On Tuesday, March 22nd, two attacks plunged Brussels into terror.
These attacks came four months after the shock wave that had shaken
Paris, fourteen months after the dramas of Charlie Hebdo and the
Hypercacher supermarket. Last year, we had already emphasized the need
to understand how the daily life of the City of Lights could, within a
few hours, be plunged into darkness. This descent to the roots of evil
directed us to two key factors. First, the policy of war carried out
in the Middle East for over a century. Secondly, the exclusion of
young people who come from poor neighbourhoods. What answers has the
French government brought to these problems ? Will there one day be
enough soldiers on the streets of Brussels to protect us from the next
Haggard silhouettes come back up the subway tunnel, making their
way in a cloud of smoke. They are escorted by the pale halos of the
wall lamps that make the steel rails shine and illuminate the exit. A
little girl is crying. This is one of the few signs of life in this
desolate scene of night and fog. It recalls by means of pain that
human madness traverses time to take other forms. A bomb has exploded
in the Brussels metro. A little girl is crying. An hour earlier, two
suicide bombers blew themselves up in the departure hall of the
airport of Zaventem. Usually, travellers file eagerly on the shiny
floor of the terminal toward the gates. On Tuesday, they walked in the
rubble with bloody faces. On Tuesday, Brussels stopped bustling for a
while. The still provisional toll : 31 dead and 300 wounded.
"It’s a horror," said President Francois Hollande four months earlier.
On Friday, November 13th, World Day of kindness, several terrorist
attacks were carried out simultaneously in the heart of Paris. The
toll was heavy there too. 129 dead and some 352 injured. The worst
attack ever committed in France. These attacks came a few months after
those that had decimated the Charlie Hebdo team and the Hypercacher
store. At the time, most of reactions were confined to the emotional
register. You had the choice to stand firm or be assertive about our
Western values faced with obscurantism. Some do not hesitate to
combine the two in an astonishing way by calling for a French Patriot
Act while holding demonstrations for freedom of expression.
But already in 2015, the attacks could not be reduced to these
dimensions alone. To prevent such a tragedy from happening again, it
was necessary to situate the attacks in their political, social and
historical context. That which our governments have not done.
France has been at war... for a long time !
"You cannot attack us and get nothing in return", said Amedy
Coulibaly, the author of the supermarket slaughter. Must we be blind
or deaf not to understand that the violence that befell Brussels and
Paris is related to the ongoing violence in the Middle East that has
lasted for over a century ? Since the British tapped black gold in the
southwest of Iran in 1855, this region has never known peace. Never.
In Europe, we have no oil, but we have bombers. Believing that the
wealth of the Middle East must necessarily belong to them, the West
has multiplied the wars, coups and many other atrocities.
are at war", Said Manuel Valls after the November attacks. The Prime
Minister repeated it the day after the Brussels attacks. "He’s right,
confirmed Bernard-Henri Levy on the set of I-Tele. Today it is total
war". We remember that the Parisian had set the stage for its
sensationalist after the killing of Bataclan : "This time, it’s war."
But the war did not start on November 13th, 2015. For a long time, it
was played near the borders of France and the Old Continent. As our
planes bombed villages in remote mountains, as children apparently
different from ours died under the weight of unjust sanctions, as
those who died by our weapons were discretely mentioned between two
reports on the latest iPhone, the war did not really exist for us.
Today it’s difficult not to see the blood. Impossible not to hear the
"We created Al-Qaeda"
France and Belgium have felt the war. The same one that millions of
innocent people have faced for so many years. One that is a most
favourable breeding ground for the murderous madness of terrorists.
What did the French government do after the attacks in January ? They
persisted in blocking any political solution in Syria, and continued
to drop bombs and sow the seeds of mayhem. Some wonder how Daesh could
have become, before our eyes, the monster it is. While the former
Alain Chouet had announced the logistical death of Al-Qaeda in 2002.
Daesh did not come out of nowhere. It is the result of errors of
Western policy in the Middle East. The West has always maintained
relations, which are at the least ambiguous, with Islamic terrorism.
"We created Al Qaeda,"
confessed Hillary Clinton in 2009. In fact, the origins of this
organization go back to the late 70s, in Afghanistan. At the time of
the Cold War, the United States applied the doctrine of Rollback
consisting of driving back and overthrowing governments deemed too
close to the Soviet Union. To destabilize Afghanistan, which had close
relations with Moscow, the CIA and its Saudi allies financed the
insurgency by Islamists, including bin Laden. When Soviet troops
crossed the Afghan border to rescue their ally government, Zibgniew
Brzezinski, adviser to the White House, welcomed the opportunity "to
offer to the Russians their Vietnam War." Brzezinski was not wrong.
The CIA and the Saudis increased their support for Islamist fighters.
And the Soviet Union was mired in a protracted conflict that
precipitated the fall of the Eastern Bloc.
The excited rebel
A few years later, with strong networks developed through the
Afghan war, Bin Laden created Al Qaeda to bite the hand that fed. The
turnaround took place during the Gulf War. After the invasion of
Kuwait by Saddam Hussein, Iraqi troops were stationed at the gates of
Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden proposed to he Saud to raise an army to defend
the kingdom. The monarchy refused the offer and called the US for
reinforcements. The head of Al-Qaeda could not stomach the insult,
watching with rage as GI’s defiled the holy lands of Islam to kill
other Muslims. Coming from the Saudi bourgeoisie, Bin Laden also
harboured a deep dislike for the feudal monarchy which monopolized all
the levers of the economy and that compromised itself through
benevolent relationships with Israel and the United States.
Al-Qaeda therefore began to attack Saudi interests, as well as the far
away enemy who supported this near enemy, the United States. In 1998,
Brzezinski, architect of the Afghan trap, wasinterrogated
by the Nouvel Observateur these attacks by terrorists that the CIA
had supported earlier. Triumphal response of an advisor to the White
House : "What is most important in terms of world history ? The
Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire ? Some stirred-up Muslims
or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War ?"
Three years later, some excited Islamists destroyed the World Trade
Al-Qaeda’s second life
After the attacks of September 11, George W. Bush attacked
Afghanistan, although the Taliban offered to try Bin Laden in an
Islamic court. Fourteen years later, Al-Qaeda and its now independent
subsidiary, Daesh, are more powerful than ever. Why is this ? First,
because the military campaigns of Bush, if they initially affected the
logistical capabilities of Al Qaeda, in the end created a general
chaos favourable to the resurgence of terrorist organizations. Then,
despite the trauma of the September 11 attacks, it is clear that the
United States and its allies have not given up on using terrorism as a
Thus, in Libya, NATO did not hesitate to rely on Al
Qaeda to topple Muammar Gaddafi. For historical reasons related to the
overthrow of King Idris, the authority of the Libyan leader was
challenged in the east. Although the region was recognized as a
sanctuary for extremists, NATO supported an insurrection. Asked about
a possible support of the Atlantic alliance to terrorist groups,
tried to sidestep the issue by acknowledging that there were Al
Qaeda members in the Libyan opposition, but that they fought in a
"personal capacity". It was in 2011, well before the attacks of
Brussels and Paris. And in the euphoria of the spring, the admiral’s
assertion did not raise many questions.
Today, it is difficult
to hide the reality that some desert preachers have long denounced.
Already reinvigorated in Iraq, Al-Qaeda has taken the bull by the
horns in Libya with the help of NATO. They hit the jackpot when the
United States, France and their local allies decided to overthrow the
Syrian government. The anti-Assad coalition has heavy responsibility
for the resurgence of terrorism. First, France and Belgium did nothing
to prevent their children from going to fill the ranks of armed
terrorists in Syria. This was the time when
Laurent Fabius said that Al-Nosra was doing a good job. The time
when Didier Reynders,
Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, predicted about the youth who
went to fight alongside the FSA : "Maybe we will build them a monument
as if they are heros of a revolution." The time when France went out
of it’s way
to prevent the Al-Nosra Front from being recognized as a terrorist
organization . The time when
François Hollande violated the Syrian embargo to supply weapons to
the rebels. "We started when we had the certainty that they would go
to safe hands" the French president confided. The response of a Middle
Eastern intelligence officer
quoted by reporter Patrick Cockburn : "[Daesh members] were always
very happy when sophisticated weapons were delivered to any anti-Assad
group, because they always managed to convince them to give them these
arms by threats, force, or money."
François Hollande could not
ignore this reality. In December 2013 again, an arms depot of the Free
Syrian Army was plundered by the Islamic Front. "It is certain that
these difficulties have not really encouraged us to go further",
commented a French diplomat. And yet, François Hollande continued with
the arms shipments. "But no "equipment that could be turned against
us" like explosives,"
said an anonymous to Le Monde . We see here in this military
precaution that France played with fire in Syria. Before receiving a
severe backlash in Paris.
Worse yet, the explosion of
terrorism is not the collateral damage of a noble struggle to
overthrow the Assad dictatorship and prevent the massacre of Syrians.
How else to explain that for the triumph of democracy in Syria, France
associated with one of the worst dictatorships in the region, Saudi
Arabia ? Which, toiling to defend the Syrian spring from its
fundamentalist swallows, at the same time repressed the Bahraini
uprising in a pool of blood. Can we also reasonably prevent the Syrian
army from committing massacres by supporting the "good work" of Al-Nosra ?
France has not supported a noble battle in Syria, but competed in one
more war to establish the Western domination of the Middle East. One
war too many. By delegating the dirty work to Daesh and Al Qaeda
mercenaries, France and its partners have totally lost control of the
The excited rebel, again
Indeed, Daesh is not a puppet of the Western powers. The terrorist
organization has its own agenda. NATO and its regional allies have
allowed it to thrive while it helped them to meet common goals, but
the situation spoiled when after taking Mosul, Daesh advanced its
troops towards Iraqi Kurdistan. Haven of profits for US
multinationals, the Autonomous Region remains the preserve of the US.
To counter the appetite of the Islamist ogre, Obama then put together
a coalition, joined by France and Belgium. But Western forces have
once again demonstrated their ambiguity when faced with terrorism.
Indeed, for nearly a year, France has been content to attack Daesh
only in Iraq. And with only a relative effectiveness. This restraint
was justified by the desire not to weaken the terrorist organization
in Syria so as not to strengthen Assad’s positions. In other words,
while Daesh massacred Syrians, it must be maintained. Now that it is
attacking Europe, it must be destroyed.
The attacks in January
and November bear the scars of the cynicism and unconsciousness of the
French government. Their obstinacy to overthrow Assad by interposed
terrorists helped to plunge Syria into chaos with the consequences
that we know of in France and Belgium. This obstinacy had suffered no
inflection after the attacks in January as many experts, both right
and left, insisted that dialogue with Assad was needed to escape the
Syrian quagmire. A need brought up to date after the November attacks.
But soon voices were raised in France. They made the handover to
neoconservatives from overseas where they refers without
discomfort to Al Qaeda as a more reliable partner than the Syrian
President. If the position of the hawks in Washington stumbled on
Bataclan candles, the French relay were content to recall that Assad
was responsible for all ills, even taking some liberties with the
Thus, on the set of BFM TV, facing the deputy Alain
Marsaud who advocates dialogue with Damascus, Caroline Fourest
forcefully recalled that Assad was a "butcher responsible for the
massacre of 250,000 Syrians". These figures are from the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights. Caroline Fourest and was careful to give
that detail. Because
according to the observatory of the 250,000 victims of the Syrian
conflict, the army and militias that support it paid the heaviest
price with 90,000 losses. Then come the 80,000 people counted in the
ranks of the rebellion. A rebellion dominated by extremists, where one
third of the fighters come from abroad. To these are added 70,000
civilian victims of the conflict. Affirming that Assad has killed
250,000 Syrians, is just a lie. A lie of those who have blocked any
political solution in Syria for five years.
And it continues.
Russian-US negotiations stumble on Assad’s fate. If Moscow suggests
letting the Syrians choose their president through elections,
Washington insists on cleaning the deck in Damascus. Argument of the
Secretary of State John Kerry ? Assad channels the frustration of
pseudo-jihadists who flock from all over to overthrow him. Remove
Assad, and terrorists will drop the weapons. A lie ? Effectively. It
was not Assad that brought Iraq back to the stone age, destroying the
structures of the secular state to the delight of extremists. It was
not Assad who opened the borders to takfirists and deployed training
camps for their recruits. It is not Assad who provided weapons and
money to al-Qaeda fighters. And yet, as the fool criticizes the raped
woman for wearing her skirt too short, Kerry asks for Assad to leave
in an attempt to counter terrorism.
The legitimacy of the
Syrian President certainly does not shine at the top of the Democratic
firmament. But in the current situation, a political solution to the
terrible war that has torn Syria for five years can not circumvent
Assad. "We must first restore the States and the central powers,
otherwise Daesh or other groups will prosper,"
commented in the columns of Vif / L’Express Fabrice Balanche,
visiting scholar at the Washington Institute."If we try to change
powers in societies that are not ready to change, either we replace
one dictator with another, or we cause chaos." From Afghanistan to
Syria via Iraq and Libya, all the latest attempts at regime change
confirm this analysis. Furthermore, we can question the legitimacy of
NATO to designate who should govern these countries.
Everyone congratulates the Saud
Dodging is an art !
Tinted with panache, the dodger magnifies the exercise of evasion.
Thus, petulance in all its splendour fascinates, as when Muhammad Ali,
caught in the ropes of a gala match,
escaped twenty-one assaults in less than ten seconds. But the
dodge is also synonymous with escape. Thus, it loses all its nobility
in cowardly desertion faced with responsibilities. As when the Belgian
Foreign Minister Didier Reynders was
interviewed by RTBF on our relations with Saudi Arabia, which
"plays an important role in supporting radicalism." Response of the
diplomatic chief : "Absolutely, hence the importance of dialogue."
In reality, Western chancelleries have closed embassies for less.
But Saudi Arabia is unavoidable. This is another aspect of the
mistakes of our policy in the Middle East, directly linked to the wave
of attacks in Paris and Brussels. Feudal monarchy spread all over the
world its reactionary view of Islam, Wahhabism, real ideological fuel
to terrorist groups like Daesh. Under the eyes of their Western
partners, the Saud provide weapons and money to the fanatics. And yet,
from Paris to Washington via Brussels, everyone congratulates the
How the United States chose their "Islamic Pope"
Of course, Saudi Arabia enjoys this remarkable ability of being
able to play yo-yo with the price of crude oil. True, the monarchy
generously injects its petrodollars in our economies. But the
relationship between the Saudis and the West goes much further than
that. It is part of history, based on common strategic interests. With
first of all the fight against Arab nationalism from the 50s. From
Egypt to Libya via Syria or Iraq, the Saudis saw monarchs fall one
after the other and were afraid of being next on the list. As for the
United States, they could not tolerate this progressive movement,
secular and increasingly popular with the masses, for the simple
reason that it intended to allow Arabs sovereign control over their
wealth. A heresy for multinationals fond of oil !
Arab nationalism, President Eisenhower and his advisers therefore
decided to bet on this reactionary state headed by a handful of old
Bedouins, Saudi Arabia. According to John Foster Dulles, King Saud was
"the only figure in the region with sufficient presence and potential
benefits to serve as a counterweight to Nasser." In his book
Thicker than Oil , Rachel Bronson explains how "Washington began
to explore the idea that the King Saud can develop a broad religious
current through his control of Mecca and Medina. Some in the
administration have begun to refer to the King as the Islamic "pope".
Without British support that helped the Saud to create their
kingdom and without the support of the United States that made the
feudal monarchy the Vatican of Islam, Wahhabism and its retrograde
tenets would likely remain confined to a few tents of goat farmers.
But erected as a "pope" of the Muslim world and swimming in
petrodollars, King Saud was able to fund universities, mosques,
publishing houses, television channels and other means that would
allow him to spread worldwide the reactionary vision of Wahhabism. To
carry out its business, Saudi Arabia will build on the Muslim World
League. The European headquarters of this organization shall be in
Brussels after King Baudouin has graciously offered the keys of the
eastern pavilion Fifty year anniversary.
War on the Shia !
The Saudis have almost got the better of Arab nationalism whose
last Iraqi, Syrian and Libyan pockets fall prey to chaos. But it does
not take long for the feudal monarchy to appoint a new peril. Just a
few years after the death of Nasser and the alignment of Egypt on
Western diplomacy, Iran toppled into the enemy camp with the 1979
Islamic revolution. The Shiite threat would provide two significant
benefits to Saud. Internally, it still allowed to relegate to the rank
of sub-questions the legitimacy of the feudal monarchy.
Internationally, the Shiite threat would again meet Saudi Arabia and
the West in a common struggle. A fight for which the Saudis were not
going to hesitate to mobilize the worst terrorists on sectarian and
ideological bases without being secretive with its Western partners.
In 2007, Prince Bandar, former head of Saudi intelligence,
explained to the Council on Foreign Relations , a prestigious
think tank bringing together the cream of US policy, how it was
working to manipulate the fanatics : "We created this movement and we
can control it. It’s not that we do not want the Salafis to throw
bombs ; it all depends on who they throw them at - Hezbollah, Moqtada
al-Sadr, Iran and the Syrians if they continue to work with Hezbollah
and Iran." Prince Bandar was completely wrong. He could not control
this movement and the Salafists have not dropped bombs only on
In March 2014, a few months before the taking of
Mosul by Daesh, Prince Bandar was quietly dismissed. An eviction that
reminds of that of Prince Turki, head of Saudi intelligence a week
before the attacks on the World Trade Center.
According to Alain Chouet, former head of the DGSE, Saudi Arabia,
like many other intelligence services felt that something was up. The
Turki prince had maintained close relations with Bin Laden. So he had
to step aside to avoid endangering Saudi Arabia. In fact, after the
attacks of September 11, although most terrorists were of Saudi
origin, the monarchy was not at all worried by Bush.
For a few oil dollars more
Saudi Arabia’s support for terrorism has long been an open secret.
But it has since been publicly acknowledged, including by the
Vice President Joe Biden and former general of the US armed
Wesley Clark. After the attacks of January 2015 everyone knew that
Saudi Arabia was sponsoring terrorism. But what did the French
government do after the ceremony of homage to Charlie Hedbo ? Hollande
pointed to the lair of the devil, the Gulf Cooperation Council which
collects together the Sunni oil kingdoms.
"Never had a Western
head of state participated as guest of honour at a special summit of
remarked Liberation .Had the French president met the principal
sponsors of terrorism to bang his fist on the table ? Not really.
After the killings of Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hypercacher
François Hollande left to negotiate lucrative arms contracts with
Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Before attacking Yemen, the Saudis were
already among the largest arms importers. Its main supplier, the
European Union, was not visibly worried about knowing what these
peaceful Saudis would do with so many weapons. In 2015, while the
fanatics amused themselves with anti-tank missiles to Syria, Saudi
Arabia even rose to the top of list of arms importers. Its main
supplier ? France. Add that a French-Saudi Committee should soon be
creating new agreements. "The important thing is this perspective,
this dynamic, this movement " commented a few months ago the Prime
Minister Manuel Valls. In Belgium, the delivery of arms to Saudi
Arabia also raised some questions.
Response of Paul Magnette , President of the Walloon Region, "We
are only a small seller". Small sales, big consequences. It’s the
What we do and what we are
"The Islamic State do not attack us for what we do but for what we
are. A free, secular, and fun-loving country,"
analyzed Caroline Fourest a few days after the attacks of November
13th. Does it remind you of anything ? A few days after the September
11 attacks, the neoconservative President George W. Bush declared
before Congress : "Why do they hate us ? They hate what they see in
this room : a democratically elected government. Their leaders are
self-appointed. They hate our freedoms : our freedom of religion, our
freedom of speech, our right to vote, to come together and express our
disagreements.(...) These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but
to disrupt and destroy a way of life."
The attacks, whether
perpetrated in New York or Paris, simply oppose Good to Evil. On one
hand, us, the nice, free, secular and bon vivant Westerners. On the
other, them, the Islamist villains, led by blind hatred. Here we find
the rhetoric of the clash of civilizations, often attributed to Samuel
Huntington, but developed much earlier by the historian Bernard Lewis.
In 1956, when Nasser was trying to get rid of colonial rule by
nationalizing the Suez Canal, Lewis analyzed this highly political and
economic conflict in these terms : "The current resentment of Middle
Eastern peoples are better understood when we realizes they result,
not from conflict between states or nations, but the clash between two
civilizations." For Lewis, Islam "has always looked for support to
fight his enemy : Western democracy. He initially supported the Axis
powers (Hitler, Mussolini and fascist Japan) against the Allies and
the Communists against the United States : which led to two
So what if, as we have seen, Nasser defended a
secular nationalism against which the United States supported the
reactionary Islamism of Saud. Forget also that the Egyptian President
turned to the Soviet Union after the very Western World Bank had
refused him the necessary funds for the construction of the Aswan Dam.
The theory of the Orientalist does not bother with objective elements.
As Alain Gresh remarked , Lewis made a "strange historian, whose
summaries ignore the hard facts, the oil, the exile of the
Palestinians, and Western interventions". And the journalist added :
"What is striking in this analysis is its a-historical character and
its willingness to clear all Western policies in the region (they hate
us, not because of what we do, but because of who we are)."
Caroline Fourest therefore shares the same analytical framework as the
theoretician of the Clash of Civilizations. The war in Syria, the
collusion of France with terrorist movements, our unwavering support
to Saudi Arabia and the coalition against Daesh are totally absent
from his radar. Note also that Fourest, invited on all television
shows and presented as a progressive, gives us the thesis of a close
adviser of the most radical neo-conservatives, both the US and Israel.
Indeed, Lewis assisted Benjamin Netanyahu when the latter held the
post of Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. In 1998, Lewis also
signed, with the founding members of the Project for a New American
Century, an open letter calling on Clinton to militarily overthrow
Saddam Hussein. Finally, after the September 11 attacks, as they were
about to plunge the Middle East into chaos, the Washington hawks
greeted the analysis of their valuable advisor. "I am firmly convinced
that with men like Bernard Lewis, one of the people who has best
studied this part of the world, the firm and strong response of the US
to terror and threats contribute greatly to calming things in this
part of the world ",
declared in 2001 Dick Cheney , then vice president of the United
States. A year later, the former deputy secretary of defence,
Paul Wolfowitz, went further : "Bernard has taught us to
understand the important and complex history of the Middle East and
used it to guide us in building a better world for future
Islam or Islamism ?
The clash of civilizations theory is not fond of facts. It will
therefore develop an image of Islam removed from time and space.
Presented as a monolithic bloc, the Muslim religion carries in itself
the seeds of terrorism. But "no amalgams", is repeated from the left,
as from the right. Some, more or less anxious not to stigmatize all
Muslims, will thus distinguish between Islam and Islamism. But the
definition of that concept is still unclear. Near to Caroline Fourest,
Mohamed Siffaoui, the journalist who infiltrated an Al Qaeda cell,
proposed in 2004 : "Islam is a religion, Islam is an ideology.[...] A
fascist ideology that leaves nothing to envy to Nazism, for example."
But where to draw the line between ideology and religion ?
"Mohamed Siffaoui quietly economises the delicate analysis of this
changing frontier, reporting complex and various factors - religious,
but also cultural, political and social - preferring to bludgeon, by
way of demonstration, a dichotomy that has the merit of simplicity :
one who opposes his own vision of Islam to all who do not share it,
whether they are declared opponents or supporters of terrorism,"
replies Thomas Deltombe in
Imaginary Islam , a remarkable study of media construction of
Islamophobia in France.
As much as it would be farfetched to
throw in one bag the terrorist Anders Briévik, the Christian Democrat
Angela Merkel and the revolutionaries of liberation theology, Islamism
has become a catch-all concept, which in the collective imagination,
blithely confuses halal canteens, the veil and terrorist attacks. With
the backdrop of the terrible threat of Islamization of our Western
societies. This scarecrow is waved by the far right. But experts like
Lewis and Fourest have the responsibility of stuffing this scarecrow.
The first predicted that "Europe could be Islamic by the end of
the 21st century." The second created an
incredible tribunal in the Wall Street Journal, where she
advocates slightly decreasing our democratic freedoms to protect us
from barbarian invasion.
If it was initially to distinguish
Islam from its political use, Islamism is also essentialised to be
reduced to a monolithic ideology synonymous with fanaticism and even
terrorism. Yet, in
Jihad made in USA , Mohamed Hassan distinguishes five Islamist
currents. It’s all set in different historical and political contexts,
with sometimes conflicting interests : 1. traditionalists who, between
the 19th and 20th centuries have used religion to fight colonialism in
the image of Emir Abdelkader in Algeria or Omar al-Mukhtar in Libya.
2. reactionary Saudi Arabia, which has built Islamic "popes" with the
help of the United States. 3. the Muslim Brotherhood, current major
policy of Islamization of the Arab countries, but which has passed
through different phases throughout history and still today has
various trends. 4. Islamo-nationalists who, from Lebanese Hezbollah to
Palestinian Hamas, are engaged in a struggle for national liberation.
5. the so-called "jihadists" who have distanced themselves from the
Muslim Brotherhood in favour of armed struggle.
An intellectual scam
No more than with concrete facts, the theory of the clash of
civilizations does not bother with nuances. It does not explain the
events it claims to analyze. If France was attacked for what it is and
not for what it does, especially in Syria, how to explain that
Switzerland, which shares similar values, has not suffered attacks ?
Should we also conclude that for Caroline Fourest, Russia, victim of
the explosion of the A321 flight, is in the image of France, a country
"free, secular and fun-loving" ?
So goes the theory of clash
of civilizations, proceeding by extreme amalgams and abusive
generalizations, as noted researcher and writerRoland
De Bodt."With few exceptions related to complete isolation, any
cultural form is not simple ; they are always and all composed by
assembling disparate cultural elements.[...] The French culture
crystallizes not only the cultural contributions of Greek traditions,
Celtic and Latin, but also - and to an equally significant and active
extent - the cultural contributions of Jewish, Persian, Turkish,
Slavic, African, Berber and Arab traditions, etc. (...) Almost no
"original" cultural expression is strictly an "original" cultural
form ; all human cultures are artificially built forms and
expressions, that is to say, necessarily hybrid, cross, stratified,
borrowed, diverted, appropriated, mixed... "
reduce to a single dimension of complex concepts, the theory of the
clash of civilizations ignores the objective of building our cultures.
Worse, by analyzing our societies through only a religious prism and
thus one that is totally biased, it sits with all its lies on the
concept of free will. "The shock of civilizations theory posits that
belonging to a religion predetermines unilaterally for believers, all
moral, civil and political convictions, all actions, all the decisions
they will face, says Roland De Bodt. Thus, it recognizes no individual
freedom to the followers of different religions. In this, the theory
of the clash of civilizations revives the criminal designs of
totalitarianisms of the twentieth century. It will be understood that
this new model of explanation of the world remains without verifiable
proof. Regarded scientifically, it has no value : the main theses of
the authors are founded by confusion between cultures and religions by
prejudice against different people of the world, their identities and
their cultures, by imputing motives - often disparaging - towards the
affected communities and their representatives."
They, are us
The blurry theory of the clash of civilizations would therefore
like to make us believe that we nice Westerners, are attacked by the
barbarian villains. If the reasoning of the concept plays with
concrete facts, it is to mask a harsh reality : they, are us. From the
Kouachi brothers to the El Bakraoui brothers through to Salah Abdeslam
or Amedy Coulibaly, it is clear that the terrorists who perpetrated
the attacks in France and Belgium are not aliens fallen from heaven
nor even barbarians from distant lands. These are our children, they
grew up with us and show us clearly the weakness of a system. How many
young people who have found their place in society and a promising
future in a peaceful world would want to put an explosive belt around
their waist ? Here, the question does not arise.
40% unemployment among the young people of Molenbeek. Here, the
social elevator is not working, it is in free fall. Here, the number
of people dependent on social assistance has reached a
historic summit . Just like the
number of billionaires. Here, schools no longer train enlightened
minds which could shatter obscurantist sermons. Here, schools sort,
reproduce social inequalities and accustom children to antidepressants
. Here, secularism does not put citizens on an equal footing,
regardless of their religious affiliation. Here, we are not happy with
a secular France or Belgium, we want French and Belgian serfs. Those
who do not follow will be second-class citizens. Here, whether you
wear the veil or not,
you will not have the same rights .Here, one is reluctant to
welcome families fleeing the chaos we have sown. Here the world is
violent. And this violence is hitting us back in the face. At the
terrace of a restaurant in Paris. In a subway station in Brussels.
The military-industrial complex, wanting more
They, are us. The scam of the clash of civilizations would have us
believe otherwise. We do not ask questions, we are not really looking
for those responsible. This is not the only use of this flawed theory.
Since civilizations clashed, the order books of arms dealers have been
overflowing. For over forty years, they were fed by the Cold War and
the Soviet threat. When the Eastern bloc collapsed in 1991, one would
have thought that the production lines would have slowed down the
pace. It could even be hoped that they would stop. After all, the
enemy was defeated. And George Bush promised us a bright future in his
speech on the State of the Union in 1992 : "A world once divided into
two armed camps now recognizes the pre-eminence of a single
superpower : the United States. And considers it without fear. Because
the world gives us the power - and the world is right. It trusts us to
be fair and measured, to be on the side of respect. It trusts us to do
what is right."
Fair and measured. Really ? "Throughout the
Cold War, the share of power available to the White House without
having to account for it has grown, recalls British
historian Perry Anderson .Between the era of Truman and that of
Reagan, Presidency staff have multiplied by ten. Members of the
National Security Council today - more than two hundred people - are
nearly four times as many as in the time of Nixon, Carter and even
Bush Senior. The CIA, which has grown exponentially since its
inception in 1949 and whose budget has increased more than tenfold
since the time of Kennedy - four billion dollars in 1963 and
forty-four in 2005, in constant dollars - is in fact a private army at
the disposal of the President and the size of which remains a secret."
The disappearance of the Soviet enemy therefore has not
dampened the arms race. The ogre always wanted more. In his farewell
speech in 1961, President Eisenhower had already warned against the
unjustifiable influence of the military-industrial complex. Since
then, the ogre has continued to grow. And no one seems prepared to
stop it. "The Cold War ended with a complete triumph of the United
States, says Perry Anderson. But the empire created to win the war has
not disappeared to return to blend into the liberal ecumene of the
ideological vision it was released from. The institutions and
achievements, ideologies and reflexes inherited from the fight against
communism were a massive historical complex with its own dynamics,
which had no need of the Soviet threat to keep going. Special forces
in over one hundred countries around the world, a larger military
budget than all other great powers combined, infiltration devices,
sprawling espionage and surveillance, a specialized staff for national
security, and last but not least a set of theorists and analysts whose
sole mission was to review, redefine, develop, update the objectives
of grand strategy - how to imagine drawing a line under it all and
return to the simple principles of 1945 ?"
It was therefore
necessary to justify the ever increasing costs of the
military-industrial complex, which,
as highlighted Diana Johnstone , needs a constant ideological
justification to ensure its domination : "The task is to replace the"
communist threat "in distress weighs heavily on the "think tanks" in
Washington, privately funded policy institutes that proliferated in
the 70s.(...) The military-industrial complex has no proper direction,
no philosophy, no moral or ideological value. It is simply there as a
monster that desperately needs to be tamed and dismantled by a measure
of global public safety. But instead of looking for ways to get rid of
it, the organic intellectuals of the system invented tasks for it."
That’s where our neoconservatives whose overheated brains gave
birth to the theory of the clash of civilizations, enter in. Aptly,
Roland De Bodt perceives an extensive advertising campaign in favour
of the military-industrial complex. " Infinitely, advertising
reconfigures cultural representations that haunt our minds. It
corrupts the forms of individual reasoning. It conforms collective
cultural needs to the needs of technological development - especially
economic development - of the industries in whose services it
operates. (...) In this sense, the clash of civilizations is not the
unveiling of an inviolable law of the universe, or the natural product
of the accumulated history of peoples, nor the result of proven
scientific research ; the clash of civilizations has been, since the
end of World War II, the fulfilment of the most advanced thinking and
advertising action in the world."
The solution, is us !
As recent comments on the Brussels attacks have again demonstrated
to us, a fundamental question is all too rarely asked when such
attacks occur : why ? If by chance, some are trying to respond on TV
or at a press conference, the theory of the clash of civilizations has
emerged again. The wicked on one side, the good guys on the other. And
no objective analysis. They remain steeped in emotion. The shock of
civilizations theory plays on our fears to make us accept the war
against terrorism without ever bringing its effectiveness into
question. And because this conflict whose end is hard to perceive is
primarily intended to boost ever more astronomical spending in the
military-industrial complex. When that money could be used for other
purposes. In Belgium, for example, the government has multiplied trial
balloons to cut Social Security. It also plans to release fifteen
billion over forty years to buy new fighter jets. To make war, money
is not lacking. While these wars are precisely the origin of the
attacks in Paris and Brussels. "It is very easy to understand the
causes, because the attacks say it very clearly, but we refuse to
listen, says Jacques Baud , a former officer of the Swiss intelligence
services. The causes are the bombardments the western coalition made
in Iraq and Syria. However, no expert mentions this. (...) After the
attacks in Madrid in 2004, the new government decided to withdraw from
the coalition. Spain is completely out of the terrorist threat and
they have had no further attacks since. Their troops in Iraq were even
protected by Iraqi militias until they left the territory."
And yet, our leaders always promise us more war. It is in a Belgium
still in national mourning that Prime Minister Charles Michel
announced the resumption of the mission of their F-16 against the
Islamic State in Iraq, with a possible extension to Syria. War, always
war. "A total, global war that is somehow ruthless "in the words of
Manuel Valls, who,
to the microphone of the BBC , planned to maintain the state of
emergency for thirty years if necessary. Having hit rock bottom, our
governments invite us to widen it further. Until when ? Nobody could
want to lose a loved one in an attack. Yet no one is immune. The
former head of the anti-terrorism department of State Security, André
Jacob, recognized on the platform RTL-TVI, hours after the bombings
Brussels : "We must learn to live with the risk of this kind
explosions. The multitude of potential jihadists is such that it is
impossible to control everyone. Unfortunately, it is said, we might be
set for a decade of coexistence with this terrorist threat." It is
therefore necessary to recognize objectively and beyond any
ideological divide that war against terrorism launched almost fifteen
years ago is conspicuous by its inefficiency. Yet our leaders intend
to continue on the same path, the path that has created the conditions
for the emergence of terrorism. Chaos in the Middle East, and
exclusion in all its forms in Europe.
The battle might seem to
be already lost. But that’s to forget that we have the power to change
things. Indeed, when the leaders of NATO trigger a war, they strive to
present all sorts of pretexts. When our governments dismantle Social
Security, they toil to convince us that there is no alternative. And
to justify the expense of the military industrial complex, politicians
are playing on our fears. If it does not look it at first glance,
there is finally some good news. All these efforts to convince public
opinion in fact proves that our leaders can not act as they wish,
without taking our opinion into account. Instead of running into the
wall, we can lead the way. It’s up to us to mobilize to 1. demand real
debates on the origins of terrorism, 2. prevent wars in favour of
political solutions, 3. bailout education budgets at the expense of
the military industrial complex and 4. claim a bigger share of the
world’s riches to offer prospects more radiant than austerity.
"Struggle and rebellion always involve a certain amount of hope,
whereas despair is silent" wrote Baudelaire. If one does not want to
indefinitely multiply the minutes of silence for the victims of
terrorism, it is time to be heard.