ISIS/ISIL conflict in Syria/Iraq (No OpEd, No Politics)

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by Jeff Head, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. delft
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    delft Brigadier

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    There have been rumours over the last few weeks that Russia threatened Turkey with nuclear weapons. This is inherently unlikely of course but I like to point to a translation mistake that might explain the source of these rumours. Sometimes in conflict by parties that don't even have nukes, even sometimes between non-military parties in the Netherlands, there is talk of a nuclear option which then means some extreme and damaging move that might be taken by a party. In the case between Russia and Turkey the term nuclear option might have been used to describe Russia cutting off its gas supply to Turkey. Russia might occasionally remind Turkey of that possibility but I think only to prevent Turkey closing the Bosporus for Russian ships transporting defensive material to Syria.
     
  2. plawolf
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    plawolf Brigadier

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35743577

    This report pretty much backs what I have been warning for months now, that ISIS is systematically creating the 'perfect jihadists' by starting indoctrination and training for their next generation of fighters from birth.

    I think that report is hopelessly optimistic in how effective even the most well-funded and tailored rehabilitation programmes might be on children killers that ISIS have effectively manufactured.

    It warns of stigmatisation, but I worry of a very different dilemma, where we as the world are faced with the impossible choice of how to deal with captured child soldiers, who we are beyond certain cannot be redeemed and rehabilitated.

    Are we, as civilised societies and peoples, prepared to make the call of locking up someone from childhood until the day they die of old age, or even putting such children to death to protect ourselves from what they would do to us if given the chance? Because that is the choice ISIS will force us to make if they get their way. That is part of their master plan, that in order to protect ourselves from them, they force us to be like them, in which case we would have lost even if we win.

    We do not ever want to be in the position of having to make that kind of a choice, which is why it is so imperative that we at a minimum liberate all major population centres held by ISIS, and deny them safe havens anywhere on earth no matter where they run to.
     
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  3. PanAsian
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    PanAsian Major

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    Interesting, if true it may have had a dampening effect on Turkish and Saudi enthusiasm for a ground incursion of their own into northern Syria.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-base-idUSKCN0W80R7

     
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  4. delft
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    delft Brigadier

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    My Dutch newspaper ( www.nrc.nl ) wrote an hour ago that at least three rockets were fired from IS occupied area into Turkey. One landed in Kilis near a secondary school killing one person and wounding another. It said Turkey "answered" with artillery fire.
     
  5. taxiya
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    taxiya Major
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    It depends on age definition of adulthood which is increasing in the last 100 years and differs from country to country. I know in China (not long ago and not sure about today), a person over 14 (or 16?) years old is partially legally responsible for their misconduct, and fully legally responsible for severe crime such as murder. Of course, this age limit is higher in the west, and capital punishment is mostly abandoned. It seems that the western world has become more and more lenient to crime and sees criminals as victims of some sort.

    However, as this current crisis is more affecting Europe, I totally agree with your concern and I don't see an easy solution.
     
  6. Geographer
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    Geographer Junior Member

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    The threat of raised-from-birth-to-be-a-terrorist children is hugely exaggerated. North Koreans are indoctrinated to hate South Korea and America from birth, yet when they defect to South Korea they don't become terrorists.

    Children in Nazi Germany were raised to hate Jews and Slavs, but those who survived the war turned out all right. None of them tried to revive Nazism or attack Jews. The late Pope Benedict "served" in the Nazi Youth and he turned out all right.

    There are many cases of child soldiers from the Congo, Rwanda, and West Africa who, despite being emotionally scarred, did not continue their former warlord's mission after they left the battlefield.

    Cubans are raised since birth to love Castro and communism and hate the United States and capitalism. It is one of the most insular societies in the world with virtually no access to the internet or outside news, yet they're willing to risk their lives to go to America as refugees. Once there, they integrate well into America society. They've never tried to start a communist revolution in Florida.

    We all have free will and the ability to learn and change our worldview. It happens more often than you probably think. Tons of children around the world leave behind their parents' traditional beliefs about women, religion, food, clothing, music, and movies. If children were carbon copies of their parents, there would be no change over time inter-generation conflicts, which we know is not true.

    In the proper environment and with the right teachers and resources, the children of ISIS parents can be healthy, productive adults with a fascinating if horrible story to tell. There is absolutely no reason to imprison or kill innocents kids who had the misfortune of being born to ISIS parents.
     
  7. plawolf
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    Well, firstly there is a clear selection bias with those examples.

    The most hardcore indoctrinated North Koreans are not the kind to even think about defecting. Similarly, the most hardcore Hitler Youth likely fought to the death or even committed suicide over surrender.

    Secondly, with the exception of North Koreans, none of the examples you gave are actually of child raised from birth to be the perfect terror weapons.

    For the vast majority of Hitler Youth and African child soldiers, they were press-ganged into service in adolescence, so would have had over a decade of normal family upbringing and values installed in them to act as a counter to the indoctrination they received later in life.

    In the case of African child soldiers, their indoctrination wasn't really idealogical, but rather practical. They were just made into homicidal thugs as opposed to ideological zealots.

    In all cases, the indoctrination did not start from birth, and only lasted a few short years.

    I think that is a massive mitigating factor which helped their later rehabilitation. But even then it took much longer to reverse those effects.

    A true raised-from-birth child fanatic who has literally known no other values or way of life other than violence, brutality, slaughter and abhorrent ideals would be an entirely different breed of animal to try and rehabilitate. It is not something anyone has ever had to deal with in the modern world.

    To be honest, I do not think any remotely modern examples would even come close to comparing to what raised-from-birth child zealots could grow up to become.

    The most appropriate examples would come from the darkest chapters of human history to a time where entire populations of captured cities are brutally put to the sword by soldiers positively desperate to get stuck in.

    And do not scoff that those things are ancient history, since the entire core tenant of ISIS is to return to the 'true values' of those times!

    That's because those are normal children raised by normal parents who love them and want what is best for them!

    Just look at some of the examples of the fanaticism and brutality truly raised-from-birth child fanatical soldiers were capable of from ancient history to get an idea of the kind of horror ISIS wants to unleash on the modern world.

    A big part of the reason they want to do that is because they know that we are simply not mentally and psychologically equipped to deal with that kind of horror.

    Those child soldiers ISIS is busy moulding will be a terror weapon in the truest sense of the word if they are ever allowed to be trained to completion and unleashed on the world.

    That is precisely the kind of civilised optimism that ISIS is hoping for.

    What happens when all of the above simply does not work?

    What if after trying everything imaginable, the best experts conclude that those children can never be rehabilitated, and will pose a mortal and moral threat to all that we hold dear for as long as they live?

    The fact that those children are at their core innocent victims themselves is going to be the crowning irony and blow that hurts us the most when we find ourselves in that impossible position.

    Which is why it is so imperative that ISIS' plans be crushed before they can bring that nightmare to bare!
     
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  8. Geographer
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    Geographer Junior Member

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    So every single Nazi Youth true believer died before 1945? Not a single one survived in a hospital? Plenty of true Nazi believers survived the war in South America and elsewhere, often to be put on trial later. Many Nazi Youth were too young to fight in 1945. There have been cases of North Korean intelligence agents who were caught and brought to South Korea and, upon seeing the truth of a prosperous country, rejected their indoctrinated-since-birth beliefs about communism and capitalism.

    It's telling that despite all the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, none has produced the robotic killers you fear. War never wipes out all opponents. Nazi Germany and Japan took horrendous casualties and still some of their true believers survived, none of whom carried on the fight after 1945. The only ones who did were isolated Japanese soldiers are far-flung islands who gave up the fight once they returned to society.

    You keep saying keeping that indoctrination of children since birth is unprecedented but totalitarian regimes have always done it and we have yet to see the "terror weapon in the truest sense of the word". If it's unprecedented, how can you be so sure it will happen? How can you be so sure education and socialization won't work?
     
    #3508 Geographer, Mar 9, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  9. solarz
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    You're missing a key factor here. In all your examples except North Korea (where, as plawolf pointed out, the really zealous ones wouldn't defect), the faction in question was defeated and dismantled. Even the most zealous Hitler Youth or Japanese imperialist did not carry on fighting because they knew it was futile. They no longer had a cause to fight for.

    Are you so sure that the ideology of Islamic Extremism will be dismantled when those ISIS-indoctrinated children grow up? What makes you think you would even get the opportunity to re-educate and re-socialize them?
     
  10. Geographer
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    The Nazi state was dismantled but the ideology of white supremicism, unfortunately, lived on. But the ex-Nazi Youth did not carry it forward, or if they did still believed it kept it to themselves.

    The Islamic State will probably all of its territory in the next 2-3 years, in which case they won't have schools to forcibly indoctrinate children any longer. That means the oldest ISIS kid will be ~6-8 years old. plawolf is presumably talking about indoctrination from birth to late teens. Children are still very open-minded at that age and can easily be retaught. People can change and learn new things at any age but it's easier when they're young.

    The Islamic Extremist ideology will persist for the indefinite future but that's a separate issue. The Islamic State as a territorial entity will cease in a couple of years and then it won't have a monopoly on children's education.

    What evidence is there can it's possible to systematically indoctrinate children in a way that is impossible to reverse later in life? There are many other things more assured in life to worry about than ISIS children growing up to be Manchurian Candidates.
     
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