Rêver de la Paix (Fr. “Dreaming of Peace”)
By R. D. Flavin


Last night, as the house went to bed
I took steps outside for a walk.
And, there I met a man who said,
“Come sit with me and let us talk.”
We spoke of the road all travel,
Of a wondrous dream-lined way,
Where souls, like bright lights aglow,
Turning gloom into endless play.
I asked to see that path outside,
To marvel at great souls in rest.
He answered, “Outside is Inside,
And Inside you can marvel best.”
Taking my heart, he bade me look,
And I saw family and friends fair.
My heart held them like a large book,
On every page, my love was there.
How long I sat, I'll never care,
For on that night I glimpsed the day,
And all my happy life I'll bear,
Memories of the dream-lined way.

     La Ville Lumière (Fr. “The City of Light”) turned the lights off which illuminated the Eiffel Tower last Saturday night in remembrance, as the evening before Paris endured several attacks which 129 were killed, some 352 were reported wounded with 80 listed in critical condition. As the French people (and many around the world) shook their heads in wonder and clenched their fists in anger, eventually most went to sleep with some dreaming of war and revenge and others dreaming of peace. Sometimes one may have it both ways when confronted with a choice, while at other times their seems but only one choice to make. The emphasis here is on “seems.”

     By Saturday, the French government and all its embassies around the world had lowered their national flag to half-mast and served to honor the victims of the Friday, November 13, 2015 attacks. The terrorist group ISIS (aka ISIL, for “The Islamic State in Syria” and “The Islamic State in Syria and the Levant [here, used mainly for Iraq]) confessed to responsibility (or lied well) on the day after, Saturday, November 14, 2015. On Sunday, the French conducted their largest bombing raid ever over known against ISIS encampments in Syria (an escalation of their Opération Chammal, which had been bombing ISIS since September 19, 2015), with 20 bombs aimed at the training camps and ammunition facilities in Raqqa (Ar. Al-Raqqah), the veritable 'capital' of ISIS in Syria. The next day they continued their bombing of Raqqa, the day after as well, and probably for some time to come. With Russia bombing anti-Assad forces (though, now, they too will begin bombing ISIS), the United States going after ISIS targets, along with the bombing support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey (with questionable selected targets), United Arab Emirates, ...and Britain promises to start dropping bombs on Syria by Christmas..., lots of bombs are being dropped on Syria on a daily basis. On Tuesday, France invoked the “mutual defense” clause in the charter of the European Union to seek help from its European allies to help defeat ISIS.

     Irony surfaces once more, as the November, Friday the 13th, 2015 attacks upon Paris were the worst since the Nazis (that is, the quasi-acronym for the German National Socialist Party [G., De., Dk. Nationalsozialismus]) ruthlessly attacked Paris, and the French President François Hollande used the slanderous acronym “Daesh” when referring to ISIS in all his referencing of the terrorist group, known by most as 'ISIS'. Holland was not the first to use the insulting acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Eng. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). The acronym has become commonplace among European leaders, as it resembles and sounds like the Arabic words Daes, or 'one who crushes something underfoot' and Dahes, meaning 'one who sows discord'.

     A short history of the beginnings of Paris: sometime during the 4th to 3rd centuries BCE the island in the middle of the Seine River was initially named Lutèce (Old Celtic louk teih), from the Celtic for “swampland.” Some Celtic scholars hold the name(s) translate as “a sheltered place in the middle of the river.” With the arrival of the Romans, the island hamlet was renamed Lutetia (var. Lutetia Parisiorum or 'Lutetia of the Parisii') after the Celtic tribe which ruled the region at the time. The Parisii soon kowtowed to the Romans, but then relocated across the channel to the large island which would eventually be called England. In all likelihood, Parisii became simply Paris, after the Romans withdrew from the region in the 3rd and 4th centuries CE. Since then? One should get several history books on Paris and France...

The 7-year-old Malinois, a French police dog named Diesel, who was killed 11-17-2015 in Saint-Denis by terrorists.

     There have been many raids throughout France and Belgium, with dozens of arrests, and on Wednesday a significant raid took place in the early hours in Saint-Denis, an immigrate-based suburb just north of Paris. Two terrorists were killed and seven were arrested. In the exchange of gunfire, five French police officers were wounded and, most sadly, the 7-year-old Diesel, a Malinois police dog, was killed. Of the dead terrorists, one was a woman who blew herself up with a suicide vest, while on Thursday, after DNA testing, it was revealed the other dead terrorist was the Belgian-born French citizen and “mastermind” of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old radicalized Muslim whose father was Moroccan, but Abaaoud grew up in Brussels, Belgium before traveling to Syria to join ISIS (or Daesh), and then settled in France.  On Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, it was announced a third dead body had been discovered, but identification has not yet been made.

     More arrests, preventing further attacks in both Belgium and France, the tip from French intelligence to Germany an Iraqi “sleeper agent had ordered a North African terror cell to attack Hanover, Germany with as much ruthlessness as the Paris attacks, would require too much space for this column. The murder of the Chinese and Norwegian hostages has deeply upset the Chinese. That a can-bomb blew up the Russian plane has brought over Putin to the 'let's wipe out ISIS' team. Though the latest big news evolved out of the recent G20 summit and talks between Turkey, Pres. Obama, and many others. It was agreed the U.S. would manage assist Turkey in the last 61 miles of fence separating Turkey and Syria. But, most promising is the outline of a mandate to remove Assad from power December 31st, 2015, and replace him with a mixed ethnic and religious group of Syrians who would temporarily govern from January 1st, 2016 through July 1st, when independent and democratic elections would be held throughout the country. Sardonically, Assad becomes a civilian Jan 1st, 2016, will receive zero government protection and is forbidden to run for office in July, if he lives long enough. As the face of the Syrian Baathist (read: corrupt criminals), others secretly held and wielded power in the country. Iraq, under Saddam, was different as it was Saddam himself who led the charge of Baathist corruption. But, back to Daesh, the release of three videos promising attacks on Washington D.C., Times Square in NYC, and London. I knew ISIS dealt with drugs to gain quick cash, however the news they make a couple of million now and then selling their own oil came as a true representation of the pseudo-caliphate of Daesh.

A still from several recent ISIS videos threatening against various cities.

     I've been encouraging bombing the golly-gee-whiz out of Assad for some time, but I never imagined a peaceful take down. Peace; really? The common idiom “one has to break a few eggs to make an omelet” might have some comparative traits with Syria and peace, or the entire Near East and Northern Africa for that matter. America has debated putting “boots on the ground” in Syria for some time, and know it looks like the first course will be a multinational bombing campaign, followed by various political maneuvering involving oil, fishing or building industry and manufacturing, the main course of getting the various mixed ethnic and religious group of Syrians (and, hopefully, after many return home after fleeing to other counties) to unite and form an independent Syria not seen for centuries. The final courses will be the election and (hopefully) watching the birth of a new democracy. The nuts and candy will be saved for a time when dreaming of peace becomes a waking reality. I do wish, however, negotiations with Turkey would have including backing off from the brave and noble Kurds.

     Actually a dream, such as peace, demands calm, determined, and sincere work from the Syrians. However, using a vulgar analogy, “We don't pay prostitutes for sex, but rather to leave when we're done,” could be twisted to hope that the foreign nations which will help Syria end the threat of ISIS and overthrow Assad and his gangster buddies, decide to go home when peace has been achieved. This would, indeed, be a dream-lined way to follow toward peace and independence.

May Smart Recovery lead to peace,

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