• Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This

    November 14, 2015

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Democracy, Iraq, Military, Syria


    You don’t want to read this, and I take no pleasure in writing it, and no one really wants to hear it right now. But I believe it needs to be said.

    I join the world in grieving for the dead in Paris. I have grieved for the dead from 9/11 forward — the Australians who died in terror attacks on Bali in 2002, Londoners who died in terror attacks in 2005, the French citizens who died in the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January of this year, the Russians whose plane went down over the Sinai a week or so ago. So many more non-Western deaths barely noticed in the U.S. media. I grieve also for those killed in smaller attacks already smuggled deep into the obscurity of our memory.

    And so we Tweet hashtags and phrases in high school French and post GIFs to Facebook. We know what to do; we’ve done this before.

    But it has to be said, especially looking at the sick repetition of the same story, that despite fourteen plus years of a war on terror, terror seems to be with us as much as ever, maybe even more. It is time to rethink what we have done and are doing.

    Since that day in 2001, the one with those terrible sparkling blue skies in New York, we have spied on the world, Americans at home and foreigners abroad, yet no one detected anything that stopped the Paris attacks. We gave up much to that spying and got nothing in return.

    Since 2001, the United States has led nations like Britain, France, Australia and others into wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, with drone attacks on people from the Philippines to Pakistan to all parts of Africa. We have little to nothing to show for all that.

    Since 2001 the U.S. has expended enormous efforts to kill a handful of men — bin Laden, al-Zarqawi, al-Awlaki, and this weekend, Jihadi John. Others, many without names, were killed outside of media attention, or were tortured to death, or are still rotting in the offshore penal colony of Guantanamo, or the dark hell of the Salt Pit in Afghanistan.

    And it has not worked, and Paris this weekend, and the next one somewhere else sometime soon, are the proof.

    We gave up many of our freedoms in America to defeat the terrorists. It did not work. We gave the lives of over 4,000 American men and women in Iraq, and thousands more in Afghanistan, to defeat the terrorists, and refuse to ask what they died for. We killed tens of thousands or more in those countries. It did not work. We went to war again in Iraq, and now in Syria, before in Libya, and only created more failed states and ungoverned spaces that provide havens for terrorists and spilled terror like dropped paint across borders. We harass and discriminate against our own Muslim populations and then stand slack-jawed as they become radicalized, and all we do then is blame ISIS for Tweeting.

    Note that it is the strategy of Islamic terror to generate a crackdown in France in order to radicalise French Muslims. Hundreds of French citizens have already traveled to Syria to fight with groups including ISIS.

    As one of the most intelligent commentators on all this, Bill Johnson, said, terrorism is about killing pawns to affect the king. The attacks in Paris are not about the murder of 150 innocent people. Hell, that many die nearly every day in Iraq and Syria. The true test for France is how they respond to the terror attacks in the long-game — that’s the king in all this. America failed this test post-9/11; yet it does not sound like France understands anything more than America. “We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” French president Hollande said outside the Bataclan concert hall, scene of the most bloodshed.

    If I had exactly the right strategy, I’d tell you what it is, and I’d try and tell the people in Washington and Paris and everywhere else. But I don’t have the exact thing to do, and I doubt they’d listen to me anyway.

    But I do have this: stop what we have been doing for the last 14 years. It has not worked. There is nothing at all to suggest it ever will work. Whack-a-mole is a game, not a plan. Leave the Middle East alone. Stop creating more failed states. Stop throwing away our freedoms at home on falsehoods. Stop disenfranchising the Muslims who live with us. Understand the war, such as it is, is against a set of ideas — religious, anti-western, anti-imperialist — and you cannot bomb an idea. Putting western soldiers on the ground in the MidEast and western planes overhead fans the flames. Vengeance does not and cannot extinguish an idea.

    Start with those things and see, even if you won’t give it 14 years to succeed, if things improve. Other than the death tolls scaling up further, I can’t imagine we could be doing anything worse.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Helen Marshall said...


      Back to the future. We will return to the world of border controls and walls…to no avail. Western nations have been invading and occupying the middle east and near asia for well over a century..and we are surprised that there is “blowback.” Like the Bourbons, we learn nothing and forget nothing.

      11/14/15 10:06 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      You KNOW what will happen when it comes here. After all..guns….


      In reality, they are already aligning for the day. Blood will run in the streets. Goodbye to the great experiment.

      11/14/15 11:27 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      This article (quoted below) suggests that it might be French guys who were urged to “fight with the moderate rebels” and who then returned to France all radicalized and shit, who are behind the attacks. That strikes me as plausible and such an obvious event to predict that one wonders why the military leaders in the US, Canada, and other NATO countries don’t seem to see it as a possibility. I mean, like, BEFORE they encourage “warriors” to go off, kill people in foreign lands and help overthrow another nation’s government.

      “[…] Twelve years ago, when the Bush administration launched an illegal invasion of Iraq, the French government, foreseeing the disaster that would flow from the war, refused to participate. The reintegration of France into NATO’s military command in 2009, followed by its decision to join the United States and other NATO powers in Middle East wars in 2011, has proven to have disastrous consequences.

      “The French political establishment backed Islamist militias in proxy wars for regime change in Libya and Syria, encouraging its citizens to join these militias by widely presenting them in the media as “revolutionaries” fighting Gaddafi and Assad. Now these forces, trained to carry out terrorist attacks and guerrilla warfare in the Middle East, are returning home. This has created a political environment in which terrorism can flourish and spread rapidly, and as a result the war has come home to France.[…]”


      On the other hand, they are now reporting that a Syrian passport was “found” on the body of one of the dead terrorists, which sounds so conveniently contrived that one cannot rule out the possibility of a false flag event designed to encourage the final destruction of Syria and the eventual murder of al Assad, with all the EU countries now willing partners in the slaughter.

      Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney must find all this quite amusing and satisfying, considering they are the two who have been pushing for their “final solution” to Syria for the longest time.

      11/14/15 11:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Not to mention (As ALWAYS) that paramount of Apartheid nee GENOCIDE; the qui boner, U卐RAEL!

      11/14/15 11:52 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      It was reported that the gunmen also wore suicide vests suggesting that they had no plan nor desire to “escape” once they did their work for Allah. There was a special place their God had for them with babes ‘n all. Take that “place” away and you end the problem. Oops, take away someone’s beliefs? That is just an awful idea-for shame.

      11/14/15 12:08 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Oops, I forgot. Just to be fair, the crusaders (us) will have to jettison our favored diety while demanding Muslims to grow up. Now we’re really in for a mess. What’ll we fight about now?

      11/14/15 2:21 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Screaming US political backlash against Islamic refugees and immigrants starting in…5…4….3….2…

      I can hear Donald The Clown about now…

      11/14/15 3:26 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      ummm… I should have known…


      Unfortunately..he’s right. I’ve got $100 that says gun shops will be overrun with customers today.

      On the other hand, any Congress critters with one neuron between their ears better not call for gun control about now.

      11/14/15 3:34 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Thank you for waging peace.

      11/14/15 4:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Colombo said...


      Who profits from this?
      Not the refugees.

      Good article.

      11/14/15 6:32 PM | Comment Link

    • really confused-- said...


      Dear Mr. Van Buren,

      I appreciate your blog quite a bit, but I really am confused and disappointed that you can’t be more explicit about the number of dead as a result of the U.S. Empire’s war on Iraq II. “Tens of thousands or more” is a phrase that obfuscates the breadth of the suffering inflicted upon the Iraqi people. Even if we remove the massive number of Iraqis maimed, poisoned, and traumatized by the war on Iraq II, the fact that is that the original study published by the Lancet estimated 300-600,000 Iraqis died above the normal mortality rate for the country’s population. Right-wingers have tried so hard to discredit this study, but with the passage of time their work stands. Even if it opens you up to defending yourself by publishing these numbers and citing the Lancet study, it is an effort worth undertaking. If even clear-minded critics cannot openly talk about these numbers, then there cannot be true unabashed acknowledgement of the nightmares wrought by the U.S. Empire and its deadly & torturous war & occupation of Iraq II. Thank you for the work that you do–

      11/14/15 7:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Fred said...


      It’s a very good post… One flaw only… I wish you would mention more than only terror attacks against westerners lives.

      11/14/15 9:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Christopher said...



      David Chase Taylor
      November 8, 2015

      SWITZERLAND, Zurich — Based on breaking news and events, it appears that the CIA Headquarters beneath Lake Geneva is preparing to execute a wave of Islamic terror attacks in France. Said attacks will most likely be blamed on the state-sponsored terror group known as ISIS.

      That being said, ISIS-inspired and/or Neo-Nazi-related attacks on asylum seekers/refugees in France, and/or or terror attacks in France by Islamic terrorists posing as asylum seekers/refugees also now appears to be in order

      11/14/15 9:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Roger Springfield said...


      I think that it is brave act to publish this article. No malice was intended and this shit really needs to be said. All we get is how brave people are for being killed. Shit happens every day – every day. This is a tragedy but, compared to all the other tragedies going on ………

      11/15/15 2:25 AM | Comment Link

    • France suffers from savage terror as Syrian people have been: Assad | aladdinsmiraclelamp said...


      […] Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com. […]

      11/15/15 4:20 AM | Comment Link

    • Unsubscriber said...


      Great piece, thanks! NB – The Bali bombings were 2002, not 2005. Presumably this is just a typo of yours, given the context.

      11/15/15 5:00 AM | Comment Link

    • roberto said...


      The West has been deeply involved in the Middle East, including the far-reaching-disastrous-invasion-of-Irak, because of and of behalf of Israel.
      Pro Israel Lobbies have been pushing all kind of anti arab, anti muslim, policies without regard to USA or Europe interests. Just and only for Israel interest (or better, zionist interests).

      11/15/15 6:50 AM | Comment Link

    • Jim Shier said...


      Very well said! We will be inundated with sabre rattling from all sides after this and it would do us well to remember that the number one tactical goal of ISIS, is to draw us into another ground war in the Middle East that will bankrupt us. And guess what, it’s a very good strategy because it has a reasonable chance of success. This is how a band of thugs brings down an empire, if we don’t smarten up. Rand Paul 2016!

      11/15/15 7:25 AM | Comment Link

    • chris said...


      But how can you say it hasn’t worked when you don’t see or know what could have happened without the measures the world has taken? It hasn’t completely prevented things like this from happening but don’t you at least acknowledge the possibility that these atrocities could have occurred more frequently if we didn’t have drone strikes etc?

      11/15/15 7:51 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Classic false argument — if we didn’t do, X, Y would have happened. Can anyone prove a connection between X and Y? Nope. As in “We served pancakes today and so it did not rain.” besides, despite whatever has been done in the last 14 years, there have been plenty of terror acts.

      11/15/15 9:33 AM | Comment Link

    • Friday the 13th Paris Attacks. Pray for Paris; Pray for Humanity | The (Parenthetical) Pilgrim said...


      […] calls for non-retaliation – you cannot bomb an idea that is religious, anti-Western, anti-imperialist (Peter van Buren); […]

      11/15/15 8:15 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      quote “We served pancakes today and so it did not rain.” “unquote

      Hey Peter, don’t negate my breakfast choice offering to the god of weather. It’s sunny. It worked.

      Hey, and that penny I put under the carpet worked too. I found a dime in a parking lot yesterday.

      Now, excuse me while I stab my Cheney mojo doll and burn a dollar bill as a sacrifice to the God of Permanent Diarrhea upon Wall Street with a good ole middle finger salute to the USG too. Just for ..well..the hell of it.

      11/15/15 10:06 AM | Comment Link

    • Nicky said...


      How exactly did the Charlie Hebdo attack have anything to do with Western foreign policy?

      11/15/15 12:07 PM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...


      Netanyahu told Pletka.

      “Mind you, Saddam was horrible, horrible. Brutal killer. So was Qaddafi. There’s no question about that. I had my own dealings with each of them. But I do want to say that they were in many ways, neighborhood bullies. That is, they tormented their immediate environment. But they were not wedded to a larger goal. The militant Islamists–either Iran leading the militant Shi’ites with their proxies Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad and Hamas… Or the militant Sunnis led by ISIS… they have a larger goal in mind… Their goal is not the conquest of the Middle East. It’s the conquest of the world. It’s unbelievable, people don’t believe that. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/neighborhood-netanyahu-threatened#sthash.i5kttVFZ.te4e7bI7.dpuf

      11/15/15 1:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Larry Moffett said...


      I fully agree with your message, but as a minor correction I suggest you change “Islamic terror” to “Islamist terror”. I’m not sure if you are quoting Wikileaks or vice-versa, but their tweet was misunderstood by several people.

      11/15/15 2:42 PM | Comment Link

    • Doug Nusbaum said...


      “you cannot bomb an idea. ”

      Really??? Nazism was an idea. So was Japanese Imperialism. If I recall my history accurately, bombing them — or at least the countries which housed them, and the people who believed them, worked really well. And by bombing them, I do not mean the occasional ROV strike, but really carpet bombing them into rubble, then bouncing the bubble and setting it aflame. It worked so well, that the number of Germans and Japanese who wish that they had won WWII is vanishingly small.

      Now does that mean that we should bomb islam? I do not know. What we are doing is not working. But making statements that are flat out wrong and simply highlights your ignorance and stupidity is not going to help any argument that you have.

      11/15/15 2:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This | Awaken Longford said...


      […] Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com. […]

      11/15/15 3:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Amit said...


      Clearly, you don’t understand what terror is.
      (I don’t blame you. In fact I am jealous)

      Here is the lesson,
      Sharp. Clear. The naked truth in your face.

      Once you put your weapon down,
      Terror will interpret your action as an act of surrender.

      The monster will grow even bigger and faster.

      They will kill you immediately! No hesitation.

      6 million Jews brutally murdered in Europe by the Nazi terror regime and its allies.
      It happened because the Jews at that time were defenseless.

      Today, despite the fact that tiny little Israel surrounded by enemies is standing strong is because the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is one of the best armies in the world.

      The Israeli soldier is Smart. Strong. Moral.
      And he knows:
      Surrender is not an option.
      Surrender is death sentence.

      Wake up from the fairy-tale dream you in it and face reality.
      Terror struck NY: 11/09/01
      Terror struck Paris: 13/11/15
      Terror struck Israel: 24/7

      11/15/15 3:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Darko said...


      I will just say that this is not something that lasts for 14 years only. The world policeman USA and some European countries are doing this from the ’90 and everything started in Former Yugoslavia. The same recipe of choosing wrong side, and being selective when you show victims and terrorist in west media is something that repeats more than 14 years.

      Someone just have to try to see other side of the story, just to make deeper analysis of NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 and try to see the history of conflict between Albanians and Serbs and everything will be pretty clear. Serbs were fighting against the terrorist for more than 15 years on Kosovo and then USA comes and chooses wrong side. What is the reason for that, I really cannot say, but currently they are giving the independence and USA supports ethnic Albanians to have their country on Serbian land for centuries. The Albanian government has completely criminal past, in their government there are killers, terrorist, drug dealers, etc, … And they are promoted in fighters for freedom, just because of someones wrong perception or by someones interests. I’m saying interests just because all of the leading politicians and NATO generals that were promoting and leading NATO bombing of Serbia, now they are business people and they are the owners of lot companies in Kosovo, companies stolen from Serbian people and government.

      And no one is talking about that in USA or western European countries, until some of former soldiers which were been part of UN mission on Kosovo writes the book of what is seen there or until the ordinary people comes to Serbia and they see the truth without US propaganda influence.

      I have lot of the friends in US and in UK and they also had a wrong perception about situation in Serbia, and wrong perception on Serbian people until they comes here for the first time. But, now, they are seeing everything that is happening in the world with different eyes. They see what wrong US politics makes on Middle East and also in Africa. But, unfortunately they cannot do so much to change this.

      And at the end, I have to say, you are completely right. I cannot be more sad about 100 or 150 civilians killed in Paris than one tree years old girl killed on potty by NATO bombs on 1999 nor any other innocent victim all around the world. But, no one talks about others (like I wrote in Serbia example). It looks like there are ordinary and there are special victims in this world.

      And also, there are some countries which governments are thinking that they are given to be world policemen even they don’t know anything about the countries and people they are attacking (For eg. my city Smederevo in Serbia has a culture and history longer than USA exist or even longer than America as a continent is discovered.

      Having that in mind, I just can say that the only thing we can expect in future is even more terrorist attacks if nothing changes. Sadly …

      11/15/15 5:05 PM | Comment Link

    • steve church said...


      Thanks for a great article. And the good recommendations. Just tonight, around the dinner table, I ran into too many easy reasons for what happened here. It’s all too disgusting.



      11/15/15 6:00 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Jhoover: Don’t try to convince Obama that Qadaffi was just a neighborhood muscle guy. Qadaffi had very altruistic goals for the African continent just as Che had for the South American continent. So ISIS wants to conquer the world. Is that any different than American goals?

      11/15/15 6:28 PM | Comment Link

    • A Message from PARIS to the United States and its Allies including Malaysia | Din Merican: the Malaysian DJ Blogger said...


      11/15/15 7:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This - Australian National Review said...


      […] article is written by Peter Van Buren and was originally published in WeMeantWell.Com. Peter Van Buren, a 24-year veteran of the State Department, spent a year in Iraq. He is the […]

      11/15/15 9:34 PM | Comment Link

    • cakmn said...


      “If I had exactly the right strategy, I’d tell you what it is, and I’d try and tell the people in Washington and Paris and everywhere else. But I don’t have the exact thing to do, and I doubt they’d listen to me anyway.”

      Yes, this piece presents a view that highlights problems with the ongoing war on terror, which truly seems to be failing, as wars tend to do. But it is also missing “the exact thing to do” – which is a serious limitation. It is, or should be, pretty obvious that current efforts aren’t working, but the right thing to do is a major challenge. One issue is that among those governments that are more or less interested in doing something to make the world safer for all of us, there is dissension within the ranks about whether or not to get involved, as well as what to do if choosing to be involved. This “hesitation” results in either inaction or ineffectual action. There are also incompatible agendas between governments involved, which seriously hampers any chance of success.

      The other issue is that force applied agains any group tends to inspire an equal and opposite reaction sort of effect, just as in physics. Yet force seems to be the only option because ISIS is not willing to negotiate ans Assad is not willing to compromise, let alone step down. Also, of course, there is the fact that there are these two intermingled issues: Assad and the struggle within Syria, and ISIS in the region, including in Syria.

      The only way to try to arrive at a reasonable solution in Syria and in the region is for all the other governments to sit down and negotiate a unified response. Because the (more or less) interested governments can’t seem to do that, no reasonable response is going to be arrived at. Each government is too selfishly concerned about it’s own supposedly best interests to be able to see what its real best interests actually are.

      11/16/15 12:56 AM | Comment Link

    • Mark said...


      There are no oil and weapons profits in peace. To stop the war on terror you must stop the profiteering warmongers. Follow the money. Who buys the oil? Who sells the Weapons?

      11/16/15 2:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Tim said...


      ‘If I had exactly the right strategy, I’d tell you what it is, and I’d try and tell the people in Washington and Paris and everywhere else. But I don’t have the exact thing to do, and I doubt they’d listen to me anyway.’

      Come back when you have something more useful to offer then.

      11/16/15 3:03 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Islamist terrorism is in large part an attempt to dominate MidEastern religion, with a healthy dose of anti Western and anti-imperialism. We should leave the Middle East and if Arab nations oppose what the terrorists want, let them fight it out.

      11/16/15 10:40 AM | Comment Link

    • TY said...


      I just did a video about this very subject! It’s important that we learn from our mistakes and do something better, but nobody was offering anything.

      I’d be curious to hear what you think of my idea

      11/16/15 3:38 AM | Comment Link

    • Johan said...


      I have to comment on the fact that you mention the Australians killed on Bali. Bali is an island in Indonesia, and part from the 88 Australians killed, another 114 people were killed, among them nationals of Indonesia. Just because it’s a big Australian travel destination does not make it Australia.

      11/16/15 3:49 AM | Comment Link

    • George Stanford said...


      This seems to be little more than the old pacifist argument that if we are nice to our enemies they will be nice to us, which does not apply in this case. I wonder why you write when you have no policies to suggest and precious little analysis of the problem? See here for a good summary of the research – https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/208551.pdf

      11/16/15 4:40 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Islamist terrorism is in large part an attempt to dominate MidEastern religion, with a healthy dose of anti-Western and anti-imperialism. We should leave the Middle East and if Arab nations oppose what the terrorists want, let them fight it out.

      11/16/15 10:39 AM | Comment Link

    • Helizna said...


      Because it is another false flag operation. That is why.

      11/16/15 6:13 AM | Comment Link

    • Jaeger said...


      While I do, to some extent agree with you, I think the whole “Terrorist attacks still happen – ergo, it doesn’t work” could be a slightly rash conclusion. Yes, attacks have happened, and probably will continue, but just because we don’t hear of countless attacks being prevented, doesn’t necessarily mean, it doesn’t happen. For all we know, us giving up part of our freedom, might have prevented a lot of terrorist attacks, in terms of the US. etc. getting information that let’s them prevent it. Let me be clear that i don’t have the answers, but i’m assuming you don’t as well.

      The “faning the flames” aspect I totally agree with though, and yesterdays attack on Ar-Raqqa, and the western world’s reaction to it, goes to show that we don’t really care about any other side, than our own. No one spent even half a second thinking about the fact that there may have been collateral damage in these bombings. Is this any better than a terrorist attack, to the innocent people who suffer? Do people really think that losing your loved ones, is more okay, just because the french, american, or whatever planes, didn’t really mean for your parents to get killed, when they bombed the shit out of a house on the same block?

      It also goes to show that the western world isn’t going to be OK with someone else having the last word (attack), so i don’t get why we should expect any different from the other side. Now i get that Isis etc. have very little intention of laying down their weapons, as this seems to be pretty much their entire purpose, and their war isn’t just with us in the west, but your point on otherwise normal and mentally healthy people, being destroyed, and radicalized, by our approach to create peace for ourselves, is completely understandable.

      If knowing that there’s always a drone that you can’t see, flying somewhere above you, capable of killing you at any second, isn’t absolute terror, then i don’t know what is. Any western country would never accept stuff like this on a daily basis, yet somehow we don’t get what it’s like for them.

      Make no mistake, i have absolutely no sympathy for Isis and the likes, and i wish them nothing but misfortune. My thoughts go out to everyone who’s suffered their attacks, in Beirut, Paris, etc. yet they also go out to all those who’ve lost family and loved ones, as “collateral” from our bombings etc.

      11/16/15 6:16 AM | Comment Link

    • #1984 | Spletni pravnik said...


      […] Van Buren, nekdanji uslužbenec U. S. Foreign Service (Ghosts of Tom Joad, 14. november […]

      11/16/15 6:19 AM | Comment Link

    • Heinrich v. Schimmer said...


      Well said.
      One point, though: It’s not 14 years but roughly 75. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Soviet_invasion_of_Iran

      11/16/15 6:33 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      In response to Paris, France has rolled out its plans, seemingly prepared in advance much like the US’ response to 9/11: France is already increasing its bombing of Syria and is imposing strict new laws. Despite the fact that at least half the terrorists in this case were already known to the French law enforcement community, they mysteriously “ceased watching” the suspects a few days before the attacks. Oddly, and also reminiscent of 9/11, the French military and police forces were conducting terrorist training exercises the morning of the attacks in Paris, so Paris was packed with law enforcement, but somehow the terrorists slipped around town to multiple locations unimpeded. The police response was notably slow at each location as well. Internally, Hollande has ordered a 3-month state of emergency which will be extended further “as needed”. The state of emergency law allows French authorities to impose curfew, carry out random searches of private homes at any time, collect weapons owned by private citizens, use military tribunals rather than the courts, censor the press, order the house arrest of individuals (without trial), close public places (most public places were closed for the week-end and the law allows for future closures at any time with little or no prior notification to the public). The French government has begun raids of private homes searching for accomplices to the terrorists already and is increasing the number of soldiers patrolling Paris and suburbs. Right now, there are 5000 French military troops in Paris; there will be another 1500 added by Wednesday and the prime minister has promised to deploy another 10,000 troops throughout the country as quickly as possible. (There are already 7000 troops deployed internally since the “charlie hebdo” thing in January.) This pretty much puts martial law in effect. Hollande met with leaders of all the political parties in France over the week-end and they all agree with the new “state of emergency” law and expanding the wars abroad.

      Marie Le Pen, who is the leader of the National Front party (they are distinctly fascists) called for the complete disarming of the suburbs and Wauquiez, the secretary of the Le Republicans party (very right-wing) said that anyone in France who has an intelligence file (i.e., they are being watched for one reason or another by the authorities) should be placed in internment camps.

      Joyeux Noel et bonne annee, gens. [Merry Christmas and happy new year, people.]

      At the G20 meeting, a bunch of countries (which are, well, noticeably not Syria nor territories of Syria nor colonies of Syria nor in any way, shape, or form countries going by the name of Syria) are deciding how Syria should be governed and run. The big questions seem to be: do we simply assassinate al Assad, demand he a) step down now or b) step down later, set up an [illegal] interim government without him (like we did in Libya just before we assassinated Ghaddafi), tell the people of Syria they will have early elections but al Assad cannot run for office this time, despite his winning his last election with 80% of the vote, (like we did in Haiti, where we allowed Aristide to return home, but said he couldn’t run for office even if the people wanted him to – which they overwhelmingly did), and the final big question is, of course, do you suppose anyone will notice if we just fucking bomb the country into a landfill and kill all the civilians in the meantime? Takes care of that part of the refugee problem, anyway.

      As for the US, we are once again bombing Libya. No authorization for any of the bombing we are doing anywhere, of course, and particularly egregious to be bombing a country we already ruined beyond repair a couple of years ago, but no-one in the media seems disturbed. Matter of fact, it is so humdrum that I’ve only seen one or two articles on it.


      I guess the PTB have decided their course of action.

      11/16/15 6:36 AM | Comment Link

    • Divinin said...


      The author doesn’t seem to be aware that this “14 year plan” is much, much older and has been very effective at keeping terrorism off shore. If it hadn’t been for this policy, we would experiencing 9-11 events frequently. A policy’s success is not measured by media attention. There have been numerous terror events thwarted by this “failed plan” that were never reported. It’s time the author and the American people stop allowing the entertainment industry (ie media) to substitute for critical thinking skills !

      11/16/15 7:15 AM | Comment Link

    • sure said...


      this article is a rag of shite… if you base your logic on a false base the result is always that you help those you claim to fight.
      NONE of the events you mention are ACTS of TERRORISM but acts of STATE SPONSORED AND EXECUTED COVERT OPERATIONS.

      or a CRIMINAL perpetrating DISINFO


      11/16/15 7:35 AM | Comment Link

    • Lynn Holdsworth said...


      I am not a political animal, just a member of the unsuspecting public who got caught up in the 2005 London bombings on her way to work.
      This “you kill us, we kill more of you, you kill even more of us” game isn’t working. We all hate one another more than ever. As someone who grew up in 1970’s Northern Ireland, I’m convinced that dialog is the only answer.

      11/16/15 7:58 AM | Comment Link

    • waddap said...


      Soooo if we leave them alone they wont come for us? their agenda is world domination, they want us to believe in their religion or perish, and thats not gonna change

      11/16/15 8:09 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Oh, I doubt they want world domination and what, take over Botswana? No, Islamist terrorism is in large part an attempt to dominate MidEastern religion, with a healthy dose of anti Western and anti-imperialism. We should leave the Middle East and if Arab nations oppose what the terrorists want, let them fight it out.

      11/16/15 10:37 AM | Comment Link

    • Henning Heinemann said...


      Want a plan? Here’s a plan, use our energy supply more efficiently and create a social safety in the U.S. that centers on urban agriculture. Use this to produce large surpluses of food and fresh water. Send groceries and water to areas of drought and famine. It is hunger that starts all this stuff.


      11/16/15 8:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This | The Bangladesh Chronicle said...


      […] Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com. […]

      11/16/15 9:21 AM | Comment Link

    • Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This - The Chennai Breeze said...


      […] Reprinted  from WeMeantWell.com. […]

      11/16/15 12:03 PM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...



      Agreed! The West simply waded into a centuries long battle, in which there is a no win solution.

      If the leaders of the ME truly want to ‘contain’ the barbarians within their gates, they should do so.

      In the meantime, the rest of the civilized world ought to pack up and leave in the ME.

      11/16/15 12:09 PM | Comment Link

    • M said...


      “Fred said… 12 It’s a very good post… One flaw only… I wish you would mention more than only terror attacks against westerners lives.”


      11/16/15 12:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Cederic said...



      The thing is that we don’t know and will never know what would have happened if we did not intervene now in the middle east.

      That being said. One thing is for sure we did not intervene when the Nazi’s took power in Germany in the 1930’s (and this was not even about a religion!). The vast majority of the German population was peaceful. But look what a minority can do to a whole population.
      Oh I take the Nazi’s as an example but al lot of others exists…, let’s not forget the Christian crusaders etc… . When I was a kid I was thinking these kind of things were a thing of the Middle Ages. History is repeating itself if we do not act.
      I rather have some 100k dead then the millions and millions of deaths that other groups did when they were not stopped when it was needed.

      Common people have some common sence en believe in plain science and not in some persons/groups ideology or a religion.

      Just my POV…

      11/16/15 12:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This - World News Closer said...


      […] with permission from WeMeantWell.com. var hupso_services_t=new Array("Twitter","Facebook","Google Plus","Linkedin","Email","Print");var […]

      11/16/15 1:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      INdeed: IRock, IRan; Oceaniacs Li’l Br0bama, Toadies, Frogs und Todies: SYRIAϟϟLY, GTFO of MENA, NOW!

      11/16/15 1:58 PM | Comment Link

    • Salman said...


      It is a well written article…however it simplified the reason of wars across the globe..the reason is not terrorism..infact the reasons are to occupy major resources like oil and increase influence across the globe…so this war will continue in one form or the other..

      11/16/15 1:58 PM | Comment Link

    • kenneth said...


      I will try to keep this brief but as long as countries try to interfere with other countries and in doing so then try to have behave as we would then the violence and killing will never end. If we try to be tolerant with those people and allow them to conduct themselves in a way that they have done since time immemorial then, maybe those people would not feel threatened and become easy prey to someone in their own community who is able to manipulate them into doing acts out of character. The concern is, however, is it too late, have we upset too many people for too many years. I hope it isn’t, but I am a little scared it may have. The only light, as I can see on the horizon is that during our reign on this planet we have also, through greediness plundered and damaged the natural resources that are needed to sustain life and that we will all disappear up our own arses, figuratively speaking, and the human race will be no more. And I am sure the dinosaurs that inhabited this beautiful planet before we were walking upright thought the same- See you all t the other side of the next big bang

      11/16/15 3:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Y ume said...


      Political author Gearoid O Colmain discusses the Paris attacks with RT International


      11/16/15 3:10 PM | Comment Link

    • PBC News & Comment: In Response to Friday the 13th Attacks, France Ignores America’s Bitter Lessons | Peter B. Collins said...


      […] –Peter van Buren, 20-year veteran of the State Department, click here […]

      11/16/15 4:34 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      The USA makes plenty of money supplying weapons of all sorts to tribal militias in the Middle East. We’re not about ready to ship plowshares when fancy swords are much more profitable.

      11/16/15 5:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Jett Rucker said...


      War on drugs. War on terror. War on poverty. War on hate.

      It’s all war to me.

      I hate war. It does no good, and isn’t otherwise necessary.

      11/16/15 7:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Ezra MacVie said...


      The never-ending chaos of the middle east is precisely in alignment with the wishes and machinations of Israel, which profits from any and all internal strife in and among its neighbors.

      All this stuff is NO accident. We’re just paying for it (INCLUDING what little, Israel itself does, which NEVER includes accepting refugees).

      11/16/15 7:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Alano said...


      So let me get this straight. If there are no terrorist attacks, you’re in favor of halting the War on Terror. And if there are terrorist attacks, then… By golly that’s all the more reason to halt the War on Terror! Frankly, it sounds to me like an a priori position to which you are clinging no matter what happens. You’re ready to go down with the pacifist ship.

      What’s wrong with this logic? Murder has been illegal for thousands of years, but murders still occur. Therefore, we should give up, repeal the homicide statutes, dissolve the police forces, and hope that the ensuing anarchy will help us spontaneously dream up some brave new approach. Good luck with that. For that matter, we’ve been fighting poverty, ignorance, racism, and hatred for thousands of years, but all of those problems still exist and sometimes seem to be getting worse, so perhaps we should cross those efforts off our list as well? This is the whole “blank slate” approach to complex and unsolvable problems for which the extreme left is duly infamous. You’re just sooo confident that you’re sooo much smarter than the idiotic people who’ve been in the trenches for decades fighting the War on Terror that you think there could be little harm in wiping the slate clean and starting over. What’s their accumulated empirical experience and knowledge compared to your high-minded ideals about peace and equality?

      There’s also the issue of the seen and unseen. You can see the current policies, and you can see the terrorist attacks in Paris–and you’re asserting that the attacks are evidence that the current strategies have failed. But how do you magically know that the situation wouldn’t be many times worse but for the current policies? For every attack we see, there may be ten more that were discovered and thwarted (thanks to the very policies you decry). And for every attack thwarted, there may be dozens more that never made it to the planning stage because the would-be attackers feared being caught. And, for all you know, all those attacks may have been far worse than what happened in Paris. But the attacks that have been stopped are unseen. I realize that involves speculation, but your article would have come across as far more reasonable had you mentioned the possibility that perhaps there were potential attacks of which you are completely unaware precisely because the war on terror has been successful in preventing them.

      I’m sure your next move would be to note that if the War on Terror had been at all successful, then surely someone as well informed as yourself would have heard about major attacks being foiled, correct? The problem, of course, is that if you pay attention to the mainstream media at all, the authorities in various localities frequently claim to discover and thwart various terrorist plots. And it’s hard not to notice that when the authorities make such claims, the typical reaction from people of your intellectual ilk is to roll your eyes and self-righteously inform us mouth breathers that it probably wasn’t a real terrorist plot, at best just racist cops entrapping some innocent young Muslim chap, and at worst a nefarious plot to restrict our freedoms and distract us from the “real” issues (such as imaginary melting ice caps or–nightmare–some people earning more money than others).

      Or perhaps you’re telling yourself that “things couldn’t get any worse than they currently are” – as you insinuate throughout your article. Really? I hate to break it to you, but if you think that things couldn’t get any worse than 150 people being slaughtered in one evening, then you suffer from a serious lack of imagination.

      11/16/15 7:33 PM | Comment Link

    • ken m said...


      its a good thing weaklings like you dont fight the war on terror or we’d be losing………. keep righting your articles while TRUE HEROES like bill o’reilly actually put boots on the ground for america

      your welcome

      11/16/15 9:14 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Hah, hah, good one. Bill O’Reilly never did anything but self-promote Bill O’Reilly. If he’d be willing to go to Syria and fight, I’d buy him his plane ticket (one way, of course)

      11/17/15 8:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      This is a wake up call – NO tolerating an ISIS state anywhere in Syria and stop funding Islamist groups and trying to paint them as moderates.

      Amit — Israel ‘tolerated’ Hamas’s growth (some Israeli specialists even say Israel did more than that for Hamas to grow) — all ot counter Arafat and the PLO and look at the mess.

      Your neocons love the idea of constant chaos — it’s a failed policy. You have politicians pointing this out and we do too.

      NO ISIS state anywhere in the Mid East ever

      11/16/15 10:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Michael Batchelder said...


      Thanks for this. A pity we aren’t organizing the people of various agencies and service branches who learned from their experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, as you did. Such a unified voice could have a meaningful effect on the political culture and the direction of the country’s foreign policy.

      11/17/15 2:41 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Wow, PVB, turns out a lot of people DID want to read this.

      11/17/15 4:01 AM | Comment Link

    • Andrew Dettman said...


      The conditions you describe are symptoms of an illness. This illness is stuck-addiction©. Mankind lives inside an addictive system that seeks to propagate branding as a corporate guarantor of quality.
      Unforeseen consequences of previously well intentioned National policies, that now prove to be Internationally incoherent, have brought is to this systemic point of absurdity.
      Illness does render health seemingly to an often absurd place.
      Once a correct diagnosis is arrived at, treatment can be offered in a contract to heal the illness that had been contracted previously.
      The word contract is vital here.

      11/17/15 4:26 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      teri said…”Wow,”

      Indeed. Never seen this many comments here. Lots of different viewpoints too. That’s great. However, there is only ONE “correct” viewpoint. MINE.


      Just kidding. But I do have my own. Unfortunately, I’m keeping it to myself as nothing I can say will have any effect whatsoever. The only thing I can add is a little axiom my dad used to say.

      Since there isn’t a damned thing I can do about anything going on in world politics and war, as long as they stay out of my backyard, I’m happy. But lord help those that climb over my fence or kick at my door.

      He meant it too. A would be home invasion criminal learned the hard way. He shot him right in the face as he was climbing through a window.

      It just seems to me..that’s how our foreign policy should be. Fuck the rest of the world. Let them kill each other. But if they step across our borders..well, you know. Unfortunately, this country has changed. War is now the main export we have. I’m just glad I was born at a time to know what America “was”. My grandchildren will never know. I do know this though. Sooner or later, what happened in Paris is going to happen here. Lord help us then. The USG has already planned for it.


      11/17/15 6:56 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Anyone who didn’t see this coming…raise your hand..


      Congressional action in 5..4…3 …2

      I’ve got $10 that says they’ll double down on it too and force backdoors on everything, make encryption illegal..and make it permanent. Mike Rogers and James Comey must be grinning ear to ear while high five-ing. I also bet Peter King or Burr will be the first to introduce new legislation…today. Of course, they already had it written, just waiting for an event to roll it out.

      Meanwhile, can you smell the Constitution burning?

      11/17/15 9:30 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      quote”its a good thing weaklings like you dont fight the war on terror or we’d be losing………. keep righting your articles while TRUE HEROES like bill o’reilly actually put boots on the ground for america” unquote

      Bill O’reilly? BILL O’REILLY???? You mean that poster child for Barnum’s Clown school? Put boots on the ground…true hero???




      If dimwittery were weather..dude..you’d be a fucking 5.1 hurricane.

      Bill O’reilly… aahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

      oh man. That made my day.

      Now…let’s try Dolts for $2k.

      11/17/15 9:41 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...



      France is mirroring the actions the US started after 9/11, pretty much down to a T. I finally got the blog back up and that’s the latest thing I wrote about.


      (Sorry about the self-promotion, Peter. Hope you forgive the lapse in internet etiquette.)

      11/17/15 11:00 AM | Comment Link

    • FreeOregon said...


      What if we were to treat each other, including all Muslims, with the same dignity and respect we expect from others?

      That’s a paraphrase of the Golden Rule.

      When the police kill someone because that person is black, or poor, or homeless, or simply refusing to comply with some order because the police failed to deliver it with dignity and respect, are the police telling all of us how they want us to treat them?

      Changing our behavior is all we can do. And since it takes time for others to perceive and understand that we have changed, we cannot expect immediate changes in their corresponding behavior.

      All meaningful and lasting change begins inside and works its way out.

      11/17/15 11:04 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      I nominate Peter for Secretary of Truth.

      11/17/15 12:14 PM | Comment Link

    • In-Depth Interview: State Dept. Veteran Peter van Buren on Paris Attacks and Responses | Peter B. Collins said...


      […] day after the Paris attacks, he published this important commentary, which is the basis for our conversation.  He argues that the policies the US engaged after […]

      11/17/15 6:04 PM | Comment Link

    • Alano said...


      I love all the leftists attempting to taunt conservative talk show hosts (most of whom they’ve never watched) – for, uh, not actually going out and physically fighting.

      Are you arguing that only members of the military should be allowed to hold political opinions? If so, you do realize military members vote GOP in overwhelming numbers. There’s not a single presidential election that the Democratic Party would have won in the entire 20th Century if only active military members were allowed to vote.

      11/17/15 7:02 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      There’s not a single presidential election that the Democratic Party would have won in the entire 20th Century if only active military members were allowed to vote.

      Well then, when they get their legs, or arms or heads blown off in a war brought on by lies.. guess who they should bitch to?

      11/17/15 8:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Quién está detrás de todo el terrorismo? | Who is behind all the terrorism? | Zapatista MX ★ Revolutionary Translations said...


      […] Read More… […]

      11/18/15 5:57 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      As i mentioned above, after this terrorist attack in Paris, any collectivist politician who dares open his mouth about “gun control”, should check in with his local psychologist for a reality check. Meanwhile, our Gun Salesman of the Year POTUS doubles down on his own stupidity….


      If anything, gun sales will quadruple over the holidays, regardless of Obama’s lost grip on reality.


      11/18/15 6:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Micheal Kidd said...


      I couldn’t agree more ..but but I don’t think it will stop will just get worse .. The only answer is not us not west ..
      The only action is military one but boots on ground must be Muslim and not Western ..
      A collation of Jordan,Saudi Egyptian Iraq ,Syrian ,and dare I say it Iranian ..with west and Russia proving non stop bombing and
      Drones with on ground observers is only answer ..
      The Arabs community must be answer or this no answer … But cry for troops on ground will escalate the moment a Paris event happens in U.S. And it will happen not if but when ..
      France is right now trying build collation will be impossible or difficult US not answer .and will be true test wills if France declares it was a
      NATO attack. But your concept is spoken trully not another American kid needs to die …

      11/18/15 7:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Parigi: quello che non vorreste leggere | gli Immoderati.it said...


      […] di Peter van Buren per Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity e WeMeantWell.com. Traduzione dall’inglese a cura del nostro […]

      11/20/15 1:00 AM | Comment Link

    • Al said...


      Stop telling lies that there were only jews who were treated bad by terror…there alot other minorities… israel is yje statebof terror…did they use any other way to take over the land of palestine by killing kids and women and men and taking their homes away…..just to create a police for imperialism in middle east to control the area…if there was no israel..we would have not seen any of what is going on today. ..scaring the world from muslims is what israel is benefiting from …. until this cancer is killing tje region we will have no peace in middleeast…the Christians and jews and muslim need to unite with all other people ans see religion and faith away from these criminal states…and then..maybe…we can succeed

      11/20/15 7:10 AM | Comment Link

    • French Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite, hard won in their Revolution, destroyed by government and terroism in de facto collusion | The Liberty Beacon®™ England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales said...


      […] featured article comes from We Meant […]

      11/21/15 7:00 AM | Comment Link

    • Matthew Whitehead said...


      The invasion of Iraq was not to defeat terrorism, it is well documented fact that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction, being as the ones sold to him by the UK, France and the USA were all used in the Iran-Iraq war; nor did he harbour Islamist terrorists, being as they posed as much of threat to him and his regime as they did to anyone else. You are either deluded or lying. Tony Blair recently apologised for his decision to invade Iraq, I won’t be happy until his in the Hague being tried under the Nuremburg laws.

      “We meant well” what a sick joke.

      11/22/15 9:36 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      “We meant well” what a sick joke.

      I’ve picked up a lot of new readers recently, so it is important to note that the phrase ‘we meant well’ as I use it here, and as the title of my first book, is meant to be tragic and ironic. I do not believe for a half-second that anyone connected with Iraq/Syria or much else in foreign policy means well at all. I see them as bastards and their actions as evil. Stick around on this site, and you’ll find we agree. Blair deserves the cell next to George Bush.

      11/22/15 12:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Achmed said...


      Who is the author? Right. Didn’t think so.

      11/23/15 6:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Was dit de eerste “aanval op onze manier van leven?” | Een andere inspirerende bladzijde said...


      […] eens wat quotes uit artikelen van de afgelopen week: Het is een oorlog tegen een ideologie, het is een aanval op onze waarden en zo goed zijn die terroristen nou ook weer niet, want het had […]

      11/26/15 1:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Andras said...


      If you want to FIND the reason for the conflict, you’ll want to check out the 3rd party law:


      and probably:


      If you work at it, you can probably find the actual reason. I haven’t done that research myself (though could guess at a reason right now).

      Best, Andras

      PS: those are totally free courses, supervised by live people (whom I know). No hidden intention/interest here 🙂

      11/30/15 3:33 AM | Comment Link

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