Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thank you Chilcot

Finally the Chilcot Inquiry has confirmed what many of us have been saying for years. That the global problems that we face today are the result of the decisions of our Western governments to invade, and to destabilise countries, destroying the infrastructure of so many societies.

The history of Western involvement in regime change is legendary. Beginning with the
rewriting of borders throughout the Middle East after World War II, and the betrayal of Arab allies by establishing Israel in Palestine, the West continued to interfere with the 1953 28 Mordad coup when the US and its ally Britain engineered the overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian government because they would not agree to the harsh terms of American oil interests. The replacement of Mordad with the Shah, inevitably led to the rise of Shia fundamentalism and the 1979 Iranian revolution which brought hard-line Islamic political theory into mainstream politics. 

Using Afghanistan as a pawn in the Cold War back-fired when Osama bin Laden took his American military training and turned against his mentors. Osama had the same callous attitude towards Western civilisation that he had learned from the callous treatment of Afghanistan by the US. Saddam Hussein was the next puppet who eventually stopped playing the game and had to be removed by his former Western allies. Perhaps we will never know what finally triggered our Western democracies to turn against him. The excuses of WMD have never been convincing, while his brutal treatment of opponents was no different to the treatment of Palestinians in Israel, Zimbabweans under Mugabe, or countless other brutal leaders that our Western governments do business with. 

There has been a distinct lack of accountability by any of our Western governments in their constant covert or overt interference in the political life of poorer countries, particularly Middle Eastern countries. Commercial interests have been at the core of our political decision making for decades, without any long term consideration of the results of a consumer based, unsustainable way of life. But the concept of 'karma' - or reaping what you sow, is also present in our own monotheistic religions. The results of selfish, callous behaviour will and eventually has yielded a bitter harvest. 

Terrorism is now rampant in almost every country - originating in the countries that were most affected by Western ME policy - Afghanistan and Iraq. This cancer of destabilisation has spread not only to other Middle Eastern countries, but to most countries in the West - particularly those who have been contributors to the destruction of the Muslim world. The leaders of DAESH were schooled in Iraqi detention camps, the leaders of Al Qaida were trained by the CIA and now educated children born in the West have learned the same callous indifference to life that accompanies ongoing US drone strikes. 

The flight of millions of refugees from their destroyed homes throughout so many countries in Africa, the Middle East and accompanied soon by climate refugees, will permanently change both the demographic and economic future of our world. We cannot go back to society as we knew it. All of this was preventable. It was our greedy pursuit of wealth, of our own interests above the interests of others, that have led us inevitably down this path. 

Have we learned from any of this? No. As climate change continues unabated, the Extreme Right grows in response to DAESH and belligerency increases with Trump in the US. We are still concerned more with maintaining our wealth than with our ethics. Wealth does not bring happiness - bringing good to the world through living ethically does. 

Yes it is true that our Muslim world must have a long hard look at the terrible monster that is lurking within our community. And we need to work hard to root it out, and inoculate our community against its brutal ideology which is anathema to the teachings of the Prophet and the Quran. But so also should our Western world (and I include myself as a Westerner) have a long hard look at our hypocritical ethics - which values the life of our own citizens very differently to the lives of others.

Thank you Chilcot for speaking the truth about the cause of our present crises. 

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