‘Cui bono?‘ Who benefits?’ is a good question to pose when attempting to understand an event of such tremendous irrationality as the Paris (or Ankara) attacks. As I mentioned at the time of the Ankara bombing, ISIS’s first major attack outside the core battleground area, massive acts of terrorism are never accidental, but directed, both to victims and audience, to greater or lesser degrees. ISIS has now hit Ankara, Baghdad, Beirut, and Paris, four capitals, in the last month.
However, we are spoon-fed nuggets of information by government-controlled mass media that, however “raw,” are always already digested. The situation is somewhat improved if we turn to the economically- and institutionally disadvantaged independent and alternative English-language media, as well as to the media productions made for audiences in the West by the Rest. (RT, PressTV, SANA, Southfront, Telesur.) Since the French are controlling the output of information as tightly as the Turks did after Ankara, the foreign and independent press has access to very few “hard facts” not put forth by the Western media cartels. But they can offer analysis, debate, and criticism in those 29 out of 30 minutes that Western news shows offer to sports, weather, commercials, “reality TV stars”, etc.
We shall see how the evidence emerges. This is the best analysis I’ve seen to date: scroll down to find a 20 minute PressTV report with Eric Draitser and Pepe Escobar, two analysts I often cite here. One setting of the terrorist attacks were at a restaurant near Escobar’s home, and he has interesting tales from neighbors, one of whom watched a highly professional shooter, dressed the role, with no suicide vest, dispatching a dozen then slipping away. This contradicts reports, not yet very settled it is true, that all the terrorists were killed, presumably most by suicide explosions after emptying their AK-47s. The French press is reporting that “accomplices” may have gotten away however.
Without pointing the finger of blame, it is clear that the Paris attacks do not so much benefit ISIS as French neo-cons, who are closely tied to US neo-cons. Of course, both are closely tied to ISIS. Reports suggest the French are ready to send their own naval contingent to Syria and to up their military participation to get at the ‘root of the problem.’ This is indeed located geographically in Syria, but more precisely the root of the problem lies in the foreign backing for terrorism. France is an esteemed member of the ‘ambivalent alliance’ in this regard, and has a special place in its belly for Syria, which it occupied economically in the 1800s and militarily in the 1920s. They have a hard time letting go.
Earlier this fall, as the US and Turkey were beating their chests about a no-fly zone, but it was only starting to become clear that Russia was building up its presence in Syria, the French made a bombastic announcement about henceforth pursuing their own anti-ISIS bombing raids without regard for coalition approval, but according to their own national interests. They carried out a day of raids on ISIS — or so it was reported — and then ceased all serious anti-ISIS activity thereafter. Just like the Turks and the US.
Best bet on the plan uppermost in the minds of the resurgent neo-cons of the ambivalent alliance: to carve up Syria and Iraq into fiefdoms, and grab a few. They have already given up on the parts Assad and Russia now control; they have given up helping Israel keep the Golan Heights, they are now keen to carve up the countries into pockets to be controlled whichever way they can, softly, as with the Kurds, more directly with ISIS, which the Westerners all rush to agree, is a new fact of Middle Eastern life, with admirable institutions of state and media savvy. They intend to divide “Syraq” as the Allies divided Europe after WW2. (Perhaps the same goes for the Ukraine, and perhaps Yemen, in their twisted minds). It is for this reason that Madeleine Albright, eminence greasy of the neo-conservatives always lurking behind modern Democrat administrations, called for a “Marshall Plan” for a deconflicted Syria.