The Spiral of Despair 189


If somebody wishes to be a ghazi, I should much prefer them to do it in Tikrit rather than in Peterborough or Penicuik. To that extent I agree with Bob Quick. The periodic media scares about Sunni families going to Syria to “join ISIS” are very peculiar. We appear, with no public debate, to have adopted a de facto system of exit visas. Ronald Reagan famously said to Mikhail Gorbachev that we never had to lock our people in. It seems that now in the UK we do.

We have companies that recruit and control active armies of mercenaries, which are responsible for thousands of deaths overseas. I detest the violence of “ISIS” but it is not morally different from Executive Outcomes machine gunning villages from helicopters in Angola or from Aegis killing random vehicle occupants in Iraq who happened to be near their convoys. Yet Tony Buckingham and Tim Spicer became extremely rich after founding their careers on the latter killings, and now are respected figures in the London establishment. Apparently killing for money is good; only killing for religion is bad.

Nor is there any official objection to the young Britons who go to Israel to fight with the IDF, and were involved in the war crimes that last year killed hundreds upon hundreds of little Palestinian children.

Terrorism is appalling. The desire by some of the inhabitants of the Middle East to establish a Caliphate run on what they interpret as theological lines is a legitimate desire, if that is the kind of society people want. We devastated Iraq: we bombed Iraq into a failed state. We we were part of the nexus of interests that conspired to arm and facilitate armed insurrection in Syria. In the Blairite creed, we apparently believed that unleashing death, devastation and destruction of physical infrastructure and social institutions, would result in an embrace of democracy and western values by the people.

You would have to be mad to believe that, but it appears to remain the guiding principle of western foreign policy.

Even the remotest claim to wisdom would lead to the embrace of two principles. The first is that we cannot dictate how societies very different to our own ought to organise themselves. We can try to encourage a dialogue leading to respect of universal human rights, and hope for gradual improvement in that direction. But the second lesson is stop bombing. It is plainly counter-productive.

Today the BBC is wall to wall 7/7 commemoration. The coverage keeps focusing on military uniforms, even though the military were in no capacity whatsoever involved in 7/7. It is inappropriate militarism, just as we saw with the return of the bodies of the Tunisian victims.

There is an elephant in the room. Nobody is mentioning the starkly obvious truth. If we had not invaded Iraq, 7/7 would never have happened. Let me say it again, because it is not sayable within the corporate media and establishment consensus. If we had not invaded Iraq, 7/7 would never have happened.

Our response to “Isis” illustrates that we have become no more sophisticated than the Victorian portrayal of the “Mad Mahdi”. The difference is that, due to globalisation, we cannot just pound foreign lands into submission without provoking the blowback of terrorism elsewhere. I detest terrorism and do not believe random killing of civilians can ever be justified. But it is not an inexplicable manifestation of evil. We are causing it.

It is a fact that ISIS was never implicated in any terrorist activity in the UK before we started bombing ISIS in Iraq. We created the appalling mess in Iraq and Syria. By bombing we continually make it worse. It will take some time for the Middle East to recover from the profound effects of the Western wars against Muslim countries at the beginning of the 21st Century. Our response to the provocation of Bin Laden has been so stupid as to attain most of his goals for him. We have of course also attained most of the goals of the armaments and security state industries, which have sucked wealth from the rest of us. A spiral of despair for us has made billions for them. When a policy is as obviously counter-productive as our continual Middle Eastern wars, then ask cui bono?

I am not claiming that if we stop bombing then terrorism will stop instantly. There will be a lag effect. And in even the most benign scenario, Iraq and Syria will take decades to normalise. That is our fault, but we can best now help by staying well away.


189 thoughts on “The Spiral of Despair

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  • exexpat

    First of all Craig, are you 100% sure that 7/7 happened like they said it did? After all you know from witness testimony that the official account of the Tunisian operation is bullshit.

  • MJ

    “Our response to the provocation of Bin Laden has been so stupid as to attain most of his goals for him”

    Gosh, how weird.

    “I am not claiming that if we stop bombing then terrorism will stop instantly”

    Righto. You don’t think then that if we stopped bombing, terror attacks would increase in frequency and deadliness until such time as we started bombing again?

  • Monteverdi

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/questions-over-7-7-bombers-israel-trip-002658776.html#3Q7CBZU

    I’m reposting this on this blog as more appropriate . This was not part of the ‘ official narrative ‘ of 7/7 we were aware of .
    The ‘ smoke and mirrors ‘ of the shadowy and murky world of ‘ who’s who ‘ in some of the past historical cases played out in the Palestine / Israel scenario of conflict and who it benefits should make this story both disturbing and worthy of further investigation .

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    To believe that the bombing and wars were intended to “result in an embrace of democracy and western values by the people,” you have to believe that the West is run by stupid people who repeatedly make the same obvious mistakes. I don’t.

    I believe the West is run by clever people who repeat a winning formula : destroy the ability of a country to run itself, create perpetual division amongst its people to keep it that way, and take control of it’s resources.

  • bevin

    Excellent thinking and writing.

    What is weird, MJ, is the confidence with which you promulgate your apology for state terrorism:

    ” You don’t think then that if we stopped bombing, terror attacks would increase in frequency and deadliness until such time as we started bombing again?”

    No, he doesn’t think that and neither do any other rational observers. It is surprising that you, MJ, appear to believe otherwise.

  • craig Post author

    Bevin

    MJ is trying to imply that the state itself would carry out false flag bombings until such time as war was provoked again. No, I don’t think that either.

  • MJ

    Bevin: apologies if my remarks were ambiguous. Craig’s interpretation is correct.

  • Clark

    Craig (or any non-conspiracy-theorist), what is the standing of UK air attacks upon “ISIS” under international law, and to what extent has “ISIS” been debated at the United Nations?

  • Ruth

    I don’t think 7/7 was because of the Iraq war; it was part and part of the whole policy of grabbing as much wealth from the Muslim countries, curtailing people’s rights and demonising Muslims as terrorists. We’re the most spied upon country in Europe and most of this overt spying came in after 2005. I have little doubt 7/7 was an inside job. The government carefully avoided a public inquiry even though there was so many unexplained facts such as the metal in the floor of the train turning upwards indicating the bomb was under the train or the terror rehearsal being run at exactly the same time with simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where the real bombs went off. I believe the Muslim guys blamed for the atrocity were taking lead roles in the rehearsal.

  • glenn

    Kenneth Clark warned Blair in Parliament, before his invasion of Iraq, that when [emphasised and repeated ] – WHEN bombs started going off in London, then he (Blair) would know who to blame for it. Can’t find the quote right now, but that summaries it accurately enough.

    We don’t hear this accurate prediction attributed to Kenneth Clark very often, in fact, I’ve never heard it broadcast again.

  • Republicofscotland

    Good article Craig.

    “It will take some time for the Middle East to recover from the profound effects of the Western wars against Muslim countries at the beginning of the 21st Century.”
    _______________________

    However regarding your above comment I don’t see a time in the future where the West will allow those Muslim countries that we’ve bombed, or are about to bomb, be allowed to recover.

    The logic in this thinking is of course war is profitable, and in some cases it makes politicians seem more electable, if they’re seen to be fighting the war on terror.

    If things seem to be flagging in the war against terror, a new more terrifying faction is brought to the fore to frighten Westerns in submission, with regards to bombing them or boots on the ground.

    We will always be fighting a faction of some sort in the Middle East, due to our war like foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa, and even more so, because of our alliances to the US and Israel.

  • MJ

    The government’s official “narrative” on 7/7 was pretty much holed beneath the water-line as soon as it was revealed that the train from Luton was cancelled. The earliest the alleged bombers could have arrived was only five minutes before the first bomb went off, nowhere near enough time to get to the tube train in question.

  • Ed L

    “The desire by some of the inhabitants of the Middle East to establish a Caliphate run on what they interpret as theological lines is a legitimate desire, if that is the kind of society people want.”

    ffs. Tell that to the Yazidis and the Assyrian Christians being raped and beheaded.

    Beyond embarrassing.

  • glenn

    Ruth: If the Muslim guys being blamed were indeed helpfully taking part in the rehearsal, weren’t they a little bit stupid to record videos explaining what they intended, and blaming it on our Iraq invasion?

  • exexpat

    I’m sure we’ll hear soon there was terror drill being carried out during the tunisian (psy) operation.

  • MJ

    “If the Muslim guys being blamed were indeed helpfully taking part in the rehearsal, weren’t they a little bit stupid to record videos explaining what they intended, and blaming it on our Iraq invasion?”

    Maybe recording the video was all part of the exercise! Makes yer fink, dunnit?

  • Beth

    They wanted to bomb Syria to hell two years ago. They thought it would be Libya mark 2. For various reasons that everyone knows this was prevented. However, it seems that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Bombing ISIS is a pretext for finding another way to bomb Syria. You can’t bomb a country to attack terrorists—They are not a country. I have a horrible feeling that this business of scaring the public and bombing other countries is just going to go on and on.

  • John D Monkey

    “The desire by some of the inhabitants of the Middle East to establish a Caliphate run on what they interpret as theological lines is a legitimate desire, if that is the kind of society people want.”

    No it isn’t. I hope you don’t really mean that, Craig.

    Even if a majority of “people” in the ME wanted to establish some sort of Caliphate (and there is a vanishingly small likelihood that they would support this), that wouldn’t give them the legitimacy to enslave, rape, murder and destroy.

  • Anon1

    A complete pile of wank from Craig. Pilger-esque wailing from the rafters that whenever a Muslim does something inexusable like blow himself up in a train or gun down a beach full of tourists, it’s all our fault. Even when a young Brit does it. I suppose 9/11 was our fault as well? And anyone still banging on about the Iraq War needs their head examined. Even in Iraq it is barely ever a topic of discussion, and hasn’t been for many years. Only dunderheaded Western leftists keep moaning on that all the ills of the Muslim world can be traced back to the Iraq War. Please don’t act as Mohammed Sidique Khan’s posthumous mouthpiece on the tenth anniversary of his indiscriminate slaughter, it’s quite revolting.

  • craig Post author

    John D Monkey

    Then why don’t we invade Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States? You missed this bit. “We can try to encourage a dialogue leading to respect of universal human rights, and hope for gradual improvement in that direction. But the second lesson is stop bombing.”

  • craig Post author

    “And anyone still banging on about the Iraq War needs their head examined. Even in Iraq it is barely ever a topic of discussion”. it appears you have not been to Iraq recently. I have. The Iraq war hangs over everything. It was responsible for the theologically minded Shiah government, the continuing unreliability of utilities, the inadequacy of medical care, the flight of professionals crippling education and the current civil war. The Iraq war is mentioned every single day by everybody.

    I tolerate your ludicrous neo-con propaganda, but you are taking the big lie to new extremes.

  • Clark

    Anon1 2:22 pm, I disagree very strongly. The power of ISIS has clearly grown to fill the power vacuum left by the Western devastation of Iraq begun in 2003. That the violence of ISIS is so disorganised is a predictably obvious result of the deliberate Western policy of killing their leaders.

  • Mayeaux Wren

    Hullo Craig,

    I just searched your site (by way of the panel at the top of the page) and it seems that never once have you mentioned the word ‘Gladio’. How can you possibly discuss terrorism without conceding the (frankly obvious) possibility that the perpetrators of the terrorism might be the state itself.

    You ask the question cui bono. Well… if it ain’t the Muslims, and if the deep state, its security services, and the military/industrial are making out like bandits… why are we even asking the question? Isn’t it just too obvious for itself? It’s got Gladio written all over it. In neon flashing lights no less.

    Are you going to tell us that you’ve never heard of Gladio? Or are you familiar with it and for some reason choose not to mention it? Care to answer?

  • Mary

    I believe little of what comes over the airwaves these days and out of the mouths of politicians. You know that there is a stench when terrorism is used to advance the spread of militarism.

    Look at the massive push behind the recent Armed Forces Day, the royals in military uniform on very many public occasions, the constant use of the word ‘heroes’ by the media, the setting up of the Military Wives Choir, to give just a few examples.

    These one minute silences that Cameron calls for are another example – one for Sousse and one today for 7/7. Memorial sites by the dozen. The poppy display at the Tower. Union flags proliferate. On and on.

    Even at Wimbledon there were police and military personnel lined up for the silence today.

    Remembrance for those who fell in the carnage of WW1 used to be a simple annual affair with a gathering around the town’s or village’s war memorial.

  • Anon1

    The average Iraqi was glad to see the back of Saddam but we did not do enough to rebuild the country afterwards (not that it would have made much difference). The Iraq War showed that the only two options in Muslim countries are brutal state repression or Islamic fanaticism. That is why it is imperative that their numbers do not reach critical mass in this country.

  • John D Monkey

    Craig

    I thought you were above “whataboutery”.

    The unpleasantness of the regimes in Saudi and the Gulf states (which are despite their many faults nowhere near a Caliphate) does not excuse the evils being enacted by ISIS or whatever we want to call them.

    And I agree about stopping the bombing, I just don’t think we can ever condone or even excuse ISIS because of it. Two wrongs never make a right, and understanding that we are where we are because of the Iraq War doesn’t legitimise calls for a Caliphate.

  • Mary

    Meant to say an excellent piece by Craig.

    I share his sentiments in para 3 and have said much the same on here before. It is gross hypocrisy to condemn one set of ‘fighters’ for a foreign power and imprison them on their return whilst another similar group but with a different agenda come home with impunity.

  • craig Post author

    JohnDMonkey

    Those who wield power everywhere perpetrate abuses. Some are more horrible than others. ISIS are pretty horrible. Nothing I have said indicates they are not pretty horrible.

    But that does not give either me or you the right to determine the power structures of Iraq or Syria. If we stopped bombing and interfering things will eventually calm down.

  • Anon1

    Clark, the thing is many countries – most countries – have been through appalling times, but they don’t produce armies of violent fanatics like certain countries do. Can you guess which ones?

    IS is an abomination, even you (yes you!) conceded the other day that they might have to be bombed. There is no excuse for what they do. We didn’t produce it or cause it. You might argue that they might not have been able to operate had we not removed a cruel dictator, but they are responsible for their own actions entirely.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Anon1 : “The Iraq War showed that the only two options in Muslim countries are brutal state repression or Islamic fanaticism.”

    HOW did the Iraq war show this?

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