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The neverending war on terror! The neverending war on terror!
by Christos Mouzeviris
2014-09-23 11:03:16
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Since last Monday and after the International Conference on Peace and Security that took place in Paris, the world edges closer to another war in the Middle East. (The Guardian)

Western Powers, this time joined by leaders of many Arab countries,vowed to use "whatever means necessary" to defeat the ISIS threat. France and Britain already are stepping up to join the US in the fight against the militants.
 
Overall leaders and diplomats from over 30 countries agreed on the urgency of stopping the expansion of ISIS in Iraq and the surrounding region. 
 
Sadly I am afraid that Europe and the West has no choice but to intervene. We should have never meddled with the region's affairs and declare a war on "terror" so easily, especially when there was no evidence to back it up. Europe made a mistake in joining the war in Iraq. 
 
We have destabilized the region and what is going on over there is serious. We need to take action, or it will  come back to bite us if we ignore it.  
 
In case the region falls under ISIS control, it is obvious that these fundamentalists won’t stop there. The whole region will sink into a radical theocratic Middle Ages and having a neighbor like that is not good. How could we have relations or trade with a country gripped by such regimes?
 
After they committed their recent gruesome criminal acts, of beheading two US journalists and one British aid worker, their hatred towards the West is evident. It is one thing to kill captured military personnel and another to kill an aid worker, who is there to help and do humanitarian work.
 
To them, the late David Haines was just another much hated Westerner. The fact that he had nothing to with the policies that his country has pursued in the region, did not bother his executioners. Solely his nationality was enough to get him killed. 
 
So imagine how could we ever send businessmen, tradesmen, aid workers, tourists, doctors or journalists to a region gripped by radicals and enhance our cooperation and collaboration with these countries. In other words, while ISIS is strong in the Middle East, we can never have any safe relations with the Levant.
 
And not just that, but if we take into account the number of the European born Muslims that were radicalized and fled to Syria or Iraq to fight, the issue becomes even more serious. It is known that Mr. Haines' executioner had British accent. In other words, there are radical Muslim individuals, perhaps with connections to ISIS living in Europe as we speak.
 
If ISIS gets absolute control of the region, what tells us that they won't seek to act within our countries too with their European Muslim members? Perhaps they could organize terror attacks on European soil, in retaliation of Europe's involvement in the US led wars in Iraq.
 
Everyone in Europe could be in danger then, either their government took part in the operations against Iraq or not. The free movement of people within the EU could be in jeopardy, once we enter a phase of high terror attack risk and the implications will affect everyone.
 
It is clear that the threat of ISIS must be eradicated. But it must not be only the work of America, Europe or the "West". Firstly because we can not be seen as the "Crusaders" again, as this will drive more people into the ISIS circles. 
 
Secondly, Arab countries and other nations from the region must actively participate in the operations. It is in their interests too to stop the spread of radical elements in their neighborhood. ISIS has been killing Islamic religious minorities in the territories that they have captured. 
 
The threat they pose is universal, so the Arab and other Muslim nations (yes, including Turkey and Iran-they are at risk too after all) should stop hiding behind America's or Europe's back and take action. If ISIS gets more empowered, it will be their citizens, either Christian or religious Muslim minorities that will also be under threat. What nation would allow that to happen?
 
My overall attitude is anti-war and against any European, or Western invasion and military intervention anywhere on the planet. But since we have made a huge mistake in following America in every war, now it is time to face the consequences and clean our act up. Having ISIS and any other radical organization right on our doorstep, with potential members in our lands and with a totally mistaken policy towards the Middle East, is a recipe for disaster and a serious security threat.
 
I hope Europe and the West have learned a lesson here. Next time they decide to intervene and meddle in another region's affairs they must think twice. Once you destabilize a region you open a Pandora's box. All bad things that were hidden dormant, or were laying as sentiments in the bottom are stirred and come up to the surface. 
 
Especially when you are doing a shake up to overthrow a lesser bad, or someone who you have been supporting initially, it indicates either the highest level of stupidity or corruption in the Western political elites.

*************************************************************************

Christos Mouzeviris is the writer of the blog: The Eblana European Democratic Movement

   
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Emanuel Paparella2014-09-23 16:07:22
When Rome went into North Africa (with its allies) to remove the thread of Carthage the rationale for that war was that the threat was not only to Rome but the whole Greco-Roman civilization. Few historians would claim today that such wars were detrimental to the whole idea of Western Civilization and its shared values. When in Medieval times the Crusaders (which consisted of an alliance of various Western nations) went into the middle east to confront the threat of Islam against the West which was closing as a pincer movement on the European continent from the West (Spain) and the East, again the rationale for those wars was a preventive move to remove the threat against Western Civilization as a whole which at the times was predominantly Christian. It had the appearance of a purely religious war but that appearance was rather deceptive; the rationale was predominantly political as the Punic wars had been. Of course nowadays to even mention the crusade and their rationale is to be branded as a “politically incorrect” reactionary, but here again, independent of their personal political position on the Crusades, few historians would argue with that rationale, if they wish to remain unbiased about those ward. Which brings us to our times: when the above article correctly suggests that ISIS is a thread to Western Civilization, a bad neighbor which needs to be removed, the question arises: and what are the common values of the West that need to be defended? The same question applies to that other bad neighbor that goes under the name of the Bear which is also in the Western back-yard. And if the West and its values are under attack does it make sense that the West as a whole (which includes even nations outside of NATO such as Australia which is now aboard in the anti-Isis alliance) should present a united front? That is, assuming that we know which are the values to be practiced, defended and even propagated.


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