tv Discussion on French Reaction to the Paris Terrorist Attacks CSPAN November 25, 2015 7:29am-9:03am EST
[inaudible] >> part of the sentence should never be removed to allow criminals to go on holiday. >> i will look at this very carefully. let me express my sympathy to the victims and the family. it's always very difficult to comment on individual cases because i wasn't sitting in the courthouse, but the point seems to be very powerful. i think he's making a strong case. [shouting] >> resembling the central europe, minorities being the find themselves under more prsure than ever. i, my constituents understand, by how does the prime minister
support bombing campaign -- [inaudible] [shouting] >> what i would say to the honorable gentleman, we will set out the arguments clearly tomorrow, but there's a clear and present danger to the united kingdom of isil based in iraq, based in syria planning attacks against our country today. now we don't live in a perfect world and we can't deliver a perfect strategy but we can deliver a clear long-term strategy that will work. he talks about the lessons we learned from the last century. ..
>> i think she's right to highlight the friends and family test. it is a simple way of measuring whether our hospitals are getting great care and i think it's been a real advance in our nhs to have the. as well as good schemes as well as good schemes mature you want your friends and family treated in hospital we need to provide the resources for the hospital and that's exactly what we are doing. crucially on childbirth it's not often i stay here and quote the "daily mirror" but it is worth
looking at what they are racing about the importance of a seven-day nhs and making sure we have high standards across our nhs every day of the week as well as the extra money this government is putting in, the seven-day nhs is also going to be a much stronger nhs. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the fund supports important local projects in my constituency including the gates, a small children's playground and partial limits aid projects indeed which played an essential role in the committee supporting the movable people this government has left behind. will the prime minister join with me in congratulating his local projects on the work and reassure the house about this government will protect their current level of national lottery funding earmarked for community projects? >> i can tell the honorable lady we will be protecting the big lottery fund. a dozen excellent job but i'm afraid i can't resist the .1 of
the things that the united kingdom brings is a bigger national lottery, a bigger pot that can support charity. [shouting] let me just make a point. let me just make this point. following what has happened to the oil price, if there was a scottish november autumn statement they would be a statement that was about cuts, cuts, cuts, taxes, taxes, taxes, and no relief from the national laundry. [shouting] >> order. order. mr. mcneal, mr. angus mcneal, calm yourself. you may be a cheeky chappie but you're also an exceptionally noisy one. [laughter] statement the chancellor of the exchequer. [shouting] >> euros he spent he will leave
the british house of commons as members move onto other business. you've been watching prime minister's question time aired live wednesdays when parliament is in session. you can see this week session taken sunday nights at nine each and pacific on c-span. and for more information go to c-span.org and click on series to get every program that aired from the british house of commons since october of 1989 and went on to comment about prime minister's questions via twitter using the hashtag pmq pmqs. >> next panel discusses french fort and domestic policies in the wake of the paris terrorist attacks. this 90 minute event was hosted by the washington institute.
>> good morning. welcome to the washington institute. good afternoon. if you're in paris i'm delighted to welcome you to the washington institute. i'm rob sala, director of the institute. kibar french president hollande will be visiting washington to discuss with president obama next steps in a reinvigorated strategy to address the great challenge of isis, the broader challenge of the sunni jihadism into syria-iraq arena, and our common approach toward everything from the refugee flow to homegrown terrorism. this is an important moment come
an important moment not just for america and france. it's an important moment for all of us in the west come in the middle east, around the world. people who are committed to addressing the profound challenges that we face. we at the institute are delighted today to be able to host a special panel of french experts. french experts on the middle east, french experts on french foreign policy, french experts who can provide a unique insight into not just what is going on and what is happening in paris -- i need to turn up the volume a bit. top right there. the top. top row. french experts are not only have a unique insight into what is going on but the implications
for what is going on fo forefrot of society, french politics, french foreign policy and how that fits into broader european and international efforts to address the challenges on this agenda. we've never quite done a program that featured only french experts. it is not a mark of prescience but this is somewhat of a you are printer at the washington institute, and that while we match an outstanding expert in paris who introduced in just a moment, we have the great benefit of having to french experts here on our staff this year. one, a diplomat in residence through partnership with the french foreign ministry, and the second, and outstanding french scholar of syria that w we've bn endeavoring to bring to washington for some time, a
scholar of, especially of the alawites and we are delighted that we have such a scholar with us right now. so let me introduce our panel this very briefly. from paris speaking with us is one of europe's most eminent experts on islam, the middle east, and the relationship between europe and the west and the middle east, and that is professor gilles kepel. gilles is extremely well-known around the world. he has spoken to before at the washington institute. is professor at the institute of political studies paris. his numerous works have been translated into local languages. is about to come up with his newest book. this is the latest in a series that looks at political islam,
jihad and russian ship with muslims in the west and muslims in the middle east. i'm delighted than one can join us from paris. speaking after gilles will be professor fabrice balanche, an associate professor and research director at the university of -- he's a visiting fellow at the washington institute. fabrice is wha one of the rare experts in the world with expertise on the alawites community in syria. he was the alawite region and resilient our. people offer very important remarks about russian-syria strategy in the challenge of isis. and then i'm very pleased to introduce turn 11, a diplomatic resident of sending an earlier or at the washington institute -- olivier decottignies. tom strickland was from iran where he was the second
secretary of the french embassy in tehran and he brings a truly unique insight here in washington, given that we have such little first and diplomatic experience in iran over the last several decades and so the contribution he makes to our understanding of the iranian angle and about all this is occurring and impact on french foreign policy is truly priceless. i should underscore that, of course, trying to the speaking solely today in his personal capacity as a very smart frenchmen, not as representative of the french government, french foreign ministry. i'm sure president hollande can speak very well for himself when he said in washington tomorrow. so without i will turn the floor over to my colleague gilles kepel in pairs and centered reference here in washington. gilles, welcome. >> hello. can you hear me speak with yes. we do just fine.
yes, gilles, we hear you just fine. >> hello? >> gilles, the floor is yours. specs are, i thought you were to ask you something. so good morning to you and good afternoon to us. it is no more than a week after the events of friday the 13th of november, and in a way things are being put into shape. that is to say, what happened on friday is being put into perspective. you know that this year 2015 inference started with the attacks on "charlie hebdo," on the supermarkets and on the policeman, and the end, release we hope nothing else is going to
happen afterwards in december. with the attacks of friday the 13th. those attacks belong exactly to the same pattern. they are part of a strategy for what i called in this comic book which are mentioned in which will be out in three weeks now -- they belong to the strategy that was designed in 2005 of approximately by the syrian born, french strengthen spanish national engineered person in his lengthy book posted on the internet called for global islamic resistance. reconsiders europe is the soft underbelly of the west, hubris in attacking you can washington
on the 11th was misplaced at that fuels the reaction which ultimately would destroy our country europe in his youth is much weaker than in europe there are millions of young people in defense coming from postcolonial immigration cutaways as -- and/or not -- [inaudible] and ready to go to radical islam as an ideology to fight against their own. what should a vendor homeland, what is being, they will depart from in order to become real jihadists and what was not called at the time the islamic c state but something of the same ilk as the real place of belonging.
so in review, one has to take place in some sort of civil injury, a sort of enclave for between what he thinks are those muslims radicalized under the aegis of the would be daesh people on the one hand, and another sense, this will lead to a -- wilderness if you want or translated literally in europe and that will lead to the ultimate demise of europe and bring over the caliphate. if i may say so don't delay, it looks like a neocon in reverse. but this is what they aim at doing. in order to do so they need to divide europe society and also to mobilize all muslims accept the ones who are -- and then supposed to be assets.
under their banner, under what was called -- the knights under the prophet savannah. this is a twofold strategy. on the one hand, care rise the adversary, the enemy, and on the other hand, gather support. now, if we look at that and would impair what happened in january and what happened in november, even though the strategy is the same tactics are quite different in january the groups that were targeted were quote-unquote allah, enemies of allah. the islamaphobe's quote-unquote cartoonist of the "charlie hebdo," the apple states, quote-unquote again, please been
a wonder look like a muslim and also jews without support. this lead as you remember to come on the one hand, huge demonstration of january 11 which was the biggest demonstration ever to have taken place on the france soil seen since the euro but that era. that led also to the breaking in the ranks because you have -- [inaudible] which means well done in north africa and colloquial which was posted on and on about social networks, the lead to a sort of heated debate in france. society inspite up a unanimous a dimension the 11th of january
demonstrations showed, despite of the fact heads of state from all of the world came to paris. nevertheless, whether there was a fault line was rampant in society. this one in november was quite different. the killings were absolutely not discriminate. and they aim to anyone who was at dinner table who was attempting concert in the 11th and 10th of pairs which are the sort of mixed area, sort of brooklyn, if i may try this comparison, transatlantic comparison. and the sample of people killed or wounded is a sample which was very preventative of young paris crowds today with people coming from all walks of life, a number of them being sons and daughters of the postcolonial immigration
from muslim descent or something. and, therefore, even if they've achieved what they believed was their first aim, i.e. care rise of society, terrorize the enemy, it proves that it has proven far more difficult to galvanize sympathizers. and we've seen very, very few expressions of solidarity except within the core group of overcall the jihadists fear. to me, the jihadists from syria but has not been much support among the range of sympathizers who sort of fun excuses to the killings in january. so this is one difference. how can we explain it and provided, it proves to be the
case because we're not acting as soon as we sit here in our colloquial. the one thing that we may think about is that one difference between what i call the second phase, jihadism, al-qaeda is that 9/11 was something which was planned from the top. al-qaeda was a top down operation. the idea of the third generation opposes al-qaeda with the arabic language formula that what they are doing no is a system, not an organization. he paid for pilot lessons. he said people who would implement what they had to do who would follow the road map. in the third generation, you
have a sort of broadview, i.e., you're going to push the war into infidels of france or europe, right? you are not going to see everything at the top level. you believe a very wide margin of appreciation for the guys are going to implement and you're going to recruit whoever you have at hand. or maybe some of them have decided they were volunteers. in the francophone qatar able brigades of daesh in the levant, those competitions, so as to prove that they have the guts and the foreign fighters were not considered very well by the locals, by the iraqis and the syrians, and had to prove that they were good at doing
something else and blowing themselves up or altering prisoners. and having this major onslaught against european countries, france and belgium now come is of course a means to have a bigger say in the daesh system. so those guys who implemented the terrorist attacks are not really highbrow. i mean, they are criminals who served time in jail for assault, or drug dealing, for rape for some of them. and who within a sort of prison incubator where you had a lot of his third generation of jihadism come into your action from 2510 now, they met and then they would have predicated for creatures would tell them if
you're in jail, it's not your fault it is because of his believers of the site have put you there and have to use your balance and your crime not for criminal issues but to implement radical jihad. and out of jail they would meet again and they would go to syria, training, and by the number of life stories like that. the problem that those guys are not, you know, they are not really strategic like bin laden or the others, some of them are serving time in american jails now, that belong to the second generation jihad. they just thought that they would kill as many people as possible in france, and to use the ways and methods of criminals. they had the kalashnikovs and have his rapid shooting. they took people hostages in the cinema, in the musical and they
killed them like you were playing a video game and you would kill the others. but it was not really well organized. there were many victims, of course, this is a very sad thing but what they had in mind the certificate for the first time in france they sent a number of people with suicide vests, which detonated themselves in the south of france whether 80,000 people in a stadium when president hollande was attending together with german foreign minister between the match of france and germany. and for some reason they could not get into the stadium. they detonated their vests outside and they just kill themselves with just one passerby. that's one thing. also, for those guys who hate
jews more than anything else, they have their attacks on a friday night, so the data really opposed to what happened. in january they did not really succeed in targeting a number of jews as they would have wanted it as the book of allah says, right? so this is also something that shows that the shoe was not very, very well prepared particularly. and also the fact that they target everybody has led, you know, the feeling among muslims in general and france that they were a bunch of criminals and so-and-so. so i wonder to what extent, this is where i will stop, if the 13th of november was not for this third generation of
jihadists, something that could be compared with what happened in the late 1990s were the first generation, after afghanistan there was this copycat in algeria, in egypt, and also spilled over from algeria into friends. and in egypt and algeria in the fall of 1997 there was this sheer violence in egypt from the armed islamic group in syria. you know, they were like fish outside of pond. people on whom they counted provide safe houses to help them, to turn a blind eye on what they're doing, just turn the back button and this was the feeling of phase one which led to phase two, i.e., bin laden and al-qaeda. and then, you know, to what extent was 9/11 that big
success, or was it the big failure? it was the second phase jihad, but same token, it engineered a process of reaction as abu assad himself explained. to what extent is september -- the 13th of november to what extent is it a watershed thing, turning point? is going to lead to tremendous difficulties of recruitment into nearby future? this is really a question mark. it's impossible for me to go further, and as you know i was attacked about what i said in 2000 that there was an extension
and decline in jihadism. at the time i had a background, this was in 2000 so i could not know what would happen later on but i think i was right in saying what i did know was that the first phase was declining. i couldn't foresee the second phase which is not yet taken place, was taking place. and then to what extent is this now the beginning of the end for the third phase? daesh, abdelhamid abaaoud daesh system now under duress? let me at least ask the question i guess we will discuss that has to do with the coalition which you mentioned earlier around later and we will maybe have more to say about that. i hope this was clear enough, just look at me for two or three seconds, so looks like i am a moron but i hope on the other side it --
>> gilles, they came through loud and clear. that was faceting. thank you very much. they're useful, very insightful. apple turn now to fabrice balanche. fabrice, the floor is yours. >> thank you. spent will come back to you, gilles, after the presentations. >> after the attack on paris, president hollande flew to moscow to ask for strikeout isis and not on the other rebels. i don't think mr. vladimir putin should agree to it which is frighten everybody off the according to the -- on middle east. because vladimir putin is not only -- also -- can i have my bulletin? okay, thank you.
as for the syrian president, his agenda is clear, to win the war at any cost and a state until his death in power as his father. vlade of a putin on bashar al-assad -- more strategic. it's mastercard in both hands. bashar al-assad is the last arab ally. putin needs to protect them and assad can establish -- [inaudible] vladimir putin, the old russian dream, to have a foot in the mediterranean sea. like a bizarre wanted to open the gate to the mediterranean sea in the 19th century. the czar didn't succeed.
like this -- come back to the center. has a presence in syria is leverage on europe because europeans, syria became -- refugees. the two major problems of the european -- [inaudible] europe cannot anymore spot this competition, the price is too high. we will see next january the european commission knew of economic sanctions on russia. the price of assad also became too expensive in europe and in france but many people -- the anti-assad strategy, especially in 2004. european countries -- they are afraid about -- [inaudible] but they cannot officially
support him so -- the anti-assad coalition -- like in paris or beirut. so if russia could prevent this, european countries should reconsider the sanctions. at least russia thinks that the nationalism is the major process in the middle east. [inaudible] and would be grateful. western support only a step unlimited is pure nationalism because of costs against turkey. we can see on this map, but 19 million killed in turkey in
the southeast, and it's principal -- for turkey. but if the western countries do not support -- in fact this problem doesn't have this problem. and it can help. for instance, to achieve their conquest of the north. particularly the area between assad because -- to get this area and to go to raqqa. assad doesn't everybody has no choice and you can benefit also because it turkish border closed to within more easy to destroy the others.
assad strategy in the world in the beginning, in january 2011 -- we had 30 years of peace. so his strategy was very clear. assad doesn't want to win the hearts of the people but to crush any opposition. killing hundreds of people and expelling many of the others that is assad's strategy. strong moderate opposition will be an alternative to him for western country, but this cannot be. but we have to recognize that bashar al-assad didn't create isis of the jihad this group as they say, many of them. it is just natural process of radicalization. western countries, in fact, --
the resilience of the assad regime. it was not so weak as i said, the opposition. as western countries and more over united states didn't want to get involved in syria, turkey, saudi arabia and qatar, use proxy as al-nusra and isis as a beginning. that's what exactly assad wanted. so because of the time is quick, and the other solution is not working very well. [inaudible] didn't target ice is the first weeks but since few times come and more over assad attacks
against the russian plane. russia is striking but less than the other rebel groups. the objective is to prison and assad. the main military threats come from the other groups because they are close to the assad territory as you can see on this map. ken green you have the other rebel groups, and there are, also in damascus and its north -- more threat than isis in the east. isis is threatening aleppo and it's in this area that we have the concentration of the troops of the syrian army. russia's strike in this area is
for protect aleppo and to get back strategic airport, but syrian army with the help of the russian airstrike succeed to get back a few weeks ago. the syrian army is protected from isis on the east is a free to launch a strong offensive on the west, and the syrian army is going to the west. the border area is also very strategic. it's the main door for isis and other rebel groups because, for instance, that terrorists who
have been to paris last week use this at your because the turkish border is not closed. and again would like to have no-fly zone on this area but, of course, bashar al-assad refuses at a don't think united states want to support also this project. but after paris, paris attacks, it's an emergency because terrorists are using this gate to turkey into europe. russia agreed to expedite this area but only if its allies get back the area, assad army is killed or both. in conclusion, i think isis will not be defeated quickly, also
because assad and russia need to get if isis retreats, it's not for russian allies -- but not for the others. isis is pushing assad armed syrian people threatened. as we can see on this map, the religious minorities in and said, alawites, druids and christians are in the syrian army area, in the rebel zone, in the isis zone. there is no more minority. you have a few druids here but it is the exception. france is going to strike isis
come and russia the other rebels but the rebel will not do the difference between french and russian bombs. and probably we are going to be considered by his formal rebel proxy enemy, and particular allies of assad on russia. but, in fact, the threat is too high in france. to preserve the social peace in europe, to prevent future attacks. another massive attack in france will be a disaster for the social cohesion. we are seeing -- [inaudible] for the first time in history that in 2017 will have the
presidential election that it is -- we expect she will not be the next president of france but for obvious we have to destroy isis organization. it's a problem that we are right to work with russia and probably assad, thank you. >> okay, thank you. very provocative, very interesting. thank you, fabrice. oliver? >> to keep very much, rob. what i'm going to try to do for you is a line of french foreign policy response to the attacks in paris. first of all i should say that large parts of the response is actually domestic response. most of president hollande address the two houses of parliament a week ago were devoted to domestic issues,
homeland security, mainly, and also the necessity to maintain national unity. so setting this apart i will focus more specifically on the folly of policy element of the response which are key to conduct the attacks, although they were mainly conducted by french citizens more and raised in france, were plans and prepared in syria and also within a network spending over and above european countries, especially belgium. president hollande visit to more to washington this part of a multifaceted foreign policy response to the attacks. the first i mentioned is to step up french military operations against isis. french airstrikes have intensified a couple of days after the terrorist attacks.
today the french aircraft carrier has arrived in peace between india starting its operation against the organization. these will triple unavailable french airpower in the area of battle. this airpower were primarily be directed at key isis infrastructure, army centers come oil infrastructure, et cetera, both in mosul and the raqqa area. but airstrikes alone will not defeat the isis. there is need for action on the ground that might not necessarily be french operations. this is to give you an idea of the thinking in paris right now, yesterday the french defense minister gave an interview on french radio and he pointed as an example to the liberation come recent liberation of sinjar
mountain which was the result of the combined coalition airstrikes and ground offensive by local forces on the ground in that case, turkish peshmerga. and in his address to parliament a couple of weeks ago present whole all and dashing president hollande promise more support for those fighting daesh on the ground. prior to more military action that are prudent diplomatic efforts. the goal that was set by the french president is to create a large amount of the coalition against daesh and the coalition that would include russia. that is the meaning of u.n. security council resolution 2249 that was passed last friday on the first week after the attacks. to call upon member states that have the capacity to do so today called necessary measures
against daesh, on this or and other recognized as. it's also the purpose, he was with the prime minister of the uk today, set to the president obama tomorrow, then chancellor merkel and then blow to putin, the president of russia in moscow. although the view of the french authorities right now is that no definite defeat of daesh is possible without a political solution to the crisis in syria. in fact page has already been defeated once in iraq in want of its previous incarnations come and resurrected been taking advantage of the conditions in syria. progress has been made over a couple of sessions in the past few weeks. the calendar has been agreed
upon, -- but the french of you is a fat bashar al-assad -- but the french of you is which are outside cannot be in power. there needs to be political process on reconciliation in iraq and also on the way out of their current crisis. this is why this junction engaging russia is important. france talks to all powers involved in the crisis, including iran. that's what the president said when he addressed parliament, doctor russia political and military weight right now in syria makes it of course key to the solution. and this and we will know probably more about this when president hollande meets with his russian counterparts on thursday, and syria will be the core of the conversation.
and another french priority is to get the europeans on board. france did not turn to nato after the attacks but instead to invoke an article of the treaty on european union that is a collective -- introduced in 2009. daesh is not only a threat to france but europe as a whole, and as you know today, brussels is completely paralyzed by anti-terror operation. francis homeland security is in between that of the neighbors. the french demand that measures be taken to share passenger data and also how european partners show understanding to the costs for french security measures put in military terms, support is
expected and demanded, european partners for ongoing french missions in iraq and syria, and additional striking capabilities, logistics rebuilding, intelligence, et cetera. and burden sharing in africa, mali, the republic or france has for years been the eu's forward defense line. daesh may consider the eu is -- but it is not the soft belly as far as defense is concerned. european ministers agree on principle of that. defense ministers last week are encouraging signs forming prime minister cameron said he would open one of the british sovereign bases in cyprus to french operations and provide refueling. last week the german newspaper they'll talk about a possible 500 german troops joining french operations in mali.
but there's still a lot to be. prime minister cameron is struggling to get parliamentary approval for strikes in syria. this debate whether this is a war they are facing despite all evidence. and the terror attack in mali on friday might have some european countries thinking about the need to accommodate their troops. the french did it is actually even more needed. this is not only an issue for the french of europeans by the way. it's major important for both the u.s. and nato is what is at stake is the political will to take care of their own security. as a conclusion i would say that the french in reaction fits within the pattern of france's diplomatic traditional diplomatic options and traditional diplomatic defense. and active diplomacy both in the u.n. security council and with
key partners believe muscular capability and the will to fight are needed. what is encouraging is that young french people are enlisting now in higher numbers in the french military. this as a healthy reaction. some have feared that there will be retaliation against the muslim community and that would be playing by daesh ibook. this is on -- playbook. this is once again healthy and if you look at who isn't showing up it's a reflection of the diversity of the french youth which is also a very good sign. another aspect, traditional french commitment. last but not least, strategic proximity with france major ally, the u.s., and president
obama's strong words on the security to defeat isis were encouraging. we'll see what the conversation will be like tomorrow. jihadism and not only daesh, jihadism generally speaking, france is also fighting al-qaeda networks in north africa and the mali. it is perceived as a long-term threat and is likely to shape french foreign policy. although we also keep the rest going. it was a sign of both resolve and -- that's the climate summit was meeting in a couple of weeks in paris. prepares attacks is also the french domestic policy.
traditionally there is big in france, consensus on foreign policy, probably will be more talks about that, including because some aspects of the fight against daesh and even the domestic fight against bash has foreign policy indication. fighting weapon trafficking, ideology, defending of terrorism, et cetera. and if you allow the i'd like to end up on a very positive note. the reactions to the attacks all over the world are a very welcome we discovered an even for french people themselves. the fact that all over the world people rally around french symbols. by the way, -- being strategic weapon in the fight became viral
in france. so this is a very important in situation where our countries -- values and way of life and win the war against isis is a war of ideology as much of it is a war on the ground. thank you. >>ery good. thank you, gentlemen. plots to discuss you. i want to go back to gilles now because there's a subtext of many analytical disagreement among the panel and i just want to play it at all but more. the conventional wisdom such as conventional wisdom can't emerge in just a matter of days is that this was a very well planned, coordinated attack that took, you know, extreme precision, et cetera, et cetera. gilles, you offered a somewhat different view, that the attack
was sent, that the attackers were brilliant i don't want to say that they were bumblers but there was as much problem and poor planning as there was brilliant in what the attackers were able to plan and implement. and you also added that this is, i do want to put too many words in your mouth, but i heard the import of your remarks say that this may herald a downward slope, what we have seen, this second phase of jihadism reach its apex, and this is probably where we are heading downhill here. now, that would suggest that, that may have implications come implications for the urgency of a global coalition to go attack isis. and so i would be interested in your views on whether you share
the sense that the intense urgency to go in now, partner with who you can, do deals with the devil if necessary, to go and destroy isis. or alternatively, if isis on its way out? and we'll have to do with whatever is left of the decrepit remains, but is isis on its way out? gilles? >> well, thank you. at first i don't know. i can't judge after a week or so. it's just hypothesis that i was putting in front of you. but whether or not it, i should've said it's on its way out, but what was implemented on the 13th of november was not i believe up to the expectations
of the tricky just come if there is such a thing as strategic and daesh or isis come as we say here. because they sort of will have differences in bringing about the recruitments of the movement in the, say medal to wide circle of would be sympathizers. and this was one of the reasons why the first phase of the jihadism failed and what ultimately the second phase failed. now, this does not mean that you to sit idle. this is not of course going to happen like that. i would make a difference departure between the two friends. the domestic brands and the outside france. on the outside france which was just mentioned, very eloquently
by oliver and also by fabrice, i believe that we have reached a new step. for many reasons within the so-called white coalition against isis as the president now would have said way back, the second were more important than primary. everybody was against isis but everybody was against the other one more than he was against isis. the turks, for instance, did not like isis but they left the border open it and even though they said they are now checking the border come it looks like i'll the belgians and the french who came up from syria came back from turkey without any difficulty. and they needed also
counterbalance the kurds. particularly the pkk and their syrian branch. so now that iran has won the elections and he needs to as we say entrance to -- in the west, and he may well be interested in having more active offensive policy against isis. look at the gcc. the governments always said they were against isis. nevertheless, there was never money flowing from the coffers of a number of a different gcc countries to boost isis because they were the real, you know, they could soon you guys were fighting against the shiite christian, whether they be hezbollah. it would have been they wrote their recently also. bashar al-assad, someone is so forth and, of course, the shiite
of iraq. and so that was something that, you know, not maybe put all their best strength in this issue. look after russia, and transport mentioned it. iran, russia thought that the world bad guys, okay, that's all propaganda. but as far as they are concerned, they are interested in knitting and divided the so-called moderate jihadists. that is to say -- summit so you have bashar al-assad on the one side, daesh on the other one. no one in the middle. and then between assad and daesh finally assad would be maybe not the best guy but not the worst one. now they have changed. i believe after the downing of the russian plane over the sinai
by daesh. and even though there's no public opinion in russia comparable to what we have in america and to some extent comparable to what we have in france, putin has to show some muscle. he also has an interest for the timing in striking isis. also what happened in paris is a sign that this can happen elsewhere. and even though state actors, governments are short-term people, nevertheless achieving that you may have such a thing in london, in germany and so and so forth is of course very frightening. i was in moscow last year, and had some talks at the russian minister of affairs and also spent some time with now late the only arab us in the world
so, this trying, the territorial base of isis of is of course very important, even in order to deal with what is happening in europe, with the domestics threat in europe because isis in, in its territorial base provides a sort of, you know, romantic figures. they are the robin hoods of jihad. er this the ones, they are the,
david against goliath if you allow me, that stands up to empires of evil, zionism and imperialism what have you. in this forthcoming book i looked a lot in depth to their ideology and what they have on the social networks and there is tremendous bizarre plan of pseudo anti-imperialist language, extreme left, extreme right that blend into their language, their parlance. so, there is, it's in a way time is right for striking from the west powers point of view and i believe they have common interests in doing so. and if the tearer to is severely damaged, it will be more difficult to go there. and what i hear from some open
sources in france and the number of people actually going there is lower. france is the first exporter of jihadists in absolute numbers. they were beaten by belgium and germany in relative numbers. it is less people going because it is more dangerous going there. you will be killed. life in rack can is terrible. it is -- raqqa is tablier, it is bombed all the time. it is no mystique as you saw on the earlier in the web, islamic paradise. so this is one thing. now what is taking base on the domestic front is different and on that i'm not sure i'm entirely buying into our official language here that says france is at war with the islamic state or the so-called islamic state. it is jihadist army which is
fighting against us. we're at war in the levant, in syria and in iraq. at home it's an issue of police. it's an issue of security and the raid that was conducted on the hideout of in saint-denis of abaaoud, that is name from southern morocco, is sure as olivia said, it inject itself militarily. very strong element in europe today. this is one of the reasons, not only one but one of the reasons why it is particularly targeted. but, the issue here is not, we're not at war on france. daesh or isis wants civil war in france and civil war in europe but we'll not buy into their
desire. we're not looking itself in mirror image that isis shows. it is issue of police. it is issue of examining what makes it in french society. social deaf bring vision, leads to the of cannonnization of isis in some networks. why it works so well in our prison system. for that we have to look deep into ourselves. we have to look into the european mod definitely as one of one of the three of you mentions, unless i -- we're going to have elections in two weeks in france and the national, extreme right, is, so all the pollsters says is going to have a landslide. why is that? among earth things people are frightened what they see and there is attraction of ideas of
refusal of anything foreign. that the extreme right is carrying. so, for that we'll have to be very careful and to understand how to create create european societies which are inclusive. in saying so i do not mean we have to negotiate with isis or that we have to accommodate their, whatever their claims are. i mean, there is no doubt that there is nothing but confrontation here. but, france is different. what is being done in the levant is military. what is being in europe or what has to be done in europe has to do with police and security on the other and with social engineering also. >> thank you. let me, i just want to ask our other panelists, i just want to ask our other panelists about a
debate which we have in america which is implied in gilles's last remark, that is the boots on the ground debate. on one hand i'm hearing a sense of great urgency both because people want to us act and on political level if we don't take care of this isis problem by x-date, the far right may inherit the political spoils. so there's both popular urgency and political urgency which, which is compelling a more forceful action. but on other hand we're hearing also, no, no calls for on the ground activity by french forces, asking for partnership forces. we're hearing more of a an
american style expand the existing approach, more airstrikes. help our local partners. do more but not a different approach. is there a collision here? is there a point at which the french debate, the european debate may change? or is there, so deeply engrained, perhaps legacy of our iraq experience, perhaps a reflection of america's reticence itself to get more deeply involved on the ground that it will not just happen in the french context? gentlemen? >> in france still hollande is also against to send troops in syria and iraq because he is afraid if we send some french soldiers he is expecting isis, because it will be a nice idea
to fight against french people in syria instead of send terrorists to france. if we don't send troops in syria, it is not enough with the strike because we have to show that we are also on the ground, close to the people that they're fighting. >> i think there's no shyness in principle on part of the french to send boots on the ground. that's basically what happened in mali three years ago and on rather large-scale. the consideration of the syrian terrain, there is the idea that, they are local boots can be an all tern tough foreign boots on the ground and there is also
necessary to take our allies and partners on the issues. these are the things involved. i mentioned to you this interview by the french minister of defense yesterday on french radio, as an example of how things could get down on the ground and that think that's the kind of scenario that is being explored right now. >> very good. let's turn the floor over to your questions. if you could be kind enough to identify to whom you're posing a question that would be very useful. so in front, first mohammed dejani. then in the back. mohammed, take the mic. >> to put up on this boots on the ground we notice when ever there is escalation against the west the response is bombing. the problem is that isis has
been able to protect itself against the bombing while the civilians are not. so the civilians are paying heavy casualty, at same time they are being deprive of food on the land from all this land being bombarded and, when they try to get out for refuge they are being denied and countries have closed their doors. my question is this. is there possibility, in a sense this idea of not putting boots on the ground is based on fear for casualties? is there a chance of having a legion from the french army, volunteers who are people who are soldiers, in the french army or others who would volunteer to go as a not a army to go to
syria and fight isis? it is not french fighting isis or syrians, but rather muslim who are for peace and who are for the democracy and who are for all the values that people stand for against this nihlistic force which claims to be muslim? maybe, talk about similar to the jewish legion in the second world war. something to give a chance for those muslims who are in the west who are against isis, to take a stand? >> organize a muslim foreign legion. >> the muslims have a record of gallant service in the french armed forces for more than 100 years now but the, i mean, within the framework of the french military we don't differentiate between soldiers in terms of confessions or religious affiliation, so
that's, wouldn't be legally possible. and whoever is fighting in the french military unit it's the french army from a legal point of view. it would be interesting, i mean you see the people are enlisting to get into the army. muslims among them would be interesting to see the patterns of recruitment by the french foreign legion which recruits foreign nationals too. but building up of a muslim legion as you suggested seems to be, from a legal point of view and the french military tradition, that is not what is contemplated. i think forces already existing on the ground and supporting those forces is more immediate prospect and than such a, such a legion. but i mean the, if muslims are both in france and outside of france joined the military and
french muslims do join the military and french soldiers were targeted by terrorist attacks during the course of the year are actually muslims are actually not a novelty. they find the relative framework within the french army as its. >> olivier. i'm sorry, fabrice. >> we have some french people fighting in syria with the kurds. there are people with the syrian, with the christian militia in northeast of syria. we have french christians who are to fight against isis. at moment it is a small amount but after the attacks we could have more people, volunteers. as gilles we are afraid of civil war in france. it is better these people are
going to fight in syria against isis but they fight in france against jihadist french people. >> yes. please. in the back. >> my name is matt for bfm-tv. it is french news network. my question is about francois hollande's visit to washington, d.c. tomorrow. what do hollande and obama talk about that hasn't already been discussed and what can france expect from the united states in the fight against isis? >> gentlemen? >> more a question for the french embassy here. generally speaking, all that we mentioned today is i think going to be part of the conversation. building a coalition. the military, aspects of
military action. who's going to play what role, et cetera. but this visit is part of a larger of series of meetings. so you have a meeting this morning with prime minister cameron. you have the meeting with president obama tomorrow. the meeting with chancellor merkel. interestingly president putin will be back from iran where he is spending three days. his first visit since 2007. one of the questions about the russians in the syrian crisis whether they can -- president putin will have interesting things when he he is back to from tehran and meets president hollande. you know, i think basically all of the topics we touched upon today need to be part of the discussion. >> i'll add from a moderator's, take off moderator's hat for a
moment, this is a unique rare moment in time. one might expect that unique rare moments like this is opportunity for what one could call the big ask, the major request. if not now when? it's unclear to me that there will be such a big ask and i think that, has as much to do how over the last number of years french leaders may have internalized the reticence, the strategic patience here in washington, may have as much to do with the lingering impact of the syrian red line issue a couple of years ago when there was a bad taste left in the mouth of our french allies. and so i think it's, i think you will get a very serious discussion of all these incremental measures that are talked about. accelerating airstrikes.
accelerating cooperation. accelerating assistance to our partners on the ground. trying to get more sunni-arabs into the field. it sounds, just reading the tea leaves, it sounds unlikely there will be big ask, that major profound request. get engaged in a new and different way than has been gotten engaged insofar. i may be wrong. maybe we'll have a huge new announcement tomorrow afternoon, but i would, i would be surprised if there is that big ask. >> if security related if i may add, the question of political, political solution in syria is key to all those meetings, including with president putin. >> jay so an mon. -- solomon. >> i ask olivia following on the, heard a lot from french, americans, british, they are
splits between moscow and tehran on the ground in syria, strategically. i'm reading headlines from iran where ayatollah khamenei, assad shouldn't have to go. it is up to the syrian people. do you have a sense of why there is so much talk of splits when in reality there doesn't seem like there are any? >> i don't think russia and syria completely overlap. gilles mentioned in the course of the conversation russia and more generally speaking central asia foreign fighters in syria. that is major threat for the russians. that is not only reason they are there, and that is not something that iran shares with them or us, for instance. the russians maintain under much more active diplomatic channels
both in the west and region and iranians have basically on syria. iranians only need the saudis on syria and only need the saudis at all in the vienna talks. russia keeps talking to the turkey and much more regular and consistent manner. so there are differs in the rationale. russia is not probably looking for the same type of strategic projection as iranians are. russia is certainly less concerned with hezbollah. the question is when and how those differences will materialize in more cooperation with russia and, when and how and if the russians than deliver the iranians to substantial organization. >> fabrice, would you want to address this? do you see any sign yet of what
is this idea of iranian-russian disagreement vis-a-vis syria? >> for the moment, no, there is no disagreement. putin stated today there is unity with iran and russia on syria. of course, russia and iran are sharing syria. russia is more in the north and iran is more in the south. russia is by damascus. russia, it will be also for the future of assad because syria is important for putin in a package with ukraine. and if we are making concessions on ukraine we could have the head of assad from putin. but, the iranian would not
agree. so, i think probably in the future, one year, two years, we could have agreement on future of syria between the russian and iranians but for the moment they stay unified because the goal is to win the war and, when they win the war, probably they will have different issue to win the peace. >> okay. dan in the center. >> thank you. gilles, can i direct this at you? i'm wonder if france now might show a tendency to keep away from controversial middle east issues? hollande said you're at war defense the islamic state. so they're acting big against daesh or islamic state. whether north africa, israeli-palestinian issues, any
pressure on saudi arabia over yemen, et cetera, maybe the trend now in france would be better keep our distance, it too dangerous? >> no, i don't think that's an issue. on the contrary it is on offensive, even for domestics political reasons. francois hollande is now in a political situation when he is under threat from the extreme right and the right. so he is not going to look like he is pulling out of that. on the contrary. what i believe changed in france is the situation in syria. when the arab spring or so it was called at the time took place, there was this strong feeling in circles close to the presidency, as one of their top idea logs in the university -- idealogues said, syria is our
spanish war. that meant everything had to be done to out of assad and we have to boost the opposition. the problem is that we did nothing. we had a verbal policy if i may say so but there was no real implementation. there were some things that were being done but it didn't change anything on the ground and that to some extent opened the way to the a number of people who want to take that into their hands and went to french people, jihadists, call them by their name, who went to syria and said there was humanitarian reasons but something other than than humanitarian reasons. this line has been defeated, and there is different policy towards syria from france. a policy which has, to take into consideration the fact that there are also others who are actors in the syrian issue. i believe this is the, this is
the meaning in meets of president hollande with, with the americans, with the russians and how to find a common ground which is feasible. i mean, we were originally we were in ideology. ideology which led to nothing and which led to i believe serious mistakes, even on domestic grounds. and now, there is, there is another, another line. this line does not mean that we have to stand back as contrary to what you suggested. on the contrary, it means we have to find, when i say we, i mean the french have to find a common policy with others that the focus is targeting isis, first and foremost, because we have to destroy the base of the problem, that we have domestically in france and in europe. and b, on that basis, will try
to help find out a solution in the aftermath of the destruction of isis, for a new process of stability in the middle east. but this is not at all the same policy as the one was pursued before. >> very good. yes, in the far back. >> hi, my name is haley and orient tv. my question is for whoever the experts can answer it. kind of striking the reaction would be opposite of what a lot of people expected knowing that isis is only empowered due to assad's continuous murdering of syrian innocent people and how, everything started in syria was a revolution against a bloody dictatorship. now the reaction is completely the opposite, when we saw due to that ignoring what is happening in syria and thinking that we can contain it. actually fires back on the west
and on you know, france and i mean everybody is right now probably feels threatened from isis that they are only being empowered and maybe something should be done about the source of to end the conflict in syria. rather than that, we see people, should kind of find like common ground and find a solution where we can a accommodate more. so that is very interesting. >> right. >> the other part would be backlash and backfire on syrian refugees, even there was no, sirrian refugees involved, and one passport was found turned out to be a fake passport with soldier fighting fighting with o died in syria a couple months ago. thank you.
>> to paraphrase this, why should we be rewarding this diabolical plan of assad to create an even worse enemy feed the isis phenomenon by letting him off the look for now and dealing with him sometime in the future? wouldn'ting be argument goes deal with the root that fed isis, namely assad, at same time we deal with what isis is doing? >> as i said, it was part of assad's strategy to implement jihadist groups and moderate opposition seems, to destroy the moderate opposition and he succeeded. we didn't know assad was strong enough to do it. i remember many people in france saying after three months assad will fall, so we don't have to
do anything strong in syria. don't have to risk troops on syria because assad will fall quickly. we have sectarian battle too and -- we need to understand the situation in syria. that's why we are in this mess and as russia is, is in syria protecting assad, for syrian people it is very difficult to remove him and they're afraid it will be, it will be like in libya if we remove assad. so, we are very, pragmatic and very realistic and very busy to solve the problem. and, the target is isis, no? so for assad they will see later. >> i don't think the european response or the french response
is to accommodate assad. it is to fight isis in an even more determined manner and with more military means. i mean, if you want to see the equalibrium of french politics and policy on that, as hollande said the enemy is isis but the solution shouldn't have assad as an outcome. that is not exactly what you described. >> and -- final word, is yours on the refugee issue. if you can put this in the context of what now seems to be perhaps the most significant flow of muslims to europe in modern history. >> this is a major controversy in france of course because the electoral campaign of the extreme right is to say that the
refugee flow into france is, is manifold. on one hand as you just said this is going to change the demographic balance of europe. there is this feeling in some circles here, what they call the great replacement. that is to say that european population, this was also something that you had in, you could read in some books by bernard lewis and others in the past, that europe was only to become sort of an annex of north africa in a century to come. and this, this coming of populations from the syrian descent is going to make the situation impossible and will lead to new wars of religion in europe, so on, so forth. this is very touchy phenomenon not only in france.
in america who did well everything in politically is now in dire straits in germany, because her policy to accept refugees from syria is challenged on the inside. i was in central europe a couple of weeks ago and someone told me in prague, we do not want bruno, a city in moravia to become marseille. to him marseille was like a city in algeria. this will have political weight in electoral policies in all european countries starting with france in the next two weeks. that is one thing. the other, the other issue is whether or not there are within the refugees, people who are jihadists or who would turn to jihadists and to france. the young lady who spoke