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Charlie Hebdo Attack
Taking the heat out of the conflict with Assad may help to turn the jihadi tide
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There is a feeling of inevitability about the attack in Paris.

The likelihood must be that the killers were Islamic fanatics, the murder of the journalists and police underlining the degree to which the ferocious religious war being waged in Iraq and Syria now affects all of the world. Regardless of whether or not those who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office have any direct connection with this conflict, it has provided an ideal seedbed for Islamic extremism.

It was culpably naïve to imagine that sparks from the Iraq-Syrian civil war, now in its fourth year, would not spread explosive violence to Western Europe. With thousands of young Sunni Muslims making the difficult journey to Syria and Iraq to fight for Isis, it has always been probable that some of them would choose to give a demonstration of their religious faith by attacking targets they deem anti-Islamic closer to home.

One way of measuring the spread of al-Qaeda-type groups is to look at suicide bombings over the last week. Several of them have inflicted heavier casualties than at Charlie Hebdo. For instance, in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, today, a suicide bomber driving a minibus packed with explosives killed 33 police cadets. On Tuesday, another suicide bomber killed 23 Iraqi soldiers and pro-government Sunni tribesmen in a town in Anbar province north-west of Baghdad.

The day before, gunfire and a suicide bombing killed the general heading the Saudi border control force and two others on the Saudi-Iraq frontier. A week earlier, on 30 December, a suicide bomb blew up outside the internationally recognised anti-jihadi Libyan government building in Tobruk.

In this widening sea of violence, regardless of who carried out the Paris massacre, it would be surprising if Western European states remained unaffected. One of the characteristics of the modern jihadi movement has been to commit highly public atrocities both as a method of intimidation and as a demonstration of the religious commitment of those carrying them out.

This was a feature of 9/11, suicide bombings in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and the ritualised murder of journalists and aid workers on camera. An added benefit from the jihadis’ point of view comes if they can tempt the government into an overreaction that helps spread their cause.

Thus George Bush and Tony Blair played straight into the hands of al-Qaeda by responding to 9/11 by sending armies in. The prison wardens of Abu Ghraib, by mistreating prisoners, and the CIA by torturing them, acted as recruiting sergeants. The counter-effectiveness of that strategy is demonstrated by the growth of al-Qaeda-type jihadi movements 14 years after 9/11.

Can anything be done to reverse the trend towards the spread of Islamic fanaticism? Catching and punishing those responsible for the Charlie Hebdo massacre is not going to deter people who have martyrdom as a central feature of their faith. But bringing to an end, or even just de-escalating the war in Syria, would begin to drain the waters in which violent jihadism flourishes.


Such a de-escalation means the US, Britain, France and their allies accepting that they are not going to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and Assad accepting that he is not going to win back all of Syria. There should be ceasefires between government and non-jihadi rebels. Power would be divided within Syria and, for the first time, governments in Damascus, Baghdad and Paris could unite against violent Sunni jihadism.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Charlie Hebdo, France, Islam, Terrorism 
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  1. {Such a de-escalation means the US, Britain, France and their allies accepting that they are not going to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and Assad accepting that he is not going to win back all of Syria. There should be ceasefires between government and non-jihadi rebels.}

    YOU WILL TAKE THIS WISH, LIKE YOUR MASTERS, INTO YOUR GRAVES. Regional states Will NOT be partioned as intelligenge services of the west designed. All will fu*k off the region and try to rely on your own resources not others. Only the stolen Palestine will be taken away from the zionist theives where British gave to Rottenchield family. The middle east will not be partitioned like you DID in early 20th century by desig to overthrow Ottoman empire to push the zionist on people of the Middle East to rob them.

  2. Vendetta says:

    What non-jihadi rebels? They are a token minority. They are a joke. There is ISIS, then Jabhat al-Nusra, then a few big “mainstream jihadist” groups, and then there are non-entities.

    De-escalating Syria means an internationally supported Assad-Kurdish alliance crushing the Sunni jihadis.

    As for culpable naive, it is culpably naive of the European left to allow so much Muslim immigration and expect nothing like this to happen.

  3. Westernized Muslims were dominant after World War II. Their inability to deliver on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, due to Israel’s influence in the United States, led to the loss of moderate influence and to the rise of jihadists among the Muslims. These attacks will continue until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is settled by a two state solution. It seems to me that this means that we will be living with this violence for generations.

    • Replies: @Vendetta
  4. Vendetta says:
    @Robert Hume

    I’m an anti-Zionist and would like our national policy to move in that direction, but I see no sense in making it easy for Islamists to launch these attacks in Western countries.

    • Replies: @Robert Hume
    , @KA
  5. @Vendetta

    Of course, I agree that we should restrict Muslim immigration. That would be the most important element in a substantial reduction of all immigration. The benefits would be security, reduction of inequality (see Borjas), and increased social capital (see Robert Putnam).

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  6. @Robert Hume

    Absoposolutely, Vendetta & Robert Hume; keep those huddled Muslim masses the heck off OUR teeming shores. Give US storied pomp; give us free speech — the freedom to lie, to defame, to demonize, but keep the wretched refuse we create on the land OVER There where we created the mess.

    Let the Italians take care of ’em — “More than 170,000 migrants were intercepted or needed rescue by Italian navy, coast guard and air force patrols last year.”

    Or better yet — pretend they are Jews and Henry Morgenthau is in a position of influence. Maybe some member of the US Treasury Dept.{8BD5B1FC-E7FE-407E-AC70-BDCEB8A7F857}&notoc=1 can spare some time from sanctioning-with-intent-to-destabilize Iran and Russia to create a War Refugee Board to tend to all the refugees US State Department — and Treasury, Congress, CIA and Pentagon — has created.

    Come to think of it, your proposal DOES mimic that other Morgenthau plan — the one that imposed another five years of displacement, starvation, rape, transfer, and humiliation on those German civilians who remained alive despite Allied efforts to firebomb their civilian infrastructure and incinerate 600,000 German civilians

    Yeah, that’s the spirit.
    Let’s get that shining city on a hill thang revved up.
    It worked for Jews.

  7. {keep those huddled Muslim masses the heck off OUR teeming shores}

    Then why would’nt you f*ck off from our shores??????????????
    This is your terrorism, every one knows it except ignorants. Get lost from the ME and Africa.
    Why do have have over 1000 bases in our region torturing people to take over their resources to rob each other behinds idiots. Fu*k off NOW

  8. KA says:

    I love cartoon. I love those lampooning the jihadist and those mocking the sky god . But for sky god’s sake ,can thse cartoonist print something that gets neocons ,ADL,JINSA,AIPAC and WZO AEI,FDD,IDF,Hagee’s audiences and the rest of the Zionist all shook up ,rattled angry,and pissed off!! No . That won’t happen.
    People who mocked and threw Helen Thomas under the bus are now among those missing the liberty of the press.
    What about Salilita at University of IL? Money buys source of information and suppresses academic freedom pretty easily and the media doesn’t give a …..

  9. KA says:

    “Cohen, by no means a war-crazed neocon, is ready for a blood purge, and a good chunk of the political class in this country and Western Europe is right behind him. The actual perpetrators of the horrific act of murder are soon to be forgotten as the hunt for the “enablers” and “fellow travelers” is taken up with glee. And the hunters will range far beyond their home terrain as “links” are discovered in the far corners of the globe: indeed, with this act, the mysterious “al-Qaeda” makes its reappearance in our collective nightmares. That amorphous ghost, which seems to be everywhere and nowhere, will be chased down from Toulouse to Timbuktu – and then on to Tehran, as the West gears up for a fresh rampage across the war-scarred Middle East.

    The ideologues of state terrorism are already sharpening their swords, which resemble pens, eager to slash their way into the kind of “moral clarity” their kind cannot find in peacetime. Over at the New Yorker, George Packer, an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq war – until it became unpopular – hones his blade: any attempt to “understand” (his scare quotes) what happened in Paris by reference to actual events in the real world is for sissies. The French immigration conundrum, French imperialism, and least of all the invasion of Iraq – all of this is irrelevant. Like all too many intellectuals, who deal in ideas, he is only concerned with “ideology,” as if such a thing could exist without a material basis.
    Justin Raimondo

  10. KA says:
    State terrorism hasn’t been condemned by the media ever and doesn’t seem would ever be by OP-ED pieces .
    .Aparently one of the goals was to spread democracy which includes in its application the provision of the establishment of the freedom of speech. Terrorists/ rebels were given arms (to kill ) to establish freedom f expression in the desert dunes of the shore lines of Libya- an idyllic landscape where mother brings their children for play and fun.Well the mothers used to do that. Now the children’s are dead and mothers are hiding from the shame of the rapes .

    Long live the freedom of expression lover war mongers and selectively religious or promoters of the chosen religion under the cloak of the democracy and liberty!!!
    Yes live long so that justice is served for instigating the worldwide violence for last 13 yrs

  11. KA says:
    Violence committed in the name of religion by those not personally affected by the issues developing in faraway land but affecting the coreligionist is as old as is the known human history

  12. Sam says:


    This terrorist attack in France is another predictable result of 3rd world immigration.

    Even after 9/11, the criminal US govt. still gives more visas (6+ million a year), even though it is the 3rd most population nation on earth. The biggest lobby that promotes 3rd world invasion is the Jewish lobby. It is the most powerful lobby in the US and half of all contributions to Democrats are from the Jewish lobby. The “Jews” basically own and operate the Democratic party. One of the lobby’s biggest goals is to destroy and exterminate White and/or Christian nations by unleashing 3rd world immigration into the US and Europe, while promoting the exact opposite for Israel. See “Culture of Critique”, by Kevin McDonald, reviewed/available on:

    Other examples:

    Jewish alienist Bloomberg wants illegal aliens to invade Detroit.

    Jews support Muslim asylum seekers (in Australia).

    Rabbi Baruch Efrati believes Jews should ‘rejoice at the fact that Europe is paying for what it did to us for hundreds of years by losing its identity.’ He praises Islam for promoting modesty, respect for God.

    Published: 11.11.12, 13:52 / Israel Jewish Scene,7340,L-4299673,00.html

    A woman named Barbara Lerner Spectre wants more Muslims and blacks to invade EU.

    Also, the Democratic party, the world’s biggest criminal gang, wants to import more 3rd world aliens as most of them will vote for the Demogangsters, thus helping them create a permanent majority upon which they can impose a police state. The Republicans are too stupid to realize this (or they are being bribed and blackmailed by the Jewish lobby) that this is the last nail in their (and America’s) coffin.

    And the gullible Christians vote, support and admire their biggest nemesis—the Judaists.

  13. Jon Pakon says: • Website

    Good article. Whether you’re on the left or the right, deescalation of Western involvement in Syria makes sense. We are not able to get a good outcome and should accept that.

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