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All of France Is Under Attack

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 14/11/2015 Peter Alexander Meyers

You are reading about the horrific events from my neighborhood in Paris. But to understand both what is happening and what will happen, you must look farther afield.

"There are reports that the 'jungle' refugee camp in Calais has been set on fire. The refugees are trying to flee."|By Kathryn Medien

My first thought after 9/11 was that the risk was high that the attacks would lead to a kind of political suicide for the U.S.
The next month I wrote this in a prescient forum organized by the Social Science Research Council:
"Do not mistake my words: this is not a call for talk with assassins. The situation of America in history requires that we strike back if we can. The United States will do this within the frame of national or international law, or without it. What I say here neither condemns nor condones the military actions presently underway in Afghanistan. It leaves the choice of the instrument of state policy - between bombs and diplomacy, assassination and trial - to those who will make that choice, regardless of what I may think. My point is about the political life of democracy. But we should insistently remind our leaders that, in the end, even war depends on politics. Any general will refer you to the motto of Clausewitz: "War is an extension of politics by other means." And oh how democracies can make war. We must struggle, however, not to make it against ourselves. The best way to do this is to defend politics."

This belief and related ideas were developed in a book --- Civic War --- in which I tried to spell out how acts like this trick democracies into doing to themselves on a grand scale what the spectacular murderers can only do on a "smaller" one --- indeed, this is the strategy and purpose of such acts.
Among other things, I tried to show how few other historical developments in living memory have so damaged the U.S. as the misguided and irrational war in Iraq. By "the U.S." here did not mean some abstract "international actor," but rather the everyday circumstances of citizens living our own lives and trying to solve our own problems.
I refer to this again now because I have just seen the indescribably despicable news I cite above --- attacks on France's suffering immigrants have already begun:
There are many stripes of fascists afoot, and some will feign their difference from the others in order to advance their common cause: the destruction of French democracy. For the extreme right in France, this will be a very different sort of opportunity than the Charlie Hebdo incident less than a year ago. People who love France should stand up against that from the first minute, which is now.

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