The BBC gives a little more background –
” Islamic State has become synonymous with viciousness – beheadings, crucifixions, stonings, massacres, burying victims alive and religious and ethnic cleansing.
While such savagery might seem senseless to the vast majority of civilised human beings, for IS it is a rational choice. It is a conscious decision to terrorise enemies and impress and co-opt new recruits.”
How does one deal with the grotesquery and horror that is going on in Syria/Iraq? The ISIL show executions are delivered to social media with frightful regularity. Mass executions, beheadings, and now people being burnt alive – where does this end?
This sort of behaviour is a lose/lose scenario for everyone involved. The banality of such cruelty will not go unpunished, but in doing so the seeds for the next ISIL will be sown.
Can we be satisfied with calling this cruel face of religious extremism therefore justifying dealing with ISIL with extreme prejudice? I mean, why the hell not? How can we *not* rally against people who burn people alive and stone people, and behead people, and…
The ISIL problem is just too damn big.
Focusing just one one aspect of the ISIL be it the religious, or the political or the economics of the situation just isn’t enough. Yet tackling all aspects of those questions is a dissertation level job at least and that simply won’t do either. I went for a walk on this one and came back with this:
We, in the world, need a powerful international body to settle disputes and mitigate the internecine conflicts that crop up the world over. The irrelevance the United Nations of today is a major factor that contributes to the hepped-up, uni-polar gunboat diplomacy that has become the new normal in this age of American Exceptionalism.
Rules are just words on a page if the most powerful nation on earth refuses to follow them. The International Court of Justice, the UN, hell even the Geneva Conventions are supposed to be venerated and respected world institutions that would allow nations to mediate their disputes before they have to shed innocent blood to resolve their disputes. The fact that they are not respected by the US essentially neuters these institutions/ideas and sets the stage for the slow-brew of anarchy we are currently experiencing.
We’re doing the unilateral thing for awhile now, and we should reflect to see what it has brought us. Security? Peace? Justice? I’d have to say no on all three counts.
We do not have security we have a security state – a state of affairs (in Canada at least) that borders on making certain thoughts illegal and therefore punishable by law. The US is much farther down the Orwellian rabbit hole with the unaccountable NSA and Homeland Security merrily shredding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
We do not have peace, we have, and will continue to have, a series of escalating conflicts over the remainder of the world’s resources whether it be oil, water or living space. People with big sticks will make the rules in their favour, this will make the majority that are disenfranchised rebel against the system – the bullies will clamp down with terror and death – the disenfranchised will die, and their resolve will double and rebellion will continue – repression will increase… We have no peace, we have a hegemonic cycle that provides a cheap gilded imitation of peace, but in reality is just a mask for imperial ambitions and avarice.
Justice? Justice across the world right now is a labyrinthine maze of deciept. The nations that have had strong traditions of law and justice are being corrupted by powerful interests that see Law as unjust impediment on the act of making money. Nations that should be setting the gold standard for legal accountability and ethical practice instead wallow in the ruins of a once tenable system. The robber-barons, the arch capitalists – they set the rules now, warping justice to fit their perverted aspirations to the detriment of the common people. We have the glitzy version of justice, just enough to hide the venal rot it is composed of.
This unipolar hell that is our legacy at the moment needs to be dismantled, because the only thing that replaces empire – is another empire. Let me assure you that we do not want to be on the business end of another empires stick. We might see the benefit of a strong international body when we no longer have the capacity to project power and our future is in the hands of others.