ISIS barbarians at the gates, while NATO busy hyping ‘Russia threat’
It calls to mind one of Britain’s worst military defeats, suffered at the hands of the Japanese, when 100,000 troops and sailors were marched into captivity after the fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942. Winston Churchill called it “the largest capitulation in British history.” Many of the British troops never even fired a shot before surrendering, thus adding to the humiliation and ignominy of their defeat at the hands of a much smaller force. The British commander responsible for the surrender, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, earned himself a cold place in history as a consequence.
A major reason for the defeat and surrender of an island that was considered a key and strategically vital part of the British Empire was that the guns of the British defenders were pointed in the wrong direction; they’d been expecting the Japanese attack to come from the sea rather than through the jungle and swamps of the Malay Peninsula behind them.
Today, in 2015, British guns are not only pointed in the wrong direction they are pointed at the wrong enemy. The most recent terrorist atrocity, carried out last week against tourists in Tunisia, has resulted in the most British victims since the 7/7 attacks in London which ended in the deaths of 52 innocent civilians. On the same day as the Tunisian attack, a terrorist atrocity was carried out in France, while in Kuwait a suicide bomber attacked a Shia mosque.
Meanwhile, in Iraq and Syria, the so-called Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS/ISIL) and other Salafist terror groups continue to kill, slaughter, and butcher men, women, and children. All this is happening while the West continues to make a virtue of impotence, more concerned with directing its ire against a country, Russia that has been at the forefront of resisting terrorism at home and abroad.
Yes, without doubt, you couldn’t make it up.
Every day that IS exists it grows stronger; its vile ideology becomes more entrenched and grows more attractive to ever more young disaffected Muslim men across the world. They are not attracted to the group’s religious doctrine so much as the opportunity to join a cause that allows them to feel powerful as opposed to the powerlessness of their current predicament in a world underpinned by the anarchy of a free market that breeds poverty, despair, and injustice.
As such, the West is both the handmaiden and victim of radicalization. Every terrorist attack confirms the collapse of Western foreign policy and its alignment with some of the most reactionary states on the planet – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, etc. – not to mention ultra nationalists in Kiev and across Eastern Europe. It constitutes unimpeachable evidence of the sham that is Western democracy, and how it rests upon foundations of hypocrisy and mendacity.
The crisis and chaos that has engulfed the Middle East as a direct result of the West’s role in the region increasingly threatens civilians everywhere, including Russia, which is why it remains unconscionable that the West remains intent on treating Moscow as an enemy rather than a partner in a struggle against one of the gravest threats to modernity and civilization the world has faced. Furthermore, this cognitive dissonance, this departure from reality, informs an air campaign that has failed utterly in its stated objective of degrading the power of IS and stemming its advance. When it suffers a reverse in one part of Syria or Iraq, it advances in another, butchering civilians wherever it appears.
The question needs to be asked: Where is the 30-40,000 strong rapid reaction force to counter the barbarism of ISIS? Where is the determination to contain a state – the so-called Islamic State – that violates every moral and ethical principle of humanity in its treatment of minorities, women, children, and natural justice?
There is no more grievous indictment of the policy being undertaken by the West than the fact that a large swathe of the world is now a no-go area for tourists and visitors. The impact of the attack in Tunisia, for example, will be measured in a loss of a tourism industry that is vital to that country’s ability to maintain a nascent democracy that is balanced precariously on the edge of sustainability, thus making the growth of extremism and terrorism there more rather than less likely.
This lamentable state of affairs is even more grotesque when we consider that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. This was a war that saw the West and the Soviet Union unite against a common enemy, fascism, in the interests of humanity. Those who fought and sacrificed and suffered immeasurably in that war would be well within their rights to judge the current generation of leaders harshly over their lack of statesmanship and foresight in understanding who and what the real enemy is, and where the real threat to global peace and stability resides.
The barbarians are at the gates and it’s time to wake up, else we’re going to have a bloody disaster on our hands.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.