This is a quote from a Lebanese writer Karl Sharro and his one sentence explanation of why ISIS came about. It is a little long winded but I think he covers it pretty well.
In a nut shell Karl Sharro explained it very well.
Although, it be a rather large nut shell I think.
I thought it was spot on myself. When are ever going to learn to butt out?
You do realize that when you post a thread on an internet forum you are inviting people to butt in?
Either way; I do see how he arrived from point A to the end. But, it does ignore a lot in order to follow that path to the end. I do think populations are responsible for their own course in history. Much of the West has proven that the populations not only want peace, but demand it. Those who want peace know that to maintain it the society has to attempt to ensure a state of being where freedom and happiness for all individuals is an obtainable goal. These societies appear to work diligently to have meaningful conversations on what a society must do to ensure that state of being. We embrace (slowly, at times) diversity. We celebrate (for the majority) the ability of each to follow their own path when it does not inhibit the path of others.
Any society which consistently demands strict adherence to a narrow set of beliefs and a uniform lifestyle and teaches its young that those who do not adhere to these values are not worthy of life will create enough discord to breed violent intent. How they act on that violent intent varies from country to country.
Are there stumbling blocks which have been created for these societies? Sure.
Is that an excuse to evolve in the manner they have? I'm not so sure about that.
Do any of these stumbling blocks result in valid reasons to export their violent intent within the border of other nations? I do not see any valid reason to come to that conclusion.
I always invite comment and conversation and I would agree with you but for that pesky little detail of the intervention of the west in the setting up of the region and the desire for the ever increasing demand for energy with the end of the second industrial revolution and the increase of the Bessemer steel process.
The other problematic occurrence was the formation of the Zionist State which created a big problem with the west even to today.
As far as the unrest bred by dictatorial rule or theocratic violence the writing is on the wall as the influence from the west and its' support of these Mullahs and dictators is the main reason. Generation upon generation of young men have been repressed and abused by the shadow governments tyrannical methods.
But, generations of young men have done nothing to alleviate the problem. Many have actively exacerbated it.
People are responsible for their own actions and their own fates. Blaming others is pointless if the only outcome is that you don't take any responsibility for your actions.
History is history. We can't change it. Nor, should we blame it for not fixing our own problems. If we use the sins of the past to develop a hatred we project into the future we become the sins of the past.
Easy for you to say sitting safe and comfortable where opportunity abounds. You haven't walked a mile in their shoes so you nor I have any idea what it is like to live in an impoverished state of anarchy and war. I have lived outside the US and it always blows me away when we as Americans force our ideas of acceptable on others when we have no idea what we are talking about. Notice I included myself as I have not lived in the Middle East. I have had family members live there and they have told me how very little we Americans know or even relate to the people and the situation over there.
I've lived on three continents thus far. I'm not attempting to force my views on anyone in any country. I am simply stating what I will not do; which is listen to whiny blame games.
I used to be like you. Then I realized that having those opinions put me in a position of looking down on others.
And as typical you wish to absolve yourself of blame. So American it wreaks. LOL. American foreign policy went from a high point of standing for freedom to conquest using the military to retrieve and defend economic advances for the corporate hegemony. If you once thought like me why did it change to the idea that placing responsibility where it lies is looking down on anybody.
I don't see how expecting you to have an even approach is expecting myself to be absolved of blame. I'm simply saying that this simplistic comment you began the thread with ignores quite a bit. And, to tell you the truth, after that beginning you appear to be ignoring quite a bit of what he was saying in order to hold an opinion.
I do agree with you that, as an American, it is difficult to understand sectarian violence. I never got the whole Irish Republican Army thing. Those guys lived together for centuries and still wanted to blow things up? Genocide is a mystery to us. I sat and listened to an Albanian talk about how the Serbians were during their troubles. How can neighbor kill neighbor? How can someone want to annihilate an entire people? I don't understand how those who adhere to one Abrahamic religion can want to destroy a people who belong to another Abrahamic religion, or another sect within its own religion. Seriously. How is it possible to think the same God wants one adherent to kill another?
We do not understand that level of hatred and I do not think that is a bad thing which we should kick ourselves or each other for. Our society has fought hard to educate each other beyond that mentality.
I do understand why Karl Sharro thinks that these ideologies which are causing so much trouble in the region were inevitable. I simply don't agree. I don't think it is entirely desperation which has driven those who live in these countries to be left with no option but a radical interpretation of religion.
But, I do know this. Hatred is a personal choice one makes. Much of the violence we are seeing is a result of a personal choice each individual has made to participate in violence, to justify the violence, to support violence and to attempt to enslave people to that violent ideology.
The hundreds of thousands of refugees we see frantically attempting to leave appear to me to be evidence that this type of choice is not one they want to participate in, are afraid of and desperately want to distance themselves from. The fact that the violence is attempting to piggy back on the refugee movement is not surprising. Those who want to subjugate people to their beliefs don't care who those people are. They simply crave power.
I'm sure Hitler had his advocates who never believed his ideology would end up in a World War, who couldn't fathom that the annihilation of millions for no better reason than he thought their lives were not as worthy as others would be the outcome. I'm sure there were reasons why many Germans came to believe this was the only course of action they had open to them. It doesn't excuse what happened.
What I see you doing is making excuses for heinous behavior. The compassionate attributes you possess which cause you to attempt this are the exact attributes those you are attempting to defend chose not to avail themselves of. All your efforts will do is prolong the problem. We are faced with a choice. Stand against it or allow it to spread. The most important question is how do we end it. Understanding the individuals who support it is important, but just as important is those individuals understanding why we do not. I see no evidence that any of the individuals who are in control of the region or those cowards who hide behind masks and bombs who perpetrate violence in our back yards caring one hoot about understanding why we do not. Until they are ready to attempt to be reasonable I don't think it is unreasonable to stand firmly in expectation that they do.
"...But, I do know this. Hatred is a personal choice one makes. Much of the violence we are seeing is a result of a personal choice each individual has made to participate in violence, to justify the violence, to support violence and to attempt to enslave people to that violent ideology. "
Well said Live to Learn,
The Kumbaya crowd kicked me out a long time ago, and this emphasized quote from your response might seem a good candidate for one of their verses. But...
I think it is the cornerstone of this conversation. Regardless, (I think), of which direction the finger(s) of blame is pointed, the basic truth of your statement must be the foundation that real understanding is built upon.
Thanks. I realize that, from any perspective, the accusation of violent ideology can be leveled against most of the participants. Which is why I only support boots on the ground when the protection of innocent lives is the primary goal. I suppose I am the red headed step child of the Kumbaya crowd.
I read something a long time ago which has always stayed with me. An American was driving in China. He rounded a corner and hit a pig standing in the road. He and the farmer went to their version of the local magistrate. The magistrate heard the case and ruled the American 10% responsible for the accident. The American indignantly pointed out that he had no recourse but to hit the hog. The judge agreed, but pointed out; had he not been in China the accident never would have happened.
All of us bear some brunt of responsibility for the outcome of our actions and interactions. But, when we attempt to insist some are 100% at fault we are being unfair and unrealistic. And, we set the stage for both sides to become more entrenched in an intractable stance. I see a large percentage of the problems in the Middle East as the result of this unyielding insistence that it doesn't matter what some have done at any point in the collective history; others are always at fault and always wrong.
'My way or the highway' never works out well in interpersonal relations. 'My way or I'll blow up the highway' goes even further to ensure that those you are interacting with will have every reason to have less regard for what you perceive as injustice. Although, that is only my perspective. Maybe two wrongs are considered a right in some parts of the world.
“I don't think it is entirely desperation which has driven those who live in these countries to be left with no option but a radical interpretation of religion.”
What you think and what has happened is exactly what the author disputes. You cannot know the distress that the environment nor the political corruption that exists and directs daily life for these individuals. As you say not all and really most do not resort to the heinous behavior that ISIS invokes. To a much lesser degree we have more people in jail in the US than any other country in the world. Does that mean we all practice illegal activities because of the few?
“Hatred is a personal choice one makes.”
Hatred is not always as black and white with it developing character. You do not wake up one day and I hate this or hate that. Hatred takes a while to happen as evidenced in the African terrorist groups such as Boko Haram recruit youngsters and deny them Western Education. So does Al Qaeda. Hatred in this sense is taught.
“What I see you doing is making excuses for heinous behavior.”
No one is making any excuses! This is merely an explanation or description of how ISIS developed. It is just as we in America refuse to accept it. What about 911? Was that a target picked out of thin air for Bin Laden? He targeted our financial center in protest of our economic ties to Saudi Arabia and the American forces occupying their land. Whether you wish to accept the other sides reasoning or not they do have a reason. That does not mean ISIS has a soundly founded basis to fight America but the conditions that created it are not only their own doing
“I'm sure Hitler had his advocates who never believed his ideology would end up in a World War”
When it comes to Hitler references I see there is nothing else to discuss.
I think it is fair to say that neither of us can fully understand the lives of individuals living elsewhere, any more than they can fully understand ours. Your argument is absolving those who react with violence of any personal responsibility for this. Since most do not resort to this heinous behavior, why do you think it is justified in some?
Your question about the jails in the US is not a valid one. Our legal system is not the same as theirs. I’d rather risk going to jail for an ounce of pot, as opposed to receiving one hundred lashes for wearing pants. Are you saying that woman who wear pants in Muslim countries which forbid it are practicing illegal activities?
No one has said it is a case of black and white. Many things we hate we are not aware that we do. Open dialogue allows us to, at the least, hear other points of view. If another point of view is subject to fatwahs which call for our death, imprisonment and lashings it puts a heavy damper on discussion, however; information is more and more freely available. People are capable of thinking for themselves. At least, I believe this to be the case. I don’t see evidence from your argument that you do.
Denying someone a western education is not, as you claim, somehow teaching hatred. Many societies, throughout the globe, have done quite well at finding peace and harmony without a western education. The fact that you said that shows a degree of arrogance which explains quite a bit of this argument you are putting forth; all the while ignoring the fact that many with a western education have still chosen to hate enough to resort to terrorist acts.
It is a simplistic explanation which does not, by the way I read it, absolve those in the region of responsibility as you appear to be advocating. The argument you are presenting is what I am addressing. Your explanation for Bin Laden’s efforts is interesting; considering Bin Laden’s money source and alleged money sources. The guy used a system to get filthy rich and then convinces people to attack innocents within the system, while using the system to fund the attacks. I don’t see the moral high ground there.
Isis, I hear, gives quite a few financial perks to recruits. It isn’t so much ideology as it is greed which drives this. Although, I do believe greed to be an ideology and consumerism does push greed in order to keep it rambling on. Not to mention a very poorly developed sense of humanity.
I do see capitalism developed by the West and then transformed into a world economy as playing its part in helping events come to the point they are at worldwide. However, there is no excuse for wanton violence against innocents. We are dealing with groups who have been given no legitimacy by the world who do not attempt to gain legitimacy.
We have seen countries with no access to the vast wealth that this region has pull itself up by its bootstrings to better the living conditions for their populations. Without violence. We’ve seen nations who have just as much reason to hold a grudge for past history overcome adversity without this type of violence. Advocating that one region ‘just can’t help itself’ when other regions could is ignoring the facts.
We hear cries for help by many in the Middle East, we see hundreds of thousands fleeing the region because we have no idea how to help them (primarily because they have chosen a path we know is responsible for their troubles yet we can’t force them down another path without their desire). With the wealth that exists in the region, they have had every reason and opportunity to find peace and prosperity; yet they have chosen to allow violence to perpetuate. Why? There are quite a few variables which help keep the Middle East in a tinderbox and Western involvement is not the primary problem, nor should it be advocated that the West back off. If we were to back off, ignore the region, give some legitimacy to this type of mentality and allow it to do as it pleased….we’d see nukes in use before the end of our lifetimes.
Perhaps referencing Hitler was a poor choice. Perhaps not. I think the only reason his name came to mind is because his end game (when it came to the question of the Jewish people) was the same as the stated objectives of many in that region.
I noticed in your reply to Mr. Popo that you think we support Israel for reasons other than their security and right to existence. Our government has a long history of piggy backing secret agendas onto legitimate ones. I think, the American people support our involvement there because we believe they have a right to exist. Whatever ulterior motives powers within our government might have are always open to conjecture.
For some reason you think there is an absolution in the statement by the author and therefore through your analysis of it has no merit. If it indeed be the truth then what of the absolution? If it be false what of the same? Reasoning has nothing to do with right or wrong it just is. By taking obvious offense you wish to defend your own involvement in it as justifiable because you don't believe the validity of their assertions? Your examples and musings really shows that the American mind through it many guffaws and blunders in foreign policy is almost sociopathic. We go about screwing up other countries and their cultures in favor of showing and demanding they accept our way as the only way. Our foreign policy changes as every new administration comes in without any hint that we stand behind the last. We continue to direct and influence in spite of the failure and contempt for it breeds.
As far as Mr. Popo and my argument over Israel maybe you should study up on it a little to find where the blame lies between the British and us before you make such a blanket statement. Israel is now practicing apartheid and yet we do nothing about it. The same kind of ignorance abounds when it comes to Saudi Arabia where we back a brutal Monarchy with a long history of human rights issues as long as they back our financial sector. Study up on it. It might surprise you.
I know the history of the region. I simply do not come to the same conclusions you do. Plus, my take on what the statement you used to start this thread is different from your own.
You accuse me of attempting to absolve myself of guilt. Yet, again. I have not implied that, stated it, or thought it. That is your imagination attempting to justify your weak argument.
And you inability to be objective precludes you from understanding what the statement said. It is typical in this "it's not my fault" society of ours. I knew you would back down from the challenge of further investigation of the facts about the unrest as it is very inconvenient to your argument. A weak argument or a strong one would not matter with your justification of the popular opinions out there. I guess we will have to leave it in disagreement.
I suppose if we back up it might help. I think it is fair to use that explanation for states such as Iran. The people appear to have uniformly agreed on a course so, hopefully this will clarify things for you. They have a right to take that course and their government has gained an amount of legitimacy, if not warm fuzzies, from the rest of the world. I don't have to agree with them to believe they have the right to believe as they chose and, to the degree that it does not inhibit the security and freedom of those in other nations; act in accordance with their beliefs. It does not explain Al Qaeda or ISIS; which you appear to be hoping to use as an explanation for. Or am I misreading your argument?
Iran and the US CIA overthrow of its' government is only a recent iteration of the causes for unrest in the region. The British who formed an alliance with the Sheriff of Mecca who helped them defeat the Ottoman Empire is another example post WWI. This paved the way for resettlement of the Jews in forming the Zionist State in Palestine as a direct about turn in the promises from the British for their self rule. There were many fractures in the region as Iraq was cobbled together by western countries where Sunni, Shia and Kurd societies were thrown together. It eventually caused the US to appoint Saddam Hussein as President/Dictator to run the country with brutality and human rights atrocities in keeping the country intact. The list goes on and on. The reality is that through all of this it created a harsh and fatalistic response among the people living there and opened the door for radicalization of the disenfranchised. Is it an excuse? Certainly not but it is one of the reasons. As a result the more we pour into defeating an ideology we provide more opportunity for the radicalized youth to rebel. They look at the US as the cause and want nothing to do with the cure.
"... it always blows me away when we as Americans force our ideas of acceptable on others when we have no idea what we are talking about."
That sounds like the point I was making about your posted "one-sentence" explanation. That was the lead-off, the starting-gun for the rest of the sentence, but your quote doesn't sound like you agree with it.
Our ideas were not the first line of action. The British were the decision makers of the first spoils of the Ottoman Empires demise. We came in afterwards and installed our little cottage dictators because dealing with a democracy is a pain as evidenced in the first free election in Iraq. Al-Maliki was our plant and lo and behold he was elected. What does that say in response to how it was set up? He was a slap in the face to the theocrats. It was never going to work as it was a made up country.
The US seems to have an imperialistic mind set.
The Yellow Brick Road: the Federal Reserve (which isn't a federal agency at all) creates money out of thin air. The Fed says it isn't privately owned, but it is. The Fed says it is a none-profit organization but it is not. http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-owns-t … erve/10489
The US created Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
ISIS serves a need for the United States while the defense contractors gain even more wealth.
Since 2012 it is legal for the US to spread propaganda to its own citizens. It is no wonder to me that nothing makes logical-sense coming from the WH these days.
I'm just thinking out loud here, trying to put pieces together. Time for a walk in the woods...
Can I have some cheese and a little mustard to go with that baloney?
"...failure of the postcolonial elites to create genuine democratic societies and foster a sense of national unity..."
We can do that? Take a tribal people, (like Iraq), force them to embrace an "everyone is equal" democratic form of government, (like Iraq), and, make them believe that yesterday they were tribal, but today they are a a national unit, (like Iraq)? (Iraq is only the most recent example to cite. History provides more examples of these types of efforts)
There are more slices in the package of that paragraph/sentence, but when you start with unrealistic idealistic proclamations, what follows is usually more of the same.
With the break up of the Ottoman Empire and the Balfour Declaration the area was divided contrary to the agreements with the local authority. The split up was in conflict with The Sheriff of Mecca and the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence in favor of the Zionist State of Israel. So from the very beginning the promises and cooperation between the people in the region and the British was one of lies and broken promises. Hardly a baloney sandwich.
You must have mixed up responses. My baloney reference was pointed at a specific quote. But even so...
Do you think the `victor' nations involved could have done what the quote I referenced said they should have done. Would the populaces of the regions have accepted what the quote proposed? Did the victor nations have postcolonial responsibilities to the defeated empire?
You are welcome to engage another thread about the error of the distribution, (another Israel discussion), but that was not the object of my response. So have at it. I still hold my original thought.
Then let me know specifically what wording it was that you reference as you see it has much wording to it.
Yes I do believe if the area was organized as it was before the break up there is a good possibility that a democratic nation could have been organized much like Turkey. The Kurds the Shia and the Sunni were all grouped together in an alliance that would never have worked. This is not only of our doing but that of the British as well. The three way split is what is being talked about now.
"Then let me know specifically what wording it was that you reference as you see it has much wording to it."
He, uh, quoted it. Right here:
...failure of the postcolonial elites to create genuine democratic societies and foster a sense of national unity...
If that is what you are referring to then it is as simple an answer as The Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat and the best one Al-Maliki in Iraq who created a total Shia cabinet among the many plants based on American Middle East Policy. Did you not get the gist of the sentence? Once again we have a selective amnesia. The latest terrorist attack in San Bernardino has been preliminarily attributed to the terrorists feelings towards Israel which is a large recipient of aid from the US. The US has meddled in this mess for the last 60 plus years and continues to this day yet we blame everything on the others. Is it terrorism that we stay involved? Think about our monetary system and the petro dollar from Saudi Arabia.
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