On the face of it, you might not think that ISIS / Daesh and the French National Front have much in common. Daesh, after all, is an ideologically-driven extremist movement, committed to driving people apart, convinced of its own moral superiority and incapable of imagining it might be mistaken, whereas the National Front is …
Well, you decide.
One way or another, what can’t be denied is that, with the approach of next month’s regional elections, the big winners from the Paris attacks will be the extreme Right parties, including that led by Marine le Pen. Following the slaughter at the Bataclan and the other killings in the vicinity, it’s certain that an assortment of fascists and crypto-Nazis will be elected on a wave of public fear, loathing and paranoia unprecedented since WWII, and this, paradoxically, suits the objectives of ISIS very well indeed.
But there’s more.
Every time somebody blames the refugees, another Daesh strategist rubs his hands in delight because now he has managed not only to terrorise millions of refugees, but also to turn them into a perceived threat to the countries of the West without having to commit any resources at all. Simply by forcing a large number of desperate people into mainland Europe, they might now have achieved the terrestrial equivalent of a fleet in being.
The Daesh leadership might be cynical and brutal, but it’s far from stupid and it has divined clearly that the sense of paranoia in Europe is strong. To put it another way, Islamophobia is its friend, and while that might seem puzzling, the truth is that Daesh cares nothing for the oppression of Muslims. After all, why would an organisation that oppresses and murders Muslims throughout the Middle East worry if a few thousand of them get a hard time in Europe? Daesh, as I have argued many times previously, isn’t even an Islamic organisation but a cynical secular product of the Iraq war, using Islam as a flag of convenience. A flag that will be discarded at a time of its own choosing, along with all the brainwashed, bloodthirsty fools who currently do its bidding.
Daesh cares as much for Muslims as it does for the results of the All-Ireland camogie final because at its heart, Daesh is not a Muslim organisation but a nationalist one, using Islam as a cover. Daesh cares enough for Muslims that it slaughters them by the hundreds of thousands and remarkably, this fact goes unreported in Western media. On the same day that Daesh murdered 120 people in Paris, an atrocity that has dominated world headlines, they also murdered 43 people in Beirut, thus attracting the undying enmity of Hezbollah, but attracting little or no attention from the European press.
The senior thinkers behind Daesh were all trained by the Americans and the British. They’re either former high-level military commanders or formerly-influential leaders within the Iraqi Ba’ath Party prior to Paul Bremer’s utterly stupid decision to remove them from office. Daesh has about as much allegiance to Islam as Saddam Hussein did, and that should come as no surprise since the strategists who control it are all former Saddam loyalists.
But yet, they have managed to recruit thousands of religious fanatics, skilfully manipulating their rage against an interventionist West and turning them into an army of sorts, motivated by religious stupidity of the most extreme kind, much like every religious militia all the way back to the Crusades.
Anyone wishing to understand the simmering rage of the Middle East towards the West need look no further than the straight-line borders, dictated by no natural boundary, no river and no mountain range, drawn by two gentlemen, Mr Sykes and Monsieur Picot who, in their immense hubris, chose to delineate their countries’ respective spheres of influence with lines casually sketched on a map, perhaps with the aid of a cigarette packet and a glass of good brandy.
Sadly, Monsieur Picot’s draughtsmanship has resonated in horrifying fashion in his nation’s capital almost an exact century later.
French President Francois Hollande has, perhaps unwittingly, lent to Daesh a degree of legitimacy by calling the Paris attacks an act of war — normally a term no government uses to describe actions by a group it wishes to characterise as terrorists. Was that a mistake or was it, in the arcane and subtle world of diplomacy, an olive branch to Daesh? Who knows? But M. Hollande must surely be aware that his threat of merciless war against Daesh rings hollow, given the history of much greater powers who tried to inflict massive force in an asymmetric war and failed. We need only think of the Soviet Union’s disastrous adventure in Afghanistan, an action that ultimately helped to dismember the USSR. And of course, who could forget Dick Cheney”s invasion of Iraq on behalf of Halliburton, an incursion that, while it earned Cheney’s company an estimated $39 billion, utterly discredited US foreign policy and left a psychological scar on an entire generation? As well as leading directly to the current refugee crisis and the collapse of Syria.
Hollande’s statement, it seems, is intended for domestic ears only, perhaps in a futile effort to steal back some of the votes Daesh has gifted to the National Front.