Paris: The Aftermath.

The slaughter in Paris on Friday 13th of November 2015 was horrific. It was an unjustified attack on innocent people. Ordinary Joes’ going about enjoying their leisure time with no thought of war or any inclination towards hate. They wanted to bounce with the music; to sip their coffee and chatter, laugh, hear some gossip or watch the football match.

thC0NBALTDthE7YVRQVM

These 129 innocents were turned into agents of war. The jihadists used them in a futile gesture to bolster their cause. The French government use them as an excuse to upgrade their attacks on IS in Syria and more generally.thW8J7EPG1

The attack in Paris hurts us all in several ways. The immediate reaction is one of disbelief but when the extent of the killings becomes apparent our disbelief turns to anger and a level of intolerance creeps in. Anger can lead in many directions: simple disgust which will wane in the weeks to come but intolerance will resurface with any incident concerning Muslims.

Or it will fuel an existing anger and demand revenge, this to can dissipate with time. Then of course there is hate. Hate can lead to spontaneous actions, can be more long term and lead to extremism. Hate destroys everyone it touches.

Which of the above emotions and actions do the jihadists want? All of them! The last thing they want is community cohesion. As part of their recruitment strategy they want to drive wedges between the Muslim community and the rest. The deeper the cut they make the better their recruitment will be.

This Means War!

Hollande, the French president reacted with a typical stance.  He wanted to appear tough, to appear statesman like. The statements that followed were judged to reassure the people that the government were in control. More French planes bombed IS positions in Syria. The aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle set sail with more fighter jets.

The claim that IS has an army and has land is a false one. Their army is a muster of innocence betrayed by promise and brainwashing, of life ever after. The land they control is not a recognised country but land that has been forcibly taken. Syria and Iraq will eventually take back their land. Was Hollande legitimizing the Caliphate of IS?

In using the ‘intelligence network’ the French government did a lot of good. By establishing were the cohort of IS fighters were hold up. The assault on the flat in Saint Denis 18th November while overpowering in the extreme served a bigger purpose.

The actions at Saint Denis showed the government in control and thus helped to calm the growing anger of the general populace. The Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve played a very clever card when he praised the people of Saint Denis for their “cool headedness”. The message was obvious, kept calm, we will sort it out.

This message should have been picked up by Hollande and given greater prominence. A calm response was the last thing IS wanted from the situation.

A danger exists from our own governments as they use the situation to pass ever more draconian laws. We must keep a careful eye on all that government does. Our freedoms must not be curbed under the disguise of fighting the jihadists. Democracy must not be compromised or we lose the first battle.

thCA96RI9G

Bombs will not defeat IS in Syria nor will western boots on the ground. French, British etc. putting the boot in will only

Torn Apart

Torn Apart

give credence to the myth that the West is out to smash the Muslim world. The booing at the football matches , Turkey v Greece and Ireland v Bosnia during the one minute silence in respect for the people of Paris illustrates that the west are losing the propaganda war.

thEI9ORLWT

We are all being deceived by the politics and business of the region. The Press in the West must make more of the roles of Saudi Arabia and Iran and their quest for power in the area. This political war is doing more to cripple the Middle East than anything else. They pour their money into the barbarity that is Syria in support of the warring factions but the West gets the blame.

If Saudi Arabia wants Assad out then let them bomb. Let them send in ground troops. Iran the same! The Saudis use their wealth to sponsor and equip agents to fight their seedy war. The western powers are as mercenaries doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia with the promise of good business opportunities in the future.

  1. Why has Saudi Arabia not taken refugees?
  2. Why have the nations of the Middle East not stopped the flow of migrants? Why have they not stepped in to help their fellow Muslims?

There are vast riches in the region stemming from the oil revenue yet the camps that do exist are pits of iniquity. Charities in the west are spending huge amounts to encourage us to give generously to bring water, food and medicine to these camps. Surely Saudi Arabia and/or Iran could cover such costs without much hardship. Why are they not doing so?

It was the politics and the business that took the west into the region to support Kuwait against the dictator Saddam Hussein. Here we are again! For years we tolerated the despots until more pressing business opportunities came knocking.

The real war in the region is that between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Intelligence – Intelligence – Intelligence!!!

We cannot walk away from our past exploits in the area. We are now forced to deal with IS because they have brought it to our door. Bombs and troops are an encouragement. Even if the IS can be forced from their caliphate they will not disappear. They will fragment into dangerous cells and declare ideological war on the West.

Each cell will finance itself as far as possible. Cells will blend when there’s a need. However, by organising into cells they will become weaker, less coordinated and more criminalized.

Identifying every possible member is the only hope of shutting them down permanently. It’s the old adage, take off the head and the body is useless. We must be prepared for a twenty (20) year battle.

The West caused IS!

The actions of the west did help bring it to our homelands. But then IS don’t just hate the people of the west they hate all who do not conform to their brand of extremism. They have killed far more Muslims than they have westerners. Far more!

And what of the IS fighting force?

  • Why is their army not exclusively of people from the region?
  • Why are they trying to force other Muslims to accept their interpretation of the Qur’an?
  • Why are there so many foreign delinquents in their ranks?
  • Why do they need to brainwash their recruits?

Could it be that IS has no real base among the people of the area? They are out on a limb and have become dependent on young impressionable people from the west, some estimates make it 20,000, to bolster their ranks.

There is much discussion about what motivates some young Muslim people of Europe and elsewhere to join. It is now becoming clear that many were on the fringes of their local population. Others were petty criminals.

Several analysts blame poverty and alienation as a prime cause. However, the ones who venture to Syria to join IS were not alone in suffering poverty or alienation. Poverty and alienation is a worldwide phenomenon. Any large city has its pockets of desperate poverty.

Adventure may have added spice for others and still more may not have been fully au fait with the methodology of IS before becoming part of the throng. Also, some of those who succumb to the lore of IS are highly educated and have been able to use their skills to murderous effect.

Sadly, others may have a need to belong, to be different, and to stand out and radicalism offers all these elements in one package. There are some who may suffer from an inner loneliness that stems from their upbringing. Whatever the reason for joining IS most have been duped.

 

 

War: Shit Street!

 

 

  • Refugee camp

Is there shelter from the storm? Most people know that war is hell; others have been desensitized by movies and war games. However, there is no fiction in reality. Those who have witnessed it know it is no fantasy. In recent years war has come to affect people in every country in one way or another.

An article in the www.nyt.com/2015/20/06 taking its information from the UN (UNHCR) tells us that there are around 60 million refugees in the world. The Economist uses the same figure but gives it a concrete context by linking it to the population of Italy; that’s a lot of people. Side Bar:

  • The new term for refugees is ‘displaced persons’. Displaced is a nice word but does not give sufficient gravity to the situation. Running from hell is not exactly being displaced; it’s fleeing for your life. We are not talking of a set of keys that you know will turn up.

There is no shortage of war zones. Middle East: Syria, Yemen and Iraq with the spread of Islamic revolution by ISIS. Sub-Sahara Africa with: Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, with another Islamic group Boko Haram. The surprise area for some will be Columbia in South America.

Why is there such a fire burning around the globe? A main reason is political power as in Syria where the dictatorial Assad regime is in conflict with groups seeking more democratic rights. The consequences are that nearly 50% of the population has been forced to flee their homes. Many have simply fled within the country but some 4 million have scattered abroad.

Neighbours, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and war torn Iraq have taken many Syrians in. The NYT suggest Egypt has 138,000; the Economist says Turkey has 1.7 million. It’s important to get the numbers right as aid being sent to the accommodating nations requires solid numbers to meet the need.

  • ISIS has driven an approximate 2.6 million Iraqis from their homes.

The civil war in Syria has affected 5 / 6 of its neighbours directly. However, the ramifications go much further. Thousands have made a dash for Europe or America. For Europe they have travelled to Libya, which itself is in turmoil, to find passage across the Mediterranean Sea. There is not a warm welcome in Europe because in their travels they meet up with other refugees from various parts of the world who are also escaping hell.

It is understandable that they want to flee the hell of their home nations to find the perceived stability elsewhere. The problem is that America is trying on a daily basis to stem the flood of migrants from South America. Europe, in a period of austerity, and a history over the last 20 years of conflict in the Balkans and presently in Ukraine, is panicked by the flow.

The influx of migrants has caused a political storm in Europe, which has seen a rise in radical parties. Politicians can’t ignore this trend. Hungary, is debating whether to construct a 100 mile fence to stop migrants crossing over from Serbia as numbers have increased from 30,000 to 100,000 in the past year. There is a huge cost in both political and financial terms in trying to cope with increasing numbers.

There are many poor people in the UK; some estimates suggest upward of 2.7 million families are affected. A large influx of economic migrants can have a direct impact on the poor by forcing wages down, putting pressure on housing and waiting lists for doctors, dentists etc. Thus little surprise that most poor people will not welcome migrants.

th67LNBAFYIn sub-Sahara Africa an estimated 15 million refugees have been forced from their homes. Ethiopia, houses an approximate 665,000 mainly from Somalia and South Sudan. An interesting point made by the NYT report was that most African refugees stay in Africa. Another point raised by the Economist is that 85% of refugees have sought shelter in developing countries.

It may appear cruel on those fleeing hell but developing nations often don’t have the resources to cope with an influx of refugees. Ethiopia is such a case. This country is still a recipient of foreign aid of over £200 million just to sustain their own population.

Unfortunately, those fleeing horror face further danger of exploitation. Even if they manage to reach the UK or USA they are used as cheap labour or forced into the sex trade. When it comes to humans there is no depth to their barbarity. The continued struggle in Columbia has caused the uprooting of around 6 million, 136,000 in 2014 alone. A further 360,000 have fled abroad to adjoining nations or perhaps trying to reach the USA.

If only there was an easy solution but being tied to politics, fear and cost there is no straightforward option. It is at a time like this that we witness the selfish gene come to the fore and this gene can be very erratic, and cruel.