As a consequence of the terrible massacre on 26 June of 30 British tourists in Tunisia, a lot of silly people in this country, politicians included, and particularly army generals, are now talking of “fighting back” against . . . Islamic terrorism. This is precisely the same mistake that President Bush made after 9/11. His (misplaced) fight against terrorism (by invading Iraq when 15 of the 19 terrorists were actually Saudi Arabians) made matters a great deal worse.
He expanded a hatred of the West by some young spoilt middle-class Saudi Arabians going through a religious phase of life into opening up a centuries-old conflict between Sunnis and Shias. Bush knew within an hour or two of the Twin Towers tragedy that it was a gang of Saudi Arabians led by Osama bin Laden who were behind it. Thus, he flew the father of Osama bin Laden and other members of the family — who were holidaying in America at the time — out of the country within hours before imposing a total ban on air travelling in and out of America.
Bush looked after his friends first instead of serving the American people. He should have held the bin Laden family hostage and informed the Saudi Royal family that unless they rooted out the mullahs of hundreds of mosques who were sending money to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan then a state of war would exist between America and Saudi Arabia. This would not have been a war against terrorism. This would have been war by a passably egalitarian nation on an oppressive one.
Two years later, when American troops had invaded Iraq and occupied Baghdad, telling the Iraqi people that America was bringing ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’ to Iraq, what happened? The Shias, long held down by the Sunnis and Saddam Hussein, took the Aermicans at their word and organised one of their traditional Medieval marches through the city, led by fanatics flagellating themselves with iron chains until the blood was running down their bodies. It was then that the Sunnis, ashamed at this public exhibition of Iraqi primitiveness, allowed their own fanatics to bomb and kill Shias repeatedly from then onwards. And so it continued for several years with no chance of the occupying forces being able to stop it.
It is that contagion which is now beginning to affect the whole of the Middle East. The present Isis terrorism in northern Iraq and Syria is probably the least of their problems. Iran and Saudi Arabia, bastions of Shiaism and Sunniism respectively, are steadily winding themselves up for war. A proxy war between them is now going on between them in Yemen. It might easily spread further and it could possibly become a nuclear war. For all we know, Iran might have managed to make a few nuclear warheads. Saudi Arabia has a treaty with Pakistan which means it can call on nuclear missiles from them. Will there be a war, nuclear or otherwise? Who can possibly tell for certain?