He who sows the wind harvests the tempest
Terrorist acts lead authorities to say in France we are at war. But war is what we did in Vietnam, Algeria, etc. The cause of present killings is hatred, not newfound religious faith. Youth needs fulfillment, employment, progress, revolution, hope.
He who sows the wind harvests the tempest
Fernando García Izquierdo
Murder on the waterfront.
Nowadays, practically anywhere you go, you hear in France that the country is at war. “Nous sommes en guerre!” was saying about a month ago the President of the Republic. He was referring to a terrorist attack that had taken place a few hours earlier in the south of France.
That day, a solitary man (a Frenchman born in Tunis) criminally drove his lorry into a very thick crowd, killing eighty-five people and wounding about two hundred. It happened in the city of Nice the night of the fourteenth July, 2016, precisely, la Fête Nationale. There had been that night a grand display of fireworks watched by thousands of people congregated on the famous waterfront known as ‘la Promenade des Anglais.
Other similar attacks.
This was not an isolated incident. Several terrorist attacks had taken place over the years in this country and in particular in Paris, the capital. Sometimes only one person was killed; on other occasions a hunded or more. And that is the reason why panic has been installed in our breasts. “We are at war.”
The President’s speech was followed by similar declarations from the Prime Minister and other important ministers, and by the head of the opposition and similar important personalities, including the most celebrated reporters, historians, prize-winning writers.
The notion that we are at war.
The knowledge that (since the President says so) we are at war, brings forward the notion that either we (as French citizens) are not fulfilling our obligations and the government fails somehow; or else that we should already be shooting our enemies down in the Middle East or elsewhere.
On the radio we hear the military and captains-of-industry making speeches or participating in public debates, demanding more of something or other. The old story: weapons, a sharper edge, restrictions, policing, paramilitary reinforcement, and… to start warring (against such and such nation or regime.)
Troops are sent into central and western Africa, troops are sent into Libya, and troops are being sent into Syria, etc.
Now, are we at war really with some savages that (as it is generally said) want to destroy us “because of what we represent, democracy, freedom, fraternity and equality?”
A little short story.
I am going to tell you a tale, a fairy tale which entered my inner being, from reality, real life, fifty-seven years ago to the day. This will show our Frenchmen what is to be “en guerre.”
Many years ago, then, I had the chance of meeting in Bondi Junction (Sydney) a very pleasant, refined Frenchman a few years older that I, who briefed me unwittingly on the subject of French colonialism (part of it.) It will have been understood that we both were migrants, in a generous, rich new country, Australia, which received all of us Europeans with open arms.
The encounter took place in a famous restaurant which he owned. I was there with my wife (in the evening) because we were celebrating what was for us a very important anniversary. He came to talk and sat, with our permission at our table. We talked of “Madame Bovary” and Gustave Flaubert, of whom he was a fan, and my wife, who was a teacher, specialised in French literature, was delighted. As was I.
We returned a few times as guests of the French gentleman, who owned several restaurants in the region. It was for us so thrilling an experience, to be surrounded by a rather intellectual atmosphere in a luxurious establishment, with gardens all around, a country at peace with the world and rather wealthy! One evening the Frenchman told me about his life in greater details. At nineteen he left his native Brittany. He had been conscripted. Soon he found himself in what his countrymen called “l’Indochine Française”, a soldier of the French colonial army. He liked that. At twenty-two he settled there as a “colon”. The year 1936. He soon became a wealthy landowner. All this happened in the nineteen-thirties.
Now, as the reader certainly knows, a civil war started in Spain by International Fascism against the workers of Spain soon spread throughout Europe and the world and became a universal struggle of the peoples of the earth for liberation and democracy. In Asia and the Pacific it was a deadly fight against Japanese fascism; but it was in Europe that the fight was most savage, the war most destructive, fascism strongest, the suffering greatest. And so until 1945, when Germany, Italy, Japan, etc were finally defeated.
But let us go on with our story. Our new acquaintance (in Bondi Junction) told us that, as soon as the Japanese forces were approaching, for as is well known these invaded all the countries of Eastern Asia, he escaped to France, with hundreds of other “colons” his countrymen. And as soon as the Japanese capitulated he like the others returned to Saigon.
“Ils nous ont reçus l’arme à la main.”
When in Paris, in the spring of 1945, the people enthusiastically celebrated the victory against world fascism, it was understood that such a victory had defeated exploitation, had brought democracy and freedom to ‘l’humanité toute entière.” All those hitherto enslaved had been liberated. Let us remember Sir Winston Churchill’s words, at the end of the war, “and our dear Channel Islands will be liberated today.”
It was to be the pattern to be followed in all occupied exploited islands and other places… “and our dear little planet will be liberated today.” But it was not to be.
“We went back, as soon as the war was over, we boarded a liner, and there we were, our Saigon. And you know what?” the Bondi-Junction Frenchman asked, “they received us, pointing their guns at us!”
No fear, colonialists, your country’s armed forces will sustain you against the “indigènes.” In effect, as soon as the Japanese invader was disposed of, the French Imperialistic Armies (territorial, air and naval) were back, keeping the inhabitants of the country under the law and order of Capitalism.
And yet, the Vietnmese people persisted. They wanted to be free. (As the Cubans would cry many years later. SOCIALISMO O LA MUERTE.)
The rest is well known. A paroxism never equalled of military madness, the intended elimination of an entire people as people. The generalissimo of the invading army (Westmoreland) explained it all to the press his own way (many corpses lay on the ground, women had been killed by the incendiary bombs embracing their kiddies, children without limbs lay around. “These people are not like us,” he said, “they don’t suffer.” And the press reported that there had been a good deal of collateral damage.
Consider, please, consider.
If I have mentioned the Vietnam War (and there have been thousands of other wars in the last seventy-five years or so) it is mainly because I belong to a generation that has seen, passing before our passive eyes that paroxysm of madness, and (in the “Indochina” example) THEY, the murderers, want to drive this little earth of ours by these means to a world-war of this nature, and they (for that purpose) lie, commit chicanery and are constantly maximising THEIR profits, stopping other people from choosing communism.
Very pointedly, they come from time to time on the air and tell their public that we ought to be prepared to defend ourselves, praising the fact that is what the Israelis do, from here to eternity. Bombing others all the time, sending children into the streets (as the Tel-Avivians do) ‘Kalashnikov à la main’. To drive the nation into a situation where fascism will drop ripe into our hands.
Or maybe GUERRE means maximising profits.
Benefits!! For, what can we say of those unsentimental journeys by the President and the gotha of our modern war-industry to Cairo, Kuweit, Ryad and Central Africa? those travelling salesmen of free and prosperous countries?
About that hundred-year war started by Sarkozy and Cameron in Syria and Libya, will the President now tell us why we have started shooting and murdering there; did we not have enough chicanery and murders already started by President Bush 1 and continued by President Bush 2 in Iraq, and earlier in Afghanistan?
The law of nations and war.
I know that international law is flouted by any Bush or Cameron who may come on the international scene. For them Might is Right, and among us that sort of might means mainly Money. But that only means, only mainly means, that the Free World is becoming fascistic. You own an immmense arsenal, you are allowed to shoot.
At least, more and more, this is becoming our way of life very similar to the fascism I lived under in the forties in Spain, a state of society which everybody acknowledges as such.
No matter what other considerations, the form of our society has to change. We cannot go on living like that, the Earth will not survive if we go on living the capitalistic way much longer. Furthermore money ought not to be the only value that counts, and I am absolutely sure that for Bush-Cheney-and-the Gang money was the primordial consideration when against all odds they decided to go into Iraq. ‘Voilà! one example.
Even in antiquity they knew and respected what we now call International Law, and then it was the Law of Nations, with its rules and principles, sometimes enacted, sometimes customary:
About commerce, about war. The state of war is a very serious thing, and we (Europeans and Americans) must not flout what the Ancients respected.
Monsieur Hollande may say what he likes, but we cannot accept his idea that a rich country (Cameron’s United Kingdom and Sarkozy’sFrance) may freely enter a country and kill the President, an unprovoked invasion to boot.
A state of differences.
Because in any case, before the killing and the destruction starts, we must first try to smooth the differences. This is the law, and we would not have started another hundred-year war if we had respected the law. Remember what happened with the sudden unannounced bombing of Pearl Harbour. It led to millions of deaths and poisoning of a good deal of the Earth (the atom bomb etc).
And not only Syria and Libya, Bush father and Bush son attacking Iraq and Aghanistan committed the same crime. I am not unveiling any secret here. All the evidence has been there for years. THEY were committing fraud, contempt of humankind, lying, fabricating false evidence. Why? ask Mr. Cheney of Haliburton, then Vicepresident of the United States.
Don’t let us repeat their mistakes. Do you, President Hollande and Sarkozy want to go from war to war? Yes, more prosperous than we are nowadays (I mean the worker, the unemployed and the pauper) were the people of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Khadhafi’s Libya, etc.
The state of our youth.
In France specially there is another alarming phenomenon, which has aroused great panic among the people of good will and among the powers-that-be. The spectre of WAR has been lifted. It is the alarming increase of criminality among the youth, notably among unemployed young men.
For example, about a fortnight ago an individual, hardly an adult of nineteen, went with a big knife in his hand into a catholic church where an old priest of eighty-six was saying mass to an audience, I think, of two or three persons, and the young man boldly stabbed the priest to death. A boy of no othher descent but ancien French stock committed a norrible crime and that too was called “ab act of war”, they are waging war of France.2
I only repeat what I have heard on the radio. I hope I have not missed essential points or misheard anything. To complete my narration I’ll relate that a chum of the murderer, hardly an adult likewise, entered the church, which is near the city of Rouen at the same time. The same assassin also stabbed and wounded the accolyte. The terrorist was in turn killed by the police, who are never far away.
Here, too, everyone of importance, that day and thereafter proclaimed that a state of war had developed (“nous sommes en guerre”), and unbelievable though it may seem, the media kept on informing us day and night about “this act of war”, for nearly a week. The police and the judiciary then (to complete the picture) undertook to inform us about the assassin’s friends and acquaintances (forty in number), they were trying to discover a terrorist link.
Even if, after due investigation and expenditure the link crops up and a connexion is established, I ask: did the young man really commit an act of war? If the judiciary and the police and the media tells “aux armes citoyens” because of this, I think they rather have to have their brains looked into than “notre armée” be sent somewhere to start shooting.
Another thing. Having lived this young assassin in a suburb where there is absolutely no employment for the young, he and all his friends very likely have engaged now and then in petty thievery, drug trafficking, etc. and the police and judiciary do not lose an opportunity of informing the public thereon. All the same, it is not a fact that La France is being attacked from abroad, that our enemies want to destroy us because we love ‘liberté, égalité et fraternité’ that our enemies want to destroy our superior moral VALUES, when most of the pointed out terrorism is at the most a question of petty criminality.
“Engaged in petty criminality (I have heard on the radio) are about thirty percent of French youth, especially in the suburbs of big French cities.”
I cannot vouchsafe this information, but am inclined to believe it. Cases of “terrorism” like the one, say, of Rouen, have been pointed out in this country for years, but now, when the “nation est malade”, it is worse. It is said that our prisons are all full to the rate of two or three men per cell, when the cell was built for one single prisoner.
The spectre of religion has been added to the phenomenon. Islam has come lately to haunt us, and I am personally not surprised, you see Moslems in the streets of Paris leading their wives, who are shrouded in black, and parade like zombies, and you are inclined to suspect the worst.
I shall not add anything on this matter. I shall say, however, that it is not necessary to enter the problem of religion at this stage. Capitalism-imperialism is the problem.
Hatred, not newfound religious faith, is the cause.
I once was a young man full of life and enthusiasm. I was an escapee from fascism, a migrant and sentimental-traveller in search for a better world. The war against fascism was just over (not in my fatherland), I did not know anything really about politics, and observed the things and events passing before my eyes rather passively, I suppose. I repeat, I was young. That was the main thing. Could I have guessed, as a young Spaniard, that the prosperity I was seeing, living in, was due to colonialism? More to the point, I had not then (they had not yet entered my mind) the images of those Somalians, Libyans, Palestinians, Kurds, Iraquis, etc. etc., trying to cross today the Blue Mediterranean, Mare Nostrum, worse than the representation of all the tragedies the greatest poets had conceived in the past… children, women and men in great numbers trying to reach “la belle Europe” and dying in the attempt, ‘Europa’, which I traversed freely from south to north and from centre to west, and I love so much… ‘la Europa’ that received me with open arms?
Now, what is the reason for this tremendous change? That is the question which our wisemen and other paid writers have to answer for us. For the first thing is that we all understand what is going on. Why every month, people whom we have ruined, die by the thousand tryng to reach Lampidusa, Malta, Sicily… Athens, the Balkans, Vienna, Berlin…
That western world (where I first landed, in 1953) which was getting wealthier all the time, particularly West Germany, the country of the III Reich proclaimed in 1933, and then defeated by the peoples of the world.
And in the Europe of our time the horror has been concocted anew. Why does President François Hollande now come up with the notion that other peoples are waging war on us? No, nobody is at war coming this way: it is us waging war against the war for profit.
Our youth are without jobs. In some places unemployment of young people (in the prime of life,) nears one hundred per cent. Oh yes! I know that the brigands (that the hidden forces have set around you) are masking the figures to tell us we live in the best of possible worlds, that the economy is in very good shape, that there will be GROWTH tomorrow. As always they are lying, mountebanks.
Do you know, ladies and gentlemen of the Government, do you know, dark activists making a cool million every year, month, week, day, hour or minute… what it is to be unemployed, do you know what it is to be without a job, your hands in your trouser-pockets and looking at the sky for some Mana to fall? and being young to be called redundant, a redundant worker? and to plod on, to go along searching without hope… no work ever will come your way, excepted taking out the wealthy-people’s pets an hour a day for pooing and peeing?
Why, I should say; can any one of us, comfortably living as we are, imagine what it is to get back at night into your corner, extremely tired, after having gone the rounds looking for jobs ‘basura’, and be unable to fall asleep: twisting and turning the entire night, and in the morning resume your calvary, without hope, without hope, without hope!!! with the conscience that you will fail and fail and fail again. Five, six, seven hours… and back to square one… one day, one month, years and the same, the same, if not worse?
And one day your inner being explodes (or implodes, I don’t what is the scientific name for it, ‘la catastrophe’! you will never get to know what it is. But something has cracked!!
At times you lose conscience of what is going on. The beginning of the end. “Where am I? what am I? You are no longer a person endowed with reason. The heart fails, the brain too. TERRORISM.
The beast in you commits all sorts of horrors. It is hatred, bestial unalloyed, pure (if you can say) hatred. Suicides (I suppose) are committed like that: the suicide is full of hatred, I repeat, and in his state of mind he prefers to put an end to his miserable life, killing, destroyng, ‘morir matando’, as you say in Spanish.
And what about, by the way, all those ruffians, billionaires, maximisers, activists, panama-papers robbers, and the like? have they ever stalked in the streets of their wealthy cities (for there is wealth in those parts of this earth) seaching for work, even searching for something to eat in trash-containers or dustbins, do they know what it is to lead a life of poverty and constant moral misery… leading at times to the terrorism we are herein considering?
Hatred, ladies and gentlemen, hatred and moral misery is causing hundreds and hundreds of people to commit suicide, sometimes destroying, killing, bombing, burning, stabbing… killing in a church as used to do “la CIA” in Nicaragua, Guatemala or wherever.
Tears should be permanently cascading down our cheeks, right down to the very ground, the raped earth on which we are standing, thoroughly raped by US.
Because the youth that are committing these acts have been abandoned by us… because they are in a state of utter dIspear… because they have been made redundant by capitalism-imperialism.
Redundant, poor, deprived entirely… even at nineteen, twenty or thirty-three… of that material property that others possess and waste. They have become ghosts among the living, people who have forgotten (had been made to forget) what it is to be happy, who have lost all hope of ever getting a job, who have lost real life, what it is to be a human being, in the prime of their lives, I repeat
It is so immensely sad to think that you are not useful in society - TO SOCIETY!! – because the dirty capitalists have barred your way to LIVING. And, poor poor man, are naught to anyone you come across when you start your travails in the morning, and nothing appears… redundant, that’s what it means.
Sometimes, you search and are told by all that surrounds you that you are not equal to anybody. You are simply a rag... which has already been used and thrown away, that will never be useful again, for anything, to anyone.
‘Oh, mon Dieu, mon Dieu!’ to think when you are just a ghost, floating about, that you will never be of any use in any manner to any one “around”, that you will never be useful (on the contrary, become a burden) to the persons you love... and who love you.