France’s and Isis’ spiral of one-way terror and destruction

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The Paris attacks of Friday 13 came as a windfall to hardliners who still believe that the solution in the Middle East is military. We are now seeing the impact of such a mistaken policy in the way of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers coming to Europe this year and the terror attacks of Friday. 

Zoe Samudzi offers us poignant analysis of the terror that struck Paris:

“It is important to honor the individuals who were killed in these acts of violence, and central to honoring their deaths is ensuring that we understand why these attacks may have happened in an effort to prevent further human suffering.”

The big question, and a very effective one, is if we want to honor these individuals by understanding why such attacks took place in the first place.

It would be interesting to find out what percentage of Europeans, who are not driven by fear or feelings of blind revenge, believe what President Barack Obama said about the attacks and that they were against “all of humanity and the universal values we all share.”

Are those “universal values” that President Obama states include invading and sledgehammering other countries?

France, which has been one of the most bellicose countries against Syria, responded with a new wave of bombings shortly after the attacks in Paris. You don’t have to be an expert on the Middle East to understand that those bombings won’t solve anything except increase the number of deaths and amount of destruction.

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We need more sustainable solutions in the Middle East. Bombing is not one of them. Thank you Michael McEachrane for the heads-up.

When I rad about the violence and terrorism that gripped Paris, my memories slide back to the Latin America of the 1960s and 1970s. Back then, terror was spread by a number of groups: left-wing guerrillas, state terrorism, paramilitary groups and a long list of others.

In Argentina, the military junta, which promoted state terrorism, had synonyms for terrorism. Some of these were subversive delinquent but after the régime wiped out all of their enemies they came up with another one: potential terrorists, or people who could become terrorists or guerrillas.

Before and during the dirty war (1976-83), when some 30,000 people vanished due to the violence, young Argentineans faced some hard choices: join a guerrilla group and take up arms or lay low and tighten your lips. Many emigrated abroad.

For any person to be faced with such choices, to kill or shut up, shows the pathological state of a country. Matters, however, would have been different if Argentina would have had strong democratic institutions that respected human rights and was an inclusive society.

While fear is a common feeling that people carry when they live under an autocratic regime, it doesn’t mean that everyone takes up arms. Only a few do. Those that do have to make a hard decision: Is it ok to kill another person? Am I ok with this?

Those few that take up arms today do so for the same reasons that Argentineans did a few decades ago.

Instead of investing so much money blowing the Middle East to pieces and mixing in the region’s affairs, Europe should take a totally different approach to the problem. For one, it should give and guarantee those Muslims living in Europe opportunities to be treated with respect and as equal members of society.

By doing so Europe invests in a new road map that will forge a better future for the troubled region.

Those to whom we can show the best side of ourselves and of our society, which lives up to our noble values that are not based on social exclusion, Islamophobia and xenophobia,  we’ll promote trust instead of suspicion. Who know, those to whom we show our best side may be the future leaders of the Middle East and the ones that will bring peace to the region.