ISIS. The West takes the bait.

 

Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic have responded to Friday’s terror attacks in Paris by calling to close their countries’ doors to Syrian refugees and framing the fight against the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, as a “clash of civilizations.”

But shutting out refugees and creating a hostile environment for Western Muslims won’t help Europe and the U.S. defeat the extremists who wrought terror in Paris. In fact, such a strategy is likely to make the U.S. and its allies more vulnerable, not safer. Here are three approaches policymakers have embraced since Friday’s attacks that would actually play into the hands of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

 

1. Contribute to radicalization by keeping refugees out

The 26 U.S. governors who are calling on the federal government to reject Syrian refugees have cited concerns about a refugee committing a terror attack.

Authorities found the passport of a man who crossed into Europe as a refugee from Syria near the body of one of the Paris suicide bombers, though it is not at all clear that the bomber was, in fact, a refugee. But even if one Syrian refugee did participate in the attacks, shutting out additional Syrians makes it more likely that extremism will take hold among them.

Josh Hampson argues in The Hill that keeping Syrian refugees in the Middle Eastern countries where they are currently concentrated increases the probability that they will grow susceptible to radicalization. He cites a 2013 study on the links between refugee resettlement and extremism, which found that the two greatest indicators of whether resettled refugees will commit acts of terror are poor living conditions and a lack of hospitable treatment in their host countries.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees found that “loss of hope and appalling living conditions” are motivating Syrian refugees to leave Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Egypt for Europe. It’s easy to see, then, why shutting refugees out of the West could breed more extremism. Hampson says it is urgent that the West enable Syrian refugees to re-settle in places where they will be less vulnerable to radicalization.

 

2. Play into the Islamic State’s narrative by alienating Western Muslims

Characterizing the fight with the Islamic State as a “clash of civilizations” strengthens the group in another key way: That’s exactly the framing the group depends on. One of the goals of attacks like the one in Paris is to provoke an overreaction that will make some Muslims in the West feel that Islam is inherently irreconcilable with the culture of the countries they live in.

“This kind of nativism is used to show that the West does not uphold its own standards — that it favors its own type,” said Christopher Swift, a national security expert at Georgetown and author of the forthcoming book, The Fighting Vanguard: Local Insurgencies in the Global Jihad. “It reinforces the ‘clash of civilizations’ narrative that groups like ISIS use to make a political rapprochement between different religious groups impossible.”

At least six of the Paris attackers identified by the French government were European nationals.

“France has long had a problem with integrating its Muslim population, and France does have a disproportionately high contribution of foreign fighters to ISIS,” Brookings Institution scholar Shadi Hamid previously told HuffPost. “So there’s a deeper issue here and it hasn’t gotten better, it’s only gotten worse.”

Swift added that ISIS would portray a drastic Western reaction as “Exhibit A that the crusaders are turning against” Muslims living in the West.

 

3. Give up a crucial natural advantage over the militants

The Islamic State has been very disappointed by the flow of refugees to Europe, because it undermines the narrative that the group provides a safe haven for global Muslims.

In this way, the efforts by some European nations to accommodate Syrian refugees have helped to bridge some of the perceived divide between the West and the Muslim world that Swift describes.

“The reality is, The Islamic State (IS) loathes that individuals are fleeing Syria for Europe,”wrote Aaron Zelin, an expert on jihadist groups. “It undermines IS’ message that its self-styled Caliphate is a refuge, because if it was, individuals would actually go there in droves since it’s so close instead of … risking their lives through arduous journeys that could lead to death en route to Europe.”

Zelin goes on to cite a dozen statements from Islamic State leaders warning refugees against heading to Europe or other “infidel” lands.

Conversely, if Europe and the United States were to shut out Syrian refugees, they would be foregoing an advantage they have over the Islamic State group.

 

(Source: The Huffington Post)

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Woody Harrelson: Thoughts from Within

“The profit motive has permeated all activity[…], if you want a Revolution, a communal evolution, maybe I’ll see you around”.

A lineup of powerful thoughts from Woody Harrelson as he points out the mistakes of our modern civilization in this short 3 minute video.

 

No More Deployment! Say the US Military

A reflection on the United States of America foreign policies and military action by Michael Prysner an Iraq war veteran.

Michael Prysner is an American political activist.He is the co-founder of March Forward!, an organization of active-duty members of the US military and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict that encourages current active duty service personnel to resist deployment. Michael was arrested in Occupy Los Angeles in November 2011. He was released after posting bail. (source: wikipedia)

“We came to conclude that we had more to do with the Iraqi people than with the billionaires who sent us to war…”

“Love should rule the World”

To celebrate peace here are 11 blissful inspirations praying that cases like the Boston explosions or the plot to attack in Toronto come to an end. The first ten were posted and chosen by the team at care2:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-best-peace-songs.html

The last is one of most touching songs that i recall from my childhood. I felt heartbroken every time i would listen to Nadim. I present you all with this relic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2VCwBzGdPM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VILqFtrzBxA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZeKT0UctOQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d8C4AIFgUg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlXeLgfBaT4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cTGdJz9-uA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWbNdczXdig

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHEOF_rcND8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xATrRyBjexM

A More Efficient and Humane Economic System

Peter Joseph interview by The Young Turks. This enlightening back and forth discussion sheds some lights on human development and sustainability topics such as the unproductive nature of the financial system, the unfairness of the free market, the fallacies of capitalism and democracy, the deep inter-mesh of interests between government, business and war, the transition to a resource-based economic system and a short description of this new system. A sure stride into changing the world and human coexistence for better.

The Great Dictator, by Charles Chaplin

There have been a few truly great speeches recorded throughout human history. Here is one by Charles Chaplin in his 1940 movie “The Great Dictator”. The message remains apropos.

 

I’m sorry. I don’t want to be an emperor, that’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I would like to help everyone if possible. Jew, gentile, black man or white. We all want to help one another, human being are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the good Earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind, we think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity, more than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without this qualities life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together, the very nature of this inventions cries out to the goodness in Men, cries out for the universal brotherhood and the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world. Millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us in but the passing of greed. The bitterness of men will fear the way of human progress. The hate of Men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers, don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and slave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to this unnatural men, machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are MEN. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate. Only the unloved hate. The unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Lucas it is written “The Kingdom of God is within Men”, not in one men or a group of men, but in all men, in you, you the People have the power! The power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the People have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power, let us all unite! Lets us fight for a new world. A decent world that will give men the chance to work, that will give you the future and old age a security. By the promess of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie, they do not fulfill their promess, they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promess, let us fight to free the world. To do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world were science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

 

Original Media:

(from “The Great Dictactor” by Charles Chaplin)