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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

It Gets Darker Before the Dawn

The best information. 
What would that be, exactly?  It doesn't refer to an understanding of behavioural economics and a thorough analysis of the causal conditions that lead to criminal behavior - that's too much like committing sociology.
It probably has nothing to do with geopolitics, especially the local equity imbalances that ISIS recruiters, like any gang, tap into to gain converts.
No, one imagine that the information provided will be of more the carding variety - suspicion by association.
Then there's the whole "focus on their safety" piece, which is most troubling.  "To serve and protect" puts the people's interest first, not the safety of officers.  It's inherently a risky job, but by getting in early, engaging with a community and working on initiatives like mentorship programs, active police help reduce crime in the first place.
A focus on safety tends to involve less interaction and when it comes, it comes with greater armament so as to reduce officer risk. 
Ferguson is a great example of how this plays out in practice; well-armed police with their usual suspects list caused and escalated a tragic situation one expect to hear about from the streets of Syria, not suburban USA.
Or think the G20 - police had information about black block plans to escalate street violence and fed right into that beast, creating a public relations nightmare and increasing tensions among citizens and the police, already high and already growing higher.
"I don't talk to cops," a youth told me on the streetcar the other day.  This after I interceded when hearing her say "I hate all cops," dehumanizing them in the same manner as which carding dehumanizes certain ethnic groups.  Tell us more about the youth who are choosing to join with ISIL, government: are they ethnic minorities who feel marginalized in their Canadian context, singled out by police, ignored by employers, looked at with suspicion on the subway?
There are a lot of good officers out there.  I hear from them, sometimes, about the struggle they have within the current police culture that focuses on strength, wins, and threats more than it does public service.  I hear the exact same thing from youth entering that culture, which is alarming.

Why?  Because the folk of ISIS are brutal alphas with a superiority complex.  The God they worship is not the one of Islam; if anything, they have fallen for the false god prophesied by Islamic eschatology.
The thuggish converts to ISIS rape, pillage, torture, abuse power and focus on destroying others in defense of "their cause" which is a create a state in which they have absolute unquestioned authority and the respect of the international community because they're such bad asses.
Suspicion, fear, threat of arms, abuse - those aren't the tools of enlightenment.  They are, however, increasingly the hammer of choice for security.
As they say, it's darkest before the dawn - but the dawn is a long way off.  It's going to get a lot, lot darker - which why now, more than ever, we need to keep the candle of enlightenment burning.

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