Even before the current Syria crisis we were already at war. It didn’t go away just because we stopped talking about it.
It is a war being fought across multiple fronts. It is a war on terror and Islamist ideology, it is a culture war and a war on morality and values, it is a war on information – free speech and fake news, and most importantly (and often unnoticed) – it is a war for democracy itself.
All of these battles are interlinked, and this is why we should give no ground in the defence of our morals and our values. We need to remember who we are and what we stand for.
Whilst chemical attacks on innocent children by a brutal dictator should be a red line in its own right, there is considerably more to the story. Attacks such as these serve as a reminder for the average member of public, that when you speak no evil, hear no evil and see no evil, evil is being done throughout the world nonetheless.
Whilst we cannot be ‘World Police’ and intervene in every single injustice in the world, when you can – you should.
When banned chemical agents are used on civilians, you absolutely should, because normalisation of the use of such weapons has a knock-on effect for every potential conflict across the globe. A clear message needs to be sent: chemical weapons are a red line that cannot be crossed.
For Britain to intervene in any conflict, the criteria for intervention should absolutely be for one of two reasons: humanitarianism and the national interest.
I suggest the current situation satisfies both of these requirements.
Whilst the use of chemical weapons is a war crime and merits a moral obligation to intervene, as a standalone premise it is currently accepted that it is not enough to gain public support. What awful times in which we live.
In the current climate and in the age of the internet and fake news, attacks such as the ones in Salisbury and Gouta bring up masses of misinformation, conspiracy theory and outright lies. In the case of the chemical attack in Syria, the majority of the British public are sceptical primarily because of the Iraq war. But some people actually doubt whether the attacks in Salisbury or Gouta even happened or are inclined to believe the Russian claims: that the attacks were staged with the help of British forces, or never happened at all.
The Iraq War
It is said “repeat a lie often enough and eventually it becomes truth.”
A grand lie that is widely accepted as truth surrounds the real reasons for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. How quick we are to forget the horrors of 9/11 and the underlying causes. How quick we are to forget the fundamental reasons for the British and American response to nations hostile to our way of life.
9/11 was a stark reminder that ignorance to tyranny, terrorism and anti-western regimes does not make them go away. Ignore them long enough and you’ll at some point find them at your door. The war on terrorism is a global one and you’re in it whether you like it or not.
Britain and America cannot ignore the situation in the Middle East, because the situation in many ways is in fact worse than the situation pre-2001. If you want anyone to thank for that, look no further than the leftist foreign policy of Barack Obama and his ridiculous troop withdrawal strategy, which left the fledgling Iraqi democracy completely and utterly insecure and which ultimately led to the rise of ISIS.
A common lie which is now considered fact, is that we had absolutely no business toppling Saddam Hussein and that the war was illegal.
Contrary to popular belief, Tony Blair is no war criminal. Saddam Hussein was. The inversion of this in popular culture, is nothing short of disgraceful.
How do we know Saddam was a war criminal and had Weapons of Mass Destruction? Because he’d used them before. His first cousin and defence minister, Ali Hassan al-Majid, was better known as “Chemical Ali” because of his use of them on the Kurds, such as in the “Bloody Friday” attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988.
In addition to this, Saddam harboured numerous terrorists and enemies of the west, including the only remaining perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing. He gave sanctuary to his Gulf War allies, the Palestine Liberation Front – terrorists responsible for the Achille Lauro hijacking, in which a wheelchair-bound 69-year-old Jewish-American man was murdered by the hijackers and thrown overboard. He also offered up to $25,000 to the relatives of either a suicide bomber or someone killed in a clash with Israeli soldiers or security guards at settlements in the Gaza. During the war in Afghanistan, he gave safe haven to our enemies, Al-Qaeda – who moved their base of operations to Iraq.
Saddam was not only an ideological enemy of the west, but also a direct enemy and a clear and present danger. This alone was more than enough justification for taking action against him and his regime. We didn’t need a dossier to justify his demise, just as we don’t need a dossier for Assad in Syria today.
After 9/11 President Bush was gunning for Saddam and as a staunch ally, Blair was absolutely correct in assuring Bush that Great Britain would stand with America “come what may” and that Saddam Hussein came second only to North Korea as the most brutal and inhumane regime on the planet.
Blair was a weak leader who was overly obsessive about public opinion and his portrayal in the media. Blair’s “third way” was his guiding philosophy for government and its aim was to come up with a solution that would gain the support of as many voters as possible. This was the case for a large amount of his policy making, he avoided the split between left and right wing and sought to find general consensus. He was very much of the centre-ground.
In addition to support at home, he also wanted to secure the backing of other European states – who as we saw in Bosnia, were very reluctant to intervene in any conflict. Blair felt all of the above could be achieved by securing a UN mandate for action in Iraq.
It was for this reason Blair opted to go down the United Nations route to tackle Saddam. The strategy was to highlight his repeated breach of UN resolutions on sanctions, especially WMD and to seek their approval in taking action.
As we have seen with the strikes on Syria, we do not need the backing of the UN and in defence of our national interest or in the name of humanitarianism. We are entirely justified in taking pre-emptive action with or without their backing, just as we’ve seen with the joint American, British and French strikes in Syria without a UN mandate.
The “Dodgy Dossier”
It is often forgotten that there were in fact two dossiers: The September 2002 dossier and the February 2003 “dodgy” dossier.
It was the September dossier that was debated in Parliament and it was the one that contained the “sexed up” claim of the 45-minute strike capability of at least a portion of Saddam’s WMD.
Blair’s fundamental error wasn’t the 45-minute claim. It was his sharing intelligence with the public, because he was far too concerned with the media and pandering to public opinion.
Mainstream media must bear some of the blame for this. The MSM shaped a culture that suggested trust in the government should be called into question, because the Labour government was focussed entirely on “spin”.
It is true that the sexed-up claims of a 45-minute strike capability was specifically the handiwork of Blair’s spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, and this was clearly a mistake – but we forget that the fundamental premise of the September dossier was in fact proved true. Saddam didpossess WMD, including chemical and biological weapons and Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons programme.
In fact before the war, German intelligence knew that Saddam had previously unknown stockpiles of the smallpox virus, but chose to keep it quiet, because it wanted no part in conflict. And, as is being proven true again with Syria, they prefer to let Britain and America do the dirty work while Germany reap all of the benefits despite taking none of the risks. Its symbolic of the EU as a whole.
During the Iraq war, American forces discovered 5,000 of Saddam’s chemical warheads and bombs. They also found mass graves, which largely went unreported because it didn’t fit the MSM narrative at the time, which was primarily about our intervention being a mistake.
As revealed after the war in great detail by Dr. Mahdi Obeidi in his book “the bomb in my garden”, Saddam had retained the capability to build a nuclear bomb and was actively seeking to acquire uranium. UN weapons inspectors also admitted that no amount of looking would have found them.
The Duelfer report revealed that Saddam was buying long-range missiles from North Korea and was in breach of the sanctions imposed on him by the international community.
The Arab Spring: our duty to democracy
We are quick to forget that as a direct result of our intervention, Iraq held its first ever free and democratic elections. This raises another important point: we have a duty to support fledgling democracies everywhere in the world, but especially in the Middle East. The fall of Saddam ultimately led to the Arab spring, which should have spread democracy throughout much of the Middle East and would likely have eventually led to the fall of the Iranian regime – one of our biggest enemies. As we’ve seen with the recent protests, there is an appetite for democracy within the Iranian people just as there is everywhere else.
The Arab spring was significant and really shouldn’t be played down at all. It is as significant as the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe, also known as the “Spring of Nations.”
During the Arab spring, people were rising up to overthrow brutal authoritarian regimes and dictatorships in a fight for true democracy. In the beginning, key members of NATO such as the US, France, and Turkey all supported the revolutionary uprisings including in Egypt and Syria, but in reality never really committed.
In Iraq, Barack Obama instead ordered the full withdrawal of troops, which left a vacuum of power that was ultimately occupied by ISIS.
The Arab revolutionaries were badly failed by the West. Rather than offer support and commitment to the long-term stabilisation of the fledgling democracies across the region, they withdrew.
Across the Middle East, the people of the Arab spring were left to fend for themselves and it resulted in a military coup in Egypt, civil war in Syria, dictatorship in Turkey (who are well on their way to becoming another Iran by the way) and the fall of Gaddafi in Libya. It also led to the resurgence of Al-Qaeda and the rise of Islamic State across swathes of the Middle East, including Iraq, Syria and Libya.
This was directly a foreign policy failure and we’re now arguably much worse off than we were pre-2001. Not only has this failure resulted in the deaths and displacement of millions of people, it has led to millions of refugees moving into Europe. The rise of ISIS has also contributed to a significant increase in Islamic terror attacks across the western world. Another example of the ignorance of tyranny abroad, leading to tyranny and terrorism at home.
This is directly a result of what happens when you let the left wing dictate foreign policy. Appeasement, dialogue and ignorance to the reality of the situation.
Al-Qaeda and ISIS cannot succeed in democratic societies and this is ultimately the only way to defeat them. Islam simply cannot reform. This is proven by the hundreds of organisations around the world and millions of pounds spent, having failed to deliver one single piece of reform.
What realistically canhappen, is the spread of democracy leads to the spread of freedom of choice, secularism and even atheism. I would remind you that alongside revolution in Europe with the Spring of Nations, was also the age of enlightenment. An Arab enlightenment, could have potentially followed the Arab spring. This rings true if you’re of the school of thought that some of those regions and especially Islam itself, is circa two hundred years behind Christianity in terms of its development from an ideological perspective. Islam is incompatible with democracy and when people embrace democracy, they would shun Islam, at least in terms of fundamentalism. You’d find that you’d see the rise of “cultural Muslims” in the same way the majority of people in the UK are only “cultural Christians.”
The spread of “cultural Muslim” identity would also directly benefit the UK, which is currently seeing a dramatic rise in the fundamental and divisive aspects of Islam, emboldened by the strength of fundamental Islam abroad.
Democracy in the region is key and Turkey is a prime example. When Turkey was seeking access to the EU, it was the most democratic, secular and free-est of the Arab nations. Since the Arab spring and the counter-revolution that followed, what we’ve seen is the loss of democracy. Erdogan now runs a dictatorship, which sees the rise in authoritarianism and also the power and influence of Islam within the country. For example, they have already banned the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools.
The role of Russia cannot be ignored. It is feeling isolated by the rise of democracy across its former soviet allies and by a number of them joining NATO. Just this week Russia made threats to Macedonia in which it stated that as a member of NATO, they will be considered a legitimate threat. It’s also a good time to remind you that during the Ukrainian shift towards the West, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin and only just survived. The before and after images show the terrible long-term effects the poisoning had on his body.
Russia claims it is a victim of provocation from the West and that it is moving NATO to its border, which is completely untrue. Former USSR countries have become democracies and have joined the EU and NATO for protection. It is protection, rather than provocation.
It leaves Russia isolated and allied with the questionable regimes of North Korea, China, Iran and Syria. The collapse of the EU would certainly make Russia feel more comfortable. Whilst the uprisings of the Arab spring have left the evil regimes that remain in power increasingly nervous and it makes perfect sense that Russia seeks greater influence and more allies in the region. It has nothing to do with morality, humanitarianism or just causes. It is absolutely to do with what benefits Russia and its global strategy.
The crisis of the West
As for the West. Here in Britain and America we’re currently in an intellectual and moral crisis.
We’re tired of experts and tired of the mainstream media. Alternative media outlets and prominent “outsiders” are growing in influence. I’m talking here about the likes of Breitbart, Paul Joseph Watson, George Galloway, Katie Hopkins and Tommy Robinson to name but a few.
Such voices on one hand can be incredibly valuable, a worthy voice for a forgotten people, such as the genocide in South Africa highlighted by Hopkins or the grooming gangs and Islamic extremist preachers exposed by Robinson.But alongside this you have the useful idiots and downright traitors that sit within the “alternative media.”
We’re engaged in asymmetrical warfare where social media and alternative media is a battleground.
We’re also in a post-truth era where facts can be countered with alternative facts and conspiracy theory. Telling a lie is easy, while disproving a false claim is difficult. This is being promulgated not just by the conspiracy theorists of the right, but the social justice warriors of the left, where stating certain facts can be deemed offensive and not “politically correct.”
The myths and lies that are peddled require just as much faith as any religion and once you’re a convert, every word is treated as gospel. In the case of conspiracy theorists, you must believe in ghosts and even when presented with facts, believe in cover-ups and the “deep state.”
The recent Salisbury nerve agent attack is a case in point. The fact that some of these so-called “commentators” suggest that despite British intelligence and independent OCPW scientists, who assert that military grade novichok was used and that all roads lead to Russia, they claim it is in fact a “British conspiracy to discredit Russia.” This sort of suggestion is nothing short of disgraceful and these people should for ashamed of themselves.
As Douglas Murray states: “It is a culture in which the person who makes the most extreme and untrue claim – far from being shunned – is the one who becomes famous, and whose career advances.”
At the very least, this is highly immoral, naive and borne out of personal gain. At worst, it’s downright traitorous.
In addition to social media, our enemies such as Russia with their RT channel and Qatar with Al Jazeera, use these mediums to cast further doubt on not only our way of life, but the integrity of the very system of freedom and democracy our forefathers gave their lives to defend. Britain is a country that has fought for the freedom of millions of people throughout history and has a free and democratic parliament that is emulated across the globe. Rest assured, we’re the good guys and this should never be in doubt.
It is one thing to question the methods, policies and limitations of our democracy. It is another thing entirely to suggest it is in fact more corrupt, as bad, or worse than the state-capitalist, gangster-led oligarchy that rules Russia, or the authoritarian communist regime that rules China.
Social media is effectively the modern-day equivalent of airborne leaflet drops – a wartime tactic which was used to turn the populace against its leadership. They spread anti-Western propaganda and conspiracy theory for personal gain. Sometimes they appear on Russia Today (RT) or, in the case of George Galloway, have their own shows. This isn’t only a preserve of alternative media however, the anti-British moral cesspit that is the Guardian enables the likes of the vile Afua Hirsche to denigrate the legacy of our beloved Sir Winston Churchill, whilst fawning over the likes of the terrorist Winnie Mandela. Traitors to our society should be expressly and regularly called out as such.
Some of these self-appointed “commentators” clearly do not have British and American interests at heart.Their denialism, relativism, apologism and equivalence leads to the threat of democracy itself.
At it stands, we’re increasingly at risk of a Jeremy Corbyn government – a Jeremy Corbyn that not only calls the terrorists Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends” but also speaks of deep admiration of the success of communism across the world and especially the regime in China. This is a direct result of the erosion of our morals and our values. Our equivalence to vile dictators and terrorist regimes, leads directly to apologism and eventually admiration of such regimes.
It is of no surprise the usual mouthpieces across mainstream, alternative and social media are making their anti-war case regarding Syria. They did the same thing with Iraq. The current situation finds the former BNP leader Nick Griffin stating he’ll vote for Labour at the next election if Jeremy Corbyn sticks to his guns about Syria. This position is borne, not out of a deep love of Britain, but a deep hatred of Israel and “the Jews.”
As repugnant Nick Griffin is, he is not stupid. He’s Cambridge-educated and he can see the bigger picture in terms of the survival of the Syrian regime and what that means for the region, Israel and its enemies.
Others spread lies, misinformation, untruths and conspiracy theory for a variety of reasons. For some it is because their “niche” as an alternative to mainstream news, they feel they must take the contrarian approach to everything in the news cycle to compensate for their weak understanding and critical thought. For others it’s because their “niche” is very much conspiracy theory and such people don’t need to substantiate their wild claims with evidence, they only need to create doubt. Some are just disgusting conspirators in the pocket of the Russians and hostile Arab nations. The likes of George Galloway fall under this banner.
When it comes to Syria and the situation in the Middle East today, what everyone needs to remember is that we’re already at war. It never ended, we just chose to stop defending ourselves and our national interest.
You cannot appease regimes that would seek to end our way of life. Groups like ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas will not stop until we fall. Delaying the inevitable requirement to stand up to these regimes only worsens the situation. If the Americans had finished the job in the Gulf War, they would have toppled Saddam a decade sooner and things may have been vastly different.
Failure to act pre-emptively leads to situations such as North Korea, who are now believed to possess nuclear weapons. A much more serious situation.
Doing nothing isn’t a credible option. It’s no option at all. We must never retreat into isolationism. It would be fatal.
Arab people still want democracy and if the brutal regimes remain, their citizens will find every way possible to get to Europe and to freedom.
This poses a number of risks for us. Over the last seven years, every sub-Saharan migrant that landed on the shores of Europe was immediately accepted with open arms as Syrian refugees, rather than the African economic migrants which in the main is what they are. The numbers are immense and this cannot remain a long-term solution to lack of control in these regions.
What the situation in Syria highlights is that all is not lost. A real resolution in the Middle East is still only possible through democracy. It is not too late. Murderous, barbaric regimes can still fall and the embers of the Arab spring are still burning.
We owe it to the people of Syria to remove Assad and the Islamists and we owe it to ourselves to stand true to our morality and values. We must never stand idle when chemical weapons are used on innocent civilians, especially on women and children.
The perception that Britain and her allies have no moral authority over terrorists, tyrants and genocidal dictatorships is fundamentally wrong.
Good has to triumph over evil and democracy has to triumph over tyranny.
“The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
“America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth.
“Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave.
“Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honourable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time.” – George Bush.
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain
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