AISV President’s Message

There is famous quote that reads somewhat like this, “If you learn from the mistakes of others you are a wise person. If you learn from your own mistakes you are a smart person but if you neither learn from other people’s mistakes nor your own then you are stupid”. I have no doubt in my mind that the leaders of the Western world including America and Australia fall in to the latter category.

No lessons have been learnt by the Western nations from the debacle in Iraq and Libya.

Now both the Syrian Rebel Army and ISIS are trying to bring down the government of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. If they were to succeed, Syria would also join the ranks of Iraq and Libya and become failed states and non-governable countries. There are sad images already appearing on Television about the death by starvation of innocent civilians both in Syria and Iraq, who by no fault of their own have become victims of the religious war tearing the Arab countries. Millions of Syrian civilians are leaving the country to find safe haven in Europe.

ISIS and the Syrian rebel army are both terrorist organisations fighting a religious war, a war between the Sunnis and the Shiites, a war that has been going for over 1400 years. America supports the Syrian Rebel Army (the good terrorists trying to depose President Assad) and President Putin helping Assad to fight both the Syrian Rebel Army and ISIS (the bad terrorists). It is true Assad is evil. But in real life if one is pragmatic one has to take sides with the lesser of the two evils. A stable Assad government would be more amenable to changes by political negotiations and dialogue rather than dealing with either the Syrian rebel Army or ISIS.

America and Australia did not learn any lessons from its intervention in Vietnam and Korea. The humiliation they suffered at the hands of the Vietnamese is beyond comprehension. Despite that humiliating defeat, America and Australia intervened in Iraq, deposed President Sadam Hussein because he had weapons of mass destruction, which were never found and the intervention caused unimaginable misery and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and an equal number were maimed in that war and one can see what is happening in Iraq at present.

Then the Americans and British attacked Libya, supported the rebel army, deposed the ‘tyrant Mohammad Gadhafi’ and made Libya a non-governable country. The forces that Americans and British supported at the time are now their arch enemies. ISIS has got control of the state of the art defence hardware, which once belonged to the Gadhafi regime.

Similarly, the Americans always supported Pakistan against India. It is now becoming apparent to America that Pakistan is a failed state exporting terrorism in all the neighbouring countries.

Most of the wars going on in the Arab world, Middle east and Africa are religious wars, wars that will not end till such time the two religions declare a truce and accept each other’s beliefs. The two most powerful opposing nations, Saudi Arabia and Iran will have to sort their ideological and religious difference before any peace can return in the Arab world and the Middle East. Innocent people have died in the last fourteen centuries and millions more will die in these religious wars for many more centuries to come. Any intervention by outside nations would be unproductive, futile and fraught with danger.

Taliban and al-Qaida is as strong today as it was 15 years ago. The capture of Osama bin laden has made no difference to its operative power.

The Western world should get out of Iraq and Libya as their relentless bombing is ruthlessly killing civilians with very little impact on ISIS.

Dr. Gurdip Aurora
President AISV
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