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Breaking the cliched Western Narrative on Terrorism

By       Message C R Sridhar     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/19/15

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Kerry Davis's globe 'Under the Wire' a barbed-wired and red paint-splattered planet, part of group show 'Welcome to My World'
(image by Kerry Davis)

"With the communist bogey exhausted, we are told of an insidious peril in our midst: the fearful prospect of minarets and Sharia law marching across the European landscape, destroying civilization. But for fear to work in a tangible form, we must have the visible impact of terror all around us. That is where we are now."-- Richard Cottrell,British journalist. [i]

There is a chilling sense of deja vu about the massacre in Paris which claimed 129 lives and left nearly 200 injured.

The terrorists reportedly fired on innocent civilians in a Cambodian restaurant, detonated explosives near the Stade de France where the French President Francois Hollande was watching a soccer match between France and Germany, and fired randomly at the Bataclan concert hall where terrorists held up to 100 hostages. When the police stormed the concert hall the terrorists set off the bombs in their suicide belts and killed the hostages. There were other incidents of senseless killings of passersby on Rue de Charonne, Louvre and Les Halles.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks in the heart of Paris. After the initial confusion and panic among the Parisians, the French Government got into the act of showing the bewildered people that that the government was in charge. A long drawn worried face of Hollande appeared on French TV assuring the French people that swift and terrible retribution would follow, and that France was at war with Islamic terrorism.

While the shootings and bomb detonations of the terrorists in the heart of Paris hogged world media attention, the burning of refugee camps in Calais was played down, indicating perhaps the less worthy victim status of refugees mainly from Syria.

The media went along scripted lines by claiming that the French principles of pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness was under attack by the "Planet of the Arabs".

Soon disconcerting facts emerged bearing uncanny resemblance to the Charlie Hebdo killings which took place in Paris in January this year. One of the most troubling facts to emerge was that the French Security police in charge of counter-terrorism had prior knowledge about the goings on of a terrorist who was put under surveillance. But they took no action.

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Moreover, the gang of terrorists had sophisticated guns and explosives and conducted the series of attacks with military precision. Also, the attackers left identification papers like passport and other such documents which were found at the scene of carnage.

Add to that another pattern emerges: at least five attacks centered on the 11tharrondissement part of Paris which has young people such as bohemian artists espousing leftist causes. As ironies go, the Islamic militants spared the power elites of Paris and instead mowed down the progressive young who stood against militarism and Islamophobia.

While these questions may never be answered and the sensitive information about the terrorist killings may remain as classified material of the French National Security State, there is an unvarying trend in the terror narrative, especially, in the Western world after 9/11: that the evil of terrorism is external and emanates from the "Planet of Arabs" to destroy the openness and tolerance of western culture.

Any resistance to the dominant narrative of western terror discourse invites a swift reprimand in the form of verbal abuse: "terrorist sympathizer" or worse, "fu*k**g liberal".

The Western terror narrative, describing the nature and causes of terrorism expounded by western media, politicians and so-called "terror experts" of the military industrial complex, is essentially a propagandist narrative in which six elements are woven together to form a unified discourse of deception.

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Firstly, That the West stands for decency and is an innocent target and victim of terrorism. It follows from this proposition that the West does not engage in nor support terrorism in any way, shape or form.

Secondly, That the West only responds to other people's use of force. The invasion of Iraq by the U.S. was justified on the specious plea that Saddam's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction and was harboring Islamic terrorists- both were false accusations.

Thirdly, unlike in the West, terrorists do not adhere to civilized norms of conduct.

Fourthly, in those cases when the west supports insurgents who use force, this is done in behalf of democracy against repressive regimes such as Libya and Syria. Furthermore, the insurgents supported by the west never kill innocent civilians.

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C R Sridhar is a lawyer from Bangalore,India.He writes for the Economic and Political Weekly and has contributed to the Monthly Review.He's a fan of music,movies and websites with alternative views.His writings are available at sapientpen.blogspot.in

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