|Three of the suspected attackers|
Daesh have attacked in Brussels today, killing 34 and wounding hundreds.
What can we do about them? It is very clear that military action just makes the problem worse, as the table below shows:
There is no single response that will cure this illness; it is a systemic problem, and systems need multiple interventions. Police and intelligence services are effective in defending us, but there are many other things that we can do and ask Government to do.
- Don't Panic! Terrorism - the use of violence against civilians and non-combatants for political purposes - aims to create terror, and of course it does so in people immediately affected by their violence, but it need not do so in the average citizen. After all we are many many times more likely to be killed or injured by a familiar car than by a swivel-eyed fanatic. And our US cousins are far more likely to be killed by a gun-loving fellow American.
Daesh will fade. We survived Al Fatah and now they are moderates.
We survived Al Qaeda used to be the big threat, but now they think Daesh are too violent!
We survived the IRA (despite their support from certain sections of the USA).
- Don't hate Muslims. Daesh number about 15,000. Muslims number 1.6 billion. That's a terrorist proportion of 0.0009375%. OK there are a larger amount of Muslims who sympathise with, and donate to Daesh and violent jihad, but even so it is not rational to generalise from the minority to the whole community.
- Don't join in the chaos in Syria. France and Russia got hit because of their action in bombing Daesh. Australia and the USA are also targets because they are bombing Daesh. Canada has pulled out. The situation in Syria is too confused to get involved in. It is a matter for the regional powers and the UN to sort out. Support regional talks. The only possible benefit of the RAF joining in the madness would be to make Daily Mail editors feel better.
- Do aim to address the root cause of Muslim unhappiness, so far as it is in our power.
a) Solve the Israel Palestine conflict. Here is a new approach.
b) Pull all US troops out of Saudi Arabia. It is an offence against their faith to have foreign troops on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia.
- Do ask your local Imam about whether he has delivered the fatwa against terrorism, and if not, will he please do so? At the same time ask your local Christian Minister if s/he has denounced nuclear deterrence as a sin against God, since deterrence is not infallible, and will lead to nuclear war at some time in the future. It will not have escaped the notice of terrorists that nuclear-armed nations are either,"Christian", Jewish or secular. There is no Muslim Bomb. Yet, because Pakistan is secular, just.
- Do press the Home Office to make sure that hate preachers and leaders have zero opportunity to radicalise young Muslim criminals in our prisons.
- Don't buy oil supplied by Daesh, mainly to Turkey
- Do trace and block their sources of funding, mainly from Saudi Arabia.
- Do close the Turkey/Syria border that allows potential fighters to join Daesh.
- Do initiate a water management programme in the Middle East (and, indeed, everywhere). Climatic changes in the Fertile Crescent are a component in the troubles in Syria.
- Do solve the unemployment problem in the Middle East (and indeed, everywhere). Daesh attracts alienated youth, and unemployment is another way for the nation or state to say to a young person "We have no use for you. You have no purpose. You are not part of this society" There is high unemployment in the Brussels quarter of Molenbeek, where the Paris attackers originated.
Unemployment is nothing but a market failure. It is utterly absurd to have so many unemployed when there is so much work that needs to be done in solving the many problems of society and environment.
- Do Ask UN to look at bringing continuous universal pressure against dictators through the Index of Human Rights.
- Do raise a glass to Anonymous, who have brought pressure on Daesh's software.
- Do react in a co-ordinated way to any real-life terrorist situation (SCAT).
- Do support any and all talks, between any and all parties.
- Do make sure that the Home Office is isolating hate preachers from ordinary criminal offenders in our prisons.