Saturday, 4 October 2014

Alan Henning

Alan Henning has been murdered so we must pray for him, his family and his murderers. What else must Britain do? The prime minister vows to use all necessary means to bring the murderers (and behind them ISIS) to justice. At I quote a letter, the tenor of which is both: much of this conflict is totally ununderstandable but then even so the West is ultimately to blame. Two matters are present here, the complicated philosophy of causality and the urgent need of what to do. On causality the letter is very persuasive, ultimately however it is appeasement. These events take place on the border of a NATO member. They take place on lands where for a 100 years Britain or France has been deeply involved (and that is putting it simply). To fail to respond extremely forcibly to such murderous barbarism is to invite the movement to expand and ultimately work on our own streets. In the past this sort of insanity was present, it is not new. It happened in the 19th century. At those times we had the power to project. If you compare this to Khartoum, you would build a railway, assemble ships, march in a relieving force. It is hard to think Britain can do this now. ISIS essentially claim 8 Tornados "caused" them to murder Alan.

So what do I think needs to happen. At a deeper level we need to accept that the ease with which certain Islamicist groups resort to disproportionate violence has to be tackled. It has been there for a long time. To say that Salman Rusdie (himself with a Muslim background) was one victim is to hardly go far back in history. Islam says it is a religion of justice, its adherents (and I am sure many agree) must then insure all its member behave with great justice, and not pervert justice into barbaric inhumanity.

And since history suggests we are in this for the long haul. We need to re-arm, I think every military commentator I have heard, has said that only a well trained Western style army can get in there with any speed and wrest back the communities involved. It is a very unpleasant prospect and I assure you I would be the world's worst soldier despite my father's example. But if we will not do this and ISIS prevails, initially their barbarism will be both writ across the Middle East and as our own British nationals show, it will be exported back to us in person. The murderer was British. It is astonishing. Like the recent referendum this suggest deep unsettlement with our national British identity.

So the bottom line, if ISIS is to be consigned to history, expect an expansion in Britain's armed forces despite all the recent cost cutting. Not just to work in the Middle East but there is also the rather forgotten matter of the Nigerian girls, a former colony and one with a large British community with us. My brother is married to a Nigerian. We are responsible and we should act there too, if Goodluck Jonathan would let us.

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