Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

After Paris, Europe Is at a Crossroads

The 'Islamic State' wouldn't exist without Western support, and Europe - which helped create it - had better get off the fence


This post first appeared on Russia Insider


The Attacks

The attacks in France have revealed interesting information about the operational capabilities of the terrorists involved. From the words of the investigators we have discovered that the cells had very different missions with different levels of difficulty,  in some cases simple; in others hard. The first group's action was to strike inside the Stade de France . The mission was highly difficult due to the high levels of safety dictated by the presence of French President Hollande. The second and third commando had the quite easy task of hitting bars, restaurants and concert areas notoriously not guarded and easily accessible. Precisely for this reason, it seems that some terrorists even managed to escape after causing dozens of deaths and more than a hundred injured.

The most logical conclusion about why the kamikaze failed to penetrate the sports arena is probably due to a high level of preparation of the bombers, but certainly not a professional kind. They were trained, yes, but up to a certain point.

Why France

In the past decade France has been very active in terms of foreign policy in areas such as North Africa and the Middle East. We have seen practical and political support to the Arab spring, military intervention in Libya, support for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and a great friendship with the countries directly involved in the destabilization of Syria: Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - situations that prompted the French security services to use domestic jihadist networks with very specific purposes in the field of foreign policy strategies. No longer just oversight and monitoring but complicity and connivance. The main task became to facilitate the journey to Syria and Libya of men willing to fight, often unknowingly, on behalf of the NATO-GCC alliance. To ease this combination of seemingly irreconcilable between state and terrorism, there was the justification of a common goal to accomplish: Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria had to go. As we know, this criminal attitude has its consequences.

IS/Al Qaeda has received logistical support, intelligence info, weapons, money and men from countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar since 2011 and over the years all this paid off with the emergence of the (anti) Islamic Caliphate - an area encompassing portions of Syria and Iraq, and an area where local and virtual networks could be established to proselytize and recruit young men from all over Europe. In the Caliphate individuals where trained summarily in the use of explosives and weapons such as the AK-47. It's these semi-amateur skills, resulting from training received in Syria and Iraq, which have become increasingly evident in the massacres around Europe, not least the one in Paris. Besides, with the complicity of the secret services of half of Europe it has been very easy to arrive in the Middle East. In fact more than 4,000 young Europeans with European Union passports have rushed to replenish the ranks of the Islamic State and the Al Nusra Front (AKA Al Qaeda).

Why Europe

With the advance of the Syrian Arab Army in the summer of 2015, Turkey took the decision, not by coincidence, to evacuate many refugee camps on its territory, causing a mass exodus towards the European countries. Speculations of all kinds have dwellt on the advisability of such a move by Erdogan. The European Union has protested vociferously and relations with Ankara have seen moments of great tension. The pressure placed on Erdogan, by the United States and the GCC, should have been too strong to be ignored. The official version of the migration crisis is that the Europeans simply wanted Turkey to impede transit to Europe from the refugee camps.

The European Union, totally unprepared for such a situation, found itself overwhelmed by the human flow that literally wiped out the concept of national boundaries. Needless to say that the severity of the situation is such that due to bureaucratic European regulations, member states prefer not to identify immigrants but rather encourage their immediate exit from the country to other union states. This creates a high rate of anonymity among those crossing European soil. In addition to this there have been limited border controls between European countries and dangerous policies adopted to face this emergency: welcoming migrants at all costs. It is no exaggeration to say that the situation in terms of national security appears to be critical and compromised. Radical Islamists, facilitated by the national intelligence service to recruit and enter Syria, were able to easily return home, undisturbed and anonymous, infiltrated among migrants, free to continue to pursue their fanatical agenda without being stopped.

Morally, the events in Paris are on the conscience of those who, politically and militarily, have attempted to use jihadist elements for geopolitical purposes.

The European Crossroad

Europe faces an existential crisis. Threatened in its three core elements, the main pillars of the EU: internal security, economic stability and social cohesion. The crossroad the European leadership is facing calls into question decades of economic, social and military strategies.

The deterioration of international relations between European countries and Russia has had a tangible impact on the economy of many countries, worsening economic systems already weak and unstable. The worsening of the conflict and instability in the Middle East countries led regional jet decomposed. Lack of communication with countries such as Russia and Iran, always at the forefront in the fight against terrorism, led to a weakening in internal security to the EU. The aggressive military policy in the Middle East in many EU countries has further increased the network of radical Islamists in Europe, with tangible effects - Madrid, London and Paris are just a few examples.

The downhill path

Europe currently has two options and is forced to make a choice of an existential nature. It needs to realize that the indissoluble link with Washington has produced irreparable damage which it is imperative to remedy. The survival of the continent depends on the decrease of dependence on, and the influence of, the US over Europe.

The easiest way out would require new relationships, on different levels, with Russia, Iran and China. The common basis from which to start is clear: fighting the Islamic state / Al Qaeda, stabilizing the Middle East, stopping migration flows, eliminating sanctions towards Moscow and Tehran and establishing new business partnerships. The positive effects would benefit all stakeholders. The weight and importance, in the strategies of the Middle East, of the Wahhabi Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood of Qatar-Turkey would diminish greatly. This would lead to the permanent disappearance of extremist elements in Libya, Syria, Sinai, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and put a halt to the jihadi networks in Europe. Eventually the Middle Eastern region would enhance stability, promoting a global economic recovery of the entire Mediterranean area and even further. With the end of migration flows, the emergency on the borders and the prospect of a European economy with multiple factors of diversification, there seem no plausible reasons not to take this route.

The steep path

The junction in front of which we see Europe, has it on the one hand being the master of its own future, its own destiny and fleeing from a nightmare that has lasted too many years. On the other hand there is a path to certain self-destruction. Europe cannot continue to be subordinated in this way in issues to do with security. Without safeguarding strategic interests, the European Union is likely to breakdown and fail.

Nevertheless, to stop the entry of thousands of illegal immigrants in the European Union, the European Union has seen fit to make a deal with Turkey and to propose EU membership. Fortunately the motion will still have to be approved unanimously at the EU Council in December. In addition, Istanbul was offered 3 billion dollars to build more refugee camps for the migrants.

It is not difficult to understand that these decisions will continue to be opposed to the interests of Europeans. The foreign policy agenda set by Washington is the same plotted 14 years ago with the Sept. 11th "war on terror". Fear and terror, just as after the events in New York seems to be the main theme being exploited by the French presidential palace. In this sense the extension of the state of emergency for three months tends in this direction.

The choice

The attack in Paris will likely be used as fuel, and the rhetoric of French President hints in this direction, to feed the illegal incursions of NATO-GCC in Syria, headed by France. Realism requires us to reiterate that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and the United States have no intention of changing direction in the Middle East in terms of aid to terrorists. The European Union, led by France said they want to continue to coordinate with Washington not with Moscow, Tehran or Damascus. This means that after the events in Paris, nothing has changed, so it's easy to assume that the EU and US will increase the illegal military activity in Syria after the events in Paris. The recent words of Hollande emphasized that the events in the capital have be looked at as "acts of war" . This seems a possible prelude to a ground intervention in some form, invoking Article 5 of the NATO treaty. The raids in Raqqa, the IS stronghold, in coordination with the United States a few hours after the attacks, are a further confirmation of the wrong choice France and Europe have made. Another member of the European defence apparatus expressed her opinion. The Italian defence minister, Pinotti, talking about the situation in Syria in connection with the events in Paris proposed creating a European army as a step forward and as a move to counter terrorism. In other words a supranational military body for the consumption of NATO, once again a choice contrary to any European interest.

Devastating deception to the community perpetrated by the media continues to blur the population and produce profound damage. The strategies implemented to this date from European governments have failed, using terrorists and arming rebels selling them as moderates is what has brought us this far. Yet it continues, especially thanks to the media who are completely unable to tell the truth. Their function after this massacre will consist only in fomenting a clash of civilization in European countries, and in France in particular. Blaming Islam, pushing mistrust and fear. Direct the hatred to divide. The new mantra recalls the reality we all lived in immediately after September 11, 2001 - all methods already seen and used by national governments for their own agendas.

Conclusions

In this scenario, critical for Europe and apocalyptic for the Middle East, Russia and Syria have an immediate need to increase their efforts and quickly clean up Syria from the Takfirist elements. The risk lies in abandoning the initiative, after the events in Paris, and an escalation of Western projects to try to undermine the integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, like they have been doing since 2011. 

Diplomacy on the other hand struggles to achieve important results between Vienna (discussions among 20 countries on the situation in Syria) and the G20 in Turkey. Apart from the ritual declarations of cooperation, Saudi Arabia has confirmed its intention to support the anti-Assad fighters until the political situation in Damascus changes. The approach to diplomacy being followed by the United States is struggling to achieve significant results in Syria. A part of the Pentagon-Wall Street apparatus is still convinced of living in a unipolar world where they are the only hegemon and they decide. They are not used to others not obeying and this results in US diplomacy becoming a pointless exercise.

Ultimately, it is probable that Europe will not change strategy. It will not do so for many reasons. Firstly because it is incapable and probably most of all because it’s impractical. Europe will continue to suffer, to be subordinate to American leadership and it will not be allowed to have its own initiative, or a common and shared strategy. Europe will continue to be completely at the mercy of events and decisions of individual states in stark contrast to the interests of the old continent.


Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Anyone is free to republish, copy, and redistribute the text in this content (but not the images or videos) in any medium or format, with the right to remix, transform, and build upon it, even commercially, as long as they provide a backlink and credit to Russia Insider. It is not necessary to notify Russia Insider. Licensed Creative Commons


Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.