The slaughter in Paris on Friday 13th of November 2015 was horrific. It was an unjustified attack on innocent people. Ordinary Joes’ going about enjoying their leisure time with no thought of war or any inclination towards hate. They wanted to bounce with the music; to sip their coffee and chatter, laugh, hear some gossip or watch the football match.
These 129 innocents were turned into agents of war. The jihadists used them in a futile gesture to bolster their cause. The French government use them as an excuse to upgrade their attacks on IS in Syria and more generally.
The attack in Paris hurts us all in several ways. The immediate reaction is one of disbelief but when the extent of the killings becomes apparent our disbelief turns to anger and a level of intolerance creeps in. Anger can lead in many directions: simple disgust which will wane in the weeks to come but intolerance will resurface with any incident concerning Muslims.
Or it will fuel an existing anger and demand revenge, this to can dissipate with time. Then of course there is hate. Hate can lead to spontaneous actions, can be more long term and lead to extremism. Hate destroys everyone it touches.
Which of the above emotions and actions do the jihadists want? All of them! The last thing they want is community cohesion. As part of their recruitment strategy they want to drive wedges between the Muslim community and the rest. The deeper the cut they make the better their recruitment will be.
This Means War!
Hollande, the French president reacted with a typical stance. He wanted to appear tough, to appear statesman like. The statements that followed were judged to reassure the people that the government were in control. More French planes bombed IS positions in Syria. The aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle set sail with more fighter jets.
The claim that IS has an army and has land is a false one. Their army is a muster of innocence betrayed by promise and brainwashing, of life ever after. The land they control is not a recognised country but land that has been forcibly taken. Syria and Iraq will eventually take back their land. Was Hollande legitimizing the Caliphate of IS?
In using the ‘intelligence network’ the French government did a lot of good. By establishing were the cohort of IS fighters were hold up. The assault on the flat in Saint Denis 18th November while overpowering in the extreme served a bigger purpose.
The actions at Saint Denis showed the government in control and thus helped to calm the growing anger of the general populace. The Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve played a very clever card when he praised the people of Saint Denis for their “cool headedness”. The message was obvious, kept calm, we will sort it out.
This message should have been picked up by Hollande and given greater prominence. A calm response was the last thing IS wanted from the situation.
A danger exists from our own governments as they use the situation to pass ever more draconian laws. We must keep a careful eye on all that government does. Our freedoms must not be curbed under the disguise of fighting the jihadists. Democracy must not be compromised or we lose the first battle.
Bombs will not defeat IS in Syria nor will western boots on the ground. French, British etc. putting the boot in will only
give credence to the myth that the West is out to smash the Muslim world. The booing at the football matches , Turkey v Greece and Ireland v Bosnia during the one minute silence in respect for the people of Paris illustrates that the west are losing the propaganda war.
We are all being deceived by the politics and business of the region. The Press in the West must make more of the roles of Saudi Arabia and Iran and their quest for power in the area. This political war is doing more to cripple the Middle East than anything else. They pour their money into the barbarity that is Syria in support of the warring factions but the West gets the blame.
If Saudi Arabia wants Assad out then let them bomb. Let them send in ground troops. Iran the same! The Saudis use their wealth to sponsor and equip agents to fight their seedy war. The western powers are as mercenaries doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia with the promise of good business opportunities in the future.
- Why has Saudi Arabia not taken refugees?
- Why have the nations of the Middle East not stopped the flow of migrants? Why have they not stepped in to help their fellow Muslims?
There are vast riches in the region stemming from the oil revenue yet the camps that do exist are pits of iniquity. Charities in the west are spending huge amounts to encourage us to give generously to bring water, food and medicine to these camps. Surely Saudi Arabia and/or Iran could cover such costs without much hardship. Why are they not doing so?
It was the politics and the business that took the west into the region to support Kuwait against the dictator Saddam Hussein. Here we are again! For years we tolerated the despots until more pressing business opportunities came knocking.
The real war in the region is that between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Intelligence – Intelligence – Intelligence!!!
We cannot walk away from our past exploits in the area. We are now forced to deal with IS because they have brought it to our door. Bombs and troops are an encouragement. Even if the IS can be forced from their caliphate they will not disappear. They will fragment into dangerous cells and declare ideological war on the West.
Each cell will finance itself as far as possible. Cells will blend when there’s a need. However, by organising into cells they will become weaker, less coordinated and more criminalized.
Identifying every possible member is the only hope of shutting them down permanently. It’s the old adage, take off the head and the body is useless. We must be prepared for a twenty (20) year battle.
The West caused IS!
The actions of the west did help bring it to our homelands. But then IS don’t just hate the people of the west they hate all who do not conform to their brand of extremism. They have killed far more Muslims than they have westerners. Far more!
And what of the IS fighting force?
- Why is their army not exclusively of people from the region?
- Why are they trying to force other Muslims to accept their interpretation of the Qur’an?
- Why are there so many foreign delinquents in their ranks?
- Why do they need to brainwash their recruits?
Could it be that IS has no real base among the people of the area? They are out on a limb and have become dependent on young impressionable people from the west, some estimates make it 20,000, to bolster their ranks.
There is much discussion about what motivates some young Muslim people of Europe and elsewhere to join. It is now becoming clear that many were on the fringes of their local population. Others were petty criminals.
Several analysts blame poverty and alienation as a prime cause. However, the ones who venture to Syria to join IS were not alone in suffering poverty or alienation. Poverty and alienation is a worldwide phenomenon. Any large city has its pockets of desperate poverty.
Adventure may have added spice for others and still more may not have been fully au fait with the methodology of IS before becoming part of the throng. Also, some of those who succumb to the lore of IS are highly educated and have been able to use their skills to murderous effect.
Sadly, others may have a need to belong, to be different, and to stand out and radicalism offers all these elements in one package. There are some who may suffer from an inner loneliness that stems from their upbringing. Whatever the reason for joining IS most have been duped.