By: V4 Agency
A renowned political expert and university professor believes that the French government’s only means of countering attacks on police officers is delivering eloquent speeches. The expert writes that the same scenario plays out every time an officer is attacked: the interior minister pays a visit and holds a press briefing, in which he denies basic facts and seeks out excuses in the name of political correctness. This, however, is a flawed and dangerous tactic.
Arnaud Benedetti, a French political expert and professor at the Sorbonne, has had some sharp words of criticim levelled at the French government, including Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti.
In an article published by the weekly Valeurs actuelles, the expert writes that the French government has virtually no other means against perpetrators of increasingly frequent anti-police attacks than delivering speeches at press briefings.
The tactic descibed by Mr Benedetti as the “storytelling machine” was launched by the government after an assailant had stabbed a female officer at a police station in the town of La Chapelle sur Erdre, near Nantes. The policewoman only suffered minor injuries and, although the attacker managed to fleee the scene with her gun, he was later caught and killed by the gendarmes.
In the name of political correctness, the interior minister deployes almost every category of denial near mechanically to seek refuge from reality, the expert writes. The first excuse applied in the case of the policewoman’s attacker was his alleged schizophrenia, with authorities announcing soon after that he was a French citizen, implying that the assailant was not an immigrant. When the suspicion of a potential terrorist attack arose, the government dismissed the claim by saying that although the assailant was a radicalised individual, there is no evidence whatsoever that his attack was in fact an act of terrorism.
Mr Benedetti believes that the whole storytelling machine follows a well-structured script. In essence, the government relies on pre-fabricated rhetoric, with the interior minister portraying the events in a way designed to dispel every shadow of doubt regarding the functioning of the official chain of accountability. The Dupond-Moretti – Darmanin duo prevents all possible criticism by reciting the above-mentioned arguments. The justice minister’s goal is to fend off attacks regarding the socio-judicial follow-up; while the assailant’s nationality was mentioned to mute voices criticising the government’s migration policy.
All communication by the authorities serves only one purpose: to maintain the image of power, the image of coexistence, and the idea that they (the authorities) keep everything under control, Mr Benedetti believes.
The government tries to conceal the fact that mental health issues, delinquency and Islamist terrorism form a triangle. While Islamism reconstructs its system in a more organised form, it basically relies on the recruitment of two kinds of people: common criminals and individuals with mental illnesses. These two categories of people are potential sources for the continuation of the Islamic war, and the French cabinet makes a grave political and moral mistake if it fails to recognise and articulate this fact, Mr Benedetti concludes at the end of his article.