The Right-Minded View: the war on terror has been a roaring success, give or take.

by richardhutton

It is a simple fact that terrorism arises from the distillation of pure evil. Any suggestion to the contrary is no more than apologism, in my honest opinion.

Yes, the war on terror has produced insurgencies, civil wars, massacres, atrocities, war crimes, civilian casualties, ethnic cleansing, and the flight of refugees – struggling to keep afloat in the Mediterranean. But not terrorism. The world’s evil-doers may hate us for our freedoms; but they remain indifferent to our bombs.

What’s more, Britain’s middle eastern military adventures have always been conducted in good spirit; and invariably ended well. Give or take. At any rate, whatever mistakes arose were made in good faith; and the correct lessons were learned in due course – well in advance of any successive conflict.

The invasion of Iraq, for instance, was undertaken for the Iraqi peoples’ own good. Were they alive today, in their tens of thousands, then they would undoubtedly express their gratitude – no matter what the anti-war crowd may say, with their knee-jerk certainty that invading a foreign country and dismantling its infrastructure, causing a subsequent breakdown of law and order, and consequently leading to an insurgency which descended into a civil war that caused innumerable casualties – ultimately bringing years of chaos to the neighbouring region – was a bad idea; rather than the kind of regrettably necessary course of action, which nobody could have foreseen having any downsides.

While it is true that Libya, likewise, quickly descended into civil war; and that the country’s infrastructure collapsed – leaving thousands of noncombatants homeless, maimed, or (to use the overly emotive language favoured by progressives) dead – this was surely just the taste of freedom they would have wanted, had they survived our protection.

Not starting wars unless they are completely justifiable – or insisting that they be conducted in compliance with international standards of law – is all well and good; but in the real world, leaders have to take difficult decisions. This requires a willingness to act without considering the consequences – and I say that a succession of British Prime Ministers have lived up to that requirement, stoutly: leveling the august lance of Britain’s destiny at the windmill of terrorism, and charging without a moment’s thought or hesitation.

Now, ivory tower-dwelling academic-types may tell you that the use of torture on suspected terrorists was a self-defeating approach to reducing radicalism; and served no valid security purpose at all – while being in breach of international law. Little did they realise, however, that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights contains no less than thirty articles; and as many as twenty nine make no reference at all to the practice of torture. We can safely leave this matter aside, therefore.

All told, the war on terror has been a qualified success, these past 16 years. Bloody well go and win it.