Hollande on the dangerous path of George W. Bush


November 17, 2015

Translated from Greek by Tom Winter, November 19, 2015
 After the carnage caused by the heinous and coordinated terrorist attacks of Islamic State in Paris, Europe has been drawn into very dangerous paths. At least, so augurs the proclamation of Francois Hollande in the joint House and Senate meeting in Versailles, in which the French president declared a double war: In Syria, with intensification of military intervention in the interior of the country, and [another] against democratic freedoms and Muslim minorities, buoyed by counter-terrorism hysteria.

Adopting the style which recalled that of George W. Bush in the aftermath of September 11, François Hollande declared a “merciless” war against the  Islamic State, sent the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the coast of Syria, and began bombarding the densely populated Syrian town of Pakala, risking large civilian casualties. An adventurist line, which has already been tried — and has failed miserably. It is common sense now that only a political solution of the Syrian problem, with an end to foreign intervention, can drain the tank that feeds the obscurantist nihilistic jihadism.

Along with Russia and Germany, France’s Chirac and de Villepin had opposed the pernicious anti-Islamic crusade of George W. Bush in Iraq. Their opposition was fully vindicated by the tragic outcomes in the region. But then, and while the America of Obama strove to detach itself from the impasse that it set up in Iraq, Sarkozy’s France, and then Hollande spearheaded the imperialist interventions that dismantled Libya and brought Syria to the brink of dissolution, allowing the Islamic State to take root for good in both countries, as in Iraq, and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. 

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The carnage caused by the Islamic State in Baghdad, in Beirut, and in Sinai with the downed Russian airliner, did not cause any particular emotion in France nor further abroad in the “civilized” West. They awakened only when the bell rang for Paris, but only to find the “solution” in the dead-end street of intensified military intervention.

Equally dangerous is the “internal war” declared by Francois Hollande: he announced a review of the constitution to “free the hands” of law enforcement, with restrictions on democratic freedoms and legal guarantees, accelerated deportations, and deprivation of citizenship, reinforcement of the army and the security forces, extending the state of emergency for three months, draconian measures for refugees, and so on.
Only the panic of Francois Hollande in the face of pressure from the far-right, xenophobic National Front can explain, without of course justifying, this completely hopeless line. France already had since the 1990s (due to the terrorist attacks of jihadist GIA in Algeria) the most Draconian anti-terrorist legislation of all European countries — to no avail, as the January Charlie Hebdo massacre first revealed, then the bloodbath of 13 November.

After all, six of the seven terrorists who have so far been identified were not Syrians or other refugees, but French citizens, or residents of France, or the neighboring Belgium. The first suicide bomber identified was born in France. The father was Algerian; the mother was Portuguese; married with two children. 

Just as the other kamikazis came via past immigration, particularly the Muslim communities in France, that live in regions officially declared by the French state as “sensitive urban zones” (ZUS): euphemism for urban ghettos, belts of social twilight, where joblessness, poverty, and daily police arbitrariness hold sway. And where for some of the radicalized youth, death is the only way out. 

The doubling up keeps on going: the global war of the major imperialist powers against the peripheral countries of the third world, and the “fourth world” of their own, more and more, an under proletariate where nihilistic terrorism, with the most obscurantist, apocalyptic forms will find an open field. 

With this concept of “we are all Frenchmen,” as we are Russians, and Lebanese, and Syrians, and Iraqis: we are with all the people who suffer, agonize, and strive to end this undeclared, double war that threatens to plunge humanity into a new Dark Age period.

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