Guest Article: More Pussycats

By: Anonymous

Returning from Vienna, where I have been giving some talks and interviews about my recent book, Pussycats, I found the following in my inbox. The author has granted my request and permitted the piece to be posted here. While legal reasons prevent the university in question from being identified by name, the facts have been verified from other sources.

Any other comment is superfluous.

The university is currently going through its second occupation of the year. The first (which as far as I know is continuing) was by a group of students eager to discover “true freedom”. They took over a classroom and began camping there. They covered all windows so no one could see what they were doing inside (although it smelled strongly of pot). The president and her vice-presidents kept meeting with their leaders and kept negotiating agreements that were then repudiated by the occupiers. Then she got a lot of resolutions voted by various instances at the university, all of which were ignored. Then she held a lot of meetings but did absolutely nothing else – even after both she and the chief administrative officer of the university had been slightly injured by the students.

The second occupation started at the end of January when about thirty undocumented immigrants took over two floors of building A, the arts building. They brought in cooking gear and portable beds and began meeting with the press (although the press didn’t show much interest in them). Once again, the president and her vice-presidents negotiated, once again they reached agreements and once again the accords were immediately repudiated. She asked the immigrants to move into the university’s largest auditorium. After initially agreeing, they issued a statement refusing this compromise. Why? Because the auditorium reminded them of the Libyan prisons where they had been held!! Now, I’m the first to complain about our working conditions but that our biggest auditorium, where we hand out honorary degrees, looks like a Libyan prison seems somewhat exaggerated. Or maybe I’m being unfair to Libyan prisons. They also stated that they did not want to move to another building because they wanted residency permits and affordable housing. Do they think the university can supply these? Or that the French government cares enough about this Parisian university being occupied to grant them?

With extension cords all over the place and cooking going on in the hallways, not surprisingly, they blew all the fuses in building A. Then, they graciously agreed to use the auditorium during the day because it had better kitchen facilities. So, not only did the presidential team fail to gain back our classrooms but they also lost us the use of our largest auditorium! Added to that, they offered the gym to the immigrants so they could use the showers. So, what did our leadership then do? They called a lot of meetings and got a lot of resolutions passed – all of which were ignored. And then the heavy snowfall caused all the heating to fail so the president closed the university for two days.

In response the immigrants organized a banquet in front of the library to announce their refusal to leave. The president then sent in the commission for hygiene and security to meet with them. However, their leaders claimed that a member of the commission was actually a police officer in disguise. The whole thing descended into violence with pushing, shoving and some punching. But the immigrants remained and continued occupying the building. They installed beds in some classrooms,  which have become dorms while another room is a canteen. They even brought in a sofa so they could have an area to relax. By this time the immigrants had grown to about 80 and their supporters were talking of establishing a permanent refuge at the university.

The presidential team contacted a number of charities. One came in and gave the immigrants medical check-ups while the refugees refused to meet with another, a charity for the homeless, People from one charity I talked to said they would not get involved because in many ways things resembled a hostage situation: the university is of course being held hostage but so, in a way, are the refugees: most of them don’t speak French and blindly follow their leaders who work with people at the university who have a political agenda. Other charities have come to the same conclusion.

So the president and her V-Ps decided to get tough and sent a somewhat threatening letter to the immigrants. The latter responded by going from classroom to classroom at the university asking for money. The president and her V-Ps did nothing.

Meanwhile, the immigrants brought in huge wooden crates, filled with used clothes, that they stock in the stairwells, (blocking the exits, of course). They also blast music during class times (which are still going on on the first floor). The occupiers also broke the locks on one of the side entrances of the university and installed their own (which is clearly illegal). So now they are the only ones able to use that entrance. They also forced the locks on doors to other classrooms. In response the president sent pictures of the broken doors to all members of the university. Then grafitti appeared in the area with anti-Semitic slogans and comments like “Death to all whites”. The presidential team took pictures of these and sent them to all members of the university.

In the current political climate no one wants to deal with the issue of immigration and no one cares about universities. Even the press doesn’t consider the situation worth a news article. This says a lot about the state of French universities and partly explains why, in spite of internationally respected staff, they are so low in the league tables. The government could care less about universities and they are being allowed to fall to pieces.

How to Fight Daesh

paris-military-exercise-634x350Ever since Daesh first burst on the international scene back in the spring of 2014, a vast amount of ink has been spilt over its relationship with its parent organization, Al Qaeda; its objectives; its peculiar ability to attract Muslim volunteers from all over the world; as well as its methods—the latter, it turns out, taken straight from the days Mohammed and his followers first started their campaign of terror and conquest. Including beheadings, crucifixion, and the enslavement of both men and women. Let those who are interested consult the literature in question; here I want to focus on the most important problem of all, i.e. how to fight and win.

Four separate theaters of war must be distinguished, viz:

  1. Syria and Iraq. Daesh is essentially the product of the foolish American invasion of Iraq. As former President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, drawing on a traditional Islamic image, predicted, it “opened the gates of hell.” It is in these countries that Daesh was formed and where most its fighters are concentrated. The essence of the problem is political. Let Presidents Obama, Putin and Arduan finally decide on who the main enemy is and start cooperating against him. Even if it means leaving President Assad in place, at least for the time being. Let the US, Russia, and Turkey mount a combined air offensive against Daesh, targeting its forces in Syria as well as the oilfields from which it draws its revenue in Iraq. However, as over a year of strikes by aircraft and drones has shown all too clearly, air operations on their own will not do the trick. For that the assistance of Syria’s ground forces is needed. To be sure, all this means teaming up with some pretty unsavory people and countries. But what other choice is there? As long as Daesh’s main forces and leadership are not smashed, terrorism will continue. If not here then there, and if not there then here.
  2. France and Europe. Stop shilly-shallying and start controlling immigration by every available means with the objective of bringing it to a halt. Also at sea to take care of Libya. Net install passive defenses. That means guards, metal detectors and surveillance cameras at every parking house, shopping center, theater, university, school, etc. If considered appropriate, arm them and train them in self-defense. Such measures need not be as expensive as they sound. Europe has plenty of unemployed. They should be happy to work, and their wages can be offset against the benefits they currently receive. At the most sensitive installations, such as airports, use profiling, i.e. separate people into various classes so as to identify those considered particularly dangerous and subject them to extra scrutiny. Profiling may not be very democratic. However, experience shows that it works. Set up volunteer neighborhood watches—no one knows neighborhoods better than the people who live in them. Provide them with good communications to call in reinforcements if necessary and have them cooperate closely with the local police. This method has the additional advantage of engaging people and make them feel they can do something to help. Repair any damage terrorists cause as quickly as possible so as to restore normal life and enable it to continue.
  3. The intelligence services. Passive measures on their own are insufficient. What is needed is a high-quality organization capable of identifying terrorists, tracking them, and foiling their plots ahead of time by arresting or killing them if necessary. Also, of tracing the financial flows on which they depend and making them dry up. So beef up your intelligence services. Provide them with the most modern surveillance equipment and pass the laws that will allow them to use it. Focus on communications; by making it hard for terrorists and their supporters to talk and work together, you will draw much of their sting. Inside the national borders, make sure the various departments work in tandem. Across such borders, make sure that the borders do not stand in the way of the information flow. In other words, that the services cooperate closely both with their counterparts in other countries and with the police. A Pan-European Intelligence Czar, responsible for overall coordination, would surely be useful. Do the political problems facing the establishment of such an office turn it into an impossible dream? If so, tant pis.
  4. The courts. An essential part of any anti-terrorist campaign is deterrence. So make sure judges have the necessary authority to do what has to be done. The establishment of special courts with augmented authority for the purpose should be considered. Punishments of the guilty should be appropriate and follow swiftly after terrorists are apprehended. They should also be well publicized.

The above are the main elements of any successful anti-terrorist campaign. Let me conclude by listing, in addition to the does, some of the don’ts:

  1. At all cost, don’t allow mobs to attack real and suspected terrorists and lynch them without due process of law. Uninformed and undirected, such attacks can mean gross injustices in the form of mistaken identities etc. Worse still, they will encourage the populations from which terrorists come to unite and fight back. You may end up with just what you want to prevent, i.e. civil war.
  2. For the same reason, do refrain from using collective punishments. There is a good chance that they will turn out to be counter-productive.
  3. Finally, the war on terror will not be won quickly. So do not expect quick results and do not allow yourself to be discouraged by possible setbacks. To be sure people are not, mount a sustained public relations campaign to explain why all those measures, as well as the inconveniences they inevitably cause, are needed.

Good luck.