ISIS Makes the British Lion a De-Clawed and Shabby Cat

by | Jul 4, 2015


The recent and rapid successes of the Islamic State (IS) in seizing Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq, together with its three successful same-day strikes on 26 June 2015 in Kuwait, France, and Tunisia seem to have left British Prime Minister David Cameron rather panicky — like a twitchy kitten experiencing its first thunder-and lightning storm.

In response to these events, Cameron has come somewhat unglued. The leader of a once mighty, respected, and feared nation has responded to IS’s offensive operations by (a) calling on the UK Muslim leaders to perform a miracle and control the thoughts, sympathies, and actions of all members of the Muslim community; (b) predicting that IS was on the verge of “terrible” attacks in Britain, without offering any sign of the backbone needed to credibly warn IS of “terrible” British retribution if its forces attack in the UK; and (c) demanding that the BBC stop identifying the Islamic State as the Islamic State and instead call it “ISIL” because it is “death cult” and has nothing to do with Islam. On the latter point, Cameron sounds like an Oxford-educated version of Barack Obama.

One must wonder what Cameron thinks he is accomplishing with such prattle for the defense of his nation or the deterrence of its enemies. The British prime minister seems to have missed the fact that there probably are not any leaders in the West’s expatriate Muslim communities who can reliably control their young males or lessen the strength of their faith, their admiration for IS victories, or their eagerness to join the jihad. Cameron perhaps should ask his advisers about the rumors he might have heard claiming that many thousands of young Muslim males — Muslim-born and converts — from the UK, all other EU nations, the US, Canada, and Australia are already fighting with IS forces or helping IS to build, organize, fund, and administer its nascent Caliphate. Braced with this hard data, the prime minister might stop delegating the UK’s defense to unnamed “Muslim leaders” and get on with his job of making sure the realm is both defended and capable of annihilating its enemies.

Cameron’s warning that “terrible” IS attacks are coming Britain’s way also suggests he is a bit under informed. Thirty of the Queen’s subjects, for example, were slaughtered by IS fighters last week on a Tunisian beach, apparently after receiving militarily training from IS members based in the peaceful, multicultural, and secular Libyan democracy created by Cameron, Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Sarkozy.

Cameron has huffed, puffed, and looked sad about the murders of his countrymen, but the odds are that some or all of the dead might never have gone to swim and sunbathe in skimpy swimsuits, cavort, and drink alcohol in a Muslim country if Cameron had not constantly reiterated the now mandatory US-UK-EU lie that IS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamist groups are made up of small numbers of criminals, fanatics, and lunatics who have nothing to do with the Islamic faith, and whom the West is defeating by killing them one at a time. Had Cameron jettisoned this lie and truthfully said that an ever increasing portion of the Muslim world is waging a religious war against the West and is ready and eager to kill as many Westerners as necessary to drive the West out of the Muslim world, the now quite dead Britons might have stayed home to swim and frolic in the colder but safer waters of Britain’s resort towns.

And more will die because David Cameron — and all other Western leaders — will continue to base the defense of their individual nations and the West as a whole on three pivotal and ultimately self-defeating lies. First, as noted above, they will continue to claim that Islamists are not Islamic, that the war they are waging is not a religious war, and that Islam is a Quaker-like religion of eternal peace and pacifism, even when polls show that most Muslims believe their faith and brethren are under attack by the West, especially by the United States and its closest allies, and must be defended.

Second, Western leaders will continue to intervene militarily in Muslim countries that are oil-rich and/or governed by regimes they find odious; note here, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. While intervening, they will continue to support Israel and the tyrannical regimes that most Muslims find odious and/or anti-Islamic in the extreme, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait.

As a result, Western populations will continue to see their leaders push an apparent death wish toward fruition by motivating, through their interventionism, the Islamist movement to become larger, angrier, and more geographically dispersed, while at the same time motivating it on a second front by supporting, funding, arming, and protecting regimes that are cordially hated by their peoples.

Third, Cameron, Obama, and most Western leaders will publicly speak as if their nations, populations, and military capabilities currently equate to the united and powerful nation-states they were during the Cold War. They will speak in this manner because they are willing to lie to hold onto political office. In reality, most Western nations are bankrupt; each has knowingly eroded its national unity, internal security, and societal cohesion by allowing nearly unlimited immigration by people who refuse to assimilate and who are often anti-Western; and most have degraded their militaries by starving them of much-needed cash in order to pay for social services and fanatically pursue the nation-killing policies of diversity and multiculturalism.

Cameron and his fellow Western leaders have lied and deceived their peoples about the nature, size, and endurance of the Islamists for so long that the entire problem has resolved itself into four clear options, one easy and the other three brutally difficult:

(a) The West must stop intervening in a region where it has consistently armed, funded, and backed tyranny for more than sixty years, and let Muslims sort out such problems as Israel, methods of governing, and sectarian hatreds. If the West is lucky, strict non-intervention will allow Sunnis and Shias to fight a prolonged and bloody regional religious war that will make the West more onlooker than target, or

(b) The West must raise taxes considerably, rearm, reinstate conscription to provide troops for service at home and abroad, shelve most civil liberties to cope with the internal Islamist threat, and prepare to kill many millions of its enemies and their supporters, or

(c) If too bankrupt too do (b) — which is likely — the West must get ready to use tactical nuclear weapons (NB: NATO leaders surely are doing this after attacking Russia’s national security with their insane democracy mongering in Ukraine), or

(d) Give up and convert to Islam.

Western peoples must also begin to see their leaders as the Muslim world sees them — as effete blowhards and reliable appeasers — so they can gauge how little impact their leaders’ saber-rattling words have on our Islamist enemies and the Muslim world generally. As a starting point, some words that the honest and acerbic Thomas Paine wrote about another set of leaders who had undergone a change for the worse and did not realize that it was obvious to everyone but themselves are appropriate describing how Cameron, Obama, Hollande, and their NATO and EU peers are viewed by the non-Western world. “They have artfully changed themselves into a different sort of people to what they use to be,” Paine wrote in April, 1777,

and yet they have the address to persuade each other that they have not altered; like antiquated virgins, they see not the havoc [that] deformity has made upon them, but pleasantly mistaking wrinkles for dimples, conceive themselves yet lovely and wonder at the stupid world for not admiring them.

The Western world today is led by self-deceivers of Paine’s description. For twenty years the current crop of Western leaders and their predecessors have faced one of the easiest possible foreign policy problems to solve since 1900, and yet they have only whined about its bewildering complexity, lied about it being insusceptible to a military solution, and preached about the consequent need for a prudent, multifaceted, culturally sensitive, and highly intelligent response. This is horse hockey. Since Osama bin Laden first publicly spoke in 1996, it has been blindingly clear that the Islamists are going to keep killing Westerners until Western governments stop intervening in their world or until the West kills all or almost all of the Islamists. The Islamists have never altered this message — though they have intensified it with words and deeds — and Western leaders, by not listening, have wasted twenty years and thousands of military lives but have yet to begin to defend the West. These leaders are a burgeoning collection of, at best, university-educated mediocrities whose lethal fecklessness Tom Paine again captured when he wrote about similar leaders in his time.

Strange! That a nation must run through such a labyrinth of trouble, and expend such a mass of wealth to gain the wisdom which an hour’s reflection might have taught.

The Islamist problem should not even have taken an hour to solve when it was in its infancy. But today it stands a steadily increasing chance of finishing off the long-dying entity called Western civilization.

Reprinted with permission from


  • Michael Scheuer

    Michael Scheuer is an American former intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, blogger, author, commentator and former adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies.

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