Whatever one's opinion of the Muslim attacks and the perpetrators behind them, one thing is without dispute - the French response, which has been to quickly impose unlimited emergency laws, is nothing short of the second coming of "Operation Gladio."
In addition to warrantless searches and raids, France's state of emergency laws allow the government to put people under house arrest, seal the country's borders and ban demonstrations. The laws were created during the Algerian war in 1955.
France is currently aiming to change its constitution to allow a state of emergency to last for six months, according to government sources. The proposal, which has been slammed by many who say the government is abusing its powers, will be put to ministers on December 23, according to AFP.
As a result of this unprecedented expansion of the French police state and the emergency legislation enacted after last month's Paris attacks, there has been a fierce crackdown on not only France's Islamic population but also on various tangential hotspots such as the arrest of 24 climate activists before the culmination of start of the COP21 climate change summit in Paris at the end of November courtesy of the recently introduced "pre-crime" laws.
As the local press notes, warrantless searches and raids have become commonplace, a move which many say violates the civil liberties of all citizens, not just Muslims.
But Muslims definitely are getting the short end of the stick.
Case in point, Daniel Bushell, the manager of the Pepper Grill restaurant on the outskirts of Paris, who recalled a police raid at his restaurant on Saturday night.
As the restaurant manager recounted to RT, "They blocked the roads with trucks, and up to 40 armed men stormed our restaurant...Saturday night's the busiest time. Children were eating. The cops had shotguns, black masks, and shields, making the women tremble with fear. Several officers rushed downstairs, then suddenly...they began breaking the doors with battering rams. The door wasn't even locked."
Elsewhere, the emergency laws, implemented after last month's terror attacks which killed 130 people and left 352 others injured, have led to thousands of warrantless searches and raids.
It it's not just private property that is being targeted – Muslims are also being singled out on the street.
“Police tried to pull the hood off the head of an Arab friend eating with my little brother. Then they detained him, saying it's a state of emergency so they have the right,” a local told RT on condition of anonymity, fearing police reprisals. He added that the community is "sick of being targeted."
Such targeting is reportedly worse for young people, many of whom said they pull hoods over their faces as soon as they see a police car, so officers can't see the color of their skin.
The result: even more antagonism, even more retaliations by both sides, until an intifada-like atmosphere settles, with the two groups determined to hurt and kill each other at every opportunity, for reasons lost in the sands of time (for a historical precedent, look no further than the middle east where virtually every ethnic and religious group has been in a two thousand-year long vendetta with every other group).
Ultimately, there is just one winner - the Police State, which gets more powerful with every passing day as people have no choice but to abdicate even more civil liberties in order to preserve the illusion of "government security."
And just to make sure this continues, one French mayor is willing to go the distance and is not backing down, believing that extra security is necessary because France is “living amid an Islamic threat.”
This is what Robert Menard, mayor of the French town of Beziers, told RT:
“I've already doubled the number of city policemen, but I went even further. I asked all the former policemen, firefighters and servicemen to come and help to protect our citizens. If my initiative goes against the law, we should change the law. We are living amid an Islamic threat and we should be aware of the consequences. Our country, as well as other European countries, is at war – both outside our borders, in Syria for instance, and inside our borders, because our enemies live in our own country,”
Robert Menard used to be a journalist, a socialist and the outspoken founder of an international press group, Reporters Without Borders. But 18 months ago he caused shockwaves by winning the town hall of Beziers, a city of more than 71,000, on a far-right ticket.
In the US, this man's comments would lead to an unprecedented media scandal; in France they have barely registered.
To use global issues as excuses to extend its power:
- environmental issues: increase control over member countries; advance idea of global governance
- terrorism: use excuse for greater control over police and judicial issues; increase extent of surveillance
- global financial crisis: kill two birds (free market; Anglo-Saxon economies) with one stone (Europe-wide regulator; attempts at global financial governance)
- EMU: create a crisis to force introduction of “European economic government”
The US police state wants exactly the same things, and it is coming to get them.