Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thoughts on the Terrorist Attacks on Paris

Unlike many other attacks labeled “terrorism,” the attacks in Paris, because they targeted innocent civilians to intimidate the populace, meet the definition of acts of terrorism committed as part of violent Islamic jihad (holy war).

Eyewitnesses and the media tend to describe the scenes of such attacks as “like” a “battlefield” or a “war zone.”  They are not “like” battlefields or war zones; they are battlefields and war zones, as the militant Islamist enemy has made the entire world its battlefield.

The perpetrators call themselves the “Islamic State (IS)” not the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)” or the “Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL),” with the acronym of the former pronounced like as a word like the name of an ancient Egyptian goddess.  They do not claim only the Levant, but the entire world.  As I have posted repeatedly in regard to Islamism in general, if the enemy cannot be identified properly, it cannot be defeated. 

The attacks on Paris were not in retaliation for any recent events, as they had been planned for a long period.  In fact, they are not retaliation for anything; it is what violent jihadists do because it is their belief that they must kill “infidels” who do not submit and to intimidate others into submission.  They use policy goals as an excuse or for propaganda, such as intimidating France into dropping its anti-Islamic State campaign in Iraq and SyriaFrance was chosen as a target also because of its history as a “Crusader state” and Paris was chosen particularly, not only because it is the French capital and largest city, but because it is a symbol of decadence.  Modern France has long been a target of militant Islam, first with bombings on French soil during the Algerian War, then in the 1980s-1990s, when there was a waive of Islamist terrorist attacks.  Of course, the terrorists attacked where they did in the first place because the venues were targets of opportunity.  It is disturbing that they even managed to detonate a bomb at the gate of a venue attended by the President of the French Republic.

As I posted before, there is a legitimate concern about terrorist infiltration among migrants coming into Europe, but the main concern is the “foreign fighters,” who are citizens of foreign states outside of the Middle East who go to there for training in acts of terrorism or guerilla warfare, who then return to their native lands to carry out acts of violent jihad.  As was the case in the Paris attacks, at least one of the terrorists was French-born, whether or not he was a foreign fighter.  Regardless, the European Union’s abandonment of border controls between European states, is proven, yet again, to be folly.

The current American sympathy and solidarity with France is right, but one cannot help but recall how the French have repeatedly made themselves obstacles to U.S. counterterrorism efforts.  After a deadly Libyan terrorist attack against Americans in Germany in 1986, the U.S. sought French permission to overfly the territory of the Republic of France to carry out a retaliatory raid against Libya, but our “ally” France declined, which forced a risky detour of thousands of miles and resulted in less fuel to conduct adequate operations.  Then, in 2003, after France had voted for a unanimously-approved resolution in the United Nations Security Council that found Iraq in “material” violation of UN resolutions and calling for “serious consequences,” which was diplomatic language for military strikes, France’s Gaullist government worked tirelessly to oppose American use of force to overthrow a terrorist-sponsoring regime that had harbored and financed terrorists who had targeted and killed Americans.  Indeed, the French government announced that the center of its foreign policy was not to oppose global Islamist terrorism, but to oppose the U.S. as the sole leader of the free world!

Indeed, an essential reason the terrorists chose to attack France in the first place is because of the French not-entirely-deserved reputation as cowards, which the Islamists regard as proof of the absence of divine favor or at least of a lack of faith and as a weakness to be exploited, just as the attacks on the train in Madrid in 2004 successfully resulted in the election of a liberal government that promised to remove its troops from the fight against Islamists in Iraq.  As I have noted repeatedly, France has been a strong ally—lately—in the War on Terrorism, particularly in regard to al Qaeda in Mali and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  It is hoped that the resolve of the current French government and the French people will not weaken, but will only strengthen to eliminate the threat to Christianity, Western Civilization and liberty from militant Islamism.

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