Conspiracy or simply Dutch government policy?

This article is a translation of "Samenzwering of gewoon regeringspolitiek?"

Besides mourning the victims of the attacks in Paris, the familiar calls for more violence, and new levels of support for Wilders, Le Pen, and their friends, there have also been a number of new reflections on our own responsibility. However, it has now turned out that this goes much further than the issue of responsibility for starting wars, out of which at some point radical groups emerge that commit acts of terror.


Yesterday it became known that the Dutch minister of foreign affairs, Bert Koenders, is not only planning to supply arms to the Kurds fighting in Syria and Iraq, but also 10 million euros worth of non-lethal equipment to the ‘Syrian opposition’. ‘It is a secret who exactly are these opposition groups because otherwise the supply might be jeopardised and the materiel end up in the wrong hands’, according to the Dutch daily, De Telegraaf.

Very wise.

No need to repeat that we are responsible for the wars in the Middle East and North Africa. Or, that we contribute directly to the emergence and growth of radical, extremely violent groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.

This latter issue has been argued once again in a piece by the indefatigable John Pilger, in which he draws the comparison between al-Qaeda, ISIS and Pol Pot in Cambodia. All were initially insignificant groups but thanks to maximum violence against them have grown into a force to be reckoned with. The murderous American bombardments of Cambodia from 1969 to ’73, the equivalent of five Hiroshima bombs, created a lunar landscape in which the survivors wandered around senselessly, easily recruited by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge. Thus he obtained an army to launch an ultra-maoist collectivisation campaign that turned into a bloodbath.

With al-Qaeda, something comparable happened—it was a network of recruitment agencies where volunteers for the struggle against the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul could register. After having been declared the target of the ‘War on Terror’ in the aftermath of 9/11 (19 perpetrators), it became an international power, which meanwhile has been outflanked by ISIS. There again, the same history from a small beginning to a threat to ‘civilization’.

We are being watched round the clock, every e-mail is being registered. And on top of that, there are warnings from people who know what they are talking about. According to the Washington Post, Iraq had warned against an attack on France because they are listening in on the communications of al-Baghdadi, the ‘caliph’ of ISIS. But the French government according to the paper has yet to make public the details of this information and of course, why they did not act on it.

Even so, and in contrast to the attack on Charlie Hebdo at the beginning of the year, there is no need to doubt the authenticity of the perpetrators of the attack this time. Yet we continue to finance the war in Syria and more specifically, the side in which ISIS, followed by al-Qaeda/al-Nusra and a number of other jihadist formations constitute the main force.
The so-called ‘moderate opposition’ quite a while ago has handed in its weapons to these much stronger armies, and perhaps still consists of breakaway civilian groups who may pop up at a conference in Istanbul or Geneva, but not on the battlefield (at least not without the consent of the jihadists).

Supplying materiel to whomever in the Syrian opposition (‘It is a secret who exactly are these opposition groups because otherwise the supply might be jeopardised and the materiel end up in the wrong hands’—you would laugh if it weren’t so sad) means supplying those elements in the armed insurrection that control the battlefield.

It may well be that at this moment ISIS is being forced on the defensive because of Moscow’s support for Assad. Is that the moment then to step up support for the insurgency?

Earlier the Americans complained that the Russians were not only bombing ISIS but also other groups, supported by the West, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. Yesterday the Human Rights Commission of the General Assembly of the UN adopted a resolution proposed by Saudi Arabia (with 115 against 15, and 51 abstentions) which condemns the interference in Syria by Iran and unidentified ‘other countries’—it takes courage to do this, as Saudi Arabia, in the Human Rights Commission of all places!
I have not been able to trace what the Dutch representative’s vote was on this issue.
But with the 10 million of secretary Koenders it is clear enough where we stand.

Kees van der Pijl

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