The Reality of War

On 14 November 2015, the day after the terrorists attacked Paris, I woke with a feeling of nausea. That dull sensation was prompted by an existential fear. For the first time in my life, I felt the threat of war. I am thousands of miles away from Europe. Still, war had become a living thing. After all, Francois Hollande had declared that the terrorism was an “act of war,” and the ramifications of his declaration are widespread.

President Barack Obama quickly – very quickly – went to the airwaves and declared the allegiance of the U.S. to its closest ally, France. Interestingly, Obama made the declaration even before Hollande addressed France.

France, the United States and all their NATO allies are now united in a war against Daesh or ISIL or ISIS or jihadis. This alliance is being refined, contested, and discussed at this moment at the G20 conference in Turkey. Although Hollande canceled his G20 appearance, France, the UK, Germany, and the US have all called their various cabinets in emergency meetings. This war is no longer a semantic battle over Islam or immigrants. It is war. It is the preparation and coordination of war.

It is now Sunday 15 November. My existential fear is less amorphous now. It is tinged with reality.


And now, I want to share a series of tweets from a character named “Rami.” As a qualifier, I have no idea who this individual is or to whom he aligns himself. His location is unknown. I cannot verify whether his tweets are propaganda or legitimate. His profile is as follows:

Close to Real-Time News, Exclusives, Intelligence & Classified Information/Reports from the ME. Leaked many Israeli strikes in Syria/Lebanon. No BACKUP accounts.

I was drawn to his timeline after seeing his video that supposedly showed ballistic missiles being launched from a Russian submarine.

The video coordinated with a news report originally published by the BBC which showed a screen grab from Russian TV of a so-called “doomsday” ballistic missile with a 6200-mile range that could be launched from a robotic submarine. This story received minimal publicity and was described as an accidental leak – a questionable claim in a country where Putin controls the media.

The U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) is one of the few online media locations where this story can be found.  The USNI article notes that Russia leaked this information just two days before the Paris attack. The supposed missile video is dated the morning after the attacks on Paris. On 12 November, Jane’s also carried a detailed report on the Russian missile system.

At this moment, Obama and Putin are in a face-to-face, knee-to-knee conversation at the G20 summit, as shown by France24. So here’s the question? Why would Putin “leak” his doomsday weapon and then follow-up with the launch of two missiles just a day after Paris was attacked? Was it theatre for the Russians? Was it a veiled threat? If so, who is Putin’s intended target?

Back to Rami: his Twitter timeline a month prior to the attacks in Paris are filled with activity in Syria and Iraq involving the military forces of Israel, Russia, the U.S., Turkey, Assad’s forces, Syrian rebels, the PKK and IS and including Egypt. Is this a “complex situation” as often described? Hell yes. Let’s take a look at the activity leading to the attack on Paris.

First this: tweeted on 14 November 2015, the morning after the attacks:

Over a month ago, Rami posted a series of tweets that taken as a group illustrate the entanglements of countries and organizations.

12 October 2015


14 October 2015

16 October 2015

18 October 2015

19 October 2015

19 October 2015

24 October 2015

26 October 2015

28 October 2015

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