Human history often changes in a very short lapse of time.
To quote a well-known verse of the Cantos by Ezra Pound, with a bang, not with a whimper.
And certainly this is the case of the Paris attacks, which will change the lives, perceptions, ways of living, as well as the moral and economic goals of the peoples of a whole continent.
A first cultural consideration can be made: finally, the multiculturalist myth has died.
Most of the jihadists responsible for the Paris attacks come from Belgium – they were born and raised in the French-speaking cultural and language background.
They are French, Belgian and, anyway, jihadists just as the English or Tunisian boys who go fighting in Al Baghdadi’s Caliphate.
We have denied, to our culture, any vision of values; we have expunged all transcendence; we have deconstructed both society and its state of mind; the Western culture has exalted the instincts and materialization of man – and this is the result.
The jihadist Islam expands while our civilization does no longer attract the foreign nationals who anyway know it.
Even though many people tell us that we should not speak of a “clash of civilizations”, it is demonstrated, however, that the cultures – albeit simultaneously present in the West – no longer have “doors or windows”, as Leibniz’ monads.
And there is much to ponder on the lack of attractiveness of our Western way of life and culture, considered by everybody “materialistic” and soulless.
It is completely false, but now the West considers itself “an immense accumulation of commodities”, just to quote the first sentence of Karl Marx’s Capital.
And it is worth noting that the Clash of Civilization by Samuel Huntington did not regard or assume the possibility of waging and fighting a real war, but focused on the permanence of cultural, anthropological and political models, long after their birth and in very different contexts from those which had justified them rationally.
Vilfredo Pareto would have called this psycho-political mechanism a “residue”.
At strategic level, the sequence of attacks in Paris means, in a chronological order, that a) there is a jihadist “general staff” in any European country and these jihad coordinated actions were necessarily controlled and scrupulously tested before.
Technically, a “hit squad” as the one that set on fire the center of Paris, necessarily needed at least 7-8 covert logistical bases, 30-40 invisible operators – and certainly needed at least a month of preparation and training (perhaps in peripheral, but safe, areas), as well as much money, a careful policy of coverage and management of a wide pro-jihadist environment between Salafist mosques, shops and Islamic city networks.
The fact that all this has not been noticed by the French intelligence services makes us smile, on the one hand, and frightens us, on the other.
It is true that there had been an alert “report” some time ago, but it is strange that no one read and understood it well.
The problem is that both in France and Italy the intelligence services have two serious limits and shortcomings: the excessive bureaucracy and regulation, and the relationship with an intellectually mediocre ruling class, having no experience at all in foreign policy and the correct use of intelligence services.
A document of the usually well-informed Iraqi intelligence services, tells us that our hypotheses about the real size of jihadism are basically correct. No, this it is not “terrorism”, a word bonne à tout faire which explains nothing.
It is the “sword jihad”, resulting from the “permanent jihad” and from the preaching of the “word jihad”, according to the rich Koranic jurisprudential tradition ranging from Ibn Taymiyyah, who wrote in our 17th century, to the rich jihadist formulary born in the late 1960s, in a phase in which the jihad spoke against the secularist and nationalist “tyrants” and not against their powerful Western or Soviet protectors.
The process will be as follows (b): widespread jihad – what we call “terrorism”; a rallying call of the Islamists present in Europe; the military use of these masses and, finally, the political and economic subjugation of the “infidels”.
Obviously, there is no need to waste time – as our US friends do – to separate the wheat of “moderate” Islam from the chaff of jihad.
Here the issue lies in the balance of power and it is clear to everybody that the moderate Islam, which does exist, is a strategically irrelevant minority.
The Arab Emirates and some other Sunni countries use the jihad in the West with the same logic with which the Kominform used red terrorism (even though it was not the only one to do so).
Furthermore the Salafi jihad is a means to define the balance of power with Shia Islam and its country of reference, namely Iran.
And here we come to c), which is the new division of strategic potentials and areas of influence after the first phase of globalization.
The United States, regardless of the political complexion of the next President, do no longer intend to project their power onto the world as in the past – and anyway not in the same areas.
The United States will be increasingly interested in Africa and the classic area of the Monroe Doctrine, namely Latin America.
They will keep forces and facilities in Europe only for regionalizing the Russian Federation, while China will be placed in remote control from the Pacific and South East Asia.
The United States will no longer be engaged in the Greater Middle East which, after the P5 + 1 agreement with Iran and the American geopolitics linked to the Saudis, are no longer regarded as a threat or as a primary choke point.
For the Americans the Cold War is really over.
Europe is irrelevant – it is a case of unintentional humor – while NATO will be ever more an alliance à la carte where Northern Europe, the United States and Turkey will count.
The Alliance Southern Flank is, and will increasingly be, scaled down in the NATO planning.
Nevertheless each country has its own national and strategic interest: Turkey wants to “trim” the Iranian power along its borders and this is the reason why it fights Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.
For Turkey, Syria must be simply broken up to allow the start of Turkey’s Panturanic and neo-imperial project from Anatolia to Central Asia up to Turkmenistan.
In fact, Central Asia will firmly be in the hands of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which will be for China and Russia what the Atlantic Alliance was for the United States in the 1960s: the rampart of security and the tool for controlling its allies.
Hence, in a very unstable and variable strategic context such as the current one, the “sword jihad” is the terrible force multiplier of Sunni Islam, which is used to: 1) control the business cycle of the Western importers of OPEC oil; 2) manage the great mass of Islamic immigration in Europe and the rest of the West: 3) manage the proxy wars in Russia, Africa and Central Asia.
This is the reason why the jihad has always been richly funded: to oust the Baathist regime in Syria and isolate Iran, as well as to control the internal lines of the Arab-Islamic world and to bring about the progressive weakening of the Maghreb region.
Once conquered North Africa, the irrelevant Europe will fall into the hands of the jihad.
Against this backcloth, Italy is bound to count nothing and will only be a mere industrial and financial hub without a soul, a foreign policy, a ruling class and relevance in the Mediterranean region.
Giancarlo Elia Valori (@GEliaValori)
Honorable of the Académie des Sciences of the Institut de France.