Earlier this week on this Blog, I urged Western and Arabs youths among the ranks of the ISIL to abandon the terrorist group and to return to their homes. I did so in order to give those not yet hardened by extremism the opportunity to re-think their actions in light of the forthcoming defeat of the ISIL.
Many youths in the ranks of the ISIL are confused and feel betrayed by their home governments inability to ameliorate their lives and the conditions of their individual societies. Thus, like the lure of western inner city youths to street gangs, some Western and Arab youths have found solace in the ISIL which they fallibly believe encompasses a non-compromising ideology that holds all the trimmings of fraternity, brotherhood and commonality of which they seek.
Recent released intelligence data that swells the ranks of the ISIL to over 31,000 could even be an underestimate. Why? In Syria alone, thousands and thousands of youths - displaced, targeted and victimized by the regime of Bashar al Assad, have flocked to the ISIL and other anti Assad groups in light of the absence of any clear international resolution to defeat the foe, Assad - a foe they also consider as a foe of humanity. So in joining the ranks of anti-Assad groups including the ISIL, these youths believe that they are morally right in taking the fight to Assad who has gassed hundreds of Syria's children. These youths have not taken stock of the brutality nor the danger the ISIL represents to humanity as whole. They joined the ISIL because their burning desires yearn any alternative to Bashar al Assad.
And herein lies the crux of my argument: that coupled with the continuation of Assad in Syria; dis-union in Iraq; and the appearance of a bedding between democratic nations and businesses with major human rights abusers like China and Russia, which has brought economic prosperity to China and Russia, and which has left the world's largest democracy - India, to lag way behind China in development; is more than enough evidence to confuse youths as to what ideology they should adopt. Human rights abuses and communism have brought great wealth to China. Russia's gas stations remain very much the pumps of choice despite Russia's human rights abuses. India is a democracy, but it lags four-fold behind China since having parity in the 1980s. Why would technology firms invest more in China than in India? Why is Assad still on the throne?
The youths are confused. They are bewildered. They feel betrayed. The rise of the ISIL is a testament. On the destruction of the ISIL, other alternatives to the bewilderment and the betrayal of youths will surface until the stalwarts of democracy, freedom, equality and rule of law adhere to the strict principles for which humanity stands and to not waiver in any which way ever to facilitate the rise of behemoth future foes. Explicitly, Western nations must stop appeasing human rights abusers and stand firmly by democratic principles.