Friday, 26 May 2017

The failed ‘war on terror’ caused the attack in Manchester

The government has known since 2003 that the failed ‘war on terror’ would cause an attack like the one in Manchester

It should be firmly said that, if Saddam and Gaddafi had not been overthrown, it is unlikely that Salman Abedi would have been in a position to slaughter people in Manchester 

Patrick Cockburn - Indy

Jeremy Corbyn is correct in saying that there is a strong connection between the terrorist threat in Britain and the wars Britain has fought abroad, notably in Iraq and Libya. The fact that these wars motivate and strengthen terrorist organisations like al-Qaeda and Isis has long been obvious to British intelligence officers, though strenuously denied by governments.

The real views of British intelligence agencies on the likely impact of Britain taking part in wars in the Middle East are revealed in a Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) assessment dated 10 February 2003, just before the start of the invasion of Iraq led by American and British forces. It is marked “top secret”, but was declassified for use by the Chilcot Inquiry and, though it was referred to by several publications, attracted little attention at the time.

The first words of the assessment by JIC say: “the threat from al-Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq. They will target Coalition forces and other Western interests in the Middle East. Attacks against Western interests elsewhere are also likely, especially in the US and UK, for maximum impact. The worldwide threat from other Islamist groups and individuals will increase significantly.”

An earlier JIC assessment dated 10 October 2002 and also declassified by Chilcot says: “Al Qaida and associated groups will continue to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to Western interests and that threat will be heightened by military action against Iraq.”

Corbyn is saying almost exactly the same today as JIC predicted in 2003. He cites with approval experts pointing to “the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home". He adds that their assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children, but that an informed understanding is essential in order to fight rather than fuel terrorism.

The JIC conviction about the benefits to al Qaeda of the Iraq war was swiftly born out after the invasion as it expanded from being a small group of militants, perhaps less than a thousand-strong based mainly in the mountains of southern Afghanistan and north west Pakistan, into a global movement. Al Qaida in Iraq, taking advantage of the destruction of the Iraqi state, developed into one of the most powerful and influential terrorist movements in history, and later transmuted in Iraq and Syria into Isis.

Corbyn says that “we must be brave enough to admit ‘the war on terror’ is simply not working”, adding that "we need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism." Again, this is demonstrably true as vast resources have been poured into waging the ‘war on terror’ since 9/11, but Isis, al-Qaeda and similar Salafi jihadi movements are far stronger now than they were then. They have powerful military forces fighting in at least seven wars – Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, North-East Nigeria – as well as in insurgencies, large and small, such as in Sinai and North-West Pakistan. Individuals and cells carry out terrorist attacks everywhere from Orlando to Baghdad and Berlin to Mogadishu.

Seldom has a war been so comprehensively and visibly lost as ‘the war on terror’ and it is doing a favour to Isis and al-Qaeda not to recognise this and try for something better. Yet critics of Corbyn have unconsciously doing such a favour to al-Qaeda by demanding he stay silent. In a crass but unintentionally revealing interview, the Conservative Security Minister Ben Wallace claimed that Corbyn's timing was "appalling". He said that “we have to be unequivocal, that no amount of excuses, no amount of twisted reasoning about a foreign policy here, a foreign policy there, can be an excuse. The reality is, these people hate our values.”

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17 comments:

  1. Like I've been saying since the calls for war first started, heck like I predicted on the ride home on 9/11, past the smoking wreckage across the river, the terrorists got everything they wanted that day, and they'll still getting it today.

    JMJ

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    1. @Jersey:

      Why, what did they 'get'?

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    1. @FJ:

      I watched that Pie video recently and it's one of my least favourite ones.

      It's not wrong to ask whether religion plays a part in their motivations but we already know it does. But that can be said of all kinds of 'ideologies' and how they're used as 'motives' for all kinds of abhorrent violence.

      But we really need to look at our own policies vis-a-vis the ME/Muslim/Arab world. How counter-productive did it turn out to be to supportive al Qaeda again the Soviet 'invaders'? How effective to lay ruin to a country like Iraq, so that ISIL/al Qaeda in Iraq could then fill the void?

      It remains for Western pols far more easy and comforting to continue to squarely lay the blame at an external/internal enemy. Also very useful for creating a surveillance dragnet, of the kind we're seeing being grown today, across 'the West'...

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    2. There is an analog for the foreign fighters of ISIS and al Qaeda. It lies in the "International Brigades" which joined the cause and fought in the Spanish Civil War.

      Yes, they're against "capitalism". But mostly, they're just "against". If it wasn't "capitalism", it would just be something else.

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    3. ISIS is simply filling the "void" that once "international communism" and the Peshmurga filled. A rallying point for an anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment "freedom" movement.

      It's "Civilization and its' Discontents" (ala Freud). Culture is the subordination of sexual libido to serve "productive" purposes. We can't just swing in the tree's 24/7 and call ourselves "human".

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    4. Yes, you can blame our "policies" for backlash against the Western corporatocracy. But even in the "juche" states in which we have zero influence (ala N. Korea), we're still hated. Why? Because WE are, and always will be, THEIR "external" other.

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    5. In other words, Islam NEEDS an enemy to fight. Without one, there no need for the Umah to rally round the Mahdi or righteous caliph.... and it falls apart.

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    6. Hitler needed an internal enemy (and excuse to quell political dissent), and an external "Eastern" enemy (supplier of liebensraum). Both were "excuses" and means for dealing with the inadequacies of the NAZI regime.

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    7. The Jews and Christians (people of the Book) have always been the traditional Islamic "enemy". Why would any external "policy" towards them ever CHANGE that?

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    8. Their antagonism is "baked in" to their religion, just as "anti-capitalism" is baked in communist ideology. The communists needed to dominate the world, the Islamist have to dominate the world. There's no difference.

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    9. 9/11 was a deliberate provocation to get the West to attack so that the Umah could unify. Our "policies" didn't matter. What mattered was that the Umah (greater caliphate) unified.

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    10. I'm with Jersey on this one. The terrorist GOT what they wanted, and we're still giving it to them.

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    11. There are only two equally repulsive ways out. 1) Surrender or 2) Assimilate them. 2) requires that we COLONIZE the ME (not "democratize" then "withdraw"). It means inter-breeding.

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    12. ...it means "Christianizing".

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  3. Since we are unprepared to do either, prepare yourself for a LONG conflict. It's not going to be pretty.

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  4. Identity is a two way street. It's "who you are" AND "who you are NOT".

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