From its inception, it was clear to many that George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’ was a total sham. It was rhetorical cover for a premeditated plan to systematically remove sovereign governments, mostly in the secular Arab world, under the totally false pretext that they were sponsors of Islamic terrorism.
The fact that such states were enemies of Islamic terrorism didn’t matter, the narrative was set. Those of course were the Bush years where to quote the man whose eloquence at times rivalled that of Vitaly Klitschko, “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists”.
But these are the Obama years and this pretext of fighting terror has more or less been abandoned.
How ironic then that the treats of international terrorism, widely exaggerated during the Bush years are now dangerously realistic threats.
How ironic is it also that the same states which prior to 2003 loathed Islamic extremism are now states which have been destabilised to the point that they are hotbeds of Islamic extremism.
Iraq’s weak government has allowed a group now known as ISIS to form in the north of the country, although their atrocities in Iraq are no longer limited to their Mosul stronghold.
Western attempts to overthrow the government in Damascus, starting in 2011, have allowed ISIS to capture many parts of Syria’s east and northern regions.
The failed state of Hillary Clintonstan, once the most prosperous country in Africa, is now a failed state, where ISIS and likeminded mobs run rampant. This is of course Libya. Far from surprising, these developments were predicted and America and her allies were warned of the consequences, but they didn’t listen. This is also not surprising.
As I’ve written previously, the world stands closer to the brink of war than at any time since 1962’s Cuban Missile Crisis, yet like the events of 1962, the current crisis could be avoided.
As for the dangers of the new-breed of international Islamic terrorism, they cannot be avoided but they instead ought to be confronted.
Here in terms of both policy and narrative, the west has totally abandoned its own people. It is the atheists of democracy, it is the antithesis of good sense.
The bigger question is this: Do people in western countries believe the new narrative that largely ignores the complexities and urgency implicit in the fight against Islamic terrorism and buy the increasingly tired ‘Assad Must Go’ line?
It seems the line isn’t working. In countries where there exists the combination of a generally poor historical education and a media which withholds facts or tells outright untruths about foreign affairs, it is not surprising if talk of regimes in far off lands, is a bit like explaining the joys of abstract expressionism to Stevie Wonder.
But people still tend to get that President Assad’s men aren’t putting bombs in the streets of New York, people have grasped that The Syrian Arab Army didn’t shoot up a musical concert in Paris, people know that it wasn’t Ba’athist paratroopers that came to Belgium to slaughter civilians at an airport.
They know that such people were ISIS style terrorists who have nothing to do with President Assad.
By extrapolation therefore, people are starting to wonder if in countries in the Middle East, the trouble are terrorist gangs/cults rather than the legitimate government of Syria.
After all, the US supports the government in Iraq (however flaccidly) who are fighting ISIS and their cohorts, but they are doing the opposite in Syria.
There they are actively sponsoring terrorists, acting as the air force for terrorists, and fighting against the government in Damascus, which theoretically is on the same side of the anti-terrorist divide as the far more feeble government in Baghdad.
As the ‘Assad Must Go…please ignore the fact that he’s fighting the most barbaric terrorists in recent memory’ narrative unravels and fails to win over heart and minds in an increasingly demoralised West, one has to again return to the character of Donald Trump.
Whilst he is an outsider, his public profile has allowed him to be the voice of the man in the street who says ‘ISIS frightens me, Assad does not”. Millions are thinking this, but Trump is saying it, and what’s more I have reason to believe him.
Trump is a businessman and a keen marketing man at that, who knows which narratives sell and which ones won’t.
A businessman also knows how to separate the actual competition from the irrelevant. Put simply, if the civilised world is McDonalds than ISIS is Burger King. Vulgar though the analogy is, the logic fits. Both are competing in the same market for the same thing, coexistence won’t necessarily be easy and in this case impossible because burgers don’t kill people…but bombs sure do. By contrast if the civilised world is McDonalds, than Assad is Mercedes-Benz, an organisation making a totally unrelated product in a totally different sector.
So even if one hasn’t the heart to empathise with Trump, have a head and try to see how Trump has arrived at his conclusions.
There’s more to the man than meets the eye and crucially he is helping to unravel a Western narrative on the Middle East that is chocked full of lies and duplicity, one which continues to cost lives and push superpowers to the brink of war.