Friday, 16 September 2016

UK: Damned if you do...

It is not for me to defend a Tory ex-Prime Minister, but one of the benefits of hindsight, is people's poor memory of circumstances and selective recall of 'facts', totally out of context.

For all Cameron's later failings over Libya, the initial urgency to prevent murder on what was shaping to be a monumental scale, should not be understated.

When a regime which was capable, and willing, to murder 1,270 prisoners in secret, then describes protesters as rats and cockroaches, and announces that rebels should surrender (their weapons) or face "slaughter" [Gaddafi also threatened to purge Libya "house by house" and "inch by inch"] we must conclude that the outcome would have been bloody, possibly beyond our feeble imagination.

Those who now complain that there was large loss of life in any case, might be too young to remember, or even care, about what happened in Cambodia in the mid 1970's, or Rwanda in the mid 1990's, but those of us forced to live through the utter and callous complacency of Western leaders and governments to what was happening, are not so dismissive of the sometimes need for humanitarian intervention.

We are also old enough to know that 'intervention' is more usually a euphemism for regime change or other geopolitical maneuvering, and that is why acting over Libya was so important, because most dictators go to great lengths to hide their murderous instructions and cover-up the deeds of their followers, so it is rare to have a situation where military action is so clearly called for.

The aftermath of such an intervention is quite another matter, and the subsequent abandonment of Libya to the Islamic State is part of an ongoing, global distress.

Monday, 12 September 2016

US: A timely reminder

Security planners and personnel around the world should breathe a shared sigh of relief that 9/11, for this year at least, has gone off relatively peacefully with possibly only a minor skirmish in Kenya to note. Of course this was not for the want of trying, and we may never know how many planned attacks were foiled, but let's take our blessings as they come, and be thankful.

The jihadist's unrelenting attempts to commemorate and highlight their deeds of 15 years ago, are already well known, but there is more to this grim anniversary than that.

For as soon as the clock struck midnight the media and politicians (for the most part, anyway), put away their sad faces for another year, and reverted to their jolly 'islam is a Religion of Peace' mantra, while continually wondering how so many muslims could read koranic texts and then act upon them. And, as September 12th began, the never ending guilt by association with events that may have upset muslims, continued anew and refreshed.

This is why 9/11 is such an important day in all our calendars.

It is otherwise easy to pronounce that French cartoonists were killed because they drew cartoons, or that innocents are being murdered across Europe and America, because of their government's actions. But remembering the murder of thousands on that day should, and will, also serve to remind us that the Afghan invasion was the result, and not the cause, of 9/11.

And while the invasion of Iraq was undoubtedly a crass piece of settling scores by the younger Bush, following on from the unfinished work of his father; the purpose of that first Desert Storm, was to remove Kuwait from the clutches of Sadam Hussein and had no Western Imperialistic intentions, other than those usual drivers of money and oil.

It is also noteworthy that just a few days ago permission was given to build a wall in France to prevent 'migrants' from attacking lorries and their drivers. Yet, while all our sympathies are engineered towards the humanitarian plight of these 'victims of war', and by implication, our wars, we should remember that iterations of the infamous 'jungle' camp have been around since 1999 - long before 9/11, et al.

Lastly, the distaste at muslim attempts to build a victory mosk on the murder scene, may also become an annual pointer to the reality and depth of stealth jihad, and if so, then the families and friends of the victims of 9/11 should find more than a little comfort from knowing that the ones they remember, really did not die in vain.