In response to an FT View on 10th July 2017, entitled 'The threat of ISIS shifts as jihadists lose turf in Iraq'
“It is nine months since the battle for Mosul was launched. By Sunday, US-backed forces had made enough progress in crushing resistance from fighters of the Islamic state that Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, was able to visit the city and proclaim victory from its ruins” – FT View
According to ‘Airwars.org’ a project led by Chris Woods, a former producer for BBC’s Newsnight and Panorama: there have been 13,111 coalition strikes in Iraq in the 1067 days of the current campaign. When Syria is included the figure is 23,345, consisting of 89,144 bombs and missiles dropped, resulting in a minimum of 4345 civilians killed by the coalition.
“The threat of Isis shifts as jihadis lose turf in Iraq” – FT View
That would seem wise, but for this: The threat has already shifted. Whilst coalition forces have been closing in on Mosel, ISIS and other jihadist groups have occupied the Philippines city of Marawi, exploded a truck bomb inside the ‘green zone’ in Kabul, and murdered people on the streets of London and Manchester. There are now 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan, an increase of 1500 since April, and the Taliban control more territory than they did prior to the US invasion in 2001 – 16 years ago.
Meanwhile the US and UK are supplying arms and military knowhow to the ideological and geographical source of groups like ISIS and al Qaeda - Saudi Arabia, a country currently carrying out a bombing campaign and naval embargo of Yemen; a country which has suffered 10,000 civilian deaths since 2015, according to the UN’s most conservative estimate.
And yet, there are a growing number of ‘neoconservatives’ and ‘liberal interventionists’ in Washington pushing for confrontation with Iran – a conflict that would surely lead to a global war involving her ally Russia, and China, with whom she has vital trade interests. Our best hope for the avoidance of this madness is a rapprochement with Russia, and yet the aforementioned idiots take every opportunity to attack Trump for doing the most sensible thing he has done since getting to the White House – talking to Vladimir Putin.
What started in 2001 with a campaign in Afghanistan against jihadis we’d supported when they were fighting Russia…that continued with Bush and Blair’s phoney WMD war on Iraq…then Libya...now Syria...has escalated into a conflict affecting Asia, Africa, Europe, America and Australia. Every country destroyed or de-stabilized by US and UK military action is now a breeding ground for terrorism. How utterly moronic are we, if we still don’t get the point?
And yet - make no mistake – there are political, military and industrial interests in Washington who want a war; people who are mad enough to think they can actually ‘win’ one. ‘Victory’, as conceived by this sick bunch of psychopaths, is something that exists independently of lives lost – it won’t be their kids doing the bleeding and the dying. Their kids, they think, will be driving into ‘liberated’ territory to arrange the oil, infrastructure and armaments deals required for the 'reconstruction'.
You have a choice FT – either speak out forcefully against this madness as it continues to escalate – or don’t. Be a force for sanity, or toe the party line whilst evil men take us to war…again.
"Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the U.S. military machine to turn" - John Stockwell, ex U.S. Marine Corps Major, and Chief of Station and National Security Council coordinator for the CIA
"I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory. If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man" - Harold Pinter