A few British soldiers sit on a gun captured from Egyptian forces in the course of the Suez crisis, 21 November 1956. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images
Ironically perhaps Isis refers (Front web page, 19 November) to the perpetrators of the Paris atrocities as its “brave knights”. The quotation illustrates an edge Isis exploits, an benefit of which the western powers voluntarily deprive them selves, namely a historical perspective. In the earlier century the west has time and once more cheated and violated Arab and Muslim communities. Sykes-Picot (1916), Balfour (1917), UN Resolution 181 (1948), Mosaddeq (1953), Suez (1956), Jordan and Lebanon (1958) and Iraq (2003) are all cases the place aggression and duplicity have marked the west’s behaviour.
If you desire to defeat an enemy, first realize him. Western politicians pick to ignore these antecedents, deny duty for them or minimise their significance: nothing to do with us. Isis makes them the context to justify any act of vengeance, nonetheless barbaric.
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