West should drop 'inconsistent approach' to terrorism after Volgograd bombings
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
RT:We've heard a lot of reaction from the international community. Will there be any action in your opinion?
Neil Clark: It’s nice that the NATO Chief condemned this terrible attack and yesterday’s attack as well. But what we are going to do in concrete terms? Because the Western approach to terrorism is very inconsistent. We are told, on the one hand, that the West totally opposes terrorism and radicalism. On the other hand we have the West lining up with radical Islamic terrorists in Syria, backing Al-Qaeda which is trying to topple a secular government now. The Syrian authorities actually repelled an Al-Qaeda attempt to bomb the US embassy in Damascus in 2006. And what the US is doing in response? They are trying to topple the Syrian government.
So there is an inconsistency here and I think that unless the West actually stops this inconsistent approach and actually does fight terrorism across the world and work with Russia closely, these problems will only continue to present a danger. But when terrorism occurs in Russia, it’s a kind of dismissed or disregarded that it is not really the same thing. There have been some shocking articles in the Western media when similar terrorist attacks have occurred in Russia; they were blaming the Russian authorities for this. For example, when there was a Moscow bombing in 2011, an article was saying that the Russians actually brought it on themselves by their policy towards Chechnya. And you wouldn’t write articles like that on the bombings in London, in New York. So I think there are double standards here.
We need to take these terrible attacks in Russia very seriously, as seriously as we take these attacks in New York or in London. Until this happens, until the West does take serious action… But I’m afraid we are not going to take action needed to stop these attacks taking place in the future.
RT:What kind of international action you are talking about?
NC: The West needs to change its policy towards Russia because there is a war being carried against Russia. That’s a kind of soft war, a propaganda war which has been orchestrated by the Western neo-conservatives and what I call the “fake left” in Western countries, which is actually trying to demonize Russia for any reason, whether it’s Pussy Riot… whether it’s the gay rights law…
In terms of terror threats, I think, the West should change its [alliance] with Saudi Arabia which is a major sponsor of radical Islamic groups throughout the world. The trouble is, if you look at Syria for example, the West is actually on the same side as the terrorists because of its relations with Saudi Arabia and Israel, who both want the regime in Syria to be removed.
So I think we need a shift in the Western capitals. I think we need to work closer with Russia. We saw close cooperation at the Boston bombings, when we had the Russian warnings about the Tsarnaev brothers, but they were ignored by the Americans because again it’s Russian warnings. The West [must] cooperate more seriously with Russia, as equal partners, in this battle against the radical terror groups; that’s a major shift that’s got to happen. On the one hand, they say they are going to work with Russia; on the other hand, there is this kind of Cold War propaganda against Russia.
RT:Back to Volgograd - Two attacks in less than 24 hours, both are now thought to have been carried out by male suicide bombers. What kind of message do you think the attackers are trying to send in that city now?
NC: They are clearly trying to intimidate, to scare people. It’s their daily business, you know. Bombing crowded buses on Monday morning, bombing railway stations…It’s about terrorism. And of course this is linked again to the Olympics coming up; it’s an attempt to scare people from going to the Olympics.
On the one hand, we have those in the West telling people: “Don’t go to the Olympics because Russia has oppressive laws on this or that… ”, on the other hand, we got terrorists. This is psychological warfare going here and it’s about saying to Russian people, in particular Southern Russians: “Look, we can get you wherever you go, whether it’s a bus or a train station,” and trying to intimidate people.
The only response to this is of course international action. Who knows who funds these people, who carried out those attacks; it could be international, we don’t know. It requires an international response because many countries in the world are threatened by this. And what can you do? You can’t put metal detectors on buses, it’s absolutely impractical. So I think it needs a massive international response.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.