Twitter and email info

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Al-Qaeda And Europe, 2015

Links: A. Al-Qaeda In Europe
           B. Al-Qaeda Plot To Blow Up Airliners In Europe

My close friend Jennifer and I were talking recently about what it means to be born of two distinct, separate nationalities, languages included.  One of the first chapters of my book provides a glimpse of my family, both in France and Kentucky, and Jennifer and I were considering a change in the chapter title.  The truth is, neither of us liked the title in place, which was, "Bicultural".  Sure, it fits.  My father is from the coal mining mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and my mother's heritage is in the wine vineyards of southwest France.  But for some reason, the word bothered both of us, so we chose, "bicontinental", which is so much better.  Bicultural did not signify enough of a separation; we have bicultural folks all over the United States.  My siblings and I, like many military brats, were conceived from genes that were separated by mountain ranges and never-ending oceans.  When I turned on the television station this morning after an emotional wake-up call from my French mother, I tell you, those mountains and that ocean have never seemed so insurmountable.  Because I have traveled extensively in my life, rarely do I feel completely removed from either France or Texas.  But this morning I felt that France was out of my reach, and it was terribly frustrating.  I wanted to put myself into that horrific event, and help in any way possible, and to at least share in the communal heartbreak that inevitably accompanies an event like this.  I recall 9-11, watching thousands and thousands of New Yorkers, with candles, standing around the make-shift billboards with photos of missing people, and I remember how much I wanted to be there physically.  This morning, really early this morning, before the sun was up for us in Texas, I was in distress, and I wanted to be with the people of France, who are part of me; and I wanted to share their pain, but also add my strength to the soul of France, so that France remains strong, free and vigilant.  Vive la France!

This terror attack was no great surprise.  Holland and France seem to be the target of the greatest anger coming from the Islamic extremist camp.  The French piss off just about everyone sooner or later, which can also be said for the United States.  France is obsessed about its independence.  I'm not referring to the fourteenth of July "Bastille Day" celebration, I'm referring to France's tradition of following its own path.  I'm talking about the decision to ask NATO to leave France in 1967 and also France's unilateral choice to suspend the contract with Russia for the sale and delivery of two Mistral-class super-modern helicopter carrier assault warships in 2014.  When the winds of change signaled the end of colonialism in Africa, France did things her way, as she has done regarding the issue of atomic power and nuclear weapons.  With regard to Islamic extremism, the one thing the French people value more than their independence is their culture.  France has cultivated a positive relationship with many of its former colonies, including a number of Muslim countries.  During colonial times, France considered many of the persons living in its colonies as being French citizens.  Many ethnic Arabs and Africans emigrated to France.  As of 2015, ten percent of France is Muslim.  Some French Muslims have clashed with the French government over issues which seem to conflict with French culture.  The traditional way of dress for many conservative Muslim women is considered misogynistic by French attitudes.  The high unemployment rate in predominantly Muslim suburban communities has created a dissatisfaction with the French government, and some of the young people are turning to violence as an outlet.  Why have I taken the time to describe this French-immigrant issue in such detail?  Because it is the same pattern that is playing out in poor immigrant, predominantly Muslim communities all over Europe, including London, Copenhagen, Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome and even Stockholm.  Almost every member of the European Union has the potential for real problems with Muslim young men who see themselves as foreigners, and have no jobs. 

The young men who leave Europe to join groups like Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, and the Islamic State, are very sincere in their allegiance to Allah.  They believe in the glory of death on behalf of Islam, and the wonders of heaven that await a true martyr.  Young men are the most idealistic in their late-teens and early twenties, about the same time that they seem to have unlimited physical energy.  Extremist groups take advantage of the age and emotional immaturity of these young men, and the indoctrination begins.  If you meet someone who has nothing, and you give them something, you immediately impact their world.  These young men who never really blended in, who had trouble with local (many times Christian) girls, and were unable to find a job, are reminded that they do indeed have a family, and that the time has come to return home.  Its not Rocket Science, if you'll excuse the cliché.  This socio-politico-demographic development, the movement of millions of non-Europeans to Europe that occurred mostly towards the end of colonialism (although illegal immigration has continued the process), has had positive and negative results.  Many cultures flourish with exposure to other languages and traditions.  But the children that were born in Europe, who were going to have great difficulty being accepted as Europeans, would present the greatest problem of all.  Once the problem and the symptom have been identified, what is the solution?  France has poured untold billions of francs and Euro into new housing, free education, free artisan training, and on and on.  At the end of the day, maybe some genius will wake up and realize that its great to be friends, but you can't always force someone to become a member of your family.

Today I heard that over 700 young Frenchmen had emigrated to join Islamic Extremist groups.  I assume the majority will find their way to Syria.  No doubt the patient, educated and most dangerous young extremists will continue to be attracted to Al-Qaeda.  As I've argued previously (ad nauseam), I'm convinced that the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda are not as separate as we would like to believe.  As time moves on, and the conflict begins to take shape, I can imagine the Islamic State as the more conventional military wing of the extremist cause, and Al-Qaeda as the more cerebral limb.  The main reason that Al-Qaeda did not have the resources or manpower to conduct another 9-11 type attack sometime in between 2002 to 2010, was because they had been obliged to engage in a conventional war in Iraq and Afghanistan, against the U.S. Army.  Al-Qaeda is and always has been ill-suited to this type of warfare.  They are much more comfortable planning operations like the attack we witnessed this morning in Paris.  Interestingly enough, Al-Qaeda is engaged in a somewhat traditional conventional conflict in Yemen.  At the end of the day, the war in Yemen, along with the ground war in Iraq and Syria, will provide the extremists with a well-trained and equipped conventional fighting force.  If the recruiting continues on pace, and begins to take advantage of African poverty as I have hypothesized, I can easily picture an army of 50,000-plus in the Levant, possibly more in Iraq.  If this is the plan, sooner or later an air-element will have to be procured, so lets keep our eyes open for any additional missing MIGS.  Is it possible that the future will include a conventional Islamic extremist army, with Al-Qaeda as the head of this serpent?  Lets hope not.

PS It appears that I have developed a loyal group of friends who visit my blog everyday.  I wish I could meet you all in person....if you're ever in Texas, please drop by and say howdy.  I am humbled by the validity you provide to this blog by your regular visits.  Thank you and merci beaucoup.  I need to ask you a favor.  I want my blog to move to the next level.  I'm doing what I can to increase visits, and I want to impose upon you to please spread the word about "the new CIA blog with the strange name".  I've reached that point where it is time to grow a bit.  And soon I will be back with another PS, asking you to buy my book, so get ready!  Much obliged, Eric 

No comments:

Post a Comment