France armed terrorist forces in Syria. France perpetrated terrorist acts in Libya. France yesterday got its fingers burnt. The lesson from Friday the Thirteenth in Paris is, if you play with fire, meddle in foreign societies and cultures, what goes around comes around. This in no way justifies what happened but let us take a close look at the issues.
First things first, let us all spare a thought for the 129 victims of the terrorist attacks yesterday in Paris and their families and loved ones, and those of the 350 injured. Secondly, let us remember what I said back in 2001 when the United States of America and its Poodle-in-Chief the United Kingdom embarked on their imperialist venture in Afghanistan and let us remember what I said when the same dynamic duo with the UK's ex-colonial lackeys, Canada and Australia, waltzed into Iraq against every fiber of international law two years later.
On both occasions I wrote lengthy letters to the President of the USA and the Prime Minister of the UK and printed numerous articles in these pages, warning about the consequences downstream, namely that in following an approach which involves strafing and bombing targets overseas, the second you start to strafe and bomb civilian targets with military hardware, you are perpetrating a terrorist attack. Then there can be no difference whatsoever between an attack carried out by a coward in the sky hiding 35,000 feet up in the air and an attack on defenseless civilians, including women, the elderly and children, perpetrated by a demented fanatic.
France was at the time one of the western nations which showed some common sense and refused to take part. Until 2010, when the French set up a base in Benghazi, Libya as they prepared the terrorist assault against Muammar al-Qathafi's Jamahiriya the following year, participating in the destruction of the most successful society in Africa, the country with the highest Human Development Index in the continent, before the decision to "Get Gaddafi".
And France once again stuck its neck on the block when it intervened in Syria, arming terrorist forces to fight against President Assad. These terrorist forces did not just shoot people dead, they perpetrated the most shocking acts of butchery the world has seen. They hacked people to death in the streets, sliced breasts off women, impaled children on stakes, gouged the eyes out of Syrian security force personnel, tore the heart out of soldiers and ate them, gang-raped and tortured elderly nuns, sodomized priests and monks and nailed Christians to crosses, leaving them to die in the Sun
And some of these acts were perpetrated by those using French weapons, delivered by France, interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.
So if we are going to commiserate with the victims in Paris, which we must, then let us also commiserate with the victims in Libya and Syria murdered by French pilots or murdered with French weapons in terrorist strikes by French pilots or in terrorist strikes by terrorists armed by France. Let us also commiserate with the victims of the recent bombings in Beirut, Lebanon, because although they are not Europeans and are therefore off the radar, they also count.
In no way are the attacks in Paris justified or justifiable by France's own state terrorist acts or state sponsored terrorism because two wrongs do not make a right. But as I have been saying for over a decade, what happened today is the inevitable consequence of a neo-colonialist policy of interfering and deployment of troops, rather than development and respect for the internal affairs of sovereign states.
What goes around, comes around, let us call a spade a spade and face the music instead of indulging in hypocritical exercises in mocking those who are mourning. Those who stood back and watched ISIS form, those who actively supported ISIS, those who armed terrorists, those who carried out terrorist acts themselves are equally to blame for what happened in Paris yesterday.
And the sinister outcome of this attack, supposedly carried out by ISIS, may be that it provides the justification for NATO to swing into action in the Middle East.
I derive no pleasure at all out of saying that I was right all along, along with millions of others whose voices speak louder than mine, neither do I derive any pleasure at all in predicting that what we are seeing today is just the tip of the iceberg to come, because Islamic State has chemical weapons and is suspected of being well on the way to acquiring biological weapons.
When they use them, which they will, then those countries which did all they could to stop President Assad from destroying this filth had better not play the victim and cry crocodile tears.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.