Unless you’ve been enjoying some splendid isolation hiding in a retreat on a remote Scottish island it cannot have escaped your attention that we are having a bit of a kerfuffle with a large number of religious fanatics.
These Middle Eastern zealots are making their presence felt on our Western doorsteps in the most terrifying and violent ways.
Our leaders declare ‘as one’ that they are not prepared to accede to this pressure and insist that we go about our business unafraid and defiantly unbowed.
This is relatively easy advice to dish out from the comfort of your bullet –proof home surrounded by huge well-armed geezers and when your preferred mode of travel is by bomb-proof car. We, on the other hand probably have to rely on hope and prayer to protect us from the potential threat of being murdered on the streets of the capital if we choose to venture there for a spot of Christmas shopping.
Obviously, this ‘defeatist’ attitude is exactly the kind of response these evil savages want and allowing them the satisfaction of knowing their actions are having the desired effect will only encourage the planning of further atrocities. So, what do you do? Grit your teeth, stick two fingers up to their disgusting ideology, do as the PM asks and carry on as normal or do you take heed of what happened in Paris and keep your head down, mind your own business and stay safe here in lovely old Norfolk?
I’m a great believer in not starting fights I know I can’t win and trying to deal with an unseen enemy who slides amongst us seething with hatred and an unshakeable belief that his (or her) own violent death will only result in greater glory and martyrdom seems like a problem we’re totally ill-equipped to combat.
Our world shrinks daily and as the problems increase you would think the fact that our nominally civilised neighbours have been brought together by a common enemy would be a comfort to us…but I don’t think it is! Our standard response is to throw weapons at the problem, keep ground forces out of the loop and try to intercept their communications. We try to monitor their movements by remote from our satellites, drones and GCHQ but still they manage to breach our defences and cross Europe unchallenged. The trouble is these maniacs don’t play fair. The Geneva Conventions’ rules of warfare means nothing to them and they choose low-tech options to prosecute their war against the bloated West.
Having tonnes of space-age armour and multi-million dollar satellites works well when your ‘normal’ high-tech sophisticated modern opponent is hell bent on using similar equipment. But when your highly-motivated enemy has such a casual disregard for his own life and makes his bombs out of fizzy drink cans fished out of the recycling and cheap mobile phones I think it’s a whole new ball game. And one that we don’t really have any idea how to play.