At the time where there is so much talk about extremists and moderates, I thought a couple of definitions might be in order to help us clarify the challenges ahead.
Why are so many people waxing philosophical about ISIS and its evil when the Assad regime has been doing worse things for the last four years and when the industrial-scale slaughter reminiscent of the Nazi concentration camps is being carried by its security apparatuses, with little philosophization on anyone’s part? No, I am not trying to deny, justify or minimize the atrocities committed by ISIS, I am just wondering why the soul-searching is only happening now and in its regard, not years earlier in connection with the mass atrocities perpetrated by Assad. I am wondering why some people can even stomach advocating cooperation with Assad against ISIS, even though the latter is obviously a symptom of the disease that is Assad. I am wondering about the selective nature of our moral outlook on things. Is morality meant to be so cynically utilitarian, just another means towards achieving a coveted material end regardless of any human cost? Isn’t morality supposed to set up guidelines for our behavior, rather than offering justifications for it? What is wrong with this world? No. Don’t talk to me about God and Satan, Santa Clause or the Evil Wizard. Life is nothing more than fucked up peopled doing fucked up things, as they try haplessly to fill the emptiness they nourish inside, to give meaning to who they are, while fear of the unknown surrounding them and constantly closing in on them gnaw at their minds and souls. We are all so pitiful, so disgustingly pitiful.
I said it before, and I say it again:
Some people care more about the identity of the killers than that of the victims. This is so because these people are, in fact, more interested in the acquisition of power than the pursuit of justice. That’s why they can criticize America and Israel while ignoring, if not praising, Assad and Putin, and see a villain in Al-Baghdadi but a hero in Strelkov. When I hear these people, I know that I am dealing with hypocrites, that a greater darkness still lies ahead for all of us, and that our night is still quite young, and will prove quite long. For wrongs can never be righted nor justice achieved through an amoral pursuit of power, a pursuit that blinds us to the victims, and the crime, that we end up perpetrating the crime.
Some people have enough moral sense to criticize Israel, but not to criticize anything that Assad and his supporters have done and are still doing. They see ISIS stoning women and chasing away Christians, but they ignore all evidence and testimony of torture, mass rape and mass murder in Assad’s concentration camps. They ignore evidence of collaboration between ISIS and Assad. They ignore Iran’s role in the current mayhem in Syria, Iraq and Gaza, and advocate engagement with her. They defend Russia and ignore her duplicity in war crimes in Syria and Ukraine. Clearly these people cannot truly be concerned with human rights. Their stand by the Palestinians at this stage seems motivated more by ideology than any sense of moral solidarity – an ideology that put Israel and America, and sometimes the West as a whole, at the center of all evil designs in the world; an ideology that, in essence, covets the power that these countries have and longs to appropriate it, rather than be truly dedicated to holding all equally accountable for their misdeeds.