The white liberal fantasy collides head-on with the  reality of Islam

Robert  Henderson

NB: The territory taken from Iraq and Syria has gone by various titles: ISIS, ISIL and IS.  I shall use ISIS standing for the  Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

The present mess in the Middle East and North Africa is largely the creation of the prime political absurdity which lies at the heart of the  modern liberal fantasy, namely,  that what they call  liberal democracy  (in truth a politically correct illiberal state)  can be manufactured if only the right circumstances are created.  This woefully wrongheaded  idea  reprises the mistake made during the dissolution of the  British Empire. The British withdrawal strategy was simple: for each ex-colony create the formal structures of a parliamentary democracy – parliaments, written constitutions, electoral systems and so on – and then,  like a climbing plant covering a trellis, democratic behaviour  would grow and wrap itself around the formal structures.  It was at best laughably naïve and at worst a cynical fig leaf  to cover the unseemly haste with which Britain relinquished control of  her colonies.

The  reason why the British post-colonial strategy failed is  beautifully simple: political systems  cannot  be self-consciously created. They are organic growths. When it comes to  representative  government elected on a broad franchise  ( a more honest description of the  reality than  democracy) ,  such growths are remarkably rare. Look around the world and see how many secure representative  political systems  there are. The Britain, the  USA,  Canada, Australia and New Zealand qualify because they have such representative systems and have  not experienced violent revolution either at all or for centuries.  All are Anglo-Saxon in origin. Who else? Switzerland and Iceland. Being generous we can perhaps add  the Scandinavians and Holland.  For the rest, including all the major European states,  there is not one which has not had governments overthrown  since 1900 by outright violence committed by the native population or by unconstitutional means.

To the rarity of stable and lasting representative government growing organically,  can be added the problem of  territories with  immense ethnic and racial variety  routinely producing disputed elections  on the grounds of electoral fraud or falling into  violence afterwards because one particular  ethnic or racial   group believes they are being hard done by.   Indeed, such ethnic and racial variety is probably the  prime reason why stable representative government is so rare.   Such disabling heterogeneity  was the situation with  the colonies Britain freed after 1945 and is the situation with the ethnic, racial and religious kaleidoscope  that is the Middle East and North Africa.

The fruits of recent Western meddling

A complaint is often made that the European colonial powers caused much of the post-colonial difficulty through their drawing of colonial boundaries which produced territories without a natural national  unity. This complaint does not hold water. It is not that the European imperial powers did not draw such boundaries, but rather that it would not have made any general difference where the boundaries were drawn because  the same problem would  have arisen as a consequence of the exceptionally diverse nature of the lands involved. There were no  discrete territories   with populations which were large enough and  homogeneous enough  in race,  religion  and culture to form a  natural nation state.   That was the case with the Middle East and North Africa.

The consequences of Western interference in the Islamic world since the turn of the century  has been  uniformly dismal: it has either  replaced harsh order with growing chaos or replaced one dictatorship with another.  Consider  how the present situation in the Middle East and North Africa  has come about. First, Bush junior and Blair go gallivanting into Afghanistan and reduce that to a battleground for violent Islam and tribal hatreds and jealousies to play out.    From there they decide to meddle in Iraq by invading on the  entirely spurious grounds that Saddam Hussein represented a threat to the West because he had weapons of mass destruction.   That the  UN Weapons inspectors reported  they had found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction and asked for more time counted for nothing. Neither did  the fact that at the time of the invasion  Saddam was being  restrained in his behaviour  by  sanctions and a Western-enforced no-fly zone over the Kurdish areas.  Having deposed Saddam and his regime Iraq was placed under a military occupation which went the way of all military occupations, gradual dissolution through the exhaustion of the occupying power.

Then came the miserably entitled Arab Spring, whose fruits  have been bitter indeed. Because there are natural  nation states in the area, the “Arab Spring” was doomed to the horrific failure it has been because the states involved were all fissile territories whose diverse populations were only held in check from internecine fighting by harsh dictators, whether republican or monarchical. The facile cheerleading of  Western politicians and liberals generally was adolescent in its self-indulgent idealism and encouraged the populations in the Arab world to rebel when they had absolutely no chance of producing anything other than chaos or another dictatorship.

Libya has been reduced to a state of anarchy with rival militias, tribes, gangs – call them what you will- making hay with the weapons made freely available by the overthrow of Gadhafi, with violent Islam joining in.   With a grim irony Egypt has swapped a  covert  military dictatorship for an overt military dictatorship,  whilst dispensing with an elected  if Islamist president on the way.  Iraq has lurched into an increasing state of disorder  as the US has gradually withdrawn  and is now divided between Iraq, Kurdistan and   ISIS.

Most gruesomely for Western politicians,  the tyrant of Syria, Bashir Assad,   has withstood the attempts, vociferously supported by the West, to destroy him and his regime by the  rag-tag  and politically indeterminate “Free Syrian Army” and is now through the emergence of ISIS  the only  plausible obstacle to ISIS ‘ continued existence and expansion.  If realpolitik ruled the West would be acting in concert with Assad , but because they have labelled him a devil they cannot bring themselves to do the sensible thing and make common cause with him so that he can restore some sort of order to Syria.  Liberals who shudder at this should bear in mind how often they have been in bed with the most insanitary  bedfellows – Stalin, Mao and  the Taliban in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation to mention a few.  Sometimes it is necessary to take the my enemy’s enemy is my friend route to protect the national interest.

What can and should be done now by the West? 

The liberal warmongers  are ever more eagerly saying that  If the West does not intervene militarily  to destroy  aggressive Islam then  parts of the  Middle East  will be breeding grounds and safe havens for terrorists to carry their terror into the West.  That may or may not be true , but  if the West does intervene militarily to successfully snuff out  ISIS,  then the likelihood would be that ISIS members, especially those who come from Western states, would  return to their various countries determined to wage terrorist war there. Moreover, the West would be committed to remaining indefinitely in the territory they have taken from ISIS, their very presence being a standing motive for violent Muslims in the West to attack the countries which harbour them.

Nor would the destruction of  ISIS in Iraq and Syria be an end of violent Islam creating havens to protect, train and send terrorists into to the West.   Afghanistan is ripe to fall to the Taliban once  Western military forces are withdrawn.   Parts of Pakistan are controlled by violent Islam.  Libya  is little more than a geographical expression filled with petty warlords  and ripe for violent Islam to go to if it is not already there.    Deeper into Africa there is  Boko Haram spreading throughout the West.  In the East   Kenya  and Uganda  suffer from Muslim  terrorist attacks,   Ethiopia  and Somalia have serious  Islamist incursions to deal with,  while  in Sudan  violent Islam holds power. Indeed, it is increasingly difficult to point to parts of Africa which remain untouched by violent Islam.

The plain truth is that even if the West were willing and able to suppress ISIS  in Syria and Iraq by force, they could never control violent Islam because violent Islam would simply keep on the move from one accommodating territory  to another.

How serious a threat to the West  is ISIS?

The potential of ISIS to create a lasting  aggressive and powerful  Islamic state is grossly  overblown.  It  has taken a great deal of territory very rapidly,  but that is unsurprising in a place like the Middle East where  there is a good deal of desert and  the  formal states whose land  has been captured  were  all  in some governmental disarray , which is  not a recipe for inspiring troops to resolutely  fight a determined  aggressor such as ISIS.   In the case of Iraq the  discriminatory behaviour of the Maliki government had seriously alienated the Sunni minority through his highly discriminatory behaviour in favour of the Shia majority.   This has provided a  reason for Iraqi Sunnis to have some fellow feeling with the Sunni  ISIS and consequently to tolerate or even welcome ISIS violence directed at the non-Sunni parts of the population.    Moreover, even where there are  large numbers of people  willing to  resist  ISIS, as appears to be the case in Kurdistan,   that  is of little avail if they are equipped with much inferior weaponry and training.

But taking territory is one thing, maintaining control of it quite another.  That is particularly the case where the territory conquered has a  population which is  chronically divided by religion  and ethnicity and is spread over several formal states.  ISIS need to  rapidly show they are up to administering the land  they have taken.  Easier said than done, especially as they are likely to be engaging in warfare for quite some time to come, both with elements within the territory they have taken and from outside. Terror tactics only take a conqueror go so far. They are not a sufficient basis for ruling.

There is also considerable scope for ISIS  to fracture because  the land they have captured is ethnically and religiously diverse. Moreover,  the ISIS personnel is very cosmopolitan and may come to be resented by even the native Sunnis in the ISIS territory. In addition,  ISIS will have to fight the remnant of Iraq (with its hostile Shia majority) and Assad’s Syrian Army.  There is also the possibility that Iran may join in to protect the Shia population of the captured territories.

Much has been made of the modern weaponry and auxiliary military equipment  ISIS have taken , but the  equipment will require considerable expertise to maintain and operate it.  Such  skills, especially those  needed to maintain the equipment,  will  probably not be available in the quantities needed. Moreover, ISIS will need to buy more modern weaponry, especially munitions,  as time goes on and it is not clear who will sell it to them in sufficient quantity and quality.

A  ghastly irony for  the West, and most particularly the USA,  is the fact that they have supplied much of the military equipment which ISIS are using , either because the equipment has been captured from Iraqi forces or because the equipment was supplied by the West to the Syrian rebels fighting Assad, significant  numbers of whom share the mentality of ISIS or may even be part of ISIS.     The fact that ISIS have had the success they have  had is unsurprising given the circumstances. Keeping hold of what they have will take up all their energies for the foreseeable future.

The enemy within

The real threat to the West comes not from ISIS but the large Muslim populations in the West , which the treacherous and deluded liberal internationalists have allowed to settle as they pursued their fatuous dream  of a  world without borders or nation states.  The last UK Census in 2011 shows  2.7 million people identifying themselves as Muslims   (4.8 per cent of the population). This is almost certainly substantially less than the real figure because the Census depends on self-reporting and  there is a significant minority of the UK population who never complete the Census form  because they are either here illegally or have a mentality which makes them think that giving any information about themselves to any  government is dangerous.

How does the West protect itself  from homicidal Muslims within its own territory?  It would be a next to  impossible question to find an adequate answer to even in  a country which has meaningful border controls because of the number of Muslims born and bred in the West.    In a country such as Britain which effectively has open borders,   the question becomes  not merely hideously difficult but absurd.

In Britain the Coalition government has floundered around talking about removing passports from people  trying to leave Britain if they are suspected Jihadis, , the banning  from Britain of those  who have been in Iraq and Syria, the reintroduction of control orders  and,  most pathetically, the idea that Muslim coming back from fighting for ISIS can be turned into good British citizens through re-education.   Even if such policies are put in force the idea that this would seriously hinder Muslim terrorists in Britain is laughable because of the numbers of Muslims living here as British citizens. The current official estimate of British Muslims fighting in in Iraq and Syria is 500. That is probably an underestimate, but even if it was only 500 that would be more than enough to create severe problems in this country. As for the British Muslim population in general, there is evidence that a substantial portion of them share the “I don’t agree with their methods but…” mentality of Irish Republicans towards the Provisional IRA.

The Western political response

Any action by Western politicians is problematic because  as a class they have  lost the ability to instinctively  act in the national interests of the people they are supposed to represent. They ignore   the first duty of a politician in a democracy which is to ask what is best for their own people. Instead their  calamitous mentality is that described in Jean Raspail’s “Camp of the Saints” where the response of politicians and the liberal elite generally to the  passive-aggressive  misery of huge numbers of migrants from the Third World  arriving in the West overwhelms the needs of their own people.

But  Western political elites are becoming seriously afraid of both the danger represented by violent Muslims in their countries and the anger of their native populations .   As a consequence there are things being said now by public figures which would have been unthinkable only a few short weeks ago.   The one-time Shadow Home Secretary David Davis pushes for  British Muslims who go to fight with the likes of Isis to be stripped of their British citizenship regardless of whether this leaves them stateless  so that  their  “trip to Syria is no longer a short violent holiday but a life sentence to the lifestyle they claim to espouse, complete with Sharia law and a desert climate”.  The Leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage advocates the same thing while the  former  Archbishop of Canterbury  Lord Carey says that “ Multiculturalism has resulted in honour killings, female genital mutilation and rule by Sharia law” and supports the call to remove British citizenship from those who go to join  violent Islam.  The Mayor London Boris Johnson wants Muslims returning from Syria and Iraq to be considered guilty until proven innocent of terrorist activity, a bald reversal of the ancient right under English law to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

The journalist Leo McKinstry  places the responsibility for the present danger firmly on successive British governments :

“The fact is that extremism has flourished in a climate formed by the twin strategies of mass immigration and multiculturalism. Open borders have led to a phenomenal expansion in Britain’s Muslim population to almost three million, many of the new arrivals hailing from parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where Islamic sectarianism is rife.

At the same time the dogma of cultural diversity has become one of the central obsessions of the state. We are constantly told that we must celebrate the vibrant enrichment of our society. But, by its emphasis on cultural differences and its loathing for traditional British values the doctrine of diversity has been a catastrophe for Britain.

In place of integration it has promoted division and separatism. We are a land increasingly without a mutual sense of belonging or shared national identity. It is little wonder that, according to one recent survey, 26 per cent of Muslims here said they feel no loyalty to Britain.”

The problem is that while the public rhetoric is changing  nothing significant  alters on the ground. The words change but the circumstances remain much  the same.  The Western  liberal elites are still  paralysed by both political correctness and the ghastly fact that dangerous fifth columns now exist because of their mass immigration policies and the consequent need to suppress native British  dissent about its effects.  In addition through their policy of multiculturalism the liberal elite has encouraged  ethnic and racial minorities to both live culturally apart from and  behave in a  flagrantly provocative manner towards the native population.  The upshot of all this is that those with power in the West  dare not admit there is a general problem amongst immigrant communities ( which live largely separate lives in their own communities)   because to do so would be to admit that the fault lay with them.

In an attempt to circumvent the danger of being held to account, Western politicians and the mainstream media try to peddle the “violent Muslims are only a tiny percentage of Muslims living amongst us; the vast majority  are well educated, peace loving, hardworking  law abiding citizens”.   This is a dubious proposition  in itself when the crime, educational attainment, benefit  take up  and unemployment statistics throughout the West show Muslims to be  more prone to crime, to have below average educational attainment  and are more likely to be unemployed or on in-work benefits than the population as a whole. But even if none of those things were true the problem of violent Islam in Britain would still be there because many of the Muslims who have been outed as  sharing violent Islam’s ideas are not from the lower reaches of society.

The important thing to understand is that it is never the peaceful minority which counts in these circumstances.  What matters is the terrorist minority. They drive the terror and enlist the non-violent to aid them  in various ways.  The Provisional IRA (PIRA) in Ireland probably never had no more than a thousand  people actively engaged in terrorism: sanctioning and planning terrorist attacks, making bombs, planting bombs, killing or  maiming those thought to untrustworthy or simply disobedient to PIRA’s will.  But there  were very large numbers who were willing to provide PIRA  with safe houses, to  store of weapons, to tell PIRA about  informers and come out  on the streets at the drop of a hat to protest in the PIRA interest.   In addition, the existence of a large population with a very well nourished  sense of victimhood  (the Irish Catholics) allowed in Mao’s words  the PIRA “guerrilla to move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea. “

But there are terrorist and terrorists. There are two  radical differences between PIRA and violent Islam.  PIRA were not driven by religious fanaticism (it was a Marxist organisation) and its members were drawn from communities which shared similar moral values to those of the British.  This meant that when the time came to make a peace  of sorts between Britain and Irish Republicans there was a great deal  of cultural similarity between the two parties.   The representatives of violent Islam, even those born and bred here, will have little fellow feeling  with or understanding of  the native British population.

The second and most important difference is that the  nature of  the PIRA and ISIS  end games. For PIRA it was a united Ireland. That was a genuinely possibility because the British government accepted that if Northern Ireland voted for union with the Irish Republic they could have it provided the Republic agreed. Although hardline members of PIRA did not want to make peace,  many PIRA members did , together with  a majority of ordinary republicans . Crucially, the republicans  in favour of peace could see it simply as a stepping stone to the unification of Ireland, not as a defeat for their cause.  In addition, the demographics of Northern Ireland were heading towards a Catholic and therefore largely republican majority by the time peace was formally made.  That also gave republicans hope.

Violent Islam does not have an end game which any Western government could concede either in  whole or in part. Its practitioners want the overthrow of Western society and the imposition of Islam.  There is no conception of compromise. If Britain existed under the control of such people it would be an unforgiving theocracy.  Because violent Islam is implacable,  no concession short of outright victory for violent Islam will end the violence.  If Western governments make concessions such as granting Sharia courts parity with civil courts violent Islam will simply pocket the bribe and march on towards the final end of total dominance.

Where does this leave the West?   It leaves the countries with large Muslim populations at perpetual risk from both terrorism and the likelihood of Western elites diluting their own cultural integrity by  attempting to appease Muslims by granting them more and more privileges. These  risks will  increase because Western Muslims  have higher  birth rates than native Western populations. In addition,  further substantial Muslim immigration  will probably occur because Western governments will try to placate Muslims by relaxing entry requirements and  border controls are always likely to be ineffective.  Black Western converts to Islam could also swell the numbers significantly.

Is there a silver lining or two amongst the Islamic clouds?   Well, at least the realities of the situation the liberal elite have created are becoming impossible to ignore. Most encouragingly, the concept of treason is suddenly back on the political agenda. This is fundamentally important because patriotism is not an optional extra but the glue which sticks a society together.  Yet t the storm cloud which cannot be dispersed is the immoveable fact of millions of Muslims living within Western societies  who harbour substantial numbers of people who are unquestioningly hostile to the countries in  which they  reside.  That is what rule by the politically correct devotees to internationalism have brought us, a huge and potentially very dangerous fifth column in our midst.  It has been an act of the most fundamental treason.

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