Writing at the time like this is usually very uncomfortable, unless one writes solely in order to express their grief and disbelief. Though I stand with France I cannot help, but keep adding all the small and supposedly insignificant details that transpire in this chaos of emotions and misinformation. It’s usually relatively easy to agree that the media are designed to throw us, the recipients, into an emotional tumble-dryer to ensure that we don’t think about what has happened and why; to ensure that we don’t add two and two together and though we hear what is being said, but we do not listen to what possible consequences fear-based actions can lead to.
At such a time as this I decided to be less popular. I could write about how tragic the attacks in Paris were. I could write endless, elaborate words trying to give justice to the unnecessary massacre, accuse the incapacitated French police force of not protecting their citizens or condemn the terrorists. None of them would care. None of them would read it and, quite frankly, nothing would change anyway. There is a different matter however that I do want to shed some light on, because at the end of the day it comes down to those that care to make a change.
As soon as I turned on my phone on Saturday night I haven’t stopped watching the news and reading about the attacks in which, according to different sources, around 150 people lost their lives and around 180 were injured, some critically. I will not undermine the horror that Parisians must be living in. On the contrary, I mourn with them and I hope that no further attacks will take place. No one deserves to be shot at when they are eating their dinner with friends and family members.
Yet, watching the French News two nights ago and listening to Mr Kerry’s speech in Vienna, I found myself tensing as I slowly grasped the meaning of his words. He didn’t essentially say anything terribly controversial. However, when he quite straightforwardly began laying down the main points of the plan designed to deal with ISIS the alarm bells started ringing in my mind as I was quite sure I had heard something similar many years ago and, though I was still very young, I remembered every word. Mr Kerry proposed that the way to deal with ISIS would require unification of the international community, all of the UN, to commit itself to eradicating ISIS by the means of stabilising Syria. How exactly did he come up with Syria? Well, allegedly a Syrian passport was found on the body of one of the terrorists. The train of thought that Mr Kerry presented was that the man was Syrian, therefore ISIS must be Syrian and thus the invasion of Syria and destroying ISIS in Syria will be certainly the way to go. I am sure there are a number of specialists in the field of fighting transnational terrorism and they are most probably doing the same thing I am doing now, namely scratching their heads. Well, I am typing so I will scratch mine later.
Mr Kerry, in his speech last night, ventured as far as giving the time frame necessary for dealing with ISIS: 6 months. In other words we have “who” – ISIS, we have “where” – Syria, we have “how long” – 6 months; we are only missing the “when”. What Kerry appeared to be doing was laying the foundation for seeking international legitimacy for military invasion in the country which hasn’t attacked any Western country directly and doesn’t pose an imminent threat to either of them. Yet, as the history has proven, such insignificant details would not stop the United States of America and their allies to invade a foreign country.
The penny dropped when I remembered the fervent and passionate George W. Bush’s speeches on the aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 11th September 2001. Can we see a pattern? I believe we can. We had “who” – Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (neither of which could be proven to be directly involved in the attacks; I will also for the purpose of this article omit the detail that the name “Al Qaeda” was invented by the US Government in order to solidify the image of the enemy). We had “where” – Afghanistan; again, how was the decision reached with regards to which country ought to be attacked? The decision was sealed based on the passport of one of the alleged hijackers, Satam al-Suqami, which miraculously survived the destruction and fire of the exploding plane and the collapsed Twin Towers. We had “how long” – one year; we all remember how President Bush put the finger down to timing, promising that the war won’t take long and its purpose was solely to unearth Osama Bin Laden. The fact that the war took more than ten years and the American presence in Iraq has been questioned ever since, Mr Bin Laden was only caught 10 years later while Saddam Hussain was mock-tried and hanged within one year creating a vacuum for all possible guerrilla fighters and unaffiliated militias to grow in strength essentially becoming partly what we today call ISIS; this has of course nothing to do with the US unilateral decision to move its troops into a country that didn’t pose any threat to American national security at that point in time (as if).
The fact that the draft plan to invade Afghanistan existed two months prior to the attack on the Twin Towers will not be discussed here, simply because I do not get involved in conspiracy theories. Perhaps the US really had special interest in the UNOCAL’s pipeline, perhaps not. What I will discuss, however, is the fact that the pattern is the same. There is an attack, followed by media agencies fuelling the fear mostly due to severe misinformation and possibly hidden agenda, there is a plan of dealing with the issue at hand and there is a question about international recognition for a military intervention. On a more personal level I really wonder exactly what the US is seeking the legitimisation for. Are they going to come to Syria and expect ISIS to stand in units ready for war? In the age of global information technology one can run a multimillion dollar business from his kitchen, sitting at the table in his PJ’s and somehow the US government doesn’t think that it’s the same case with ISIS? Perhaps the organisation is run by a handful of people in their mansions or else, in their dungeons, while more fervent believers, indoctrinated and desperate individuals blow themselves up on the streets of Paris, Beirut, shoot people in Kenya or Syria, not to mention Israel; the place that hasn’t seen a quiet day since the end of September 2015. How do they expect to fight an underground organisation with tanks and arms? What are they going to blow up? Last night gave us an answer: the French jets impulse-bombed Raqqa in Syria, mostly destroying civilian homes, schools, hospitals and causing casualties among those that have been oppressed by ISIS.
Considering that the Western states must have intelligent people in their governments I really wonder what they are thinking. The question that pops into my mind is that, interestingly, Kerry seemed to be speaking about yet another military presence in the Middle East not so long after the US and the allied powers were finally forced by the public pressure to withdraw from Iraq. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, perhaps it is not. At my level of classified knowledge (level zero) I can only speculate using whatever is left of my grey cells following a reasonably tiring day.
To sum up this part of the article, the allied forces created ISIS to begin with by invading Afghanistan and Iraq illegally and now, 15 years later, they are offering to solve the problem that was essentially of their own doing and I very much doubt that they have any actual plan apart from moving their troops back in.
Apart from the political pushing and pulling, where everyone is trying to get something out of this chaotic mess, there are real, fleshy, human people who are being murdered, blown-up, raped and dehumanised on daily basis simply because… simply… why? Can anyone actually give an answer to this question? Wassim Nasr, the French Specialist on Terrorism, spoke on the news on the night of the terror attack and said that the jihadists continue attacking the Western countries because of their involvement in prostitution. Recap, please. They shot young people, because there is prostitution in the West? Is there no prostitution in the Middle East? Oh no, right, I forgot – rape is allowed so no one thinks of pulling their wallets out. Prostitution however, it appears, gives enough legitimacy to shoot people on the streets. I really wondered what kind of a specialist Mr Nasr was. Quietly he gave legitimacy to the attacks and his words were broadcasted worldwide.
Europe finds itself in a pickle, pardon my expression. Almost overnight a decision was made to bring in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Let me make something clear: yes, there is distress in Syria; with my own eyes I saw blown-up explosives. Yes, people are dying and yes, they need help. Usually however, the refugees consist of women and children and yet the vast majority of the Syrian refugees are young and able men. Considering the Western intelligence had the same insight before importing them into Europe, as they claim they have now, namely that ISIS operates in Syria – wouldn’t there be a logical assumption that they were importing ISIS along with the refugees?
Whatever is happening and whatever the media are trying to push us into believing, things simply do not add up in any logical way. We are forced to look at one picture of death and destruction, which job is to scare us into the place of complete submission and the second picture is of a potential military deployment back into the Middle East with no actual legitimisation or proof apart from the alleged passport which was conveniently Syrian. No court on this planet would pass a judgment based on such inadequate whiff of evidence and yet we are considering a foreign military intervention? Possibly a war? Or further destabilisation of the region and another 15-year allied rule in the Middle East during which more breeding ground for radicals would be created?
I understand that when the attack happens in Europe or the States, no one exercises restraint in dealing with terrorists and everyone is very much afraid for their lives. It’s suddenly perfectly legitimate to invade a foreign country, lacking an actual plan of action or any credible piece of evidence to justify the invasion. The fact that nothing is done internationally when attacks happen in Africa or in the Middle East is a topic for another discussion. Nevertheless, whatever happened in Paris should not by any means serve as the trigger for international legitimisation of another foreign invasion, this time into Syria and from there, force-kicking the door open, having a foothold in the region and moving deep into the continent under any possible pretence.
Vomiting troops into Syria will not solve the problem of ISIS in the slightest. ISIS members are already in Europe, whereas, more locally to Syria, there are neighbouring countries involved in dealing with the spill-over caused by the mess left by the allied powers and, quite frankly, they have their national security interests in keeping matters under control faced with this current beehive of terror. Similarly for the Western powers; it is in their interests to secure their own citizens and use their military power to secure their borders and streets, not send them abroad to twiddle their thumbs and pretend that something is actually being done.