As expected, the terrorist attacks in Paris are being used to stoke up the fires of war against the government and people of Syria. The French Air Force took revenge by bombing a stadium, a museum, health facilities and a public administration building in the Syrian city of Raqqa which is held by ISIS terrorists. At a time when, in accordance with international law, the Russian coalition is successfully targeting these terrorists and reclaiming land from their barbaric hold, won’t this Maula Jutt action by France add to the chaos in Syria?

In footsteps of the US, that leads it on a leash in world affairs in any case, the government of France never bothered to get an authorization by the UN Security Council or the sovereign Syrian government before unleashing its bombers on an already much-bombed country. The US-led coalition does this as a routine, all for the good cause of defeating ISIS of course. While the ISIS terror-machine has actually grown in strength under the US-led campaign, it is the civic infrastructure in the country that has borne the brunt of the bombing.

The US-led overt and covert intervention in Syria, whether through its illegal bombing campaign or its deployment of terrorist proxies to oust President Assad, is responsible for the killing and displacement of Syrian people and the destruction of their homeland. And France, like the rest of EU, has been a partner in the blood-soaked project. If it really wishes to defeat terrorism, it must opt out now and join the Russian coalition that has already shown its capacity to uproot ISIS and the resolve to decimate it. President Putin has been calling for cooperation in the fight against ISIS from day one.

Is France ready to break the chains that imprison it within the confines of the mindless US policy of regime change and cooperate with Russia in eliminating ISIS from Syria? Or will it go round and round the US-led War on Terror routine: Conjuring up magical passports that survive all disasters and which the terrorists always remember to carry on their person when setting out on a terrorist mission; visiting death and destruction on entire societies in the name of fighting terrorists while deploying terrorists to push forth military objectives at the very same time in the very same place; slashing civil liberties in bastions of ‘democracy’ and feeding Islamophobia in imperial citadels of ‘tolerance’ and ‘freedom’; engulfing the entire world in a senseless mayhem of hatred and prejudice, chaos and barbaric violence.

The selective outpouring of solidarity with France and sympathy for French citizens, in a world where much bigger terrorist atrocities are witnessed in ‘less-civilized’ countries every day and are largely ignored, has been described as racist by many serious commentators.

Personally, I’d have no problem with it if those expressing their grief for the lives lost would add an appeal to the French government in their messages of support etcetera, requesting it to give precedence to the interests of the French people over those of the US imperial government and its corporate sponsors.

All these good-hearted souls feeling the pain for those who died in Paris, from the prime minister of Pakistan to friends on facebook with profile pics awash with the French flag, would do a lot more good for the people of France and for the prospects of peace in the world, if their expression of solidarity is clubbed together with this appeal to the French government for sanity. Changing regimes through militant proxies is a policy that is destroying not only stable and beautiful countries but it is also a costly affair for the entire planet. With the refugee crisis and the terrorist threat in their living room, the Europeans should now be waking up to this plain fact.

When at the UN General Assembly this year, President Putin said that Russia could no longer tolerate this state of affairs, he was not joking. He has since laid bare the imperial double game in Syria, and generally in the region. He is successfully countering the imperial strategy militarily, diplomatically and economically. Most importantly, his articulation of an alternative to the violence-ridden exploitative world order fashioned by the US-led empire gets clearer and bolder each day. For the leaders in Europe, and for all of us around the world, he has created a sane option.

The choice before us couldn’t be clearer. On the one hand is the US that flouts international law, claims that it is exceptional and therefore entitled to world domination through any means, from military interventions to proxy insurgencies in sovereign countries. It likes to dictate its allies, using them, and American citizens, as pawns in its deceptive double games. On the other hand, leading a host of emerging powers, is President Putin who stands for respecting the legal international order and sovereignty of other nations, international cooperation in fighting the world-wide terrorist threat and non-state militants, dialogue and accommodation of conflicting interests and larger public welfare over corporate interests.

Any pontification on world affairs that disregards this clear and evident divide, is either meaningless or plays into the racist imperial narrative. In my opinion, how the French government responds to the terrorist attacks should essentially determine whether it is deserving of our support or not. It doesn’t make sense to support it if it continues with its unlawful adventures in Syria under the US-umbrella, wreaking havoc on millions of Syrian citizens and exacerbating threats to its own citizens and society. The initial reaction is disappointing.

Hopefully, the purposeless revenge attacks would give way to coordination with the Russian coalition.

So while expressing solidarity with the people of France, we must urge the French government to switch sides, from being a part of the terrorist problem in the US camp to becoming a part of the lawful anti-terrorist coalition assembled by Russia in cooperation with the Syrian government that is proving to be a solution. It is the only rational thing to do. Obviously, Paris won’t become safer by the lawless bombing of Syrian cities.