Friday, 9 January 2015

Reflections on the Paris Attacks of January 2015.

The tactic behind the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo journalists is about provoking retaliation or propaganda against Muslims as the 'enemy within'. However, to draw attention to that and the spectre of the French far-right only without mentioning the ideology of the terrorists is craven.

As with the Toulouse terror attacks of 2012 by Merah, these attacks are connected to ideology of violent Al Qaida style radicalism. It incorporates ideas associated with the far right and neo-Nazism, especially hatred of Jews. The taking of hostages in kosher supermarket in a second terror attack in East Paris confirmed that.

The murder of journalists and cartoonists with Kalashnikovs is intended to demonstrate that they do not care about what they would regard as mere freedom of speech from rich and clever leftist 'gaulois' of the 1968 generation who they detest far more than the far-right French nationalists.

By attacking and murdering French anti-clerical radicals, the tactic is to completely alienate French public opinion from Muslims who they hope would be seen as all the more of a threat to the values of a secular republic than if they had tried to kill members of the Front National.

The tactic is all about polarising attitudes they could reveal the 'true face' of France as a 'Muslim hating' nation and so bring on the ultimate clash between the evil French imperialist state and the ummah. The tactic is designed to serve the larger cosmic struggle between Islamist good and secular atheist evil.

France is quite simply detested by Islamist radicals who draw attention to the colonisation of North Africa and the secular civilising mission which goes back to the nineteenth century. With the decline of secular leftist ideologies of anti-colonialism, Islamism has taken its place.

This has been given added impetus by the support of French governments for dictatorships in North Africa, especially in Algeria.( connected to 'stability' and securing resources ). That the dictatorship remains a secular one is particular cause for resentment and is seen as completely the sole fault of France.

The French far-right feeds off the self-censorship of the left, at least that part of it which was the hard-left in the past and has shifted towards seeing all criticism of Islam as 'racism'. The very word 'Islamophobia' is so vague in this respect that has made for more anger and confusion than clarity.

One reason for that is the pathetic attempt by 'anti-imperialists' to regenerate dying 'anti-establishment' creeds within the west by playing on the youthful discontent of a certain number of Muslims in the west and in Muslim lands as evidence of a 'systemic challenge' to western 'hegemony'.

Given that the condition of unemployment among young Muslim men is common both under corrupt regimes in the Maghreb and in the suburbs of French cities, it is blamed wholly on a French imposed system. Migration became a sort of direct action against the 'system'.

With the government of President Hollande basing its foreign policy in the Maghreb since 2011 on the idea of renewing France's mission to bring 'promote democracy' to the Arab world and so help buy off discontent from within 'the community', the danger is France could be loathed even more.

The botched 2011 intervention in Libya failed to secure democracy because it had little chance while the upsurge of jihadism across sub-Saharan Africa has been given a boost by the collapse of this state and the flooding of arms and fighters across the borders of states.

Within sub-Saharan Africa ( Niger, Mali, Chad, northern Nigeria ) a combination of global heating, drought and resource conflicts in the lands France values for its supplies of oil and minerals could mean France resorting to what is seen as a form of 'cowardly' drone warfare in which civilians get killed.

France is greedy for resources and arms deals to bolster its ailing rentier economy. In doing so it is putting itself in the position of a post-colonial power that apologises for its guilt in the past ( in 2012 Hollande apologised for French excesses in Algeria in the war of independence ) and yet still covets resources.

Given that radical Islamism feeds off the aggrieved sense the western powers are 'hypocritical', this sort of universalism espoused by France is placing itself in a very difficult position. Its craven alliance with Qatar, based on gas and arms deals, places it on side with a power funding jihadi-Islamists.

France needs to wean itself off depending upon resources from countries that are deeply dysfunctional and which make the terror threat worse.If not it is going to remain in the position of being caught up in a 'long war' in which it has 'responsibilities' to the 'Muslim World' but no means to affect the outcome.

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