Hours Before the Terror Attacks, Paris Practiced for a Mass Shooting … Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, from which 16 people died, Paris-area ambulance crews and emergency personnel have taken part in regular exercises designed to test their readiness for possible attacks. One such exercise was held on Friday morning, the day of the latest terror attacks. In a twist of fate, the simulated emergency was a mass shooting, according to Dr. Mathieu Raux, emergency room chief at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital in Paris. During Friday's exercise, trauma specialists used a centralized dispatch system to set priorities and direct victims to the ER best equipped to treat their injuries. – Bloomberg
Dominant Social Theme: Training exercises involving terrorist violence are tragic coincidences.
Free-Market Analysis: Little noted in the English media, French television reporters have recently been grilling officials who have confessed to running terror drills featuring a "mass shooting" on the morning of the Paris attacks.
At the same time, libertarian politician Ron Paul has penned a column explaining that the West's current hyper-interventionism is causing the very terrorist attacks that such policies are intended to halt. (See article excerpt below.)
Entitled, "The War on Terror is Creating More Terror," Paul's column points out that "interventionism" is causing more problems than it is solving. Ron Paul's point certainly has applications to the exercises that seem to accompany many terror attacks.
Without "blowback" these terrorist attacks wouldn't be so common and the current wave of conspiratorial paranoia would be damped down as well. Unfortunately, this is not now the case. The emergence of the exercise in Paris on the day of the November attacks has only heightened suspicions that somehow – directly or tangentially – there is more to the narrative than what has been presented.
More from the Bloomberg article:
Ambulance services made sure they were ready to roll, and hospitals verified that surgeons and staff could be quickly summoned to treat arriving victims. "We tested every link in the chain," Raux said. Because Paris emergency physicians work 24-hour shifts, virtually every ER doctor on duty in the city Friday night had already taken part in the exercise earlier that day. The training paid off at Pitié-Salpetrière, a sprawling medical complex in southeastern Paris that specializes in emergency treatment of what doctors call "penetration trauma," such as gunshot wounds.
Of course, those on the Internet who wish to fuel their suspicions can find other such training exercises. Drills, for instance, were being held during the 9/11 terror attacks.
Aside from military exercises, a National Reconnaissance Office drill was being conducted on September 11, 2001. In a simulated event, a small aircraft would crash into one of the towers of the agency's headquarters after experiencing a mechanical failure … According to its spokesman Art Haubold … "It was just an incredible coincidence that this happened to involve an aircraft crashing into our facility, as soon as the real world events began, we canceled the exercise." Most of the agency's personnel were sent home after the attacks.
Wikipedia further notes a training exercise was being conducted during the July 2005 London terror bombings (often referred to as 7/7). These were a series of "coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour."
On the day of the bombings Peter Power of Visor Consultants gave interviews on BBC Radio 5 Live and ITV saying that he was working on a crisis management simulation drill, in the City of London, "based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning", when he heard that an attack was going on in real life … After a few days he dismissed it as a "spooky coincidence" on Canadian TV.
The 2004 Madrid train bombings were "nearly simultaneous, coordinated bombings against the Cercanías commuter train system of Madrid, Spain, on the morning of 11 March 2004." (Wikipedia.) The bombings killed nearly 200 commuters and injured nearly 2000. An inquiry held al Qaeda responsible.
However, the Madrid bombings, too, were accompanied by a terror drill. In this case it was a NATO crisis management exercise called "CMX 2004" and simulated a WMD terrorist attack. In Spain, the drill ended a day before the bombings.
Within this context, Ron Paul's point about interventionism is well taken. The more terror attacks there are, the more paranoia and suspicion advance. Were officials in the West not so fixated on confronting "terror" abroad, there would be fewer attacks on Western soil and less to talk about.
Here's an excerpt from Paul's article:
Interventionists will do anything to prevent Americans from seeing that their foreign policies are perpetuating terrorism and inspiring others to seek to harm us.
The neocons know that when it is understood that blowback is real – that people seek to attack us not because we are good and free but because we bomb and occupy their countries – their stranglehold over foreign policy will begin to slip.
That is why each time there is an event like the killings in Paris earlier this month, they rush to the television stations to terrify Americans into agreeing to even more bombing, more occupation, more surveillance at home, and more curtailment of our civil liberties.
Ron Paul quotes a recently-released 2015 Global Terrorism Index report that shows deaths from terrorism "have increased dramatically over the last 15 years – a period coinciding with the 'war on terrorism' that was supposed to end terrorism."
Paul is a realist and admits that a policy of non-interventionism would not suddenly turn the world into a "peaceful utopia." But he asks this perceptive question: "Does anyone really believe that continuing to do what increases terrorism will lead to a decrease in terrorism?"
One could ask the same question when it comes to official terror exercises and conspiracy theory. Having so many "spooky coincidences" is not healthy for the West's regulatory democracies, nor the officials in charge of it.
At some point, if terror attacks continue, paranoia will hit a critical mass and intel agencies as well as the military-industrial complex will find themselves faced with aggressive, unpleasant accusations.
This is the real blowback – a visceral, public reaction to the "long war" that is now taking place serially around the world. If it occurs, it could get very ugly, indeed.