Is there a chance for the West to win the war on terror?

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, together with Charles Michel, Belgian Prime Minister (kneeling). (Date: 22/03/2016. Location: Brussels – Beursplein, © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Etienne Ansotte).

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, together with Charles Michel, Belgian Prime Minister (kneeling). (Date: 22/03/2016. Location: Brussels – Beursplein, © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Etienne Ansotte).

On the night of 13 November 2015 in Paris, after the ISIS operatives had hit almost simultaneously a concert hall, a major football stadium and some restaurants and bars leaving 130 dead and hundreds injured, the French President Francois Hollande said “we are at war”. Last Tuesday morning the same kind of ‘armed forces’ and suicide killers, inspired and also organized by ISIS affiliated groups hit the Zaventem Airport and the Maelbeek Metro station in Brussels, leaving at least 34 dead and about 250 wounded. Before the day was out, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, “what we had feared has now happened”. Evidently widespread fear goes together with war.

Who wages it?

The latest assaults in Brussels came only four days after the Belgian security forces had captured ‘enemy leader’ Salah Abdeslam, one of the organizers of the Paris attacks. Yesterday, the Belgian authorities named the Zaventem assailants as the brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui. All three of them were known to the authorities as connected to terrorist jihadist forces and the last one was hunted by Interpol. Presumably, together with Abdeslam they constituted the cutting edge of ISIS affiliated armed groups in Western Europe. The Belgians have also revealed that after their success of capturing Abdeslam, the ‘enemy’ camp would try to retaliate, a standard approach in warfare. Unfortunately, it seems that they didn’t make the best out of their prediction and the captive terrorist.

Abdeslam misguided the interrogators?

In the days before the Tuesday attacks the Belgians had left it to be understood that Abdeslam cooperated with his interrogators. This approach was also backed by his lawyer who said that his client didn’t use the right to remain silent and that he was willing to cooperate. Yet, as it turned out, Abdeslam was in close connection with the Khalid brothers and had very probably jointly planned the twin attacks in Zaventem and Maelbeeck. In short, Abdeslam, till the very last moment, tried to protect his unholy plans, succeeding, rather, in misguiding his captors.

Those details are underlined here in order to support the view that there is a real war going on and the European citizens have no means to predict where the next bomb is to explode. The difference from other wars is then that this one is taking place in a globalised environment, making it easy to transfer the fight from the plains of northern Syria and Iraq to the streets of the European cities. Let’s see how we ended up in this mess.

A new kind of war

The first Sunni Moslem Jihadist regular military and otherwise fighting forces were organized many years ago by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam and others under the Al-Qaeda façade. Not to forget that Al-Qaeda was initially a friend of the West, actively supported by the US and directed against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda also tried to infiltrate and create internal conflicts in the Socialist Republics of USSR in central Asia with large Sunni Moslem communities. At some point however the operatives turned against their Western masters, and hit the twin towers of New York in the 9/11 catastrophe.

This attack made terrorism an everyday theme on 8 o’clock news and created a new kind of war. The average man in the streets of US and Europe became addicted to the terror and became positively inclined to believe whatever his leaders were saying. Now the heir or rather a parallel co-operative in the terrorist camp is today’s ISIS, initially organized by the remnants of the fallen Bagdad butcher’s Saddam Hussein regime, plus some other Sunni military ‘experts’ left unemployed in Bosnia, Chechnya and elsewhere.

The differences between Al-Qaeda and ISIS are rather of personality and geographical character. They all are feeding on the destitute Sunni population masses, after the destruction of the more or less civilized Arab state structure, which were tyrannical even murderous but offered relative welfare and security to large geographical areas and populations. Let’s count: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria plus large regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

Terror + recession = more war

It’s not only that though. The 2008 financial crisis in the West deprived Europe of the ability to offer relative economic security to almost all of its own citizens. In the decade 2000-2010 Europe could not only offer a lot to almost all of its citizens, but it was also able to absorb 1 million immigrants a year.

However, the economic situation worsened after 2010 and poverty and exclusion engulfed increasing parts of the inhabitants of the big European cities. Of course, the worst hit groups are those who have a social exclusion problem. Brussels and Paris are very good examples of that. Entire neighborhoods are cut off from what happens in the rest of the country.

As a result, the indigenous European Moslem populations, plus the pushed back aspiring immigrants, have now become a fertile mass of people ready to support the fighters of Islam. After the economic dreams for a better life faded out, for tens of millions of Sunni Moslems in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, religion became the only remaining refuge on earth. For them, the enemy was there, visible mainly in the air, with its war airplanes bombing everything that moves.

Bombing marriages and funerals

Marriages and funerals were the standard bombing targets for the NATO force in Afghanistan. In Iraq, Syria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Sudan and elsewhere European and American war planes became the standard destruction force, not to say anything about the Israeli bombings of the Gaza strip. Add to that the internal fighting which erupted in all those regions after the state structures collapsed and fighting became the standard reality in vast geographical areas.

This is the war Francois Hollande spoke of after the Paris attacks. It’s the same thing the Belgian PM Michel fears. Not to forget that Belgian fighter planes participate in the bombardment of ISIS positions in Syria and probably also in Iraq. Alas, the West has very few means available to counter the ‘internal enemy’, if it wants to remain a functioning democracy and an open society. At the same time its air supremacy is not that effective in order to corroborate the hopes for a total victory in the hot war fronts in the Middle East and Africa.

Who can win the war?

Taking all that into account, the dreadful conclusion is that Europe will continue not only to suffer of insecurity and terrorist attacks, but will be obliged to dent its free going tradition. It will also be much more difficult for every European leader to support the EU plans for open borders and more Syrian refugees.

The four Visegrad countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have fervently denied all that many weeks ago. After the Brussels attacks more countries will be following their example. Will Germany alone be able to absorb all the Syrians? Rather not. Chancellor Angela Merkel will find it very difficult not to back off from its own plans, for a solution in the refugee-immigrant problem of the Greco-Turkish borders.

Then what?

Obviously Europe is again in the deadlock it had found itself some weeks ago, when tens of thousands of refugees and immigrants were landing in the Greek islands from Turkey but their Balkan Corridorwas blocked. At that point this newspaper commented that the Union had to prove it can remain in one-piece. This is again the case, but under much worse conditions, because terror will continue to reign in the Old Continent.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

Environmental labelling, information and management schemes are central to the circular economy

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

Inequality triggered protests across Latin America. Here’s how the youth can help

Why saving our forests should be a global priority

UN condemns deadly simultaneous terrorist attacks on military camps in Mali

The EU-US trade agreement, victim of right-wing extremists and security lunatics

Yemen agreement to end southern power struggle ‘important step’ towards peace: UN Special Envoy

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

The undead banks

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

5G in Russia: a local and global view on the way forward, in association with The European Sting

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

The great sustainable reset: The new world of work after the pandemic

Progress toward sustainable development is seriously off-track

Energy security: The synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks – European solidarity in action

Deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union: Commission takes stock of progress

What COVID-19 tells us about the changing nature of disaster risk

How technology can help us achieve universal healthcare

‘Emulate his example’ urges UN chief as world celebrates Nelson Mandela: a ‘global advocate for dignity and equality’

Generalist practicing: is it worth it?

Royal Navy to unveil future surveillance and reconnaissance requirements next February in Rome

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

4 myths about manufacturing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

‘Action and tangible progress’ needed to finally ‘win the peace’ for Syrians: UN envoy

British PM May’s Brexit proposal remains obscure while her government unravels

Estonian Prime Minister Ratas: Europe is a thought that must become a feeling

Coronavirus could worsen hunger in the developing world

18th European Forum on Eco-innovation live from Barcelona: What’s next for eco-labelling?

Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Broadcom concerning TV set-top box and modem chipset markets

India is a latecomer to AI. Here’s how it plans to catch up

Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS: Empowering the Digital Economy

Monday’s Daily Brief: WFP mulls ‘last resort’ Yemen aid suspension, top peacekeeping awardee announced, abuzz over Bee Day, Ebola threat ‘very high’

5 libraries doing innovative things to help their communities

World Summit Awards 2016: Sustainable impact through digital innovation

‘Let the children live’: UN prepares to ramp up food aid to Yemen as famine risk grows

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

Nearly half a billion people can’t find decent work; unemployment set to rise: new UN labour report

How many more financial crises in the West can the world stand?

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

6 innovative technologies about to transform our infrastructure

EU on track to end use of chemicals harming the ozone layer

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

Brands can be a force for good and for growth. Here’s how

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming wishes to Brussels a Happy 2019 Year of the Pig

Telemedicine can be a COVID-19 game-changer. Here’s how

What are the greatest global health threats?

Can fighting climate change bring the Arab world closer together?

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: strategies and reflections

Shanghai has tough new recycling rules – and it will stop collecting trash from communities that don’t comply

‘Everyone must be on board’ for peace in Central African Republic: UN’s Lacroix

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

EU to Turkey: No other ties than €3+3bn to upkeep refugees

Rural women a ‘powerful force’ for global climate action: UN Secretary-General

The EU will always have a stable partner in Montenegro, says President Đukanović

Youth unemployment: think out of the box

Just transition in EU regions: support to people, economy and environment

Scientists in Sweden are studying the climate-cooling effects of spruce forests

These are the fastest trains in the world

Long-term EU budget: Parliament wants safety net for beneficiaries

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s