‘Islam – this is the enemy!’
Doesn’t this remind you of something? [Léon] Gambetta, the man who in 1870 left a besieged Paris in a hot-air balloon to organize resistance from the provinces declared in 1877 a war on clericalism “Le cléricalisme, voila l’ennemi!”. Gambetta subverted the catch cry (a ‘moral order’) of the then dominant reactionary forces who sought to embed Catholicism in the nascent Third Republic. Political men of this stamp are no longer with us. What a shame!
Yes, today, Islam is assuredly the enemy. But the question arises, is it the sole enemy?
1991: The first Iraq war, or rather, war against Iraq, a country on the road to significant economic development – Arab, but secular. A formidable coalition organized by Washington with ‘the West’ (as we say) on board and also the grand democracies of Saudi Arabia and other fabulously wealthy and Sunni principalities of the Persian Gulf. France under the socialist and humanist [François] Mitterand rallies to the call.
Iraq is to be taken back to the Stone Age, proclaims the Protestant and grand democrat James Baker in June of that year. The Stone Age for a country heir to one of the most ancient civilizations. 500,000 Iraqi children dead? The price to pay, according to Madeleine Albright in 1995.
2002: NATO, under US direction, charges into Afghanistan to unleash a war of ten years and still counting. France under [Jacques] Chirac doesn’t rush to join in. Well, not immediately, but a little later, yes, in particular with [Nicolas] Sarkozy. The Soviets came a cropper there. NATO will fare little better.
2003: The second Iraq war with ‘the democracies’ rallied under the star-spangled banner to finally usher Iraq into that paradise that is Western democracy. A triumph, as one well knows.
The France of Chirac and [Dominique de] Villepin, refuses to join the crowd. The ‘third’ world and some non-aligned countries voice their admiration. The ‘weapons of mass destruction’ lie propagated by Washington and London is exposed. With a group determined to prove the point, we take ourselves to Iraq. On my return, then Defense Minister, Mme Alliot Marie, has sent to me via her Cabinet Secretary a threatening letter to recall me to my duty to keep politically neutral. Is it possible that she had different views to that of the President on this subject?
2010: President Sarkozy, London and Paris unite to spread chaos in Libya and facilitate the pornographic assassination of President Qaddafi. A lovely military operation subcontracted by Washington to its two vassals, to which it provides logistic support as purveyor of arms and munitions. We know well all the consequences.
But that is insufficient. Another arena of chaos is brewing.
2012: After the warmonger (the charming ‘va-t-en guerre’ in French) Sarkozy, here is [François] Hollande and his Minister of Foreign Affairs, [Laurent] Fabius, obsessed with engineering the deposition of a legitimate head of state and a war against a member state of the UN.
Syria, in its turn, is in chaos, attacked by Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and some other entities evidently christened as a ‘democratic opposition’. In the context of a deceitful media war – outrageous demonization – the Syrian army fights and resists, soon aided by Iran and Shiite Hezbollah forces and Russia. Washington takes a step back, at least publically, and the France of Hollande and Fabius is made to look ridiculous.
Thus we have the scenario of a neatly organized chaos in the Near- and Middle East. Conform to the American strategy built on the dollar and on a defense capability without peer, rooted in a dominating doctrine and ideology. Al Qaeda, Daesh – these are its children nourished by the petrodollars of Qatar and Saudi Arabia and armed by them as proxies for Washington. And what in all this is the role played by Israel? One both direct and indirect.
France, zealously subservient, commits itself to Atlanticism on all fronts. A France weak or weakened, a France secular as well, makes an ideal target for Islamism, the dark face of Islam, that has re-surfaced, courtesy of the strategy of chaos. Islamism reemerges among populations humiliated, showered by a hail of bombs, taken back to the Stone Age, with a devastated economy and a ‘development’ inevitably going backwards, targets of a war of religion, subject on a daily basis to murderous attacks that have long stopped evoking any compassion in the larger world.
These people have no other reference point left than religion and the young gravitate towards it with violence and fanaticism, not to say a hatred borne by people who have no other perspective, excluded as they are from the promises of a decent life. This is no excuse but it offers a background explanation.
Thus, yes, Islamism, here is the enemy! It’s there, arisen out of chaos, dangerous, murderous, and of course we have no other choice than to fight it with determination with all the arms we possess to pursue it, and with a will clearly demonstrated.
But I can’t prevent myself from thinking that Atlanticism for us French is also the enemy, the evil that has given free rein to the other evil. Whose politics, based on a clear strategy and deliberately chosen, is that of chaos. A strategy in which, no matter the parliamentary majority of the moment, France became an accomplice even in Europe, contributing to the breakup of Yugoslavia or the civil war in Ukraine, ignoring the Russian standpoint on these questions.
Sowing the wind, the Atlanticism of our leaders, whether from conviction or of convenience, today harvests the tempest on the soil of France.
To the politicians, men and women, and to all those who say that war is something too serious to be left to the military, it is appropriate to reply that it is the consequence of the incapacity of politicians to foresee it. The responsibility of deliberating on something so serious must be assigned to the French people, to the country consulted by referendum and not to a parliament whose members are too often limited to a short term perspective, and who must submit to a party discipline incompatible with a choice according to one’s conscience.
This article was published at Comité Valmy, 16 November, and translated by Evan Jones.