In my previous post, I asked what the West can do about Islamic State, other than waging war on them.
The answer begins with a simple, but difficult change of approach on our part. Instead of seeing them as terrorists, think of them as people who do terrorism. If you think of them as people, some of whom at least may not have gone out intending to kill innocents, then you start to see possible ways of starting to defuse the threat they pose, by draining their support. (Some of these are already being advocated, or even done, despite their lack of appeal to the media, because, I hope, many of those set over us don’t actually believe the rhetoric they feed to the tabloids.) For example:
Once you think of the enemy as human, strategies for dealing with him open up. They involve a lot of effort, some of it painful and much of it counter-intuitive. But they have two great advantages over blitzing him, his neighbours and his kids. (Or demonising him, which makes the blitzing more probable – whatever the government says about “no boots on the ground”.) These strategies are a lot less striking, from a media perspective, and they make our leaders look much less aggressively heroic; but they reduce the risk of British soldiers dying. And, unlike aggressive heroism, they might reduce the risk to civilians too.
If these posts have resonated with you, and you would like to know more, my book Cruelty offers more information.
Copyright @neurotaylor 2014.