“France’s Response to Paris Attacks Encourages ISIS’s Caliphate Fantasy,” by Eric Walberg

Eric is a personal friend of mine and he published this on Academia.edu so that usually means anyone can grab it as long as you credit them. Lately, Eric writes for the Iranian media, presumably for money. I believe Kieth Preston is also writing for the Iranians these days.

I am putting this up mostly to provoke discussion.

France’s Response to Paris Attacks Encourages ISIS’s Caliphate Fantasy

Eric Walberg

France’s emotional response to the recent tragedy, devoid of reason and ignoring history, just makes matters worse.

 

The death toll in the November 13 attacks in Paris stands at 127. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent a message to his French counterpart Francois Hollande condemning the attacks. “In the name of the Iranian nation, itself a victim of the evil scourge of terrorism, I strongly condemn these inhumane crimes and condole with the bereaved French nation and government.”

In contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his weekly Cabinet meeting by calling on world leaders to condemn terror against … Israel. He began by addressing the killing of two Israelis, ignoring the 81 Palestinians who have died in protests this month. “The time has come for the nations of the world to condemn terrorism against us as much as they condemn terrorism anywhere else in the world.” He pledged Israeli intelligence assistance to France, adding “An attack on any of us needs to be seen as an attack on all of us.”

Translate: France’s tragedy is a wake-up call for solidarity with … Israel.

France’s Colonial Legacy

Until 2012, France was spared serious terrorist attacks, but its enduring colonial mentality continues to stoke anger. Most evident recently was the official defense of anti-Muslim hate literature published by the magazine Charlie Hebdo. Rather than persecuting the Islamophobes, which would have prevented blowback by enraged Muslims, the French insistence on freedom led to an attack in January on the Paris offices of the magazine, killing 12 people and wounding 11 others.

Worse yet, the new Socialist President Hollande pushed ahead with a return to outright colonial invasion, with air strikes and arms to Syrian rebels in opposition to both the Syrian government and ISIS supporters. This confused policy only makes sense if the intent is to dismantle the Syrian state and refashion a Syrian puppet government, harking back to France’s invasion of Syria-Lebanon following WWI in collusion with Britain, when they destroyed the Ottoman state and set up puppet regimes across the Middle East.

France was slow to adjust to post-WWII decolonization, and stubbornly maintained its military presence not only in Vietnam but in the Middle East. Along with Britain, now both humiliated bankrupt powers, it was in no position to enforce its will, and it handed over its colonial possessions to the US either directly or via the new world order institutions. Plus, of course, intrigue where a glimmer of independence appeared, as in Iran in 1953 or Egypt 1956.

Worst of all was the horror France inflicted for more than a century in Algeria. Algeria had to suffer a long, brutal war of liberation in which a million Algerians died before France finally left in 1962. French meddling in Algeria since has only compounded the animosity, especially the support given the military coup in 1992 in which 200,000 Algerians died.

France’s current return to openly colonial policies, first in Afghanistan, then Libya, Mali and now Syria, are guaranteed to have dire consequences. To its credit, France did not support the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, but there are now 3,200 French troops there.

France and US Support the Terrorists

France and the US have played a dangerous and foolish hand in their great games of asserting world power, at times using jihadists (1980s in Afghanistan) and at other times attacking them (1990s+ in Afghanistan), sometimes both at the same time (2011+ in Syria).

“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar,” John McCain told CNN in January 2014. Is McCain not aware that two of the most successful factions fighting Syrian President Assad’s forces are Islamist extremist groups Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, and that their success is due to the support they have received from Qatar and Saudi Arabia? A senior Qatari official told The Atlantic journalist Steve Clemons that “he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, ‘ISIS has been a Saudi project.’”

France doesn’t have a wild card like McCain, but, like the US, supports Islamic fundamentalists in Syria and elsewhere through its ties with the Saudi and Qatari regimes and its actions in Syria. Even after it became obvious to everyone that the regime change project in Syria has led to an expansion of terrorism, Hollande was still pursuing it.

But then this hypocrisy goes for all the western nations, in the first place Canada, which has been bombing Syrian rebels and, at the same time, just signed a $14.8b arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The largest arms exports contract in Canadian history will be remembered as going to one of the worst human rights violators in the world and a funder of ISIS-related groups in Syria and Iraq.

In fact, Canada’s record on bombing Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, on restricting burqas and promoting ‘free speech’ defaming Islam, mirrors France, and led to a shooting last year that penetrated the parliament buildings in Ottawa and had Prime Minister Harper cowering in his closet.

Harper’s answer, when he had stopped shaking, was the same as Hollande’s: he insisted that “Canada will not be intimidated” by acts of violence and remained committed to Canada’s efforts “to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations … who bring their savagery to our shores.” He did admit that “we’re all aware and deeply troubled that both attacks were carried out by Canadian citizens, by young men born and raised in this peaceful country,” but, like Hollande today, failed to draw the logical conclusion.

Powder Keg

France has the largest Muslim population in Europe at 4m. Despite its claims of “liberty, equality and brotherhood”, it is considered the most racist country in Europe. French-Algerian communities still live on impoverished housing estates, go to bad schools, and have few opportunities for social advancement.

Discrimination in everything from jobs to housing is routine. There are few French-Algerians in politics, the law, the media or any other profession, though the prisons are full. Hollande refuses to reverse measures like the burqa ban and has highlighted his opposition to halal meat and praying in the street because of a lack of mosques.

Populist rightwing politicians like Nicolas Sarkozy and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen routinely portray alienated migrant communities as France’s enemy within. Le Pen garnered 20% of the popular vote in the first round of May’s presidential elections.

In their communique, the perpetrators of the recent attacks listed France’s crimes as leading a “new crusade” in Syria, as well as defending Charlie Hebdo magazine, and just because of general French decadence and racism. They claimed their targets were well chose ― a football match between ‘crusaders’ France and Germany attended by Hollande, and the Bataclan exhibition where “hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice” (the California group Eagles of Death Metal).

“This is for Syria,” were the last words of one of the Paris attackers. But he could have said it was for Mali, or Libya, or Iraq. France is very proactive against Islamists worldwide, especially in the face of what is frequently seen as British and American retreat. Over 10,000 French troops are currently deployed abroad. In addition to Iraq, there are over 5,000 troops in western and central Africa. Last week Hollande announced that France will deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to assist the fight against ISIS.

As with Osama Bin Laden’s strategy of promoting dramatic terrorist attacks in the West to provoke a crackdown and to radicalize Muslims, the strategy behind the current attacks is to generate a French crackdown to encourage Muslims to follow ISIS’s caliphate fantasy. It has worked all too well so far, and Hollande’s vow to be “ruthless” in his response leads him and France in the wrong direction.

In his address on recent events, Iran’s Leader Imam Khameini acknowledged that “there are voices of criticism in the West about its colonial past. But they only criticize the distant past. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems?”

Originally published here.

8 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Africa, Algeria, Asia, Britain, Canada, Colonialism, Egypt, Europe, France, History, Iran, Iraq, Iraq War, Islam, Israel, Libya, Mali, Middle East, Middle Eastern, Modern, North Africa, Political Science, Politics, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, South Asia, Syria, Terrorism, US War in Afghanistan, USA, Vietnam, War

8 responses to ““France’s Response to Paris Attacks Encourages ISIS’s Caliphate Fantasy,” by Eric Walberg

  1. Creaders

    There is something wrong with this article for claiming French Islamo are discriminated, and blame France when Islamo got into bad school.

    The fact is any schools who got infested with Islamo become bad schools. If you want to have good schools, flood them with East Asians.

    This is yet another article supporting Islamo covetly.

    This guy is paid CIA agent.

    • Beheading is painless

      Encouraging fantasies is no bad thing. It is the right thing to do with people who live in a fantasy world.

      I myself wanted the caliphate to succeed and show the world the righteousness way of the caliph, but alas it is going up and in flames. This is to be lamented. Why is this too be lamented?

      The reason why this is bad is because we once again end up in fantasy land. We need a Sunni caliph as a reality because that is what the Sunnis want so badly. Give the a noble caliphate;but instead the infidels oppose this vital idea in the Muslim imagination.

      So essentially I think this guy is thinking in a covert way as creaders said. We have no way of knowing if he is with an espionage organisation. But we do know he is not a Zulu lesbian with a vegan cooking channel on YouTube.

  2. Creaders

    The reason why Islamo make school bad is their horrible culture of incestuous consanguine married among 1st cousin.

    Islamo have among the highest birth defects in Europe giving birth to Frankensteins.

    Islamo know they themselves sucks big time and if we comprehen their sick mind, it would not be difficult to grasp why they keep pointing others of racism.

    They are loser and they need to prevent their face to be in shit hole.

    • Beheading is painless

      I agree that incestous marriage can make for below par students. So the key here is to show support for struggling students.Struggling students are very keen on the caliphate. It would have been a tremendous kindness to let them have a good caliphate.

      I am not a Muslim but the caliphate is part of the faith of Muslims. So naturally I respect the wishes of Muslims. But I will say be careful of what you wish for! In law we say let the buyer be aware! So it is true to say wanting a caliphate has consequences in the world of infidelity to mighty al lah.

  3. Stary Wylk

    Every group, from the Chinese Communists(?) to the high school Chess Club, competes with every like group. Complaining about discrimination is just one more tool in the struggle. It pulls the group together and sometimes drives other groups to make concessions. Unfortunately, the groups conceded to prefer to push for more concessions far more often than they choose to do anything useful; there’s a certain satisfaction in taking instead of building.

  4. Stary Wylk

    France has the Foreign Legion. Currently it’s a force of eight thousand men, few of whom are French. Trained and equipped to a European standard, it’s more effective than most of the world’s armies should one attempt to stand up against them. Consisting of foreigners, it has permitted the French government to have adventures without annoying any voters. It seems likely French history would have been happier and duller without the Legion.

    Spain had one and may still. Britain has the Gurkhas.

  5. Stary Wylk

    McCain’s record shows him as not a good pilot, who got shot down because he wouldn’t follow instructions.

  6. EPGAH

    What we’re facing is NOT decolonization, but REVERSE colonization!
    Savages colonizing the civilized and DOWNGRADING the country, rather than Civilized colonizing the savages and BUILDING one!

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