Some politicians are criticizing Secretary of State John Kerry suggesting Tuesday that there was a “rationale” for the assault on satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, unlike the more recent attacks in Paris. But some analysts point to actual cold logic behind the recent attack as well.
SCOTT ATRAN, satran at umich.edu
Atran is director of research at France’s National Center for Scientific Research and research professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and the University of Michigan. He just co-wrote “Paris: The War ISIS Wants” for the New York Review of Books, which states: “ISIS’s theatrical brutality — whether in the Middle East or now in Europe — is part of a conscious plan designed to instill among believers a sense of meaning that is sacred and sublime, while scaring the hell out of fence-sitters and enemies. This strategy was outlined in the 2004 manifesto Idarat at Tawahoush (The Management of Savagery), a tract written for ISIS’s precursor, the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda…” See also: “What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters.”
NAFEEZ AHMED, ip
An independent investigative reporter, Ahmed is a columnist with Middle East Eye. His books include A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization. He just wrote the piece “ISIS Wants to Destroy the ‘Grey Zone’. Here’s How We Defend it,” which argues that part of what ISIS wants is Western countries to reject refugees.
JAMES PAUL, james.paul.nyc at gmail.com
Author of Syria Unmasked, Paul was executive director of Global Policy Forum, a think tank that monitors the UN, for nearly 20 years. He just wrote the piece “Grasping the Motives for Terror,” for Consortium News. Earlier this year, he was featured on an accuracy.org news release, “Regime Change Refugees,” which states: “The Western leaders and media stay silent about the military intervention and regime change, interventions that have torn the refugees’ homelands apart.” He can also address the specifics of refugees in Europe and points to global warming as a factor in creating refugees from both Syria and the Balkans.
JAMES JENNINGS, jjennings at conscienceinternational.org
Jennings is president of Conscience International, a humanitarian organization that delivers aid to Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. Jennings said today: “Let’s not close our hearts just because politicians close our borders. Following the Paris attacks, fear mongering has become fashionable in Congress and in most governor’s mansions. But it is based on ignorance. Such paranoia is shameful, with the result that we are denying our values and living in a national security state best called Fortress America.
“The vetting process now in place is already a dreadful maze — a Rubic’s Cube of bureaucracies practically guaranteeing that few Syrians will ever set foot on our shores. The process takes up to three years and requires 21 steps with numerous agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, all required to sign off. There is next to no chance that a terrorist could get in under the present system. A greater threat is posed by considerable numbers of disaffected, angry young men who are already in the U.S.
“Our civic and religious traditions and the enormous good will of most of our citizens demand that we exercise compassion toward our fellow human beings. Just as in a disaster at sea, women and children should be admitted first, then the elderly, then men of good will of whatever age. Although the numbers the administration plans to admit to the United States are indeed miniscule compared to those entering Germany, we must still find it in our hearts to allow them to come, while simultaneously reaching out to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees abroad and the displaced in war-torn Syria itself.”