Translated from French by Tom Winter, November 15, 2015
The unprecedented wave of attacks that struck Paris last night, and which left, on first accounting, at least 127 dead, is the direct consequence of the foreign policy conducted by France in Syria, a policy less concerned over the salafist terrorism than it is about the destruction of the country and the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad.
If several authors of the carnage in the Bataclan concert hall were saying, according to witnesses: “It’s Holland’s fault , it is the fault of your President, he did not have to intervene in Syria,” we must consider what was the reality of French politicy in this country since the conflict began in 2011.
The French Republic, as president François Hollande revealed in the interview with journalist Xavier Panon, has been supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels since 2012. Through channels of the DGSE, 20mm cannons, machine guns, rocket launchers, and anti-tank missiles were delivered to the “moderate” rebels, in violation of the arms embargo put in place by the European Union in the summer of 2011.
An advisor in the Elysée recalled, according to Panon:
“Yes indeed, we are furnishing what they need, but within the limits of our means and in accordance with our evaluation of the situation. Under cover, you can’t act except on a small scale, with limited means, limited objectives.”
France has also put special forces on the ground aimed at the training and operational support of the combattants.
In March 2012, 13 French officers got captured by the Syrian Army when the Islamic Caliphate was relaunched in the Baba Amr quarter at Homs by the Al-Farsouq brigade and the Al-Waleed brigade, which would soon leave the FSA to join ranks with the Islamic State.
President Hollande, quoted in Le Monde confided in August 2014:
“We can’t let up on our support that we have been granting these rebels who are the only ones sharing the democratic spirit.”
Since the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has declared more than once, that there aren’t any “moderate” rebels, one might inquire as to the actual nature of the rebel groups sustained and armed by the French state since 2012.
The Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared on this subject that the Al-Nosra front (Syrian branch of Al-Qaida), “was doing a good job.” On the other hand, Syrian relatives of people killed by Syrian rebels entered suit at the tribunal of Paris against Fabius, seeking symbolic reparations for the “personal failings committed by the minister of foreign affairs Laurent Fabius”
And the US Defense Intelligence Agency in a 2012 report had already determined that the help for “moderate” rebels actually benefitted the Islamic State: According to the former agency director, General Flynn, the indirect help of the US and the western coalition to the Islamic State was “an intentional decision.” In an earlier article on the troubled role of the western coalition in Iraq and Syria, I laid out the factually different elements that demonstrated the support and operational cooperation of Turkey, the US, and Israel with different jihadist groups [Western sponsors of the Islamic State].
These different elements show clearly enough that the western coalition, France included, has conducted a policy of support for various jihadist groups in their goal of overturning president Bashar al-Assad, under the pretense of that fiction of bringing help to the mythical “moderate” rebels.
The recent Russian intervention put a spotlight on the true nature of the pretend rebel groups when it brought about a chain of complaints and protestations from the western capitals that the strikes were hurting rebels supported by the West [(!) — Tr.] However, the groups hit by Russian aircraft belong to the Army of Conquest — a collection including the Al-Nosra Front (Syrian branch of Al Qaeda) and such Islamist groups as Ahrar al-Sham.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the support of the French executive to jihadist groups in Syria will get exposed in the light of this unprecedented wave of attacks, which nevertheless constitutes its logical and predictable conclusion. The chaos Syria has been reduced to, and the proliferation of jihadist groups are indeed the direct result of the French foreign policy in the Middle East.
Whereas when the earlier attacks in January the executive posited the internet as favoring “autoradicalization” of terrorists, and presented them in falsifying fashion as “lone wolves,” scapegoats for the lapses and incompetence of French Intel and Security services, and introduced devises for mass surveillance of citizens, this policy was mainly aimed at individual freedoms, and has shown its futility today. It is however unlikely that the heads of security services, including the interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve – who have failed yet again – will be held accountable.
The government and the political class are hiding once again behind emotion and an insistence on “national unity.” For all that, the some ones who today declare a state of emergency and the reestablishment of control of the borders were barely just a few weeks back committing our participation in the welcoming of Syrian immigrants, in the name of humanitarian principles, and this despite the reservations of EUROJUST [agency for European judicial coordination], which affirmed that the influx included close connections with terror organizations in Syria.
“It is an alarming situation because we see plainly that the smuggling is destined to finance terrorism and that the migration is often being used for the infiltration of members of the Islamic State.”
If, as president François Hollande says, France is “at war” today, then France essentially owes it to the incompetences of the executive and to the criminal incoherence of French foreign policy that has sustained and armed the jihadists who are plunging Syria into chaos …
Contributing editor and volunteer translator Tom Winter, retired Classics professor, monitors the news in 6 languages, and sometimes cannot help writing satire, since that’s what today’s news mostly deserves