- Date published:
12:22 pm, May 28th, 2017 - 49 comments
Categories: conservative party, International, political parties, Politics, uk politics - Tags: Michael Fallon, policy, terrorism, UK
Jaw dropping stuff.
There are two things worth picking up on from Fallon’s take on things, and only because I’ve heard them repeated by others.
Fallon asserts that foreign policy has nothing to do with terrorism because “Sweden”. I guess the logic runs that if Sweden is subjected to terrorist attacks and Sweden has not engaged in any military campaigns, then military campaigns can’t be a driver behind any process of radicalisation or ensuing terror attacks in the west. Something like that anyway.
The terror attack in Stockholm was carried out by Rakhmat Akilov, a rejected asylum seeker from Uzbekistan who was sympathetic to ISIS. That’s the same ISIS that has expanded into the chaos created by the west in Libya and Iraq and elsewhere. No connection to UK foreign policy whatsoever then. Also, in the reporting of the Stockholm attack, the Telegraph reported that –
European leaders expressed their solidarity over the attack, the first in Sweden since Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi-born Swede who was radicalised while living in Luton, detonated two bombs in central Stockholm in December 2010. (emphasis mine)
So again – I can’t see any connection, can you?
The other line being trotted out is a bit trickier because of that great friend of the politician – the ‘memory hole’. The line runs that the War on Terror was initiated after 9/11 and that the invasion of Iraq didn’t take place until 2003. The logic is of the fairly straight forward chicken and egg variety – terrorist attacks on ‘the west’ were taking place before any foreign policy guided by any over-arching ‘War on Terror’. Therefor current foreign policy has nothing to do with terrorist attacks in the west.
Of course, what’s ignored is that the Gulf War happened in 1990 and that the US had thousands of troops stationed in Saudi Arabia until 2003 when it withdrew the bulk of them. You may recall Osama Bin Laden – presumably echoing a general sentiment within Al Qaeda – was publicly antagonistic to the idea of non-Muslim foreign troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia.
9/11 did not happen in a vacuum and wasn’t a ‘one off’ either. There had been the attack on the Twin Towers in 1993. There had been the bombings of US Embassies in 1998. There was the attack on USS Cole in 2000. The blame for these attacks was placed at the feet of Al Qaeda, who had been involved in some level of conflict with the west since, well I’m guessing the wars in Yugoslavia in the the early 90’s if not before.
In short, resentment towards western foreign policy in the Middle East was already widespread and giving rise to terrorist acts before the 11th of September 2001. The War on Terror wasn’t some new policy direction. What it did was expand and deepen the broad approach already being pursued and that was already feeding into anti-western sentiments and that was already getting exploited by fanatics.
The Mr Fallon’s of this world want that to be over-looked, ignored and forgotten. Or maybe it’s more that the Mr Fallon’s of this world are just idiots who couldn’t join the dots in a kids numbered “dot to dot” book.