Published on 14 Nov 2015

Paris attacks: Middle East's wars arrive in Europe

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We have arrived at a crossroads. Few can have believed that the bloody killings of Charlie Hebdo’s staff would be the end of it. Today many may hope, but virtually no one will believe, that the ghastly attacks on the concert hall and restaurants in Paris will either be the end of it or, terrifyingly, the worst of it.

Since 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria, and with so many other conflicts in between, instability has spread outwards and progressed ever closer towards us in Europe, while engulfing much of the Middle East and Islamic world in a fire which seems unquenchable.

In Europe there seemed to be a pause in the threat for a while after the attacks in Madrid and London, but Syria’s descent into unimaginable carnage and the accompanying rise of Isis and their deliberate strategy to terrorise through deed and propaganda are a game-changer. The attacks in France this year have now brought this war to Europe. We feel under attack from without and within. People here in France have referred to last night’s attack both as a civil war as well as war with the self-styled Islamic State.

Where does this end? How does it stop? What is fuelling this? Certainly the fight between Sunni and Shia fought between Iran and Iraq in the eighties casts a long shadow. It’s been continued by proxy ever since, funded and encouraged by Iran and Saudi Arabia, and is seen right now in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. Iran supports and arms and funds its proxy armies, and Saudi Arabia matches it in each country, but there is a fundamental difference. Isis are now a threat on a different level, either by deliberate plan or inspiration.

The causes of this spread of terrorism are complex, but one aspect we have to tackle head on — its ideological roots in Wahhabi Islam, the official religion of Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud rules at the mercy of the clerics, some of whom see jihadism as a legitimate method of advancing their religion. The state in Saudi Arabia may not directly fund Isis, but the fundamentals of the Saudi state and society mean many of its people do.

The tenets of Islam have become distorted for too many believers. When I was a child I was taught about the Prophet, and about Mecca. My lessons contained no sense of threat. There was even a whiff of romance about it. But across North and West Africa, leaking into Europe; across the Middle East leaking into Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and now frighteningly newly, into Bangladesh, the intractable Wahhabi fundamentalist belief system is spreading fast. But “leaking” is a generous word. Radical Wahhabi Islam has not so much “leaked” as it has been exported, financed, and pushed into and beyond these countries.

It is not a movement that represented the majority of Muslim believers, but its spread and growth mean it can now appear as the strongest force within Islam – a force that is deeply attractive to alienated young people across the Muslim world and Northern Hemisphere. That sense springs both from the economic and social alienation many of them experience, and from a deep-seated resentment against the way Islam’s holy places and the heartland of Wahhabism are managed. This explains, in part, why so many young Saudis have left and joined the so-called Islamic State. Indeed it explains why Wahhabi-believing jihadists joining Isis are revolted by the shopping malls and glitzy hotels that have come to dominate the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, located in Saudi Arabia, as they are by the Assad brutality backed up by Shia Iran and infidel Russia.

We in the West can do something to try to reach out to the economically and socially alienated Muslim. But tackling those alienated by the management of their faith in a far-away land upon which we are so dependant for both exports and imports of oil, is a far, far, greater challenge. We need to tackle the unending rivalry between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, which splits the region and fuels the violence. The war in Syria has been sustained and worsened by Iran’s backing for a leader who started brutalising and massacring his own people the moment they demonstrated against him, and which has most recently been characterised by the routine barrel bombing of civilian areas. We may not blame Iran for the terror on our streets but many Syrians driven towards Isis blame them for the bombs on theirs.

We don’t yet know the balance between internal French-based Islamic radicals and external Isis-centred forces, in the planning and execution of these latest atrocities in Paris. But we do know that Saudi Arabia has a problem, and it looks like the rest of us have little chance of being able to influence its resolution. The Kingdom is under threat from the very ideology upon which its twentieth century founders centered their entire philosophy and belief system.

The more the Royal family bows to Western demands for women’s rights — car driving, voting, and the rest – the worse the confrontation with the Wahhabi zealots becomes. Indeed a recently retired British General, well versed in Saudi relations, told me only last week that if the House of Saud were to fall, the consequences for the world could be devastating. Yet there is a terrifying fusion between the Western resentment of the Saudi Royal Family’s failure to modernise, and the Islamic State’s conviction that the country’s rules have already joined the ranks of blasphemers.

For too many young Wahhabi zealots across the Northern hemisphere, Isis had become the guardian of the “true way.” Yet Saudi money continues to fund radical Wahabi preachers to establish Wahhabi radical Madrassas (faith schools) right across western Europe, North Africa and seamlessly through the Arabian peninsula into Afghanistan and the Indian sub-continent. What role any of this “export” played upon the distorted minds of those who loathed themselves enough to kill so many souls and then destroy themselves we don’t yet know.

#ParisAttacks
But we are now confronted by one of the gravest threats to our world and our way of life, since rise of the Nazism. We’d better start talking about it openly not only amongst ourselves, but with everyone with whom we relate who plays a role in its sustenance, and that of course includes the Saudis. They are increasingly themselves afraid of Isis, perhaps even more frightened of them that we are. Air strikes will not resolve what many Muslim scholars regard as a deep and insidious distortion of religious belief.

Indeed they may make it worse. Isis is winning converts with every passing day of war; Assad’s brutality has created fertile territory. We may even have to start looking for other ways to engage with the self-styled Islamic State itself. Somehow the self-loathing, the hatred, and fear of others together with a fundamentalist commitment to a world that predates mechanisation, let alone digitalisation has to be combated. Governments in the northern hemisphere may have to be prepared to move aggressively to staunch the funding and manning of this terrifying movement. Pray God it is already not too late.

Follow Jon Snow on Twitter: @jonsnowc4

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42 reader comments

  1. John Bennett says:

    A typically brilliant resume and expose of the situation. It is good to find a TV station who are prepared to say what they think rather than the vanilla view we constantly hear from the BBC. We have to believe in what we say and say what we believe.
    You have already highlighted the need to disrupt the funding of the self styled Islamic State – no one else has done this.
    Thank you Channel 4 for giving the lead. Politicians take note.

    1. Marge Pinot says:

      The funding?? They will not disrupt it!

      The Western Judeo Christian world can pretend gutsy courage in the face of what is obviously a thoroughly organized militant war on Western civilization. What Western citizenry do not understand is that their own leaders and politicians are responsible for the carnage in Paris and much more that is to come.

      Angela Merkel, Obama, Hollande, David Cameron and many more are secretly and knowingly fueling the massacres that have happened and that will inevitably follow. They think it is acceptable to sacrifice a few hundred lives of their citizenry every now and then for what they perceive as the overall good of their economies. Their abject refusal to categorically disinherit and ostracize those who want the destruction of the West and those aiding and abetting these despots is the primary cause for the state of emergency in all of Europe. They are well aware of the deadly atrocities by the likes of Robert Mugabe, Bashar Al Assad, Kim Jong Il, Ayatollah Ali Kar, Abu Sayaff and many more. They are also aware or ought to be aware of those countries that are funding terrorism and aiding and abetting in the hostilities against the West. They should already know that the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak and his henchmen, the now infamous Jho Low, Prince Turki Abdullah, Dawood Ibrahim, Arul Kanda and many more are actively laundering money through the world’s financial systems in Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, London and elsewhere for Islamic State and other terror organizations. And yet, they continue to fete, wine and dine these tyrants, crooks and bandits at every opportunity because they think that the economic advantages far outweigh the loss of a few lives of their citizenry.

      Hollande has instructed his prosecutors to put the brakes on the investigations into a massive Islamic State money laundering scheme involving the Malaysian Prime Minister in a Scorpene submarine deal. After 5 years, the French authorities don’t seem to be able to draw any conclusions or close investigations. They are either totally incompetent or feel that Najib Razak is sufficiently useful to them to ignore the links with Islamic State and the threat it poses to the people of France. What is the loss of 150 lives if billions of dollars can be made for the benefit of all of France?

      Similarly, the US has ignored Dawood Ibrahim and his role in laundering money for Al qaeda and other terror groups. President Obama does not want any action taken against Najib Razak at least until the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (which Malaysia is a party to) is signed; and if possible indefinitely. Obama cannot see what is so terrible for a few lives to be lost for the sake of vast economic benefits to America as a whole for the foreseeable future.

      Etc etc .. so you see people, current Western policy is your worst enemy. Western leaders will NOT put a stop to tyrants, despots and crooks because they serve economic purposes that far outweigh the loss of a few hundred lives. Get used to it. This is not the end – because the likes of Obama, Angela Merkel and the rest do not really want it to end.

      1. James Carter-White says:

        At last some people who can see past the “horror” and see what’s truly going on. I honestly believe 9/11 was engineered by the USA as part of the long game but John Snow is spot on as is this person I am making my reply.

      2. Aru Kidding says:

        You must be joking. If the Americans found out that Bush had orchestrated 9/11, his death would make Gadaffi’s look dignified. They’d string him up. Even Bush isn’t that stupid. No, 9/11 was an enormous miscalculation by Al Quaeda, just as 13/11 was a massive miscalculation by ISIS.

    2. Martin says:

      Unlike traditional printed media, TV stations are required by law and the Ofcom Code to deliver balanced, unbiased reporting of news. That is why they cannot be seen to favour any particular side.

      1. NickH says:

        Try telling that to BBC..Its ridiculously biased

    3. Sara says:

      Paris is a hell hole now.

  2. Kathy Ferguson says:

    Thank you for this, by far the best analysis of the situation I have read. Would that our politicians could see so clearly.

  3. David Barrett says:

    Brilliant and thought-provoking …….but so depressing. In all truth, what can be done other than for Western liberalism to capitulate under the threat?

  4. Roy Beiley says:

    Thank you Jon Snow for putting the ISIS dimension into perspective. We seem to be trying to deal with the consequences of this problembrather than the causes. Easy to see why. Trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia with their 2000 years of animosity between Shia and Sunni Muslims is a no brainer. Plus the dire economic consequences that would result is not politically acceptable.

    So it is much easier for politicians to look at the consequences and try and shore up their country’s security to prevent repeat attacks. This appeals to a frightened population. Yet the exodus of Muslims from Syria and elsewhere has been recently welcomed with little action being taken to vet the incomers motives sufficiently. I liken it to trying to catch rainwater from a leaking roof using a bucket with a hole in it!

    Crushing ISIS militarily means boots on the ground and a lot of body bags. Again. But Russia is now in the mix and makes such action unlikely.

    1. alison x says:

      Experience says our troops were never meant for this. No boots on the ground.
      Bite the bullet, and cut the funding. Good article!

  5. Hugh Millar says:

    Terrible events in Paris, but excellent reportage from C4 News tonight. Jon Snow’s interview with Dr Louise Hefez was one of the best pieces I’ve ever seen on a TV news programme.

  6. Rachel j says:

    This is a fantastic article, which actually attempts to explain the complexity and seriousness of the situation. Soundbites and tough rhetoric is not going to achieve the progress required to end this. Thank you Jon. Excellent journalism sadly getting rarer.

  7. Sarah Mason says:

    Although I have deep respect for Jon Snow’s journalism thoughout the years – the call for Saudi Arabia to improve women’s rights is not the Kingdom “bowing to Western demands”- womens rights are fundamental global human rights. Let’s also not forget that by secret ballot – requested by the USA – Iran was “voted” onto the board of UN womens rights council in April 2015. Which is a hypocritical abomination considering Iran’s pervasive persecution of women.Radical Sunni or radical Shia-both are abhorred & petrified by the idea of independent powerful, educated women. But then so are radical religious groups found all across the globe. Indeed the attacks against Planned Parenthood and the supreme court hearing of the draconian Texas abortion restriction law stands the USA firmly alongside proponents of decreasing women’s access to clinics and right to choose. Lastly: “madrassa” means “school”. It can mean primary school, middle school. It does not translate as “radical faith school”. And I repel the call to “Pray God” at the end of this article. We need education, health care, opportunities, infrastructure, restrictions on the mass movement and sales of weaponry….checks on the ‘business of war’ not more prayers or religion.

  8. Jan Jansen says:

    Excellent analysis. Thanks!

  9. alan says:

    Mr Snow your one dimensional analysis and warmongering contexts (the reference to nazism is particularly telling) may assist the regime change extremists, it doesn’t however explain the rise of ISIS. Possibly Mr Hersh ‘The Redirection’ may assist. Whilst our media opines in support of geopolitical aims and lies by omission, we continue to fail all victims whilst those culpable continue their evil.

  10. Mike Harland says:

    A masterful analysis certainly, but as usual what is missing here is the fuller geopolitical perspective, and especially the US policy of regime change and their involvement in and use of the Shia/Sunni sectarian feud and the origins and funding of IS.

  11. L says:

    I totally agree with the Article written.

  12. Dragor says:

    Wahabism is Definetly not from the 20th century but it has Definetly sprouted arms and legs and has begun to attract some to its weird and wonderful interpretation of the beautiful religion I follow.

    The conflict between Sunni and Shia is a shameful one but reading your article and I have the utmost respect for you mr snow, your findings are ever so slightly skewered and biased.

    Isis had the perfect opportunity to rise in the power vacuum left after the illegal war in Iraq. However how did a small bit player in the region become so hugely powerful and within two years the greatest terrorist threat?
    They have received money’s and arms from those who the western allies fund and arm to fight against Assad.
    ISIS have killed more Muslims than any other in the middle eastern region in the last two years.
    They are an abomination.

    Why do people flock to ISIS?
    That isn’t a simple answer –
    Some will have joined because they believe in what these maniacs say, some by the fantastical reasoning that a holy war is taking place.
    Some because they see the hypocrisy by western allies in Palestine a people oppressed, subjugated, humiliated by a country which is supported by the west.
    Others have more personal reasons, bombs being dropped in Syria, Iraq, Libya the destruction of their countries, the loss of their loved ones mostly by people who have been armed by the west and in some cases continuing – hatred consumes them and makes it easier for them to be recruited to carry out revenge attacks.

    The west and its coalition cannot wash its hands of the rise of fundamentalism.

    Regime change in the Middle East has not helped one bit if anything it has increased the threat to all of us living in the west.

    Saudi Arabia does have to take a large chunk of the blame but so does the west when it funds fanatics and then expects them to be good little boys once the job is done. Once a maniac always a maniac.

    I cannot for the life of me wonder how you can think this is only an issue in the middle east when it is a world problem.

    Violence begets Violence and until such time that either or both sides realise that this is the case we unfortunately have a situation where despicable acts such as those in Paris and the ongoing killing of innocents in the Middle East is perpetuated.

    We are all guilty.
    Islamic nations for allowing fundamentalism to rise.
    The west for causing destruction in the Middle East and providing the perfect storm from which fundamentalism could riseZ

  13. Clever Cat says:

    Utter hypocrisy. The media, politicians, our pc multiculti culture has for decades pandered to anyone with a dark skin and a minority religion, thereby allowing the most backwards form of Islam direct from Pakistani and Bangladeshi villages to thrive with burkas, forced marriage, FGM, slavery, abuse, hatred, bigotry and intolerance being seen by many UK Muslims as tenets of their culture and their values, which the ‘politically correct’ pillocks who rule us have taught them is their right!

    So every college have a prayer room and we are al taught Muslims pray 5 times a day, never drink, have bushy beards and burkas. Well GO TO TURKEY (the more sophisticated cities). Bosnia, Albania – and to the middle and upper classes in south Asia – these people drink alcohol, do NOT pray 5 times a day and don’t wear burkas or even headscarves. The media has blood on its hands for allowing the more extreme, devout, intolerant, backwards, literalist version of Islam to be THE ONE seen as ‘the true Islam’.

    Time for the pc mob to admit it was wrong (incl liars like Cameron who stupidly say the Paris killer are not ‘real’ Muslims when OF COURSE THEY ARE – and their interpretation of Islam is AS VALID as an other).

    Thank god I’m a atheist, that’s all I can say – and I don’t worship at the alter of diversity in the church of ‘political correctness’ either!

    We are at war – a civil war too with Islamofascists within (maybe half a million traitor in the UK. Time for our politicians, councils, the media, schools, colleges, universities to stop being complacent and negligent.

  14. Clever Cat says:

    Wrong end of the stick entirely. These Islamic terrorists have NOT been created by Assad – who was tolerant of all religions in a secular state and tried to stop Islamists (and got criticised by our misguided rulers in The West). Islamists – the fascists of now – are responsible for doing what they do. They alone.

    It is NOT our fault – or is what Hitler did all our fault too? (and as JS references the Nazis, so can I – and btw the Palestinians and Islamists who the UK left adores are big fans of Hitler and Nazis – go to Edgeware Rd and see the Arabic copies of Mein Kampf on sale!) To blame the ‘West’ for ANY Islamic terrorism is a false argument – wrong and highly dangerous.

    The Muslim Brotherhood started almost a century ago. Saudi Arabia created then too in a deal between the Royal family (20,000 members) and the backwards Wahabis who we’ve allowed to fund Muslim schools in the UK!

  15. morteza mousavi says:

    وقتی قدر ت های معادلات جهانی را برهم میزنند مثلآ کمک میکنتد پادشاه ایران را ومنطقه عوض میکنند یکی مثل خمینی ودیگرحکام را برسرکار میاورید دامنه نف.،ذ اساسلام گرا ها زیاد میشود ومثعله دم بازدم میشود بهترین کار برای خاموش شدن ضربه بع پیکره جلادان است مثل مقابله با اسد سوریه وداعش وآخر اژران است

    1. Jay says:

      Can you not write in English?

      Sorry…but I wasn’t taught Arabic at school….though…i do expect my children’s children to have to…

  16. Rainman says:

    IS IT A WAR ?
    The President of France, François Hollande, says that the terrorist attacks in Paris are an act of war. I disagree because to agree would be to give the terrorists an exalted status they don’t deserve. The Islamic state is NOT a country, ISIS is a trans-international group of murdering criminals who happen to be Muslims. They don’t represent any Islamic nation. Their leaders have not been elected in any Arab country.
    These attacks should not be used as an excuse to increase bombing in Syria or anywhere else. The attacks should instead promote an increase in European security. The government should be looking for the criminals in order to bring them to justice. They should not be seeking revenge.
    Let us not forget the lessons that George Bush’s misguided ‘War on terror crusade’ after 9/11 have taught us.

  17. nafisa says:

    Very good article. Wahabism is the real cause of terrorism.99.99% terrorists are wahabi.

  18. Adil says:

    France and other countries have a problem that needs to be addressed: many North Africans and Africans in France are treated as second class citizens. They are alienated from society. This breeds resentment and is fodder for the IS gangsters and criminals.

    The terrible events in France and Kenya should be condemned, but we need to face the ugly truth that we need to address our internal injustices to help cut the roots of IS. It is definitely a time for all, regardless of religion, to come together, condemn these events as acts of a criminal
    organisation whose interests have nothing to do with religion or the well-being of the poor unfortunates they have ensnared.

    It is disturbing to see the UK Government’s knee-jerk reaction to the events is to call for a push for more draconian surveillance (clearly it’s not working now why do we expect more will be any better).

  19. Robert says:

    Very helpful and interesting article which rightly calls out Saudi Arabia, however ruined by the god invocation at the end! Pray to which god? And assuming the correct god was picked why would s/he not have had the foresight to staunch funding already?

  20. David Cameron says:

    How about we try for energy self sufficiency?

    It might help if we didn’t keep buying the oil. I dunno -it could be worth a try.

  21. Chris says:

    The reason why these “young”Muslims are alienated in our town of Rochdale is by their own antics towards young white girls and creating no-go areas for the local people,they are not financially diadvantaged not with their flash cars,big houses and abuse of benefits.

  22. oladimeji says:

    One thing I’m sure about is that Isis could never have had a sojourn in Libya under the watch of Qaddafi, same as in Saddam’s Iraq. Interpret it to your taste.

  23. Angelita F Felixberto says:

    First of all, kudos to JSnow for a more comprehensive perspective on ISIS, the myriads of contributing factors and its poisonous tentacles of terrorism throughout the world. I think the reactions were pretty insightful as well. I believe three things: 1) fight with ISIS will take on various fronts and levels. It is very true military response is not enough because they themselves have acquired the weapons, the brains, the manpower and the funding to take this war and sickening motivation for world power through terrorism: 2) let’s continue analyzing the roots of the problem but transcend above the blame game. This is a global problem. As Pope Francis has said its piecemeal World War 3 unleashed. 3) This is a religious war. The mere point they have brainwashed willing suicide bombers is not just a matter of political ideology but of a deep religious conviction with a resolve of willingness to die. And I have to say this, time and time again, skewered, self-styled, extremist, radical Islam have spawned over and over terrorist groups. Now ISIS is willing to bring on the annihilation of this world civilization to give birth to their own. It is evil incarnate when it tramples upon humanity.

    I think it is very true that we have crossed the threshold of such magnitude and gravity like Nazism where ethnic races are pitted against one another, including religious foundations. I see it as a global problem which needs a global resolve.

    The only thing distasteful to me are those who consistently insinuate or express, based on their disbeliefs that the problem is religion per she. Excuse me but it is the pollution of religious truths that bring such horrible things about. Religions, Christianity to me teaches about humanity and civility, and a guiding moral framework of faith in a God who is the source of love and truth. Some people are pretty good with logic and analysis, yet their ignorance of faith and religion causes them to misunderstand and lose sight of the bigger picture, the grander scheme of things.

    I think we need to hang on for a bumpy ride for quite a long time, although hopefully not with troubled insecurity from the absence of peace and bloodbath on all camps. With our advanced technologies and deeper understanding of the human nature, may we find soon enough a lasting solution and resolution for peace. After all, we all have one planet to live on and only one chance to live in it. Just like the ecosystem, we are all interdependent on each other. No one us more superior than the other. Let’s give peace a chance again. God bless us.

  24. Brett says:

    Very interesting article, somewhat ruined by the reference to prayer in the last paragraph. Religion and its historical bedmate, money, are at the heart of all that’s wrong in the world. Some eye-opening feedback, too, especially from Sarah, Marge and Dragor.

    ‘Thank god I’m an atheist’ is truly priceless, by the way. How to kill your own argument…

  25. Khaled says:

    This article has many incorrect facts which lead to misleading the readers. There is nothing called wahhabi in saudi arabia. You will never see a person calling himself a wahhabi. Religious people are fighting against the radicals and extremists.
    I strongly believe that ISIS was created by a country to stabilize israel.
    There is no proxy war by saudis but iran does use the proxies.
    If saudi arabia is the reason for isis existence then why do see many European and non saudis in it.
    Can’t comment on every misleading fact bu this article is full of poison.

  26. John says:

    Jon do you really think the only involvement of the West in all this has been to campaign for women’s rights? Really?
    How did Bin Laden get started in Afghanistan?
    Who built up and supported Saddam Hussein for years?
    Who invaded Iraq then left it destroyed and ungovernable?
    Where did the military leadership and expertise of IS come from?

  27. Stephen says:

    Bad as he maybe the west has to get off this notion that Assad has to be deposed.The US policy of regime change across the region,Afghastan,Libya,Iraq,and Syria has been a disaster and led to a fertile ground for extremist muslims to operate.

  28. robin says:

    A group of zealots in USA developed the Project for a New American Century. In the groups were well known names: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfofitz – all of whom became senior politicians in the GW Bush regime, through which they advanced their conspiracy. By 2006 they declared the Project had “achieved its aims” so they disbanded. Once disbanded they of course removed an entity for journalistic investigation. Very clever of them, maybe but we are all now reaping the consequences of their conspiracy – along with that of the Wahabi thugs and others.
    How much better informed might we, Commoners, be if some of the more private discussions held at Bilderberg Meetings had been recorded and made public?

  29. Meg Howarth says:

    Thank you, Jon, for excellent analysis and thoughtful comments. Yours is the only report looking at Saudi Arabia that I’ve read over the last two days, with the exception of this below;

    ‘The connections between our ‘ally’ SaudiArabia and 9/11 have been politely ignored.’

    Never expected to be quoting/recommending Peter Hitchens as a must-read – link to the piece in which he made the above pertinent comment here:

    ‘Really want to beat terror? Calm down and think’: http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/11/peter-hitchens-really-want-to-beat-terror-then-calm-down-and-think.html

  30. depeki says:

    They kill and injure us without restraint and our response is to stand quiet and sing our anthems. Pathetic! We should be rising up and making it clear to our spineless and pathetic leaders that we want to close all Europe’s borders, ban the whole evil creed of Islam, deport all those who follow it make sure they stay put in their own shit-holes! There they can fight each other as much as they want to satisfy their blood lust. Take note David Cameron and all you spineless politicians who are responsible for “this immigration catastrophe which has been compounded by the elite’s commitment to a pernicious creed of multi-culturalism, meaning migrants, instead of properly integrating, have been encouraged to cling to the customs, practices and even languages of their native lands. It has been a recipe for social division and moral disintegration.” Listen and learn here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWsZuBSf2Tk&feature=share

  31. baward says:

    A concise analysis of the origins of IS by Ben Swann. America does not come off lightly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6kdi1UXxhY&feature=youtu.be

  32. nic mcGerr says:

    Hello Jon and yes I was keen to read your blog comment on Paris but you are so wide of your own mark and so many of the respondents to your blog have hit the spot – without listing all the names the majority write that your perspective on this is not helpful especially extolling the three letter word which on the back of the dollar bill “… WeTrust”!?
    Marge was directly to it as is robin but oladimeji was more circumspect presumably to avoid becoming victim of forthcoming Investigatory Powers but the list of those toppled in the cause of serving.. what.. world peace..(?!) is specifically correct.
    Yes of course you can’t point the finger as Martin so accurately pinpoints but the “balance” that’s needed is more than desperate hope mixed in with the traditional British whinge and weep expecting sorrow and an apology.
    There is also the tricky question of how any “western” media is supported including Channel 4 while in depth investigative reporting on breaking news with a global or domestic political dimension is likely to be spiked not find a home or fall foul of “anti-terror” laws ( Investigatory Powers et al ).
    My thoughts both in response to your blog and as given to media & government in response to the Paris Attack:
    https://archereye.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/why-isis-hates-france-so-much/#comment-31

    “I agree with your general analysis about how it is that France has become a target. Other factors are historic: the Sykes Picot Agreement in the mid east area now dominated by Syria Iran Iraq Saudi Arabia but also on to include Jordan Lebanon Israel and Egypt. Britain was / is also party to that Agreement and to its aftermath = the entire Imperial disaster of ignoring TE Lawrence’s advice but to foist an hegemonic rule on diverse tribal cultural and differently inclined religious peoples by implanting pseudo monarchs to fulfill colonial aspirations. The disaster increased in the 20th century as the wealth of the area became obvious to all world powers particularly America and along with the urge among people to have charge of their own destiny = a principle advanced by so called democratic societies but especially stated in the Constitutions of both the USA & France.The area became and continues to be prone to usurpation terror and turmoil with the post Imperial powers often only standing by as new arising and changing regimes changed perspectives. The old Imperial powers found themselves sidelined and deliberately told or inveigled to back off by the USA flexing itself to its own advantage as a power broker with the set up of Israel, in Egypt about Suez, in Persia/Iran over Mossadecq & instating Shar Pahlavi, the endless surrogacy of an Arab / Israeli conflict and then when Hussein wanting to be paid in Euros threatened the supremacy of the Petro$ – the ultimate knockdown into chaos: Bomb Baghdad rip up Ur and any True Believer in MonoTheism.

    The USA & America is now a long way away and getting there by boat or plane is surely now more difficult especially since desperate Mexicans are finding it more and more perilous to get in overland.

    Part of France’s Imperial hegemony includes Djibouti and it is from there that “birds” / drone strikes are targeted on “objectives” = who or what becomes a “jackpot” to those sitting in an air conditioned room looking at banks of “intel” that could result in a “jackpot” = possibly a known target declared as an enemy to be assassinated by engagement in a “war” carried on outside of terms of the Geneva Convention.
    Unlikely that those perpetrating this mayhem are likely to sit together on a carpet take tea and chat about relative values of combining as an acronym – EUISISUSA.”

  33. John says:

    I have created several multi-site Remembrance events (2009-2013) on how people reach their opinion on war and conflict and this is why I am NOT adding the Tricolour to my Facebook page and supports the crux of Jon Snow’s analysis.

    We worked hard when curating our night time cemetery Remembrance events to ensure that none of the poems carried the jingoistic rhetoric that appeared in the lead up to the First World War and continued well into 1915.

    No Man’s Land, the 2012 event across the central London Underground tube station network, focused on the blindness of a European public in 1913-15 as war spread across the continent. Arrogant politicians quelled anxieties with a mixture of bravado and economic carrots to keep dissent to a minimum.

    In 2013, Silent Cacophony explored how people remember the moments before a sudden explosion or attack. People often build a picture of the moment ‘just before’, but in normal life few take time to reflect on the moment they are experiencing, or that which had just past. Only in times of sudden trauma does this tend to take place, often followed by regret. In our capitalist, marketing led economic system there is the strong pull of nostalgia or the promise of a new or bright future, yet the moment you are living, the only one that exists, is ignored.

    The tragedy of Paris is the tragedy of the world – Friday was part of the awful events tearing apart ‘moments’ in peoples lives; wiping out hope, love, sharing and enjoyment right across the planet.

    I have an understanding for the reactions of people wishing to display the tricolour of the French flag on their social media wall or public buildings and the war rhetoric of the French President as he speaks emotionally to the French people about inflicting more suffering on others.

    But does this work in achieving peace and safety and hope and love?

    The French Tricolour is a symbol of nation state, of borders, of power. Whether through nationalism, religious doctrine, political thought or the pure greed system that we have been embracing for hundreds of years, the violence will not stop until we rethink our whole system. Displaying symbols such as flags provides weak, self-seeking politicians with the belief that the world backs their ill-conceived inflammatory words that peace and showing love cannot work.

    It can work! Rhetoric of peace is more likely to penetrate the deaf ears of young men from Friday and elsewhere than the bloated words of the fat bully.

    Can a world really continue where one half is looking for their next meal and the other deciding when next to upgrade their i-phone? A fundamental shift is required in all our thinking, and it is this that I feel we should all be symbolising on our social media pages.

    John Mc

  34. james says:

    Jon Snow is a very credible and capable journalist, who’s political commentary is without question. i’m sure that he will agree with my opinion that the west or sections of it, in its quest for power have left centuries of unanswered questions. take for example the role of Britannia as a colonial land grabbing nation, it has been creating and participating in wars since time immaterial. as a citizen of a country “Ireland” which has suffered hundreds of years of abuse and enforced famines under its unwanted occupation’ we are still struggling to rid ourselves of the last vestiges of royal windsor’ism from six northern counties of our Island. due to a fundamental Wahhabi sect who describe themselves as loyalists…… if they were in Saudi arabia, we would view them as demented clerics, heretics and Isis propagators.

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