On the one side you’ve got the most powerful resorting to the most primitive: bounties on four Haqqani Network officials like hanging wanted posters in saloons in frontier towns.
We claim the right to murder these people because they are violating one of our basic values: “Thou Shalt Not Kill’, or whatever wording is in your book. Claiming the right to revenge as a Sacred Value, higher even than one of God’s Commandments. Step over this line only in fear of your existence.
In the other corner we’ve got an Afghan Taliban outfit calling ‘foul’ at the cash-for-enemies offer. They claim it’s a shameful practice.
Claiming the offering of rewards violates a basic limit on acceptable combat: one does not offer rewards in lieu of direct battle. It’s beyond the unquestionable limit of acceptability. A sacred limit; a Sacred Value.
The just-begun public war on ISIS pits the Sacred Values of one group against the Sacred Values of another. Each sees the other in a dehumanized form, fundamentalist thought abounds on both sides, and levels of intransigence are quickly revealed.
There is no known method for moving this process to non-violence. And it only partly calming to easily predict IS’s diminishing influence. They are up against forces that can expand to extremely high levels of effectiveness. They have no allies as a result of their exclusiveness. They will fall to extinction or fade away as so many others before them. Think Anarchists in the 1920s, the Red Brigades of the 70s…
ISIS will no doubt be replaced by a group espousing the same or another cause, popping up in the same or another place, probably with improved techniques, to take the media spotlight again.
August 25, 2014 by Bruce Wallace, 121Contact