The horrific attacks that took place in Paris on Friday 13th November 2015 have once more illustrated that the West’s continued violent response to terror perpetrated against innocent civilians ‘over here’, reigning down their own version of terror on innocent civilians ‘over there’, just doesn’t work.
Whilst David Cameron was triumphantly stood outside 10 Downing Street basking in the undeserved acclaim that greeted the death of Jihadi John (if indeed it is him…we have heard this before), a group of extremists were plotting to destroy the French way of life, and have done so in a quite appalling fashion.
Jihadi John was a built up as a bogeyman, someone the West could point to as evil incarnate. Yet Mohammed Emwazi (which doesn’t sound quite as frightening) was simply a stooge. He was used by ISIS as a propaganda weapon to instill fear into the West, but he was not a leader nor anywhere near the masterminds of the evil campaign that ISIS is waging against the West. To triumph in his death was vulgar grandstanding because as the attacks in Paris have shown, his death was never going to change anything.
ISIS have now claimed responsibility, although their lack of speed in doing so would suggest that Obama is right to be hesitant in speculating who may have carried this out. Nevertheless they have issued a statement full of the the usual religious fanaticism, vile rhetoric and blind hate that is a staple of their ugly missives. However, there is a line in the middle of the statement that few will pay attention to, and yet it is the most important.
“Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign…”
The word ‘crusade’ has far more resonance in the Middle East than over here, because we were the ones spreading terror back then, and it seems with some justification that ISIS views the continual bombing raids and mounting civilian casualties on Middle Eastern countries today as a continuation of that dark period in history. According to this statement ISIS attacks against the West would cease if attacks from the West ended, which brings us back to the Chomsky solution to terrorism. Stop participating in it.
State terror is somehow seen as legitimate, yet is often far from that, and anyone who has studied the Iraq war in depth will understand that it was an entirely illegal campaign and that the perpetrators, Bush and Blair, are war criminals. However, twelve years on from its start we are still waiting for that judgement to be made.
Whilst Chilcot fiddles, the West burns and as is alway the case it is innocent people who are being murdered.
Imagine what might happen if Chilcot finds Blair guilty of war crimes and he faces trial. Might ISIS then understand that the people of Europe have little thirst for war, it is just their leaders that do? Might it also be the first step to an understanding upon which some sort of peace could be worked out? In the UK, it was only when we started talking to the IRA that we moved towards a peaceful solution.
The likelihood of this happening is slim, because as we know there is money to be made in this endless round of tit-for-tat murder, not for you and me of course, but for those safely ensconced behind 24 hour security.
The response of the British Government this time is easy to predict. They will first trot out the hackneyed lines that “we don’t deal with terrorists”, they will place further impositions on our human rights (only recently Cameron was calling for a ban on Whats App and Snapchat) and then they will get involved in another conflict that places their own people in danger whilst enriching their friends.
More crucially, the Paris attacks will be utilised to pour further scorn on Jeremy Corbyn and his plans for trident and anti-war stance, yet he is perhaps the one politician I believe would be willing to try Chomsky’s approach. For that alone, Cameron and all of the other self serving careerist politicians will see this attack as a gift horse. Those in power over here will have little concern for the lost French lives. Already the wheels will be in motion (like they were following 9/11 when Government aide Jo Moore suggested it was a ‘good day to bury bad news’) as they seek ways to turn these appalling acts to their benefit.
The letter below was printed in The Independent they day after the 7/7 bombings of 2005 in London. Whilst France and the good people of the world mourn, it is fitting that this piece should end with the letter and the simple statement ‘plus ca change’.
Inevitable retribution for the folly in Iraq
Sir: Assuming the murderous blasts in London were the work of al-Qa’ida or one of its splinter groups, there can be little doubt that they have occurred in response to our government’s alliance with United States foreign policy. The British public, who were led into the war on Iraq under false pretenses are now facing the retribution that seemed inevitable to all but the Prime Minister.
Blair’s statement that the world was a safer place as a result of the removal of Saddam Hussein has now been exposed for the folly it was in the most terrible fashion. Blair and Bush have made the world a far more dangerous place, and it is once more innocent members of the public who are paying the full price.
No doubt the death of innocents today will be utilised to push through ID cards and further impositions on our liberty, especially upon those people of colour in the UK, but the solution to these attacks is retrospective and therefore impossible to enforce. We should never have gone to war in the first place, and Britain has now suffered, and is likely to face more attacks, as a result of the Prime Minister’s mendacious warmongering.