Sunday, December 21, 2014

Getting Radicalized

I write this entry still in the firm belief that "Islamicism" is not a genuine threat to the well-being of most Canadians, let alone to Canada's continued existence. It's far less of a problem than misogyny. 

I'll take it as a given that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and his attack on Parliament Hill with a hunting rifle, was the act of mentally-ill man who had been a heavy drug user and was not a "false flag" operation. In the same spirit, I'll accept that he really did convert to Islam and oppose US and Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East and support the Islamic militants fighting in Syria, the way the media reports many people saying of him.

I'll assume that Martin Rouleau really had converted to Islam and called himself Ahmad the Converted, and that he deliberately ran over those two soldiers, killing Patrice Vincent, as an act of "war" against the West.

I'll assume that Canadian men really are flocking to Syria to fight Assad, and/or the Shiite government of Iraq and/or US infidel imperialists and/or Canadian infidel-imperialists and/or the Kurds.

So what's up with all of this?

Well, the "Great War on Terror" has been a big deal since 2001. It's now nearing the close of 2014. World War II lasted less than half that time. The Japanese went from being non-entities to most US-Americans to becoming vile, racist creatures to be exterminated.

This conflict has been going on long enough to have started to make inroads into the broader culture. At the beginning, we had Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda. At the time of 2001, bin Laden was a guest of Afghanistan's Taliban. Both Al Qaeda and the Taliban were fall-out from or consequences of US support for the Mujaheddin against the Soviet Union. This produces the US invasion of Afghanistan and all the "clash of civilizations" inherent in that. This also produces the US invasion of Iraq, and gives Al Qaeda a new lease on life. More "clash of civilizations."

Surprisingly (given the supposed fact that the fight against terrorism is the great struggle of our times) the USA also allows the arming and funding of Islamic militants in Libya, against the secular dictatorship of Mommar Qaddafi. His government is brought down, Qaddafi is tortured and killed and Libya falls into chaos, with fanatical sectarians fighting against regional groups and fellow co-religionists and US stooges and others. Bloody chaos.

Surprisingly (not really by this point, nor to anyone who has been observing these abominations with a clear head from the beginning), the US provides an opportunity for militant Sunnis to attack the secular Baathist Assad dictatorship in Syria. Things get a little out-of-control (for the USA) as the Saudi-Arabia and Qatari-backed Sunni militants attack Shiite-dominated Iraq too.

And then there's been the whole horrible Israel-Palestine thing that has more monstrous and polarizing as the decades advanced.

So, this has been a long, drawn-out struggle. But what if one looks upon all of this, not as a "radicalized" tool of Western imperialism (who then signs up for the US, British, Canadian, etc., military to go and kill degenerate Ay-Rab Moozlums) but as something else?

For instance; What sort of person switches religions? I mean, ALL religion is complete bullshit, right? So, if you're indoctrinated in a certain religion from infancy, most people lazily conform to its basic premises until they die. Some people (e.g., drug addicts) get "saved" by embracing a more intensive version of their first religious delusion to give some meaning to their useless, wasted lives. But what sort of person decides to abandon the delusions of their parents for a new delusion?

That takes a special sort of person. (I'll say it takes more "thought" to do that, but I don't want to imply that it's sound thinking.)

So there's that.

What if you're already a Muslim and you see your people targeted and abused in this country by (mainly) adherents of an infidel delusion? What if, instead of going online and going to sites that cheer-on "the troops" in Iraq or Afghanistan, and which portray the enemy as the insane Taliban and the insane Al Qaeda and the insane ISIS, you go online and visit sites that praise the heroic Afghan resistance, and the heroic "freedom fighters" in Iraq, Libya and Syria? Sites that present the barbarism of the US/NATO occupations for what they are?

You'd end up as a Muslim-radical version of the spittle-flecked, rage-a-holic Terry Glavin. Except your "radicalization" would be frowned upon here, as opposed to being given a respectful national hearing.

Most sane, normal people, see all of this and just want the violence and tragedy to end. (Especially those who make the connections between the USA's cynical use of Islamic militants and the subsequent propaganda campaigns against them.) In the beginning, the "terrorist threat" in Canada was basically non-existent. ALL of the Canadian citizens CSIS (and/or the USA's intelligence services) had tortured abroad were found to have been innocent. It is my belief that ALL of the non-citizens imprisoned under "security-certificates" were found to have been innocent and the cases against them ludicrous.

The "Toronto 18" was a joke. Some Muslim-Canadian boys were blowing smoke on the internet and the RCMP sent a cocaine-addicted informant to entrap them with a ludicrous plot to attack Parliament Hill with swords and blow-up Bay Street with explosives (provided by the RCMP). Even the informant himself told the judge who ruled on the case that a number of the young men involved had no inkling about what was going on. Their appearance at his "terrorist training camp" had been presented to them as a fitness/religious retreat. To no avail. The judge said that they were "associated" with this enterprise and therefore guilty under the legislation.

After ten years of warfare on the side of the Americans, two men plotted to blow-up a train. Serious stuff. But nonetheless, a product of our foreign policy, not a reason for it (as the cretinous coward stephen harper would have it).

But now we DO have the sorts of Muslim radicals the right-wing and the intelligence complex have been shrieking about for over a decade. And now, because of this, we'll have more and more brain-dead pundits droning on about how these young men have become "radicalized."

If it isn't clear already, I believe that stephen harper is "radicalized." I believe that every slimy inhabitant of the right-wing internet community who spews out the wish that we drop nuclear missiles on Middle Eastern cities has been "radicalized." Young men (and women) who sign-up to fight the "War on Terror" have "radicalized." And now, after 13 years of war, we have a few men who have been "radicalized" by the other side.

And it's not black magic. You don't go to a web-site with a cheap graphic of some ISIS flags waving identically on its homepage and then "DOINK!" you're brainwashed. When you have repeated acts of gratuitous barbarism, year after year, and you have shit-head US generals saying "My God was bigger than his God" and mindless adherents of the Christian delusion (or atheists bigots like Sam Harris and Bill Maher) deriding your faith and cheering on these assaults, ... and you're a certain kind of young male, you'll get "radicalized."

What about the danger? If those two guys seriously planned to blow-up a VIA train, that was serious. But, as I said, it would have been a CONSEQUENCE of our foreign policy. The proponents of the imperialist project masquerading as the "War on Terror" would be partly to blame for it. But young men who burn their Canadian passports to fight in Syria? They burned their passports. They're a threat to Assad, not us. The "Toronto 18"? Not a threat. The Canadian men tortured by proxy by CSIS? Not a threat. The landed-immigrants/permanent residents oppressed by security certificates? Not a threat (from what i can recall of the reporting and analysis).

What we have here is an evil, idiotic conflict. Less people have been "radicalized" enough to support the other side, but they're just buying into the same evil that harper embraces and promotes.


Purple library guy said...

The phenomenon of angry young men deciding that the outlet for their anger is to turn violent Muslim fills me with shame for the left.
What happened to the days when angry young men, seeking the antithesis of the vicious status quo, would naturally look to the radical Left, the revolutionary commie pinko anarchist radicals? What happened to the days when it was the threat of revolutionary social change that was the enemy which kept the establishment fearful and ranting?

Nobody would be turning to dingbat Islamism as rebellion if the left weren't so bloody supine. Betcha in Spain nobody is turning to IS--if you're mad as hell in Spain, you're joining Podemos where there's a chance of making a real difference!

thwap said...


I think the sorts of young men going to Syria to fight for their fucked-up religious delusions are the sort of guys who would have been more comfortable with Franco than with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War.

But I agree with your use of the word "supine" and about how the elites don't appear to be too fearful of the Left these days.

Purple library guy said...

Mm, no, the point to me is the conversion part. These kids didn't start out as Muslims, let alone "radical" ones. Seems to me what we're looking at is young men/boys who started out pissed off and upset and aimless, because our society is annoying and upsetting and provides few aims. And they're young guys with lots of testosterone and little sense.

So at some level, they were going "Where do I go, what do I do to fight back? Who's against all this crap I don't like?" and the media obligingly provided the answer "ISIS and the fundamentalist Muslims". So they decided to be one of those. But if the left were relevant and threatening, it would be the left that disaffected people would look to for rebellion. Not apparently being the brightest of bulbs these particular lads wouldn't understand the left very well once they joined up, but a mass grass-roots left should have room for not-so-bright people.

thwap said...

Ha! Perhaps we're better off then!

I remember hanging out with an anarchist dude in Hamilton during the Mike Harris years. There was a teachers' strike on.

Me, him and about 5 teeny-boppers. The first week, he explained about the system and anarchism.

The second week, he told us we were revolutionaries and proposed some actions for the next week.

The third week, I was the only other person who showed up. He mumbled something about how we were stronger without the dead wood. Then I think we went and got lunch somewhere.