The recent few days have seen horrific suicide bombings in Iraq where innocent bystanders such as children have been murdered. These attacks have gone beyond resistance to American occupation. What could be the underlying cause?
Pause for a minute before we trot out the Bush-Blair mantra about these people loving violence and wanting to hurt people. Even serial killers have a driving need, with some actually wanting to be caught while some had some traumatic childhood problems, like paedophilic uncles or stepfathers buggering them, etc and thus, in their troubled minds, wanting to strike out in revenge.
One must consider this reality. Leaving aside the genuine insurgent resistance and the criminal kidnapping for money, the terrorist events have been committed by all sides, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds (and don’t forget the American military, except they termed their misbehaviour as military operations or anti-insurgency strikes).
The Kurds now enjoy the protection of the Americans so we would be unlikely to hear very much about their atrocities – a recent one was the confinement of 12 bricklayers in a metallic police van for 14 hours until 9 died from suffocation and the other 3 in serious conditions. Have they been punished?
The Shiites don’t want the Americans so they aren’t that accommodating to the US, although Ahmad Chalabi, an American not-so-stupid stooge has been placed among them to preserve American interests. But they frighten the Sunnis because of the possibility of Shiites in Iraq and Iran getting too chummy and banding up against the group identified with old Saddam. Even the Americans are worried about a Shiite “crescent” menacing Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf oil-producing countries..
The Sunnis have been the most marginalised. Identified with Saddam Hussein, regardless of whether they had been in cahoots, they are detested by the Shiites and Kurds, and prosecuted by the American military. Needless to say, they intend to make things untenable for everyone. It’s the old story of (1) wake up and take notice of me or else, and (2) if we go down, everyone goes down too.
Unless they are brought into the fold, we may expect more of such turbulent violence.
Looking around the world, we see in Sri Lanka the Tamils as a marginalised society, left politically, economically and socially aside by the Sinhalese majority. So what do they do - a bit of terrorising!
The Palestinians are the classic example of a marginalised people, not only robbed and bullied by successive Israeli governments but ignored by the US Administration until only recently. And many Americans and even some Malaysians think they are a violent people for no reason.
In southern Thailand we have the same story of marginalisation, affecting the Muslims. There are the Kurds in Turkey and the Montagnards in Vietnam.
The last, the Montagnards, were the allies of the American military during the Vietnam War so there isn’t exactly any love between the Vietnamese government and them. I saw a TV documentary showing how the American government cruelly abandoned them after the US decided to pull out of Vietnam. In fact, after the war , they actually kept fighting believing the Americans would return soon. How cruel it must be to eventually learn they have been on their own for many years. Only some former US Special Forces people, who were so loyal to their former allies, made enormous efforts to save and protect the hill people. Have they been terrorising the Vietnamese? If they did, it had largely been unreported except for the part when they continued fighting after the US left the shores of Vietnam.
I am not sure what the solution may be, but obviously a powerful nation like the USA in cooperation with Russia and Europe can guarantee some inclusiveness in areas like the Middle-East to ameliorate the acrimony. But that’s easier said than done because these powerful players have been the cause of the problems in the first place.
Post-script: I forgot to add the Indians of Malaysia. They are virtually the poorest community in the country - and I mean desperately poor. While they haven't become terrorists in the political sense. they have in the last twenty years become a more aggessive group, with many violent crimes attributed to them, most unlike their peaceful nature of earlier times. This may be a sign of their hopelessness and loss of faith in their very poor mainstream leadership. I hope something may be done to alleviate their problems, not compound it like the disgraceful de-recognition of the Crimea State Medical School.