The French authorities claim that France is at war but no foreign enemy has occupied French territory. Most of the people who carried out the recent massacre of innocent persons in France committed suicide. No army could impose its will on an adversary by committing suicide. Those who fight by committing suicide are not waging a war. They are engaged in violent protest which cannot enable them to impose their will on their adversary.

The language of protest comes from the weak. The language of war comes from the strong. It is Syria that is at war. It is Assad who was under the threat of defeat. ISIS exploited the situation to occupy territory, amass arms and resources. Many young people of Muslim backgrounds who were alienated in many parts of the world rushed to join ISIS in order to become somebody after being seen and treated as petty criminals for years. Such people were ready to die for a cause. Driven by this success, ISIS became drunk with power and declared a Caliphate based on Sunni doctrine in contrast to Iran’s Islamic State based on Shiite Doctrine. In doing so, Assad’s war against his own people was put in the background and ISIS’s war to establish a Caliphate covering the state of Iraq and Syria became the epicentre of the conflict in the Middle East.

It was this fear of putting Syria in the hands of ISIS which prevented the US from launching its final assault on Assad. It is ISIS who saved Assad and instead provoked the establishment of an International Coalition against it, including major Arab states which may have even contributed to its earlier successes in battle against Assad.

Now it is clear as noon day that a Caliphate covering modern Iraq and Syria will never be born. ISIS is totally discredited. It has tried to fight two wars in Syria and Iraq. It is now on the run in Iraq and once it is pushed to Syria it would be encircled and would not have any escape route. This would compel its sympathisers to carry out the suicide adventures as has happened in Lebanon, Turkey, the downing of the Russian jet and now France. The measures being taken by France are being watched in Turkey and Russia. Hence the French authorities should not give ISIS the image of a Superpower aiming to conquer the world.

The way forward is simple. ISIS is occupying the land belonging to the Syrian people who are being driven to become refugees. The problem is ISIS and Assad. The solution is to assist the Syrian people to take back their land and assert their right to Independence and self determination, free from the subjugation of Assad and the foreign fighters of ISIS.  Both forces of oppression should step aside and leave the Syrian people to determine their destiny free from any tyranny.Europe knows what armies of occupation are. Now people are settled in stable homelands.The major occupation of the US and Europe is not war on terror; it is to bring peace to the Middle East. The starting point is to enfranchise the Syrian Diaspora and get them involved in the discourse and negotiation for a new Syria. All refugees should be registered and should hold monthly meetings where they settle to discuss the situation back home. A sense of community among the refugees will prevent any infiltration by ISIS sympathisers.  They should elect representatives who would become active in any talks. The Iranian leaders were in exile but returned to take over Iran.

A democratic and orderly transition involving all Syrians is the way forward. The same goes for Palestine. Wars and threats of wars will never bring about peace. Only a genuine effort to make people to own their land and make it free to guarantee liberty, dignity and prosperity to its sons and daughters will ensure lasting peace in the world.