Saturday, November 14, 2015

France and the global peace effort: attacked.



verdi adhanta
verdi@enlight-studio.com


On November 13, 2015. A series of 7 attacks including a hostage situation engulfed Paris, France. The attacks said to be inspired by IS. More than 150 people died, 100 of them in hostage situation in Bataclan concert Hall. The attacks said were done using "adanced" weapon," and lead to intensified security. Lights were not lit after the shooting, as the Eiffel, the symbol of Paris, left standing in the dark. The nation declared national emergency. 

People in Paris said they never experienced the kind of situation before and are having trouble to understand what it means while feeling something has changed and things won't ever be the same again.

The French had joined the coalition against IS and have their plane conducting bombing attacks on various IS locations in Syria. IS issued responsibility claim and threatening to do it again if the French continued their war effort.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: 10.47 GMT
"There is no justification for terrorist acts and no justification for us not [to do] much more to defeat ISIS, Al-Nusra and the like," Lavrov told reporters ahead of a meeting with his US counterpart John Kerry and United Nations special envoy Steffan de Mistura.

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Associated Press: 11:02 GMT
The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks. In an official statement the group said its fighters, armed with suicide bomb belts and machine guns, carried out the terror strikes at various locations they had pinpointed in the heart of the French capital.


French ministries and top military officers met for an emergency defense council, regarding the situation. While Russian foreign minister and Syrian president Bashar Al-Asad are quick in their response pushing for more military solution. Similar response came from British Tony Abbot.

This tragic event suddenly brought back the political discourse of a more active military solution on ISIS, trough statements by political leaders from both sides of major power involved in Syrian conflict: Russian, Assad's Syrian, Iranian and their counterparts, the coalition.

A Syrian passport reported to have been found near the body of a suicide bomber who had smuggled from Greece. This could jeopardize the refugee situation in Europe, as anti-migrant sentiments already a big problem.

Migrant crisis is a big issue that have been intensely brought to public discussions. This implicates a tendency of stronger western position to Syrian conflict. US and the coalition has previously been choosing relatively careful approaches to Syrian conflict, limiting their involvement to airstrikes support and military "consultancy" only for active forces fighting the IS on the ground.
 

Street demonstration by French citizen which taking place despite their government advise to stay indoor, may be taken as an indicator of the intensifying public focus on IS situation, and this can be easily used as a political incentive for both sides of the argument.

There are rumors that the attack was linked to the Sharia4Belgium which in 2012, trough their website, announced the organization was dissolved. However, an ISIS threat was received and publicized by a Belgian newspaper, in connection of the persecution of Sharia4belgium.

Publication of International Business Times, February 4, 2015

In January 2015, a total of 17 people were dead and 22 wounded in a series of attack in Paris, started with the Charlie Hebdo shooting on January 7, 2015. After the confession of a Brussels based arms dealer, Belgian police raided weapons and found documents linking to Amedy Coulibaly, the perpetrator who murder 4 Jewish and hostage others at Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket in east Paris on January 9, 2015.

Amedy Coulibaly was a friend of Chérif Kouachi, who with Said Kouachi perpetrated the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Amedy met Chérif Kouachi in a prison where he served for bank robbery. There, Amedy also met Djamel Beghal, an Al-Qaeda recruiter. There Amedy apparently was converted to radical Islam and pledged allegiance to the ISIL. Psychiatric examination declared Amedy had psychopathic characteristic and lack the capability of introspection.

Men like Amedy Coulibaly is apparently a character that easily persuaded, as he had by Parisian Islamic hate preachers, what believed to be primary reason of his radicalization. The climate of religious tension between the Islamic and the far right that became worse in recent years doesn't help the situation. Similar condition in Belgium.
Islam integration issues are a prevalent problem for Europe and has been heavily used by the far right side of their local politics. The proximity of this last attack to January Charlie Hebdo shooting communicates a strong message for the people of France and the rest of Europe, that may probably gravitate public memory into aspects that could be more advantageous for social narrative promoted by parties that could use it for a stronger influence.

The wider sphere of effect had crossed French, and even European borders. The far-right and other more conservative positioned parties from British to the middle east has seen its potential and started to play the old but effective card, which might be proven effective in the days coming.