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June 2024



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Paris attacks legitimize a new wave of counter-terrorism and emergency laws

The tragic Paris attacks led me to raise questions once again, since it is the second time that France has topped the news headlines this year. I believe that followers of our Outlook are now aware that I am a big fan of history. I have a tendency to go back to my history books to reflect on the past and recognize similar patterns to the events that we are experiencing today. Looking back, it seems obvious that, going through the 20th century and into the 21st, wars went, from being about nationalism, to ideological wars (communism versus democracy or what we would call ‘state capitalism disguised in democracy’), to becoming about religion, which sort of takes us back to the dark ages. Since the Berlin wall came down, back in 1989, and communism was defeated, it has been replaced by the “Muslim world”. We could see this change in Hollywood movies and in our media coverage. Audiences, who are not aware of political contexts, easily link Islam to terrorism. As a result, they have wrongfully become two sides of the same coin. In our coverage of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, we talked a lot about freedom of the press. However, at this point I would like to take the opportunity to look at the greater picture of the Paris attacks.

“They hate us because we are free!”

Since 9/11, western governments have conveniently used the “war on terror” to launch military attacks on the Middle East.Whenever  an attack occurred on western soil, they came up with the same statement that “they hate us because we’re free”. Ryan McMaken from the Mises Institute wrote the following a few days ago:

“that this slogan has been especially effective among very ignorant sectors of the population who seemed to be under the impression that the United States had been engaged in non-interventionist foreign policy prior to the 9/11 attacks. “Why we were just minding our own business”, came the shocked and exasperated claims of the know-nothings. “These Arabs just attacked us for no reason, so they must just hate us because we’re so doggone free.”

The problem is that there is a large segment of western society that believes these statements, and even supports this viewpoint. As a result, military involvement in the Middle East has grown out of proportion. Now, 13 years after the beginning of the second war in Iraq, the West can’t get itself out of the mess that it created with its bare hands. History tells us some important facts: the U.S. used rebel groups in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. These groups were led by Osama Bin Laden, back then hailed by the Americans as a hero, who later formed Al-Qaeda that became the synonym for terror. But since Bin Laden was killed, terror needed a new face: ISIS. ISIS is an off-shoot of Al-Qaeda. However, the reason why it gained power so quickly is due to the U.S. presence in Iraq. Not only did it topple a government, it wrecked a whole country, destabilized an entire region and left behind a power vacuum. This power vacuum allowed armed groups to emerge and to gain a foothold in the region. ISIS managed to find its way to Syria by manipulating the war between Bashar Al Assad and the Free Syrian Army. This war meant the destruction of Syria and its infrastructure, instability, and a massive flow of refugees into the Middle Eastern countries that now began to shift to Europe. In his remark to American journalist Ben Swann in his documentary “Origin of Isis”, Daniel Mc Adams (Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute) described ISIS as the best-funded armed group, since they secured oil from fields in Syria that is now being sold in the black market. All of this comes down to the direct action of the U.S. and Europe in the Middle East – they were not just “minding their own business” at all now, were they?

The rest of the article is here.

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