September 7, 2015

EU must finally show leadership in the Middle East

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 77 comments ·

On March 21, 2004 – a year after America invaded Iraq and one week after the Madrid bombings where 191 commuters were murdered by Islamic fundamentalists – I wrote the following in this column.


I am reproducing it now not to appear prescient, but because I believe the geopolitical analysis to be correct today, and because I believe that if the EU is to be a serious global player it has to involve itself directly in the redrawing of the map of the Middle East with money, military and diplomacy.

Here’s what I argued in 2004:

“As the British Empire collapsed into chaos, the Muslim population was terrorised off its lands in one disputed region. In 1948, a civil war erupted between the Muslim and non-Muslim peoples of this region.

Historically, the smaller non-Muslim group had lived in peace with their majority neighbours, but in 1948 it seized its chance.

The newly-founded UN, based on an earlier British promise and postwar guilt, gave this group a new state. As the civil war raged and pogroms ensued, ethnic cleansing on a monumental scale created millions of refugees.

The British did what they do best and partitioned the country. The majority Muslim areas of the protectorate were divided in two – a large Muslim state and a small sliver of terribly overpopulated land wedged against the sea. This small, pathetic piece of land is now among the poorest places in the world. It is sealed off by a heavily patrolled border, characterised by desperation, and is a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism.

The bigger Muslim entity was cut off from its hinterland, with only tiny access to the ocean. Beside it, a new democratic but non-Muslim state emerged, absorbing displaced refugees from far and wide.

These two states have been involved in three major wars since 1948. The borders are today the most heavily policed in the world, with two huge standing armies eyeballing each other over disputed territory.

Where am I talking about? Not Israel and Palestine. Arguably, it is the far more worrying conflict between India and Pakistan. If the story sounds like Palestine, it is because both conflicts are the result of the collapse of empire, whether British or Ottoman.

Many observers are now warning about the impending collapse of what is left of the Ottoman settlement. The implications of this are so significant that it is difficult to know where to begin.

The vast area between the border of India/Pakistan and the Mediterranean at Tel Aviv and Gaza is an ethnic fabrication. What we now call the Middle East is the creation of British and French bureaucrats who cobbled together the maps in an agreement called the Sykes-Picot pact.

This agreement laid the groundwork and ground rules for the way that Britain and France carved up the Ottoman Empire between them, prior to its demise in the latter stages of World War I.

It paved the way for subsequent development in the region, including the establishment of Iraq, Palestine, Trans-Jordan (invented by Winston Churchill one afternoon in 1922), Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia as distinct political entities and, in theory, nation states.

This process of diplomatic and military engineering has proved remarkably stable. Amongst other upheavals, it survived several Israeli/Arab wars.

The arrival of the Americans in the heart of the region has irrevocably changed the whole picture.

The concern now (one year after the war) is not only what happens to Iraq, but what happens to the region. How long will Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon last in their present guise?

And if there is an implosion, what else will change? What chain of events could trigger upheaval? Might it, like the collapse of the USSR ten years ago, be dramatic but amazingly peaceful? Or could it be violent? And where would that violence end – in Madras, Mecca or Madrid?”

Today, in 2015, we know that this is what has happened. The countries that were Syria and Iraq are no more. The region is embroiled in a vicious sectarian and ethnic civil war, which has been fuelled by barbarous Islamists from all over the world.

Jordan is extremely fragile, as is Lebanon, while Saudi Arabia has been reduced to financing the murderers of Isis because of its hatred of Iran, which is supporting Assad.

The Assad regime controls about a quarter of the old land mass of Syria but, apart from that, the entire region is controlled by a band of freelance militias and so-called armies from Hezbollah, Isis and Shi’ite militias under the direct control of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps.

This is a medieval vista of roving, stateless, mercenary armies terrorising defenceless people.

Historically, the implosion of the Middle East bears some similarity to the implosion of the Holy Roman Empire and the 30 Years War in 17th-century Europe. This was a similar sectarian war in a vacuum that had its own stateless, mercenary army under Wallenstein, who sided with the Pope against the Protestant forces of northern Germany.

By the way, at the end of the 30 Years War, a quarter of the population of the German principalities were dead. This is what we are looking at in the Middle East, if nothing is done. Nearly 20 million people have already been displaced, including 12 million in Syria, more than half the population.

Without massive outside intervention the slaughter will continue until either there are no Shias, Alawites and Christians left in Syria or there are no Sunni. This is a sectarian bloodbath.

It can only be stopped by the big powers doing something very old-fashioned, which is dividing up the region along ethnic lines.

Iraq needs to be divided up immediately into three separate countries: one Sunni, one Shia and one Kurd. Likewise, Syria has to be divided into two: one Shia/Christian/Alawite in the West and the other Sunni in the East.

There needs to be a true international force put in on the ground to police this new arrangement. We are seeing the unraveling of a post-colonial settlement – the post Ottoman settlement and the map needs to be redrawn immediately.

If not, the terrified refugees will just keep coming, because the war will get worse.

This is where the EU has to take the lead. It is the EU’s problem because America’s landmass is not affected. So having waited for the Americans to act internationally since 1945, the EU needs to act alone. It will have to involve two big power-brokers, Iran and Turkey – and to do this, it needs Russia. It also needs to get the US to lean on the Saudis.

It’s time for the EU to grow up and realise that it has geo-political responsibilities commensurate with its economic prowess. The free ride is over. It’s time for the EU to show leadership, otherwise it will have to deal with the demographic consequences of its political emasculation for years to come. The choice is ours.

  1. Mike Lucey


    Somebody must be having another lay in;-)

  2. Colm MacDonncha

    I left Kuwait in 2006,having worked there for twelve years,precisely because I could see that there were seismic changes underway in the region.Any new state that will form from ISIS or other fundamentalist thugs will eventually cast its beady eye on the vast reserves of black gold under the sands of Kuwait,Saudi and Iraq.We are listening to our politicians trumpeting their humanitarianism on account of accepting two thousand or so refugees/migrants, but they have yet to address in any form the cause of this crisis,ie the Mad Max style roaming desert armies that will wipe out whole ethnic groups with no compunction, under the guise of religious fervour.As for the EU showing leadership,backbone or morality David you must be having a laugh.We are ruled by bureacrats and their Bankster puppeteers,and we all know how that worked out for the Romans…

    • Deco


      The EU showing leadership in recent years has been code-speak for making working people pay a price, for the stupidity of EU policy, or their leaders, or the ineptitude of European bodies.

  3. Colm MacDonncha


  4. WillH

    Great article David. As I have been working over here for the last couple of years now, firstly in Iraq and now at the Syrian border on the Turkish side working with on refugee projects I thought I would share my tuppence worth and some additional info as to why there is such a movement of people now:

    The camps that were set up a couple of years ago in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq are overflowing and under funded and can cater for now more. There has been an increase in the fighting in otherwise relatively(!) quiet areas such as Kurdish Syria. New fighting actors have entered the scene and are very extreme and the ordinary Syrians decide, naturally, that the best decision they can make for their families safety is to leave… hence the huge numbers on the move..

    Anyway better get back to work but if anyone wished to reach out for more info feel free to contact me via Facebook/Twitter through the Irish Emergency Logistics Team. Cheers.

  5. Mike Lucey

    Maybe the middle east conflict is all going according to plan, the Military-industrial complex plan!

    It looks to me that the mess we are looking at has been precisely engineered by the Military-industrial complex and arms sales are booming as a result while oil is being controlled. ISIS ‘created’, mission accomplished.

    Dividing countries according to religious believes is not going to work in the long run as it just puts religious fanatics in power. Democracy might have some hope provide State and Religion are fully separated.

    For the EU to take the initiative it needs some leaders and I really don’t see anyone capable of for-filling that role. Merkel, Hollande and Cameron do not appear to have any appetite for solving this problem. They appear to be just going along with whatever Washington dictates.

    I think the mess would be a lot worse if Putin had not intervened when the US intended going into Syria full blast. Maybe Putin might show some new initiative but that must be hard for him to do when he is under continuous propaganda attacks by the West.

    Wasn’t the UN was set up to sort out these kind of messes. Isn’t it about time the UN grew a pair of balls, big enough to allowed them to be a true democratic organisation that would have the clout to get the ‘job done’ instead of being a ‘yes man’ for the US. By the way, shouldn’t it also be headquartered in a totally neutral country in the first place, anyplace comes to mind?


    • cooldude

      Good analysis Mike. This conflict is going according to plan for the neocons and their buddies in middle east. The plan has always been to take out Iraq and Libya first and then take Syria, Yemen and the final goal of taking out Iran. They do this through the funding and training of organizations like ISIS and Al Queda, which is a joint CIA/Mossad invention and use these mercenaries to overthrow any regimes they want to get rid of. The press coverage of this is simply fantasy propoganda with very little real investigation.

      I find Global Research do a good job at some real journalism on who is behind this crime against humanity. Here is a good article exploring the origins of these mercenaries and who pays for them

        • coldblow

          I think he is right. Every time the West intervenes things get a lot worse.

          • redriversix

            Absolutely! If the West stopped propping up corrupt government. Carrying out illegal wars.
            Training , arming & sponsoring both sides of the same coin…We would be in a much better place.

            More western involvement…??

            Love ya David..but your outta your mind

            History history history….nobody takes any heed..!!

            Russia’s only Military base outside Russia is in Syria..A dee sea naval port.They own it.

            Which is why their is not more overt western involvement.

            This is the age of major Guerrilla Warfare throughout the world and nothing has ever defeated Guerilla warfare.

            Ireland will be a fully fledged member of NATO with 5 years & have U.S Bases on our soil within 10.

            Obviously I am excluding Shannon as that is a defacto U.S Base

            America , it’s allies and their greed have started and fed these War (s) from the start.

            People will be so full of fear & debt , unable to make their own decisions until we fall into the sinkhole we created through our stupidity & arrogance.

            Who are the greatest Terrorist’s in History ???

            It’s us ( in case you didn’t know)

            Have a nice day

        • Ron Paul’s message to the interveners like David.

          “Here is the real solution to the refugee problem: stop meddling in the affairs of other countries. “

        • Deco

          Ron Paul is correct. Western intervention is always regarded as the problem by the locals.

          Altruism is proving to be a disaster.

    • easun55

      Very accurate analysis of current state of the middle east .
      To add, germany is one of the largest exporter of arms in EU and includes all sides of current conflict in middle east as customers, including Russia .
      The puppeteers play all sides don’t you know .

    • Deco

      Washington is alarmed that Russia might be intervening to counter ISIS.

      Meanwhile, the media roll out the BS, thick and heavy. And in volume.

    • McCawber

      Putin got Obama off the hook more like it.
      The US military might want to get involved but their president and his electorate don’t.
      The UN – Two words – VETO CENTRAL.
      War is a profitable business for all concerned except the victims.
      The only solution and I mean only solution is to let them at it.
      And that means, no arms and no aid unless it’s material aid, food, shelter, clothing, education etc but no money and proper auditing of the material aid AND BANKS brought to heel in terms of allowing despots to hide money in their companies (I was going to say institutions but they don’t deserve it).

  6. David, I think you got your answer with the financial crisis and the refugee crisis. Its every man for himself first. The EU doesn’t do leadership.

  7. michaelcoughlan

    “The choice is ours”


    Still laughing.

    Gsucks are delighted David the more people that get wiped out the better. In fairness to them the havoc being unleashed is on an equal opportunities basis in that no one is being spared not jew, gentile, muslim, black man, white, mooca nor whatever you are having yourself.

    substitute the word banker for dictator in the following;


    • Deco

      GSucks runs on a business model that requires bull markets, and low interest rates.

      And there is potential for one in Europe. Therefore GS are up to their neck in demanding policies in Europe that will squeeze the real estate market.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Deco.

        Thanks for this. Gsuks can make money short side too. Gsuks can’t allow the derivatives bubble to unravel so must deflate the world economy and by extension the world population so that capital used to drive economic expansion and human progress can be used to keep the derivatives bubble inflated.


  8. Deco

    Before I would read any of the article that David wrote, I would get better informed about the context.

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia got left out.


    But if you think Iran is the only source of trouble in the Middle East, you must have slept through 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Nothing has been more corrosive to the stability and modernization of the Arab world, and the Muslim world at large, than the billions and billions of dollars the Saudis have invested since the 1970s into wiping out the pluralism of Islam — the Sufi, moderate Sunni and Shiite versions — and imposing in its place the puritanical, anti-modern, anti-women, anti-Western, anti-pluralistic Wahhabi Salafist brand of Islam promoted by the Saudi religious establishment.

    It is not an accident that several thousand Saudis have joined the Islamic State or that Arab Gulf charities have sent ISIS donations. It is because all these Sunni jihadist groups — ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Nusra Front — are the ideological offspring of the Wahhabism injected by Saudi Arabia into mosques and madrasas from Morocco to Pakistan to Indonesia.


    The EU is heavily dependent on Saudi Oil. Therefore the EU will not challenge the Saudi regime concerning the fact that they are radicalizing Islam from the ground up, and building the theological case for relentless aggression against moderates, non believers and atheists. Theological as opposed to ideologicial because there is no ideology here.

    I disagree with comparing this to the 30 Years War. We are in a very different age. And I do not think that the EU getting involved in trying to make Tehran and Riyadh best pals will ever amount to anything. Because both regimes are driven by religion and they look down their noses at Post-Christian Europe. In other words they are bound to do their own thing.

    There is a need for military intervention in Syria. Based on across the board co-operation against ISIS. There will be a need to partition Syrian into a non-sectarian state, and a sectarian state.

    And Kurdistan is going to have to be given full statehood. Including the bits that exist in Turkey.

    Meanwhile in the interim, ISIS have announced that they are sending thousands of jihadis into Europe. Angela Merkel will spread them around so that they can share their talents more widely. The EU Commission is demanding that everybody complies. The media is castigating anybody that doesn’t.

    There will be murders and damage inflicted in major European cities, long before this gets fixed. We in Ireland have a garda force that is clueless on the most basic of issues. I have no confidence in the PC Plodds here to maintain security. Zero confidence.

    Dangerous consequences will flow, from the ineptitude of the people in charge.

    • Deco

      If the EU tries to intervene in Syria, like the Us intervened in Iraq, in a “nation building” exercise, there are considerable risks.

      I would say that there is a need to contain the radicalization. But that eliminating it is going to be very costly.

      And besides at this point in time, there is a high probability that ISIS will hit back in Europe.

      • DB4545


        We’ve had free shelter under the UK/US security umbrella for a long time and we’ve been very lucky. Don’t underestimate soft power, security isn’t always about a visible deterrent. We’re no slouches ourselves when unconventional thinking or methods are required to protect the State.

        • StephenKenny

          From who?

          • DB4545


            That’s a direct and honest question Stephen. It depends how you define the State and/or the individuals/organisations that may pose a threat to it. I define protecting the State as protecting the Citizens of the State, others may define it as protecting the Institutional State or the economy. Maybe it’s a combination of all three and perhaps other components. There are a number of groups who pose a risk to those component parts. I don’t propose to name them here or in any public forum or the specific risks they pose.

  9. Deco

    If a broad sectarian war breaks out in the middle east, there is no way you will stop it – try to preventing somebody from murdering other people in the name of a Deity that none of them have ever seen, but whom they have continually convinced themselves exits.

    I think that a certain level of religious indoctrination produces disasters.

    The best approach is to steer clear, and not get in the way. One will get no thanks for stating the obvious, to religious fanatics.

  10. Adelaide

    ‘Religions are all bunk’, (Thomas Edison) and mostly benign, but he obviously did not read the repulsive Koran and the thuggish life of the charlatan that produced it. Islam is like one billion people adhering to The Charles Manson Cult seven hundred years after Charlie’s death. You don’t have to look far to explain Arab violence. They have an instructional manual.

    ps It seems Germany are eager to emulate Sweden’s Cultural Suicide.

  11. StephenKenny

    I think someone’s had too much sun.
    For 15 years we’ve been witnessing the intervention efforts of NATO & the US, and they are, to say the least, lamentable. As every military/political theorist throughout history has pointed out, the only excuse for starting one of these ‘interventions’ is that you leave the place in better shape then you found it – from the point of view of it’s inhabitants. Need I say more?

    NATO/US/UK/EU/whoever, are clearly far too interested in their much touted geopolitical war, to have any interest in avoiding creating more of the collateral damage that we’re starting to see coming over the water, let alone actually fixing anything.

    Such operations are difficult and dangerous, both of which which make them beyond the abilities and nerve of both civil and military organisations, in the west.

    • coldblow

      Adam Curtis’s documentary Bitter Lake is well worth a look. I watched it a few months ago on YouTube. They really had no idea what they were letting themselves into when they went into Afghanistan, ended up as pawns in local politics and made things a lot worse than they had been before they arrived. For one thing they can’t match the natives’ cunning but they can make impressive explosions.

  12. michaelcoughlan

    Hiu David,

    “Without massive outside intervention”

    Will you be fixing your bayonet anytime soon? or do you expect countless millions of young fellas from all over Europe to do your shooting for you?

    Why not stop the refugees at the border and remind them that sometimes in the life of a citizen his country needs him to fight for it. Give these young men military training and resources and send them home as they then will form the “massive intervention” you advise.


  13. michaelcoughlan

    As good an explanation as any;

    Maybe we could send the following example of one of the worst types of paddy whackery shite ever when dealing with our own natural gas resources to the syrians for some light relief;

  14. In the 1970′s personal observation lead me to believe that there is no such thing as local politics.
    So called local issues are stirred up by international organizations to create strife and dissent.
    Everything form the local union hall strike to the removal of a countries leader.

    There is no doubt that as Ron Paul states, not one member of the Press, David, has asked what is the cause of all the migrants fleeing their homeland. Surely you can see it is the very countries of Europe, wrapped in the flag of the UN that have bombed the hell out of all the infrastructure of several Middle East countries in the name of democracy fighting terrorists. And not just the Middle East. This seems to be at the bidding of the US.

    But what could be the reason for so many countries to be treated such, in the cause of bestowing a better life while the result in every case is devastation.

    Who could want to cause such alienation and grief. It cannot be in the long term best interests of the US, or Europe, or even the counties subjected to such deliverance. Where do we look for an answer. Why is it good policy to instill anti terrorist legislation in all the democracies. Why are the Western Industrial democracies under attack.

    All these decisions seem to have negative consequences for the Western Nations. Why then continue these policies. Our freedoms are rapidly being eroded in the name of terrorist protection. We cannot move anywhere without having a license. We can not transport money without disclosure, Our police forces are more and more heavily armed and militarized.

    We are searched, arms raised and legs apart when we move through a “check point”. Perhaps we will get used to it as a normal course of the day.

    If I were a visitor from another planet I would observe and be puzzled at the behavior. Who benefits from all this I would ask. First of all it looks like all connected to the military industrial complex. Manufacturers of arms. Talking of Europe, is not France one of the biggest suppliers of arms in the world??, Britain? Germany!!

    Then all are funded. Wars are funded. Insurrections are funded. Reconstructions are funded. All on borrowed money at interest. So yes here we go again, look to the international bankers as the original culprits. Unlimited production of money leads to unlimited funding and unlimited corruption.

    Create chaos and disharmony. Propose solutions that destroy any establish democracy and any stable government. Ridicule any who try to explain (Ron Paul etc) and bit by bit exercise control through more and more authority.

    The western democracies are being destroyed first by removal of any agreed moral code. Then introduce the concept that discrimination is a bad thing. Then encourage an invasion of aliens who demand rights that the current inhabitants are now too weakened to resist. When the inevitable strife emerges (how many indoctrinated terrorists are among the refugees?) Clamp down with ever repressive laws.

    By the time this is over you will be happy to have a dictatorial authoritarian government to impose peace and order, that will allow you to live in your hovel with enough to eat in exchange for your continued labour!! Looking to the EU for leadership is anticipating this result in the long term.

  15. DB4545

    It scares the s**t of of me when nice middle class people do a bit of hand wringing and ask for “leadership”. Because that’s when poor or working class people get f**ked in the a** again. Here’s the deal David will your kids be at the business end of a gun in a war zone? You want the EU to use its money, military and diplomacy? If there’s fighting to be done it’ll be the kids from darndale not dalkey who’ll be doing the grunt work. It never ceases to amaze me that the people who are willing to demonstrate the most patriotism in any Country are the ones who are at the bottom of the food chain. They’re the ones with limbs and b*lls blown off and lives destroyed.

    I mentioned a short time ago that the shock doctrine was about to begin and my error was that I misjudged the speed. The horrific picture of that poor little boy washed up on the shores of Europe would move a heart of stone. Because that’s precisely what a “poster child” image is designed to do because it gets an emotional reaction and you’d have to be a psychopath not to have an emotional reaction to those appalling images. I’m not disputing the fact of the tragedy of that little boy but ask yourself if those images appeared by accident or design?

    Suddenly Germany can find the resources to absorb a million refugees that Europe has no responsibility for yet just a few short weeks ago they destroyed the sovereign Greek government and humiliated its Citizens who they are supposed to be in a political union of equals with ? Where did the resources suddenly come from to provide food, housing, medical care, education and jobs for a million people? Germany has a demographic issue so suddenly they get to dictate immigration quotas to every other EU State in a Union of equals? Who’s setting the narrative and timelines and how convenient was it that the Greek issue was neatly put to bed just before this crisis arrived?

    A military intervention means a ground war and coffins arriving in every EU State. If Germany has a demographic deficit who do you think will do the fighting? Do you think the EU has the stomach for that? Do you think the EU has the political cohesion for a ground war? Look at the impact Vietnam had on the USA and they ARE United States. Look at the impact of the war in Afghanistan had on the USSR. Ground troops from an EU army would be bogged down in a middle east guerrilla campaign and an EU wide terrorist campaign for possibly decades. And that’s without even factoring in the most important part of any military campaign, the exit strategy. And to answer your question no I don’t want my kids at the business end of a gun either and I’ll be f**ked if I’ll support a German recruiting sergeant so some other family gets to bury their sons in another European war. When will we ever learn?

    • Deco

      100% in agreement.

      The blood will be spilled by people who do not come from the rugger school pool.

      Here is a phrase I heard recently

      “sweet people bring misery on honest people”.

      That sums it all up for me. “Extend and pretend” is now rife in all public discussions. I regard war as inevitable, once the rich got bailed out, because now the rich need to enhance their own control, and undermine any possible critique that is unfavourable to them.

      Time to get out of the Brussels Empire project. It is proving to be a racket for the benefit of the extremely rich and the extremely well connected.

      It is a misery maker, that is continually engaged in hard sell, and in issuing “dictats” that are paid for by ordinary people.

      In other words, the EU is moving towards dictatorship.

      It should be dissolved.

      Merkel is a centralizer. Do not trust her. She is a liar.

    • Reality Check

      +1 db4545. Absolutely spot on. I say this is our opp to leave the stage door (EU) with our young mens limbs still entact; “neutrality” frau merkel. Capiche?
      PS not wasting a crisis but we can’t pay back the seanie bonds either; “collateral damage” as the psychopaths say…

    • coldblow

      After joining Facebook in 2008 (and following various attempts to unjoin) I finally started using it a few days ago. Around last Tuesday I saw that my sister had posted the picture together with a petition to let them all in. I didn’t want to fall out with her Facebook-wise so soon after being introduced to her, Facebook-wise, so kept my initial remarks along the lines of Sgt Wilson’s ‘Do you think that’s wise sir?’.

      It was clearly going to make an impact and many of her ‘friends’ supported the petition. One of them expressed horror at the father who threw his family, and himself on top of them, on the railways track, where there was no train coming. This is a good example of the hysteria which had built up on both sides of the rapidly disappearing divide. Once the preserve of Victorian gentlewomen it is now used liberally by those who allegedly govern us and report on and dicuss what is happening.

      By Thursday, I think, Miriam on Prime Time was asking whoever the govt representative on the programme was, angrily and repeatedly, “So exactly hyow mayny will we take, minister?”

      By Saturday morning the newspapers were informing me that Ireland’s policy had changed from ‘maybe a couple of hundred’ to ‘give us your huddled masses’. Matt Cooper wrote in the Daily Mail about the need to let the heart rule the head (Eoghan Harris made the same point the next day).

      On Marian Finucane’s Sunday radio show the invited politicians and journalists spoke for all of us in criticizing the govt’s feeble prevarications and one of them (I think it was a lady Fine Gael TD) rattled off some numbers. I think she said that the Irish govt. (she surely must have meant the EU? But who knows, it’s only numbers and didn’t you see that photo?) had been preparing for 40k but this would be going up to 120k or 200k. I think someone else, perhaps Maid Marian herself, interjected helplfully to suggest ‘millions’.

      Are they all friends of my sister on Facebook? And since when has Facebook assumed executive government powers in matters of extremely important national interest? I am joking of course. That will be from around the time of Princess Diana’s accident.

      We are of course familiar with this in Ireland, happily so for a great many people it would seem, as when the truth comes out they have all long since gone chasing after the latest weep-fest.

      But to get back to your point about whether this use of the photo was deliberately orchestrated, I don’t know. I wouldn’t rule it out, but it wouldn’t need to be. I assume some eager young journalist is following the trail but the damage has already been done.

      • cooldude

        The media overkill is a sure sign of a concerted and preplanned agenda. Just have a look at who is orchestrating the response to the ‘crisis’ non other than our own Peter Sutherland, Euro head of GSucks and leading Bilderberger. Actually this agenda was probably planned at their recent meeting in Austria although we will never know because they keep all of that under wraps.

        The ironic fact about this very real tragedy is that the young boy was Kurdish and was fleeing from the ISIS terrorists who are openly assisted by the Turkish government. Yet the Syrian government, despite winning elections in 2014, is the one that must be “removed” to stop the atrocities which are being committed by the rebels.

        This all seems to have been well planned in advance with the well choreographed weep fest used to emotionalize the issues rather than looking at the real causes of this tragedy and how we can let the people of the middle east live in peace in their own countries without constantly being bombed and terrorized by the west. Maybe new elections should be called and let the Syrians regain control of their own country.

        • coldblow

          I don’t doubt there are conspiracies (the Ukraine coup was a very obvious one) but they are probably not all that good at them and almost certainly don’t really know what they are doing or why.

        • coldblow

          I can think of a few cases where news was exploited, and very much distorted, in a deliberate attempt to further an agenda, always a progressive one.

          According to a report positioned, as I clearly recall, insconspicuously inside the Sunday Independent (I can’t find it online), three days before the Savita story broke the pro-abortion Irish Choice Network had been leaked it and met to discuss how to further the cause of abortion on demand. Legislation was duly passed (the euphemistically named Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act) even though the report showed that abortion wasn’t an issue. Public opinion had been manipulated and, again, the damage was done.

          In Britain comments by top Labour advisor Andrew Neather were revealed where he said that immigration should be promoted in order to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity’.

          These and other activities are carried out dishonestly and in secret because if the people were to be consulted they know that they would object. Instead the liberal agenda has been advanced incrementally so that people get used to it, by which time it cannot be reversed. In Britain the advance has been steady. In Ireland it has been rapid and the people cowed by an aggressive and intolerantly self-righteous media.

          Conspicuous in the recent crisis is the one-sided approach taken by the media. There is no meaningful discussion but rather a simplistic picture has been given and the public ‘mood’ interpreted. An example of this was last week’s Prime Time where one of the participants explained at some length how boats were sinking in the Mediterranean. Really? I never knew that. They were sinking were they? Who manufactured such poor vessels? Where was the H&S check? And people were in the water and rescued. Really? We never knew. And who were these people who had been tricked by ‘evil’ traffickers and endangered by dodgy ship builders? They were refugees? Oh? Yes, refugees from Syria. There’s a war on. They have to get to Germany for safety. Ireland has a moral duty to take its share.

          I lost count of the number of articles over the last few days which, while urging Ireland to shoulder its responsibilitie, referred to other articles which were pandering to the negative and fearful aspects of our character. The odd thing is that, apart from Brendan O’Connor’s article in the Sindo (which was mostly a hymn to Geldof, much as I admire him too), I never actually saw any of these numerous articles. Did anyone else here see them?

          Finally, just to repeat a point I made about the traffickers. They are always described as ‘evil’, I suppose in the same way that bankers who gave out liar mortgages were evil. I suspect that the refugees don’t see them as evil but as their allies and accomplices. I don’t know because the media doesn’t tell us stuff like this, and relies heavily on people engaged in aid and rescue work who would of course have their own view of things. I also suspect that most of those going to northern Europe have relatives there and that it is not the case (as David argues) that they are blinded by the lights of the West on the internet. I don’t think they are stupid and suspect that many of them rightly think that we are stupid, or at least a soft touch.

          I also think that the great majority (despite Eoghan Harris’s column last Sunday) are not refugees but economic migrants. Once they leave the war zone and the camps then they are migrants. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel sorry for them but they should be accommodated by their close neighbours so that they can return when things get back to normal. That their lives are ‘put on a hold’ is unfortunate but not our responsibility. We have plenty of people, with the housing and jobs situation, whose life is on hold. My family is young for my age for this very reason.

          The distinction between refugee and economic migrant is similar to the old one between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Remember that it became standard practice to shout down the distinction for ideological reasons. ‘You can’t say that, etc.’

          Finally, I also suspect that most minorities in the West themselves don’t want to see further mass migration for the same reasons as the rest of us (apart from the crucial one that it dilutes the native cultures) except, importantly, for their own families.

          • DB4545

            I’ve no issue with the liberal agenda providing that people pay their fair share. The middle class are bleating for “leadership” and that “something must be done” but they are never the ones picking up the tab. I watched Vincent Browne last night and the usual crowd were bleating that we must do more. It’s amazing how generous and compassionate people want to be with other people’s money when there’s a camera trained on them. They trot out numbers that you know haven’t been researched to score points. Suddenly they can find beds for “12000″ refugees/migrants when we’re in the middle of a housing crisis. We have our own homeless problem. Check out and see if “12000″ beds are available. I know whatever beds they find it won’t be in Foxrock, Rathmichael or Dalkey.

  16. Reality Check

    +1 Deco, amazing how Frau Merkel and Hillary clinton seem to resemble each other more and more – like two schoolyard bully bitches wrecking havoc everywhere.

    “Broomstick airforce one” will hold hands with the “wicked witch of the EU” and lead the west into WW3.

  17. Jaysus, you people are all insane. I’m outta here, good luck with the conspiracy theories. Don’t forget to double-wrap that tin-foil hat.

    • WillH

      Am very surprised with the conspiracy theories lashed out here and elsewhere. Also surprised that no one even asked me any questions about what it is really like living and working in Iraq and by the Syrian border, where I have been for a couple of years. But there you go..

      • Good point. Tell us what it is like and where you are, and what you do. Give us the reasons on why so many are leaving Syria to flee to Europe

        We do not deal in conspiracy theories but in facts as we have them provided, so if you have alternate opinion and can back it with evidence please provide. We are all here to learn.

        • WillH

          Hi Tony, well I am in Antakya now, southern Turkey a few kms from the main border crossing into Syria. Its been a boisterous night with Turkish nationalists staging a very loud protest of some kind outside.

          Anyway, The camps that were set up a couple of years ago in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq are overflowing and under funded and can cater for now more.
          There has been an increase in the fighting in otherwise relatively(!) quiet areas such as Kurdish Syria.
          New fighting actors have entered the scene and are very extreme and the ordinary Syrians decide, naturally, that the best decision they can make for their families safety is to leave… hence the huge numbers on the move..

          Facts: 7000 bombs of all sorts, barrel bombs/sea mines(I kid you not)/everything else the Syrian regime can get its hands on were dropped on non regime areas in July 2015 alone. This having a major affect on the decisions the ordinary Syrians make so if you put all this together its no wonder they decide to leave.

          With regards to conspiracies here is a story that I was told when in Iraq this time last year. I was talking to one of my drivers and just asked about daesh and al qaeda. The daesh are called ‘the foreigners’ as most of them are not from Syria or Iraq and al qaeda were called ‘the ghosts’ during the US occupation because everyone heard about them but no one ever saw them. General consensus in Iraq was that they were manufactured to keep a tight reign on the population.. not sure if that’s true or not but that’s what I was told by an ex tank driver from Saddam’s army.
          I could be here all night but as I said I have no issue sharing any security info as I receive quite a bit, for obvious reasons, and actually get inside reports from Mosul which are gruesome to say the least.

          Anyway have a long day tomorrow so will reply then if any questions.

      • coldblow

        Hi WillH

        Thanks for the offer to put a few questions, though it would be easier for the rest of us if you did a comprehensive post describing what you are doing and what you have to report and we can then ask you questions about that.

        1 Are people leaving the camp where you are and heading to the West?

        2 If so, have they got family there already and do they have specific destinations?

        3 Do you think the West should do more to help? Specifically should we take in more refugees?

        4 Are those coming to the West (that you know about or that you see, like us, on the tv) refugees or economic migrants?

        5 Why do the boats always sink?

        6 Are the traffickers evil?

        7 Which of the conspiracy theories do you regard as such? (I’m genuinely not sure what they are.)

        8 Why do (if they do) some refugees leave your camp while others remain? Did these people already have plans at some stage to seek work in the West?

        9 How long have you been working out there and what did you do before?

        10 What is your motivation?

        11 Do you believe that Assad gassed his people two years ago?

        12 Do you think the govt should take more account of the information and advice provided by people like yourself.


        • coldblow


          You are probably busy so I will guess your replies to my questions.

          1 yes

          2 yes

          3 yes, yes. Ireland should be doing much more for these people. They have nothing.

          4 yes to which I would reply I don’t agree

          5 don’t know. I would reply that this is the only way to get in. If the ship docked in harbour it would be turned back. You wouldn’t have to sink the ship though, perhaps put only enough fuel in so that it runs out before arrival.

          6 don’t know (but you think ‘yes’). I would reply that they are of course not evil, that this is just another caricature, and that the ‘refugees’ would not consider them evil (though they might say otherwise to camera) because they are their only hope. Like above, I am only guessing because our useless media cannot tell us (and would not tell us anyway, perhaps, even if they knew).

          7 (I don’t know how you would answer this one)

          8 They are leaving the camp because it is overcrowded and we simply don’t have the resources to deal with any more arrivals. The people are fleeing for their lives from war zones. I don’t know where they are going. My reply: young people are leaving to seek a better life for themselves and their young families. They have families and contacts in the West and it is from these that they know what employment opportunities are available there rather than (as David suggested before) from the internet in general. They would have more sense than to tell you this.

          9, 10 Six months. I wanted a job where I could help people. My reply: You are likely to be an extravert to choose this work. It is important for the self esteem of such people that they help others. Even more important is that they can *do* something rather than *think about* things (which they dismiss as hot air).

          11 Some people here say that Assad did gas them whereas others have other theories. In a crowded refugee camp like this rumours and conspiracy theories are rife (but you think ‘yes’).

          12 Definitely. We are the people on the ground and can provide expert information and analysis. to the government and other relief agencies. My reply: you are doing great work (sincerely) but in terms of making government policy you are part of the problem not the solution.

          I hope this helps, Coldblow. My reply: thank you for your time, WillH.

          Just to add that there is another point which is often made which is this. Why would these people go to such lengths and risk death in order to get into Europe unless their lives are so wretched as they are? I would agree with this, but the world is full of such people. If there were only a few thousand we could spread the load but it is a dangerous precedent that has been set in trying to solve the problem of world poverty through mass immigration, even if it is under the guise of a ‘refugee crisis’. I have pity for them too but I have heard very few indeed journalists or politicians respond to this crucial point in anything except cliches.

          • WillH

            Hi there. Apologies for not replying but yes it has been really hectic the last week, especially with the Eid holiday starting next week. Anyway here goes:

            1 Are people leaving the camp where you are and heading to the West? I actually dont work in a camp, did in Iraq but not here. We are supporting approx 1,000,000 in Idleb governate. North west Syria. So its all remote management. Many people are leaving this area yes. Cant blame them if you saw the security reports and incident reports.

            2 If so, have they got family there already and do they have specific destinations? Many actually do have family outside Syria, similar to Irish people who have travelled. Hence the numbers going to Germany.

            3 Do you think the West should do more to help? Specifically should we take in more refugees? Yes, but in the short term. I keep saying this but they do NOT want to go anywhere. They want to go home. So once the situation allows most of them will up sticks and go home straight away.
            This has been going on for four years. To everyone here this is not news. To the west and elsewhere it is only when a young kid washes up on Greece’s shores and 10′s 1000′s of refugees arrive does it become ‘our’ problem. If the funds were made available to UNHCR and WFP so that they could feed and house these people then they would not have moved, but funding was cut to about 35% of requirements so a family that was living on a food parcel worth $35 now has to live on a parcel worth $15. Simple maths, stay and go hungry or move.

            4 Are those coming to the West (that you know about or that you see, like us, on the tv) refugees or economic migrants? Technically they are refugees but they just want to work to pay for food for themselves and their families. By and large anyway.

            5 Why do the boats always sink? They dont. Its just that there are so many of them and they are all the old stock so if any boat was going to sink then these are the ones. And they are overloaded.

            6 Are the traffickers evil? Fuckers who should be strung up. And me a humanitarian…

            7 Which of the conspiracy theories do you regard as such? (I’m genuinely not sure what they are.) I saw and heard some things when I was in Iraq that is hard to disagree with but to be honest I dont have time for them. Might have a chat over a pint when I get home.

            8 Why do (if they do) some refugees leave your camp while others remain? Did these people already have plans at some stage to seek work in the West? No one had plans to go to the west, its not as good as we think it is. Its just better than the option available to them now. As I said before most will go home once the conflict stops.

            9 How long have you been working out there and what did you do before? Spent 20 years in private sector supply chain/logistics but have been moving into this area for quite a while. I was quite good at organising sending beer all over the world and I just thought there must be more to this than just that, so here I am.

            10 What is your motivation? Honestly the amateurish nature of NGO’s, big and small, is painful to watch. I think if I can train and guide and mentor people over here, or Iraq, or South Sudan or Afghan, then maybe they can stand on their own two feet better with some simple skills that will last them for a lifetime.

            Now I’m off to bed… slan. Feel free to contact me via our site if you wish.


    Seeing as Paddy was happy to let the Yanks take over Shannon air force base, we should accept 25,000 of our brothers from Iraq etc. When are the Bush twins going to do their military service ?
    Why are the Americans washing their hands of the mess they created ? Why does irish America never criticise the American military ? Nothing learned from the madness of Vietnam .

  19. goldbug



    ANS : PTSD







  20. coldblow

    While everyone seems to have a clear memory of what went on in Germany, often decades before they were born, albeit in an odd fairy tale kind of way, a few can perform the much more impressive task of fishing for reminiscences from that bygone era that is two years ago. In 2013 Assad was convicted on television news (and also, I assume, on Facebook) of gassing his own people. The news cameras, by the way, seemed to be interested only in those unfortunate victims who were infants and children. Plans were then made to launch air raids against Syria although they had clearly overlooked the possibility that further innocent people (including children) might get hurt and to be unaware of the accumulating evidence that such interventions always make things worse, much worse. Of course it might just have been a problem with their memories. And it also turns out that the gassing was far more likely carried out by Assad’s enemies in the US and Turkey – Saudi guilt in anything can more or less be automatically assumed by this stage. And it also turns out that the allies they were going to support by doing this were ISIS.

    In Britain a number of people wrote to their MPs and the plans were defeated in the House of Commons. Now have a look at this link. It is one minute long. Michael Gove is the Education Minister and this is what clinched it for me more than a year ago that he is an extravert.

    He is clearly VERY EMOTIONAL and as we all know nowadays this justifies anything and everything, because he is VERY EMOTIONAL. Got that? Now what was it that was making him so emotional? It was because he had seen what had happened when a Syrian school had been shelled. But he bites his lip and forces himself to justify the govt. decision to call off the attack, although it’s killing him and he wants those bombers to go in and just take them out, surgically.

    David Cameron is another politician who has real emotions and is proud of them. Together with France they rid the world of the hideous dictator Col. Gaddafi. Libya is now a chaotic and extremelyo dangerous place along the lines of Somalia. Dave got very angry when the earlier Labour govt. returned the Libyan convicted of Lockerbie, even though there was little evidence that he did it and that the deed more likely organized from Syria, at Iran’s behest for the accidental, if clumsy, downing by a US warship of an Iranian jet. Gaddafi was even being flattered by British officials short months before the coup and it now turns out that even Tony :Blair (of all people) tried to talk him out of it, but Dave has his emotions too, you see.

    Now one of the interesting facts I intend to put into my forthcoming book about extraverts (work in progress – all progress to date being in my head and not on paper) is that most people on blogs (like politicians) are extraverts and another interesting discovery is that because they are extraverts they are unlikely to able to fully appreciate what I am saying. And it is unlikely that they will be able remember it.

    And now I am back in primary school where Mr Jones, a kind Welshman, teacher and bachelor, taught music among other things. One of those other things was being organist and choir master at 11.15 mass and the congregation would often hear him hissing ‘Sing!’ at his indolent charges. But one memory which remains clear after nearly 50 years is him rehearsing the The First Noel, with a small group of us standing around an upright piano in one of the classrooms. It was a popular carol and they sang it with enthusiasm.

    No-e-l, No-e-l, No-e-l No-el
    Born is the King of Jeru-a-sa-lem.

    Mr Jones’s difficulty, an unsurmountable one as it turned out, was to get them to sing the final No-el with two syllables, and he explained this to them again and again, patiently at first and then with uncharacteristic frustration.

    This is how it goes: No-e-l, No-e-l, No-e-l, No-el. Do you hear it?

    Yes sir!

    No-e-l, No-e-l, No-e-l, No-e-el

    No, you did it again. It it isn’t No-e-el but No-el. Can you hear the difference?

    Yes sir!

    No-e-l, No-e-l, No-e-l, No-e-el

    No, you’re putting in three syllables instead of two. It’s No. El. Not No-e-el, but No. El!

    Yes sir!

  21. coldblow

    This is the full Bitter Lake documentary. It is long and I found myself skipping the music.

    At 2.13, very near the end, Curtis says: ‘And now the Saudis, along with the British and the Americans, are trying to do the same thing again, to kill the jihadists and their ideas in the sand dunes of northern Iraq and Syria. But it is an uncertain war. Western politicians are having to accept that the simple division between good and evil doesn’t exist. By bombing ISIS they are helping the ‘evil’ Pres. Assad to remain in power. And those in charge don’t even know how big a threat ISIS really is. Is it a dark existential threat? Or is it really a front being used in an ongoing complex power struggle inside Iraq? We just don’t know… Although we have returned from Afghanistan our leaders also seem to have lost faith in anything and the simple stories they tell us don’t make sense any longer.’

    • DB4545


      Assad is not a nice guy. Nor was Saddam. Nor was Gadaffi. But they are/were the top predators in the existing political world in that region. Whatever about lack of democracy they managed to evolve and control their respective political spheres in those regions. Whatever the agenda is (maybe oil politics is just not that important to Western interests in the medium term)that requires regime change those in charge must be aware that if you take out the “spiders” a lot more flies and other pests are going to make an appearance. I really hope that there is an agenda of some type because if not we’re stumbling towards a major global conflict.

  22. Adelaide


    Merkel. “Countries refusing to take in migrants could face financial penalties.”

    The graph in the article shows the numbers for each country.
    Ireland, UK and Denmark have an opt-out clause.

  23. Reality Check

    Globalists gaslight using emotional blackmail.

    Just where are all the feminists screaming about the evil IS patriachy?

    • DB4545

      Reality Check

      I’m at a loss to understand that one either realitycheck. ISIS don’t seem to be in the business of advancing womens or anyone else’s human rights.The sisterhood usually aren’t shy about what they perceive to be core values. Nice people may ask themselves in about 18 years time why europe degenerated into the third world and their daughters are being gang raped.That’s what those nice people in Sweden are doing at the moment.That’s what happens when your heart rules your head, you lose your heart and then your head.I’m sure the sisterhood may be allowed to protest about cecil the lion or some other bullshit in 18 years time if they’re accompanied by a male relative.I wonder will ISIS issue driving licences to the ladies in order to facilitate their studies?

      • coldblow

        The thing about the new system of beliefs called political correctness, which has replaced the old Christian civil values, is that it is not cohesive. There is no hierarchy. Why this is the case is probablyo quite a big question to answer. At least partly it is because values were adopted which were little more than refutations of the old values, something which was (and is) seen as a virtue in itself.

        So when you have a clash between two strands, say women’s rights versus transgender rights, you can end up with one of the architects of modern liberalism, Germaine Greer, being stopped from speaking in Cambridge.

        Desmond Fennell said that it would all come tumbling down when the money runs out, which is happening. Certainly, it is being severely tested right now as liberal immigration is a central plank.

        Perhaps it will adapt and survive and a way of living will emerge which will be, in Fennell’s words, liveable. Then again perhaps it won’t. I don’t think it will but, as I said recently, I could well be proved wrong. If it doesn’t it won’t be pretty and if it does, well that isn’t much use either.

        • coldblow

          Fennell’s Post-Western Condition lists literally dozens of pc contradictions.

        • coldblow

          I just looked up David Norris on Wiki for some inspiration as I suppose the pc etiquette can get quite tricky and complicated.

          Over the Fairytale of Katmandu you had libetarian gay rights vs children’s rights. That’s unfair of course as they weren’t children but young men, but just for argument (I happen to like both Norris and Ó Searcaigh, the latter being the best Gaelic speaker I have seen on the telly). You also had racism/ colonialism (the poet was accused of exploiting naive foreigners). I think the gay rights came off worse there.

          In the 2002 Magill interview involving the Senator there was a perceived clash of gay and children’s rights.

          Aside from Norris, you have strong feminist suppport here for the Indian women’s campaign against rape. But perhaps this wouldn’t be forthcoming if the Indian women themselves weren’t leading it as it could be construed as racism.

          Another odd thing about political correctness is that the punishment does not fit the crime. Certain people can do certain things because of who they are and in what category they find themselves, whereas others (notably middle aged white men with or without conservative values, but also, strangley, professional footballers – see Ched Evans) are automatically guilty. Some may remember a time when guilt was determined objectively not subjectively.

          • DB4545

            Reality Check & Coldblow

            It’s easy to go off on a tangent and I’m guilty of doing that too. The bottom line is that I’m in favour of a liberal secular democracy and I’m financially conservative and I accept that others may be financially liberal(though usually with other people’s money).I’d suggest the ISIS mission statement (if there is one) would not align with those values. Therefore any attempt to impose or force Europeans into “submission” to alien values is going to result in conflict.

            Allowing close to a million refugees/migrants unrestricted access to the EU with no prior vetting is criminally reckless and bordering on insanity. The majority are male and of a military useful age group. We’ll see in the coming months who they are useful too. I think Ms. Merkel is deluded if she thinks they’ll quietly plug a gap in the German labour market.

            Nice people are marching us towards disaster and the reality check is that ordinary people may have to take up arms. I suspect that if such a scenario comes to pass the nice middle class people will have the resources to keep their children out of harms way. Remember when ordinary US kids were doing their duty and were being slaughtered in Vietnam George Bush was safely patrolling the blue skies of Texas.

          • coldblow


            My statement was in relation to your own post raising the possibility that this is orchestrated. I thought I made it plain that I don’t think it needs to be orchestrated because it can be explained by psychology. However, I believe that these things often are orchestrated (and I gave examples to back this up) so it wouldn’t be out of the question this time either. So, as you can see, I didn’t go out on a tangent so much as go out to meet you on your own one.

            I don’t think this has much to do with ISIS. The cost is very much secondary. As Sutherland (I think said) this isn’t something you can buy your way out of. If you don’t agree to mass immigration then you are directly challenging the doctrine of political correctness which is the clearly understood ideology behind out ‘liberal secular democracy’ and which is clearly supported, and indeed imposed, by our media, which is why you hear hardly any dissenting voices there. (If you have please let me know as the journalist in question risks professional suicide.)

            In other words, if you want to oppose mass immigration on the grounds of defending secular liberal democracy it will be difficult, perhaps like opposing conscription on the basis of militarism or giving women the vote on the grounds of equality. So I consider your concerns about ISIS and the lack of vetting to be side issues and I think you are avoiding the main one.

            My colleague at work opposes mass immigration as I do, simply because it is mass immigration. I don’t think he is too concerned if they are good workers or not, although it would be bonus. However, his wife only came round to his opinion very recently when she heard that there was an ISIS threat.

          • DB4545

            They are side issues. The horse has already bolted perhaps even marched into the centre of Europe. I don’t support mass immigration. It didn’t work out too well for native americans or australian aboriginals. And for similar reasons. It reached a tipping point on both continents but not to the benefit of the native population.

  24. J999

    I think the blatant hypocrisy now shown by the EU is typical. Juncker wants us to take in refugees on a quota basis. That’s fine in principal, and we must not shirk our responsibilities. But where was such burden sharing in the last EU crisis?

    And speaking of shirking responsibilities, but where are the rich gulf states in all of this? Is there no talk of Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Yemen, SA taking refugees? The EU and poorer Muslim countries cannot be expected to shoulder all the burden. The powerful Arabic states have a big part to play too!

  25. McCawber

    Interfering in other people’s business rarely ends well.
    When one country invades another it will ultimately end in tears for the invading nation. This is true now more ever before because of the weaponry available.
    The invader can always pack up and return home but the local has nowhere to go. For the locals it’s a fight for survival.
    Super Powers have failed many times to learn this lesson.
    Vietnam, Afghanistan (twice), Soviet Bloc, Germany (twice) and so on.
    So we now know or should know that invasion and military intervention is bad. It doesn’t work and usually makes a bad situation worse.
    This means we have to come up with something a bit more subtle.
    Diplomacy is not a word I like and it’s a long game but at some point that long game has to be played and David is right about one thing, Europe needs to start pulling it’s weight and stop using/allowing the US to be its’ defender or do it’s dirty work (on it’s own terms I might add).
    That’s just the first step. ie An acceptance that the approach needs to change.

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