From Sebastian Budgen, senior editor at Verso books : “This is perhaps the moment to take a step back to review the brilliance of West’s counterrorist strategy, which we can then admire in all its strategic and tactical coherence:
1) Combat the bombing and random murder of civilians with the bombing and random murder of civilians;
2) Combat the attacks on civil liberties and freedoms with attacks on civil liberties and freedoms;
3) Combat the jihadists’ attempts to promote the perception of two irreconcilable and antagonistic camps – Islam and the West – with the promotion of the perception that there are two irreconcilable and antagonistic camps – namely Islam and the West;
4) Combat the jihadists’ propaganda regarding the rampant Islamophobia in the West by promoting rampant Islamophobia in the West;
5) Combat the propagation of a reactionary form of political Islam by doing business deals and constructing political alliances with those states most implicated in the propagation of the most reactionary forms of political Islam.
6) Combat the perception that Western powers act like neocolonial and self-interested powers by supporting the most authoritarian, corrupt and venal states in a neocolonial and self-interested manner;
7) Combat Daesh’s projection of itself as a legitimate state that is at war with the western powers by declaring that the western powers are at war with a state known as ISIS;
8) Combat Daesh’s propaganda that the West is a decadent, soulless and projectless zone characterised only by its attachment to sybaritic and hedonist activities by putting forward the defence of sybaritic and hedonist activities as the characteristic feature that distinguishes the West from Daesh.
9) Combat the jihadists’ claim that reformist Islamist currents are naive if they believe they can come to power through elections, by supporting a coup against a reformist Islamist president who came to power through elections;
10) Combat the radical Islamists’ fake anti-Zionism which draws its strength from the argument that the West maintains a double standard on Israel by showering it with money and arms regardless of the treatment of the Palestinians by maintaining a double standard on Israel by showering it with money and arms regardless of the treatment of the Palestinian.
Put like that, what could possibly go wrong?”
To learn one has to admit that one may have been wrong in the past. Wrong to me is for instance war. Using violence to make a point. Wrong is machism. Wrong is capitalism too… To learn demands humility and that’s not something we in the West tend to be very fluent at, certainly not at the level of governments. It demands the ability to take the time to listen to those who may not be the loudest. It also demands to have an open mind and a faith in humanity, that also seems to lack at the level of governments. There is fear, there is greed, nothing worth putting energy into.
Hope is somewhere else.