THE WAR OF CIVILIZATIONS
This book is the first telling of how the European Civil War of 2017 began and how the Islamic Caliphate was established in France and then spread. The central role played by Prime Minister Joyce Thacker of the United Kingdom is examined in the context of the failure of multiculturalism and the collapse of critical thinking in the post-modernist era.
It was authored by James Bourchier who was able to observe many of the events first hand, including the meeting of the 3rd of September 2017 when the decision to fight was made. The history was written over a period of several months at Huntington UK and was completed on the 16th of December, 2018. The outcome of the civil war is still unclear.
RECENT INTELLIGENCE FAILURES
World War One – missed.
Germany invading Poland – missed.
Germany invading the Soviet Union – missed.
Pearl Harbour – missed.
The Pakistan nuclear bomb test – missed.
Collapse of the Soviet Union – missed.
9/11 – missed.
Arab Spring – missed.
The establishment of the Islamic Caliphate in Syria and Iraq – missed.
The European Civil War of 2017 – missed.
Chapter One – The General
“Well Samuel, you may get your clash of civilizations today.” Clash, of course, meaning a war.
Major General Berndt van der Schalk of the Royal Dutch Marines (Korps Mariniers) stared at his book shelf. That book stared back at him in silence. Sitting next to the famous publication was the 1926 work by Basil Mathews: Young Islam on Trek: A Study in the Clash of Civilizations.
Was this the first day of Europe’s civil war? Would Joyce Thacker’s action really lead to war?
The final meeting had been set for ten o’clock in the morning on the 3rd of September 2017. At 0945 the General arose from his chair and walked with outward calmness through the maze of underground corridors to the main briefing room at NATO headquarters. Unlike recent meetings, this one would still be chaired by politicians, but the subject matter and discussions would be military.
The remaking of the political order in Europe was underway now that political control had been all but lost.
Words like centrifugal forces and kinetic responses would be used, but the General knew that the fancy words covered the facts. Large scale killings would commence and history would be shaped by whoever was most effective in using their operations to have a strategic effect. He was not overly confident that his own side understood the problem. Nor could he predict the outcome. All he knew was that history was moving fast.
General van der Schalk arrived 15 minutes early for the ten o’clock meeting. This was part military habit and part leadership skill. He was interested in seeing who arrived with whom. What were they saying as they arrived? The initial few that entered after him were low grade political lackeys who had come to stake out their boss’s turf. They were subdued. The swagger which helped hide an absence of any real life experience, besides being party hacks, was gone. The big dogs would arrive soon.
The General looked over at the five metre wall screen. CNN International was again reporting that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was missing and presumed killed while still showing the video of Tim Gantry’s head stuck on an iron spike. The spike was part of the gate under the archway entrance to the Cimetière des Chiens, located in north east Paris. The cemetery had a pleasing view of the River Seine which continued to flow at its gently undisturbed pace, despite the violence around it. Tim Gantry was a former international financial guru and a close confidante of Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff. Gantry had been the chief spokesman and leader of the NGO Queers Undermining the Oppression of Muslims. When the widespread rioting in France had turned to insurrection in August of 2017, Gantry had arrived from New York in a flare of publicity. His group declared that they would negotiate an end to the conflict. Further, he and his followers had announced with great enthusiasm that the fascist simpletons attempting to run France’s government would have follow his example. They would learn to build an egalitarian society, giving a powerful voice to its most oppressed and building with them a diverse democratic social order which would blossom in a tolerant and multicultural future.
His head has been cut off immediately. The notoriously violent group Jamaat al-Bekkari had executed him during the opening moments of their first meeting. Nadir Mohammed al-Hasan, the urbane and sophisticated spokesman for the group had calmly stated that homosexuality was a crime against Islam and the punishment was death. Apparently Nadir’s classes on criminal trial procedures had not made much of an impact while he was reading law first at Cambridge and later at the Sorbonne. On the other hand, Tim Gantry and his group had not believed the threat briefings given to them by the Parisian police. Gantry and his followers had died, captured by the mythology of their own competence.
To the General, the grand experiment between the left and radical Islam was a dog’s breakfast befitting a Dog’s Cemetery.
Not that he question it out loud today, but General van der Schalk wondered what sort of ideological indoctrination the late Tim Gantry had been served on his secretive Common Purpose Matrix course. It was, according to Gantry, a life changing experience that caused him to create and fund his ill-fated NGO. Did these courses really include behavioural modification techniques? Why did the UK, the USA, Canada and so many other countries support them or give them charitable status?
The map on the opposing wall showed that the group Jamaat al-Bekkari controlled most of the northern and eastern suburbs of Paris, including the infamous Clichy-sous-Bois. Their span of control was extending rapidly to the north and west as well. A swath of land running from Paris to Saint Quentin and then up to the border with Belgium was overtaken by violence. The fighting was heading block by block towards the heart of Paris and cameras on the Eiffel Tower could see the fighting. With several other French cities partially under their control, the newly declared series of caliphates were a force to be reckoned with. Jamaat al-Bekkari was just one group claiming to be a part of the “Islamic Cordoba Immemorial State” (ICIS) as the newly proclaimed caliphate liked to collectively call itself. It had already declared its allegiance to al-Baghdadi and his ISIS creation which had begun to stabilize after the fruitless air attacks of 2014 and 2015.
Immemorial – interesting choice thought the General. Another 1000 year Reich?
Much of Belgium had been lost to the ICIS’s control along with portions of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In the UK, Manchester was being ripped apart while East London was in flames. Control of other territory in a variety of countries was unclear. As the General’s NCOs would say, “the situation was fluid but violent.” Germany had seen extensive rioting, but to date political control seemed to remain in the Reich Chancellery and with the Iron Chancellor herself – Dr. Angela Merkel. Which way would the long suffering Turkish population turn? Caliphate or Chancellery?
General van der Schalk took a seat against the wall, under the video screen and looking directly at the map on the opposing wall. Little was to be learned, if anything, by watching TV. The map, with its colorful array of unit symbols, confrontation lines and constantly updated ground events, spoke volumes of hard truths. This map, as General van der Schalk knew, was the real reason for the meeting.
General van der Schalk had briefly gained international attention, perhaps notoriety, when a young sympathizer of the Dutch Politieke Partij Radikalen (Political Party of Radicals) had secretly taped some of his off-hand comments made following an academic conference. His view that there was a crisis of leadership created by careerist politicians who had never had a real job caused a minor press flare-up. His further comments on bureaucrats who constantly placed bureaucratic imperatives and process over goals and outcomes had been deemed to be “unhelpful” by the Chief Spokesperson of the EU Parliament. Fortunately for the General, a major corruption scandal in the EU Parliament concerning the overcharging of expenses by Members of the European Parliament had emerged only two days later. The press, with the attention span of a gnat, had completely forgotten him. Squirrel!
The Co-Chairmen of the Meeting
Checking the digital clock above the map, the General noticed that the higher priced help was arriving with one or two minutes to the start time. They were looking for the spaces already secured for them. He stared directly at the two aides to the British Prime Minister. ‘Disaster Dave’ Compton had followed Martin Kimber into the chamber, with Kimber repeatedly looking behind him – a sort of nervous twitch perhaps? Was he worried about his past? His future? Disaster Dave was the PM’s policing and internal security adviser while Martin Kimber was her Chief of Staff. The General had noticed that she was never seen in the presence of a uniformed military official.
The Head of the European Commission arrived and sat in his chair at precisely ten o’clock. Two minutes later, the UK Prime Minister and co-chair arrived and took her seat, late as usual. Were people who arrived late at meetings so lacking in grace and self-confidence that they believed a late arrival was a way of showing authority? Did forcing the others to wait give them an ego kick? Narcissists he wondered? These people really do suffer from delusions of adequacy……
Without really noticing it, the General’s right hand reached down and checked to see if his stainless steel water bottle was positioned 10 centimeters to the right of the forward leg of his chair. The water bottle might be needed as the General had a habit of throwing up in the back of his throat whenever the British Prime Minister walked into his line of sight. The water bottle could wash the bile down, stopping the burning sensation and relieving the vile taste.
The British Prime Minister also held the temporary role of the rotating head of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which explained her presence today. She was also the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Sheffield, Hallam in northern England, long considered a Labour safe seat. When she had stood for a by election, no one, including herself, had any vision that she would be a front bencher, let alone Prime Minister.
As Prime Minister Joyce Thacker walked into the room, the General watched her closely. Her head was held out high, but her eyes focused on nothing in particular. Her line of sight seemed to point at the back of the room and then to her seat. Eye contact? Nothing as far as the General could tell. Was there any sense that she was measuring the mood in the room? Again, nothing.
The General observed the Prime Minister’s face. The lateral scar on her left cheek, just below the eye line, was still visible. She had been nearly killed in an assassination attempt on the 29th of December 2015 while returning from a holiday. This was just as the race riots were subsiding, a fact not lost on political observers who were watching the then newly elected MP who had won the sudden by election in October of 2015.
The would-be assassin had apologized at the time of his arrest – for his poor aim. He blamed Joyce Thacker for the fate of his daughter when the PM had been head of child services in Rotherham. The girl was repeatedly raped and trafficked. She girl had been groomed into the sex trade at the age of 11 and then made the victim of repeated mass rapes in Rotherham while being trafficked to Bradford and Manchester on a weekly basis. In addition to the gang rapes and prostitution, she had been doused with gasoline and threatened with being burned alive. When the father’s complaints to the police went nowhere, he had tried to rescue his daughter. Her Pakistani pimp had complained to the police and the father was stunned to find himself under arrest for assault. Despite all of this, the Thacker spin machine at the time had claimed the assassination attempt was a fascist plot concocted by the English Defence League and Tim Ablitt, a charge that both the EDL and The Infidels denied repeatedly. The father, a lifelong Labour supporter, was jailed for 20 years while the daughter had since committed suicide not long after the trial. The mother, long since broken by the loss of everything in her life, was described by the press as ‘being in the care of her family.’
Like many senior political figures in history, Prime Minister Thacker had risen to power on a trail of blood and bones. Few, however, had risen to office based on the widespread rape, sexual abuse and human trafficking in her own country and the subsequent crushing of those who opposed it. She made Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, look like a tree hugger.
Her ‘child service’ work in Rotherham and Bradford was the stuff of nightmares and a trail of destruction. Her efforts at covering up the problems were one of the primary factors leading to the Jay Report of 2014 that had exposed the mass rapes of primarily white girls in in Rotherham by mainly Pakistani/Kashmiris. The Rotherham Council, child services, police and politicians had all known about it, but ran a cruel campaign that extended well into late 2015 to destroy evidence. Anyone who spoke out was crushed. This followed a pattern dating back to a press leak in 2012. The leak revealed that white girls were being abused in large numbers and Joyce Thacker had launched an investigation. To no one’s surprise at the time, the investigation focused on finding the whistle-blower, not on catching pedophiles and child rapists.
From this would come the race riots, starting in Rotherham and Bradford, but spreading quickly throughout much of northern England in 2015. Using their Common Purpose training and Fabian socialist ideology, the spin doctors had tried to claim that the 1400 Rotherham rapes were the symptom of class struggle and not culture, race or religion. What was needed, they claimed, was a greater understanding of the need to identify all cultures as equal and a focus on ‘more outreach.’ Needless to say, Joyce Thacker’s own three children were in privately funded schools, not walking to school on the streets of Rotherham.
As Pat Benatar had noted: Hell is for children. In Rotherham and Bradford, if you were young and white and female, you paid for your love with your bones and your flesh.
The General silently wondered to himself what he would do if his daughter had been doused with petrol and gang raped – only to have the authorities turn on him. What would most parents do?
Unlike the previous sightings of the PM, the General did not puke in his own throat this time. He had braced himself to be in the presence of such a person and he had not taken any coffee or orange juice that might upset his stomach. He would need his speaking voice today as he had never needed it before.
The General had followed her career since she was identified as head of child services in Rotherham when the 1400 girls and women had been raped by Pakistani/Kashmiri gangs. When she was forced out in disgrace after the Jay Report, she had re-emerged as a Labour MP. The seat was in a safe Labour area and she won it after holding an ideological enforcement position within Labour Party. How this was possible defeated the orderly and precise mind of the General, himself the product of a Dutch protestant upbringing.
Then there was the President of the European Commission. This position, and certainly this person, was seen to be more powerful and influential but with less profile than the confusingly named President of the Council of the European Union, or the equally confusing President of the European Parliament. Rather bizarrely, the President of the European Commission was not elected, but was rather the appointed holder of a position which was the result of a secretive process. The European Council (not the Commission) would put forth a consensus candidate who was then approved by the European Parliament (not the Council). The whole situation made the election of a Pope look like an exercise in utopian parliamentary transparency.
This President of the European Commission, however, was a bit different. He was replacing José Manuel Barroso, who had suddenly resigned under mysterious circumstances two and a half years into his unprecedented third term. The German Chancellor, Dr. Merkel, had quickly taken to the airways less than half an hour after the resignation and suggested Dr. Jochen Jaeger as the new leader. Her rather egregious broach of protocol was not commented upon openly and a series of leaders and decision makers had simply nodded. Dr. Jaeger would be the new head of the European Commission – as much by dictate as by consensus. Bismarck would have been proud. What Merkel had done behind the scenes was not clear.
Dr. Jaeger’s commercial banking career had been a swift rise through Deutsche Bank and then over to the European Central Bank where the upward flight had continued. He then had a highly public flame out with the head of the ECB over the negative consequences of long term low interest rates, the worthless effects of Quantitative Easing and the one thing that could scare a German economist: inflation. No one at Deutsche Bank was surprised by the clash of wills. The result was an equally spectacular exit in early 2016. Six weeks later, however, he emerged as a key figure in the Merkel government’s economic advisory group.
Dr. Jaeger’s family name meant ‘hunter’ and the doctor of economics was also a skilled huntsman. Wild boar were his favourite target. He had been known to make comments that shooting wild boar was a simple task. All you had to do was to imagine a Eurocrat in your sights, calm your emotions, control your breathing and gently squeeze the trigger! Those who hunted with him told stories of single shot no-reflex kills. The Doctor never missed a shot and the prey dropped to the ground dead before it knew there was a problem. The doctor did not have to apologise for his aim.
The General allowed himself one inward smile for this day of reckoning. He noticed that despite his senior position over that of Prime Minister Thacker, Dr. Jaeger had arisen and then stood behind her while she took her place. Was this the old style gentleman bred into him from his Prussian past, or was this the hunter positioning himself behind his prey? After a few seconds thought, the General shoved that question into a mental column in his mind marked undecided.
He then looked around the table one more time before it all started. It was now that “all the evil” would come out, as Lisbeth Salander would have said. He mentally noted who mattered, who knew what, and who was just filling a place at the table. Out of the more than 20 people at the table itself, including a few foreign ministers and some heads of state, the General calculated that maybe five people mattered.
Of the two co-chairs, the General figured that Dr. Jaeger was the real player, but what Prime Minister Thacker could or would do was not clear. She might play the role of spoiler as had been suggested in press, but this was not likely. She had no fallback position.
The next figure in the room was SACEUR: The Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Behind his back, he was often referred to, only half-jokingly, as the Supreme Allied Being. His role was clear and relatively simple. SACEUR, as an American, knew that American troops would not be involved in upcoming ground action and therefore it was not his country’s blood that would flow. But NATO forces might be able to use American technology, weapons and logistics. SACEUR’s conversation with the US President late the night before had been short, sharp and clear. All effort, short of the use of American ground troops, was to be put forward. Behind him sat an unidentified colonel wearing a United States Marine Corps uniform. The General knew that the US Marines deliberately under ranked their officers and this meant that he was the equivalent of a one star general in the other American services. The Colonel seemed to shadow SACEUR, but was not openly submissive to him. He must be SACEUR’s own guy. An unknown factor – but a possible player in real terms. And no name tag – weird for an American…
Next to SACEUR was the ‘G3’ or the Assistant Chief of Staff; Operations and Plans. He was a Brit and a former paratrooper. His public biography seemed to have a few gaps in it, at least to the professional eye. His service in his younger days was not noted, suggesting that he had served in covert military operations. The General had previously noticed that SACUER would look in his direction when speaking on a particular point. SACEUR obviously valued his experience.
Then there was ‘Disaster’ Dave Compton, the police and security adviser to Prime Minister Thacker. On occasion, the General had heard his own staff call him a numpty. This was one of the reasons for showing up early for a meeting and sitting quietly against the wall. The civilian political staff, usually dismissive of the military and assured of their intellectual superiority, would speak when they should have remained silent. A few of the finer points of the English language were lost on the General, and Scottish slang in particular was beyond him. But he liked the sound of the word ‘numpty’ and how it fitted into the dismissive views they held of their boss.
Martin Kimber was a more serious player. He was the Downing Street Chief of Staff. A capable organizer, his real role was to be the chief enforcer of ideology in the Labour Party. His spin doctor, Julia Middleton, was rarely more than an arm’s length away, but she was absent today. Now he was backing a weak leader, albeit one with some significant national level resources up against a desperate situation. But he was also part of a collapsing ideology that was soon to be swept away in a wave of violence. Fabian socialism, political correctness, vacuous thinking and the Common Purpose creed (cult?) was seen as bankrupt, and partially responsible for the breakdown of European society. Their presence at this meeting would be their last hurrah. After this they were off to the breaker’s yard.
The General noted the lawyers were present as well – mostly military and with only one civilian. Their job would be to sufficiently mangle the English language to explain how NATO’s Article Five really did apply and how an attack against ‘one’ would justify a response by all. Then troops could be used to begin the real fighting, even if the threat was internal rather than external to NATO’s member states. Unless, of course, you were one of those who held the opinion that the fighting was actually part of a foreign invasion that had occurred in slow motion over a period of years…..
The political staffs were there as well, mostly sitting up against the wall and away from the table – another silent sign of what was coming. A few sharp minds existed in the political staff, but a depressing number of them were little more than party hacks with weak degrees from obscure universities. Thankfully most of them would remain silent today. Empty politics and diplomacy were coming to an end and kinetic force would be coming to the forefront.
Then there was the Public Relations folks. For a brief moment, the General actually felt a bit sorry for them. Good luck trying to put lipstick on this pig! All of the outcomes were going to be ugly.
The Call to Order
Dr. Jaeger waved his hand and the room fell silent. The General saw that it would be Dr. Jaeger who would run the meeting without anything more than a polite tip of the hand to his co-chair.
Somewhat out of his normal character, Dr. Jaeger did not begin to speak from his chair. He stood up and walked the short distance to the speaker’s podium. Interesting, thought the General. His movement forces the audience to follow him and now all the attention will be on him and not split with his co-chair. Another small sign about who might be calling the shots – literally in this case.
“Why are we here?” Dr. Jaeger posed the rhetorical question and left it hanging for several seconds.
“The purpose of this meeting is to decide the future of Europe and with it the direction of Western civil society. Do we want to continue to have our values, ethics and freedoms? What of the gains of the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment? Do we stand on these, or do we submit to the past and allow the values of yesterday to determine the future?”
“Do we call upon NATO and determine that sufficient conditions have been reached for Article Five to be invoked, or do we allow each country to try and deal with the problems on their own, knowing that some might lack the will or stable leadership to endure and persist?”
“If we are going to answer in the positive, then we have to fight in the streets with physical force as well as redefine our political, economic and social institutions. This will not be easy. We should have reacted to the voices of extremism in the 1980s, when they first became began to spread. We should have responded in the 1990s, when the voices of extremism shifted from subversion to open defiance. We should have reacted in the early 2000s when extremists were expanding their financial operations through tax payer funded charities and had thoroughly infiltrated government, the school system and the universities. But this did not happen as the voices of political correctness and appeasement crushed the voices of reason and knowledge. We should have reacted again in 2014, when the news of mass rapes and sexual abuse in Rotherham put a focus on a much larger extremism issue. But even then, we chose to remain silent. As has happened so many times in the past, the politicians failed to act when non-violent change could have been put in place.
Dr. Jaeger paused and looked down at the podium, as though reading some imaginary notes in front of him. In reality, he was just giving his audience a few seconds to absorb what he had said. He gave his hands an unnecessary dry wash to occupy a few more seconds and then looked up.
“If we do not get this done, then we can look forward to a future where women return to a position barely above slavery, free thought and free speech are destroyed, pluralism is crushed and education will be reduced to memorizing cherry picked radicalized quotations from the Qur’an. Everything we have worked for since the Treaty of Westphalia will be cast away and we will enter a new dark ages that will last for hundreds of years.”
“When we are done, either we will have shaped our future towards freedom, or allowed four hundred years of hard won progress to simply slide away because we lack the will and the ability to think in practical and reasonable terms.”
“Before we go any further, we have the G2 (intelligence officer) from NATO who will bring us up to date. The General will outline the current situation for us, as well as explain how we got to this point. Without a clear view of the past and present, we cannot look forward to a future.”
The General, following the lead of Dr. Jaeger, decided at the last moment to speak from the podium rather than standing in front of the map.
Just as he was about to speak, General van de Schalk looked over at Dr. Isabelle Hooft. They stared silently at each other for less than a second, but the message passed clearly. Almost imperceptibly, she nodded her head. The General would go ahead with the version of the brief that plainly laid out the facts. No big words. No academic baffle gab. No nausea inducing bureaucratic terms. Above all: no politically correct crap.
She was the real intellectual power in the room and one of the few in Europe who could think about the current situation with a rational knowledge. If history should record one person as having played a pivotal role, this was the person. The decision of the Dutch government to completely fund advanced graduate degrees which allowed the brightest to advance regardless of family wealth had proved itself in this case.
Among many other things, Dr. Hooft was an adviser on strategy to NATO with a job description that was sufficiently vague to allow her the widest range of access to senior military and civilian leaders. She was a long term colleague of the General’s wife, with the two women having met in graduate school. Several years ago the General was having a discussion with his wife about an upcoming election and the future of internal security matters in the Netherlands. As was her habit, she simply dismissed his views. Updating was need she stated and it would happen soon.
The next day four of them (the General, his wife, Dr. Hooft and her husband) had an extended evening meal outdoors at the Het Plein – the main plaza of the Dutch city of The Hague. While they ate and talked, the statue of “William the Silent” had stared down at them. At that point, the General’s education began to take a new turn. His degree had been in history and economics and his military education had focused on strategy, operations and tactics in joint and combined arms environments. Now, he would be pulled into the fascinating world of insurrectional movements and the dynamics of social unrest as it translated into civil strife, confrontation, conflict and then war. He began to realize how little was broadly known about the contemporary forms of struggle, conflict and warfare in a civil society, especially in an age of technology. And what of the youth who were distant from the political process, especially that of the European Union? How did they view the future? When would their high unemployment rates translate into action? Much of what he knew may have been useful in conventional conflicts, but his skills were akin to that of the dodo bird when dealing with the emerging problems of Europe framed by the unchallenged spread of foreign extremist influences.
Clearly, the political and military minds that ran the EU had a weak grasp of tactical matters in security. This may have allowed them to make minor disruptions to the spread of extremism. But not one of them in a position of power, with the possible exception of Dr. Jaeger, had any idea on how to have a strategic effect on the forces that were destroying the nations of the European Union. Even the current Iron Chancellor of Germany seemed to sense the issues were threatening, but was captured by her past and could not make the final leap. But she knew Dr. Jaeger could and had sent him in. Real leadership, the General thought, was about clearing away obstacles so that those people who were competent could get their jobs done. Angela had that.
Two days after the dinner in the plaza, the General had an extended afternoon meeting that had later drifted into the Pub Aran in Amsterdam. The General’s cousin was the head of a little known intelligence organization that operated on the Stadhoudrskade. To the casual observer, the sign on the building said Heineken. And in reality, it contained offices and a processing plant for the Heineken Brewery. However, Heineken had one of the world’s finest intelligence networks that could reach as far up into government as it wished and as far down onto the streets as was necessary. This was for two reasons. The first was the marketing of beer. The second reason was a bit more exceptional. Freddie Heiniken, the patriarch of the company and one of the richest men in the Netherlands had been kidnapped in 1983. After his return following a 35 million guilder payout, Freddie had ordered that such a thing would never happen to him, his family or his company again. Additionally, Freddie Heiniken had worked to meet everyone in the elite circles from the inner sanctums of the security and intelligence circles in countries where they did business. From his truck drivers up to the board room, everyone was seen as an information source. The result was a security and operational risk operation with serious resources, amazing access and few limitations. Wealth and rank, the General noted, have their privileges.
Meeting in his cousin’s office, the General posed a series of questions about youth unemployment, social unrest, Los Indignados, OCCUPY, Islamic extremism, no-go zones for the police in the Netherlands and a myriad of other questions. Much to his surprise, his cousin answered calmly and without hesitation. The cousin agreed that the social and economic situation in Europe was as bleak as Dr. Hooft had suggested.
Turing back to the present, the General was fully aware that the Article Five question was really about political cover, even at this late date. Each state might be able to use its own military to attempt to crush the insurrection, but it was not clear if they had the political will to do so or if they had the necessary stability and loyalty of the population to do this. Having NATO’s Article Five invoked would provide the needed political cover and give an appearance that the decision had been made somewhere else. Even as the noose was being slipped around their necks, the careerist politicians remained true to their primary electoral methodology: Make sure you can blame someone else ahead of time and take the credit afterwards.
Without any further ado, the General launched into the briefing.
“As Dr. Jaeger noted, we will bring you up to date on what ground has been lost and which ground we expect to lose soon. We will follow with a brief description on how we arrived at the current situation as well as a view of the future.”
The General was speaking in the plural form, using ‘we’ rather than ‘I.’ This was not just his opinion, but rather the combined views of many of his analysts and advisers. As always, the General thought of himself as a leader within a larger group, not an entity unto himself.
“Look at this first map. It shows Paris and an approximately fifty kilometre radius around the city. This is Ground Zero and it is where the first major riots broke out on 15 August 2017. The dark green areas show the terrain under the total control of Jamaat al-Bekkari. Those areas in light green show contested territory and this also represents territory which we expect to lose in the next twenty four hours to forty eight hours, regardless of what decisions are reached today.” The General paused for a few seconds to allow the audience to take in the scope of the map. He had focused them not so much on what was already lost, but on what was going to be lost in the next days.
“As you can see, most of the northern and eastern suburbs of Paris have been lost. To the western side, the Seine River from Saint Denis down to Boulogne-Billancourt may form a defence line to stop an advance, but this is by no means a given situation. The status of the French capital over the time period from 24 to 48 hours is not clear.”
“This next map shows the French territory from Paris to the channel and over to the border with Belgium. You will notice again that there is a significant amount of dark green shading which represents lost territory. This is a minimalist interpretation as we have only shown those areas confirmed as lost. Additionally, we predict with a high level of confidence that the territory which is shaded light green will also be lost.”
“To date, we assess that most of the weapons being used are AK-47s, section support machine guns such as the PKM and rocket propelled grenades such as the RPG-7 and RPG-9. Handguns are common as well and a mixed variety of shotguns and hunting rifles which are appearing. A variety of IEDs have been used, many of which appear to be have been command detonated. This is worrisome as it suggests an advanced level of skill and organization. The police, however, are reporting that petrol bombs are the single biggest threat with numerous police vehicles and buildings having been destroyed. We have had reports of missiles fired at civil aviation aircraft and most major civilian airports near the conflict areas have closed. The reports suggest there may be some man portable SA-7 Grails being operated, but some of those reports also suggest that it is RPGs being fired into aircraft on the ground. Unfortunately, those doing the on-the-ground reporting are operating under some pressure, reports are fragmented and the ability to identify different weapon types is often weak.”
At that point, the G3 (Assistant Chief Of Staff, Operations and Plans) stuck out his forefinger and pointed at the map. “General van der Schalk, you state you do not have solid information on what has been lost, yet you have high confidence in what will be lost. How you can have high level of confidence on what territory will be lost in the next 24 hours when you are still working to form a stable picture on what has already happened?”
“Good question Sir. How can we have such confidence about the future when the present and immediate past are a bit confused?” The General was falling back on an old intelligence briefer’s trick. Repeat the question back to ensure clarity while allowing yourself several seconds to think.
The General began: “In late 2014, one of our rather long-in-the-tooth Warrant Officers designed a methodology for determining just this very scenario. As a soldier with one year’s service, he had been sent to Bosnia in 1992 and had seen how the intelligence staff had made some SWAGs (sophisticated wild assed guesses) about where the next confrontation lines would emerge and what ethnic/religious group would seize control of any given ground. Their work was based on census data that was more than 10 years out of date combined with individual reports of violence. It was not brilliant, but it worked most of the time. Remembering this and his further experience in Afghanistan, he set about mapping out a series of relevant factors. He used census data to determine population concentrations by nationality, religion and/or ethnicity. Added to that, he layered on income levels and employment figures. On top of that he again overlaid mapping data as to which suburbs and neighbourhoods were no-go zones for the police as well as those that had high concentrations of returning ISIS fighters. In France, for instance, there were 1100 “Zones Urbaine Sensibles” in 2014 where French police could not travel without permission and protection. Similar no-go zones based on Muslim populations have existed for more than 15 years in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium etc. Then he and his team took crime data and overlaid that as well. Minor crimes such as assaults and theft were not used, but major crimes where large amount of cash was stolen and explosives appeared were included. On top of that, he layered in immigration data from conflict zones such as ISIS or Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Finally a layer of extremist mosques was laid on together with institutions and organizations that were associated with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. The final layer was areas where widespread, systematic and long term sexual exploitation of children was known to have existed over a period of time. Rotherham was the first example used at that time back in 2014. All told, it gives us a good predictive tool and has so far worked better than it did in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan or ISIS.”
The General paused at that point and thought about adding that the Warrant Officer and his team that had done most of the work on their own time and used all open source data. Once their efforts were understood by senior authorities, their work was stopped and all the material used and products produced were ordered destroyed while the team was promptly broken up. The members were returned to their home units with letters of disreputable conduct. Some senior civilian bureaucrats had felt that such work was politically sensitive and could be determined to be Islamophobic and therefore must be stopped. The military authorities had caved in. Fortunately, someone in the military chain of command had ‘overlooked’ the destruction of at least one complete set of the data and methods. It was tempting to comment about the stupidity of large bureaucratic systems, but for once, the General stifled himself and carried on.
“Looking at a larger map of ATTU Europe (Atlantic to the Urals) we can see similar situations developing. Our data is strong for France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK, but significantly weaker in other areas such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark.”
“Starting with the UK, we can see that the entire contiguous territory defined by the cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds is in conflict with only isolated islands of control left. Most of those are military bases. Much the same can be said of the territory from Leeds down to Sheffield. Refugees, or perhaps more correctly internally displaced persons, are fleeing the area in hundreds of thousands in response to the random violence, arson and the beheading of figures identified with authority or religion. East London is in flames and we are struggling to provide a stable picture. Lutfur Rahman is alleged to have declared a caliphate in the Tower Hamlet’s council area through his spokesperson Rabina Khan, but this cannot be confirmed by a reliable source.”
“As with France and the larger cities there, UK based police, firefighters and paramedics are withdrawing from conflict areas and consolidating elsewhere, based on their own initiative and local knowledge. Confrontation lines have not yet firmed up and we expect the period of uncertainty to remain for at least another twenty four to forty eight hours. Other areas where the rioting appears to be turning into insurrection and civil war are marked with the flame symbols.”
“Moving to Belgium, you can see the light and dark green zones. We can consider Antwerp, Brussels and Charleroi to be the main areas of conflict. As with the rest, the confrontation lines are fluid and the situation will take some time to stabilize.”
“In Germany, we can see that Munich and Koln are probably the worst hit areas, but the violence there was slower to start. German authorities have acted quickly, based on the few days of warnings they had from watching France and the UK. To date, it appears that the Turkish areas of Germany are problematic but those areas with Syrian, Moroccan, Algerian, Saudi and Tunisian populations are the worst. Whether the open fighting for the control of territory spreads to Turkish areas is not yet clear.”
“In most areas in Europe, Sunni areas are worse than Shia, but perhaps the Shia are simply slower off the mark. They may be awaiting directions from Tehran before committing themselves to the fight. Known Hezbollah personnel are moving continuously and their level of chatter is up, suggesting that they are collecting battlefield intelligence for future operations if President Rouhani and his Ayatollah master give the word.”
“As for the rest, you can see that we have limited information to date, but the fighting is spreading rapidly into Italy, Spain, Bosnia, Croatia and Austria as well.”
The General paused for a moment and took a quick drink from his water bottle. His intent was to allow a quick pause before moving onto an assessment of what the actions meant in military and political terms. Much to his surprise, Prime Minister Thacker posed a question. He had believed that she would remain silent unless addressing concerns directly related to the UK or only if asked a direct question.
“General,” she intoned, “you stated that police and fire services are withdrawing from areas where there is fighting and then regrouping in other areas. Is that correct?”
“Yes Prime Minister” was the short reply. The General was not a fan of older British sitcoms and therefore did not see the brittle humour of his response.
“Well,” whined the UK Prime Minister, “could we then say that the police did not function properly in the moment because of their inability to adapt to the required modern standards of working in a diverse and tolerant multicultural environment? Can we say that their failure and withdrawal has led to the social unrest?”
Everyone in the room froze.
For General van der Schalk, the shock was complete. For years, police and intelligence services had been warning about social unrest, economic disparity, uncontrolled migration and the failures of multiculturalism. The very existence of no-go zones in every country that had a large Muslim migrant population spoke to that failure. Now, as years of warnings had failed again and the violence was about to explode to levels not seen since WWII, a politician was trying to find a way to make a statement blaming the individuals who had made the warnings. It was the Rotherham case all over again. Years of warning ignored, and then the blame game starts.
He stared back at her. Mute. Frozen. Uncomprehending. Slowly, the circuits started to come back on in his brain. His head turned slightly and noted the G3. The British General was looking directly at his PM – with his own hatred and anger on open display. Disaster Dave sat there with his mouth hanging open as even he understood what had just happened. Dr. Jaegar’s jaw was moving, but no sound came out. In the back of his mind, the General began to have fantasies of violence that would later shock him.
The mind of Dr. Isabelle Hooft was still working. She coughed loudly, the sudden noise distracting everyone in the silent room. She then looked directly at Dr. Jaeger and mumbled an unnecessary word of apology. Dr. Jaeger snapped back to reality and took the cue offered to him. He and Dr. Hooft both looked back to the General and Dr. Jaeger waved his hand, indicating to the General that he should not answer the question and continue the brief.
At that point, one fact became clear. Prime Minister Joyce Thacker was now irrelevant to the rest of the meeting. Strangely enough, she was one of the few who did not get it. She wondered why Dr. Jaeger and the General were so tactless as to ignore her question which to her was so full of insight. They simply carried on.
The General found himself again and stated flatly “How should we think about this conflict?”
“For those of you who study history, you will know that history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. In living memory, we have the conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo for a slight comparison. In terms of the nature of the violence and its intensity, we might think about the Bosnian civil war when it was at its lowest in 1993. For the number of people who are going to be displaced by the fighting, we might think about the magnitude of Kosovo in 1999, although this is a weak comparison. In terms of the scope and meaning of the war, nothing in the former Yugoslavia compares. Perhaps we should think more about the 30 Years War from 1618 to 1648. From the ashes of the 30 Years’ War came the Treaty of Westphalia and the unfolding of a new form of order among states. From the ashes of this current war will come a new order. It may look like Lebanon for a while, or maybe worse. Maybe it will look better in the future. But whatever it looks like, the old order is gone.”
“Now, let us look at how we found ourselves where we are today.”
“The immediate cause of this civil war was the rioting that broke out in Paris, France on 15 August 2017. The initial violence occurred in Clichy-sous-Bois, a suburb to the east of Paris. But in reality, this was merely the Iskra, the spark that lit the fire.”
“Realistically, the immediate path to war began at 1658 GMT on the 3rd of September in 2015. How can we pick a time that precise? Simply put, an algorithm used for High Frequency Trading in the markets tripped and a rapid sell off began at the Dow Jones Industrial Average at that moment. The result was a flash crash that resulted in billions being lost in a few seconds followed by a immediate market shutdown. When the market reopened, confidence had been hit and the crash continued. I need not go over the results of that crash which carried on over several weeks and months. We know it all too well – mass unemployment, currency wars, capital controls in some counties and then the derivatives market unwinding.”
“It had been known for years that following the 2008 economic crash a series of doubtful measures had been undertaken to prop up the debt ridden economies of the West. Long term debt, a problem since the mid-1980s was dealt with by long term low interest rates. Quantitative Easing, known better as money printing, tried to re-ignite the economy but resulted in even more debt. The result was a hollowed out economy, long term structural youth unemployment and largest transfer of wealth ever seen in history which went from the middle class pension and saving systems to the financial sector. In short, the economy was financialized and the middle and lower classes had their futures damaged. Many believed that a form of inverted totalitarianism had evolved whereby the politicians had allowed the financial class to take over both the economy and the government. Faith in government was further eroded and capitalism, that great creator of wealth, had become cronyism which stole it. ”
“The immediate result of that economic crisis and more unemployment was seen in a variety of areas. Among those were the race riots in the United Kingdom that began in the Rotherham and Bradford areas and then spread rapidly. Years of frustration at the mismanagement of the economy and unchecked EU migration led to the anger being turned against ‘the other.’ This time it was migrants who were largely unemployed as they had not integrated. Their populations had grown rapidly, frequently while receiving long term welfare support. Similar riots were seen elsewhere in Europe and North America.”
“Some of you will recall that the current Prime Minister of the UK, here with us today, was the intended target of an assassination attempt on the 29th of December 2015. At that time, she was an opposition Member of Parliament, having been elected in a by election in October of that same year. The assassination attempt was assessed by most as being part of the overall race riot and immigration problem.”
“On the 12th of January, 2016, the British coalition government of Prime Minister Theresa May and Nigel Farage collapsed due to a back bench mutiny led by Boris Johnson. With only a bare majority being held by the Conservative/UKIP coalition, the end game was a call for new elections after fourteen days of futile attempts to find a new coalition. The resulting four week campaign produced a Labour Government with Prime Minister Edward Miliband taking power after the 25th of February 2016 elections.”
“The Miliband premiership was cut short on the 15th of March 2016 when a bomb exploded underneath his Westminster office, killing him and several of his key advisers along with Editor Alan Rusbridger of The Guardian newspaper and George Monbiot, one of its leading columnists. Initially the assassination attempt was called the Guy Fawkes Plot. But when questions arose about whether the killing of the Prime Minister may have been an inside job, the press turned to calling it the Ides of March Assassination. The investigation continues even now.”
“The Labour Party was in a crisis and needed to find a new leader quickly. While a variety of names were put forward such as David Miliband, Edward Balls and Douglas Alexander, it was obvious that none of them could immediately get the party behind them. Alan Johnson, with his working man’s roots had been contender but the Labour grandees had earlier decided he was not posh enough. Instead, they decided on a compromise candidate who was not from London – and that was Prime Minister Joyce Thacker.”
What the General did not say at that point, but what was well known anyway was that the Labour party thought that Joyce Thacker might get some short term sympathy and help get them through the crisis. She had been the target of an assassination attempt herself. Less discussed in the press but seen on many blogs was the perception that Joyce Thacker has a well-placed coterie of Common Purpose graduates in the Labour who were beholden to her and their cause.
Dr. Jaeger gave the General a short stare while the G3 suddenly decided he needed to look down at some important documents that he had ignored up to this point. The comments on the UK Prime Minister were clearly out of line and would have resulted in the briefing having been halted and the General fired – at least in normal times. These were not normal times, so the General merely nodded his acquiescence to Dr. Jaeger and moved along.
“In France, the elections of April and May 2017 resulted in chaos. Pre-election polling had suggested a close three way race with Nicolas Sarkozy and Marie Le Pen expected to be in the two top spots. However, the first rounds of voting came under intense criticism when some highly unlikely voting outcomes occurred. More than a few stations also reported voter participation rates at well above 125% level. Madam Le Pen blamed Monsieur Sarkozy, he turned around and blamed her, both of them blamed the Diebold voting machines that were being used for the first time in France and the press blamed all of them plus some mysterious hackers known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters Brigade. Despite the rather Palestinian sounding name, we believe that the hacker group is based in Iran. The first election results were eventually annulled and an unprecedented rerun resulted in further chaos when the government, for reasons not made clear, attempted to use the voting machines again. Rioting closed many of the polling stations and a state of emergency was called for the first time since the 2005 riots. The use of both Article 16 (extraordinary powers to the President) and Article 36 (state of siege) angered the population even more. The announcement that new elections would be run in October 2017 did not quell the increasing rage. French police noted that the number of ZUS or no-go zones had grown from the 1100 reported in 2014 to over 2500 by June of 2017.”
“Bastille Day on the 14th of July 2017 saw the first day of what might be called nationwide riots in almost every French city. By the middle of August 2017, regular riots were occurring and authorities noted that they were the worst in Muslim areas. While the politicians argued among themselves, the riots gained strength and momentum. By August 15th, it became clear that the rioting had turned to insurrection and a variety of small groups were declaring they had control of territory and would install sharia law in place of the corrupt and weak French democracy. At that point, rumours of a 6th Republic began to circulate along with accusations that ‘France was lost’ as had been warned as far back as 2010 by Robert Marchenoir.”
“By the 20th of August, it was clear that the situation might rapidly spread out of control, and now it has. So here we are.”
“At this point, let us look at the groups who are doing the fighting. We have a series of reports of fighting teams of 6 to 10 men who are highly trained and employ good tactical skills with a mix of small arms and explosives. They appear to be mobile and their coordinated attacks are nasty, brutish and short. While they have killed numerous civilians, we assess that they are targeting mainly police forces and any other individuals, groups or infrastructure that represents state authority. This has been seen particularly in Paris, Brussels, London, Rotterdam and Manchester. In all of those cities, the no-go zones or sharia zones were hit first. They also appear to have high levels of fire discipline, engage rapidly and then withdraw quickly. This brings to mind the types of individuals that the police have seen doing high value cash centre and diamond robberies since 2011. The coordinated nature of the attacks also suggests an effective level of command and control, at least at the local level. Casualties on their side are minimum at this point, with no reported deaths of these fighters. We assess that most of the leaders and fighters have had military or paramilitary experience outside of Europe, but have lived in Europe for extended periods of time, giving them excellent knowledge of their surroundings.”
“At the same time, we have also had reports of larger groups of usually 15 to 20 fighters who demonstrate some tactical skill, but not to the same level of the smaller groups. They also attack authority figures and infrastructure, but they tend to follow up their brief firefights with extended periods of random violence and destruction. They are burning police stations, fire stations, banks, municipal offices, churches, synagogues, media outlets and similar targets. Petrol bombs appear to be the main weapons for infrastructure attacks, but we also have limited reporting on the use of explosives. They have killed a larger number of civilians and appear to lack the fire discipline of the smaller groups. We assess that at least the leaders of these small groups are retuning figures from ISIS, AQIM or similar groups.”
“The third groups we have observed in a number of cities are mobs. They can range from a few dozen to several thousand. They are extremely violent and destructive but appear to lack specific targets. Some of the rioting mobs are spontaneous or simply riots of opportunity, but other riots appear to have been staged or organized through social media. As with the other forms of violence, a sort of ethnic/religious cleansing is occurring, much as it was in Bosnia. Widespread rapes. Random killings. Looting and destruction. The civilians in these sectors either flee, die or are forced into servitude. Those who suffer the worst come from families or marriages that were mixed in ethnic or religious terms. They are attacked by all sides and are suddenly forced to declare themselves one way or another.”
“When a number of countries passed laws in 2015 and 2016 forbidding police from monitoring social media without warrants, the skills and abilities need to track these groups withered away quickly. We are rebuilding this now, but it will take several days or weeks – if at all – before we are able to develop more effective assessments of what is happening. With communications networks being shut down, this tool will lose effectiveness as time goes by.”
“Overall, we believe that the chaos caused by the economic downturn, the race riots, the sudden emergence of a new Labour government in the UK and the collapse of the French government has created a period of gross instability. Almost all sectors of civil society have lost faith in the central governments and their close relationship with the financial sector. Groups such as Los Indignados, M31 and OCCUPY were clear indicators and warnings about the extent of social unrest. Yet youth unemployment rates of over 50% were explained away as non-structural temporary aberrations when in fact they were the harbingers of a greater time of troubles. The fact that youth in France, Austria and Germany were turning to “soupes identitaires” as a means of social discourse was lost on the authorities of the day.”
“A number of radical Muslim leaders were clearly inspired by the ongoing survival of ISIS throughout 2015 and 2016. Their hopes for a global caliphate soared. Their own beliefs that Western society was corrupt were enhanced by the economic crash. This belief was further enhanced by the social unrest they saw around them. It was easier to believe they could attempt an ISIS style takeover of territory. The model used now is much the same as June and July 2014 ISIS situation in Iraq. Rapid attacks are employed with extreme violence that spreads terror quickly. Fear is the real weapon and we believe that the initial attacks were more a matter of opportunism than a well-developed strategic plan. While the individuals concerned were clearly intent on destroying the political institutions of Europe, they probably did not perceive the possibility of a takeover this soon.”
“At the same time, the situation inside the radical Muslim community was also in a state of rapid change. For instance, Yousef Qaradawi, one of the leading inspirational thinkers of radical Islam was suddenly displaced by Tariq Ramadam in late 2015. Qaradawi was a gradualist and believed in taking control over a period of time. He was not afraid of violence, but he did not focus primarily on it. His voice and method were trusted in many of the most radical circles, until ISIS demonstrated in 2014 that a sudden explosion of violence could produce a caliphate. Ramadam was not trusted the way Qaradawi was and he was put in the position of riding the jihadist tiger. The use of violence in his own family’s history added to the discourse within the most violent circles of radicalized Islam. What Tariq Ramadan truly believed in 2015 and 2016 may never be known, even if he survives. He appears to have discovered that his name and the close family relationship to Hasan al-Banna were not enough to make him credible.”
To himself, the General had another thought which he did not present to his current audience. What was the term English speaking bureaucrats used when they did not have real answers to criticism? Ah yes, the comments made against them were judged to be unhelpful.
When the systematic rape of 1400 young girls in Rotherham was publicly disclosed in 2014, nothing really happened. While much hand wringing had occurred, all of the old arguments about cultures being equal and the need for more outreach came to the forefront. The class struggle was the issue, said some Fabian types, and it had to be addressed. To many people, having 1400 girls and women raped in one place is typically the type of action you associate with a conquering army.
The UK had already been conquered in 2014…..but saying so now would be judged to be unhelpful….
“Many of you probably did not notice that Yousef Qaradawi, the former ideological leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, had made it clear that the conquest of Europe was an ongoing goal. His earlier statements in the 1990s were made even clearer in 2007 when he said:
The peaceful conquest has foundations in this religion, and therefore, I expect that Islam will conquer Europe without resorting to the sword or fighting. It will do so by means of dawah and ideology. Europe is miserable with materialism, with the philosophy of promiscuity, and with the immoral considerations that rule the world “considerations of self-interest and self-indulgence.”
“Many of you also did not notice that the works of al-Maududi were being circulated as required reading in mosques, cultural centres and universities throughout most of Europe and North America. His works are to radical Islam what Mein Kampf was to Nazism or Das Capital was to Marxism. Al-Maududi was quite clear on his views. He wrote that:
Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. (…) Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution.”
“Many of what we loosely call the intelligentsia and the leadership classes were also informed by post-modernism, critical theory and deconstructionism. Their thinking skills were further corroded by cultural relativism and the crushing weight of political correctness that was ruthlessly enforced in universities and government.”
“That combination did what Orwell had feared. If you can take control of the language, you can take control of the discourse. Intelligent thought has been virtually wiped from public discussions and anyone who has a differing opinion is removed from the process by being labelled racist or regressive. The so-called progressives have been trapped on their own moral high ground by their views on Fabian socialism and their Common Purpose method of organization and ideology. Even now as their cities are being burned and their children raped, the so-called progressives cannot climb down off their own self-described moral high ground to descend into reality. To admit that their truly is a difference in cultures and that these differences can be described as better or worse would be to shatter their own artificial paradigm. Reality is now shattering that perception for them.”
“In conclusion, we can see that four things have happened which will now have a critical impact on how we react.”
“First, the economy has been undermined by a high level of long term debt at all layers of government. The so-called austerity program never started as most governments continued to spend more than they were able to extract from their populations and tax base. Too much centralization of the economy meant the long term survival of banks and corporations that should have gone bankrupt. Instead, they were rewarded with huge taxpayer funded bailouts which meant fewer resources for the new companies which might have been productive. The unchecked program of allowing non-qualified migrants rather than a program that sought out useful skills furthered this problem as welfare costs soared while debts increased. Fixing this will be the work of a generation, assuming we survive this war.”
“Second, the masses in general, especially those below 45 or 50 years of age have lost faith in the institutions of society such as the EU, the IMF, the World Bank and the UN. These institution are relics of another age and were designed to maintain the status quo of 1945 to 1948. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
“Third, intelligent discourse in society has been virtually destroyed. Many did not see the problems coming because we were not allowed to talk about them. Much like the failure to see the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and the collapse of the USSR in 1989, a few people saw the problems, but they were crushed if they spoke out.”
“Perhaps most importantly, as a result of the collapse of civil discourse, we were not able to discern the critical threat that was posed by both violent and non-violent extremism. Non-violent extremism was much more dangerous as it undermined the institutions of our state, rather than attacking them head on. We could not discuss extremist Islam in public, because we were told we had to be tolerant and that we were Islamaphobic. The fact that extremist Islam is more intolerant of difference than even fascism or communism was lost.”
“The media may be the most to blame. The leadership figures were afraid of lawsuits or being responsible for the results of their work. So they chose to remain silent on critical issues even as they were loudly protesting even the most minor of other perceived offences against political correctness elsewhere.”
“Fourth, we have allowed the problems to become so far advanced that the normal solutions of policy change, new laws and economic fine tuning are irrelevant.”
“The question is actual rather simple in one sense. If NATO is engaged with the declaration of Article Five and we commence military operations, then we will launch into an extended period of killing which will far eclipse the horrors of Bosnia or Kosovo. It may be that most of Europe will look like Lebanon in the 1980s. If we do not, then we can watch the nation state system in Europe fragment into a series of minor caliphates and principalities as we descend into a new dark ages.”
“This is the choice you face.”
“Europe marches or Europe dies.”
QUESTION TO THE GENERAL
Following his brief, there was a moment of silence as a true measure of reality began to sink in. Then the questions began. He knew that most of the questions were simply a way of delaying the inevitable vote that would to occur.
QUESTION: Will this spread to North America? Are the USA and Canada in the same situation?
QUESTION: What will the Shia groups in Europe do? Will Tehran involve itself in Europe or will it look to exploit the situation and move in the Middle East instead?
QUESTION: How many refugees and internally displaced persons are involved? Can it really exceed the 20 million being reported in the press? Could it go even higher?
QUESTION: What of the Russians? Which do they fear more? Will they stand for a series of caliphates in Europe? Are they afraid of radical Islamic uprisings to their south in the ‘stan’ republics? Would the Russians use tactical nukes in their south to create a radioactive buffer zone as their radical right is demanding?
QUESTION: Will the Turkish military mutiny and overthrow their Muslim Brotherhood inspired leader? If not, will Turkey continue to funnel more arms, money and personnel into Europe? What does it mean when the press says that Turkey is currently not participating in NATO meetings?
QUESTION: The General answered each question to the best of his ability, but he knew the answers were hollow and that any single event could suddenly throw off all the calculations.
The room sat in stunned silence as the various individuals attempted to process and understand what they had just been told and what they faced. It was tough to decide what had hit them harder, the nearly casual observation that they were entering a period of civil war or the not-too-discrete implied threat that came from the analysis of failing police morale and capabilities. The police withdrawal and regrouping also suggested their unwillingness to protect civic leaders at nearly every level. Prime Minister Joyce Thacker of the now ironically named “United” Kingdom offered nothing.
G3 and SACEUR sat without moving.
Dr. Jaeger broke the silence. Quietly and lacking any emotion in his voice, he stated that if the vote passed, NATO would be called upon to declare Article Five. This would create a legal fig leaf and the various states would begin military action to retake the territory declared to be a caliphate. The foreign invasion would then be fought.
He asked, “Are there other views, or should we just proceed to a vote?”
Chapter Two – The Vote and its Fallout
The results of the vote broke down almost exactly as the General had anticipated. This was not due to amazing insight or secret intelligence. Rather it was simply an observation and analysis of the base line interests of the key players.
Dr. Jaeger looked around the room briefly. His eyes and stopped and studied the faces and body language of who he thought were the key players.
He again stood and moved to the podium – yet another sign that the outcome of the vote and the decision were to bear his name and imprint alone – despite the presence of his co-chair.
Once at the podium, it was easy to see his demeanour change.
(To be continued)
 Pat Benatar, Hell is for Children, written by Patricia Benatar, Roger Capps, and Neil Giraldo. Copyright: Big Tooth Music, Muscle Tone Music, Chrysalis Music, Neil Geraldo Music Co.