Before we get into the statement made by Nigel Farage let me first make a point about Trumps decision to intervene in Syria;
Though I do support the intervention from a moral stand point albeit there is a debate on the legality of the process in the constitution and in precedent, I also believe that in the case of Trump specifically knowing what we know about his temperament/experience level/erratic behaviour I would not trust his judgment on such critical matters going forward-erratic/inconsistent behaviour can work for you at times but can be catastrophic in other times. I would also predict that he is NOT going to pursue this Syria/Russia hardline for much further considering that he does NOT want any level of confrontation with Russia and will eventually role back his rhetoric towards Putin & Bashar Al Assad; meaning that this action will end up eventually undermining US Policy & policy makers.
Going back to the statement made by Nigel Farage on the LBC interview where he says; “As a firm Trump supporter, I say, yes, the pictures were horrible, but I’m surprised. Whatever Assad’s sins, he is secular“; so the takeaway logic from this genius is, well tough luck because so long as the mass murderer is “Secular” we’re good to let it go! This is borderline racist/criminal to make a statement like that. I would understand the argument that we should NOT interfere in Syria irrespective of conflict casualties, but to imply that because Assad is secular we should allow him to murder his people is truly sickening.
But of course there is near unanimity in many circles-though I have yet to determine the location of these circles-of the view that he speaks as an expert on matters of Foreign Policy hence his aspiration to become UK ambassador to the United States. Sadly for us all though we’re still stuck with his wisdom for the foreseeable future unless of course Trump grants him permanent residence at Trump Tower .
That said though his argument does resonate with some particularly on the “ultra-right side of things” that some how believe if we keep away from these conflict zones and merely encourage stability even at hand of brutal dictators we’ll be fine.
So let me take a stab at this argument and see where it goes;
Migration control and eliminating terrorism will not be served by unstable/autocratic albeit friendly brutal regimes in the ME & beyond; Brutal dictatorships breed social/economic disparity, which lead to violence which lead to terrorism and ultimately to migration flows. This is reality 1-on-1 and has been analysed to shreds like this paper “Links between Terrorism & Migration” among others, so we can stop debating these links. Islamic fundamentalism is indeed a religious movement but it thrives on flawed political choices applied by autocratic regimes.
So where do we go from here? Well, the ideal outcome would be to somehow incentivise regimes in allowing natural evolution of their societies towards change through progressive governance rather than violent confrontation without imposing such change by interfering in their internal affairs-the key word being “Incentive”. This is NOT about being involved in state building but rather-at the very least-not contributing towards impeding political/social evolution and promoting prudent governance. We also need to remember that for many of the current conflict zones around the world we’ve had a direct role in creating them and in supporting repressive regimes that kept the locks on social/political evolution in the assumption they would keep us prosperous/safe. Well things never really seemed to work that way-and much less now more than ever because people are beginning to realise that they have options in illegal immigration or taking up arms against the state and they have the full backing of both people smuggling gangs as well as terrorist organisations.
So when we celebrate in the west for striking new business deals with these autocratic governments in the region let’s recognise that this is a false economy when we pay back 10 folds of the business gains in social, economic and security vulnerabilities and increased defence expenditure-this is not just flawed politics it is also sloppy politics as well.
An interesting proposition that I would like to contribute to the debate on this matter is what I term “Progressive Governance Initiative” which I hope you may find interesting.