Today, some powers and principalities are trying to lure the MENA genie back into its bottle - with brutal force, lavish financial inducements or political shenanigans. But this genie is cunning: it has tasted freedom outside the bottle and sees its own world with different lenses. Its instincts cannot easily be tamed back into the bottle!
After the brutal murder of its captured pilot, Jordan says it intends to step up its air strikes against IS targets and to defeat "this terrorist organisation [that] is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values." The most useful role for the UK and other foreign powers would be to assist, with logistical, training and intelligence support, the efforts of Jordanian, Iraqi and Kurdish forces to defeat IS... Not only because it is a brutal, murderous sect threatening vital UK interests by infecting British-born fighters and others with the virus of its perverted ideology but equally because it is bringing misery to tens of thousands of people in both Iraq and Syria who now live in areas controlled by the sect.
Out of the 300 million odd people living in the region, I understand my small sample of friends cannot be taken as a final representation of the Middle East. Nor do I want to gloss over the fact that thousands have been killed and millions have been made homeless. This we cannot forget and maybe, quite rightly, the media aren't letting us.