEIMSA readers are warned to beware of bubbles –financial and cultural—which when they burst, history informs us, we discover often that have done exactly the opposite of what we had intended to do.


Item A., from Historians Against the War, is a report on the recent American Historical Association meeting in NYC, where colleagues attempted to pass a resolution condemning Israeli crimes against humanity


Item B., from The Real News Network, is an interview with British journalist Richard Seymour discussing Islamophobia in Europe.


Item C., from -bas si j’y suis is a brief statement by Daniel Mermet responding to the January 7 massacre of journalists at 11:00 a.m. in the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in Paris.


Item D., from C. Sham, contain three texts that shed light on the contradictions in “je suis Charlie” movement today.


Item E., from Democracy Now!, is an interview with Gilbert Achcar on the clash of barbarisms in the West and the Middle East.


Item F., from The New York Times, is a presentation on the formation of terrorists in Europe by Eric Schmitt, Michael S. Schmidt and Andrew Higgins.


Item G., from University of Montpellier Professor Ronald Creagh, is an essay on the Charlie Hebdo massacre and what it does not represent.


Item H., from Z Net, is an article by Noam Chomsky discussing moral outrage and mass mobilization in the new century.


Item I., from NYU Professor Bertell Ollman, is an article by Vicente Navarro on the amazing success of The Movement in Spain today.


Item J., from Byron Morton, is a article from Truth Out by Ben Ptashnik on the looming global economic crisis and the pending bailout number 2 of the international Banksters who rule our economy.


Item K., from the Confederation National du Travail is an article which asks “Why are we Charlie?”


And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to watch the 1992 film,


Hitler's Bomb





Francis Feeley

Professor of American Studies

University of Grenoble-3

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego







From Historians Against the War :

Date: 8 January 2015

Subject: Report on HAW at the AHA.


Members and supporters of HAW,


By now, many of you have read about HAW’s very active presence at the AHA Annual Meeting in New York over the past weekend.  We have waited until the dust settled before reporting back to you in detail; at the bottom of this email are links to a range of coverage, from accurate reports in the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education to less reliable stories from several Israeli newspapers. 


We began with a Roundtable sponsored by MARHO: The Radical Historians Organization (an AHA affiliate) on January 3, discussing “What Is the Responsibility of Historians Regarding the Israel-Palestine Conflict.” Speakers included Joel Beinin of Stanford, Barbara Weinstein and Linda Gordon of New York University, and Leena Dallasheh of Rice.  The moderator was Steering Committee member Carolyn Eisenberg of Hofstra.  HAW members present agreed it was very successful—from the large, engaged audience, which included former AHA President Natalie Zemon Davis, incoming President Vicki L. Ruiz, and other prominent historians, to the quality of the discourse. Carolyn led off by evoking the debates in AHA over Vietnam forty years ago, when she had just joined, followed by analysis of the “silencing” of Palestinian history (Leena), the many ways in which Palestinian scholarship and intellectual life have been attacked and undermined since the founding of Israel (Joel), how in Europe BDS has led to meaningful economic sanctions whereas here it focuses on cultural boycotts (Linda), and how those of us not teaching the Middle East can incorporate its history into our pedagogy (Barbara).  Even if you have discussed and read about Israel/Palestine for years, there were new and powerful insights, and we urge you to go to this HAW page with links to the various presentations:  http://historiansagainstwar.org/aha15


The Roundtable was also attended by a group calling itself “Historians Against Academic Boycotts” (or, sometimes, the Alliance for Academic Freedom), which put flyers on all the chairs objecting to the resolutions HAW had sent in on December 22, asking for consideration at the Business Meeting. More generally, these historians disagreed with the premise of the Roundtable that, as historians, we have a responsibility to discuss and, when necessary, criticize Israel, including its violations of academic freedom.  It was clear that they would mobilize heavily for the Business Meeting, to oppose a suspension of the rules allowing our resolutions to be debated. As it turned out, they were successful, and by a vote of 144 to 51 (with 3 voting “present”), the meeting on Sunday voted against permitting debate on our resolutions.


At the meeting itself, it was clear as soon as Executive Director James Grossman read the AHA Council’s rationale for not adding our resolutions to the agenda (that they had arrived too late to permit full discussion, after people had already decided whether or not to attend) that we would lose.  A two-thirds vote would have been required, in any case, a very high bar.


Some observers have suggested that we made our resolutions in blithe ignorance of AHA rules.  This was hardly the case:  the idea of proposing these two resolutions first came up during a Palestine-Israel Working Group phone meeting in late November. A resolution (not ours) in favor of BDS had been circulating among some historians already, and the Working Group members who had seen it thought it was not likely to pass the AHA. The group all, however, agreed that a positive resolution, explaining the actual difficulties faced by Palestinian scholars and West Bank and Gazan universities because of the Israeli occupation, might be more able to open the discussion, and garner support even of AHA members who were wary of BDS.  We were well aware that the deadline to guarantee consideration (November 1) was past.  Acting on advice from persons familiar with AHA’s past practice, that indeed such a suspension of the Business Meeting agenda was allowed in the rules and has happened before, we decided to go ahead.  At the least, we thought, we could guarantee some discussion, and prepare the ground for further action in the future.  And that is what has happened. Instead of waiting a full year, we have gained a great deal of publicity, stimulated ample debate, and (not the least) seen in detail the arguments against our work within the profession to criticize Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights. On that front, it is clear that we need to produce detailed, well-sourced reports on how international standards of academic freedom are routinely violated in Israel/Palestine, to answer those colleagues who felt they were being asked to vote on unproven allegations.  So, no matter how much crowing there is about the actual vote, that was a temporary victory for the opponents of free discussion. Crucially, AHA President Vicki Ruiz has announced that she will devote half her presidential sessions at next year’s Annual Meeting to historicizing the Israel/Palestine conflict. 


In descending order of importance and factual accuracy, here is the press coverage of what happened last weekend.  You will note in many cases the false assertion that our resolutions on academic freedom were linked to an earlier resolution proposing that AHA endorse BDS.





















Van Gosse

Department of History

Franklin & Marshall College

Lancaster PA 17604-3003





From The Real News Network :

Date: 8 January 2015

Subject: Charlie Hebdo and Islamophobia.



Author Richard Seymour says the free speech argument is being used to obscure the reality of Islamophobia in Europe.


Charlie Hebdo, Islamophobia and the Freedom of Expression







From Là-bas si j’y suis :

Date: 8 January 2015

Subject: Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People.

From: "-bas si j’y suis" <contact@la-bas.org>
To: "francis feeley" <francis.feeley@u-grenoble3.fr>
Sent: Thursday, 8 January, 2015 11:08:16 PM
Subject: Nous sommes Charlie


Nous sommes Charlie

Cet email ne s'affiche pas correctement ?
Voir cette Infolettre dans votre navigateur.




Nous sommes Charlie

Nous avons si longtemps fait la route ensemble, du même bord, du même rire, du même rêve, poussés par le même besoin irrépressible de tirer la queue du tigre qui dort à condition qu’il ne soit pas en cage. Mais pas pour rien. Un rire pas pour de rire, pas comme ce ricanement cynique qui dit qu’on n’y peut rien, que c’est toujours pareil. Le rire de Charlie, c’est pour changer le monde, pour étendre la surface de la cage et pour la supprimer un beau soir. Et ça passe par la transgression, par le franchissement des lignes bienséantes. « RIRE TUE », disait Choron. Nous avons fait la route ensemble, mais les chemins se sont écartés aussi, il faut le dire nous nous sommes tant aimés et tant engueulés. Fraternellement engueulés. Jusqu’à la prochaine tournée. Jusqu’à la place de la République mercredi soir, où des gamins escaladent la statue en criant « Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité ! » en hommage à Charlie.

Il faut que Charlie continue. Non pas comme une marque mais comme un combat. Aujourd’hui, il nous faut toutes nos forces, toute notre raison, pour déjouer les amalgames racistes et l’indécrottable cheptel des profiteurs d’abîme qui se pavanent d’un micro à l’autre.

Dans la manif les yeux fermés, j’entends Cabu qui fredonne Trenet, « Que reste-t-il... »

Daniel Mermet


Suivez nous sur Twitter | Facebook  

© Là-bas si j’y suis — 2015


Cet email a été envoyé à : francis.feeley@u-grenoble3.fr
Me désinscrire de cette Newsletter 







From C. Sham :

Date: 11 January 2015






je fwd le dernier mail de JC (qui a été envoyé à notre collectif)






Ci-dessous deux textes (issus d'Association membres de notre Collectif).


Je partage l'analyse de ces deux textes comme je partage l'analyse du
texte "Être ou ne pas être Charlie – là n’est pas la question" de
l'Union Juive Française pour la Paix (proposé par Catherine sur cette
liste le 09), texte courageux, clairvoyant, qui m'invite à me situer aux
côtés de l'opprimé, bouc émissaire d'aujourd'hui, le musulman.
Dans d'autres contextes, d'autres moments politiques, j'ai aussi choisi
de me situer aux côtés de l'opprimé, j'ai été Charly (Chaplin, le
barbier juif du film Le Dictateur), j'ai été Juif et Allemand avec
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, j'ai été Turc et Allemand, puis SDF en compagnie de
Günter Wallraff, j'ai été chilien sous Pinochet, j'ai été Siné, viré de
Charlie par Val pour cause de liberté d'expression, je suis Palestinien
en Territoire occupé et à Gaza, citoyen de seconde zone en Israël, exilé
en camp de réfugiés, je suis aujourd'hui musulman (liste non
exhaustive...), en compagnie de médias qui se situaient du même côté
(Politique Hebdo, Charlie d'avant Val, l'Autre Journal... (liste non


Charly (Chaplin) me fait toujours rire ; Charlie (Hebdo) ne me fait plus


Non, je ne suis pas Charlie aux côtés de tous ces faux culs qui
appellent à une unité nationale et même internationale qui ressemble
plus à une veillée d'arme en vue de la prochaine croisade de "l'axe du
bien" qu'à une défense des valeurs républicaines.


Willem, Luz, et d'autres de Charlie flairent le piège et commencent à se
démarquer de la grande récup.


Pour terminer, une petite citation de Michel Soudais (Politis, 10/01/2015) :
« On peut rire de tout, mais pas avec n’importe qui. » Le mot bien connu
de Desproges trouve, avec cet épilogue de l’effroyable attentat qui a
frappé Charlie hebdo, une nouvelle déclinaison. Il nous faut dire
aujourd’hui qu’on peut pleurer, manifester son émotion, mais pas avec
n’importe qui.


Jean-Claude Perron




Communiqué de l'UJFP :




Benjamin Nétanyahou, Avigdor Lieberman et Naftali Bennett représenteront
le 11 janvier l’Etat d’Israël à la grande manifestation européenne de
riposte aux fusillades contre Charlie Hebdo et contre le magasin casher
à Paris. Ces trois personnages sont des criminels de guerre qui relèvent
de la Cour Pénale Internationale pour les meurtres de masse commis à
Gaza et ailleurs.


Ce sont trois sinistres artisans de la volonté d’Israël d’écraser le
peuple palestinien : Nétanyahou, le dirigeant des massacres à Gaza,
Lieberman et Bennett, deux ministres colons, l’un prévoit l’expulsion de
tous les Palestiniens, y compris ceux qui vivent en Israël et l’autre se
vante d’avoir tué des Palestiniens.


Ce qui est tout aussi grave, c’est la signification que leur présence
confirme, concernant la nature de cette manifestation.


C’est pourquoi nous exhortons les diverses associations amies du peuple
palestinien qui comptent se rendre à cette manifestation à reconsidérer
leur décision.


La manifestation devait être soi-disant « d’unité nationale » contre le
terrorisme et pour la liberté d’expression. Elle sera en réalité une
représentation des « valeurs du monde civilisé occidental » contre les «
menaces terroristes du monde arabo-musulman », une manifestation bien
dans la tonalité du « choc des civilisations » qui d’après nos
gouvernants, même quand ils se défendent de diffuser ce point de vue,
régit le monde actuel.


En fin de compte tous ceux qui souhaitaient manifester demain leur
solidarité avec les victimes de ces terribles attentats et pensaient
sincèrement montrer une société française unie contre le crime, se sont
fait confisquer leur manifestation par les organisateurs autoproclamés
d’une grande messe de « l’Axe du Bien » : le gouvernement, ses amis et
tous ses concurrents de droite – hormis le Front National, dont
l’idéologie n’a nul besoin d’invitation pour prospérer. Les grands
alliés internationaux seront présents : ces mêmes représentants d’État
dont les politiques contre les peuples ont permis l’apparition du
terrorisme djihadiste, les courants islamophobes, les amis de l’État
d’Israël et bien sûr les représentants de cet État.


Quant aux populations dangereuses, postcoloniales, jeunes,
éventuellement porteuses de signes ostentatoires musulmans, elles
subiront le dispositif de contrôle renforcé dans la période qui s’ouvre.
Nous ne pouvons oublier qu’à tous ceux-là les manifestations de
solidarité et la liberté d’expression ont été interdites, l’été dernier,
pendant l’opération « Bordure de protection » menée contre Gaza par les
trois invités israéliens de demain.


Les représentants d’Israël ont commencé à faire de grands appels à la
population juive française, soi-disant victime d’un déferlement
antisémite sans précédent, pour qu’elle émigre en Israël, pays « de
grande liberté ». Une fois de plus, les dirigeants israéliens mettent
sciemment en danger les Juifs français par la peur et l’incitation au


Le Bureau National de l’UJFP le 11 janvier 2015


Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP)
21 ter rue Voltaire, 75011 PARIS
07 81 89 95 25




Communiqué de l'AFPS :




AFPS, samedi 10 janvier 2015


Les cen­taines de mil­liers de nos conci­toyens qui mani­festent dans un
calme impres­sionnant leur volonté de vivre ensemble en ces jours de
deuil sont pénétrés du souci d’éviter toute pro­vo­cation des fau­teurs
de haine.


Or nous apprenons par les médias israé­liens que pour­raient prendre
place au premier rang de la mani­fes­tation répu­bli­caine de dimanche à
Paris Avigdor Lie­berman, Naftali Bennett ou Ben­jamin Neta­nyahou.
Lie­berman qui avait naguère impli­ci­tement appelé à uti­liser la bombe
ato­mique sur Gaza. Bennett qui s’est vanté d’avoir tué beaucoup
d’Arabes. Neta­nyahou, le bourreau de Gaza.


Ce serait un dévoiement insup­por­table du sursaut citoyen en cours qui
remet­trait en cause la nature même de cette mani­fes­tation républicaine.


Comment ne pas y voir une gros­sière et inac­cep­table ten­tative de
récu­pé­ration de la part de diri­geants israé­liens qui n’ont de cesse
d’alimenter la pré­tendue « guerre des civilisations ».


Nous demandons à nos gou­ver­nants de ne pas accepter leur pré­sence qui
revien­drait à les blanchir, alors que leur place est sur le banc des
accusés de la Cour pénale inter­na­tionale (CPI).


Le Bureau national de l’AFPS


Association France Palestine Solidarité
21 ter, rue vol­taire, 75011 Paris
01 43 72 15 79






From Democracy Now ! :

Date: 9 January 2015

Subject: More collateral damage in the making ?




French police have surrounded a building in a northern town near Charles de Gaulle Airport as part of a massive manhunt for the two men accused of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Police say they believe the suspects, Said and Chérif Kouachi, are holed up in a small printing business where they have taken a hostage. Meanwhile, French officials are now saying there is a link between the two brothers accused of the Charlie Hebdo attack and the heavily armed man who shot dead a French policewoman on Thursday. That man is now holding five hostages, including women and children, at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Sources told Reuters the three men were all members of the same Paris cell that a decade ago sent young French volunteers to Iraq to fight U.S. forces. Chérif Kouachi served 18 months in prison for his role in the group. At the time, he told the court that he had been motivated to travel to Iraq by images of atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Abu Ghraib prison. We speak to Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.


Gilbert Achcar on the Clash of Barbarisms from the Massacre in Paris

to the U.S. Occupation of Iraq






French Muslims Fear Backlash, Increased Islamophobia After Charlie Hebdo Attack







From The New York Times :

Date: 8 January 2015

Subject: Al Qaeda terrorists come to Paris, France.



Al Qaeda Trained Suspect in Paris Terror Attack, Official Says. . . .









From Ronald Creagh :

Date: 10 January 2015

Subject: Charlie Hebdo.




        Je viens de mettre un petit texte sur le site "Recherche sur l'anarchisme"




        Je serai heureux d'avoir vos réactions.


à bientôt





From Z Net :

Date: 11 January 2015

Subject: Mass Mobilizations in the 21st Century.



The world reacted with horror to the murderous attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo.  In the New York Times, veteran Europe correspondent Steven Erlanger graphically described the immediate aftermath, what many call France’s 9/11, as “a day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety. It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around Paris.” The enormous outcry worldwide was accompanied by reflection about the deeper roots of the atrocity. “Many Perceive a Clash of Civilizations,” a New York Times headline read.

We Are All – Fill in the Blank


  Noam Chomsky





From Bertell Ollman :

Date: 10 January 2015

Subject: Article on Podemos, the Movement in Spain.



Dear Francis -
       I think Vicente Navarro's article on Podemos below is so important and the amazing success he details - still - so little known in the English speaking world that it deserves the widest circulation on your respective lists, websites, etc. Hope you will agree.


The End of an Era and the Beginning of Podemos

What is Going On in Spain?


by Vicente Navarro





From Byron Morton :

Date: 10 January 2015

Subject: Russia Blamed, US Taxpayers on the Hook, as Fracking Boom Collapses.



I thought you might be interested in this article. This article is from Truth Out.

It's a clear piece that speaks directly to to reader.

Happy new year!


Russia Blamed, US Taxpayers on the Hook, as Fracking Boom Collapses


by Ben Ptashnik





From CNT :

Date: 11 January 2015

Subject: Anarco-Syndicalists ask “Why are we Charlie?”



Why Are We Charlie?