‘Terror attacks – echo of NATO bombing of Mideast’

French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. © Christian Hartmann
NATO has been dropping bombs for a very long time on the Arab people in the Middle East, says Richard Becker from the anti-war 'Answer' coalition. And that has consequences to the countries that launched such aggressive policies in this region, he adds.

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RT: France is not the only player involved in tackling ISIS. Why was Paris chosen as the target once again in this act of terror?

Richard Becker: We have to say that despite the pretenses of the French government that it is acting in defense of the French people, it has been spearheading both in Libya and in Syria the regime change agenda among the NATO powers. This should be clear to everyone and what happened in Libya in 2011 and what has happened to Syria - the tearing apart of Syria - and fact that the French government again among the NATO powers has been the most insistent that the government of Bashar Assad must go, I think that is something that the people of France have to take into account today when they look at their government and hear claims that it is actually acting in defense of the French people.

RT: The US has been at the forefront of many attempts at regime change in the Middle East. Why is it that America's actions seem to be backfiring on their allies the most?

RB: Also, we must say that it was the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 that really set in motion this train of events where Al-Qaeda and Islamic State didn’t exist in Iraq or in Libya or in Syria. And so the US is further away, too, and geographically further away. But I don’t think that people in the US should particularly feel safe as long as the government of the US and the military of the US keep intervening. It is a terrible thing to see people killed by a suicide belt. What we don’t see so often are the photos of the people who die under two thousand pound bombs that are dropped by the US and its allies and France and other countries. They have been dropping these bombs for a very long time on the Arab people in the Middle East. And that has consequences…   

French soldiers. Kabul, Afghanistan. © Omar Sobhani

RT: How successful would you say the anti-ISIL coalition's efforts have been with regards to the situation we are seeing in France right now?

RB: I think that they are boasting a lot. I think you hear the US officials boasting and other officials of other Western governments are boasting that they are somehow really bringing ISIS down at this point. But the reality is that ISIS has extended its grip over a very large part of Iraq and Syria. There’s been the battle for Sinjar, which pushed them back if not completely out of the city – [but] ISIS appears to continue to have a very significant strength. Of course, it is a terrible and reactionary organization that is carrying out the most vicious sectarian warfare, is oppressing women in most extreme ways and really oppressing everyone under its rule who doesn’t accept its very reactionary and rightwing idea of how society should be shaped.  

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RT: France and the coalition say they won't stop bombing ISIL in Syria. But what must they do to prevent these attacks from happening?

RB: There will be a greater militarization and there will be - and there already is - an attempt to assign the blame for what’s happened to the Arab and Muslim communities in France and in Europe in general. And that goes not only [for] the politicians there. Many of the Republican contenders for the presidency in the US have engaged in the most extreme kind of language and Islamophobia. But the reality is that it is the Western intervention that has brought about this disaster, first and foremost, for the people of the region – one which is coming back to the countries that have launched this outside aggressive policy.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.