What’s the difference between a killer and another killer?

Why ISIS and counter-fighters both might have to ask themselves the same questions

Murderers, heroes, killers, role models, soldiers, perpetrators, defenders, defended, conquerors, victims, stories, vision, end result, new beginning. This is basically what happens in any serious international conflict, ever. Choosing a side is crucial to make sense of an issue in which two or more parties have decided to slaughter each other, but what if you don’t? What if you instead have a good, hard look at the whole mad idea of solving conflicts like that? Who knows, maybe even doing something in order to prevent them from occurring in the first place?

 

Ignoring sensitive issues won’t make them go away

It’s always tricky to speak of issues that currently involve criminal activity, and this on several political levels. On the other hand, being naïve and hanging on a thin line of wishful thinking won’t do much good either.

Choosing sides seems so natural, so very much accepted by the large part of basically any society, but how wise is it and is the question really about choosing sides?

 

Stamping on a few toes here and there – A killer is a killer

Somewhat obvious, isn’t someone who commits a murder, or a killing, for whatever reason he might have, a killer? Or does it take a good story in order to be free from all responsibility?

Imagine you’re out shopping and standing in line to get your milk and eggs, you’re suddenly far too provoked for your own good. By what? By a dude standing a few people ahead of you, because he bought fat free milk and you think that’s a disgrace to humanity.

So you just take out your gun and shoot him. People around you will most likely do something to get that gun away from you, screaming and shouting and throwing things at you. Someone will call the police and they will catch you, while the ambulance will take care of the victim.

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

In a normal situation, you will be prosecuted and sentenced for killing a guy due to fat free milk issues, which is pure fucking madness. You’ll pay your fair share in jail and have quite some time to think about the infantile way of dealing with a conflict, or whatever you’d like to call that.

Now, imagine instead that you killed that guy, and half of the people in line started cheering. They screamed supportive things to you, hugging you, waving with flags with your favorite full fat milk and some even started compose music for you specifically. You’re a hero, a savior, someone making things great again.

The other half of the crowd are deeply scared and angered about what you did, and what your people now are doing. You killed one of theirs, and this will be held against you by the good old human tradition of payback.

They run into the cheerful crowd and start kicking ass. Guns and knives and all sorts of milk are thrown around the place, ending up in a bloodbath where all involved are killed. Since the authorities didn’t really care for solving the issue in the first place, what’s reported by the media is the outburst of a serious conflict and a mass killing.

Due to milk.

To stop with further dumbing things down, this example is fully legitimate because it’s about values. Although some may be considering the milk issue as a big, idiotic piece of subject to kill each other over, there are far more dumb things for which people are dying and killing now.

 

Differences or similarities – It’s a thin line

Only a simple minded human being with a jeopardized set of values could ever consider conflicts involving such measures as legitimate. That is to say, if they consider them even for a second, hinting a somewhat honest implication of wishing to actually solve the conflict and not prove some sort of point.

“Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world’s problems?”
― Bill Watterson

You know, the kind that seeks only to legitimize the action of one side and dismiss the actions taken by the “enemy”. Let’s not get all philosophical here (this time), but even considering the possibility of both groups (or however many they may be) having a story which they believe in is better if the wish to solve an issue like that is genuine.

Which clearly is not the case in most situations.

 

What to do about the current state of mind?

Observing and reporting is lovely, but it always comes with a large dose of opinions to go with it. It’s like the extra rice you get with your Chinese takeaway that you didn’t ask for, but have no choice now but to carry with you.

Analyzing a situation and refusing the temptation of including own beliefs and views is difficult, that’s why you have to look long and hard in order to find such an article. In terms of reports, the statistics are little better and go more in favor of reason and less in that of emotional states of mind. However, they are often very much dead boring to read so not many people actually do it.

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Communication has always proved to be a good idea in changing states of mind, if it’s open and honest. It doesn’t even have to change them, but questioning their current value systems and short-sighted perspectives. Therefore, communication about honesty and openness is probably a good starting point in even the smallest of potential issues.

As a colorful example, radicalization isn’t a thing that happens to Muslims because of their religious beliefs or due to some sort of radicalization gene. There’s a far more complex system behind such a phenomenon and degrading it to be a question about one aspect is ridiculous.

Not only that, it’s deeply disrespectful to science, to the research of wise people whose philosophical theories has moved our societies forward. They aren’t flawless, but be sure that nobody would like to move back to the times of Paleolithic lifestyles (even though some aspects of it is hot topic, such as the whole food thing).

The current level of bitch slaps handed out by various experts in the field of conflict analysis, international relations, journalism and basically anyone in charge of a social media profile is to damn high. With a level of understanding so primitive that apes in the jungle aren’t even impressed, we as human beings don’t really have much to brag about today.

If you sit back and relax, for one short second considering the question on which one of two or more groups (currently killing each other over stories) are most right – do you really have an answer to that question? Or is the answer another question, namely this one – what in the most holy fuck of all current fucks available is that question really about?

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