Please leave our terrorists alone!
Please leave our terrorists alone!
My concern is simply this: Does the West, led by the United States, have any reasonable workable plan to solve the terror puzzle?
The United States has been leading the so-called war on terror since 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
In October 2001, it invaded Afghanistan, toppled the Taliban government and killed an unknown number of people. After each drone strike we are told that some big terrorist leader was targeted and killed. No news is given about “collateral” damage, which often includes civilians killed, animals obliterated, weddings turned into funerals and homes destroyed.
In 2003, the United States ganged up with the United Kingdom to invade and occupy Iraq because, among other reasons, Saddam Hussein was evil and eliminating him contributed to the war on terror efforts, making America and the world a better place.
In that war, the United States lost more than 4,000 people, including those who were offered US citizenship in return for fighting in Iraq. During the subsequent occupation, US soldiers committed heinous crimes against Iraqis in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. It is from Camp Bucca, another notorious prison, that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was graduated after four years in confinement.
In 2011 America, France, the United Kingdom and other major Western powers were busy planning and helping the “Arab spring” to bring us, in the Middle East, from Yemen to Tunisia, freedom and liberation. It turned out to be a metaphor for more terror, death, destruction, insecurity and displacement.
Despite all the efforts, billions of dollars wasted, thousands killed and even more displaced, terror is increasing and widening its reach from Beirut to Paris and forcing major powers not only to panic but to also take unprecedented measures including imposing, as France did, a state of emergency and passing new laws further limiting freedoms.
Between 2001 and now, we have been cursed with more terror organisations whose scope and brutality have not been witnessed since World War II.
The Islamic State (ISIS) never existed before the US-led invasion of Iraq just as al-Qaeda never appeared before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and Ansar al-Sharia was never heard of in my country, Libya, let alone in Yemen and Tunisia, before the “Arab spring” of 2011.
It was France, the United Kingdom and the United States that kept preaching about the “Arab spring” but it is us living in the region who have been paying a heavy price every day since then.
With each drone they send to kill someone in our part of the world, they radicalise more of us and send them right into the arms of ISIS and whatever will inherit its position if they ever destroy it.
So please leave our terrorists alone.
We know them, we know who supports them and who funds them. The West, the United States in particular, has long been part of the problem and can only be part of the solution if they listen to us first.
If ISIS and terrorism in general is an idea or a belief stepped in some kind of dogma then defeating it requires more of the same and fewer bombs, wars and drones. Since 2001 and after the great sacrifices made and expenditures, there is no return on such a huge investment in fighting terror.
So far nothing has worked and nothing proved to be anywhere near being a good remedy against terrorism. All possible solutions at this stage are costly and all of them will take a very long time to be effective in a world in which seconds matter.
I am a Muslim from the region, which gives me some advantage to better understand the puzzle, maybe a little better than most of you readers. Yet if you ask me what is the solution, I can hardly answer your question. I can only say it’s too late, too costly, too long, too difficult and too demanding. Yet I believe it’s better than all solutions being applied so far.
Leave our terrorists alone.