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Monday, November 16, 2015

France isn't at war with radical Islam. It is allied to radical Islam. It is at war with Daech.

I should read soothing things before I go to bed. Alas, instead, I glanced at an opinion piece in Marianne. It starts out with the obvious: France is at war. Then it immediately goes off the tracks. France isn't at war with Daech. No, France, according to this genius, is at war with "radical Islam."
This would come as surrprising news to French corporations, who've had a boom year selling to the heart of radical Islam, Saudi Arabia, or to the French government, which has supported radical islam in the war in Yemen.
The difference between the ideologies and domestic policies of Daech and the Saudis depend on the fact that Daech is trying to become a real geopolitical power and the Saudis already are one. Otherwise, both are ruled by a particular interpretation of Shari'a, both behead, both make crimes out of such things as sorcery, both absolutely deny civil rights to women, etc., etc.
Ideological fog machines are a standard part of war. But we've been living with this fog for too long. It is poisonous. If a major paper publishes a piece that misrepresents the most obvious fact about political reality right now, it bodes ill for what comes next. We saw this in 9.11. What is true is that the West, in the interest of combatting Arab nationalism and communism, allowed and even encouraged the Saudis to spend money founding mosques worldwide, which have grown into the cheering section for jihadists. Daech, piggybacking on this network, has recruited thousands of supporters. This isn't surprising. France, and the US, and the West in general, are always trying to recruit supporters from their networks in the Middle East.
What protects Daech is pronouncements such as that in Marianne. If you can't identify your enemy, your war is fucked from the get go.
Where did the French planes that bombed Raqaa take off? From fields in the Gulf states. Meanwhile, other figures in the Gulf states gave Daech its startup money and are continuing to fund Daech.
France is allied with radical Islam, and fighting a group that is held together, ideologically, by a variant of radical Islam. These are the facts. Look em in the face, or continue this bumbling through the mindfield that simply leads to endlessly more war and terrorist attacks.
All of which is not something I wanted to think about last night. I wanted to think about the thriller I was reading.

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