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

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Safeguarding civilians, strengthening Ebola response in DR Congo, marking Fistula Day, updates on CAR and Syria

These German businesses are hiring refugees to plug the skills gap

M360 Security for 5G: Security for 5G Predictions 2020, in association with The European Sting

3 ways the coronavirus is affecting animals around the world

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

EU supports recovery and resilience in Nigeria with additional €50 million

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

The Sting’s Values

These 10 countries are the best at respecting children’s rights

State aid: France to recover €8.5 million of illegal aid to Ryanair at Montpellier airport

More protection for our seas and oceans is needed, report finds

Threat from petty criminals who turn to terrorism, a growing concern, Security Council hears

Protect women’s rights ‘before, during and after conflict’ UN chief tells high-level Security Council debate

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

US Middle East peace plan ‘lopsided’, says independent UN rights expert

Why this is the year we must take action on mental health

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

What does a good digital ID look like?

Disaster Medicine in Medical Education: the investment you just can´t afford to ignore

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds

Pharmaceuticals in the environment: Commission defines actions to address risks and challenges

Night owls, rest easy

How to describe chronic pain beyond numbers? A Brazilian measuring instrument

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

Women’s rights face global pushback from conservativism, fundamentalism – UN experts warn

On Youth Participation: Are we active citizens?

Dear China

How Europe’s green tech ‘scale-ups’ can help tackle climate change

Under fire, UN refugee agency evacuates 135 detained in Libya to Niger

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

“They are trying to make improvements, but of course they are quite slow for my generation”, Vice President of JADE Victor Soto on another Sting Exclusive

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

Commission disburses €14 billion under SURE to nine Member States

EU readies for eventual annulment of the Turkish agreement on immigrants-refugees

DR Congo Ebola outbreak still an international public health concern

Dozens of children at risk as clashes in Hudaydah near hospital – UNICEF

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

EU cracks under the weight of its policy on the Ukraine-Russia nub

Who is to profit from the quasi announced ECB rate cut?

EU Council agrees to reform the system for motor vehicles but with “restricted” power for the Commission

East Africa locusts threaten food insecurity across subregion, alerts UN agriculture agency

The future of energy is being shaped in Asia

Young and unemployed the perfect victims of ‘vultures’

Why Opportunity Zones could be key to transforming our cities

A Sting Exclusive: Young people are right about climate change; it’s time to listen

The US + Britain trivialize mainland Europe, NATO and the EU

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

Effective multilateralism the antidote to today’s ‘divisions’, Holy See tells UN Assembly

Amid troop build-up in Rohingya’s home state, UN appeals to Myanmar for peaceful solution

‘Once lost, hearing doesn’t come back,’ World Health Organization warns on World Hearing Day

Statement by President Tajani on US steel and aluminium duties

2020 Blue Economy Report: Blue sectors contribute to the recovery and pave way for EU Green Deal

How biotechnology is evolving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

London wants to treat violent crime like a disease

Medicine and mental health: relax, the doctor is a lifelong learner

With half of Somaliland children not in school, UNICEF and partners launch education access programme

Fairness in the food supply chain: Commission proposes to increase price transparency

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