One person's thoughts may change the world
Al-Qaeda was or is a movement. It was an idea, spawned in the aftermath of removing the thumb of an individual off your back. The old Soviet Union was a thumb who had been on the backs of many people, the Poles, Ukrainians, East Germans, Estonia, Lithuania ( to whom I had a liking for a woman from there 25 years ago) and the Afghans’. It usually crushed rebellion by bringing in tanks then installing and backing puppet regimes. It worked for a while, but ended when they tried their old ways of subverting an enemy in Afghanistan. The East Germans and the Poles won their independence by educating their people of the issues and protesting in mass in a non-violent way. Would there be a risk of life doing this? Yes, but, they knew the world would be watching and they could affect change regardless of the consequences. Those brave souls initiated change.
If you look closely, the “movement” in Afghanistan is still going on. It has yet to move into the 20th century, let along the 21st. What they are failing to see in Afghanistan (the U.S. as well as the Afghans), is movements are won by non-violence, and not by violence, at least in today’s world. Today’s world is different from the revolutionary war which occurred in America in the late 1700s, which was a movement to get from under the thumb of the British. First, the British were unyielding at the time, and were not interested in placating any far-flung colony because of one thing, the British had to use force as an ultimate means to maintain control their empire when all negotiations were done. It was the only way because they were on an island, and their kingdom was all over the globe.
Today is different and it’s present in today’s environment of backing dictatorships, oil based economies and their political alliances, and new ideologies and countries created because of old aristocracies were swept away in the early 20th century.
AL-Qaeda partially lost or is losing because it chose violence to spur its movement; it slept with the serpent to get rid of the devil. The serpent wanted to give the devil some payback and give a little proxy war back to the devil. Given the topology of Afghanistan, its tribal community, acceptance of the Taliban, and history of war and violence, it might have seen no other way to do it. It took money from the U.S. to acquire weapons to fight the Soviet Union and won. As invigorating as it is to sleep with the devil, it now had to “deal” with the serpent. The serpent want more than just sleeping with you, it wants to become a part of you, or for you to be a part of it. It wants to get all up into your DNA and exploit you. It wants you to buy its weapons to feed your military, your state-run police, and allow private corporations in for exclusive contract for oil, gas, minerals and… opium.
So al-Qaeda, now is emboldened, wanting to now cut the head of satan for occupying Saudi Arabia, and drew in the snake to fight in Afghanistan. Little did he know how emboldened the United States was when he attacked the world trade center and the pentagon.
In the 50s and 60s the African-American movement, to which the freedom rides were recently celebrated were none violent protest, against, police dogs, racist officers, and racist politicians. But, they didn’t count on one thing, and that is television media, which broadcasted it into the homes of millions and was able to change mind of Jim Crow overnight, or at least in a few years without a huge amount of bloodshed. Trust me, many people died, or risked their life that I may be able to get equal education and write this blog today, but, there was no war or insurgency trying to fight for the African-American freedom with a gun. It was handled non-violently. When the Black Panthers took up arms or at least in J. Edgar Hoover’s mind, he declared them terrorists and “the greatest threat to internal security of the country”.
Huh? a security threat? The Black Panther Party original doctrine was the “The protection of African American neighborhoods from police brutality”. Their doctrine also espoused “Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace”. He declared this at a time that the KKK was still in prominent existence in this country. J. Edgar Hoover brought the full power of the FBI against the Black Panthers. He crushed the Black Panthers because he had to means to bug them and their facilities, pit them against each other, and use the fact that they carried guns ( which is perfectly legal ) to rationalize trying to assassinate them all.
Which leads to another movement: the Arab Spring in Syria. The anatomy of the movement is Syria is ongoing. Bashar al-Assad is the current president, inherriting the presidency from his father,Hafez al-Assad. Protests have been mounting, but, they have been suppressed by the government. Many, many people have been killed. They want political reforms and reinstatement of civil rights, which have been suspended since the government declared a state of emergency since 1963… WOW.
All of these ( and many more ) movements have a common theme that we seem to miss, and that is, the basic civil rights of the people have been taken away. The country is usually run by a political party who is not willing to relinquish power. And, the people who finally get fed up, demand change, but this time, at least initially, it’s a movement that is non-violent coming from the protesters.
Movements come and go, but the most are won not be the gun, but by the non-violent protest, which freed India in the 40’s, gave the African American in the United States true freedom in the 60’s, achieved freedom to the Poles in the 80s, and now breathing new life in the Arab World. I forgot, we also experienced the Tea
bagger, I mean tea party movement in this country. My only question is, where was your movement when President Bush was charging up wars and prescription medication for seniors without paying for it.
Perhaps we are due for a different kind of movement in the country that makes rational sense instead of political polarization….
Peace Mickey Fickey….