Monday June 24, 2024

The Nice attack

By Ali Jaswal
July 20, 2016

What was predicted long ago has now started to unfold at a comparatively significant pace, as compared to the past. It had all been anticipated by intelligentsia from all ends of the globe.

Whether France and the US go for a massive military escalation against Isil in Iraq and Syria, or take radical actions inside their own countries to ensure their lands remain safe from acts of terrorism, one thing is for sure, the July 14 terror attack in the city of Nice, which lies in the southern part of France, will now result in more polarisation in our world politics.

The current segment of crisis basically originated with the US ‘war against terror’ and its assault on Afghanistan and Iraq. What was the situation when the US launched a war against Afghanistan and Iraq? What are the outcomes of that entire mass escalation?

The conflict from Iraq has now expanded all through the Middle Eastern region and has got deep roots across Indonesia, Somalia, Nigeria, Sahel and Horn of Africa. Whereas the conflict in Afghanistan has reached a point of lethal civil war and the intrusion of regional powers might end up in a deadly proxy war between them over Afghan soil.

The growth of Isil in international politics is a major development in the current conflict scenario. The splinter group of Al-Qaeda is a much more radical and organised version of its parent militant organisation and has now created a new wave of extremism throughout the planet. The group started their activities in the Western world in 2014 after gaining control of a significant portion of land in Iraq and Syria. And the Paris attack in November 2015 provided a real breakthrough to them in this regard.

The tide of terror attacks in Europe and the US is generating a great deal of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments within the people of the West, which is being masterfully exploited by their rightist political entities. This should be a cause for serious alarm regarding global peace and security. Already Al-Qaeda and other Islamist insurgencies are the fallouts of suppressive policies by the Western powers against the Muslim World.

It is an established phenomenon that insurgencies are always cultivated in an environment of oppression. When the oppression in the Middle East increased simultaneously the intensity of the insurgency also increased – and the result was in the shape of Isil.

This phenomenon is quite explicit into the African War Theater. Al-Shabab and Boko Haram are much more cruel and crude in nature as compared to the previous insurgent groups of Africa.

The terrorist attack in Nice should undoubtedly be condemned. But just condemnation will not solve the crisis let alone its roots.

What the West needs to understand is the present demographics of global politics. We are living in an age of globalisation, where societies are immensely diverse, multi-cultural and integrated. In developed countries, especially within the Western countries, people from almost all religions, races, cultures and ethnic communities are living together. This is not a colonial age where imperial powers can colonise a country or even a post-colonial period where wars in Vietnam etc can be launched and gotten away with without severe consequences in their own homelands.

Insurgencies, emerged as a result of oppression under the imperial powers, have always had considerable popularity, regardless of methodology. The West must understand the deep-rooted reasons beneath the Islamist militant organisations. Therefore, they have to revise their interpretation of Political Islam.

Moreover, reportedly people from nearly 80 different nationalities are fighting under the banners of Isil and the Al-Nusra Front. Most importantly, there is a large number of highly educated students and professionals from leading organisations who have joined the militant groups in the Middle Eastern war field. This should be a paramount point of concern for the US and its European allies. It is obvious that there is a strong appeal for such ideology that is motivating people living in the West.

Additionally, the enormous displacement of people from the Middle East and Africa, in a scenario in which conflicts are getting endlessly intense and convoluted, is going to be a tremendous disaster for collective peace and security. The key to these crises lies in the political settlement of these conflicts. Otherwise, the ongoing transnational wars in the Middle East could soon incorporate the Western countries at a greater scale as well.

The international community must play a substantial role to deal with these crises, as the augmenting anarchy in the international political landscape is overturning the existing global order, which at the moment is on the verge of collapse. Furthermore, the international powerbrokers have adopted new formations over the political chessboard. In the current multi-polar world politics, this could provide an opportunity to transnational players, who have the potential to disrupt the entire chessboard instead of their opponent.

Finally, on top of everything, the Western community has to accept the harsh reality that if there is bloodshed in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, then unfortunately, there will be no peace in their lands either.

The writer is a research analyst.

Twitter: @Ali_Jaswal