Brexit

Britons want to exit Austerity, not the EU

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(to be published in Arabic for Arabi21)

Da’esh supporters are celebrating the Brexit vote, and claiming that the “rise of the Islamic State” is bringing about the disintegration of the European Union.  They are retroactively claiming that creating a desperate refugee crisis, de-populating Syria and driving thousands of horrified, traumatized, poor Muslims to seek asylum in Europe, was part of their master plan all along.  Never mind the fact that they bitterly criticized any Syrians who chose to seek refuge in the “Infidel West”.  By forcing people in Iraq and Syria to flee for their lives, Da’esh claims, they have successfully flooded Europe with refugees and created a volatile and divisive atmosphere throughout the EU, which has led to the UK referendum on the Brexit.

So, let’s analyze that.  Certainly, immigration was on the minds of many Britons when they voted to leave the European Union.  They are afraid their culture is being taken over by foreigners; afraid their jobs will be lost to foreigners; afraid foreigners will cause a drop in wages; afraid foreigners will drain the social welfare services paid for by British taxpayers. OK, fair enough.

But look, the UK has agreed to resettle only 20,000 Syrian refugees over the course of the next 5 years. Yes, 4,000 refugees per year until 2021. Around 333,000 people immigrated to the UK last year; in other words Syrian refugees comprise only a tiny fraction of total immigration.  That doesn’t mean that Britons do not incorrectly perceive that Syrian refugees are flooding the country, I’m sure many do; but that is attributable to the distortive propaganda of Right Wing parties and the media, not to Da’esh.

So, what is the reason for this kind of propaganda? The exaggerated fear of refugees and immigrants is occurring within the context of Austerity, domestically applied Neoliberalism, and the gutting of public resources by the private sector. It is occurring within the context of the bailout of Greece, and the justified popular paranoia that as long as Britain remains part of the EU, they will not be able to keep Europe’s hands off their pocketbooks.

Understood properly, the Brexit vote was a vote against Austerity, but no one gets to vote on Austerity, so this was their only outlet for protest.

When millions of voters said they wanted to leave the EU, what they were actually saying was that they want £350 million to be allocated to the National Health Service every week, because that is what they had been told the Brexit meant.  One of the major points of the “Leave Campaign” was precisely this; that hundreds of millions of pounds now being channeled to the EU would be redirected to domestic public spending, which has been drastically reduced in recent years under government Austerity measures. If the referendum had been “Do you want to leave the EU and continue Austerity, or do you want to remain in the EU and end Austerity?” I don’t think the results would be difficult to predict.  Obviously, the ruling corporate elites know this too, that’s why no such referendum could ever take place.

So, why would these elites promote the Brexit?  Well, as UK Independence Party leader and former commodities broker Nigel Farage said, “we have a £10 billion a year, £34 million a day feather bed, that is going to be free money we can spend…”.  The “Leave Campaign” implied that this “feather bed” would be enjoyed by the general public, but the UKIP supported David Cameron’s Austerity budget measures, and  accepts the argument that reducing Britain’s deficit should take priority over all else (the basic logic behind Austerity), so there is little indication that those who campaigned for the Brexit will fight for funding of public services.  In fact, they have already backtracked from the very promises they used in this regard to win votes for the British exit from the EU.

So no, sorry Da’esh; you did not cause the Brexit.  If the EU is disintegrating (which remains to be seen) it is disintegrating because of the greed of domestic elites who want to devour the money currently being allocated to the EU.  The most we can say is that Da’esh and the Neoliberals share a common disregard for the general public, but that is not something Da’esh has ever seemed to comprehend, and, if their triumphalist rhetoric over the Brexit is any indication, it appears they never will.

 

الاحتفال الداعشي لسوء فهم البريكست       Da’esh’s misinformed Brexit celebration

داعش يحتفون بتصويت البريكست! حسنا، إنها فرصة جيدة لكي نتبين مدى عمق ضلال وجهل هذه المجموعة سياسياً، ويؤسفني أن أخبركم بهذا!

يغرد أحدهم: “في الوقت الذي يتحد فيه المسلمون تحت راية الخلافة، تختار أوروبا  التقسيم والانفصال.”

ويغرد الأخر: “النصر قريب بعون الله.”

أحقًا المسلمون يتحدون خلف داعش؟ لا أتذكر شيئًا  من هذا القبيل!

آخر مرة تحققت فيها بهذا الشأن وجدتهم لم يوحدوا حتى الفصائل الجهادية في سوريا، ناهيك عن سائر الأمة، كما أنهم كانوا يخسرون الأراضي في العراق وسوريا خلال الشهرين الماضيين. وقد نالوا ولاء الجماعات الراديكالية المتطرفة مثل جماعة بوكو حرام في نيجيريا، ولكن الغالبية العظمى للمسلمين لم يعبئون حقائبهم للقيام برحلة لمصافحة البغدادي. هذا الجزم لا يمكن أن يكون صحيحًا إلا إذا كنت في الأساس تعتبر فقط بأن أولئك المسلمين الذين يدعمون جماعة داعش هم وحدهم المسلمين الحقيقيون، وبقية المليار ونصف منا ما بين جهلاء ومنحرفون.

فلو أن تصويت البريكست فعلاً يمضي قدمًا، فهو لا يقر تقسيم أوروبا، فإذا كان هذا يعني أي شيئ، فهو فقط إنفصال المملكة المتحدة عن نفوذ الإتحاد الأوربي، وضمها بالكامل ضمن دائرة نفوذ الولايات المتحدة. أنا لا أعرف حقاً لماذا تهتف جماعة داعش بشأن ذلك؟!

ويصرح آخر من أنصارهم قائلاً، “صعود الدولة الإسلامية  أدى إلى غرق بريطانيا وانهيار الاتحاد الأوروبي”.  أخبرني مجدداً، هل تقصد انه بسبب مساهمة داعش بقدر هائل لدفع المسلمين للخروج  من منازلهم في سوريا هربًا كلاجئين إلى أوروبا، وإخلاء أراضيكم؟؟  لعلك تقصد ذلك،  ولكنك تتكلم عن انتصار باهظ الثمن … ألم تكونوا أنتم أنفسكم من أدنتم ذهاب اللاجئين إلى أوروبا؟  والآن تدعون أن هذه كانت خطتكم البارعة طوال الوقت؟  أحقًا يا أخي!

إنهم يقولون أن تصويت البريكست سيضعف المملكة المتحدة، ويعيق إستمراريتها في حربها ضد داعش، ويأملون أنها ستكون “ضربة لأمريكا”.

أشرحوا لي كيف بالضبط توصلتم لهذا؟ إذا تركت المملكة المتحدة حقاً الاتحاد الأوروبي (وهو أمر غير مؤكد على الإطلاق)، فإنها ستفقد تمامًا كل درجات الاستقلال عن الولايات المتحدة التي ستصبح فعلياً جزء منه، فهل تتصورون أن تحول المملكة المتحدة إلى أداة تابعة للسياسة الأمريكية سيجعلها بطريقة أو بأخرى تتردد في قتال داعش؟ فلتذكروا لي الأسباب؟!

يؤسفني أن أقول هذا، ولكن كل عنصر في استراتيجية داعش قد عمل لصالح القوة الأمريكية كما كان يعمل دائما،  وأنا لا أقول أنهم يعرفون ذلك ويسعون عمدًا لتنفيذ أجندة الولايات المتحدة، فلا أحد يستطيع أن يعلم ذلك … ولكنني أعتقد – وهو الإحتمال الأكثر ترجيحاً – بأن فهمهم  للسياسات العالمية أقل من فهمهم حتى للدين، وأنهم يصدقون حقاً الهراء الذي يتفوهون به، تمامًا كما كانوا يصدقون حقاً بجواز إعدام الشباب المراهق لمشاهدته مباريات كرة القدم.

وبمعنى آخر، هم ليس لديهم أية فكرة عما يتحدثون عنه.

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Da’esh is celebrating the Brexit. OK, this is a good opportunity to illustrate how deeply delusional and politically ignorant this group is; I am sorry to tell you.

“At a time when Muslims are uniting under the flag of the Caliphate, Europe is choosing to divide and split. The victory is close with the help of God,” one supporter tweeted.

Muslims are uniting behind Da’esh? Really? I didn’t get that memo.

Last time I checked, they had not even united the jihadist factions in Syria, much less the global Ummah, and they have been losing ground in Iraq and Syria over the last two months. They have attracted the loyalty of radical extremist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria, but the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not packing their bags to make the trip to shake Al-Baghdadi’s hand.  This assertion can only be true if you basically only regard those Muslims who DO support Da’esh as the only true Muslims, and the rest of the billion and a half of us are all ignorant and deviant.

The Brexit, if it actually goes forward, does not represent the division of Europe; it means, if anything, the division of the UK from Europe’s sphere of influence, and its complete absorption into the sphere of influence of the US.  I am not sure why Da’esh would cheer about that.

Another Da’esh supporter said, “The rise of the Islamic State brought about the sinking of Britain and the collapse of the European Union.” Again, news to me. Do you mean, because Da’esh has contributed immeasurably to driving Muslims out of their homes in Syria, fleeing as refugees to Europe, and depopulating your own territory?  OK, maybe; but, talk about a Pyrrhic Victory…and, weren’t you the ones condemning the refugees for even going to Europe at all?  Now you claim it was your ingenious plan all along?  Right, Bro.

They are saying that the Brexit will weaken the UK, and hinder its ability to carry on with its war against Da’esh.  They hope that it will also be a “blow for America”.

How exactly? If the UK does indeed leave the EU (which is not at all certain), it will completely lose any degree of independence from the US it already barely had. Do you imagine that becoming a purely subordinate instrument of American policy will somehow make the UK hesitant to fight Da’esh?  Because?

I’m sorry, but every single element in Da’esh’s strategy does, and always has, worked to benefit American power.  I am not saying that they know this and are deliberately pursuing the agenda of the US; no one can know this…I think it is far more likely that they understand global politics even less than they understand the religion; and they genuinely believe the nonsense they are spouting, just as they genuinely believe it is permissible to execute teenage boys for watching football.

In other words, they have no idea what they are talking about