England Middle East Terrorism United States

Oil or Nothing

Does money trump the war on terror?

Luke Cornforth

Naked Politics Blogger 

Humanitarianism in politics is a charade. Global security in politics is a charade. The war on terror in politics is a charade. Economic progress and the quest for power is all that matters. Unfortunately this is the sad reality of politics today. Despite all the ‘guff’ spouted about defeating Radical Islamic extremism and protecting the ‘good’ people of the west, the coalition forces of the UK and the US care not for protecting the common man, but only to protect the business interests of the most powerful. The preservation of economic allies in the Gulf is the number one priority for the West- at all costs.

This matter is exemplified in the first month of the Trump administration’s reign. Earlier this month, President Trump issued a “muslim ban” banning people from seven countries that he has decided pose a possible terrorism threat. What he has failed to include in this ban, is Saudi Arabia, the country that exports the radical wahabbist/Salafi ideology that forms the foundation of every single Islamic Sunni militant group, including ISIS,Taliban, Al-Qaeda and it’s affiliates. Also omitted from the list of banned countries was Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE. These four countries made up the nationalities of all the 9/11 terrorists, while not a single person from the list of banned countries has committed a terrorist attack on US soil in the last 15-20 years. This is unsurprising however as Trump himself, and his secretary of state Rex Tillerson have significant business ties in Saudi Arabia and UAE. In addition, it is a long term policy of the US to maintain close relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries – even protecting them from Iranian advances in the past – in order to secure the safe passage of oil from the gulf to the west. This oil dependancy has the world superpower in the pocket of OPEC and specifically Saudi Arabia.

The UK is not innocent in this either. As well as oil dependancy, the gulf states are Britain’s largest export market after the EU and America. This has manifested itself in the support of the UK and US for gross war crimes committed by the Saudi’s in Yemen. The sale of weapons to the Saudi’s has exasperated a humanitarian crisis in Yemen – the Arab world’s poorest nation – and led to the oppression and murder of the Shia people there. The hypocrisy of the west in supporting this bombing campaign by the Saudis while condemning the Russian led bombings in Aleppo is laughable. We, as the West, cannot attempt take the moral high ground on humanitarian issues while being involved in committing them ourselves.

The current policy surrounding the War on Terror infuriates me immensely. The foreign policy makers of the US,Russia and Britain have a lot to answer for. All three of these external powers, combined with regional powerhouses of Iran and Turkey have committed to wiping ISIS off the face of the earth. The regular drone strikes on ISIS targets, combined with PMU forces in Iraq and Assad loyalists in Syria have reduced the grip ISIS has on the region dramatically. However, this policy is akin to patching a glitch on a computer game – it eradicates the symptoms but not the cause of Islamic Terror while appeasing the public by seeming to take hard action. Again this links back to the lack of any action towards the Gulf states – the states with the largest percentage of Wahabbi followers (UAE and Saudi Arabia) – which fund madrassas across the Middle East and Southern Asia that teach Muslims that Shia and Sufi Muslims, Jews, Christians and even Moderate Sunni’s all deserve death. Instead the administrations of Trump and May have increased hostility towards Iran – a country with an elected, reformist, pro – international relations President in Hassan Rouhani – that does not commit any terrorist atrocities in the west. Trump has officially ‘put Iran on notice’ regarding their legally carried out Missile tests and May has repositioned the British Navy in the Gulf. Unsurprisingly this aggression comes due to low economic ties between Iran and the West due to previous sanctions on Iran.

To me, its clear that the West has its priorities completely wrong. They prioritise economic relations and greed at any cost – they refuse to tackle the cause of Islamic Terror due to oil dependancy and while they refuse to tackle this they absolutely can not claim to care about the security of people at home or in the Middle East. When the West finally decide to tackle this problem, then democratic regime change in the Middle East can take place, without the confusion of ‘moderate rebels’ and ‘Islamic extremists’ that is currently occurring in Syria and terrorism will dramatically decrease.

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