Sunday, 15 November 2015

Reaping the Whirlwind - ISIS massacres in Paris

Once again, barely ten months after the horror of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter, much worse violence has slashed brutally across the cityscape of Paris.  Attacks on a rock concert, on restaurants and cafes, and on the Stade de France cannot be answered by sententious avowals of liberty, equality and fraternity.  French state rhetoric this time is simply that of war.  Francois Hollande has termed the attacks 'acts of war', and has vowed to pursue the perpetrators 'without mercy'.  France is at war with a terrorist organisation.  Where have we heard this kind of language before?

On RTE Radio 1 this morning, Michael Colgan, the artistic director of the Gate Theatre, and not the sharpest knife in the drawer, moaned that seeking reasons for these attacks is a useless exercise, and an evasion of the manifestation of evil in the world which ISIS represents.  Brutal events like those at the Bataclan Theatre on Friday night are so horrific as to seem to beggar explanation or any kind of abstract analysis.  But analysis and cool thinking are precisely what are needed at such times, and scepticism in the face of state pronouncements and media consensus.

Here is a selection of material worth looking at.   Doubtless more such, and vastly more rubbish, will appear yet in the next few days.


Patrick Cockburn at CounterPunch:

'Isis in Paris'—By Tariq Ali


Juan Cole at the Nation, on France's destructive and unwise relationship with Saudi Arabia:

France Should Stop Listening to Saudi Arabia on Syria

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