Who Will Pray For The Victims Of French Colonial Aggression?

What has happened in Paris last weekend is surely tragic indeed. At least 129 civilians were murdered in blatant terrorist attacks on civilian areas. The mainstream media and social media hysteria is understandable given the surprise nature of the attacks and the geographical location in which they took place: Paris, the city of love.

However, if the public truly care about the deaths of innocent lives perhaps they should direct their anger, frustration, fear and political grievances at the French government. The sympathy, fear and unity that the public feel is not only a powerful distraction from truly awful atrocities that happen daily in other parts of the world, but distract us from France’s acts of aggression in the last decade.

In 2011, France spent over 450 million euros flying at least 4500 sorties over Libya bombing the North African nation back into the Middle Ages. The UN Security Council Resolution authorizing this military activity authorized a no-fly zone to protect civilians but in actuality killed scores of civilians, desecrated Gaddafi’s armed forces whilst backing, funding, supporting and providing air cover for al-Qaeda affiliated rebels. Although we had been told that this military aggression was necessary to prevent Gaddafi from committing genocide on his own people, it transpired that the public had once again been lied to through an Iraq-WMD style propaganda campaign. The French-backed rebels at the time fighting to overthrow Gaddafi were not only the same fighters that France was claiming to fight in Mali, but included fighters from al-Qaeda in Iraq, which today are known as ISIS.

According to the UN Human Development Index (2010), Libya had the highest standard of living out of any country in Africa. Although the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy also played their part; it was a French Rafale jet that first struck Muammar Gaddafi’s motorcade as he attempted to escape Sirte, before these same al-Qaeda affiliated rebels were brought in to the area by NATO commandos to execute the Libyan leader without trial. Before this blatant war of aggression disguised as a humanitarian intervention occurred, Libya was debt free, had high literacy rates and had free healthcare. The country is now in a perpetual state of civil war as two rival governments backed by separate regional and foreign powers fight for control of the country. It should be no surprise that ISIS has a major stranglehold there given that the NATO countries, France being one of the main contributors, backed ISIS affiliated rebels to topple Gaddafi in the first place. According to UNICEF, Libya now has 2 million children out of school. As bad as Gaddafi was, this did not happen under his leadership.

To make this matter more corrupt, the French leader at the time, Nicolas Sarkozy, was under investigation for having received 50 million euros from Gaddafi himself for Sarkozy’s election campaign. So, essentially, Gaddafi sent Sarkozy 50 million euros and Sarkozy pays him back by having him assassinated? That has to be the worst recorded friendship in history.

In 2014, France made over 8 billion euros selling arms. The beneficiaries of these arms include the beacon of human rights itself, Saudi Arabia, a country who not only openly executes political dissidents within its own jurisdiction and supports violent jihadist activity, but is currently contravening international law by launching a war of aggression in neighbouring Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world. The most recent French-Saudi deal is worth $12 billion. Saudi Arabia has used their current weaponry to bomb Yemeni wedding parties and refugee camps. Together with a brutal blockade, Yemen has become Syria within half a year of bombing and faces a humanitarian catastrophe.

France is also actively bombing Mali, Somalia, and in December 2012 emerged as one of the biggest contributors to the rebel groups trying to topple Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Although we have heard time and time again that the US and NATO are only backing moderate rebels, this distinction between rebel groups on the ground has transpired to be false. Take for example the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), which France has actively and openly supported. The FSA’s ranks have become dominated by extremists and their leaders have admitted not only that they regularly conduct joint operations with al-Qaeda, but that they wish to impose sharia law on Syria. Furthermore, since 2012, Western countries have known that the majority of the weapons and arms that they have been pouring into Syria have ended up in the arms of extremists but they are still doing it.

This selective over-play by the mainstream media combined with social media Giant Facebook’s response makes you wonder why the victims in France are more important than the victims in Lebanon 2 days prior, or the victims of France’s colonial aggression in the Middle East and Africa. How about the 5.4 million people who have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo? When will Facebook propose a flag change for the solidarity of the people who suffer these kinds of attacks daily?

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, stated “the only answer to terrorism is to be resolute, to not let the terrorists change who we are”.

But perhaps it is time to change who we are. Whether you like it or not, France has become an aggressive colonial power in the last decade. The France that was opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq has become a nation responsible for the death and suffering of millions of people. Let’s not forget that ISIS was born out of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, meaning that France had the morally superior position back in 2003. Yet, the public now are sleep-walking and are eating up every single bit of President Hollande’s response.

If Hollande truly cared about terrorism, he should stop funding it.

What has he proposed instead? To close the borders of France, to allow right-wing xenophobia take root and blame this whole issue on the refugee crisis, and to immediately start aggressively bombing Syria. Apparently, France has not done enough bombing in the Middle East and North Africa. Note how quickly Hollande has referred to the Paris attacks as an act of war. The perpetrators of this crime were few and were not acting on behalf of any sovereign government. Who is France now at war with? With ISIS? Given that Western leaders still blame Assad for the rise of ISIS it should not be hard to predict where France’s campaign is headed. It would also be a safe bet that we will start to see an activation of France’s new democratic and transparent surveillance laws passed earlier this year.

If blowing up civilians in France is a tragic and cowardly act which can generate so much fear, anger and sympathy, it cannot be realistically said that blowing up civilians in Syria in response is a realistic solution.


2015-11-19

About the author:

Darius Shahtahmasebi has completed a Double Degree in Law and Japanese from the University of Otago, with an interest in human rights, international law and journalism

Original source of the article: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/19/if-i-prayforparis-who-will-pray-for-the-victims-of-french-colonial-aggression/

Appendix:

Documentary video on the French colonial rule in Algeria:

FRENCH COLONIAL RULE IN ALGERIA

RELATED POSTS
Golan Heights And The Greater Israel Project
After the first ever cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech on April 17, 2016 that the territory “will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.” This elicited admonitions from some of Israel’s greatest allies, the United States and Germany, and renewed attention on the issue. The Golan Heights were opportunistically occupied by Israel after its victory in the 1967 six-day-war. A United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has monitored the region since 1974, when Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement, and it has been considered an occupied territory of the UN and the ...
READ MORE
Memorial Day Ignores Millions of US Imperial Victims
The day commemorates lost lives of US servicemen and women sent to war for the wrong reasons – from the 18th century to today, notably America’s so-called War of Independence, its Civil War, WW I and II and all subsequent wars of choice. America’s only enemies in the past 70 years and throughout at least most of its history were and remain ones it invents. It could have been a model peaceful nation had it chosen a different path. Instead, its history reflects unbridled militarism, endless wars of choice, related violence and chaos, contempt for rule of law principles, along with unparalleled ...
READ MORE
Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Global Neoliberalism and America’s Drive for World Domination
Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted.  The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States.  Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power.  The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “anti-terrorism”today. Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy ...
READ MORE
Can the United States Own Up to Its War Crimes During the Korean War?
When I was living in San Francisco in 1981, I met and became friends with Chun Sun-Tae, a Korean immigrant who had come to the United States as a college student in the 1960s and ran a small luggage shop in Oakland. James, as he was known, had grown up in the 1940s in the city of Kaesong in what was then the northern frontier of South Korea. One warm day in June, 1950, he went camping with a group of friends at a nearby lake. The next morning, they woke to the sounds of artillery and gunfire: Kaesong had just ...
READ MORE
The Lie Of The 21st Century: How Mainstream Media “Fake News” Led To The U.S. Invasion Of Iraq
The mainstream media (MSM) has declared war on alternative media websites labeling them “Fake News” ever since Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. The New York Times editorial board expressed their frustration in an article calling for the censorship of alternative and social media‘Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News’ which claimed both social media platforms (Facebook and Google) has not been aggressive enough in blocking fake news sites: Most of the fake news stories are produced by scammers looking to make a quick buck. The vast majority of them take far-right positions. But a big part of the responsibility for this scourge ...
READ MORE
Fomenting Illegal “Independence” and “Revolutions” in Kosovo and Panama
US President Theodore Roosevelt, a staunch imperialist and expansionist, engineered the illegal dismemberment of Columbia in 1903. The illegal US dismemberment and annexation of Serbian territory, the detachment and dismemberment of Kosovo in 2008, parallels what occurred when the US illegally dismembered Columbia in 1903 in order to construct the Panama Canal. Outrage, shock, and uproar followed Roosevelt’s illegal detachment of Panama from Columbia in 1903. Many American leaders were outraged at the illegality, cynicism, and immorality of the dismemberment of Columbia. In the March 2, 1912 New York Times article “Hit at Rooesevelt in Panama Inquiry; Senate Calls on Taft for All Records of ...
READ MORE
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy, Christian socialist minister and author, to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute". Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had a similar form, and which was derived from the so-called Roman salute. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the ...
READ MORE
British Parliament Confirms Libya War Was Based On Lies … Turned Nation Into a “Shit Show” … Spread Terrorism
The UK Parliament just confirmed what the alternative media has been saying for years. Specifically, a new report from the bipartisan House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee – based on interviews with all of the key British decision-makers, review of documents, and on-the-ground investigations in Africa – found that the Libyan war was based on lies, that it destroyed the country, and that it spread terrorism far and wide. The War Based On Bogus Intelligence … Like the Iraq War Initially, the report finds that the threat to civilians from Libyan  government forces was dramatically overstated: Former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who introduced ...
READ MORE
Ignorance and Indoctrination of Westerners Kills Millions
Our Planet Earth is heading straight towards the most dangerous collision in its history. It is not a collision with some foreign body, with an asteroid or a comet, but with the most brutal and selfish chunk of its own inhabitants: with people who proudly call themselves “members of the Western civilization.” Again and again it is clearly demonstrated that Western culture, which the paramount psychologist Carl Jung used to call “pathology”, couldn’t be trusted. This “culture” had already mercilessly slaughtered several hundreds of millions of people in all corners of the world; it enslaved entire continents, and plundered all that had ...
READ MORE
Europe’s Palmyra: How Kosovo’s Medieval Culture Was Demolished By Albanians
BELGRADE – Serbia organized an exhibition of cultural and historical heritage of Kosovo and Metohija in Paris, the headquarters of UNESCO, to serve as a reminder to the West of how they let it be destroyed since the 2000s. There is a lot of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. Now, Kosovo is an independent state, partially recognized by Western countries. But the world was shocked by anti-Serbian riots organized by Albanians during the Kosovo unrest in 2004. Many Serbian monuments were damaged in the chaos. Albanian extremists living in Kosovo, since the 2000s, have continued to raid and damage Serbian ...
READ MORE
Waffen-SS Im Einsatz: Hitler’s Soviet Muslim Legions
During World War II, hundreds of thousands of foreign peoples joined with Hitler's legions to bring theirs people into special status in Hitler's New Order. Tens of thousands among them were Muslims, where the majority of them came from Soviet Union. Under the banner of the crescent and the swastika, these Soviet Muslims believe to become holy warriors to liberated theirs land. But the end of this unholy alliance was a disaster for them. The Pro-Nazi Soviet Muslims When the German Army invaded Soviet Russia on June 22, 1941 they saw many of their opponent inhabitants welcomed them as liberators. One ...
READ MORE
Thanksgiving for a Grateful Empire
“Rooted in a story of generosity and partnership, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the gifts we have and to show our appreciation for all we hold dear….” So begins the official Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving Day, 2015, signed and issued by Barack Obama. While it hearkens back to earlier Thanksgivings in St. Augustine in 1565 and Plymouth in 1621, this is an essentially imperial document than gives only vague lip service to giving “thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us.” When his proclamation gets specific, in the third sentence, the President gives the highest place of ...
READ MORE
Roots of Terror
I was sickened to hear and watch the events occurring in France. Part of that was for the immediate families, friends and neighbors of those so needlessly killed. Another part was the fear factor, not fear of terror or for myself but fear for how the powers that be would ratchet up the security control within their own societies by using their own biased racist fear factors in order to rationalize it to control their own populations. A wider perspective is the sick feeling of realizing that humanity in general is capable of producing such atrocities. The latter is where a ...
READ MORE
The Roots Of The Current Crisis In The Middle East
It is now fully five years since the greatest upheavals in the modern history of the Arab World started in Tunis. Always impressed by the latest events, we tend to forget the deep roots of the current violent struggle. But unless we confront the causes, there is little chance that the symptoms will be healed. (A partial version of this article in Spanish was published earlier in Free Haifa) The wave of refugees that has reached Europe and the terror attacks in Paris reminded many people in Europe and beyond of the crisis in our region – but at the same time ...
READ MORE
A Royal Shame: Abdullah Leaves A Legacy Of Regional Militancy
King Abdullah is being eulogized in the most unrealistic ways possible, from CNN designating him as a “reformer” to Chuck Hagel calling him “a powerful voice for tolerance, moderation and peace — in the Islamic world and across the globe.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin takes the cake, however, by proclaiming that “his smart policy contributed greatly to Middle East stability.” None of these characterizations are true in any way, as Abdullah’s main legacy isn’t one of reform, tolerance, and regional stability, but of destruction, hate, and regional instability. Every contemporary Mideast problem except for the Israel-Palestine issue can be directly ...
READ MORE
Neoliberalism and The Globalization of War. America’s Hegemonic Project
Тhe world is at a dangerous crossroads.  The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states. America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms ...
READ MORE
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
Author’s note The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through ...
READ MORE
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
The corporate media don’t like Donald Trump. They used to like him a lot; in fact, Big Business Media are responsible for making this minor multi-millionaire into a household name. But Trump is on their hit list, nowadays, because the Republican presidential candidate insists on telling his own lies, rather than sticking to the list of official lies parroted by corporate media every minute of every day. Donald Trump told a really “HUGE” – as he would put it – lie when he claimed to have watched thousands of Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the World Trade Center ...
READ MORE
“We have the right to live”: NATO’s war on Yugoslavia and the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo
In the period before the 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) waged a campaign to secede and establish an independent Kosovo dominated by Albanians and purged of every other ethnic group. In October 1998, KLA spokesman Bardhyl Mahmuti spelled the KLA’s vision: “We will never change our position. The independence of Kosovo is the only solution…We cannot live together [with Serbs]. That is excluded.” Once NATO’s war came to an end, the KLA set about driving out of Kosovo every non-Albanian and every pro-Yugoslav Albanian it could lay its hands on. The KLA left in its wake ...
READ MORE
Golan Heights And The Greater Israel Project
Memorial Day Ignores Millions of US Imperial Victims
Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Global Neoliberalism and America’s Drive for World Domination
Can the United States Own Up to Its War Crimes During the Korean War?
The Lie Of The 21st Century: How Mainstream Media “Fake News” Led To The U.S. Invasion Of Iraq
Fomenting Illegal “Independence” and “Revolutions” in Kosovo and Panama
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
British Parliament Confirms Libya War Was Based On Lies … Turned Nation Into a “Shit Show” … Spread Terrorism
Ignorance and Indoctrination of Westerners Kills Millions
Europe’s Palmyra: How Kosovo’s Medieval Culture Was Demolished By Albanians
Waffen-SS Im Einsatz: Hitler’s Soviet Muslim Legions
Thanksgiving for a Grateful Empire
Roots of Terror
The Roots Of The Current Crisis In The Middle East
A Royal Shame: Abdullah Leaves A Legacy Of Regional Militancy
Neoliberalism and The Globalization of War. America’s Hegemonic Project
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
Is Slavery Still Exist?
“We have the right to live”: NATO’s war on Yugoslavia and the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo

Comments are closed.