Statement by the President of the USA on the Situation in Paris,
November 13, 2015, 5:45 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: ‘Good evening, everybody. I just want to make a few brief comments about the attacks across Paris tonight. Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share…”We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’ are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share. And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening…
We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need to respond. France is our oldest ally.’
[Other statements by the White House insisted upon the fact that France was the USA’s oldest friend.]
Patrice Ayme’’s Comment: The fact, that France is the USA’s oldest ally, is not pointed out enough. It is not possible to understand France, the USA, Europe, the history of the world, and the genesis of the United Nations and the present world system, without that prominent fact.
The two republics were born completely entangled, through a process which lasted many generations, culminating in the basic constitutions of 1789 (a few weeks apart). Although the French Constitution was clearer (Liberte’, Egalite’, Fraternite’), the gist of both constitutions was the same. As Obama pointed out, “Liberte’, Egalite’, Fraternite’” is as American as it is French. And it started there, in both places. The men who wrote the American and French constitutions knew each other, which is telling in times when crossing the Atlantic was a dangerous journey which took months.
France can be legitimately seen as the mother of the USA. The war of independence was partly instigated by France, through agents roaming Philadelphia, and then heavily financed to the tune of five trillion 2015 dollars. When told by advisers that he was fostering a republic, Louis XVI brushed it off. Louis himself was busily fighting plutocrats inside France, and wanted to tax them. Taxing the plutocrats in London was a logical continuation of the same effort.
The fascination which North America, the place and continent with its incredible forests and its fascinating Natives, exerted on the French was 250 years old, by the time France fought for an independent America. It’s a curious thing, as France, and especially the French Monarchy, would have profited more by not supporting the rebellion. But many a mother would have profited more, by not giving birth to the child who caused her death. Still, a good mother won’t have it another way, preferring to die for her progeny. Thus the species goes on.
After helping in the various conspiracies that led to the Revolution of 1776, France ramped up its help to the American rebels: most American ammunition was made in France (more than 90%). Later France went in all out war, and, in an unusual feat, even defeat the Royal Navy at Chesapeake Bay. The resulting hopeless siege of Cornwallis forced him to surrender his army to the French commander who politely redirected him to formally surrender to General Washington.
A full generation later, Britain and the USA would again have a war, the war of 1812, at a time when France was also at war with Britain. Then the city of Washington and the White House were burned.
It’s indeed an attack on all of humanity. It’s pretty clear, on reading the entire Qur’an, that Allah’s relationship to humanity is, at best, ambivalent. Allah will, in the end reward those who he is happy with material wealth, but the rest will suffer terrible, unending punishment.
So what to do?
The UN already has structures, especially the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), to determine what’s terrorism, what’s not, and what to do about it. It legalized the intervention in Libya. The French interventions in Mali, Niger, CAR were also legal according to the UN.
More generally, it is high time to become philosophically coherent. Attacking the Islamist State is excellent, but it leads to madness, when the Islamist State is attacked for exactly the same reasons which are in plain sight in Saudi Arabia, or Qatar. No less an authority as Bachar El Assad just pointed this out with relish. This is completely correct. One cannot feed the Saudis, in particular with weapons, while they fight Shiites in Yemen, massively, and finance Salafism, worldwide, massively.
Similarly, one cannot tolerate Salafist preaching anymore. It is a crime. Potentially the worst crime: mass murdering hate crime. An anti-Semite in the USA was just condemned to death for attacking three Jews in light of his Nazism. As he heard the verdict, he screamed: “Heil Hitler!” In human beings, hatred can know no bounds Not even the survival instinct is a bound for hatred. In the worst cases, the only solution is annihilation. Just as civilization did to Nazism (OK, still a few crumbs to clean here and there).
Nazi engineers, to force their way through the French fortifications above the Meuse river, made kamikaze attack with explosive backpacks. At the Stade de France November 13 2015, three terrorists tried to get in the giant stadium. But security was extreme as the French president was inside, watching the first period of a friendly match France-Germany. They could not get in and had to activate their explosive vests outside the security perimeter (only one civilian died). Our lords are well protected. Yet they don’t have a clue. About the philosophical problem at hand. Not that they used to truly care. Maybe now they will have to.
Oh, by the way, the soccer match between France and Germany was not stopped. The three bombs detonated in the first period, shaking the fortress like stadium. The French president and a German minister were exfiltrated, but the second period proceeded in front of the perplexed spectators and their 80,000 smart phones. France won over the world champions, and the crowd went calmly onto the field, for further instructions. As Obama (implicitly) said, France knows war. For 13 centuries, France was at war with Islam. Peace with Islam, paradoxically happened only in the few decades at the end of the nineteenth century when it occupied Algeria, and a peace treaty had been made with Abdelkader. This is no accident, and a missed occasion, not to say a grave error, but also another story.