Corporate media are always laden with speculation and half-truths, in particular, during crises. Now the worst of these sins is for “experts” and “pundits” to put the worst modern terrorist attack on French soil into context, muddy already filthy waters, and call on Team Obama and Europe to re-invade the Middle East. Sorting through this jumble of misinformation and disinformation, the following are key:
* French President Francois Hollande says the attacks were “an act of war” organised from abroad by ISIL with internal help. He goes on to say, “Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action. France will not show any pity against the barbaric acts by ISIL.” What he means is this: France has so far shown pity to ISIL; never joined “War on Terror” post 9-11; while ISIL declared war on humanity, France looked the other way; yet now ISIL is a threat, since it attacked France!
* Despite the claims by corporate media and far-right groups, there is no relationship between the influx of refugees to Europe and the slaughter in Paris. Those who carried out the near-simultaneous attacks were French nationals. Repeat, the assailants held French passports and lived in France for decades. True, some had just returned from vacation in Syria!
* Without a shred of evidence, Western governments cannot take the Paris tragedy for granted and besiege Syria. As President Bashar al-Assad holds, “What France suffered from is what the Syrian people have been enduring for five years. France’s mistaken policies contributed to the spread of terrorism on its soil.” France shouldn’t fall for self-defeating strategies such as scapegoating.
* Essentially, it was the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey that created the death cult of ISIL. Those who are desperate to drive the narrative of November 13, should do so by questioning and interrogating the high-ranking officials of these regimes. As for evidence, they don’t need to look that far. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum blames Washington for the creation of ISIL. After the attacks, he said, “The terrorist group is a creation of a political decision by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to abandon Iraq…”
* The French government claims it was prepared to face such attacks, and that anti-terrorist measures were at their highest level since January, when two French nationals attacked the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12. No it wasn’t. Are they aware they can no longer stop the monster? When will they ever realise what they should face now is ISIL, not Assad?
* Entertaining a climate of fear and paranoia had serious consequences post Charlie Hebdo attacks. France is advised not to take similar draconian measures against its Muslim communities. It is wrong to make despicable connections between terrorists and Muslims. France has no lack of willing militants with hundreds of its citizens having joined ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
France faces an uncertain future. It should wake up and smell the coffee. It should never allow opportunistic politicians, far-right groups, commentators and sections of the media to profit from this new climate of fear. It should never jump to simplistic conclusions – as happened after 9-11 – and launch an all-out war against a sovereign nation. This will send France down a deeply dangerous road, play right into the hands of terrorists and far-right extremists, and ultimately enshrine divisions among the international community in the real war on terror – all at the expense of the long-suffering people of Syria