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As France Grieves (again), the West Must Get its Security Priorities Straight

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY VALERIE LEROUX (FILES) A picture taken on January 7, 2015 shows French soldiers patrolling in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a few hours after two gunmen stormed French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo killing 12 people. Discussions are underway to decide whether The French army, which has been deployed around sensitive sites in cities around France since the January 2015 attacks, should take up a more permanent role in homeland security. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET

France is under siege and the west is in a war of its own making. There are calls for NATO to attack and destroy ISIL – the call is always for more bombings, always more western interventions in the Arab Middle East. This is exactly the wrong approach. The illegal invasion of Iraq started a cycle of violence Washington and its allies refuse to take responsibility for. Now there are paying the price.

Washington and the European powers must come to a negotiated agreement with the Assad government in Syria to end the civil there. The secular form of government currently in place needs to be maintained and the Syrian people allowed to decide their fate. Russia has proposed the roadmap; the west merely has to honestly embrace it.

Second, it is beyond belief Brussels still has not conceived of a coherent immigration/migrant/refugee policy. Refugees who are victims of the west’s wars choice deserve assistance and protection, but immigrants and migrants need to be vetted for security reasons. It is complete lunacy Europe has surrendered its security in pursuit of its illusory and failing post-modernist project – in the real world there are borders and they need to be secured.

Third, NATO (or at least the European elements of the alliance) must accept its most important mission is the protection of Europe. NATO needs to secure the continent’s land, sea and airspace. Europeans needs to define their security interests and dispense with Washington’s hegemonic designs. If Turkey refuses to cooperate it should be thrown out of the alliance.

Fourth, Russia is not the enemy. Russia didn’t invade Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Russia doesn’t attempt to micro-manage the foreign policies of countries all across the Middle East. Russia didn’t destroy the sovereignties of countries from which immigrants/migrants/refugees hail from. In fact, Russia is committed to do some of the heavy lifting fighting western backed terrorist groups in Syria. And Russia doesn’t threaten Europe’s security. The enemy stares Europe in the face; but Europe only sees phantoms in Moscow.

Fifth, while it is politically incorrect to say, Europe must take seriously the protection of its historical heritage and culture. The west has arrogantly injected itself in the affairs of the Arab Middle East. The results have been devastation, destruction, and despair. The west must stop destroying the societies and cultures of others and start protecting its own. And that includes seeing Russia as an ally.

Peter Lavelle is host of RT’s political debate program CrossTalk. His views may or may not reflect those of his employer. 

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