Know the “enemy”

It’s interesting to go to international English language newspapers.

With the Internet being borderless, you can learn things from different perspectives. Especially in war and conflict.

I’ve learned some of the enticements ISIS gives to get Taliban fighters to join it in Afghanistan. One is to “join the winning team.” Another is “the West hates Muslims.”

That Syrian media portrays Bashar al-Assad as hugely popular and well-loved.

When Russia was making bombing attacks in Syria, the Russian use of the Iranian airbase was controversial in the Iranian parliament. Iran has a constitutional provision that prohibits it from allowing foreign armies to deploy on Iranian soil.

Brazil is undergoing a political crisis far beyond the impeachment of the president. Due to corruption charges against many of its politicians.

The Palestinians are following proceedings in the International Criminal Court about crimes committed during the Gaza conflict by both sides. Israel rejects the court’s authority.

The local paper glossed over the players in a recent terrorist attack from Gaza. In Israel, a non-Hamas group claimed responsibility, but the paper said “Israel holds Hamas responsible….” so that the U.S. paper didn’t have to explain the messy details of the Gaza conflict where there are multiple actors.

The contrast between the Chinese culture and the U.S. culture was an interesting subtext of the Shanghai Daily. It seemed to me that even though China has over a billion people, the articles have a “small-town” feel to me. The local, small-town paper, The Star in DeKalb County Indiana has plenty of stories of conflict and disunity in the U.S.

Fearing America’s Legacy of Violence

[I posted a version of this earlier and deleted it out of timidity.]

The fear of accepting refugees because they might repeat the Paris attacks doesn’t make sense to me. Fanning the flames of fear is an easy way to promote policies that let the powerful increase their power.

We have a fear of terrorists from the Middle East, but the fear mongers forget the terrorist incidents in the U. S. with American perpetrators. There is a long list of shooters in this country who have killed multiple victims. People apparently don’t remember the university shootings this fall, let alone the Charleston Church Massacre, Virginia Tech and many others. Colorado Springs has seen two separate multiple fatality shootings within a month.

Now, Sandy Hook is part of the American legacy of violence. There’s no evidence that there won’t be more attacks by Americans on Americans.

Opposing refugees by promoting fear is a low-cost, highly effective way of winning political points with people who already are afraid of “them.” Who “they” are changes from decade to decade. When we fear “them”, we help destroy freedom in the name of freedom.