[Published 10 July 2015]
Australia’s Minister for Communications — Malcolm Turnbull — has sought to play down the threat Islamic State poses to world peace and security with these few throwaway unsubstantiated sentences during an address to the Sydney Institute on 7 July:
”... Da’esh is not Hitler’s Germany, Tojo’s Japan or Stalin’s Russia. Its leaders dream that they, like the Arab armies of the 7th and 8th century, will sweep across the Middle East into Europe itself.
They predict that before long they will be stabling their horses in the Vatican.
We should be careful not to say or do things which can be seen to add credibility to those delusions.”
Turnbull used the term “Daesh” — instead of Islamic State - on 16 occasions during his address.
This was in itself an indication of the confusion that he and other leading politicians around the world are experiencing - continuing to use an outdated Arab acronym from 2013 to identify an enemy whose original objectives have now extended far beyond Syria and Iraq — as its self-declaration of Statehood on 29 June 2014 makes clear:
“Accordingly, the “Iraq and Shām” in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration.”
Turnbull ignored that Islamic State has since then seized control of an area of territory in Syria and Iraq larger than Great Britain — whilst 20 groups in Sudan, Philippines, India, Algeria, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and most notably Boko Haram in Nigeria have sworn allegiance to Islamic State.
Boko Haram has been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and displacement of an estimated 1 million people in the past year and now reportedly controls an area about 52,000 square kilometres - roughly the size of Slovakia.
Regrettably delusions are the stuff wars are made of - as Hitler’s Germany demonstrated so horribly in World War 11. When fed with declarations of allegiance and support from others their delusional goals become an achievable reality in their warped minds.
Failing to immediately extinguish these Turnbull-identified Islamic State delusions ensures the continuation of the belligerent actions carried out by Islamic State as detailed in Security Council Resolutions 2170 dated 15 August 2014 and 2199 dated 12 February 2015:
1. the displacement of millions of people,
2.seizing control of oilfields, dams and power plants,
3. extortion, kidnap ransoms and stealing money from the territory it controls
4. abductions of women and children, their exploitation and abuse, including rape, sexual abuse, forced marriage,
Turnbull only mentioned in passing the prescription needed to end such continuing atrocities and the termination of such dangerous delusions:
“The… most important part of the Government’s response to Da’esh, is of course lending the support of our armed forces to defeating them in the field. The means of doing so are well beyond the scope of this speech, but the roll back and destruction of Da’esh in Iraq and Syria is critical to ending not just their barbaric rule in the Middle East, but their appeal beyond it, even, as we know, to a few of our own citizens.”
The illusion that Islamic State can be destroyed by the 62 nation coalition presently led by America — rather than by a United Nations force sanctioned under Article 42 of Chapter V11 of the United Nations Charter — represents a lack of genuine international will to stop Islamic State — and its threat to international peace and security - dead in its tracks.
The parallels with failing to stop Hitler’s Germany much earlier become clearer with each passing day.