Problems on hold
The recent terrorist attacks in Paris left some 130 dead and 352 injured, and a bitter aftertaste of worldwide outrage at the escalation of Daesh terrorism to barbarian levels. Once again Daesh gloats in euphoria at yet another triumph in taking innocent lives and terrorising peaceful civilians, then claims responsibility for the heinous slaughter and threatens with more, more, and more to come. And why should it not? Did not the ‘free, civilised’ world nurture this terrorist gang, allowing it to grow, thrive, and sweep through Iraq, Syria and Libya? Did not the US and Europe turn a blind eye to the horrors Daesh committed—and is to this day still committing—against the Christians of Iraq and Syria? The atrocities against Iraqi and Syrian Christians will go down in history as among the most ghastly ethnic purging, humiliation, displacement and revival of the barbaric practices of the Dark Ages.
I no longer ask who made Daesh or who funds it. Nor do I wonder who was the satan who stood by and watched as Daesh thundered out of control. But pay time has, sadly, come. Daesh’s defiance peaked; it hit the West in the heart then gloated over the horrendous deed. What now? Will the free civilised world move to save humanity from the clutches of terrorism? We spent some 18 months hearing stories of what the West dubbed ‘airstrikes’ against Daesh strongholds. The strikes reeked of feebleness and laxity; we felt they were a lame farce that the western coalition was fooling us with to cover up the great conspiracy that aimed to destroy and fragment our region. The unsurprising ultimate result was that Daesh’s bloodthirsty expansion spread to unprecedented levels; it seized some one-third the areas of Iraq and Syria, wiping out the States there.
Three months ago, Russia entered the fray. It seriously fought Daesh, thus exposing the disgraceful failure of the West and unequivocally announcing it was out to put an end to Daesh terror. What did the West do? The US, England, Germany and France rose to condemn the Russian strikes which they claimed were targeting not Daesh strongholds but the Syrian [Islamist] opposition. At this point Russian President Vladimir Putin mocked: “if they [the western coalition] know so well that the targets we are hitting are not Daesh, why don’t they supply us with the maps and information they possess on Daesh strongholds?”.
The worthless verbal wrangling went on, oblivious to the hefty price that the peoples of Iraq and Syria, Libya and Yemen were—and are—paying. But now that France has been lashed by Daesh the US, France and England have engaged in political mobilisation and have united their ranks towards directing a fatal blow to the terrorist organisation. The strikes were launched last Sunday evening with a French airstrike against Daesh in Raqqa, Syria. Is it now really time for redemption? Will the civilised world join hands to defeat the terrorism that has run out of control? Will the West rise above its smugness, pettiness, and suspicious defiance of Russia, to form a global power that would include a coalition between the West and Russia and their allies in order to battle terrorism? Will we ever see a ground landing on the Syrian shores tantamount to the ‘Normandy Landings’ which wrote the end of WWII and saved the world from Hitler’s atrocities? Will we witness a fatal blow to Daesh that would end the wars in the Middle East?
In August 2014 I dared think that the time of deliverance from the hands of Daesh had come. Back then, the world watched aghast the beheading of American reporter Steven Sotloff at the hands of Daesh. I wrote then “ISIL, Pearl Harbor anew” [http://en.wataninet.com/opinion/editorial/problems-on-hold-isil-pearl-harbor-anew/11717/], imagining that the US would rise and relinquish its inexplicable silence on Daesh’s crimes in Iraq, as it did some 70 years ago when the Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor led to US entry into WWII. But I thought wrong.
In September of the same year I wrote “Deliverance from ISIL” [http://en.wataninet.com/opinion/editorial/problems-on-hold-deliverance-from-isil/11839/] alluding to the western coalition strikes against the terrorist organisation to stop its march on Kurdish borders. I thought then that these strikes would not stop until they achieve the ultimate redemption from Daesh. But I was again wrong; the strikes of the western coalition stopped Daesh from sweeping the Kurdish headquarters, but left it to wreak havoc elsewhere.
Again, in January 2015, I wrote in the wake of the heinous crime Daesh committed against the Charlie Hebdo in Paris, “The Charlie Hebdo shooting: a grim warning” [http://en.wataninet.com/opinion/editorial/the-charlie-hebdo-shooting-a-grim-warning/12953/]. I listed the Daesh terrorist crimes against France, England, Germany and other European States, and expressed my concern at the curious failure of these States to hit back once and for all.
Now, by a bitter twist of fate, France and the whole world are again victims of a horrendous crime that Daesh takes pride in and promises more to come. Will it mark the beginning of the end to Daesh terror?
22 November 2015