Trapped in a hole in the ground and begging for his life, yet another bully has met with his comeuppance. You have to wonder how many of the dictators around the world are sitting huddled in their den’s contemplating their own immortality right now as horrific pictures of Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi are beamed around the world.
Executed in swift fashion, dealt some of the mob justice, which I do not doubt he deserved, a once mighty leader was reduced to cowering in a sewer like the rat he really was. It has been a stunningly successful year for the various coalition forces around the world as first Osama bin Laden was knocked from his perch in Afghanistan, then there is the annihilation of their second in command Atiyah Abd al Rahman in August, and then again in September Anwar al Awlaki’s impact as the voice of Al Qaeda was wiped out in a drone attack in Yemen.
That’s two Libyan figureheads wiped off the face of the earth and several Al Qaeda leaders killed. In terms of terror this has to seriously hurt the ability of terror organisations that rely on the likes of Gaddafi for support and the propaganda hype that they generate. A serious impact on the leadership of Al Qaeda yes, but certainly does not eliminate the threat of an organisation that is cloaked in subterfuge.
I have never really understood the attraction of Al Qaeda. An organisation hell bent on fundamentalism and avoiding Western influence, it would seem that it does more to hurt its own people more than the world it hates.
An arm of Islamic religion, the fundamentalist ethos goes completely against the tolerance and peaceful nature of true Islamic beliefs. I am struck when I read that one of the key issues with fundamentalists is the fact that Western people are occupying Arab lands forcefully. Examples sited are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq and a few other Arab nations. Out of the main ones mentioned, the only one that I can see that Western troops occupied forcefully is Iraq. In all the other theatre’s of occupation, Westerners are resident by invite just like Arab’s are welcome to be resident in our nations.
At no time do Islamic fundamentalists point to the fact that it is harmful for Islamic Arabs to live in Western cultures. Let’s consider that our presence in Arab nations is so unacceptable to the fundamentalist’s theology then it stands to reason that living in the heart of the Western Christian society is sinful and wrong as it completely exposes Arabs to the temptations and sinful ways of Western culture. Why therefore do we find more mosques in the UK than Synagogues?
The reality is that Arab culture is more comfortable in the moderate, accepting, tolerant Western society that it is in its own back yard. Islamic Arabs living in the UK are able to live as human beings, enjoying the rights and protections of the Declaration of Human Rights. They appreciate with acquiescence that our Western beliefs allow them to practice their religion without prejudice, live without persecution, work or learn without discrimination and live within society as a useful and productive members of our community.
This is in stark contrast to Westerners who reside in Arabic nations. Confined to compounds for their own safety or more believably to ostracise them from the local population Westerners are not allowed to integrate with nationals.
Visitors working in Arabic nations have their passports taken and held to ensure that workers cannot fall into debt and leave the country without settling their accounts. Westerners are educated separately and are never allowed to participate in Arabic society in the way an Arab person would in a Western nation.
A Westerner is very defiantly not allowed to practice their spiritual belief freely. Christians are not allowed to build a place of worship in an Arab nation, and they are most defiantly not allowed to evangelise in an Arab nation.
Talk about hypocrisy! However it is not double standards that I was pausing to consider. No I was more wondering how it was that Al Qaeda has become so popular. Lets consider what an Islamic Arab has to look forward to.
They are brought up in a strict religious environment, made to pray multiple times every day, force fed religious text as part of the learning syllabus. Woman are prevented in many places from being educated, are forced to dress in odd manners, do not participate in any form of social capacity, and in many cases are to be hardly ever seen and never heard.
Laughter is not allowed in public, you either are part of the wealthy elite or part of the common people. There is no middle ground. It is illegal for Westerners to own land in many Arabic states, not something peculiar throughout the world these days, but again in contrast to the freedoms granted to Arabs in Western nations.
Arabs very defiantly do not enjoy the freedoms of the Declaration of Human Rights. Woe that you should be gay in an Islamic country. Choose a life of crime and you pay heavily for this transgression. Be a woman caught in adultery and face the humiliation of being stoned in public while your lover gets away scot free.
Many Arab and Islamic nations live under dictatorship where freedom of choice and freedom of expression are not permitted. Everyone lives under a cloud of suspicion and fear. The internal police and secret services act with impunity, and people are subjected to a life of fear and intimidation, where simply thinking the wrong thing could get you killed. Women face the reality of forced marriage. Love and emotion are something you are not allowed to display in public. Is this the life you choose freely? Is this what anyone would openly agree as their way of life if they were openly allowed to make an informed choice?
So, how then can we really become the enemy? Is the Arabic hatred of the West really some complex issue that we fail to fully understand or is it merely something as simple as jealousy? Is it that fundamentalist Islamic theologians seen the West as a corrupting force throughout the world? Or is it something a little more sinister?
Jealousy, very possibly a reason or part of the overall reason, but a little too simplistic to stand up to the ferocity and complete hatred that is aimed at Western Society by the fundamentalists. So do they really consider us to be the evil that threatens their world order? Possibly, but again I am not convinced that this explanation could stand up to scrutiny when you consider that Western culture openly embraces Islamic practicing Arabs into their society.
What if it was all about money? Maybe simplistic if you think about it, maybe far too simple to warrant proper consideration, but I am reminded that no matter what the cost to humanity, war makes money. War makes rich, powerful people even more rich and powerful. People that have claws in dark and evil places which normal laypeople wouldn’t even consider. Claws that manipulate and control people in ways we could not begin to understand or consider.
What would drive someone to fly an airplane laden with passengers into buildings filled with civilians? What could cause such desensitisation that members of our own society could stage an act of terrorism against innocent commuters who committed no crime other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and what causes the leaders of these mean to consider that such grievous acts of violence against innocent non combatants is acceptable rules of engagement?
It has been only recently that we have seen the true nature of the power that wealthy people wield. A perfect example of this is the fiasco that recently surrounded News International. It is only the fact that such transgressions occurred in a democratic nation where the public still maintain some level of control and can hold their leaders to some sort of accountability that a type of justice was brought to bare.
You only have to stop and analyse the power that some drug lords have from their strong holds in South America. Places like Mexico or indeed across the globe in Burma are almost completely controlled by drug lords and their death squads. Are the people used as hit men really killers that have no care for human life? No the reality is that these thugs we refer to as drug lord’s prey on vulnerable people of circumstance. People brought to a desperate place by poverty, hunger and intimidation, people that are almost left with no opportunity other than choosing to work for the drug barons.
The sad fact is that these individuals that make up the private armies of drug barons never enjoy the fruits of the risk they run in being the strong arm of the cartel. They are manipulated and coerced into being something that they really are not. It is this ability to gain control over vulnerable people that allows drug cartels to hide behind people that really don’t deserve to be in the position that they find themselves when the long arm of the law descends on them.
My theory is that Al Qaeda are not much different from these South American drug rings. It is not an unknown fact that Osama bin Laden used the proceeds of Afghan Heroin to fund the actions of Al Qaeda. It is also openly known that Osama was once seen as an ally of the West as they funded him in his battle against the communist USSR invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980’s.
During this time Osama enjoyed the substantial wealth he had from his roots in Saudi Arabia, the millions poured into his coffers by the American Administration, and the proceeds of millions of dollars from his Heroin exports. As the USSR broke down in the 1990’s and the Cold War in effect came to an end, Afghanistan suddenly became less attractive to the Russian warlords and so funding from his US bosses began to dry up.
It is never long for the free Western Press to find a story and it was when people began to read that the drug trade was the core funding of the Islamic Al Qaeda movement that bin Laden and his organisation became a thorn in the US Administration’s side and funding from the US completely evaporated. Cut off and isolated as a result of his drug operation, it is not unimaginable to believe that bin Laden felt abandoned. Could this be the real reason for his vendetta against the West?
Was it something as simple as our loathing of drug barons that sparked the global terror movement? But fundamentalism is born of a religious movement I hear you say. Yes I would agree that Islamic fundamentalism uses the Islamic faith as it’s guise to hide the reality that ultimately the core operation of Al Qaeda is infact all about the movement and sale of drugs.
Al Qaeda could very well be an organisation of drug lords that cleverly use a religious fanaticism to hide their true identity as drug barons. Hiding behind an army of fanatics that are coached and brain washed into believing that they are fighting a holy war against the influence of the West, when infact their leaders are in reality practicing the very essence of Western capitalism behind their backs.
Could it not be that something as simple as the power and control of the Heroin trade through the world is at the very centre of the terror campaign that Al Qaeda wages on the human race. I mean it seems to me that they don’t really care who they are killing as long as they are killing. Terror on a global scale is their aim, and even if that terror is levelled against their own people, it keeps the focus away from what they are really trying to protect.
The millions of dollars that they make every year through the export of illegal drugs to the Western world is far too great a loss to incur for the leaders of Al Qaeda to allow focus to fall on their true operation. The billions of dollars that the Western world makes as a result of the War on Terror means that it is in our interest to turn a blind eye to the reality of the problem and instead go after militant groups fighting a guerrilla war that we clearly have no hope of winning.
It seems to me that all too often society has to find the confusing and complex meanings to problems that in reality are very simple in their nature. As society we never get to the bottom of these issues, nor do we find solutions to them as we are always seeking to make difficult decisions about something we don’t completely understand when we should really be looking at the basics. If something appears to be far too difficult to comprehend then really we should be thinking again. It is human nature to seek to simplify things. When something is too complex or too hard to undertake on a regular basis then it is fair to assume that the people involved in doing it are going to get it wrong. Keep it simple stupid, remember?
I cannot help but wonder if the same principle can be applied as I’ve laid out in this blog. Is all the fuss about Al Qaeda just a smoke screen for some rather greedy and very materialistic, powerful people who hide cleverly behind vulnerable people, easily manipulated by their hunger to have something to believe in, to make more money? Are we all going on about and spending ourselves into oblivion for something as basic as a battle against drugs, and if this is the case, wouldn’t it be prudent to think again about our approach to drug control? Something to consider for another time, I am sure that I’ll be writing in the future about alternative methods to control the scourge of drugs in our society and maybe put an even greater dent in the side of Al Qaeda.