Friday, 5 September 2014

Dulce et decorum est

A hundred years on from the Great War, another cohort of youngsters ardent for some desperate glory is discovering that war's not that great after all:
One jihadist, claiming to represent 30 others who feel the same way, contacted university researchers in the past fortnight to say there is a feeling of disillusionment, as some who travelled to fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime are instead being forced to get involved in in-fighting among rebel groups.
He told the researchers: "It's not what we came for but if we go back (to Britain) we will go to jail. Right now, we are being forced to fight - what option do we have?" 
Irish Independent

Now this could be confirmation bias on my part, but it does tie in with a couple of things I've suspected from the start:
  1. The fighting in Iraq and Syria is a clear and present danger to the people living there,* but the much-hyped threat of hordes of radicals coming back to Blighty to murder us all in our beds at home is self-interested fearmongering by the usual suspects.
  2. The rush towards passport-snatching and state-sponsored re-education camps (AKA "de-radicalisation") is a counter-productive waste of resources by an unholy alliance of politicians eager to be seen to be doing something (preferably something "tough"), securocrats, self-appointed "community leaders" and "experts" and platitude-wielding members of the "British Values" brigade. An alliance that looks set to undo the good work of disillusioned Jihadis coming back to spread stories of Isil's lies and futile waste by alienating them from their home country, or re-framing their sobering reality checks as official propaganda (welcome back to the low-trust society).

*A danger that the US and its allies probably can't reduce by simply throwing a few extra bombs into the mix and hoping for the best. By the way, did Bill Kristol's infamous remarks remind anyone else of abbot Amalric's instructions before the massacre at B├ęziers ('Kill them all, God will know His own')? Better to have no strategy than Amalric's strategy, IMHO.