I, the turcopolier, have made this comment by EO into a front page post so don't complain about the lack of paragraphing. pl
"Colonel, Manchester was as bitter as we have had. As bitter as 9/11 or the London bombings, perhaps more so because the targets were young people just setting out on the road to adulthood. That is a time of promise. It should not be a time of death. It is more bitter than most of us know. It is worse because we ourselves have contributed to the tragedy. On the one hand we have thousands upon thousands in our police forces and in our intelligence agencies straining every nerve to prevent such tragedies. On the other we are heaping fuel on the fire of fundamentalist Muslim terrorism with every day that passes. That is sometimes said too glibly. There are those who claim that we in the West are the root cause of Jihadi terrorism simply because we have intervened so much in the Middle East. Maybe that is so, for some Jihadis, but Muslim fundamentalism is such a strong growth that it needed no Western provocation to set it in motion. No, what we have done is more than that. We have not only removed or weakened the regimes that inhibited, more or less, that growth. What we have done is to encourage Jihad to flourish on an immensely greater scale. That increased scale increases its glamour and its pull for our English Muslims many times over. That increases greatly the chance that they will fall victim to that glamour. That increases greatly the probability of terrorist attacks. By chance I came across a video, just a short time before Manchester, that summed this murderous foolishness up. For all I know it may be a staged video – so many are – or compiled for PR purposes. But staged or contrived though it may be, the video sets out with grim clarity how we have contributed to, set the scene for indeed, the deaths of our own. https://freespeechdefense.net/2017/05/i-wonder-why-this-is-being-censored/ I refer to the section starting at nine minutes. It sets out what perhaps all on your site know but so few elsewhere. Western countries have been arming and training Muslim fighters knowing full well that those fighters were Jihadis, and were more than likely to join even more extreme Jihadi units. Knowing full well also that some of those Jihadis, but now trained in killing and invigorated by contact with other true believers, would return to their countries of origin and do what harm they could. Later on, in the copy of the video I have seen, we hear Jihadists, English and German nationals among them, making it clear they have the intention of doing that if they can. But if that were all then perhaps the danger would not be so great. Those thousands and thousands of our security forces at home do at least have a fighting chance of knowing who's been over there and who's come back. They know what they have to deal with even if that is a difficult task. What we fail to understand is the appeal of the Jihadi cause to our own disenchanted Muslim young at home, and how we ourselves have so greatly magnified that appeal. We fail to understand that what is to us atrocity upon atrocity in Syria is to them a great cause. We see ragged groups of thugs using, often inexpertly, the deadly equipment we give them or the supply of which we facilitate. They see a band of glorious martyrs. We see a mix of ethnic cleansing and rule by terror, covertly used by us to weaken regimes we don't like. They see only meritorious conquest leading to a cleaner and more just society. Can we wonder that to a number of our idealistic young, some of whom experience more than the rest of us the dysfunctionality of parts of Western society, the glamour of such a vision is irresistible? We, operating through our intelligence agencies and Special Forces, have presented them with the stage upon which that vision can be exhibited. And from his English home the loner or the psychotic or the idealist can see that great stage that we have set up and wish, somehow, to be part of it. It is not significant whether Manchester was the work of a homegrown loner or of an organised gang; the vision that inspired the commission of the atrocity is the vision we engineered. For there is now no doubt that the flood of foreign Jihadis that have wreaked such havoc in Syria and neighbouring countries was released by us or with our active complicity. It could not have happened but for Western assistance. We do not acknowledge it. We pretend that the tragedy of Manchester has no relation to our contribution to the tragedy in the Middle East. As here, from a BBC report – "Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the city would "pull together", adding: "That's what we are. That's what we do. They won't win." As if, as the Mayor of London intimated recently, bomb attacks were phenomena that we just have to learn to live with. As if they were simply there, and no cause for them. Or no cause we have anything to do with. Just after the London bombing I met a journalist who worked for one of the broadsheets. He was proud of the fact, as well he might have been, that he and his colleagues went in to work the next day undaunted, as did, I believe, most Londoners. Looking back more than seventy years he conjured up the spirit of the Blitz. No matter what they throw at us we don't give in. We muddle on. "That's what we do." So he spoke. I held my peace. How could a journalist of all people, I did not say, fail to know that we had in large measure brought it upon ourselves? How could we be such fools? Police and intelligence in this country, all thousands of them, holding terrorism at bay. Their colleagues abroad creating the conditions in which it can grow; deliberately setting the scene for the deadly vision to flourish past any heights it could have achieved unaided, that deadly vision which now inspires so many of our disenchanted Muslims or Muslim converts here. We are fools in deadly truth, and it is our young who have paid for it in Manchester. " EO
The blame lies soley with our politicians. What we need to do, and what we should have done after 9-11, is to vehemently demand their resignations for their abject failures. Until we do so, it will continue.
This interview between Tucker Carlson and some State Dept drone supports your points: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5445746583001/?#sp=show-clips
Our intellectuals in DC are incompetent imperialists. They don’t seem to care about national security as it impacts actual citizens living within our borders (or yours).
i blame western citizens, including myself, more than i blame the politicians we the western citizens put in office. IMO the policies we have are end result of our own expectations, which our elected governments formulate to keep their jobs. If we were serious, more importantly, if we collectively were concerned about the terrorism that emanates from extremist muslims, we would have demanded straight answer on two basic question from our elected western politicians/ governments.
First questions is why are they doing this? if the answer is they hate our way of life, than why some of them are western muslims. The second question is who really is supporting this bastard SOBs, ideologically or financially.
This should be required reading by all westerners, in government or not.
I think its critical to note these ‘home grown’ Muslim bombers in the West often become explosive in reaction to the liberal mores they encounter. When one’s sense of meaning is under threat (and liberalism is the ideology of consummate meaninglessness), one becomes radical, ie, returns to the radix (latin for root).
You can observe similar effects among actual natives of advanced democracies. Modernity produces two countervailing but dialectically linked responses in those who experience the hurtling descent into rootlessness, anomie, and dissolution of social forms (family, religion, ethny). The most explosive is outwardly programmatic. A combination of action and authority are deployed to permanently resolve the crisis (Fascism, Islamism, Sovietism). This is nearly always the response from people whose entry into modernity suddenly accelerated (e.g., the imposition of liberal democracy on Germany after WWI). But for Anglo-Saxons, the transition to the current state of dissolution was ever so gradual. Our senses are so now so numbed by the bread and circuses of late capitalism and the social command to ‘do as thou wilt’, we’re really incapable of little more than being good units of consumption. We internalize the crisis; for us it is an inner death. The process is so advanced it’s begun to affect basic functions like sex. Studies show millennials have less of it. Apparently the same is true for Germans as a whole. Hell, one could say the very fact the tartlette who fronted that concert is considered an ‘artist’ is an admission of cultural exhaustion.
Westerners just want to sit around ‘tweaking’ on the 24/7 stimulus fest that is now our primary goal in life. Explosions bring bad feels, but solving them would mean Serious Political Action (bad feels). What to do? Hold hands, apply a facebook filter, bandy about useless platitudes about meaningless abstractions like ‘#humanity’. Then get back to Britain’s Got Talent and vicariously achieve immortality in front of Simon Cowell.
Her Majesty’s Navy is defending England by blockading the Party of Ali in Yemen and patrolling the Persian Gulf against another bastion of Party of Ali.
Unfortunately there will be many more Manchesters and San Bernadinos. And with each new atrocity & intelligence failure, the governments ask for and get even more power and grow even bigger their national security and surveillance apparatus. The only thing being systematically reduced is civil liberties. No matter the scale of mass surveillance, and the budgets of intelligence agencies and drone missile campaigns, these attacks by the nihilists will continue. As you point out it is becoming glamorous for western jihadists to have their tryst with virgins.
As Col. Lang pointed out, at least in the US, both the people and the politicians we elect, as well as the governmental elite, have very limited understanding of foreign cultures and history. And as a consequence of a massive IO campaign over many decades have lost the plot to our own self interest. I recall Ron Paul in his last campaign for the presidency, discuss blowback for our destabilization of the medieval culture in the ME. He was ridiculed by all those so “Serious” presidential candidates.
The U.K. and are and have actively supported ISIS and AlQaida but I wonder if and when Manchester turns into an excuse to invade Syria. My guess is that the Saudis or Israelis are behind Manchester but it be authentic home grown terrorism.
When even an old lefty like Morrissey, singer of the Smith’s has had enough it’s something:
Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke. The anger is monumental.
For what reason will this ever stop?
Theresa May says such attacks “will not break us”, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, “will not break us” means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa. Sadiq Khan says “London is united with Manchester”, but he does not condemn Islamic State – who have claimed responsibility for the bomb. The Queen receives absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an “extremist”. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?
In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.
23 May 2017.
Very true. The west has been diddling with radical Islam since the days of the Mujahideen in the 70s.
But let’s not forget our partners in crime: Wahhabism.
It turns out that 80% of the funding for mosques in Europe and the west comes from Saudi Arabia. Who are … Wahhabi. The central mosque in London is funded by the kind generosity of the KSA, as is the one in Madrid.
Last year a council of Sunni Imams from around the world met in the Caucus and declared Wahhabism to be a heretic sect. It might sound quaint to us in the secular west, but the Imams were mightily upset. This was not true Islam to them.
As an example of this, some months back, was reading of some nice Sunni families from Damascus arriving in Germany as refugees. Very grateful to their German hosts… BUT did not like going to the local mosque. It wasn’t what their Imam in Damascus preached, and did not want to see their children proselytised by such ideas.
I realise it’s just an anecdote, but one worth considering.
“We see ragged groups of thugs using, often inexpertly, the deadly equipment we give them or the supply of which we facilitate. They see a band of glorious martyrs. We see a mix of ethnic cleansing and rule by terror, covertly used by us to weaken regimes we don’t like. They see only meritorious conquest leading to a cleaner and more just society. Can we wonder that to a number of our idealistic young, some of whom experience more than the rest of us the dysfunctionality of parts of Western society, the glamour of such a vision is irresistible”
This sounds like two groups of people who have absolutely no reason to be living together. What a mess. And after saying all of that, you refer to them as “our” idealistic young. As long as people think like this, then I will agree that you are bringing it on yourselves. Throw in the opinion that the masses are responsible for what their treasonous politicians enable (at the behest of global elites, no less), and you doubly bring it on yourselves.
The most important step in addressing a problem is to describe the problem accurately. There is no hope without this accuracy.
Said beautifully. I feel exactly the same but am far too bitter to speak so eloquently. Thank you.
This “Pandora’s Box” was opened in Afghanistan purely to undermine the Soviet Union. Will it be possible to close the lid and deal with the escapees? In is not in the “interests” of the MIC and others at the moment; reference Trump’s ME tour and speech.
Thanks EO and well written.
~70% of US voters supported Iraq II. Even those cowardly liberals weren’t really arguing whether to downtown (Willy & W had been bombing infrastructure for over a decade already), but when.
Absent any thinking, the default strategery is that we nudge this salafist era to burn over there and accept the hits we take.
You’d think after just 19 guys with minimal training and support changed the course of Western History and trolled the west into flushing trillions into lost causes that people might stop believing perfect walls could protect them.
Both Fox and CNN are going full frontal on the Manchester bombing. But neither network even blinked last July when the Daeshi suiciders killed 400 Iraqis in the Baghdad bombing.
I’m in total agreement with this analysis,
the context of the Manchester bombing is that Britain is in the midst of a snap election,
the incumbent Tories, led by Theresa May who was internally appointed to ‘Leader’ when Cameron resigned, are pro interventionist, pro Washington, increasingly authoritarian and have just reabsorbed the Brexit lobbyist group UKIP into their membership,
the main challenger Jeremy Corbyn who has been vehemently vilified by the predominantly right wing press is somewhat of the Bernie Sanders ilk with the foriegn policy of Ron Paul, he has consistently opposed Washingtons interventions as far back as the Balkanisation of the former Yugoslavia, the main stick being used to beat him by the Murdoch Press is that he was one of the first to initiate dialogue with the IRA, paradoxically it was only dialogue and negotiations that brought the ‘troubles’ to an end with the Good Friday agreement,
over last weekend the Tory election campaign was literally falling apart and Corbyn was finally recieving some neutral or mildly positive coverage in the media,large numbers of youngsters have been registering to vote and some commentators have even said he might stand a chance,
lo and behold, on Monday night a suicide bomber attacks women and children leaving a major US pop star’s performance with a particularily powerful and virtually smokeless suitcase bomb now compared to the ones used in Brussels,
Tuesday morning saw a Telegraph columnist tweeting for ‘internment camps’ and Katie Hopkins of the Daily Mail (Lord Rothermere’s paper that was pro-Nazi in the 1930’s) was tweeting calling for a ‘final solution’ to the Muslim problem,
trollsters for all the neo-nazi hate groups went into full production and the EDL (English Defence League) turned out in Manchester to protest against Muslims,
the identity of the attacker was released by US intelligence services to US media whilst the UK Police were trying to withold the information to assist their inquiries,
this morning troops are being deployed around Britain to bolster the Police,
are we in the midst of a right wing Putsch to recover a failing government triggered by a very horrible and convenient ‘terrorist attack’?
I always though the Paris attack was very convenient for upstaging the imminent Paris Climate Conference, it totally shut down Paris just when it was about to be invaded by campaigners and lobbyists,
are we being ‘played’ or should I invest in a tinfoil hat?!
… our active complicity. It could not have happened but for Western assistance. [But] We do not acknowledge it. We pretend that the tragedy of Manchester has no relation to our contribution to the tragedy in the Middle East…
Who is this “We” that you speak of? I think you are referring to the political elite and their media mouthpieces.
THEY talk like its unfortunate and unexpected blow-back from upholding “our values.” “Terrorism” is not a bug, it’s a feature.
A fearful populace means no more Vietnam-like anti-war activism. “We” are the enemy of the elite because if “we” really knew what was going on and the cost that “we” bear for elite adventurism and control, then “we” would put a stop to it.
The attack occurred on the 4th anniversary of the Murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby.
The murder of Rigby was extraordinary and received a great deal of media coverage. The assailants railed against British actions in Muslim lands and urged British citizens to turn against their government saying:
The potential link to the Rigby attack seems to be getting very little coverage.
Another Obama lie:
The victims in Manchester had nothing to hide but they had much to fear from the monsters created by unaccountable elites that are protected by the police state.
So long as the media fails to report the truth, nothing will change. After 9/11, there was a few days where I heard the question of “why” being asked, and I was optimistic that 9/11 might serve as an inflection point in our history.
Some in the media actually started citing reasons such as our support of Israel as a possible cause, and well, that was that. As soon as that started to happen, the narrative quickly changed back to their hate of our freedom and has resided their since.
Resignations are not enough. You need some event – either economic or horrific, which will cause people’s lives to change such that they pause and think. On top of that you need an honest media to report the truth. A lot of stars need to line up for things to change.
The only type of events I can see that would possibly bring about this change are a military coup, the USD losing its reserve status, a horrific act of terror coupled with a release of specific demands/reasons, or a significant war with an adversary that can inflict damage here. I don’t see a political road alone being able to solve this problem unfortunately.
Bill, That is your response? Fire the politicians? Anything else?
How ungrateful that radicalised Libyan was for bombing children in Manchester. Obama, Clinton, Cameron and Sarkozy put such a great amount of effort and so much blood (not theirs) into deposing Gaddafi so that the jihadists could take over that you’d think he would show some gratitude and go and attack the Russians at least.
“…Muslim bombers in the West often become explosive in reaction to the liberal mores they encounter…”
You cannot be serious.
They can go to Saudi Arabia any day they wish and begin living in tents.
Sadly EO, this is going to keep happening until the British people decide the safety of their 8 year old daughters is more important than authentic curry.
What would be a constructive set of ideas that could find traction–should these be politically supported, and come to our attention in the public square?
Wave your magic wand. Now, do the same, but don’t worry about having to sell your sophisticated plan to voters.
Where are all the ideas (plans) that issue from the attitude:
here is what a rational, highly educated, situationally aware, worldly, brutally experienced, and ruthlessly adept, “problem solving engineer” would do about, for example, extremist jihadi Islam. Or, alternately, what this engineer would plan to do about poverty/climate change/plutocracy/healthcare/jobs, etc.?
Behind all the analysis should be something along the lines of: this is what I would do.
Ever since the early eighties Iranians everywhere, have been physically and culturally attacked, killed, demonized, their bank accounts closed, blocked, forced to excommunicate their own born country, for ever have been on top of all terrorist lists, climbed up to the access of evil, and so on, longer and more than any Arab Sunni country or muslim group of pepole, yet they are not blowing themselves up killing innocents, eight year olds. Shame on the Arabs for not standing up to their own, governments and terrorists.
IMO, the remedy to stop terror in the west is not stoping the immigration, that will not solve the terrorism , like drugs are banned for as long as we know, but still here in US we have the heroine epidemic. As long as we are not willing to address the route cause of Sunni Muslim Arabs Terrorism and remedy it, we will see more innocent blood in western cities.
The prevailing not-very-well-concealed attitude among the interventionistas seems to be that, “we have to keep intervening over there, FOR THE CAUSE! (that you plebes don’t understand) Even if we have to fight them over here (as long as only you plebes get blown up).” The slogan, even if only empty catch phrase, used to be “we have to fight them over there so that we don’t have to fight over here.” Bizarro world.
EO excellent as always.
I know I am looking for logic, in a situation devoid of it, but why is it proving so hard to sell the proposition that
The people who are causing us so much trouble are Wahhabist Sunnis and are not sponsored by Shia states.
We are backing the Sunnis in Syria, including KSA who are Wahhabi to boot and actively exporting this fringe interpretation of Islam, while we will not work with the Shias who are also fighting the Wahhabists.
This seems an easy sell and yet no takers, strange.
Sociopaths learn only from reward and punishment, but they do learn.
I think its critical to note these ‘home grown’ Muslim bombers in the West often become explosive in reaction to the liberal mores they encounter.
That is debatable. There is good evidence that muslim bombers in the west became explosive in reaction to the apologia for such brutality that was devised by this man:
I predict, with dismay, that within two weeks, some congressperson, likely an R, maybe a D, or a member of the Trump administration will site the Manchester tragedy as a clear reason to expedite regime change in Syria and Iran. Sadly, this will be met with numerous nods of yes-yes. Watch this Sunday’s newsies if you can stomach it.
Everyone has had 15 years to review GWB’s propaganda campaign, the MSM complicity and all the rest aided an abetted that decision. 19 guys didn’t do that on their own and their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam didn’t come out of the nowhere.
“Unfortunately there will be many more Manchesters and San Bernardinos. And with each new atrocity & intelligence failure, the governments ask for and get even more power and grow even bigger their national security and surveillance apparatus.”
Maybe that’s the whole point, not the oil or the pissing contest between the major powers.
The mother and father of that 23 year old did not go to England to become either English or Western. You would think that the followers of the secular Utopian vision of the political left would recognize the pattern of behavior that has repeated itself over and over again. That would entail a road to Damascus revelation. Perhaps a road to
Nice, Paris, San Bernandino, Chattanooga, London, Manchester moment will occur. If not, well, in the not to distant future some other poor flyover country families will get to bury their children for the sake of some Western politicians “true believer” vision of human homogenization. Facebook will put out some special emojis and the Mayor of Paris turn off the Eiffel Tower for a few hours; and the usual PC suspects will enforce the usual PC mandates.
Tim S, two points you bring up are points that bother me too.
1. “you are bringing it on yourselves.”
That in brief is what I had hoped to say. We are bringing it on ourselves. The question is, who’s the “we”?
There is no accurate definition of “we” that can hold good all the time and therefore the accuracy you seek is unattainable.
We must remember that the majority of us in the UK, or at least the majority of those who voted, re-elected Mr Blair after Iraq; and there was a large number of Americans who were very keen on electing Mrs Clinton after Libya. At the very least it was clear to all of us that something had gone badly wrong in both cases, so that retrospective endorsement of two politicians involved means that we can’t pin it all on just the politicians. In such cases the “we” is very large.
On the other hand we know very little of what the politicians and their advisers are doing. I remember vividly having to abandon the BBC and the broadsheets at the time of the Ukrainian coup, not merely because I didn’t like the slant, but because they were simply not reporting most of it. You had to go to the internet to ferret out the details and to the academics to find out the background the details fitted in to. That to most people is a ridiculous amount of trouble to go to to find out about things you can do nothing about anyway. Easier with Syria because someone had put me on to SST for that, but most people still get their news from the TV or from their self-confirming circles on Social Media. So they really don’t know what’s going on at all and can’t be expected to.
Unfortunately that group also includes most of the young. The young are an important element because they tend to querying and dissidence more than the rest of us and are more likely to make a stir if they think something’s going wrong, so that’s a big political force that’s gone missing when it comes to checking the neocons’ activities abroad. In addition the young are considerably more interested in domestic politics than in who’s killing who and why in the ME. With the young out of action and most of the rest of us in the dark the “we” becomes fairly small.
Solzhenitsyn spends some time looking at this question in connection with the Holocaust and the Bolshevik terror. Who takes the rap for that, the top Nazis and the Commissars or the entire German and Russian nations? Who’s the “we” there? He comes to the conclusion that ultimately “we” is the entire nation. Our attitudes and background culture inform the atmosphere the politicians work in and therefore it’s down to all of us. With the necessary qualifications that we’re seldom told much by the authorities and that democracy is going through a rough patch at the moment, Solzhenitsyn’s conclusion has to be correct today. “We” is all of us.
That’s what my head tells me. With my heart I’m with you entirely. The evil the politicians have committed in the ME is nothing to do with me so don’t count me in with them.
2. “And after saying all of that, you refer to them as “our” idealistic young.”
Afraid so. We’re talking about the Muslim and Muslim convert idealistic young and they’re “ours” because they live in the same country. That’s just a matter of usage.
“Idealistic”? Well, apart from the fact that the precepts the Jihadis follow look to us like Deuteronomy but worse, many of them are idealistic all right. And it is necessary to accept, both in the case of the Jihadis and the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, that there’s good mixed in with the bad. No one except a few psychotics deliberately says “I’m going to be really evil.” It’s more that they seize hold of a bad ideology and some get idealistic about following it.
That’s the nightmare of living in a decaying democracy. Most people with ideals you and I might see as good aren’t too bothered about it all. Those whose ideals you and I find repulsive are very set on them indeed. A contributor to the Colonel’s site reminded us recently of the much quoted lines –
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
That sort of “idealism”, is what I was referring to.
Was wondering why we never hear what this terrorist want, what they demand of us to stop terrorizing our cities and citizens. Maybe if we knew what they want, we could have legitimately understand if thier demands was something we could meet, or if it was out of question to deal with. For some mysterious reasons our governments, politicians and our media do not wish us to know what this terrorist demand of us to stop thier terror. From our media and elected officials we just hear they hate our way of life, yet they all wish to come and immigrate and live with us. It don’t add up for me.
Thanks for the link. Except for a handful of reporters like Tucker Carlson and Patrick Cockburn, the West have been subject to a globalist information operation for the last 40 years. History is lost. Russia has had a Naval Port in Crimea for a century longer than the USA at Pearl Harbor. They have fought Turkey, France, Great Britain and Germany to keep it; the USA, Japan. Democrats repeatedly say that “Russia invaded Crimea” in 2014 but it does not make it true.
In fact, the Western Elite are attempting to destabilize Russia by supporting proxy Islamist forces to seize its resources. The resulting Holy War is the direct cause of the blowback in the West from San Bernardino to Manchester. Death will continue its spread. The only way to end the violence is to rein in the Davos Class which includes the Gulf Monarchs;
I would urge you, and others, not to use italics if you don’t know how to end them. You then screw up the entire thread below.
I’m trying to end it now.
radix – yes: The inevitable words “he was radicalized”, always used in the pejorative sense, belies the essentially rootless nature of 21st century secular capitalist ‘culture’.
Our culture’s legal codes are derived by mere mortals. Our economy revolves around a concept called ‘Consumer Confidence’ – where a citizen’s worth to society may be quantified simply by reference the the magnitude of their consumption of material goods and services. We are held in high esteem for casting off humility and selfishly pursuing fame and fortune in this life.
Conversely, we look down on cultures whose laws are God-given and whose citizens’ worthiness is measured by a concept called jihad – the struggle to be a good adherent to one’s faith. We find it unfathomable that earthly pleasures may be eschewed and that the focus of life can be on the glory of one’s death.
According to a school friend of Abedi:
Perhaps he used to be a frivolous and unquestioning consumer – a good citizen. But he found a radix.
The act of his death is utterly abhorrent to us. But until our culture can accommodate some respect for other, ‘primitive’ cultures and we stop cultural proselytizing, we bring it upon ourselves. Just as we did not reach the End of History, we have not reached the End of Culture.
I’m sorry, but I cannot but differ to a degree on the sentiment of the post that, well, WE are to blame. As appears to be the case from the coverage that I have thus far seen, the parents of this murderer had left Libya for the very reason that their Islamist fervor was out of favor with Ghaddafi, and they determined to leave. And then the poison in their minds inevitably worked its magic in setting the pace for their children; the two daughters who left to join the jihadi cause in Syria, the other son (arrested in jihadi Libya), and the murderer himself, who not only spent time in jihadi Libya, but also in jihadi Syria. The choices of the children of these “refugees” are no accident, rather the likely outcome of the beliefs and practices of their poor, poor “refugee” (read political exiles, self-chosen) parents. To my way of thinking, a major amount of assignable blame lies on the doorstep of these parents and their toxic tutelage of their spawn. To repay the hospitality of the everyday people of Britain by this crime? Unspeakable.
This bomber chose to slaughter the concert attendees, innocent children among them. He exercised his agency. He could have chosen otherwise, but then he didn’t, did he?
As much as I and millions of other citizens in the West abominate the conduct and policies of our “leaders” in the Middle East, the murderous conduct of these jihadis in our midst cannot be excused, as much as the (Muslim) mayor of London may wish to pooh pooh it as just something that has to be tolerated along with the other ills of urban life.
Responsibility cuts both ways. I, and I rather suspect, the vast majority of Western citizens are not prepared to passively await the next atrocity. No more liberal handwringing, thank you very much. Take that as you will.
Next time please stop the italics at the end of your comment.
I always thought the problem was that we simultaneously want to affect the matters of distant lands and still have people from distant lands come live among us. If people from distant lands want to sever ties to their homelands and live amongst us, while we ourselves have nothing to do with whence they came from, I think that’s fine. If we deal with the distant lands and let people from those lands, who may have grudges against us for meddling in their homelands, not come to our shores, I think that too is fine. But if we let people from faraway places come among us, but still meddle with their homelands, we can’t expect them to feel nothing about what we do and do nothing, I don’t think. Either we are a nation of immigrants and keep ourselves apart from where the immigrants come from, or we are an empire, and we don’t let people who might be affected by our empiring come among us. I don’t think we can have a choice.
inserting missing italics off tag.
english outsider writes (emphasis added):
Pardon me if I am overly obtuse,
but how about a clear and precise statement of what you are referring to in
“what we have done”.
You claim the root cause is not simply because
“we have intervened so much in the Middle East.”
If that is not the cause of the problems,
then what else is it that we have done to cause the problems?
My answer would be:
Not only that we have intervened excessively in the ME,
but that we also have admitted so many sympathizers with the victims of our interventions.
Tyler – that leads to all sorts of questions but I did not want to raise such questions in the context of the Manchester tragedy.
My sole point was that the Western covert or indirect intervention in Syria has led to a Jihadi spectacular. The numbers in themselves are just that – spectacular. A hundred thousand foreign Jihadis minimum brought in from all over the Muslim world, maybe more than two hundred thousand. Weapons fed in in great quantities and some of them sophisticated. Dramatic movements of large bodies of men and great chunks of territory changing colour on the maps. The involvement of more and more countries, again often dramatic and unexpected. It was scarcely an unobtrusive disaster; and though the Saudis et al might have paid for it it is now clear, in spite of President Obama’s “Look, no hands” assertions, that we in the West orchestrated it.
I don’t think it was meant to be like that. It was probably supposed to be a quick kill, like Libya. But it was like that and the Jihadi propaganda machine made the most of it. I can no longer get the Dabiq magazine or its sequel on the internet but as I recollect, the apocalyptic tone of that magazine, the talk of Crusades and of final battles, was specifically designed to catch the imagination of the young and impressionable.
Inadvertently or not that was the Jihadi spectacular we staged. If we’d hired a publicity company for the Jihadis – in fact it seems we did but that’s another matter – we could not have invested the conflict with more glamour for any disaffected Muslim immigrant following it wide eyed on his computer screen. The main aspects of the conflict have been set out thoroughly on this site but the specific point I wished to make was that we in the West, inadvertently and maybe even without thinking about it much, couldn’t have run a more effective recruitment operation for the Jihadis if we’d tried.
It worked. That bye product of whatever we thought we were up to in Syria worked only too well. Perhaps the only thing that did, unless one calls the deaths of tens of thousands and the uprooting of millions a success. Where there were only a few of our young Muslim immigrants inclined to fight or die for the cause there will now be many. Contacts will have been established that otherwise would not have been. Supply routes will exist that didn’t exist before. A sub-culture of violent action will be the norm in places where it was not the norm previously. We will, as I stated earlier, be employing many thousands of people to suppress a threat that we ourselves have helped to intensify.
It was that aspect of the Manchester tragedy that seemed to be ignored entirely by the politicians. In the world of geo-political fantasy they inhabit I don’t suppose blowback enters their minds.
I fully agree with you, Bill, but as an American, watching with disgust, the destruction of the Middle East, I am deeply troubled by the lack of humanity displayed by the American and European citizens. Their DELIBERATE ignorance and addiction to the mass media is the core source of our problems.
If the governments can keep people divided and quibbling over their petty grievances while millions upon millions of people are being murdered and dislocated by their very own governments, then we, humanity, have lost the game. The voices of protest are few, and are quickly silenced by the overwhelming, mind-numbing avalanche of distortions and lies by the MSM.
Sorry, I think that’s a load of rubbish. Verbose, pretentious rubbish. “Sovietism” resulted from the imposition of modernism on Russia? Really? The Tsarists had been whipping up atavistic religio-nationalism as a bulwark against the forces of social change that could threaten their power. They played their backwards-looking, repressive game until it forced those seeking to overcome it into revolution. Germany’s big step into modernity was brought about by Bismarck, not the revolution of 1918. Imperial Germany was in some ways surpassing the Anglosphere states in terms of modernity. You know what the biggest sudden plunge into modernity was in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries? Immigration from southern and eastern Europe to the US. It didn’t result in the immigrants latching onto wacko authoritarian ideologies. But I suppose the confirmation bias of cultural authoritarians knows no limits.
kooshy, your first question definitively got only very, very little attention. For the obvious reason. It wasn’t easily “mainsteamable”. Not much easily available knowledge. … As a result 9/11 to a high percentage triggered the default setting of distrust in ‘our own’ Western democracies. Not least because they responded like they did. That sure helped a lot.
The second question is who really is supporting this bastard SOBs, ideologically or financially.
This on the other hand got a lot. Attention, that is. Not least since it helped to justify the wars. First Afghanistan, then Iraq. Let’s dry out the money sources”, state sponsors? A war on terrorism in which you attack the state since it harbors the wrong people? I would assume that is something rather recent in the history of wars. And the latter decision no doubt among many other matters must have had an influence on the “Western Muslim” perception. As much as it did on ours.
EO and the historians amongst us.
In the Soviet example I had the feeling that quite a large part of the populace had a fair idea that the official media were lying to them, but at what point did this become common knowledge? More consumers of Western MSM seem to be coming to the same conclusion but where are we on that curve and at what point does it become a real problem for the elites who benefit from a uninformed, or misinformed, public in a nominally democratic society?
Thanks EO, for your beautifully stated thoughts!
I agree with your sentiments. Don’t quite understand why you addressed this to me, however.
Imperial Germany, before 1914, according to the testimonials of many foreign visitors was a magical country. What was left of that after 1919 was destroyed by NAZIs and WWII.
Imperial Germany was also a representative government; it was not an autocracy as English propaganda implied.
The Soviet Government, like prior such Modernizing/Westernizing governments as those of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Alexander II, carried out a modernizing Revolution-from-Above.
That pattern of the Russian past was recapitulated by Gorbachev and later by Yeltsin. I think the Putin-Medvedev period has broken with that (or so I should hope).
The fundamental problematic, in my opinion, is that US has gained nothing – in my opinion – from her interventions in those distant lands.
The Indian Wars, the US-Mexican War, brought new territories into the Union. Those are the only gains that I can see for US and then they directed at neighbors and not distant lands – as you put it.
What has US gained from almost 200 years of interaction with Japan; US has become weaker and Japan stronger. Likewise for Korea, Vietnam, Israel, Iran, Libya, and Iraq.
I mean, can one say:
“Here it is, I have my car and 2 cylinders of its 6-cylinder engine are directly related to US intervention in the ABC country.”
If you are looking for an accurate definition of we, you can start with what it is not. You stated above:
” You had to go to the internet to ferret out the details and to the academics to find out the background the details fitted in to. That to most people is a ridiculous amount of trouble to go to to find out about things you can do nothing about anyway.”
If you are 1) ignorant of and/or 2) can do nothing about something that someone else is doing, then you and them are not “we” in regards to their actions, as far as culpability goes. If TPTB have hidden their actions and motives so well that the majority of adults and, according to you, most of the youth are in the dark, then it is THEM vs US, regardless of geographic location. Part of TPTB’s modus operandi is to shift the blame of their actions onto others. One should never embrace their position as scapegoat.
Being English, it seems that you have taken the White Man’s Burden to heart. Perhaps it’s in your bones. I feel no such burden, and don’t feel that is a natural imperative that I do. It seems to be a mental abberation, not uncommon among those with high ideals, particularly in a country with a recent history of dominance.
It’s apples and oranges to compare either the US or GB with Germany and the USSR of the 1930/40’s. They could potentially be consider homogenous nations where everyone was aware and participated in decision making, but then looking just below the surface, this illusion dissipates anyway. The USA and GB these days are hardly homogeneous. They both are strongly divided within themselves, with many different cultures of varying compatibility. They are nearing states of nature with groups within are in perpetual states of conflict. There is no common responsibility there. Couple that with the likelihood that these mixing of populations is being lead by TPTB with nefarious intentions, and you might as well apply the notion of shared responsibility to two pit-bulls in a dog fight.
Get your facts right.
It was the Conservatives who might seem left-wing to most Americans who allowed his parents into Britain in 1991 and established links with the LIFG that led to a failed assassination attempt against Gaddafi in 1996.
Labour didn’t form a government in the UK until 1997. It was the Labour government that bought the Libyan government of Gaddafi, the one that was oppressing all the jihadists, in from the cold.
Then it was those twats, Cameron and Sarkozy (also right-wing) who decided they knew better and started pushing for regime change in Libya probably at the request of the communists who run Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
So it was the right-wing Conservative Party which is responsible, although I will admit it wasn’t helped by Tony Blair’s moronic behaviour in going along with the George W. Bush’s (right wing again) invasion of Iraq as punishment for Saudi involvement in 9/11. But it was the Cameron government and is the May government that has given so much support to the jihadists in Libya and Syria and the Gulfies in Yemen.
As for living in a multicultural society, I have no problem with it as it’s not the multiculturalism that causes the problems, it’s the morons pushing neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism, something that the left-wing in the UK were solidly opposed to until the neo-liberal Blairites took over.
the two daughters who left to join the jihadi cause in Syria,
I think you are confusing this with another case from Manchester:
They were of Somali origin from Chorlton, a couple of miles way from Fallowfield.
Thanks. Of course what you say is true but there was only one aspect of the Manchester bombing that I wished to comment on at this time.
“What we have done”: it may be that you do not find the distinction as great as it appears to me, but I was making a distinction between “normal” covert intervention and what happened in Syria. Normal covert intervention is just that, covert. In Syria there was so much of it, and inevitably so visible given the scale, that it ballooned into something far removed from covert. Above I termed the results a “Jihadi spectacular”, and it is that that will have lent so much increased glamour to Jihad, in whatever form, for our impressionable Muslim young in England.
That is what we have done, and although it is an unintended by-product of our intervention in Syria it has further increased the threat here.
My response was springboarded by my agreement with your assessment that the parents had no intention of becoming, in their civic beliefs or behaviors, citizens of Great Britain. They were jihadi squatters in that nation, and what happened with their spawn is highly indicative of that.
Oh, and parenthetically, regarding the mayor of London’s views on terrorist actions being something that, well, just happens in large cities? Perhaps his benchmark is the third world hellholes of Pakistan, riven with murderous sectarian hatreds? Maybe if the carnage were limited to only a few thousand a year, that would be just hunky dory for London? If that’s what he likes, perhaps he should instead aspire to be mayor of Karachi or its like – he’d fit right in. I don’t think that we want that state of affairs in our western lands; we largely got that out of our system with the religious wars a few centuries ago, and concluded that this was a losing policy for any nation that aspired to the best for its citizens and in consideration of its future prospects as a nation for that matter.
In line with your comment – on the MI5 going beyond wink-wink to actively asssisting bunch of jihadists to travel to Libya. Expect Syria to be the same. http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/sorted-mi5-how-uk-government-sent-british-libyans-fight-gaddafi-1219906488
Tim S – I think we’re essentially in agreement but just employing different terms or usages. It’s a habit to use “we” when discussing UK or indeed Western foreign policy but you’re quite right, there’s not a lot of “we” about it when the electorate isn’t told what’s being done.
The white man’s burden was always something of a con. The Empire was scarcely a charitable institution. Maybe not quite such a vicious con as the version of it the politicians sell us today. But they call it R2P now.
14 of those 19 men came from one place. The others were driven by the ideology coming from the same place. The US has just promised 330 billion dollars to the same government. Has their ideology changed? No. Have they stopped promulgating it? No. I don’t understand.
I see soldiers in the streets and I wonder where they wrre during Rotherham and every other act of violence and hatred perpetrated by theae invaders.
Sorry to say, the bullets in those rifles are for you and yours. They are the prison guards of your multicultural insane asylum.
The parents of the terrorist brought their hate with them, the bomber never was weaned off of it. John Major’s government may have opened the door to these two individuals but the utopianism I spoke of long predates his becoming PM.
“…it as it’s not the multiculturalism that causes the problems, it’s the morons…”
Right. Those morons. Not the other morons of course. “The other morons” not to be construed in any way to be the new cultural enhancers of Britain who think the way to purify Islam is to set off bombs that kill 14 year old girls. I’m sure that will be great consolation to the families of the dead.
If we are in agreement, essentially, it is most unfortunate that our terminology does not reflect that. However, I think that there are some critical differences in what is an otherwise general agreement in our opinions.
The older I get, the more I see how much CON there is in the reality presented to us. I think that those of us of European, particularly northern, descent are not accustomed to the mental aspects of modern day politics/warfare. To see through so much obfuscation on a daily basis on all matters of significance is not our forte, and we suffer for it (at least for now).
From DAY ONE I never fell for the lies about how they got here or who supported them.
EO – an excellent piece
Today Jeremy Corbyn dared to say otherwise and was predictably attacked by establishment figures. Here is what the British Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said on Channel 4 News (beats BBC hands down IMHO):
“There is no correlation here between foreign policy and this appalling act of terrorism”
However, the fact is Corbyn spoke, got air time and at least one TV news anchor actually put this point to Fallon with some balance (not a thing Corbyn’s views get a lot of).
The IRA’s campaign ultimately led to the Good Friday Agreement. In reality they bombed the British government to the negotiating table. The Islamists cannot bomb us to the negotiating table, but they may eventually succeed in changing the narrative, if the cost is sufficient.
Brits do not need to sit by and wait for this outcome. Spread the word, get people to read SST and similar outlets for ‘what is really going on’. Start your own blog even – and don’t waste your time on the Tylers. Brexit and Trump were ‘impossible’, there is hope if we collectively make it happen.
Simplicius – Thank you for your comment. One can never waste one’s time listening to common sense but that aside, yes, it’s the information gap. A lot of people still don’t know what we’ve been doing in the ME and therefore can’t be expected to see a connection between that and the Manchester bombing.
The information gap is reducing, I believe. More of us don’t take as gospel what we see on our TV screens, as the Sanders and Trump campaign showed, and Corbyn here has the courage of his convictions and has been speaking out for some time.
None of that will have much effect. That information gap is still very wide – why would so much money and effort be spent on mass PR if it didn’t work? The reaction to the Rotherham scandal that Tyler mentions above, and the reactions to the London and now the Manchester bombings show that.
Most of us will ignore the exhortations to “not let them make us change our way of life” in any case and just take a little more care not to go or let our families go into places or areas that might be dangerous. As for our ME interventions, subsequent posts on this site give some grounds for optimism. We ourselves might not be able to stop our politicians laying waste the region but with any luck it’ll be stopped for us. What I termed the “Jihadi spectacular” might therefore die down and with it, maybe, the threat to us.
The well timed and targeted delivery of those anthrax letters shut people up
I came back here to see if I’d missed anything and found I had. I may have partly missed the point you were making in your comment above. You write:-
“You claim the root cause is not simply because
“we have intervened so much in the Middle East.”
If that is not the cause of the problems,
then what else is it that we have done to cause the problems?”
It’s true that we’ve intervened a lot in the Muslin countries generally – there was a discussion some time ago in SST that if I remember correctly pushed the start of our ME interventions back to before the 20th century – and some of those interventions have been significant enough. In particular we started using Muslim terrorists in Kabul in the 70’s and according to many the prison camps of Iraq inadvertently acted as Jihadi recruiting agencies or contact centres. We have poured fuel on the fire of Muslim fundamentalist terrorism in those and other cases. So you are saying “What else is it that we have done to cause the problems.”
I believe that in those other cases we made use of or set off forces that were in the main already there. Even in Libya we used mostly local opposition, as far as I know. In Syria we certainly made use of local elements, Jihadi or tribal or “moderate” local opposition, in our attempts to remove the Assad government and I see a recent long article in the NYT on East Aleppo is still based upon the assumption that that’s more or less all we did. If that were so then to your question “What else have we done?” the answer would be “Nothing”. It would just be the mixture as before.
But it seems to me that this time we did do something different. In order to bring down Assad we brought in or helped bring in foreign Jihadis on a scale that dwarfed any local opposition forces available to us. The consequences of that are looked at elsewhere, but it does seem that it’s a a crucial difference.