Terrorism, Islam, and the need to keep the Western world in fear

Laughing at the law-abiding: IS militants at a captured checkpoint in northern Iraq [Image: AFP/Getty].

IS militants, doing exactly what the western powers want them to do, in order to maintain fear of terrorism among (for example) British citizens. [Image: AFP/Getty].

Does anybody else think the reaction to the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo – along with that against ISIS (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days), Al-Qaeda and, for that matter, Russia – has been, at the very least, off-colour?

Terrorists attack the staff of a magazine, claiming to be doing so in the name of Islam (we have no proof that this was their purpose and may never have it), so there’s a huge backlash against Muslims and the same magazine’s next issue – with a cover featuring a poor (yet still offensive) attempt at caricaturing Muhammad himself – sells five million copies; its normal circulation is 60,000.

Here in the UK, David Cameron does his best to use the attack as an excuse for even greater government intrusion into citizens’ privacy, on top of the incursions already enacted by his government.

Is it really about keeping us safe, or is it about keeping us down?

Some have argued that the western military-industrial complex has a vested interest in providing the public with a state-sponsored bogeyman to fear. During the Cold War it was the USSR. Immediately after Soviet Communism (which must not be confused with socialism) collapsed, the west went to war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – a regime formerly supported by the USA. Since then we’ve had 911, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 7/7, Libya, Syria and Islamic State. While this has been going on, the western media seem to be stirring up fear of Putin’s Russia.

Isn’t that only to be expected from a coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs*?

There is no doubt that the British people are kept safe by the efforts of our security services – it is important that this should not be misunderstood. Many of the threats mentioned a couple of paragraphs above have been real.

But they aren’t anywhere near as serious as certain extremely rich people and organisations want us to think they are. Look at Iraq – Saddam Hussein didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction at all! He was found in a hole, living on ‘fun-size’ Mars bars (if certain writers are to be believed**).

It seems clear that there is a system of control being exercised upon us here. You can see it for yourself, evidenced by the fact that we never seem to find ourselves clear of any threats; there’s always another one on the horizon and it’s always important for us to give up more of our civil liberties in order to fight it – and of course, we pay for all the weapons and ammunition used, with our taxes.

So, looking at this objectively, we should be asking ourselves: Who is the greater threat?

As far as the Islamic extremists are concerned, if we lived in a rational world there would be a strong argument for someone to go and speak to them (under a white flag or whatever it took to be heard) and point out a few important facts: The western military has enough firepower to turn the Middle East into a scorched crater if it wants to do so. The reason it doesn’t is it needs you to be the equivalent of a pantomime villain, to be defeated at regular intervals on the evening news. The West will never defeat you completely, because you’re too useful for making a profit for the arms dealers and for keeping western citizens under control. You are, therefore, nothing but toys. The only way to defeat this strategy is to disengage completely; stop the violence against the west that will never, ever succeed and find better solutions to your problems.

If we lived in a rational world, they would agree.

Wouldn’t you like to live in that world, instead of this?

*As described in Revolution, by Russell Brand. Cheers for looking it up, Russell.

**Cheers again, Russell.

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14 thoughts on “Terrorism, Islam, and the need to keep the Western world in fear

  1. hstorm

    I would argue it has not only been disproportional, it has also been hypocritical. We in the west rightly cry ‘foul’ when a bunch of cartoonists are shot, but remained silent when, for instance, NATO bombed TV stations to pieces in the former Yugoslavia, and in Iraq.

    Freedom-of-speech has to apply to all ‘sides’, or it is simply the construction of echo chambers.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I wanted to include the former Yugoslavia in the article; thanks for mentioning it here.

  2. chopale

    Cheers 2-u 4 a Brill bit of posting. When are adults going to stop and think! Santa and the tooth fairies as well as pots of gold at the end of the rainbow; don’t exist! We need to treat this extremist Government as any other terror organised think tank.

  3. Thomas M

    It’s a bit of both. Of course there are jihadists out there, but this government has provoked them into attacking us through it’s Middle Eastern wars. Switzerland never has a terrorist problem.

  4. amnesiaclinic

    Very timely article. We must not forget Vietnam which had the Gulf of Tonkin false flag to kick that off. Kennedy spoke about the secretive dark powers and his death never been properly addressed. Then there are so many questions on 9/11 and recently a very good article by a US veteran clearly maps out how the Iraq war could have easily been over in 2003 if the western powers were interested in peace.
    As you rightly say, they aren’t. War is big business and big business pays massively. Until we hold the governments and the weapons manufacturers accountable for the deaths, destruction and pollution they cause and ensure they pay up massively things are never going to change.

  5. Jane Jacques

    I would also think it’s a symptom of post empire delusion and our place in the world rather than control of the population, which is being done far more effectively by other means with the current Government. Also need to include how all this feeds into radicalisation /disaffectionof young people, Muslims are the ones in the news, also others and what common pathways are there?.eg gangs, prison, organised crime. Also possible solutions.

    The double standards over free speech is nothing new. However just because it maybe at fault sometimes does not mean it is not valuable and worthy of defence.

    I would agree that some of these threats are very real, but would disagree entirely about your “scorched earth” threat with the terrorists. Talks and agreements may have their place, but they will know that threat will be a bluff. Would also need to take into account reaction of other middle eastern/ Islamic counties if this happened

    Would also agree that the Home Secretary and Government cannot wait to extend
    surviellence powers with almost indecent haste They need to make a case for this.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There is no ‘scorched earth’ threat. While it is certainly true that western nations hold enough firepower to carry out such an operation, they have no intention whatsoever of doing so. That would eliminate the threat of Islamic terrorism altogether, meaning the powers-that-be (military industrial complex, governments, rich industrialists) would have one less method of manipulating us. No, they wouldn’t do that. The opportunity, in telling these extremists the real score, is in getting them to realise all they are doing with terrorism is causing their own deaths or those of their supporters, in a cycle that would continue in the future with another generation rising up in an attempt to avenge them – and getting the same treatment.

  6. Guy Ropes

    “Many of the threats mentioned have been real”. Would you care to list those that were, together with your proof (not fanciful suspicions) and those that weren’t (again with your proof). I wait with bated breath.

  7. Gordon Powrie

    Mike, you forgot about ‘The Enemy Within’; during the miners’ strike, the flagrant lawbreaking by The State set a precedent.

  8. Andy

    “There is no greater civil liberty than to live free from terrorist attack”
    Tony Blair

    Charlie Hebdo stood for nothing. Just their right to be satirical and a lot of it I can only describe as xenophobic, homophobic, sexist and mostly not remotely funny, but maybe that’s because I’m not French. We should treat the attack more as a crime than terrorism. The less credence we give to terrorism the better. As you say they only managed to sell 60,000 copies per issue. The French state via the ‘Google tax fund’ which was supposedly set up to aid ‘journalistic innovation’ has bankrolled the printing 5 million copies! And it’s still crap. I’m sick of seeing ‘Je suis Charlie’ held up as the bumpersticker of free speech. ‘Je ne suis pas Charlie’.

    The gradual erosion of our civil liberties has been happening for the last thirty five years. Since the Thatcher government of 1979. The first thing she did was buy the police with some astronomical pay rises and proceed to use them as a political weapon against the miners. Since then we have seen a succession of acts of parliament undermining our civil liberties. From the extension of the time you can be held by the police with out charge to ‘snoopers charter’ that has reared its ugly head again and lets not forget constant cries of government to give to police and judiciary even more powers because of the terrorist threat.

    If we stopped oppressing other states then the vast amount of terrorism would evaporate. Iraq, we destroyed their economy and are now doing them a favour rebuilding it. Not out of the kindness of our hearts, so we could basically steal their oil revenue via investment loans. Because they owe so much money they have no autonomy. In order to balance their books, because their main source income is from oil, the price per barrel needs to be about $180. We have created political vacuums by our so called liberations and let organisations like ISIS try to fill it. We have also unwittingly sponsored them, the CIA fed the stockpile of arms from Libya through Turkey and to the rebels in Syria and who are these rebels? ISIS. The whole of the middle east has become a game of chess to our political masters.

  9. Terry Hackman

    I think it was in the early part of the last century & think it was an industrialist who said *

    ” I prefer my workers to be at both ends of the bayonet ”

    [ * sorry , the quote flitted past me a couple of days ago and joined a pile of too many others I have neglected to document fully. Could be entirely made up , I suppose … ? ]

    1. Terry Hackman

      no , I’ve slandered that non existent industrialist – The saying goes ( sometimes attributed to V.I.Lenin but probably [?] coming from Clydeside trade unionist and socialist John Maclean), “a bayonet is a weapon with a worker at both ends”.

      Sorry , caught between hearing the quote and stopping the neighbours cat from destroying another bit of stair carpet.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Perfectly understandable; I write most of my articles with a cat hanging noisily on the office door handle, trying to get in. Sometimes she succeeds, and then the carpet in here gets attacked unless I’m fast enough to stop her.

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