When does a rebel sanctioned by the West become a terrorist? 

It’s only a few days after the latest atrocities committed in Paris and one more day since a vicious attack in Beirut but today I read something which goes some way to explaining why we are in such a mess; why the threat of terrorism looms over much of the world.

[note: by ‘we’ I mean pretty much the whole world. I would say ‘the international community’ but we don’t tend to include a good many of the affected countries in that collective]
Back in June The Guardian reported the collapsed trial of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo who had been facing terrorism charges for supporting a Syrian rebel group.

What forced the prosecution to drop the case was the evidence that British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups.

Yes, that’s right. We were prosecuting someone for fighting for a cause we had been assisting until quite recently.

It just beggars belief doesn’t it? We Undermine a regime which has fallen out of favour and then when the collapse of law and order in that country destabilises an entire region we expect everyone to toe the line of our foreign policy and what? Hand the weapons back? Go back to farming?

Of course, it’s not just the UK which blunders into conflict like this, our ‘closest ally’ the USA has form too.

All that fuss with the Taliban? It’s an inconvenient truth that while Afghanistan was occupied by Russia, the U.S. was arming and training the resistance and the CIA were instructing them in insurgency tactics and the use of improvised explosive devices (IED) such as car bombs.

At the time the U.S. was obviously quite ‘proud’ of this; the 3rd Rambo movie sees Stallone fighting the Russians alongside the locals. The movie isn’t seen too often these days but not just because it’s utter crap. It’s obviously a source of some embarrassment, a reminder of an intervention which hasn’t really panned out as expected.

Do we learn? It looks like we don’t even want to learn, instead we just sweep it under the carpet and move on to the next fiasco. Libya, Syria, Afghanistan – all slightly different but essentially all the same.

Read the Guardian’s report, I’ll even link it again so you don’t need to scroll back up.


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