Friday, November 20, 2015

Are we going to persist in playing into the hands of the terrorist cancer?


Just how dumb are the political class, especially the Republican candidates for president, who, in varying degrees, want to bomb ISIS into defeat, and who want to block all attempts to resettle refugees in the United States? Those two positions are precisely the desired goals of ISIS leadership: getting into hand-to-hand combat with western soldiers and driving thousands or millions of refugees out of Syria, thereby flooding and destabilizing the rest of the world. A third, the rush to what some are calling a police state, replete with surveillance on everyone everywhere all the time, contributes additional angst to a western way of life that remains under threat, and eminently worth preserving.

And if at the bottom of the “food chain” of inside information knows these basics, (including your scribe), then who doesn’t really comprehend the implications of those givens?

President Francois Holland of France is currently engaged in a global campaign to bring as many world leaders and their governments into the military campaign to defeat ISIS. He is especially interested in bringing Obama and Putin, and through them, American and Russian fighters (not just their jets and bombs and missiles) into the campaign. And yet, even with his determination following the devastation in Paris last Friday night, in soft targets hosting ‘ordinary people,’ he must also be fully conscious that he (and whomever he conscripts to his goal) are playing directly into the hands of ISIS. And, ordinary people are left wondering out loud, with a cohort of some 50-80,000 conscripts in their fighting force, and with a spike in those numbers following each successful attack against “civilization,” why would western governments and their leaders be so anxious to rush into the ISIS trap.

The need for “power” and the immediate gratification that comes from a defeated enemy (and who does not want to see ISIS etherized and buried in the deserts of their own caliphate?) especially when provoked by such a heartless, inhuman and inhumane, brutal and depraved gang of thugs, is an extremely powerful motivation. And when the whole world knows that using the full force of the western military establishment, including both Russia and the United States, no enemy could or would survive, then the prospects of “wiping” ISIS from the face of the earth look especially attractive.

Let’s pause for a moment and think about some of the ‘other’ facts: Holenbeek, a section of  Brussels, is literally overflowing with a social petrie dish of ripe candidates for ISIS recruitment, given the 40% unemployment rate, the tight living conditions, the disaffection of many north African migrants, and the predominantly Muslim population of young displaced and disaffected young men. The prospect of fighting a holy war against such western powers, many of which they would consider at least implicated in their own predicament, if not primarily responsible for it, linked to a false promise of a heavenly reward for martyrdom, is a rousing and sugar-coated call to take up arms. Would that call be silenced by the burial of ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Would there not be an even more powerful motivation for those young men, and some young women, to rush in to replace their fallen martyrs if the whole world were engaged in their elimination? One could see at least for a period of time, an acceleration of the conflict, if not a morphing of its methods and locations, drawing the whole world, literally, into the conflagration.

The French Prime Minister has also used those infamous words (echoes of George W. Bush) “chemical and biological weapons,” in his plea to the French legislature to pass the Emergency Measures legislation. That development, if it ever ensues from the mess that is Syria, Iraq Yemen, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Mail, Nigeria, would naturally strike terror into the hearts and minds of all civilized people everywhere.

Many others are also now writing compellingly about the potential for so much enhanced “security” apparatus, that personal freedom is being, if it has not already been, sacrificed. A permanent, or long-term military conflict, added to the prospect of the western world’s putting a surveillance camera on every street corner, and the combination would suggest, if not openly assert a terrorist victory.

The many voices of Republican governors of some twenty-five –plus states, plus the several Republican candidates for president who are calling for a halt to accepting thousands of refugees, out of fear of a potential terrorist hiding “under the body of the Trojan horse” as it were, in just another of the ways by which the terrorists are quite literally smothering the best instincts of a free and democratic and tolerant and diverse culture and society. And then there is the spike in physical and verbal attacks on Muslims in Canada and elsewhere, plus the burning of a mosque in Peterborough, Ontario Canada, (approximately 150 miles from where I am pounding these keys) all add up, along with the rush to military war (the Pope calls in the “piecemeal Third World War”) and the rush to such extravagant surveillance techniques (Britain just this week added another $3 billion to her already exhaustive surveillance campaign of at least one camera for every ten people in her population), along with the blocking of refugees from the United States adn several European countries (at least Canada has not joined that madness!)...and one has to conclude that not only have the people in power been spooked, partly because they do not know what to do about this cancer, but so too have many of the ordinary people whose lives are already undermined by such tragic and dramatic events as the economic crisis of 2008-9 and the spike in unemployment and the capacity of people everywhere to wreak havoc on anyone at any time, for any indiscretion.

Are the terrorists really going to “win” by our default in playing the very game they seek?

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