Point: After the announcement of the attacks of November 13, you wrote on twitter: “It was the [Western] Right and Left who sowed the war against political Islam and we are now reaping blowback from that war against political Islam. “Do not you feel like you are trying the victim rather than the culprit?
Michel Onfray. The job of the journalist is to comment on what happens, like that of the philosopher, to put into perspective what are the conditions that made possible what happens. The Head of State spoke of “act of war”. The Republicans and the Socialist Party too. Everyone seems to agree that this is finally an act of war. It’s a step forward! Until recently, people were still talking of acts of whack, people with heavy psychiatric history, solitary wolves. When it comes to war, we must think. TV journalism thinks that war is the spectacle of terror and simply describes what everyone sees on the screen. The philosopher wonders where it comes from. What was declared? When ? What for ? Who are the belligerents? What are their reasons? The short term journalist who lives with emotion must convert into the long-term philosopher who is capable of reflection. What happened Friday, November 13 is certainly an act of war, but it responds to other acts of war whose initial point was the decision to destroy Saddam Hussein’s Iraq by the Bush clan and its allies ago a quarter of a century. France is one of those allies from the beginning, Chirac joining the Western coalition that declared war on Muslim countries…Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, Libya … These countries did not threaten us before we refused their sovereignty and their right to have the regime of their choice. France should not intend to be the world’s policeman and intervene according to its whim in a particular country to ban the choices he makes.
To blame the French State, which is engaged militarily in Syria, is this not a way to clear the terrorists?
MO No. This is belying what it means to wage war on an entire people, that of the global Muslim community, the umma. Is France so naive to the point that she imagines we can declare war on the Muslim countries without them fighting back? The first attacker was Western, I refer you to the story, not the emotion. It is even identifiable: it is George Bush who invents hypothetical weapons of mass destruction to attack Iraq in 2003. The situation in which we are accordingly comes from a long causal chain that it is as the philosopher describes. The terrorist act itself is the last link in this chain.
Do you really consider terrorists as militants of political Islam?
MO Like what if not? As the famous lone wolves, unbalanced inevitable, essential to patients in the psychiatric history who all shout slogans to radical Islam at the time of their crimes, but which obviously have nothing to do with Islam? All are on file as belonging to the radical Islamic movement, but he would not act of political Islam? Such a denial would mean guilty blindness dangerously guilty. This is of the radical political fringe and the Salafist Islam. Start by naming protagonists correctly.
Their radicalization stems from a rational choice?
MO Of course. It is a war waged by political Islam with as much intelligence as the West leads its own, but with fewer weapons or other weapons than ours – knives and not aircraft carriers, the Kalashnikovs for 500 euros instead of stealth aircraft costing millions of dollars. They have their theologians, their ideologues and their strategists, their tacticians, their computer, their bankers, their military stewards. They also have their soldiers, hardened and determined, invisible but present on the planet. Several thousand, say, in France. They have plans. They also have a view of history, that we are incapable of having all our trivial materialism which follows the election tricks, the money mafia, economic cynicism, the tyranny of the moment media. The Caliphate has clearly stated its intentions. But our denial is our guilt. Denying them the right to say they are an Islamic state doubled the invitation to the politically correct to say that this is Daesh (although it is the Islamic State acronym in Arabic …) call them barbarians (while they do with the grinder and jackhammer what the West does with stealth aircraft – I remind you that some of the Mesopotamian sites were destroyed by American bombing without international complaint), to qualify them as terrorists although, admittedly, they kill innocent victims with Kalashnikov rifles or knives but recognize that the West has done the same on a larger scale with high altitude bombs dropped on villages, bombs that kill women and children, old men and women who have done nothing wrong, if not to live in the country associated with the “axis of evil”, all of it that we underestimate at any point in their true nature which is not to despise. Especially if one considers the alternative of a diplomatic solution, as I wish.
Even without an intervention in Syria, do not you think that would hit Daesh France?
MO I do not do political fiction assuming what would have been the countries to justify preemptively bombarded them to prevent them from doing what they suppose they would have done! The famous “preventive war” of Bush and his family comes from this kind of motives that justified the attack because we decided to attack. Let us beware of doing too little with what is too much and with what could be. Moreover, it is not Syria we are paying for, but Iraq and its aftermath, including Syria, which is the newer part, so most media-visible of this war declared in 1990 – for information, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, ie with a view to rebuilding the world in their hands by the Americans rid of the Cold War …
In its statement of claim, Daesh talking about the victims of Bataclan of “hundreds of perversity in an idolatrous feast.” These people do not they hate above all what we are?
MO It is indeed a war of civilizations. But the French political correctness forbids attending to Samuel Huntington and his excellent analysis in 1993. The Islamic civilization of the Islamic State is puritanical in the extreme. I note that your question is to understand that France has a “national identity” that is seen more readily when the competing Islamic identity is the historical counterpoint of the moment. But as it is ideologically criminal returning to the French identity, it has not been discussed for a long time to say that there was indeed a Western way of life and it was not the way Islamic life. The multiculturalism apologists admit that there are many different cultures, and among these, some who defend the rock in festive evenings while others make this same event an “evil party.” Are all cultures equal? Yes, say the proponents of political correctness. I myself have a tendency to believe than a civilization that allows criticism is superior to another that prohibits and punishes with death anyone who criticizes them.
You see this event in the realization of the prophecy in Camus’ The Plague: “The plague awaken its rats and send them to die in a happy city”?
MO In fact, The Plague concludes with the invitation to take care of all wake pestilences, ie all ideologies that exterminate those who refuse them. At the time, defenders of the plague of the moment, red and brown totalitarianism, including Sartre, reproached him. Defenders of the plague of the day, heirs of Sartrean display such blindness to the truth expressed by Camus: the plague comes back, indeed. But the first rats are visible for a long time in the city … Those who have announced their presence were crucified at the same time that the disease was spreading.
Should the France dissociate themselves from the international coalition committed in Syria and Iraq?
MO I am indeed in favor of a complete overhaul of French foreign policy. If we continue to lead this aggressive policy towards the Muslim countries, they will continue to respond as they do. Sending ground troops to Syria would spread rivers of oil on the fire. France should stop this neocolonial political and Islamophobic alignment with the United States. It should withdraw its occupation troops in all places. It should take the initiative for an international conference that would seek to establish a diplomatic front able to negotiate a neutrality associated with a respect for the political sovereignty of each country who have the right to do what they want on their territory without our interdictions against them. On what, moreover, they are prohibited us the right to determine as they wish and according to their reasons? To not address this question, we prefer to say it is against terrorism so that creates it because it did not exist before we do it born that way. A truce could then be signed between France and the Islamic state for its dormant army in our territory raises arms. De Gaulle had proposed in his time fighters for Algerian independence “peace of the brave.” When Chevènement resigns Government Rocard January 29, 1991 to dissociate themselves from Mitterrand, who inaugurated this foreign policy we are reaping the benefits today, he indicated the path he had to borrow. Alas, he was vilified by the media and the intellectuals who justified these wars that we catch up on our territory. Chevènement would be the man for control in the name of France that military disengagement policy. But I only my opinion by giving the name of Chevènement, which itself has a sense of history, political experience, proper culture and concrete knowledge of the countries concerned.
The attacks of Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Hide had been followed by a national unity movement. Do you think it will be the same after the tragedy of 13 November? You fear a civil war?
MO I do not believe that the small policy proposed by Hollande is likely to weigh on history. We need a great political leader which he is not – he was never able, and he will not be able. State of emergency, flags at half-mast, minutes of silence, closing public places, media chin movements, toll, crepe on the flags, that makes a very small short-term policy, but certainly not great politics whose France now needs. I fear that extreme right-wing splinter groups, the real ones, not the ones politicking exploits by associating it with Marine Le Pen, would arm themselves, would constitute militias conducting commando operations, commit beatings , racist attacks, mosque fires and other crimes to destabilize democracy. Because, remember, in those days when the term “far right” is used only in electoral prospects to ensure their re-election the Liberals to right and left, the extreme right, that’s far more severe and calls not to the politician ideology of the moment, but to history. Let us remember the Nazi SA, the Vichy militia of Franco’s Falange, the Kesa Greek colonels, this is the real extreme right: it is always paramilitary, active in the form of commandos, and sharply distinct from the political one because it acts outside the law.
Do you think this tragedy will create unease with the Muslim community in France?
MO Alas, yes, I’m afraid. I fear that more individuals will have an incentive to bring down the democratic system in France, from the extreme left to the extreme right, true, and that, denouncing the entire French Muslim community proves easy and direct, unfortunately.
Are we really at war?
MO Yes, longer than November 13 … If we had a date, let us remember the execution of a member of the Algerian GIA bomber in the RER station Saint-Michel and other commando operations, Khaled Kelkal, September 29, 1995. I had then written in Globe that if we approached the problem so we went to the disaster. Here we are. For the worst response to violence is violence.
Given this situation, do the French people have enough antibodies to withstand without tearing?
MO There is a fervor in the French that is moot — without a concrete objective. Without a great political project he willingly aspire and to which he would adhere unopposed if offered to him, the people are forced to palinodes: rehash infantile slogans, attend events without substance, lighting candles to put on windows, lay flowers, write poems, take pictures (if not selfies …) all drama. What must be added to the pitiful “Pray for Paris?” So we have nothing else to do and nothing more to offer the people than prayer? Antibodies are available, but we are missing a historic opportunity to crystallize the force that asks only one form. The kneeler can not be the limitation of international politics of France.
Do you trust Francois Hollande to overcome this new test?
MO No way …
ROBERT STEELE: As I was doing my best to improve on Google’s terrible translation service, I received word that Bill Kristol has called for putting 50,000 US troops into Syria. I cannot think of a stupider thing to do. Michel Onfrey and I are as one: we need intelligence with integrity informing a grand strategy, and we need to sharply increase our capabilities in the diplomacy and development arena while sharply redirecting our investments in the military arena. Only traitors and idiots — and the political prostitutes that take their cue from Israel or are subordinate to Saudi despots — see this as an isolated atrocity demanding yet a third massive war in the Middle East. The first was measured and in some ways making up for the combined idiocy of Dick Cheney giving weapons of mass destruction to Iraq for use against Iran, and an idiot Ambassador and her masters at Main State not having a clue and giving him a green light to invade Kuwait (we got their gold, perhaps that was the plan all along). The second was criminally insane and based on 935 now documented lies. Today I question who is in charge of the U.S. Government and I consider the two-party tyranny to be OUT OF CONTROL — these are smart people whose ethics expired long ago — they feel, as Henry Kissinger has long felt, that
Intelligence is not all that important in the exercise of power, and is often, in point of fact, useless.
I beg to differ. Thomas Fingar earned the respect of those of us with integrity when he kept George Bush Jr. from going to war against Iran with his authentic National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). George Tenet gave up his integrity completely and prostituted his office in allowing Dick Cheney to not only get away with orchestrating 9/11 after thirteen countries INCLUDING Saudi Arabia warned us in advance, but in then standing idly by while Dick Cheney and his neoconservatives told 935 lies that the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) KNEW were lies — they have said publicly that all those at CIA who failed to contradict Cheney, including John McLaughlin, merit hanging. This is the third act. I personally believe that a number of governments were complicit in the recent Paris attacks — I single out Turkey and Israel; Saudi Arabia and the US are certainly complicit for having created ISIS in the first place; and I strongly suspect that rogue elements of the French government, particularly the dark side of the French national police and the remnants of NATO’s GLADIO program, helped assure the success of these three harmonized events. I remind one and all that we know KNOW that 9/11 was orchestrated by Dick Cheney through a national counterterrorism event organized months in advance, and there is strong evidence that Charlie Hebdo was an Israeli false flag attack.
Patrick Cockburn, one of the most able of the Western observers of the mess we have created in the Middle East since WWII ended, has just published an article, Paris Attack: Isis Has Created a New Kind of Warfare. It is worth reading, but I would remind everyone that I explicitly articulated the difference between conventional and emerging threats in 1989 and many times thereafter, and been ignored.
All of this was predictable and I predicted it — note my line on an unlimited 5th column. You cannot screw over 99% of the world 99% of the time and not get blowback, something Chalmers Johnson and William Blum have documented for a quarter century. When you add to that support for dictators and tolerance of the Saudi export of Wahhabism and Israeli genocide and false flag operations, you are creating a foundation for suicide terrorism everywhere — Robert Pape is still the best on this point, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism nails it…we are creating this problem.
While I have no direct knowledge of any of these recent events, I know three things with absolute certainty:
01 US national intelligence is not up to the intellectual or moral challenge — the National Intelligence Council is handicapped in multiple ways — it lacks the combination of vision, holistic integrity, red cell thinking, and plain balls to be effective;
02 We really don’t know all the details of this last attack — I strongly suspect that a proper multinational intelligence and counterintelligence mission would within 90 days reveal that this was a state-sponsored attack and perhaps one even approved by rogue elements of the US and French governments;
03 The US Government does not have a grand strategy, it has no idea how to address the ten high level threats to humanity, how to harmonize ends, ways, and means across all the domestic and foreign policy domains, and it is — as long as we have two-party partisan gridlock that eases only when the 40 odd billionaires pay for a specific policy or piece of legislation — going to remain in constant betrayal of the public trust.
The Israelis and the Saudis consider us shiksas or sluts (Gentile girls that “don’t count” and can be savaged sexually with impunity) . Until we can restore the primacy of intelligence and the primacy of diplomacy and the working possibilities of non-partisan deliberation, we are our own worst enemy. I do not fear ISIS, a creature of the Saudi Arabian despots and security services. I fear all those flag officers, senior executive officers, and Members of Congress who are complicit in virtual treason as we continue to betray the public trust.
ISIS is most certainly a threat that must be defeated, but it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia, led in part by Israeli and Iraqi officers, supplied by Turkey, and we are naive — or deceitful — to think for one moment that American blood, treasure, and spirit should be spent on ISIS while Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel laugh at us from the sidelines. To defeat ISIS we must not invade Syria, we must discipline Saudi Arabia and Israel, create a grand strategy, move $150B a year from defense to diplomacy and development, and begin to act with intelligence and integrity.
May God Bless America — I pray for an awakening of the public, they have been absent too long from the public’s business.