David Cameron’s failed policy on terrorism and extremism
By Ray Hanania
British Prime Minister David Cameron is the poster child of government officials who have no idea how to confront the growing threat of extremism and terrorism, but what do you expect from a politician who compromised his ethics to suck up to Rupert Murdock’s corrupt News of the World and helped them cover-up the phone hacking scandal because his “close friend” was one of Murdock’s principle editors.
Cameron Friday declared in a live television broadcast that the rise of terrorism and extremism in Iraq and Syria was not the result of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He raised the terror level in Britain and he blamed it all on the “poisonous ideology of Islamic extremism.”
Who’s he kidding and trying to protect? The real blame rests on the poisonous ideology of American and British racism that has driven American and British foreign policy for the past 13 years. The real blame rests with the failed policies of both America and Britain to respond to violence by casting it in the context of racial profiling and placing a religious and ethnic identity to violence while closing their eyes to their own illegal acts and their own terrorism and killing of civilians.
It is true that the terrorism threat is greater today than it was even on Sept. 11, 2001 when terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the Pentagon and the New York Twin Towers killing nearly 3,000 innocent people.
But it is also true that the rise in terrorism is a direct result to the failed polices implemented by former President George W. Bush and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor including Cameron, who belatedly has raised the terror level in the United Kingdom following disclosures that the terrorist associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who butchered and beheaded James Foley is a British citizen who police have alleged is Abdel Majed Abdel Bary, aka Lyricist Jinn, aka L Jinny.
The fact is terrorism is worsening and the policies of the United States and Britain are directly responsible, but our elected officials typical refuse to accept responsibility. The fact has always been that there is no accountability in either London or Washington D.C., but there is a lot of finger pointing, and political exploitation for self-serving interests for both.
For former President George W. Bush, the selfish interest was his pride. He ordered the invasion of Iraq to avenge the threat from Saddam Hussein against his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and the demagoguery of Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, one of the most evil men in American history. Cheney is an owner of Halliburton and no one benefited from the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003 more than Halliburton and the dozens of business spin-offs that were created. Cheney is a war criminal and he should one day be prosecuted for his crimes against humanity. Cheney’s cabal of evil men included J. Paul Bremer and the puppet Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The fact is that al-Qaeda NEVER had a base in Iraq or in Syria, but Bush’s failed war which accomplished nothing transformed a bad situation into one that was far worse and more threatening for Americans. Iraq and Syria today are breeding grounds for extremist violent terrorism of the worst kind. ISIL (ISIS) is only one of the new generations of terrorism that the West will face, created by the injustices and the examples of illegal conduct that Bush, Cheney and many of our own soldiers displayed — that includes the war criminals at Blackwater who committed mass murder and killed many innocent civilians. They should be prosecuted, too. Killings by Blackwater mercenaries murderers were so common. Click here for just one.
But Halliburton and Blackwater and Cheney are not facing war crimes because they are being protected by people like Bush and Cameron who want to blame the troubles they caused on others.
The worst thing in the world is when failed politicians point fingers of blame at everyone but themselves in order to justify more failed policies. And Iraq is a Major Failure, maybe the biggest foreign relations failure of the 21st Century. Iraq is falling apart. Civil government is collapsing under the pressure of the war crimes that were committed in the name of Democracy by Bush and Blair and Blair’s successors like Cameron. Iraq is in disarray and will continue to worsen, not get better.
American policies that included the illegal use of torture created the foundation for the murder of James Foley. We, Americans, handed to the terrorists the motives to murder and torture our own prisoners. How many alleged Iraqi terrorists were tortured and murdered in American torture chambers in Iraq, and elsewhere. In many cases, the United States Military sent prisoners to foreign countries where they were tortured even beyond the violence employed by our own American forces. Water boarding, beatings, shootings, policies of dehumanizations, and forcing prisoners into small boxes and other forms of physical depravations are just the tip of the iceberg of torture that was used in Iraq.
We should expect that any American or British citizen captured by the terrorists will be tortured and even if it is onlya s bad as what we did in Iraq, that is bad enough and illegal.
The use of torture has created a new playbook for war and conflict, one defined by America and President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Torture and murder have been made acceptable. It was acceptable when Americans were in control and now it is acceptable under the control of the terrorists. It is impossible to point a finger at the ISIL terrorists and denounce them for murdering innocent civilians when that is exactly what American forces and Blackwater mercenaries did with impunity and with no accountability during the illegal “war” in Iraq.
The seeds of corruption that we planted in Iraq through our own policies of hypocrisy, the absence of the rule of law, and the failure to apply morality and principle are now coming home to roost.
Those same failed policies and the embrace of war crimes rather than principle have been the driving force in defending the unacceptable misconduct of Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip where there, too, thousands of civilians were butchered. It’s amazing how when an American is killed or a British citizen is killed, the howls for justice rise up. But those same voices are silent when the victims of war crimes and illegal acts are Arabs murdered by Americans and British soldiers and mercenaries.
James Foley isn’t the most horrendous of tragedies. He’s only the beginning. And until Americans and British come to terms with the violations of international laws, the violations of human rights, the war crimes that we committed, the terrorists have a huge propaganda tool that will only help them to build their armies against us and recruit more terrorists who will try to kill our people.
James Foley’s death, and the death of other innocent people falls squarely on the shoulders of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, British Prime Minister Blair and now David Cameron and no amount of excuses will change that.
Tragically, American policies and British polices have made the world a more dangerous place. And the war on terrorism, under their failed leadership, is steadily collapsing. The terrorists are winning, thanks to us.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist. He is the managing editor of The Arab Daily News www.TheArabDailyNews.com.)