This is directed primarily to all those people that have felt that it is an appropriate response, to the events in Paris last Friday evening, to superimpose French tricolore flags all over the place, including things like their infernal Facebook profile pics. In the words of a great marxist rebel “They know not what they are doing”.
There are two major problems with such actions.
Firstly, it smacks of more than just a hint of, at best double standards, and at worst latent racism. Why use the french flag when a terrorist atrocity occurs there, but not show similar ‘solidarity’ for similar and worse atrocities, this year alone, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Kenya, Yemen, Nigeria, Lebanon, Gaza etc, etc. Perhaps the victims were just not white enough for you, dare I say?
Of course, part of this, and the excuse most people will absolve themselves with, is the fact that the media coverage of these atrocities ranges from piffling to none existent. And as regards the Facebook pics, Facebook made it easy for people to add the flag with a couple of clicks, but never offered such facilities for the other events. So lets deflect any accusations of bias and racism towards the media and Facebook then. At least that way we can sleep a bit easier, knowing we have done all we can with those couple of clicks. How easily we let ourselves be manipulated. We haven’t the time in our hectic lives to take responsibility for educating ourselves and holding organisations that are supposed to serve us to account, have we? Much easier not to ask too many equations and trust our governments to do the right things on our behalf. We voted them in after all, and we are not stupid, are we?
This brings me on to the second major problem with showing solidarity with France. The French government comprises a similar bunch of mass murdering bastards as our UK government and the (worst of the lot) US government. Neoliberal capitalists control our governments.
They persuade our governments to rampage around the world to protect their neoliberal, capitalist interests. They stir up trouble in far flung lands, encouraging extremists by arming and often training both sides in these local squabbles. It is fantastic for the arms trade and great for helping to secure access and favourable deals on vital commodities, especially oil and gas. Leftie conspiracy theory? Read Naom Chomsky’s ‘How the World Works’, if you can be bothered to question anything about the what the fuck is going on around you.
So let’s get it clear. The French had it coming. They have been bombing in Iraq for some time and started a bombing campaign in Syria in September.
Witnesses at the Bataclan said the gunmen shouted in French, “This is because of all the harm done by Hollande to Muslims all over the world.” He was probably French.
The rise of anti-islamic racism in France, alongside the bombing campaign, are just the start of reasons why France has become a prime target for the terrorists.
So solidarity with France is solidarity with the racists and the bombers, whether that is what you intended or not. And it is solidarity with the French response to this attack, its retaliation to the ISIS retaliation, and so the cycle goes on. So far, the official reports of the French strike back stress that ‘no civilian casualties have been reported’. That does not mean that there have been none of course. Early unofficial reports suggest air strikes had also hit a stadium, a museum, clinics, a hospital, a chicken farm and a local governmental building. Water and electricity were cut across the city as a result of the raids, the group said, adding that at least 30 air strikes had been carried out. In your name.
But a lot worse has been done in your name, and by British troops – those heroes you were saluting just last week. But hey, you don’t want to hear about that either, do you?