By Alastair Crooke, The Guardian, June 1, 2008
Sir Hugh Orde speaks rarely heard truth when he says that he has never heard of a terrorist campaign that was “policed out”, adding that he could not think of one that had not ended through negotiation.
There has been an unshakeable faith in Europe that western law-enforcement officers could pad around the bazaars of Rawalpindi and in the refugee camps of the Middle East hunting-down “bad actors”. It has been a fantasy fuelled by the conviction in the west that “secular” Muslim societies must at heart be pro-western - surely they must share the antipathy many in the west feel toward movements motivated by Islam? The flawed assumption has been that these seculars loathe movements such as Hizbullah, and would become the west’s ready collaborators in undermining them.
But as Sir Hugh evidently is aware from his own Irish experience of resistance movements, it was never this simple. In one family around the dinner table would sit one brother in one wing of the IRA; another would belong to Sinn Fein, and yet another would be in the employ of the British - and yet, all saw themselves as Irish nationalists.