After the mess left behind in Iraq, Libya and Syria, Western leaders appear to have realised that the days of a “good shooting war” being good for political image have gone forever. For most political leaders, heroic speechwriter-polished phrases and Churchillian posturing are a remnant of a past when the words ” honour” and “bravery” still had currency.
Today, war is recognised as a filthy misery-spawning industry which, like an appalling Grand Prix Circuit, moves from country to country, leaving no more than a legacy of destruction and death. There is no honour in war – there is only pointlessness, rubble and refugees.
The most bizarre aspect of the whole Middle East circus is that the leader of a small cluster of damp islands in the North Sea is always the one who makes the most noise, always hiding behind his younger but much bigger American cousin’s skirts…..and unsurprisingly, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minster is at it again. This time, from the safety of the White House.
Historically, the West feels that its job is to dispense the universally therapeutic remedy of “democracy” – even to those who don’t really want it.
Democracy is not an emollient to be force-fed in the same way that 18th and 19th century missionaries (from exactly the same damp islands) delivered Christianity to the world’s natives.
The Arabs are not even remotely interested in our special brand of democracy. Democracy used to be THE excuse because they knew that as soon as they shouted “Freedom!” or “Democracy!“, the usual suspects would come riding in, dispensing guns with notions of rescue, egalitarianism and ballot boxes.
THAT didn’t work so now it’s Muslim Fundamentalism and not democracy which needs to be spread! However, the Root Cause remains the same. Only the excuse is different.
Can you imagine revolutions in the Middle East if the family businesses masquerading as governments, distributed their oil billions as they should? Would the average Muslim be interested in getting shot in the name of “regime change” , “democracy” or even “Islam” – if he had a job, enough food, decent housing, a car, TV set, free hospital care for his family and a bit left over? Of course not.
Exactly the same economic argument applies here in the West . Would as many young Muslims fly to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic State if they had a career, a home and a future? Would they blow-up magazine offices and fly planes into buildings?
With horrific levels of Muslim youth unemployment and social exclusion, their “Islamic revolution” is primarily based in economics….. not religious idealism.
Once Western leaders accept that, instead of constantly citing “Radicalisation”, we may be a step nearer to finding a solution.