Remember those crazy girls who wanted to go to Syria in order to marry Holy Warriers? People in the forums called for the concept of thought crime and for pre-crime punishment and that didn’t go down well with me. The concept of thought crime is destined to be abused in arbitrary ways, and pre-crime detection (or even punishment!) is a completely sick idea. Which does not mean it’s not successful among security-minded politicians and unscrupolous demagogues, but that’s another topic.
What exactly did those girls want to do? They wanted to take a trip down to Syria to marry bearded young men fighting for the IS, bear their children, cook for them. Seemingly they did not want to kill anybody, although one of them seems to have had one of the recent killing videos on her mobile. Nasty indeed.
I am well aware of the fact that what the girls did is perfectly fulfilling the definition of “Support of a terrorist organization”, a crime that has been invented only recently. The concept of “Support” is so loosely defined, that the girls certainly broke the law. No need to discuss that.
While it is clear that they intended to support people fighting for the IS, let’s call them terrorists, by marrying them (which many comments quite rightly called an incredibly stupid idea for a girl, but that’s another matter as well), they did not actually do something. Well, they did. They tried to make a trip to Syria. Had they chosen Switzerland, it would have been perfectly OK.
Had they intended to marry US soldiers, it would also have been OK, although the IS will have to be on a killing spree for quite a while to reach the numbers of deaths that the US and their “Coalition of the Willing” have caused on their battle fields in recent years.
Sure, the US are a recognized country and the IS is not. Sure, the US army is a recognized army and the IS is branded a terrorist organization, but it is also clear that this is only a matter of definition.
Menachem Begin was a terrorist long befor he received the Nobel Prize for Peace, Mandela was regarded a terrorist and I suppose so was Ghandi. The word “Terrorism” is completely meaningless now, or if how it is used means anything at all, it means everything that our governments don’t like. Just confer to the recent attempts at labeling environmentalists and Occupy protesters as “Terrorists”.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything positive to be said about the Islamic State. Their weapon of choice is a sick, violent barbarism, but I see very good reasons for their attractiveness to many and for their wide success in the region.
Cutting off the heads of innocents is barbarian, but from the point of view of someone who has seen hundreds of thousands of mostly innocent compatriots die or fall in misery, people whom he went to school with, parents, children, lovers, friends, the beheadings may look much less barbarian, maybe even like rightful revenge.
My point is, once a person has experienced enough violence through unprovoked bombs in a war he didn’t cause or wish for, in a war that was forced upon him by recklessly criminal politicians of another country, by politiciancs who will never be held accountable for their deeds, by politicians who abused him as a scapegoat in a game that he does not understand and never could or would actively play, once that line is crossed, the resulting bitterness must destroy even the most peaceful attitude.
This is a conflict that the US have conjured up and that can only get more crazy the less its victims have to lose. It is a conflict that can only spread and that will invariably reach the US as it now is beginning to reach the EU. It is a conflict that has already changed our own attitudes and our own culture, a conflict that has already taken away much of our own freedom. Just look at what it meant to fly fifteen years ago and what it means now. This conflict is insanity fueled perpetually. It has to be stopped.
Can I imagine a way out of that mess? Can I imagine the US led “Coalition” backing out of the Middle East? Can I imagine ever seeing peace in that region?
Well, whatever is done, pumping more weapons into the conflict will not end it. Using factions in these wars against each other will not cause any decisive victory. The recent loss of cartloads of weapons by US-trained fighters to those they were intended to fight impressively proves it.
Does this mean abandoning Israel? No, of course not. It just means stop messing around in countries where the US and the EU have no business. For all means let’s make sure Israel stays a safe haven for the Jews in the world. We just need to stop “bringing freedom” to the world by bombing its peoples.
I mean, really, Irak was a totalitarian state and so was Syria and so was Lybia. But still, can anyone pretend that people there are better off now than with their corrupt, petty dictators? The whole notion is totally absurd and disgustingly colonialist.
What does that mean? The damage is already done. There is not much left to plunder – except oil, but oil is past its peak anyway. We need to get out of oil as much as we need to stop meddling with oil-producing countries. There is no reason but oil to support Saudi Arabia, one of the most backward tyrannies in the world, one of the most violent enemies of democracy and free speech, one of the most important financers of terrorism.
Only by getting out of oil we will gain the independence that will finally allow us the do the right thing, to stop waging wars in other people’s countries. It does not mean to completely stop supporting right causes and fighting against injustice, it does not mean to stop giving humanitarian help and giving shelter to refugees, but it means to act what we pretend. It means to fight for freedom, not for oil.
I’ve already said we need to protect Israel, at least as much as it needs protection. Sad as it is, the Arabian world will have to ultimately battle it out. We are their problem, we can’t be their solution. It may well be that a real Islamic State arises, but when I look at the history of Arab countries and all their attempts at a pan-Arabian union, the IS may as well fall apart. Most likely it only exists while we fight it anyway.
We will have to watch closely, support wisely, help graciously, wait patiently. And still, with all the carnage past, there is no guarantee. There can only be hope.