Saturday, 14 November 2015
Human Nature Never Changes
Terrorism has been with us since people walked the earth. In Genesis Cain killed Abel because he was resentful, history is littered with sons killing fathers just to be King, small nations using guerrilla tactics to fight large ones and acts of bloody minded terrorism simply because someone wanted it and believed that this would further their cause or hurt the enemy. Sometimes it wins!
The latest episode of IS terrorism has been a sad one. Possibly two hundred may die plus several hundred will suffer and relatives carry the long time cost. There is reason to believe there will be more of this in France.
However while the media are making hay with the shock effect it is important to ask questions. What lies behind this and were we to blame? The Wests dealings with the Middle East have never been clever. While that strange man Lawrence of Arabia was allowed to promise the Arabs much the British government was making other plans and was not considering a bunch of nomads as important, the French desperation to obtain Syria did not help either. Israel was allowed in, and the Good Lord did indeed place them back in this land, but how the West handled this was appalling.
The 1920's saw Iraq as a place for the RAF to drop bombs (some say gas) on Arabs who disliked British intentions, few asked what the Arabs wanted and even fewer considered the sectarian differences between Sunni & Shia as relevant.
With the fear of Iran in the late 70's the West under that nice Mr Rumsfeld gave Saddam all the support he wished, including Mustard Gas and allowed him to kill a million or two because we were scared of the old man with a beard. Not long afterwards the nice Mr Rumsfeld and his nice friend Mr Cheney encouraged the first Bush to bomb Saddam. Times had changed.
Later Mr Bush 2 came along and the nice Mr Rumsfeld and his nice friend Mr Cheney encouraged the second Bush to Bomb Saddam and remove him. This they did but one little thing was omitted, they sacked all the soldiers and sacked all the police and allowed them to keep their guns and bombs. Failure to ensure a government that considered both the Sunni and the Shia (not forgetting the Kurds) was not accomplished and later this caused resentment among the Sunni.
Saudi Arabia a rich friend of the USA and the West decided the West was not doing enough to deal with their fear of a nuclear Iran so encouraged war in Syria, Iran's friend. Syria was stable, less totalitarian that Saudi and now lies destroyed. Amongst the 'freedom fighters' appeared many Islamist groups, mostly fighting one another, and from them and the by now broken Iraq grew IS a new powerful Islamist organisation with a blood lust unseen for some years (it has been seen before however and often at that).
IS did have the decency to inform the world it would create a crisis by sending refugees to Europe, and this they have done. Amongst them we find many dedicated stupid people who are willing to kill and die in doing so. These men appeared in Paris the other day.
Why are people joining IS? Consider yourself a young man, maybe a woman, growing up in the UK and reaching that horrid age we call adolescence. This is the time we get very enthusiastic about changing the world or improving our nation. Thought is not always the strongest of our assets at this time but emotion is! You are young, enthusiastic for change and find yourself asking 'Am I a Muslim or am I British?' This is when idealistic types get caught up with what we call 'radical' preachers. They teach a strict type of Islam that asks for committed people and young folks are always committed. Have we not all touched something like this when young?
Unfortunately an aspect of Islam that we now see constantly is the willingness to kill Islams enemies and the willingness also to die for what the young see as Islam. Wealth, education, caring parents, none of these things make any difference, when the young wish to commit they commit fully. That is why so many give themselves to IS as it is seen as the most radical Islamist grouping. The volunteers consider they are building a better world, just as we did when listening to 'Canned Heat' and pretending we were Hippies, it's just that our ideology was different.
Millions have followed a leader who encouraged them to lay down their lives, only a few years ago the Japanese were taught never to surrender and thousands died defending small islands in the Pacific for nothing. Few ever surrendered. These present Islamic heroes will act in the same manner and bluster from Western leaders will have no effect on them. When such see what they are told is an enemy they will ac without hesitation. That is why vats numbers of Muslims have been killed by Muslims and the Middle East and Pakistan runs with rivers of blood rarely reported in the West.
A bomb in Lebanon killed at least 43 yet this does not get such TV time. After all if they kill each other we don't care, maybe we should?
There are nearly two million Muslims in the UK, most working hard and aiding the nation not killing it, yet these must make a stand opposing loudly the operations of IS and actions like these. This could be dangerous for many and if the Shia Muslims stood up the Sunni may not. Some may take sides quietly, opposing violence yet not opposing these actions publicly. It could of course be dangerous to say anything if you are a Muslim. Muslims who become Christian are attacked in the streets in some towns one who stands up and objects to IS may suffer worse!
Intelligence is the only way to beat any terrorist cell, that has to come from Muslims themselves and Mosques must offer a more strident 'peaceful' Islam for people to follow. Propaganda is as important as bombs in dealing with IS.
However let us remember such terrorist acts have gone on for years, the IRA caused 3000 deaths over 30 long years and occasionally kill another, Two world wars have caused massive disruption to society yet we are still plugging away, anarchists before the first war also set of bombs as indeed did suffragettes, terrorists who set fire to churches, damaged buildings and smashed paintings because 'men' ran them. Terrorism is always with us, one of Jesus' disciples had been a terrorist, he carried a short sword, a 'stiletto' which was plunged into a Romans back which was not very nice, and once IS have been stopped another source of violence will come forth.
Unless Jesus returns first of course.