‘Russia, Syria, Iran, China needed in global fight against ISIS’
In the wake of the Paris attacks last week, French lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Tuesday to extend airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq.
RT:How strong is the public support inside France for war in the wake of the Paris attacks?
Lawrence Freeman: The demonstrations that we saw in Paris and throughout France were rather extraordinary. Some reports of 4 million people demonstrating, almost 2 million in Paris. This represents a real change, and this is a potentially revolutionary change in all French policy, because the country has united against this evil enemy. And this is much more profound and dramatic than we saw in the US in the post 9/11 attacks in 2001.
One reporter I read who was in the French demonstrations this weekend and was in the US in 1960’s has said that this reminded him of the march that Martin Luther King, led in 1963 in Washington.
We are seeing a very profound spirit taking over the French people at this point. And this could lead to very dramatic changes in all types of policy that France was involved in.
RT:Do you think this is an equivalent of 9/11? Have the Paris shootings essentially given the French government a carte blanche in taking whatever steps it wants, at home and abroad, in the name of security?
LF: I don’t think at this point we are seeing a kind of Cheney – Bush reaction. Don’t forget, the 9/11 attacks in the US immediately precipitated a police state putsch, the police state coup by Vice President [Dick] Cheney and George [W.] Bush which we are still suffering from today under Obama.
There is another aspect to this which is that we just had a press conference in Washington on Capitol Hill on Wednesday last week where Bob Graham, former Senator, head of the intelligence committee in 2001, and Congressmen [Walter] Jones and [Stephen F.] Lynch presented evidence that the US is classifying 28 pages from the 9/11 commission report in 2002, that was classified under Bush-Cheney and under Obama… these 28 pages that point to a direct role of the Saudi government in providing logistics and funding for the 9/11 attack.
There are many people now in Europe and in the US who are coming out and saying: “If we want to stop ISIS, we have to release these 28 pages and investigate the role that Saudi Arabia played.” We saw that even in the media over the last several days, the finger is being pointed out at Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others for their funding of this ISIS, al-Qaeda networks that have been terrorizing the world for the last 20 years.
And there is a British component to this relationship as well which my organization [Executive Intelligence Review Magazine] has exposed. So all of this can come out now if the French go full force in exposing what is behind this ugly terrorist attack that took place in Paris.
RT:Where do you think the French are going to turn next in terms of their military involvement? Islamic State's main positions are actually in Syria, not in Iraq. Should we expect a change in tactics from Paris now?
LF: We have to hope that the French will use this moment in their history and expand the fight against ISIS. You cannot fight ISIS if you are at the same time trying to precipitate a war with Russia, when you’re trying to carry out regime change in Syria.
ISIS exists in Libya, ISIS exists in Afghanistan. Some people say that ISIS is Boko Haram in Nigeria. There has to be a global fight which has to include Russia, has to include Syria, and has to include Iran, as well as China and the developing sector to deal with this problem, deal with those people who are sponsoring it which points to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And also have an economic component where you are economically developing these areas of the world so that you avoid the recruitment of young alienated people to these terrorist movements. So we have there a whole package which should be led by the major countries in the world.
Right now there is a bill that was just introduced into the US Congress yesterday calling for President Obama to declassify these 28 pages. If that is accomplished, that will have a great benefit to the French, and the French are probably already aware of it as are many other forces around the world.
We could be on the moment of a revolutionary change in policy and how we deal with these terrorist elements. I don’t know if that is what the French are going to do, but that is the potential that we have at this moment and I would be very happy about that.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.