Thursday, 5 May 2011

Revenge is mine ...

The Dragon is dead; long live the Dragon. Watching the news regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden several things must become apparent to those who take time to look objectively at this affair. On the one hand the man who apparently masterminded - certainly he claimed to have - the attack on the USA in 2001, has been killed. Perhaps executed is the better term since there was evidently no intention of placing him in a court or subjecting him to any sort of legal process. It may draw a veil over the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, but, somehow, I doubt it.

I have long believed that it takes a rather sick and twisted psyche to embark on the sort of campaign Bin Laden fronted, and it is not unique to the “Arab” world or to Islam. Many of these terrorist organisations have their origins in the so-called Cold War, with Moscow and Washington/NATO funding groups of “freedom fighters” in each other’s “client” states. Sometimes both parties were funding similar groups in the same state, usually with the same objective in view. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda is a product of that process as are the many terror groups scattered around the world and active in places like the Philippines, the Congo and several South American states.

Much of the explosion in drugs use and drug trafficking can also be traced to “Black Operations” managed by both Super Powers in the late 20th Century.

Following Bin Laden’s death I do not believe Al Qaeda will die with him. A new leader will emerge and new campaign will be planned. Al Qaeda and similar groups have no trouble recruiting followers, the “Madrasa” system operated in Pakistan and other impoverished Muslim states as “schools” provide a solid grounding in a twisted and extremely fundamentalist Islamic interpretation and thinking. The real problem with these “schools” is that anyone can set one up and no real qualification other than being able to read the Quran is necessary.

Al Qaeda will not die simply because Bin Laden is dead. It now has a martyr who is an international figure. We should take note of the hysterical demonstrations on the streets of Hamas controlled Gaza. Summary justice certainly has been seen to be done, but whose justice is served by it? His supporters see his campaign as justifiable because of the damage we have done to their belief system, to the countries they live in and, of course, our Christian heritage which the Madrasa teachers identify as an offence to God and Blasphemy. Citizens of the US feel that his death in some way brings “justice” to a close for the deaths of those who died in the attacks of 9/11 and perhaps they are justified in so thinking. After all, the scenes of mass rejoicing in cities and nations across the Middle East after those attacks appalled and sickened all of us, but we need to take care we do not sink to the same level.

We need to be concerned about the uprisings in the Arab world and North Africa because these are being and will be used, by radical fundamentalists, to seize the reins of power. We need to look carefully at the abuses and failures in all our societies which promote and encourage the rise of such organisations and the “causes” they claim to promote.

Now, more than ever, we need to exercise restraint and demonstrate that we do not regard the ordinary people there as the enemy. Nor do we have, as some seem to think, to give up everything our forefathers have worked and fought to create in our societies. We do need to reform and rethink some aspects and many of our current attitudes and practices, but we must also seek reconciliation rather than revenge if we are ever to find a solution.

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