The Paris Terror Attacks is Really the Birds Coming Home to Roost; Follies of the West in Middle East
There is always a beginning and in this case, we have to go back to the Afghan war against the Soviets. At that time the USA and the Western allies never realized that they were creating a Hydra as they armed the Taliban and al Qaeda against the Soviet Union. The Russians lost heart and left and America also thought the bad dream was over and left behind millions of dollars of arms and weaponry for the so-called Mujahidin. This was the beginning, as the Mujahidin found a mentor in Pakistan, who thought they could use these Mujahidin against India on the Kashmir issue.
The best of plans go awry and so did this Pakistan plan and the movement was taken over by Islamists, who dreamed of a Caliphate from Europe to Asia. The West initially did not take it seriously and continued to pander to these extremist groups, thinking they were on their side, but in fact, these groups were deadly opposed to the west and the USA, who they considered the Great Satan. This was the beginning and the West compounded their initial mistake of arming the Mujahidin by removing two bulwarks against Muslim extremists. This was a shortsighted policy and bound to backfire.
Compounding the Mistake
The West led by the United States committed three blunders. They removed two strong bulwarks against extremists. Doubtless, these men were despots themselves and at one stage Gaddafi did espouse terror, but over the years he had changed and had started acting against Al Qaeda. He was the first to issue an arrest warrant against Osama Bin Laden in 1998.
Saddam Hussein was a despot, but he hanged scores of extremists who were opposed to him. The fact is these two men though despots yet were the proxy to fight al Qaeda. Nobody can deny that as long as these two dictators were in power al Qaeda could do nothing. Their removal opened a hornet’s nest and both countries were destabilized and extremist Islamists came to the fore and soon became a force to reckon with. This period also marked the arrival of the Islamic state and Al Baghdadi, a man with a vision of an Islamic state.
The fat was now in the fire and with Iraq and Libya under threat, the west again intervened. This was a disaster as the ISI got recruits from all over the world including the UK, USA, and France. They grew in strength and matters were not helped by the halfhearted approach to fighting them as the West was still concerned with Russian influence and other extraneous matters.
The Russians came and struck and for once the ISI was on the back foot as they looked for a soft target and that was France.
The West again for reasons never specified went soft on Pakistan, which was a state sponsoring terrorism. They gave succor to Osama Bin Laden and got terror groups to attack India. All terrorists work in a seamless manner and soon terrorists striking India also struck the west.
An attack against a soft target was expected and by all accounts, the French were the soft target. They have the largest Muslim minority and France never really attacked the havens of the terrorists with force relying more on the USA. It was also guilty of ignoring Islamic extremists as it was more concerned with the domination of Russia over Europe.
The attack has exposed the French and despite brave talk by President Hollande, France just does not have the arsenal or capability to strike at terror havens in the Middle East. It has perforce to rely on the USA. If the French are wise they will forget their obsession with Russia and join the attack on the ISI. President Obama is soft on terror and has repeatedly refused to specify that Islam is ridden by extremist philosophy. So not much can be expected from him. The silver lining is that he is on his way out and one hopes the new president won’t shirk his responsibility.
At the end of the day one can see that overall the Hydra was a creation of the West and now like Heracles, they have to fight their own creation. It will be a difficult battle and victory cannot be assured.