What would it take for you to leave everything and everyone that you love behind and join an organisation determined to shape the world in its own image?
I’m not sure I could join the US Army either.
One of my favourite sayings of all time is:
Understanding is a three edged sword.
- There is my side.
- There is your side.
- There is the truth.
This means that fundamentally the truth is always, always subjective. Things happen, but only through our perception and interpretation do we make sense of them.
Does a blind person care what colour the walls are painted? Does a deaf person care how load you play your music?
No. The reason being is that they cannot perceive these things, so from their point of view they are irrelevant. They cannot interpret them and so they are irrelevant.
It is the meaning that we place on a thing that gives it meaning.
Why is what I believe more valid than what you believe? It’s not. They are just opinions.
Our actions however, have consequences and we create rules to govern those actions to limit behaviour to what we deem to be acceptable.
So why is it that some actions are labelled as heroic and some actions are labelled as acts of terror?
Perception and interpretation.
In the west we believe we are just and pure, so we create super heros that reinforce this value belief system and we portray these ideas on television.
Looking at it from a different perspective, you then have to question what it would take for someone to leave a country like the UK to go and join ISIS.
Maybe from their point of view they see the west as evil and corrupt. After all America is the largest super power on the planet, but more importantly they own the keys to the vault. They invented capitalism and they invented the current fiat based monetary system. The control the rules of the game, so if you don’t like, tough. Put up or shut up. After all, if you don’t buy into the American dream, maybe you’re a communist?
The west currently views China as a potential threat. They have nuclear technologies including weapons. They have the largest population on earth and they have a fundamentally different ideology to us because they are communists. They are also rather secretive. They don’t let much information in and they don’t let much information out.
It could be argued that they have an appalling human rights policy and that people live in terrible conditions.
True, maybe, but then how come we accept the level of poverty that our society is subjected to? In the UK we have been lucky that for the last 60 years we have had a National Health Service that has made us the envy of the world over. America on the other hand, the riches nation on earth, does not provide its citizens with free health care. If you can’t pay in the US then I’m afraid you can’t come in and this is somehow seen as the fault of the individual for not working hard enough to pay for Medicare?
So they US have massive financial and military clout over the world. Does that mean that the rules by which we play are right?
We can’t opt-out of this system, even if we wanted to. We could try but we would still be constrained by the laws governing the land that we occupied. Indeed in order to opt-out we would most likely have to opt-in by purchasing the land in the first place.
My point is, whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not, you are part of a system and that system is designed to control you. Most importantly this system controls what you believe to be right and wrong. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it helps create social order, but it can limit our capacity to see beyond what we are told to be true, rather than what the truth actually is. Remember, the truth is always subjective and dependent on our perception and interpretation.
Here’s a question; if we are so afraid of terrorists then how come we sleep at night knowing the America has nuclear , weapons? After all, they are the only country to ever actually use the atomic bomb in anger.
Why is it okay for America to invade countries under the flag of liberation and then leave that country in a worse state than before they invaded it? It’s not just America, Russia are just as guilty as America and I’m sure us Brits aren’t too squeaky clean either, but why is offence considered an acceptable defence?
Why are innocent civilian death from US drone strikes and their invading armies considered ‘casualties of war’ whereas an ISIS soldier who kills an innocent US civilian is condemned as a terrorist?
Perception and interpretation.
What if the actions of the west actually led those ISIS soldiers to feel that they were so powerless that the only way they can fight back is to execute their own ‘casualties of war’?
I’m not saying either course of action and its affects are right. In my humble opinion I believe the minute either party picks up a weapon to fight, those actions are as equally questionable as those they oppose. If you walk down that path it always ends with an even bigger stick.
As Gandhi said:
You must be the change you want to see in the world.
There are obviously some people on this earth that feel that our western way of life is so immoral and corrupt that they are willing to die for what they believe in. I’m more interested in understanding their perspective and how they interpret life, rather than just labelling them as terrorist because they don’t conform to the same ideology as me.
Here’s 12 minutes of viewing that provides some interesting food for thought: