FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Five Things You Need Know About the Attacks From a Peace Activist in Brussels

by

Yesterday’s terrorist attack in Brussels is an unspeakable tragedy, and the victims should never be forgotten. However, seeking vengeance through a militarized response will only create more terrorists.

As a citizen of Belgium and activist in Brussels, there are 5 things everyone should bear in mind:

1 A massive amount of soldiers on the streets does not make you safe

The response of Belgium following the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks in France was to put thousands of soldiers in the streets. Despite this, and massive for intelligence services, two of the most obvious targets for terrorists, an airport and the metro, were hit in Brussels. It can only be called an utter failure on their parts, both in the strategy and the response they adopted to freedomstruggle“defeat terror.”

This military presence is to reinforce the idea that the state is here to protect you and your well-being, which in fact is wrong on many levels. The military works to protect corporate interests first. As activist Ewa Jasiewicz puts it, “increased presence of police in public places to ‘counter terrorism’ is theatre.”

2 They do not hate us for our freedoms

The racist rhetoric of “they do not like life as much as we do” is utter nonsense and needs to be carefully deconstructed. When the killers embarked on a path to death when they woke up this morning, the sun was shining and the sky was blue for them too. The terrible crimes they committed made sense, to them, to their twisted vision of the world. I struggle to believe that anyone could kill another human being for fun, for the sake of it.

Their journey from disfranchised youth to murderous terrorists is one that we need to study, seriously, step-by-step, to move forward and hope for a better future for society in its whole.

3 Prison does not cure people — quite the opposite

While we do not know yet the profile of the Brussels terrorists, we know that the Paris attackers’ path from small-time delinquents to mass killers follows the same pattern. Their extreme and fast process of radicalization came through prisons, not mosques. They entered small crooks and came out radicalized and transformed. It is time for us to address what Angela Davis calls the prison-industrial complex. The proof is very obvious — prisons definitely do not “heal” people or help them re-integrate into a society that has already failed them.

4 To stop terrorism, you have to stop participating in it

If you look at what happened in France and Belgium, if you study all the footage and read all the media reports and analyses, you will find out that most of them focus on “security,” “militarization,” “hitting back,” and “war.” Only a few are concentrating on what the terrorists said or wrote. Why did they do it? What did they say while doing it? If you read these, which you won’t find easily by doing a Google search, you will realize that all the attackers are talking the same language.

The men who carried out these attacks were politically educated out of the destruction of Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, the drone bombings in Pakistan and Yemen, the torture of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, and the colonization and occupation of Palestine. To make it shorter, they, mostly identify as Muslims, and they were horrified by the ideological war of the West against what it wrongfully calls “the Muslim world.” This is the main motivator behind the men of ISIS becoming killers. “Your wars, our deaths” became a slogan after the Paris attacks. It might not be totally accurate, and we definitely cannot simplify things, but there is a lot of truth in it.

5 Governments know how to defeat ISIS, but prefer not to do anything about it

“We are going to go after them,” Obama said a couple of hours after the terrorist attacks. Really? When?

We know, for example, that the real people fighting ISIS at the moment are the Kurds in Kobane and other cities. We know that helping and supporting them, while cutting the route of ISIS’s oil to Turkey, would deal a huge blow to the so-called Islamic State. Are we doing it? Not at all.

Supporting Turkey, a crucial actor in this whole story with Machiavellian policies on the ground, is a major factor in the ongoing violence. We also know the role that Saudi Arabia, the most repressive state in the world, plays in the region, through its funding of Wahhabism — the most radical and dangerous interpretation of Islam possible. Rather than doing something against the spread of Wahhabism, the West is enabling it. France, for example, just gave Mohammed Ben Nayef — the future king of Saudi Arabia — its highest honor, the “legion d’honneur,” a few days ago.

These constant double standards and the lies of our governments need to be challenged. They create rancour and hate.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 27, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
California Scheming: Democrats Betray Single-Payer Again
Jonathan Cook
Hersh’s New Syria Revelations Buried From View
Edward Hunt
Excessive and Avoidable Harm in Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Death of Democracy Both Here and Abroad and All Those Colorful Sneakers
Gary Leupp
Immanuel Kant on Electoral Interference
Kenneth Surin
Theresa May and the Tories are in Freefall
Slavoj Zizek
Get the Left
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia Wants to Reduce Qatar to a Vassal State
Ralph Nader
Driverless Cars: Hype, Hubris and Distractions
Rima Najjar
Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem – Not an Abusive Life-Long Mate
Norman Solomon
Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy?
Binoy Kampmark
In the Twitter Building: Tech Incubators and Altering Perceptions
Dean Baker
Uber’s Repudiation is the Moment for the U.S. to Finally Start Regulating the So-called Sharing Economy
Rob Seimetz
What I Saw From The Law
George Wuerthner
The Causes of Forest Fires: Climate vs. Logging
June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail