David Cameron is reportedly going to produce a dossier which will outline the case for bombing Syria, and has said that we must bomb the so-called Islamic State (Isis) in this country in order to “cut the head off the snake”.
I agree that something must be done about Isis, but what I am finding extraordinary in this debate is how little attention is being focused on establishing who actually funds Isis, who buys oil from it, who provides it with arms, who is enabling it with the skills, intelligence, and capability to carry out terrorist attacks, and who facilitates the production and distribution of radical Islamist ideology?
We are told that Isis is a medieval group; however, it’s amazing that a supposedly medieval force could have the ability to carry out sophisticated terrorist attacks.
In order to cut the head off of the snake, as David Cameron says, surely serious questions should be asked to establish who exactly is enabling Isis?
Why can’t western governments sanction countries that buy oil from Isis and engage in trade with it? Also, why can’t action be taken against countries that sell arms to Isis, either directly or covertly?
It is argued that Isis has grown because of President Assad, and that Assad must go in order for the Syrian war to be resolved.
If Assad is the problem, then why wasn’t there a Syrian refugee crisis prior to the rise of Isis?
Also, how do people who blame Assad for Isis explain the explosion of jihadist activity in North Africa?
David Cameron told us that supporting the rebels in Libya and toppling Gaddafi would herald a new dawn for Libya. Instead Libya, which used to be Africa’s richest country, has become a failed state and is now a hotbed of radical islamist activity.
Libya’s democratically elected government was recently toppled and an Islamist government has taken over control of the country.
Since Gaddafi was toppled radical Islamism has spread throughout Libya, and is destabilising countries in the Sahel region and Nigeria.
Some argue that a western style democracy and free markets will bring stability and an end to terrorism in Syria and the Middle East. It is very dangerous for western governments to impose a utopian idealism on the Middle East, and I’m doubtful that the Middle East could ever become like the West.
Western style democracy has challenges, and the rise of special interest groups and corporatists who subvert the political process is bringing more attention to the problems.
Social liberalism in the West has caused problems such as family breakdown; disenchantment amongst indigenous white working class communities whose concerns over open borders are dismissed flippantly; and the rise of an arrogant and selfish metropolitan elite, who look down on people who object to mass immigration and open borders. In the US and Britain, the suicide rate amongst white working class men is astonishing.
If Muslim countries suddenly decided to adopt a western style democracy, and were faced with a number of the social problems we see today in the west, including the rise of a Muslim version of the metropolitan elite who believe in open borders and look down on working class Muslims, it is likely that such a situation could precipitate a return to dictatorship or even an Islamic revolution.
After 9/11 there was a worldwide consensus to defeat terrorism, but nearly 14 years later I don’t feel safer.
We see Obama arming so-called rebels in Syria who can’t be vetted and the arms ending up in the hands of groups like Al Nusra, and the EU presiding over a refugee crisis which leaves Europe vulnerable to jihadists.
Isis should be bombed and destroyed but it’s unlikely that an air campaign alone can defeat it and boots on the ground would be needed.
Russia is bombing and has Iranian, Hezbollah, and Syrian soldiers fighting Isis on the ground, and it is unlikely that the West would join that coalition.
All we know from Cameron is that he wants Assad to go and Isis bombed, but no comprehensive plan has been put forward for Syria, and there is a risk that if Assad goes and a flimsy transition government fails, then Syria will follow the same route as Iraq and Libya.
I don’t think that Islamism will ever be defeated, but in order to really cut the head of the snake, western governments need to take serious steps to sanction the countries that fund radical Islamist groups and provide them with weapons.