What can I say the day after Paris?
How does one write anything meaningful in a world gone mad? My fingers are on the keys yet I cannot find words.
Those of you who waste your precious time reading this blog know that I am not a religious man. I am an atheist but I am not in your face about it. I try to live quietly and rationally and do not give a second thought about religion. It simply has no place in my life.
Is there something to take from religion? Well yes.
I believe that Jesus was a great teacher worth emulating. The world would be a much better place if we all acted like him. That is enough for me. Do I believe that he is literally the son of God and rose from the dead? No. No more than I believe that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ under the appearance of a wafer.
And we have religion because we all fear death. All religions have a life after death – heaven, hell, paradise, reincarnation. Death is not the end; what religion would teach that it was?
When I die I will not see my girl again, my sons, my mom and dad, my brother. We will not meet on that beautiful shore; there is no beautiful shore any more than there is a Styx. Best to love them while you are here.
Thirteen and a half billion years went by before the dawn of my consciousness; thirteen and a half billion more will go by after I no longer exist.
And yet there are people in this world who would kill me for such beliefs notwithstanding that I insult no one’s beliefs, do not ridicule, do not write books nor am I a celebrity spouting anti-religious rants. I know folks who think true believers are mentally ill.
Nope. Some religious folk would kill me simply because I don’t believe as they believe. And I honestly don’t have any fear that it might be a Methodist or Presbyterian.
Earlier today Isis took credit for the massacre in the French capital. I will presume the Islamic State did it; if they didn’t they were happy enough with the results to take credit.
Now in my humble opinion Isis wouldn’t exist if the United States hadn’t destroyed Iraq and supported “regime change” in Libya and Syria. Saddam and Quadaffi were bastards but they kept a foot on the necks of the true crazies in their countries. We couldn’t leave well enough alone. So now we have Isis and an incoherent foreign policy in Syria. Slowly but surely we are being dragged into full scale war in the region, with Russia on the other side in the Syrian civil war.
So what did French and western intelligence miss in Paris?
“Although it is difficult to come by hard numbers, there are approximately 1200 French nationals who departed France during the past two years to fight in Syria and Iraq for ISIS. This constitutes the largest number of wannabee terrorists from any western nation – evidencing the continuing threat that France’s radicalized Muslim population – the largest in Europe – poses to its people – a Fifth Column inside France.” Note that those who departed France to fight for Isis are French citizens. The same situation exists in Germany and Belgium, sharing a border with France as well as the United Kingdom. These are citizens of the European countries where they were born or that took them in when they could not find opportunity in their home countries.
We have seen recent bombings in Beirut and Turkey and still don’t know all the details behind the crash of a Russian passenger jet over Sinai.
But when it comes right down to it where is Isis getting the majority of its support?
“According to BBC News estimates the five countries with the most fighters in Syria are Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Libya. Russia has also contributed a substantial number of fighters – with most believed to have come from Chechnya. Another 3,000 come from former Soviet states.
The continuing flow of Arab fighters from the Middle East into Syria and Iraq provides the oxygen that enables ISIS to survive and, indeed, thrive. Tunisia – a largely secular and advanced state and ironically the birthplace of the Arab Spring – and the Arab world’s only democratically elected regime – is the single largest contributor to ISIS in the Arab world – over 3,000 young Tunisians have trekked across Libya and ferried to Syria via Istanbul, Jordan and Lebanon. ISIS has devoted considerable resources to convert Tunisia into a breeding ground for the Islamic State – and the social media campaign ISIS targets into Tunisia’s shanty towns is its most sophisticated recruiting operation in the Middle East.”
The Muslim states of Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey and Pakistan collectively represent the largest source of ISIS recruits – countries that have failed to do enough to stop their nationals from responding to the ISIS clarion call to join Jihad. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – two of the wealthiest Arab states, have all too often turned a blind eye to their own nationals donating to ISIS through dummy charitable organizations.
Despite entreaties from the U.S., France and the U.K., Gulf Arab state private donations continue to be funneled through Kuwait’s lax financial control system into ISIS coffers.
The demise of the Islamic State will not come about until Arab states are shamed, compelled, forced, sanctioned, what have you, to do everything necessary to prevent its funds and nationals from joining ISIS’ ranks. At the same time, Arab states must be the major source of boots on the ground to defeat ISIS – not boots from France or the U.S.
Our Arab “allies” in the ‘war on terror” constitute a Potemkin village; air sorties by Arab states, begun with such fanfare have largely evaporated and the U.S flies 90% plus of the missions. Clearly our Arab “allies” would rather have U.S. and western troops fight their battle against Isis for them, lest they be seen attacking brother Muslims. Better to sit on the sidelines and have the infidels do it.
The Gulf states and the Saudis, keepers of the Holy Places run their countries like family businesses, kings and princes, religious police and a level of barbarism not seen in the modern age. While smiling and selling us oil (it’s the only thing Arab countries have worth buying) and offering sympathy and condolences to Paris, I sometimes get the feeling that behind the closed doors of the compounds of the privileged there is celebration and sword dancing taking place while a lamb is roasted over an open pit.
This is a civil war among Muslims; it is not our war. It is time the west turned the tables on our Arab “allies” and forced them to fight it.