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Nothing in the world is consequential?

I’ve just been watching the parliamentary debate about the Paris attacks and government policy towards Syria, and am really saddened by the lack of intellectual scrutiny so many members of the house display. Several MPs made comments to forcefully disconnect the west from any responsibility for the existence of Islamic State and the wider historical issue of terrorist groups who claim to act in the name of Islam, insisting such people only exist from their own self determined desire to wage war.

How can you be so blinkered?

Of course the tiny handful of horrible individuals that commit acts of violence are acting of their own will. But they exist in a world that shaped their points of view and gave them the space to act on their twisted desires.

Islamic State is the direct result of the western interference in the middle east in recent years, which itself was brought about by the western interference in the middle east in the cold war era, which itself was brought about by the western interference in the middle east in the colonial period. See the link here?? And let’s not forget western desire to obtain oil, or sell weapons…

If you exploit a region for its resources, if you carve a region up into countries that don’t reflect the historical and cultural divisions of the peoples, if you continuously make an entire region a war zone, do you think just maybe it might have some influence on how you are perceived by the people that live there? Only a tiny fraction of people in areas controlled or contested by Islamic State support the extremes, but those extreme ideas are much more easily manifested in an environment where the west has made itself so easy a target of hatred.

It’s no different to Nazi Germany. You create an environment that disadvantages some people, and those people then find it easier to react, to express ideas, and before you know it a tiny minority of extremists, that represent very few in the entirely of their beliefs, but enough to have entered the mainstream political discourse, are in positions of power.

If people in positions of power in the west cannot comprehend this, then the cycle of violence will just continue indefinitely.


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