In Russell Books downtown yesterday, I was meandering around aimlessly while Mrs S was picking up a couple of extras for our bookshelves and whilst waiting for her to make a decision, idly perused a book about how to stop repeating history (Of which, maddeningly I have forgotten the Author and Title), one of the sections being about how terrorist attacks finally came to an end, from the Sicarii in ancient Judea, Assassins of early Medieval times through to the Anarchists of the mid to late 19th century, and more latterly the current Jihadist crop of murderers. With regards to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, it seems there is little new under the sun.
That evening, all the facts and figures cited in the work buzzing around in what passes for my brain, I googled “How to stop terrorism” and came up with How to Stop Terrorism: Seven Ways to “Drain the Swamp”. There are actually eight, but the eighth involves mass genocide as practised by the Romans (amongst others), therefore is not a palatable solution to the current crop of terrorist problems.
Another school of thought is argued by the Rand institute, part of which is opening a dialogue with the Terrorist faction (Get a download copy of “How Terrorism Ends”here). But seeing as the current crop of Islamists are demonstrably a bunch of crazies who like to practice human sacrifice by crudely beheading their victims on video, I don’t hold up hope for any meaningful dialogue beyond ‘convert or die, infidel’. Even if we were to stop all military action in the Middle East, the likelihood is that attacks like those in Paris would continue. The crazies’ love of death being sometimes stronger than all other forms. We are not dealing with people who will say “Oh that’s all right then, home for tea and medals.” and neatly hand over their guns and other weapons when the need to fight has gone. ISIS (ISIL, whatever) have proven themselves too steeped in blood for reason to prevail.
The only national leader who seems capable (At least to my mind) of ending the current crisis is that big bad bogeyman of the Western media; President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. No matter what else you think of him, he is both intelligent and ruthless, both qualities lacking amongst many Western leaders, wedded as they are to the politically correct idea of at least appearing ‘nice’ and therefore electable. The Russians I feel, are a little more realistic. For us, being ‘nice’ or ‘moral’, at least for a given value of ‘niceness’, and morality being the movable feast that it is, only seems to open up more cans of worms, politically speaking.
Right, what can we do? Cut off the money supply to terrorists? Easier said than done. So far the regulations intended to cut off the terrorist money supply, which I believe do not apply to the Islamic system of banking, or various ‘Intelligence’ agencies and other covert and not so covert Government offices known to fund terrorists, have proven ineffectual. When alliances shift and morph like fog, murdering fantasists will always find one agency or other more than ready and willing to fund the proxy wars of their political masters. Gosh, is that my cynicism? I was wondering where I left it. Said regulations are a pain in the bum for the law abiding, that much I do know. For those of us needing to legally transfer money between institutions, I think the phrase “Buggers muddle” seems appropriate. The levels of disclosure are quite incredible.
Having said all this are we any closer to a solution to terrorist attacks? I really don’t know, but the lessons of History, palatable or not, are out there for those who would read.
You know, if the UN really had the nerve, instead of faffing about with imaginary problems, it could spend far less and really enforce the outlawing of funding terrorist groups by nation states and their intelligence organisations. Although whether the various powers in question would comply is moot.