“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance.” – George Orwell.
Have truer words ever been spoken with regards to war? I think not, as they sum up our modern-day oil wars perfectly. Especially as these wars were and are part of the overarching ‘war on terror’, a name which already negates any chance of victory. How can you have a war on terror? A war on a feeling, an idea? How can you ever say when terror has been defeated?
Since 2014 we’ve been bombing Iraq, in an attempt to destroy ISIS. We’ve also been secretly bombing Syria for the past year, even though Parliament voted expressly against it in 2013. Despite this, I read in a poll that 67% of Britons thought that the UK should extend airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq to Syria. Personally, I find that disgusting. People need to realise that you cannot solve complex problems with massive bombs. Who in their right mind thinks that bombing innocent people stops terrorism? 67% of the British public are clearly not in their right mind – their minds have been twisted by fear and loathing of ‘the enemy’. We have to look at the reasons behind why ISIS exists in order to defeat it. You must first ask yourself if you can fully blame them. Think of a young Iraqi lad, whose grandparents were killed in the first gulf war, whose parents were killed the second gulf war, and who’s wife and kids have been blown to pieces in recent months. You can see why he might pick up a gun and assist in establishing his own order, separate from that clumsily imposed by the “West”. And in this example we can see another truth about terrorism -very often it is politically, and not religiously motivated. I don’t condone terrorists’ actions at all, – they’re obviously barbaric. It is however a fact that when you drop a bomb onto an Iraqi town it creates more terrorists than it kills. Even if it didn’t, with the civilian lives lost, it’s still morally wrong.
Do I have to solution to defeating ISIS? No, I sadly don’t. I do however have a solution to defeating the next Islamic Caliphate that tries to establish itself in the summer of 2024… the complete culling of strikes on the Middle East.
I think there’s also a racist element to the Brits view on this new aerial form of interventionism. How can you not think of your people as superior beings as you give airstrikes against brown civilians the thumbs up? I know that the aim of these strikes is not to maim innocents, but everyone knows that that is the unfortunate side effect, though many dismiss it as a necessary sacrifice. How can ignorant Brits make this call? In a few months there’ll be a vote on whether we should extend strikes to Syria – a perfunctory gesture seeing as we’re already bombing Syria – in which parliament have said they will ‘take into account public opinion’. MPs might surprise me and vote against as they did in 2013 regarding the earlier Syria vote, but the likelihood is that they won’t, as it was recently revealed that Cameron knew about us bombing Syria for this whole year without making it public.
What’s terrifying is how nobody seems to care. Articles about British military action in the Middle East are sparse and tucked away at the bottom of online news sites. Propaganda also gets people riled up so that should people start caring about airstrikes, they’ll be in full support of them. This mixture of either apathy or support means that the facts are left far behind. What does that say about our society that a majority of people support murdering innocents? As I’ve stated, bombing is wrong and doesn’t even work! What’s the point of it then? I think it’s simply ‘to be continuous.’
The Iraq war officially ended on December 18th 2011, making it the longest war the US has ever fought. However, as long as airstrikes continue and military ‘advisors’ remain in the country the war rages on. If this isn’t ‘continuous’ then I don’t know what is. These wars rage on to sate the States’ famous ‘military-industrial complex’, to satisfy geopolitical interests and to continue the myth that there is an enemy to fight and that the government has our protection at the top of its priorities.
How can you argue that the people making these decisions are doing it to achieve peace, when it’s done through bombing the shit out of shepherds? How can they want to keep us safe even as they give terrorists more reason to attack us, and supply more weapons to terrorist-supporting states like Saudi Arabia? The UN stated clearly that ISIS is not a threat to the US, so why are they involved? Giving rebels guns and bombing civilians doesn’t create peace, a kid could work that out – before good sense is stamped out of them by the US education system and propaganda like ‘American Sniper’. I’m not being conspiratorial when I say this, as I don’t think that Cameron is evil or that leaders enjoy war, I just think that they do it in the service of their own best interests.
The confusing facts surrounding the various conflicts in the Middle East back up this idea. We fully support the Iraqi government fighting against ISIS, as we don’t like ISIS. ISIS has however, been supported by Saudi Arabia, whom we do like, but Saudi Arabia is also now supporting us in bombing ISIS. We definitely don’t like President Assad in Syria because we support the fight against him by arming those who oppose him, who have now become ISIS, or at least have significant overlap with ISIS. We don’t – as a rule – like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government against ISIS. This is so confusing, so strange, that to me the statement “the war is not meant to be won” is entirely justified.
We’re in a cycle. The Daily Mail shows the video of a brutal dual beheading of a UK and a US journalist, which makes people want to attack ISIS. We attack ISIS, and more and more potential executioners are radicalised. It is not mentioned that the executioner states that the atrocities were in retaliation for the 160 American air attacks since the beginning of that month, and Britain’s arming of their Kurdish opponents – it is more comfortable for the West to assume terrorists are motivated by religious madness. Air strikes and arming militants – the two things I keep banging on about.
I think that for now, the US and UK are intervening in Iraq not for some evil profit-driven motive, but firstly to rid Iraq of the direct consequences of the last war, which was started to stop the direct consequences of the war before that. And secondly, to keep a grip on the Middle East. Every bomb we drop creates sympathy for ISIS, just look at Al-Shabab in Africa who use videos of US drone strikes as recruitment material. The Middle East needs to sort itself out. ISIS can be defeated if their funding runs out and their weapon supply stops and the West can achieve neither of those things, whereas Saudi Arabia can – and we need to stop helping them achieve their nefarious aims.
I say that there’s no profit motive ‘for now’ because who knows what will be revealed in five or ten years. Maybe then there’ll be interviews with our current Western leaders were the interviewer shouts, “Why did you go in when they weren’t even a threat?” To which we’ll all know that the answer is what it always has been with regards to Middle Eastern wars… oil.