This video about the USA says about itself:
17 March 2015
President Barack Obama traced the origins of Islamic State militants back to the presidency of George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq back in 2003, arguing that its growth was an “unintended consequence” of the war.
“Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said in an interview with VICE News. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”
Obama stated that he is “confident” a coalition consisting of 60 nations “will slowly push back ISIL out of Iraq,” but added that the challenge of stopping extremism won’t stop unless there is a political solution to the internal strife affecting so many countries in the Middle East.
“What I’m worried about” he said, “is even if ISIL is defeated, the underlying problem of disaffected Sunnis around the world – but particularly in some of these areas including Libya, including Yemen – where a young man who’s growing up has no education, has no prospects for the future, is looking around and the one way he can get validation, power, respect, is if he’s a fighter.”
“That’s a problem we’re going to have, generally. And we can’t keep on thinking about counterterrorism and security as entirely separate from diplomacy, development, education.”
The president dismissed concerns that the US spends too much on foreign aid, noting that just over one percent of the federal budget goes to other nations. He argued that “we should be thinking about making investments” overseas that will prevent America from sending troops to engage in military operations.
Obama’s comments regarding ISIS mark the first time he has framed the extremist group’s existence as a consequence of American foreign policy decisions. The president’s opponents have often argued that his withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in 2011 left space for groups like ISIS to grow. At the same time, the Shia-dominated central government of Iraq failed to effectively bring the country’s Sunni minority into the governing process, leaving ISIS with a disaffected ethnic group more willing to join its cause.
When reports of Al-Qaeda-linked militants causing violence in Iraq first burst onto the scene, Obama also characterized the group as a “JV team,” or a small-time operation.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told the New Yorker in early 2014. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
Amsterdam, November 19, 2015
Dear Your Majesty, dear Willem-Alexander,
While it certainly is not my habit as a true republican to turn in moments of despair to the royal family, I see just now no other way out: God is these days quite deaf, the homeland and the politicians are in serious confusion; so then, in the name of peace, a letter to the king. In previous centuries, this was a thriving tradition, including in your kingdom by writers such as Belle van Zuylen and Multatuli. It’s time to do a follow-up now. Last week in our flat country, the emotions ran so high that our prime minister the day after the attacks in Paris perplexedly and looking pale around his nose declared that “we are at war.” A letter in the name of peace therefore seems to be appropriate.
The declaration of war by the Prime Minister a few months ago would have caused many people to frown, if only because of the damage which the war on terror declared by George W Bush has done the past 15 years. But now there was a lot of political support, in spite of protests by terror experts and by well-known sociologist Willem Schinkel. Additionally David Van Reybrouck wrote on Facebook a fiery indictment of the war rhetoric of the French president, for “he who talks war, should wage war’. It was read by millions, translated and shared, but apparently not by the French or the Dutch parliament. Reybrouck’s fear came true. …
Moreover, if we are already at war, we have already been so since Bush and Blair began bombing Iraq under false pretexts. Out of the chaos that they inflicted, ISIS arose, so we can hardly close our eyes to the fact that the attacks are a response or hide our heads in the sand for the knowledge that new bombings are very likely to lead to further attacks.
What we saw in Paris was a handful of hatred and anger blinded young people putting on bomb belts or taking a kalashsnikov into a car, to shoot in the street at random innocent people. That’s not a war, but an expression of despair and a burst of madness. So you’ll have to learn about the roots of madness, to acknowledge them and then fight them. Then you can not keep retaliating with bombs, as Jewish writer Amos Oz recently said in TV show Buitenhof. Instead, you’ll need to examine the nature of the injuries. A new war on terror will only add fuel to the fire. The question is, as Reybrouck also writes, whether we want to destroy ISIS, with the result that elsewhere new terror cells will arise, or that we want to prevent new attacks.
The experts and history tell us again and again: only in 7% of cases, terrorist groups are successfully defeated by violence. That is not a very hopeful percentage. Instead of military intervention a political process must be properly set in motion in the hotbeds of Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere. And the same should, and that is why I address this letter especially to you, happen in our own country. We will have to focus on dialogue, prevention, tolerance and resilience in our homes, such as terrorist expert Beatrice de Graaf repeatedly said. Precisely here, in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, so in those countries that have apparently produced most of the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
We will have to learn that violence at the macro level is fueled by abuses at the micro level, even within the borders of our own country. The violence of attacks is not only capricious and unpredictable, it is also too big for us: we can only feel powerless or frightened by it. We will have to look at smaller, more local connections, contexts and situations have to be able to something. You have in our country an important symbolic function and can therefore help. This letter is intended to help persuade you get to do a few simple symbolic gestures in these dark days before the Saint Nicolas holiday instead of violence, encouraging a different, more sensible course. About the chaos in Syria nor the government nor any opinion makers of the Netherlands can change much in the short term. The key question is therefore what we can do and indeed to combat racism in our own country as well as radicalization.
Because, if you will allow me here just to mention a few risk factors, there certainly slumbers revolt within the ranks of your own kingdom. So there is refugee accommodation which needs extra protection because some citizens already can not wait to personally do their contribution to ‘the war’. There are Dutch employers who still stubbornly refuse to give trainees or job seekers signing their applications with Fatima and Abdelkader a fair chance, excluding them of possibilities to build a life of their own. Still other compatriots are not even doing any no more efforts to disguise their racist feelings. They shout abuse on camera or on Facebook against their black countrymen like when these in Meppel protest against the hurtful inability of the Saint Nicholas holiday committees to organize parades in 2015 with no more blackface ‘Zwarte Pieten’, but with helpers of Saint Nicholas in all colours of the rainbow. How hard should that be?
This 18 November 2015 video from the Netherlands is called Kick Out Zwarte Piet hosts first Meppel freedom ride against racial discrimination.
Apparently these committees feel empowered by the government, which on the one hand claims that the Zwarte Piet debate is not a political issue, but on the other hand it wants to abolish the subsidy for commemorating slavery. It is probably also encouraged by some provincial governments who have stopped funding anti-discrimination hotlines after January 2017, while the number of reported cases of discrimination continues to rise unabated. Last year was the number of reports nationwide even doubled, thanks to Wilders’ call for “less, less, less” Moroccans. …
So, what do you think, would not it be wiser instead of some quasi heroic “war” to try at home to prevent the possible causes of radicalization, by doing what we can really do, ie, stopping needless injuries, unfair humiliations and unequal opportunities on the labor market? We can then work in a joint dialogue on mutual trust and solidarity. Would it not be nice, dear king, if you would take the lead in this. ….
To start off, we need to start somewhere, shouldn’t we paint over the panel depicting slavery on your nineteenth century Dutch royal golden carriage? The vehicle is still under restoration for several years, so there is a chance that you can grab immediately. What king can still ride comfortably as all the inhabitants of the kingdom watch in that? You must then send a royal messenger with the chocolate letter S of Solidarity to all those politicians who only want to think of bombs and to all provincial and municipal governments that right now want to inflict spending cuts on the prevention of discrimination, on anti-racism projects at schools, on community centers and on classes.
In this 2014 video, in Dutch with English subtitles, Dr Barryl Biekman, chairwoman of the slavery commemoration platform in the Netherlands, speaks about ‘The [Dutch Royal] Carriage in the context of Afrophobia’.