Here at the Coaching Blog- one of the world’s leading blogs on the subject of Leadership and Coaching we quite often post articles by leading authors and authorities- today we are delighted to post an article from Fleet Street Fox.
It would be very nice if the world worked the way it ought to.
The fact that 6.5million people are displaced within Syria, 3million have fled to neighbouring countries and 150,000 have claimed asylum in the EU would surely have informed anyone with a brain that there was a problem.
But no, it’s come as a surprise in the summer of 2015.
And because we were surprised, we panicked. We put up fences, conflated refugees with migrants, threatened to deport them, declared we were full then with one dead toddler said: “Oh s***.”
Had we thought quicker, and harder, we’d have set up migrant and refugee reception centres at the crossing points. We’d have given those in need a place to wash, visa forms and an option other than relying on the mafia.
We’d have made sure, too, that the entire EU treated everyone the same – rather than allowing Hungary for example to turn down 90% of asylum claims, forcing its refugees to move on if they want fair treatment in a friendlier country.
But we didn’t, and as a result we’ve got a bloody mess.
While you and your politicians are having a moral panic, there’s something else you haven’t spotted.
War is coming.
And it’s not the sort where the most exciting it will get is some video game footage on the evening news.
War, in all its horror. War that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a war of superpowers, of modern technology and medieval cruelty.
I don’t want war. I don’t like war. My grandad never went abroad again after fighting through the last one, and it was so bad he refused to speak of it for half a century.
But I can smell it in the air, like a corpse downwind. And the sooner public opinion gets its boots on and deals with it, the less we will panic, the sooner we fight, and the sooner we will win.
Wars are different every time, but like a thread on a screw they turn the same way.
First come the refugees, and the world panics and worries about them when what they’re running from is the real problem.
In this instance, the refugees are running away from ISIS on the one hand and the barrel bombs of their own government on the other, both of them using weapons we made, sold, or ennabled.Behind them comes the monster – and the man steering our country while we enter its waters makes the captain of the Titanic look like a seafaring genius.
Today he’s been forced to promise more asylum to those who need it. Next week Parliament returns from summer recess and the first item of business, once Labour chooses its next leader, is a vote about air strikes in Syria.
The vote will go through, and it will make things worse.
The existing bombing campaign by a coalition of nine countries has killed 15,000 to 20,000 ISIS soldiers, but after a year has still not stopped ISIS.
Today ISIS operates in four nations, has committed and is committing genocide, authorised the rape of children, and as attempts to stop its funding have floundered is selling oil and archaeological artifacts to keep its campaign going.
Syrians have been bombed by their own government for five years; that’s why they’re running. If we bomb them some more, we’ll simply get more refugees.
All that we will get is more of a mess while David Cameron looks busy, and that’s not really the point, is it?
The more we bomb, the greater the chance of a counterstrike. It might be by a lone wolf who walks down Whitehall beheading everyone he can find, it might be an ISIS incursion into Turkey, or it might be both.
ISIS has gunboats and the Med is only eight miles wide at its narrowest point. It won’t be long before an ISIS commander decides it’s a jolly jape to send a unit tooled up with grenades into Gibraltar.
The ISIS myth requires a crusade; they actively seek apocalypse, whereafter they expect their desserts in heaven. They will push us until our armies mobilise and give them what they want.
It might be a year or two, it might even be five, but there will come a point where war is our only remaining option. And the only fighting which will work is hand-to-hand, street-by-street, cleaning out the mess we created and allowed to fester for so long.
There are two problems with this. First, our army is one tenth the size of that obliterated at Dunkirk. We have not one operational aircraft carrier. Our air force is relying on decades-old planes and our troops include more officers than there units to command.
Secondly, ISIS will not set up prisoner of war camps with Red Cross parcels and potentially ingenious methods of escape. They don’t have a military-industrial complex to take out, nor a command-and-control structure to destroy.
When one of Our Boys is caught, they will be beheaded. And it will be on YouTube.
I’m sure the Prime Minister, and the rest of us, know that and it’s why we’re all trying to avoid it.
Once war starts, nations pick a side. China has 20million mostly Sunni Muslims, with the same again in Russia. They’re mostly sane and not fanatic, but there’s no guarantee the big beasts will agree with us.
Both Russia and China have massive financial interests in Africa and the Middle East. They might go in against us; and as for Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Palestine, North Korea, Afghanistan…
I could be wrong. I hope I am. But that thing coming down the track can not, to me, look like the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two without also bringing World War Three slithering along behind it.
When – not if – it happens, it is not something you can opt not to take part in, whatever Jeremy Corbyn suggests. It’s not solved by an e-petition or a tweet storm or giving 100,000 refugees a home, not even if you invite all those of fighting age to put on a uniform and help (and I can see that happening, too).
I suppose what I’m trying to say is: the refugees are the easy part.
The difficult bit is on its way.
And the longer we put that off – the longer we allow our politicians to ignore it, and let them say “public opinion will not tolerate blah blah” – the longer it takes, the worse it gets, and the more blood we will have to mop up.
I know that the world is mostly vicious and thoughtless. But, if we try and think really hard, those patches of decency can grow. We managed to win and improve the world last time, we can do it again.
We just need to see what’s under our noses – before it starts to stink.