Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has warned that ISIS are the “enemies of all who cherish democracy”, following last week’s deadly attack on Brussels.
Ms Anderson said however that the west must take its share of the blame for creating the conditions which have allowed such an organisation to thrive, including dropping missiles and flooding the region with weapons.
The MEP was speaking after a Derry delegation she was leading to Brussels was forced to turn back last week just minutes before boarding the Eurotunnel heading to Brussels as news broke of the attacks.
The local group were part of 120-strong group from Ireland planning to mark the 1916 Centenary in Brussels.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’, Ms Anderson said: “The horror of what happened in Brussels will be felt by many for many years to come. Those behind the attacks in Brussels, in Paris, in Tunisia and those who are daily perpetrating horrendous violence and injustice against civilian populations in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are the enemies of all who cherish democracy, freedom and justice.
“There is no doubt that ISIS pose a real and genuine threat. They murder indiscriminately, they oppress and abuse people of all faiths and none.
“However, we know from our own troubled history that there are no purely military solutions. I disagree with military intervention in the Middle East; dropping bombs in Syria is not the answer and it’s wrong. Diplomacy, negotiations and political resolution of conflict is key.
“As a lasting tribute to the victims, and to all victims of global conflict – world leaders must redouble efforts to resolve conflict and to build peace.”
Ms Anderson questioned whose interest was being served by maintaining conflict in the region. She warned that allies of Britain and the US buy ISIS gas and oil, ensuring the organisation can keep their war chest well stocked.
She also said that Britain and the US were embroiled in the proxy wars “that have made global defence contractors rich”.
“Maybe the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were not as happy as larks but there was a degree of ‘stability’ before the West created havoc and a monster that it now can’t or won’t control,” she said.
The wider impact of all this, Ms Anderson added, was evident in the racism and ‘them and us’ attitude being directed at refugees from some quarters.
“Where power and wealth is monopolised by a ruling elite of less than 1%, capitalism becomes terminally ill and the one percenters’ control over our lives result in decent people directing their rightful fear and anger over the actions of ISIS at desperate refugees fleeing barbaric organisation instead of the elite who cause and perpetrate such acts of violence.”