Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Has The West Become Too Paranoid?

The newest power within the Islamic fundamentalists is Is [or ISIS or ISIL whichever you chose]. Its rise, order, reputation, approach and almost unbelievably professionalized institution, has far dwarfed the formerly most notorious Terrorist group, al-queda. In the same manner, the [so-called] West, is becoming a toy in its hand to taunt and challenge. But for how long...?

Political leaders in the West, mainly UK and USA has crossed the very extremely thin line of fighting terrorism and now seems to have landed into paranoia. The strong paranoia exhibited has led to Isis playing like manipulators. And to be frank, as of today, Isis has become masters in that manipulation.
Why not? Leveraging on the guilt of the colossal failure of the Iraq campaign that resulted in a widely divided, sectarian Iraq, on which the current spell of the so-called West's leaders came to power on the back of, themselves accusing their predecessors of almost callousness, Isis in turn is making good use of that to wreck havoc. I know you find this complex; but it certainly is. A messy maze inside a messy maze.

So Obama and Cameron aren't just weak as leaders but are weary of doing the same thing they both blamed Bush and Blair respectively for. Of course, one characteristics that unify past and present Western govts is that they believe in their right to impose their world view on others without consultation. Themselves by identifying and funding groups of 'good' rebels, they help to exert chaos like in Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Egypt, etc.

With the failed outcomes of these countries, it is no surprise that the West is unsure and indecisive. And not only that, but those actions, which are solely seen as unfair by the majority of their electorates, means that the leaders employ propaganda to win over or divide-and-rule that electorates. That propaganda is not baseless either. It is fuelled by the fact that some, albeit a minute number of the said electorates are angry enough, informed by the unfair side-taking by these leaders in countries they want to change, to join action.

For instance, in Syria, like for Saddam, majority of the West's electorates believe that Assad should go. This belief is largely informed by the case made against Assad by Western leaders and harped on by their powerful, world-covering media. So those electorates angry enough and joined the 'good' rebels, now found themselves more angry to upscale and with rivalries amongst different rebel factions, inevitably now joined even stronger rebels either to protect themselves or to emphasize their passion or better still, because they have more information/understanding of the peculiar matters.
So with the above complex scenario, once navigated, it is easy to see why the West's  leaderships' propaganda of imminent attack, works. This is made even more real by Isis who, in order to strike at the heart of the indecision currently plaguing the West, also leveraged on the availability of the Westerners that were angry enough to go to the epicentre of the action.

By using them as the suicide bombers, beheaders and even more boldly, as media mouthpiece, they not only show that they are advancing, but that they might easily plant terror in the very land of the West if they so choose.
All the above, when put together, helps push Western leaders into a paranoia like never before. Weakened by their and their predecessors' unaccepted past approaches, challenged by the recruitment of their citizens into terror, puzzled by the sophisticated ambition of Isis to not only be a terror group but attempting to be an Islamic Caliphate, a formal Sate that is, the West sees all its plot and hope almost melting, yet lacking the moral, political and humane mandate or will-power to respond.

Is there a solution?
Yes there are many solutions. The first and most recent opportunity would have been Ukraine. The West shouldn't have supported a rebellious outing of an elected govt although, what followed was completely unexpected. The West should have mediated in a transparent way, working with Russia and effecting an electoral change.
Syria was the second recent solution and a better option to Ukraine considering that it has a component of Islam. Declaring some rebels good and thus working with them, without an official mandate of the[ir] people was surely going to be catastrophic. More so when it was clear that those rebels were factions which composite foundations were based homogeneously on religion or ethnicity; a clear separation. In a multi-ethnic/religious society, that's bound to be problematic

None of the above scenarios are new; yet the West does not learn a lesson. Simply because Western leaders put their economic gains above everything else. The same has been done from the days of colonialism and left many heterogeneous nations with endless complex divisions that results in corruption, disaffection, back-biting and eventually, a gaping whole that allows the West to continue manipulating those nation endlessly.
 
In Iraq, the West watched glaringly while the then Nouri al-Maliki govt ran a purely segregated administration. This was good enough for the West because it feeds into their pre-plan expectation to declare Iraq a success [by all means]. But it wasn't! All the while, it was a landmine waiting to be stepped on. Did it explode? Well, we know better now...

The West should learn the art of consultation, respect for locals and how to empower them by facilitating mediation. This ask is always misinterpreted to mean the West is blamed and not allowed to contribute, but it is not true. It only means that intervening - or contributing - should be focused on helping the actual stakeholders work out a fair system for themselves instead of just for a few.

With the beheading of two American citizens, played out by a brain-washed supposedly British man,  Isis has tugged at the very heart of the actual matter and dared the West that it will not only unleash terror but it can use citizens of the West to destroy citizens of the West. Its a powerful narrative and thus easy to see why Obama chose to play golf and said there was no strategy. Response has therefore been in sputters ensconced in paranoid propaganda that our fellow citizens are ready and coming to blow us all up. And this may not be wishful thinking, it could happen but stopping it does not require another war both on societies or on individuals. Because the more we fight wars, the more some people gets pissed off and more vulnerable to recruitment and radicalization.
Perhaps, it is time to retrace through the quagmire and reach out for peace in a different way; but surely, in a FAIR way that respects the ability of local people without creating divide and rule for the West's myopic little ambition.

As for Isis, it'd probably go as speedily as it came. If al-queda could be trounced, then Isil will surely evaporate, gradually maybe, but surely.

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