November 14, 2015

On Friday the 13th, Paris, the City of Light, was plunged into darkness and fear.

At least eight young jihadists, allegedly from the so-called Islamic State group, attacked the national sports stadium, where President Francois Hollande was attending a soccer match with Germany’s foreign minister. They also attacked outdoor cafes, a pizzeria and a rock club.

As of this writing, 127 civilians were killed and dozens wounded. All of the attackers are believed to have died. For the second time this year, Paris is terror-struck and shaken to its foundation. Pope Francis aptly described the attacks as “homicidal madness.”

What was Islamic State’s objective in attacking all these improbable soft targets? Madness is not a sufficient motive. Clearly, Islamic State’s 20-somethings were bombing and shooting up targets that youngsters frequented, like a pizzeria or Friday night heavy metal concert. Their objective: to kill as many people as possible in a pure revenge attack.

Islamic State (IS), a collection of young hooligans, misguided idealists, and bitter riff-raff, have warned the West, “we will make you feel what we have felt.” They adopted this slogan from the Chechen independence fighters who resorted to attacks on Russian civilians after Russian forces killed an estimated 100,000 of their people in the 1990’s.

Now, it’s Europe’s turn to feel some of the horrors of the wars in the Mideast.

France is a prime target because of its extensive and deepening military interventions in the Muslim world. Some 10,000 French soldiers or airmen and large numbers of intelligence operatives are involved in Syria, Iraq, the Gulf, Libya, Chad, Mali and Ivory Coast. France props up the authoritarian rulers of Algeria and Morocco

France is playing a central role in its former colonies, Syria and Lebanon. Paris appears to have long-range plans for expanding its influence in the Levant, including installing regimes attuned to French policies.

French warplanes are bombing Syria and this writer believes French special forces have been in combat in Syria, as they were in Libya when the western powers combined to overthrow the Khadaffi government.

In short, France has made many enemies for itself across the Mideast. It appears only a matter of time before France’s partners in Mideast intervention, the United States and Britain, become new targets of jihadist violence.

As the Bible says, “nothing new under the sun.” What the 20-something jihadists of IS are doing is trying to replicate the terror caused by the fabled, 12th century AD Sheik al-Jebel. Operating from his aerie of Alamut, high in Syria’s mountains, the sheik dispatched teams of hashish-crazed assassins with poisoned daggers to intimidate all of the Mideast’s rulers, Muslim and Crusaders alike.

The murderous Ismaili cult quickly came to be known as “hashishin,” or “assassins,” the origin of our term. The assassins terrorized the entire Mideast, shaking down its rulers for great amounts of gold. One never knew when or where they would strike. Their first warnings were often pinned to the pillows of intended targets as happened to the famed Saladin. The assassin teams would strike with poisoned daggers, then die under torture laughing and calling out to god.

Finally, the great Egyptian Mameluke sultan Baibars and the invading Mongols put paid to the assassins. The survivors fled east and today peacefully live in Pakistan’s Hunza Valley under the Agha Khan.

The modern reincarnation of the assassins struck Paris on Friday night. Alarmingly, one or more may have entered Europe as a Syrian refugee. Rightists in Europe are already calling for internment camps for Muslims, though they had nothing whatsoever to do with IS’s teenage lunatics. In fact, IS has put Muslims everywhere in peril as well as besmirching the name of Islam. Europe may seize the Paris attacks as an excuse to bar any further refugees.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2015

This post is in: France, ISIS


  1. I think people living in Hunza, Pakistan are not the original Ismailis. They were converted when Agha Khan poured money into those regions which were backward since centuries.

    Most of the Ismailis live in either Karachi Pakistan or Mumbai and in neighboring cities in India. And most of them speak Gujrati as their main language.

  2. There will be a lot more slaughters around the world, because the official news agencies are not or dare not mention the underlying cause of the troubles in the ME. They are of no recent origin, but part of an extensive overall plan, that will not stop until that goal is accomplished or thwarted by the masses, as in a world-wide revolution. There are no adjustments possible to compensate for the modern world of communication accessible to all and beyond the control of the originators of this carnage. We are now able to kill more people in less time over a far greater area, but that option is open to more than one group or country. It is hard if not impossible to fight an enemy without a face or a nationality, who is equally capable and cruel as their adversaries, albeit driven by a different ideology. We can keep on slaughtering each other and keep on pushing the blame on religion, but religion is in principle just an excuse to hide the true purpose. The main players do not believe in religion, except for what can be accomplished with it as a tool of spreading fear and blind obedience to the leaders. `Divide et impera’ is also applied to the religions, lest they get too unified and powerful and become a threat rather than a tool.

  3. The world’s reaction to Paris is like the Monty Python sketch where two British officers are talking.
    Officer 1: Well.. How goes the war in the colonies?
    Officer 2: Bloody awful. They have no sense of decency and civilization. Can you believe it? The natives are shooting back at us.
    1 Shooting back? What a bunch of savages.

    • Ben, thank you for that very accurate description of the conceit of the west. This is what happens, when people start believing, that they are somehow special compared with all the other citizens of this planet. What an aberration.

  4. Thank you. Is this going to start WW3, Did they let this happen to get the popular support that would be needed to go to war?

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