Andrius Kubilius, Member of the European Parliament,
Former Prime Minister of Lithuania
Not so long ago, in 2015, we were all hearing about Daesh, or the Islamic State, a notorious terrorist organisation that operated in Iraq and Syria and occupied large parts of the region. It killed Arabs, raped their women and beheaded their children. The Yazidi religious community had suffered a real genocide. In the end, the Iraqi army and the Kurds, with the assistance of the American military, managed to crush Daesh. The whole democratic world cheered this. Even Putin portrayed himself as being at war with Daesh in Syria. In the end, the Arabs were liberated from the terror of Daesh.
The Hamas terrorists in Israel are behaving in exactly the same way as Daesh did. Perhaps even more brutally. Some say that Hamas is the same Daesh, its new offshoot. Hamas must be treated in the same way as Daesh was treated. Hamas must be crushed. And this must not be only Israel’s concern. It must be the business of the whole West. And it is the business of those Arabs who no longer want to live under the occupation of their terrorists. But someone seems to see the difference between fighting Daesh and fighting Hamas. One has a feeling that the difference is only visible because Daesh is being fought by Arabs who have experienced the terror of Daesh themselves, while Hamas is being fought by Israeli Jews who have experienced the terror of Hamas. To me, this difference in response to the defeat of Daesh and Hamas terrorists is akin to systemic anti-Semitism.
In 2015, Daesh terror and the Russian “carpet bombing” of Syrian cities triggered a huge influx of refugees to Europe. The European Union has experienced one of its biggest crises.
Until now, the West has tried very hard to make sure that Russia’s military actions and aggression are confined to Ukraine. That is why we have always been hearing statements from NATO commanders and heads of Western countries that the West is not fighting this war, that NATO is not involved, and that this is just a war in Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian aggression. Even the West was afraid to give enough weapons to Ukraine, because it was very worried that Putin, in retaliation for the supply of weapons, would expand his military terrorist actions to wider areas.
Putin has expanded his acts of aggression – to the “belly” of the European Union: the Middle East. Only the blind can fail to see the Kremlin’s links to all this Hamas terrorism: the Kremlin’s communion with Iran, with North Korea, with Syria (all three officially recognised as terrorist states by the US), the visits to the Kremlin by Hamas leaders at the time – all this was the prelude to Hamas’s launching of a terrorist war against Israel. The Kremlin’s objectives are clear: to divert the West’s attention away from Ukraine and to trigger a wave of “instrumentalised” migration to Europe. At the same time, to inspire their fellow “terrorists” to follow the example of Hamas and expand the “terrorist war” to new regions: the South Korean intelligence already warns that North Korea is preparing to repeat Hamas’ “success” in storming the border between North and South Korea; the US intelligence warns that Iran could have a nuclear bomb in its possession within the next 2 weeks. Putin has made sure that not only Hamas, but also North Korea and Iran are prepared to wage a “terrorist war” (perhaps even a nuclear war) on new territories.
Putin’s new strategy for the war against the West does not need tanks, divisions or air power, but rather organised terrorists, still better state-sponsored ones, whatever they are called: Hamas, Wagner or Daesh.
The West must realise that Putin is fighting against the West, against Europe, no longer only in Ukraine. The war was transferred to Israel over the bloody weekend. For a long future and with unpredictable consequences. The day after tomorrow, it could move to South Korea or the Western Balkans. It is easy for Putin to manage such a “terrorist war”. He has always been well prepared for it. Ever since the Soviet era, the KGB has lived by one motto: “Terrorists of all countries – unite!”. Putin has effectively implemented this KGB task too.
Conclusions after two observations: what should the West do?
Firstly, the West can no longer fear that Putin will expand his war zone as a response to the West’s actions in supplying arms to Ukraine. Putin has already expanded the territory of his terrorist war against the West. The war is no longer just in Ukraine. The West can therefore no longer fear supplying arms to Ukraine.
Secondly, the West must realise that the Kremlin is the brain and the financial centre of the terrorist war it has launched. Therefore, the terrorist Kremlin must be crushed in the same way as Daesh was crushed and now Hamas is being crushed. And this must be done immediately in Ukraine. Without any delay, otherwise the Kremlin will take its “terrorist war” to new territories. And we do not know which ones.
Some people are worried that Ukraine is now losing the attention of the West as a result of the terrorist war launched by Hamas against Israel.
What Ukraine needs is not Western attention, but Western weapons, as well as Western brains and their understanding that the global terrorist war can and must be stopped now by crushing Putin, the world’s terrorist-in-chief, in Ukraine.