About IS. And the west.
- IS has an ideology which glorifies hatred, pillage, slavery, executions, subservient women and, as I see it, rape. Which is abhorrent and totally alien to everything I stand for. To hell with that. And not with this.
- The war in Syria of course leads to refugees: thousands in 2011, tens of thousands in 2012, hundreds of thousands in 2013 and millions in 2014. At this moment, this wave has of course finally reached the shores of Europe.
- ‘The west’ (which as I understand the world includes Russia, nowadays) is part of this war, for one thing as it is at war with IS for quite some time now, France for instance uses an aircraft carrier.
Reuters reported on November 5 that “The deployment of the battle group alongside the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier has been decided to participate in operations against Daesch [ISIS] and its affiliate groups” the French president’s office said in a statement issued on Thursday after a defense cabinet meeting”.
- Considering the situation (IS is not yet beaten) one has to pose the question: where does the IS money come from?
- Partly: oil.
- But: who buys this oil?
- Who doesn’t. This piece by Huib de Zeeuw (in Dutch) contains and analysis of the importance of oil for IS finances. Markets work. Trucks and barrels and irrigation systems – everything available is used to transport oil out of IS territory. Evencorrupt local Kurdish officials are prohibiting Kurdish soldiers to destroy oil trucks, as they are involved in the oil trade.
- The article shows a grim, Mad Max like society, corrupt officials, mercenaries who change side when the other side pays more and a fight for oil. One is reminded of the brutal and bloody conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone and Zaïre (5,4 million deaths). ‘What we see emerging is a growing informal economy, inextricably linked to the globalisation of legal trade‘.
- This document by David Francis however reminds us that these conflicts are rooted in ‘fundamental grievances’, too.
- Which lead to the question: which part of the IS agenda do we have to adopt. think of: redrawing borders. At least a hint of a possibility to a start of solving the Palestinian problem.
- And we do need states which are at least less corrupt and which are perceived to foster the ‘greater good’ (according to my ‘soccer dad contacts’ at least some of the Kurds in exile perceive the embryonic Kurdish state to do a good job at this, not least because of free or cheap and improving health care – financed by oil).
- Just voicing belligerent language and dropping even more bombs won’t solve anything. The maps have to be redrawn (not by the west). And oil money has to be put to good use. Which means that we need strong, democratic states. Not an easy task.