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Double Standards: The West and Terrorism

The West, whilst insisting that others seek peaceful solutions, has resorted to the sword on many occasions, writes Dr Strobe Driver.

The horrors recently delivered upon innocent civilians and police officers in France, and being mindful of the unspeakable multiple-traumas that would have been cast upon those involved in Australia’s Lindt Café siege, are painful in the extreme, and those concerned should be offered unconditional sympathy. With the greatest of respect–especially to those who have lost a loved one–there is a deeper malaise underpinning why these actions have taken place. In order to understand why these individuals’ were driven to this point must be cautiously brought to the fore. At its core is the way in which the West has manipulated—to its own advantage—the world’s body-politic; and the way in which this process has stirred the hatred of many.

The process of the untrammelled expansion of the ‘West’[1] or what is the Western ‘style’ of government and governance has been present in the body-politic of the world for several centuries. The European Westphalian[2] ‘system,’ is what underpins the way in which the world ‘is’ and consists of demarcated borders, sovereign/national government, recognized boundaries (sea, air and land), effective governance, and the rule of sovereign law, as well as international law. This ‘system,’ has been in place since 1648 however, there was an attempt to put this ‘system’ more firmly into place after World War One—through the League of Nations—however, this failed and it was not until after World War Two (WWII), that it was formally reinforced through an institute: the United Nations (UN). In coming to terms with UN ‘requirements’ and thus, the full recognition of the ‘system’ it is necessary to differentiate between ‘government’ and ‘governance.’ Government is who ‘runs a country’ and there are many different ‘types’ and forms of a ‘government’: dictatorship, democracy, autocracy, social-democracy, benevolent dictatorship, theocracy and numerous others. To be sure, often a particular government will consist of a ‘blend’ of practices although it will form under the mantle of one ‘type’ of government. Others will be static in their representation of a ‘style’ of government, such as Cuba and Britain, both incredibly different though rigid in their representation. Whilst there were, and are, many differences in the way in which countries are governed, all countries nevertheless, conform to the system of governance which Europa—or what we now call Europe/Western Europe—devised, and then disseminated around the world. The ‘manner of governing’[3] is premised on the aforementioned sovereign-system of values, which all participants recognize as legitimate/legal.

There are, of course, disputes with regard to ‘who owns what’ and there always has been. Hence, in modern day times these issues are meant to be debated in the UN. This is in direct contrast to the pre-Westphalian system of immediate recourse-to-arms when a matter was in dispute. The savagery of which, was summed by Grotius circa early-1600s as:

I saw prevailing throughout the Christian world … a license in making war which even barbarous nations would have been ashamed; recourse was had to arms for slight reasons, or for no reason, and when arms were once taken up, all reverence for divine and human law was thrown away; just as if men were thenceforth authorized to commit all crimes without restraint.[4]

There remains to this day, several current sovereignty/ownership disputes and they are China-India, (Arunachal Pradesh); Israel-Palestine, (Gaza Strip); China-Japan, Senkaku Islands/Diaoyutai Islands; and the Argentine-Britain, Falklands Islands/Islas Malvinas. Nevertheless, all of the these are expected to be solved through the various mechanisms of the UN, and the mantra of the UN has always been—through their various charters—to insist that peaceful settlement is the best outcome.

Underpinning the UN is also an insistence that nations, regardless of their government to (eventually) adopt ‘democracy,’ as through this mechanism the UN believes ‘best practice’ governance—or put more succinctly, the Western European ‘model’ of governing—should be adopted, as it offers better populace representation and moreover, is the consummate expression of fairness. All else is secondary to this model. Powerful non-democratic nation-states (such as China and Russia) do exercise considerable control within the UN—both are have permanent seats on the UN Security Council and are part of the Permanent Five (P5) members on the UN Security Council (UNSC)—and as such, they do respect the rules of polity as per the Westphalian system. Theoretically all nations-states, and in particular, democratically governed nation-states respect the Wesphalian mantra that a sovereign ruler/government has the ‘supreme authority to act in a particular sphere unhampered by others …’[5] or in simpler terms, a ruler/government is allowed to conduct their governing/governance on their own terms without the interference of others.

Therefore, one can argue, if democracies are the best representatives of what good government and governance represents, then it is only fair that their record be examined in what they have done in order to bring about peace; and what they have accomplished in the post-WWII world, in particular with regard to the non-interference component. This needs to be done to establish whether what powerful democracies have insisted upon through the mechanisms of the UN—peaceful dialogue, negotiation and other principles of justice—has actually been carried out by those that have the high moral ground with regard to governing; and to be sure, in keeping to their Westphalian ‘ideals.’

A perfunctory observation of the post-WWII era is an excellent starting point because the UN has been firmly established and once again, powerful democracies should not, if they are true to their ideals, be inciting hatred through what Grotius called ‘a license to making war’—the use of direct force—especially when its (read: democracy) expectations of others has not been met.

American troops in Vietnam (image from www.telegraph.co.uk)

American troops in Vietnam (image from www.telegraph.co.uk)

The West however, whilst insisting that others seek peaceful solutions, has ‘resorted to the sword’ on many occasions. At times this has consisted of intra-state interventions (warring with another Western nation-state), though on most occasions, it has been Western interventions colliding with non-Western nation-states and/or peoples in one form or another. The interest here however, is the degree that the West, or ‘Western-orientated’ nation-states have delivered on their adversary, whether through direct or indirect violence. Examples of the West going to war in one form or another consist of Great Britain and its dealings with Northern Ireland (The Troubles, 1968-1998)[6]; the British in Malaya (the ‘Malayan Emergency,’ or the ‘War of the Running Dogs,’ 1948-1960)[7]; the incursion and then invasion of northern Vietnam by the French (the First Indo-China War, 1946-1954); the French occupation of Algeria, in what Evans has called France’s ‘undeclared war’[8]; the Second Indo-China War (the Vietnam War 1962-1975) in order for the United States (US) to stem the tide of Communism which it insisted would take place through a ‘domino principle,’ which would see all of Southeast Asia usurped by Communism[9]; South Africa and the Apartheid regime which included the gaoling of the (then) terrorist Nelson Mandela; the ‘extraordinary rendition’[10] of citizens by the US to non-Western nation-states in their ‘War on Terror’ (2003 – ); to name only a few examples of violence which the West has approved. Less overt, however just as troublesome is the selective approval by the West of, arming and/or supporting nation-states that have brutal and repressive governments such as Saudi Arabia; and the tacit support by the West of other less-violent though highly-suspect governments’ in their deliverance of democracy to all of their citizens, such as Singapore. Whilst the aforementioned represent degrees of direct force and/or misguided political will on the part of the West, and bearing in mind Western nation-states are the ‘upholder’s of problem solving’ via the UN, the sheer ineptness on the part of Western nations in bringing about an end to the recent internal conflict in Syria, and a mutually beneficial conclusion to the long-term Israel-Palestine crisis[11] cannot be ignored as both, it is fair to argue, contribute to the utter despair and rage of numerous non-Western nation-states. Moreover, they incite hatred toward the West; and manifest in their peoples a divide between how much the West really cares for non-Western populaces.

All of the abovementioned constitute abject and in some cases deliberate failings on the part of powerful Western nation-states in dealing with issues that are their concern—as per the tenets of Westphalia. More to the point, the West specifically addresses the notions of diplomacy through the various mechanisms of the UN, yet, and as is able to be observed, resorts to war, or a degree of violence at the earliest opportunity. The most relevant point here is, the West (and Western-orientated countries) pontificate one point of view, resort to violence, and then have the impudence it would seem, to believe their duplicity will go unnoticed and moreover, will not incite hatred and/or revenge toward the West. This is folly; and can only lead to eventual despair for the West.

The moral argument of whether attacks should take place against civilian targets is (now)an arid argument as the fact remains this is happening; and is evidence of the above duplicity in action. An alternative perspective remains to suggest that there is always another aspect to a given issue, for instance the argument that an agitator/event provoked the West into action—the most obvious in recent times being the World Trade Center disaster: A specific point needs mentioning here: it is the UN—usually the P5—that is charged with whether an action is warranted, and whether it should be pre-emptive or post-event. Therefore, it is not a single country to decide whether it should take action, and should only take action with UN approval. The tenets of the UN remain in place: military force must not be used unless it has the official/legal backing of the UNSC.[12]

The West has failed in following its own rules; in its duty-of-care to good governance and has treated other nation-states, in particular non-Western countries, with contempt and derision. As the actions of the West have developed and progressed in the post-WWII world the deliberateness of these actions—in some cases toward other Western nation-states, in the case of Ireland—have caused groups to come-of-age; be willing to sacrifice their lives; and execute others in the cause against the direct repression that the West has delivered. While the actions of non-state actors are reprehensible, especially when civilians and police officers are targeted, it is far too simplistic to state that the cause of non-state actors—terrorists, guerrillas and insurgents—have not been encouraged to their actions due to the abject contempt with which the West has shown toward others. Additionally, the West has fundamentally failed to stem reactionary forces through both its implementation of selective policies toward Western-friendly nations; and used direct force when other nations have sought to deviate from the course that has been ‘set’ by the West.

The above argument and the West’s attitude toward others, and indeed the ‘license to war,’ that has prevailed is able to be given a broader perspective with a cursory observation of one of the driver’s the West has used in its delivery of its body-politic. This has been through the attitude of the most powerful post-WWII actor: the US. According to Little the US, and one could argue by association Western policymakers, have been:

Influenced by potent racial and cultural stereotypes, some imported and some homegrown, that [have] depicted the Muslim world as decadent and inferior, U.S. policymaker’s from Harry Truman through to George Bush [have] tended to dismiss Arab aspirations for self-determination as politically primitive, economically suspect, and ideologically absurd.[13]

Current interventions (Australia’s into Iraq included), suggest this attitude remains entrenched in the psyche of the West and Western-orientated governments, and to be sure, unless these nation-states embark upon a change in their body-politic the horrifying repercussions of contemporary times will continue; especially against ‘soft targets’ as per the recent sieges in urban areas.

A pertinent reminder of the rage felt toward the West is able to be traced through the actions of Britain, France and the US and numerous other Western nations, although when examining interventions the US remains the most active, and has a long history of intervening in the affairs of others. From the Caribbean, through to the Middle East, the Central and South Americas, Africa and numerous other locales—to be fair, the UN has sponsored several actions—although it is imperative to note that between 1898 and 1996 there were 93 interventions on the part of the US–this is what Peceney has called ‘democracy at the point of bayonets.’[14] For many reasons beyond the deaths of innocent civilians, a rethink of the West’s ‘license to war’ is sorely needed. At the very least Western and Western-orientated countries, should stop offering platitudes regarding Western and Western-orientated nation-states being the ‘upholders of the virtue of good government/governance,’ when it is obviously a disingenuous and (now) deeply-flawed position to now assume. More to the point, non-Western nation-states perspicaciously observe the dichotomy of argument, and parallel actions.

References

[1] Western civilisation and what it represents is a vast and complex subject and fraught with interpretation. A succinct reference to this is only needed here in order to instil an understanding of how it became so expansive in its mechanisms that allowed this to prosper. Western civilisation has as one of its major tenets industrialization and science as part of its formulaic, and this in and of itself required organization and the forming of standing forces. Although Stearns uses the Industrial Revolution to make a point about the West it can be applied to when the Treaty of Westphalia and the sovereign state came into being. Stearns avers industrialization, ‘extended a Western commitment to using technology as a measure of social progress. The impulse to deplore other societies as backward because they lagged behind Western industrialization represented a further step is [sic] what was already a well-established impulse…[and moreover being Western] now depended on claiming unchallenged world supremacy…’ See: Peter Stearns. Western Civilization in World History. New York: Routledge, 2003, 105-108.

[2] The Treaty of Westphalia is also referred to as the Peace Treaty of Westphalia, the Settlement of Westphalia, the Peace Settlement of Westphalia, and the Peace Treaties of Westphalia. The Treaty of Westphalia was not borne of a single document as each, to some extent consisted of, and constituted, a ‘treaty’ of sorts. The most pertinent ones were of Franco-German intercession: the Treaty of Münster, and the Treaty of Osnabrück respectively. See: Leo Gross. ‘The Peace Treaty of Westphalia.’ The American Journal of International Law, 42, 1, January, 1948, 20-41.

[3] Dictionary.com < http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/governance?s=t > January, 2014.

[4] Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), was a Dutch philosopher and author of De Jure Belli Ac Pacis (The Rights of War and Peace), [and] wrote down the conditions for a just war that are accepted today.’ See: British Broadcasting Corporation. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/ethics/war/just/history.shtml> July, 2007.

[5] Derek Verall. ‘The Westphalian system and its underlying normative order.’ World Order. Managing International Conflict. Editors of the School of International and Political Studies, Geelong: Deakin University Press, 1996, 3.

[6] See: British Broadcasting Corporation <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/troubles&gt;

[7] See: Noel Barber. War of the Running Dogs, 1948-1960. Cassell Military Books, 2007.

[8] See: Martin Evans. Algeria: France’s Undeclared War. Oxford University Press, 2012.

[9] President Kennedy in a UN speech in 1961, stipulated if Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam fell to the communists, this would result in the gates of defeat for liberal-democracy being ‘open wide.’ See: John Kennedy. ‘Address in New York City before the General Assembly of the United Nations.’ September 25, 1961. United States Government Public Papers. <http//www.jfklinl.com/speeches/jfk/publicpapers/1961/jfk387_61.html> Accessed 23 April, 2008.

[10] See: Jane Meyer; ‘Outsourcing Torture.’ The New Yorker. February, 2005. <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/02/14/outsourcing-torture&gt;

[11] See: Tanya Reinhart. Israel/Palestine. How to End the War of 1948. Seven Stories Press, 2002.

[12] See: Chapter VII. Article 39 – 43. ‘Action with Respect to Threats to Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression.’ Charter of the United Nations.

[13] Douglas Little. American Orientalism. The United States and the Middle East since 1945. Chapell Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008, 11.

[14] Mark Peceney. Democracy at the Point of Bayonets. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Press, 1999, 16.

This article was first published on Geo-Strategic Orbit.

Dr Strobe Driver completed his doctoral thesis in war studies in 2011 and writes on International Relations; and Asia-Pacific security. He is also a sessional lecture and tutor at Federation University in the social sciences, history and international relations. The views expressed in this article are through his own research

35 comments

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  1. Blanik

    I don’t suppose that the holy war some 900 years ago when the first crusade by christians searching for paradise and driven by Roman catholic christianity unleashed a wash of barbarity upon the muslim believers, had anything to do with what we are experiencing today.

    And remember there were three of these crusades. Perhaps this may have been an influence on this deep seated animosity being shown today. This of course is only part of what could be seen as the problem. Korea, South East Asia, the indigenous people of North and South America, Australia, Africa, the Pacific islands and christ only knows where else. But it’s never the christian west’s fault is it?

    A very timely article indeed. Perhaps we should remember this when next we read about ‘terrorist’ be-headings, etc. But we won’t will we, because we are right.

    I’ll now don my flame suit. lolol

  2. mark delmege

    Strobe I’m sure it was a slip just mentioning Gaza and forgetting the West Bank or even the Golan Heights but more importantly two recent articles you might add to your kit bag – which help to underline the operations of Empire and the role of the UN. But I wonder why people like you (generalisation – sorry) and others don’t recognise the USofA as an empire where all others can only be submissive underlings – it would IMO add another level of understanding to what is happening in the world. I could make many more points on your assumptions etc but just these two articles tell a story of woe.

    http://smirkingchimp.com/print/60557/ (The Golden Age of Black Ops: Special Ops Missions Already in 105 Countries in 2015
    By Nick Turse
    Created Jan 20 2015 – 9:52am)

    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/eva-bartlett-gaza/2015/01/syrias-public-relations-war-interview-syrian-ambassador-to-?utm_content=bufferb7ebe&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  3. donwreford

    Religion is a cover up for a repressed condition of those who are or have been colonized, it is now inevitable terrorism is here to stay, this state is assisted by the power that creates arrogance by the conquerors of yesterday, the memory not only held by those of foreign but also those who having been oppressed by their own society, not that they are into a religion but have sentiments that are sympathetic to the terrorists, considering the wealth is held by the 1%, leaving 99% in varied conditions of poverty, the outcome must inevitable be the dream to destroy the 1% in what ever way possible.

  4. Matthew

    People still think America is a country, when it is an empire.

  5. John Kelly

    We should also include the Catholic Church’s crusade against the Cathars of southern France in the 13th century where heresy was a sufficient cause to engage in wanton slaughter and destruction.

  6. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe one could include the empires many countries, including British, Germans and Dutch were proud of. Took war for them to gain their freedom. Does one describe these people as terrorist or freedom fighters. Nelson Mandela is one that comes to mind.

    One cannot ignore history, when looking at the state of the world today.

  7. stephentardrew

    To survive we must become non-aligned. I know the US bases are a problem however we need to act in our own best interest. Looking at the US the democrats are so far right, and the country is so divided by right wing fanaticism and corruption in the judiciary, we just don’t need to emulate them. Good Lord if Clinton or Bush get in they are lost to dynasty which is totally undemocratic. Obama waits until the lame duck period to pretend he is a progressive. Citizen’s united gave unfettered political power to the Rich. Undermine Dodd/Frank and the next crisis say goodbye to depositors funds and pensions. What a farce. These people are straight out evil. and I don’t even believe in evil.

    To overcome the Tea Party, Randian greed and gross inequality we need to look to Norther Europe. We must stand against inequality and stop this outrageous nonsense peddled by the US that the rich worked for and deserve their wealth. It is every-bodies wealth and should be distributed equitably. Rewards, yes, but absurd wealth alongside abject poverty is disgusting and immoral. I see people all around working struggling day by day to earn the wealth for these immoral dystopian’s. And what do they want to do? Make their lives misery and unbearable. Their cruelty and elitism knows no bounds.

    Abbott and the conservatives have infected Australia with the disease of greed, elitism, lying and immorality. By heavens if we want our kids to grow up to be decent human beings we must defeat these narcissistic egotists.

    I am disgusted that the LNP can still fool more than 40% of Australians.

  8. mark delmege

    I’m happy to be wrong – but I don’t think the tea party is the problem – they just hate government – out of distrust – which is understandable in the American context but their foreign policy attitude is way ahead of the standard Repubs and Democrats.

  9. stephentardrew

    Mark the Tea Party are an enormous problem driven by backward referral, religious dogmatism and primitivism. Go to a Tea Party site and then tell me they are not a problem. Look at the influence they have had on legislation. The GOP are still infected with the madness of Ted Cruse and the like. They are a toxic blight upon democracy, justice, equity and utilitarian distribution. Their rabid fundamentalist religiosity is legion.

  10. Blanik

    Yes John, I forgot about the Cathars. We recently visited Camares where the people still talk of it and Cathar flags are for sale. The RC church has a lot to answer for.

  11. Jexpat

    Mark:

    Pick the vilest, most dishonest & delusional, innumerate, hypocritical, racist, paranoid & sociopathic Australian politician you can think of (one who’s also a so called “Christian” fundamentalist) and therein you have the run of the mill American teabagger.

    Not the worst of the lot by far- just the typical version you’re most likely to run into.

  12. Roswell

    Revolutionary Citizen, I’ll afford you the courtesy of letting you know what happened to your comment.

    I deleted it.

    Ridiculing an author because he has a different opinion to you is unnecessary. Try attacking the argument instead of the author please.

    As a moderator here I can suggest to you that if you don’t like the rules of this site then perhaps go elsewhere.

  13. revolutionarycitizen

    You may delete whatever you wish, concerns me not.

    Let me rephrase, the article is a wordy yet blunt attempt at moral relativism based largely on a large dose of anti-Americanism. I ask of anyone to tell what they think the world would look like today without the Western Hegemony centred around the US of A.

    Also, I pointed out the historical inaccuracy of a comment, doing so by pointing out that the Crusades were a response to Islamist expansion into Europe, and not the precursor to. An expansionist regime I should point out laid siege to Vienna, conquered Spain, Sicily and eventually Greece under the Ottomans, along with great swathes of the Balkans.

  14. John Fraser

    <

    Poor little "revolutionarycoward".

    Keep searching amongst that navel fluff for a better philosophy.

    Alex the Greatest conquered more and still life goes on.

    Does your broadband deal have a cap ? …. is that why you don’t like big Articles.

  15. corvus boreus

    “The Crusades were a response to Islamist expansion*”.
    *Except the crusades (and pogroms) not directed at the Moslems (eg against Cathars, Hussites, Baltic peoples)

  16. stephentardrew

    RC:

    Different and maybe a lot better maybe not.

    You don’t have a crystal ball so stop the stargazing.

    The lesser evil may not be the better of two evils.

    The better evil may end up being worse than the greater evil.

    All up I want to stop inequality, and abuse of the poor and lower income.

    The US and its blatant hypocrisy is writ large as a failed democracy well and truly immersed in corptocracy.

    We owe alliance to no one but our best interests.

  17. revolutionarycitizen

    “*Except the crusades (and pogroms) not directed at the Moslems (eg against Cathars, Hussites, Baltic peoples)”

    Never said they were perfect, or without failing, only that the Crusades began as a response to external aggression.

    “We owe alliance to no one but our best interests.”

    Until we take defence seriously and fund it accordingly, we owe our security to those who are willing to take it seriously and fund it appropriately, and at this time, that is the US of A.

    “The US and its blatant hypocrisy is writ large as a failed democracy well and truly immersed in corptocracy.”

    The US of A is not nor has it ever been a democracy, it is a Republic, it is more Roman than Athenian.

    “All up I want to stop inequality, and abuse of the poor and lower income.”

    Very noble of you, though I fail to see how that relates to the actual article and its attempt at moral relativism.

    “You don’t have a crystal ball so stop the stargazing.”

    Plenty of places in the world today that the US doesn’t pursue its interests rigorously, like Nigeria, that we can use as an example of what things would likely look like.

    “Different and maybe a lot better maybe not.”

    The US of A only inherited its position after Europe self-destructed in spectacular fashion, twice, without the US of A the Soviet Union would have filled the post WW II void, and wouldn’t that have been wonderful? Not…

    How goes those Rubles, John? I certainly hope you weren’t holding fist-fulls of Euros.

    Ol’ Alex was Great, gave rise to the Ptolemaic, allowed for the spread of Greek intellectualism, which the Romans borrowed, then the Arab Muslims borrowed it after the Jews had given it to them, and then it was rediscovered by the Europeans after Cicero’s translations became popular, this caused the modern world to begin as we know it.

    And just imagine what would have happened had the Greeks lost at Marathon, none of this world as we have it today would exist.

    Such is history.

    You have to take the bad with the good.

  18. corvus boreus

    rc,
    To clarify, is your principal objection to the concept of relativist (ie contextual rather than absolute) morality itself, or just the authors’ attempted implementation of the concept in this article?

  19. Blanik

    WOW. A picture is worth a thousand words!

  20. John Fraser

    <

    I'm going like a real hero …. "revolutionarycoward".

    But thats enough about me.

    I'll leave it to you to continue derailing the conversation with your fluff.

  21. revolutionarycitizen

    Nice to know all those Rubles are doing you good John, if you keep buying them you’ll eventually have enough for a Lada.

    “Double Standards: The West and Terrorism” The article that follows the headline is simply saying “The West can’t be against terrorism because reasons”. And then goes into a sprawling rant against the West about its interventionism, without I might add attempting to provide a counter vision of what would have likely been the scenario had those interventions not happened.

    Such as what happened in Vietnam after the Americans left, which in-fact largely justified the Americans being there in the first place.

    And so on.

    To argue against the West’s stance on terrorism you have to use the terrorism committed by the West in actual comparison to that which is being combated now.

  22. Florence nee Fedup

    ““*Except the crusades (and pogroms) not directed at the Moslems (eg against Cathars, Hussites, Baltic peoples”

    I assume you have the same explanations for the countries invaded under the guise of building empires. One of the biggest being the British Empire, which as kids we celebrates on Empire Day now known as Commonwealth Day.

  23. corvus boreus

    rc rpt,
    To clarify, is your principal objection to the concept of relativist (ie contextual rather than absolute) morality itself, or just the authors’ attempted implementation of the concept in this article?

  24. mark delmege

    Stephen and Jex I am no supporter of the tea party – I like an active government and I want it to function better – whereas the teaparty doesn’t seem to want any government intervention which I think is just a blank cheque to the multinationals, mega business and billionaires. But teaparty people like Rand Paul and his father tend to be to the left of the democrats and republicans on some foreign policy issues thats all – and that’s all I said. But like any party or subparty they are made up of allsorts. Some crazier than others and on some issues they even make sense – hell even that crazy red head here commented on some issues way ahead of the mainstream parties. That doesn’t mean I will vote for her.

    RC in answer http://stopwar.org.uk/news/where-has-all-this-islamic-fundamentalism-spreading-across-continents-come-from. Other countries like Nicaragua and 10 or 40 others would have progressed better under their own steam without being turned into imperial war zones that killed tens of millions and pushed back economic and social development decades.

  25. Florence nee Fedup

    No it did not. What happened after was the result of the USA being there. Destroying the social order of a court always leads to anarchy. Same in Iraq today.

  26. mark delmege

    You might recall how the US France Britain Turkey Saudi Arabia Qatar etc are all involved in the destruction of Syria. Their operations have killed huge numbers of people blah blah blah not that the ABC will give you details about that or the operations taking place in the Ukraine – instead you get dodgy reports from Kiev – a lie a minute from the lie machine. If you want to be informed forget the MSM

    http://nsnbc.me/2015/01/23/paris-attack-day-jackals/

  27. strobedriver

    Thankyou for the above comments. The article was as short as it could be whilst emphasising some critical points that I believe the West–in particular Britain, USA and other powerful Western nation-states–have managed to skew the narrative regarding terrorism and once again can I state I do not condone terrorism as a tool of choice. Nevertheless, there is numerous sides to a given story and ‘terrorism’ is no different. The comments argue many points, where we would be without the US, who is to blame and other points. My argument is the US and the West in general has dominated the narrative whilst implementing rules that it (the West) does not follow, yet expects all others to do so. This is the dominance of the Westphalian system, and although it is on its knees (with the rise of China the Tributary system will begin to awaken) the issue is the USA which has dominated the world body-politic has not been true to what it has offered–one rule for the USA, and a different set of rules for others, and moreover the USA is able to seek revenge on those that do not follow their ideals. Australia has been complicit in the Asia-Pacific region in doing the US’ bidding. The article, hopefully, points this out though I do acknowledge its limitations–perhaps I should have been even more upfront and stated if the US was true to the point of seeking revenge for the World Trade Center disaster then it would have bombed Saudi Arabia rather than Iraq as the majority of the hijacker’s were Saudi’s and not Iraqi’s, but then there is Unger’s book ‘House of Bush, House of Saud’ to consider in the overall narrative. My article simply is a ‘balance’ to what is going on in the world and acknowledges the intense hatred that is felt toward the West for its despicable disregard for others whilst claiming the moral ‘high ground.’ In part and closer to home, this is why Indonesia despises Australia because we do in the region what the USA does in the world and the ghosts we set in place will come back to haunt us–my article is a macrocosm of the problem (I hope) that faces the West in general and it’s time to change the way in which the West approaches others.
    .

  28. stephentardrew

    strobedriver:

    Did get a little off topic however I entirely agree with your article and post.

  29. Jexpat

    Mark: Points taken.

    However, Rand Paul and his father predate the teabaggers by well over a decade. In Ron’s case by several decades.

    They’re a bit tough to pigeonhole, since they’re corporate “Libertarians” (i.e. neo-feudalists) isolationists in terms of foreign policy, and Christian fundamentalists from the South who decry the separation of church and state.

    But a review of their actions over the years does yield one common denominator : hypocrisy.

    So, while Rand & Ron Paul might not support every ill advised military misadventure the US engages in- it’s not out of any concern for the people in the nations that the West is so eager to drone, or bomb, or pull off a coup in.

  30. stephentardrew

    Absolutely Jexpat they are another form of fundamentalism with a libertarian foundation in dogmatism if their ever could be such a thing. Its a true oxymoron. Rand Paul is not really bright. At least his father was articulate even though his ideas are completely contradictory. Bloody dangerous.

  31. mark delmege

    Fair enough Jex. Strobe in particular because you mentioned China – and others who want to know how the war will be fought against them could start by watching this video from Sibel Edmonds – who I have been following for some years offers a few pointers – and with comments on other matters too like the alternative press, Charlie shooting etc (I’ve only watched the first 35 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cze1zVDsQMs&feature=share

    She runs – more or less the http://www.boilingfrogspost.com

  32. Annie B

    @ mark delmege ( comment – January 22, 2015 at 8:49 pm ) …..

    A tad late catching up, but have to say I agree with what you have pointed out – – – and with most all who have pointed up the indiscriminate interference of the U.S. in many countries, and the meddling into the way those countries are organised and run.

    Dr. Driver refers very little to the self appointed ‘police’ of this world – the mighty ( ?? ) U.S. of A. in his initial article. It is mentioned almost apologetically. Mentions a whole lot of other uproars though. And yet he claims ( in a reply post ) that he is more or less anti-U.S.

    Personally, when I think these days of the ‘West’ I see only the U.S. of A …….. and the remainder of the so-called western alliance as hangers on ….. little coat tail grabbers which includes England and Australia……

    Believe me – IF it suited the U.S. they would turn on us in a heart beat. ….

    I am now loathing of the term ‘the West’ when the inference is that it includes other countries allied with the almighty U.S. of A.

    ……..

  33. Annie B

    Dr. Driver states :

    ” My argument is the US and the West in general has dominated the narrative whilst implementing rules that it (the West) does not follow, yet expects all others to do so. This is the dominance of the Westphalian system, >>>>>> etc.”

    ?? The dominance of the Westphalian system ” ??? …….. There is no longer a dominance of that system in the true sense – not while the United States throws it’s weight around all over the globe – and very successfully …….. to date. (( but I think the world might be waking up )) !!

    From two different search directives :

    …. ” Westphalian sovereignty is the principle of international law that each nation-state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, on the principle of non-interference in another country’s domestic affairs, and that each state (no matter how large or small) is equal in international law.

    AND

    ” The Peace of Westphalia has several key principles, which explains its importance and impact on the world today. These are the principle of sovereignty of states, the principle of equality between them and the principle of non intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state.”

    Would appear that the Westphalian system has been ignored, disregarded in extreme, and tossed aside when it comes to the advancement ( to the exclusion of all else ) of the dominance of the U.S. of A. which you, Dr. Driver, have acknowledged somewhat, in a reply post of yours.

    …….

    Be aware – and very wary, of the GOP, Old Glory, the Tea Party, the ‘Rand Pauls’ in residence, and all propaganda that emanates from the U.S. on a weekly if not daily basis, which is still welcomed via the MSM in our own country. …. I seriously don’t know why we bother listening to it all.

    It ain’t gonna get us anywhere …… in the long run. …. Just a whole heap more heart break.

  34. Annie B

    @ rev.cit ………

    Your comment : “Such as what happened in Vietnam after the Americans left, which in-fact largely justified the Americans being there in the first place.”

    ?????

    Might I remind you of what happened while the Americans were STILL in Vietnam ? And what a total shambles resulted from their intervention. …. Now THAT was one of the worst of the war-hungry decisions they ever made.

    History and much evidence will testify to that. The ‘kill’ rate was utterly shocking, the toll on the ( allied ) militia, appalling, the MIA’s the worst ever, and the wounded ( all sides ) I don’t think was able to be calculated properly. . . but it was a very very high cost.

    And it ended in South Korea being taken over anyway.

    Get your facts straight, Rev. Cit.

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