Reacting to the terrorism in Brussels this week, Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz displayed their usual imbecility. Both reiterated hate-speech blaming Muslims for the terror attack, with Trump repeating his call for a ban on entry to the United States, while Cruz wants more hardline policing of Islamic and Arab communities.
These crackpot neofascist views are but the outer fringes of a spectrum of no intelligence that is dominant in official circles and mainstream media discourse –both in the US and Europe.
In addition to persecuting Muslims, Trump and Cruz want to step up air strikes in foreign countries where the terror group ISIL (Daesh) has strongholds. The Democrats may repudiate racism and be more measured in their military response, but they still frame their prescriptions in the narrative of the West being in a “war on terror”.
Meanwhile, in Europe the official response to this week’s terror attacks in the Belgian capital are equally vacuous, albeit absent of the vile racism and xenophobia of Trump and Cruz. Ultimately, the European political leaders and the media conform to the same fatuous narrative of the West being at war against terrorists.
Expressing his solidarity and sympathy with Belgium, French President Francois Hollande said the “whole of Europe is hit” and that the “whole of Europe must lead the war on terrorism”.
Ironically, one theme among the platitudes about solidarity is the concern over “lack of intelligence”. European politicians and supposed security experts have taken to the media to express alarm over “intelligence failings” by Belgian state forces.
Yes, at one level, there are questions about how Belgium and neighboring European countries failed to prevent the latest atrocity by homegrown terrorists in which 34 lives were lost, as well as the massacre in Paris back in November, when 130 people were killed. We could go back further to other such terror attacks in Europe over the past decade.
But the real issue about lack of intelligence among American and European officials and the media is this: none of the public figures are capable of dealing with the glaring reality that both the US and Europe have created the terror problem now wreaking havoc on the streets of Brussels and Paris.
Trump and Cruz want to ban Muslims en masse, carpet bomb foreign countries, ramp up torture techniques even more than they already are practiced by US authorities; Clinton and Sanders are relatively mealymouthed, but they want to join with European allies to go to war on terrorists. The latter means bombing countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
Such reactions are those of madmen who have taken over the asylum, albeit with some more crazy and psychopathic than others. And the Western mainstream media are just as complicit in the depravity because they allow the politicians to get away with spouting these inanities and falsehoods.
Despite the implicit denial, the inescapable fact is that the terrorism now haunting Europe is the bitter fruit of policies that Washington and its European allies have sown in the Middle East. Western states have sponsored terrorism for their geopolitical objectives of regime change. The causal connection is incontestable, for those who are not misinformed.
Syria is but the latest episode in a long and odious story of Western states fomenting and weaponizing terrorist proxies. Of course, Western governments and their dutiful news media conceal this despicable reality by conjuring up smokescreens, such as “we are only supporting moderate rebels”.
French president Hollande is on public record saying that his state supplied weapons to Syria as early as 2012. Elsewhere it is admitted in Western media that weapons supplied by Western intelligence agencies like the CIA and MI6 then ended up in the hands of “extremists” of ISIL and Al Qaeda-linked al Nusra front. Bottom line: Western countries weaponized terror groups.
On the political level, Washington and its European allies have spent five years demonizing the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, demanding regime change, in violation of international law. Mercenaries from over 80 countries, including European states, have gravitated to Syria to “fight jihad” in order to topple the Assad government.
Now, for whatever reason, these same would-be jihadists are coming back to their home countries, where they are received by radicalized groups, who have witnessed how their governments have for years been bombing, invading, and demolishing Arab and Muslim countries.
It’s recipe for terrorism on the streets of Europe –as we saw again this week in Brussels.
But then adding insult to injury, we hear foulmouthed politicians wanting to target Muslims, or their slightly more sophisticated counterparts saying we need “more war” and “more intelligence”.
There is a lack of intelligence all right. The kind of intelligence that rightly attributes the blame for the affliction of terrorism on Western governments and their criminal covert policies.
What truly is sickening is Western politicians prescribing more of the same destructive and nihilistic policies.