‘Americans love religious fundamentalists because they trade’
France’s reaction to what its president called “an act of war,” the series of attacks which claimed the lives of 129 people on Nov. 13, was to hit the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Raqqa, Syria.
Yet although Raqqa, the stronghold of ISIL, which claimed responsibility of the Paris attacks, might be the right target in the immediate short-term, if France and other countries want to eradicate the root cause of ISIL terror, they need to look elsewhere.
This is advice that is coming from a French expert. He is no ordinary person. Marc Trevidic has worked as an anti-terrorism judge in Paris for the past ten years. During an interview on French television he underlined the fact the world has let a monster (ISIL) grow for the past three years. In fact, he said that ever since the war in Iraq, the world has done nothing about the spreading of jihadist ideology.
“It is not just a matter of intelligence gathering and implementing the preventive measures. They [ISIL] might be unsuccessful the first, second or third time but eventually they will succeed. We need to fight this ideology,” he said. And when asked, he did not chew his words on Salafists and Saudi Arabia. “We are friends with countries that have ideologies close to that [jihadist] ideology. Saudi Arabia has been diffusing jihadist ideology. Why are we friends with them? Because they are our economic partners? The United States adores fundamentalists because they are liberal economically. The Saudis and the Qataris are super, they say, because they trade. This is a total paradox and we need to get out of this paradox. Those who are diffusing this ideology cannot be our friends,” he said.
“A 242-ship navy will not stop one motivated murderous fanatic from emptying the clip of an AK-47 into the windows of a crowded restaurant. The F-35 fighter plane will not stop a group of motivated murderous fanatics from detonating bombs at a soccer match,” wrote Charles P. Pierce in an article published in Esquire.
“There are things that nations can do in response that do not involve scapegoating the powerless and detaining the innocent. There is no real point in focusing a response on the people whose religion makes us nervous. States should retaliate against states,” he said, adding, “It is long past time for the oligarchies of the Gulf States to stop paying protection to the men in the suicide belts.”
Ironically, as the democratic presidential hopefuls debate on Nov. 14 focused on how to deal with ISIL, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “It cannot be an American fight,” and called on Turkey and the Gulf States to do more. “Turkey and the Gulf States are going to have to make up their minds: Are they going to stand with us to [confront] this jihadi terrorism, or not?” she said.
But as I had already written previously, it was Clinton who was complaining about the Saudi government’s reluctance to stem the flow of money to jihadists, according to WikiLeaks. “More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups,” said a secret December 2009 paper signed by her.
Yet nothing has been done against the Saudis.
In reality it is America and its Western allies that need to make up their minds about whether they are ready or not to severe their relations with the Gulf States or keep playing the three monkeys as they continue serving the interests of their military industry that makes multi-billion-dollar deals with the Gulf.