Western Politics Of High-octane Emotion
By Finian Cunningham
January 19, 2015 – “Press TV” – So America’s top diplomat John Kerry wants to give France “a big hug” to condole over the recent spate of alleged terror attacks in that country. Speaking in Paris while laying a wreath for the 17 victims of violence, Kerry said that “America feels the pain of our oldest ally.”
Kerry’s words, accompanied by James Taylor’s mawkish song ‘You’ve Got a Friend’, is typical of the new politics of high-octane emotion that is inducing people to take leave of their senses.
Since the violent attacks that hit Paris last week, the French authorities have orchestrated full-court national and international mourning. Massive marches for “unity” and “free speech”, candlelit vigils, medal-of-honor ceremonies, and somber eulogies and paeans to “French values” – all such events and media coverage have sought to bolster the support for state authorities.
The trouble with this “high-octane emotional politics” is that it stupefies the public from asking some very necessary hard questions of the authorities. By buying into weeping and self-indulgence, the public are at risk of being manipulated like never before.
Just as John Kerry was offering a big hug “to all of France”, the US government this week announced a significant step-up in its military involvement in Syria. The Pentagon unveiled plans to send 500 military personnel to train “moderate rebels” to fight against the elected government forces of President Bashar al Assad.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are to provide the US with training grounds on their territories to furnish a “new rebel army” of 15,000 fighters. The previous “moderate rebels” became subsumed into the ranks of the extremist Al Nusra and ISIS, taking their American weapons with them.
It is widely acknowledged, even in the Western mainstream media, that the conflict in Syria has fuelled extremism across the Middle East, which is finding its way into Europe. As troops go on high-alert counter-terror operations in France and Belgium this weekend, there is an unequivocal correlation between the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Iraq – and new threats of terrorism in Europe.
The latest troop dispatch by the US to train “rebels” in Syria will inevitably lead to more conflict and terrorism. So much for John Kerry’s big hug and emotive pleas of “you’ve got a friend”. Kerry is like an arsonist paying his respects to families of charred victims.
That conclusion should be a no-brainer. But as the masses are swooning with emotion – and a lot of that crocodile tears too – some basic facts become blinded, conveniently for the authorities.
One basic fact is that the Western states’ covert war for regime change in Syria is criminal and in violation of several international laws. Western political leaders crying over victims in Paris should be prosecuted for war crimes from their four-year-long military adventurism in Syria involving proxy extremist networks. These terror networks are feeding directly back into European societies. American and Western media deception of “training moderate rebels” should be dismissed with the contempt that it deserves. Washington and its European allies are up their necks with terror networks.
Days after the apparent terror killings in Paris, French President Francois Hollande made one of many emotive speeches that week proclaiming the supposed virtues of Western values – while on board the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. The largest vessel in the French fleet was then deployed to join NATO forces in the Persian Gulf to step up bombing campaigns in Syria and Iraq “to defeat terrorism”.
With tears running down the nation’s cheeks, the French authorities are thus stoking more violence in the Middle East than they have already done along with their Western allies. How crass can it get? But in the new lachrymose politics of emotions, the public surrenders to the crassness.
However, it is precisely at this juncture that we need to avoid emotional over-reaction and instead to pursue rational, critical questions. As several respected commentators have already noted there are gaping doubts in the official French version of what took place in Paris last week.
Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out that the French police chief, Elric Fredou, who was looking into the attack on the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed, was himself found dead in an apparent suicide on the night following that incident. The timing is highly suspicious, but the wider public, misled by the non-inquiring media, appear to be disinterested in the circumstances of the police commissioner’s untimely death. Was it really suicide? Was he being shut-up over damaging revelations about who were the real perpetrators of the attack on Charlie Hebdo?
Paul Craig Roberts has also pointed out several incongruities in the official narrative, including the way that the French state security forces executed the Kouachi brothers and the kosher supermarket gunman Amedy Coulibaly, instead of capturing them, thus removing any possibility for the public to hear their accounts. Were they set up by French military intelligence to take the rap for the earlier terror attacks? Roberts notes that the professional behaviour of the masked gunmen in the Paris attacks does not match the bumbling behavior of the Kouachis at the later, fatal shoot-out.
Also, as Peter Koenig recently argued, the spate of French alleged terror attacks, as well as the recent fatal incident in Belgium this weekend, is being used as a “shock and awe” device to manufacture public opinion into accepting more coercive state police powers and foreign military interventions – the very policies that are fueling terrorism.
Western governments and their pliable news media are audaciously playing politics with public emotions. Proven Western state involvement in Middle East conflicts and false flag terrorism needs to be rigorously interrogated and exposed more than ever.
But the public seems too occupied shedding tears, singing the Marseilles, and accepting big hugs from the likes of John Kerry, to otherwise be able to think straight and to hold the authorities to account. Ironically, in the political climate of high-octane emotions, the people are turning for protection from the very authorities who are placing them in increasing danger.