I was going to blog on the folly of the proposed British bombing of ISIS, but having recently read two articles in The Guardian, one by a Jurgen Todenhofer 27/11/15 and the other by regular columnist, Seamus Milne written way back in June of this year, I decided there really was nothing else substantive I could profitably add. Instead I would content myself with highlighting the key points of their arguments, adding the odd emphasis here and there. When the British State has such a monopoly on the prevailing narrative, it is so refreshing to know that there are other people are out there, even if in a relatively tiny minority, who share your views. Without coming across a few like-minded souls one is in danger of fearing for one’s political sanity. Thank the gods for the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Seamus Milne. To my logic, dropping yet more bombs on the countries of Middle East has to be the most insane idea since Langley thought that arming, training and financing the Afghan mujahedeen would bring peace and harmony to that war weary nation. As for dropping bombs as a way of defeating a determined and ideologically coherent enemy, Cameron and Co might care to reflect on the fact that the US and its allies dropped more bombs on Vietnam and Cambodia during that barbaric, twenty year imperialist war than they did during the entire Second World War and they still lost! Furthermore, Nazi saturation bombing of British cities during WW2 did not break Britain’s resolve, if anything it strengthened it. Have these privately educated, Old Etonian Oxbridge graduates learned nothing from history? Every sane, secular and rational person would want to see the speedy and total elimination of the ISIS creed and its foot-soldiers, but trying to bomb them into submission will simply not work.

 Todenhofer’s opening paragraph fairly sums up the situation;

‘Since the Paris attacks, western politicians have been walking open-eyed into a trap set by the terrorists – just like they did after 9/11. They retaliate with bombs, even though bombs are one of the main reasons why we are facing terrorism in the first place: because bombs predominantly kill innocent people, and thus help to create fresh recruits for the terrorist cause….. How can it be that leading politicians learned nothing from 14 years of counterproductive anti-terror wars? How can it be that they still believe that the best way to get rid of an infestation of wasps is to batter the nests with a sledgehammer?’

Having spent real time interviewing ISIS operatives, Todenhofer is one of the few western journalists to get physically close to this jihadist movement and to be in a position to grasp their mind-set. In his article, Todenhofer carefully outlines the ISIS tactics with dealing with saturation bombing. In short, they simply ‘disappear among the local population.’ Todenhofer concludes;

‘A bombing strategy employed by France – which potentially will now be joined by Britain – will above all hit Syria’s population. This will fill ISIS fighters with joy. Hollande could only make them happier if he were to send in ground troops as well: western boots on the ground in Syria is the ultimate ISIS dream. Instead of mainly killing Muslims, they are desperate to live out their imaginary apocalyptic showdown between good and evil, in which they can at last fight against the US, the UK and France – on the ground.’

And so to Seamus Milne who has, over the years, provided a consistent and coherent narrative of western intrigues and machinations throughout the planet. Of course he is not the first to do so. Pre-eminent in this regard has to be the irrepressible Noam Chomsky, who can rightly be regarded as one of the post war founders of this anti-imperialist narrative. So many present day thinkers owe their world view to this intellectually courageous academic. And Seamus Milne has proved a worthy student in this, what has now become a rather unfashionable school of thought. But what Milne always attempts to do is to place his op/eds in a fully rounded historical context. Milne writes;

‘this US and western habit of playing with jihadist groups, which then come back to bite them, goes back at least to the 1980’s war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, which fostered the original al Qaida under CIA tutelage. It was recalibrated during the occupation of Iraq, when US forces sponsored an El Salvador style dirty war of sectarian death squad to weaken the Iraqi resistance. It was reprised in 2011 in the Nato orchestrated war in Libya, where ISIS last week took control of Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte.’

If we don’t choose to familiarise ourselves with this neo-colonial meddling we will have zero chance of unravelling the world we live in. Britain and France have been long time specialists in this type of divide and rule double dealing and the US, since becoming top dog post war, has simply followed the same old dirty game. Strategic territorial influence, markets and of course oil was always at the root of all this manoeuvring and it still is. And we should never forget, it was western military neo-colonialism that produced the horrors of the Pol Pot regime; it was western military neo-colonialism that created the fanaticism of Al Qaida; and it is western Machiavellian interference in the affairs of North Africa and the Middle East that has created Islamic State. And the bitter irony of it all, is that each of these barbaric socio-political entities are nothing but a reflection of our own western barbarism. It’s as if we look in the mirror and we don’t like what we see.

So what is to be done? If bombing doesn’t work and military intervention only adds fuel to the fire what should sane politicians be advocating? I would suggest the starting point first and foremost must be Palestine. For sixty five years, through successive US Presidents and Prime Ministers, and countless fine sounding platitudes, the Palestinian injustice has been allowed to fester.  And it festers most of all in the consciousness of over one billion Muslims worldwide. If the west has any hope of gaining any credibility in the Middle East and Africa they must settle the question of Palestinian statehood immediately. And that means unequivocally standing up to the gangsters that currently govern the State of Israel. No if’s, no buts, get it sorted now. That would be a start. It would show good intent. It would send the right message. It would engage immediately with the Muslim body politic.

Second up should be a frank admission that the war against Iraq was wholly illegal and the leading perpetrators should be sanctioned. Will that happen? Well the first part is just about imaginable albeit with some cringe-worthy UN diplomatic double-speak, but the latter part is highly unlikely. Still to achieve the first part would again send all the right signals that the West was willing to engage.

And that brings us to the third and key point; the security council of the UN must be totally restructured to reflect the new balance of world demographics, with representative delegates from Europe, from South, East and South East Asia, from Eurasia, from North and South America, and significantly, from Africa and the Middle East; and this time with no right of veto. Gone would be separate seats for Britain and France. The post-world war has moved on. In fact, a line must now be drawn under the entire five hundred year era of European colonial domination.

 Having restructured the UN, a series of UN sponsored conferences should be established to resolve outstanding international injustices and local grievances. In short the world moves away from war and adopts the policy of global governance with an ongoing policy of UN sponsored negotiation and peace-keeping. The military-industrial complex, east and west will fight it every inch of the way, but there really is no sane alternative. Global governance must replace neo-colonial manoeuvrings. In one sense this process has already started with the UN’s faltering attempts to deal with the catastrophic ramifications of climate change.        

Has Britain still got a role to play? Definitely. With a British Prime Minister with the anti-war credentials and political integrity of a man such as Jeremy Corbyn, Britain could be well placed to help initiate the above political revolution. Yes, it would be a revolution of sorts, not quite the one that a young Jeremy Corbyn might have dreamed of, but certainly revolutionary in its own way. And the alternative; an endless war of terror and counter terror – and that is no alternative at all.

End JPK Copyright, 28/11/15

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 November 2015 16:17 )