[News] When Were They Radicalized? That’s Not the Right Question!

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Dec 9 11:19:19 EST 2015

December 9, 2015

  When Were They Radicalized? That’s Not the Right Question!

by Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler 


The big question these days dominating the airwaves is when were Syed 
Farook and Tasheen Malik radicalized; or who radicalized them; and how 
were they radicalized? This question is a perplexing one because it 
assumes that without outside influence everything would be all right and 
that there are no valid grievances, or anger, and no desire for revenge 
or justice no matter how misguided those desires might be manifested.

This is a strange line of query because it presupposes that without 
external forces radicalization would be impossible. This line of 
questioning illustrates a blind patriotism of empire proportion that 
believes that anyone upset and acting out is either demented or have 
fallen under the influences of a political/religious ideology that 
exploits the weak minded or the mentally deranged. To even ask the 
question is to make the assumption that everything is ok around us and 
in our world and would be regarded as such if it were not for outside 
influences. But this perspective has a tendency to ignore the realities 
of what so many people live under and have to endure daily. It is often 
from personal experiences, relationships with those impacted by what 
most of us don’t see or care about are the radicalizing factors. The 
present queries act as if there are no valid grievances, no real anger, 
and as if there is innocence on the part of the powerful, the US and 
others. But this is not the way that peoples of the Middle East, North 
Africa and Asia see the US or the West.

The US and its partners have been at war for more than 14 years in 
Afghanistan. The US began an unprovoked and preemptive war in Iraq in 
2003 and virtually destroyed the country where today ISIL is filling 
part of the vacuum created by that war, and the President of Afghanistan 
literally is presiding over nothing but the capital city of that 
country, Kabul. The US under the cry of removing President Bashar Hafez 
al-Assad in Syria by helping to orchestrate and sustain a civil war has 
created a displacement crisis of epic proportion and caused the deaths 
of more than 250,000 people. Conditions in many countries have worsened 
under the wars and the remaking of the Middle East and North Africa in 
the West’s image. Our continual military support of Israel against 
Palestinians challenges the view that everything is ok without the 
influences of “outside agitators” radicalizing people and calling them 
to arms. According to Ha’aretz 
<http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.611001>_,_ an Israeli 
newspaper, in an August 2014 report it states concerning military aid to 

    “Since it began in 1962, American military aid to Israel has
    amounted to nearly $100 billion. For the past decades The United
    States has been regularly transferring aid of about $3 billion
    annually. In recent years, the aid has been solely for defense
    purposes. Additionally, The US has been giving Israel generous
    military aid for projects important both to it and Israel.”

Even in light of Israel’s continued human rights violation Prime 
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November 2015 traveled to Washington, DC 
to request an increase to the amount of aid his country receives from 
the US.

Then there is also the US drone program designed to make killing more 
antiseptic and distant. However in a 2013 speech before the National 
Defense University President Obama said, “It is a hard fact that US 
strikes have resulted in civilian casualties.”

He did not go on to cite numbers or further details, yet Micah Zenko, a 
scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations and lead author of a 2013 
study of drones, is quoted in an April 23, 2015 /New York Times 
article on drone strikes, in reference to the President’s 2013 
comments, “Most individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the 
government does not know their names.”

The program has not been as clean as government leaders would have liked 
for us to think. Or lastly among many examples, a November 2014 article 
in the Guardian 

    “A new analysis of the data available to the public about drone
    strikes, conducted by the human-rights group Reprieve, indicates
    that even when operators target specific individuals – the most
    focused effort of what Barack Obama calls “targeted killing” – they
    kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike
    multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an
    estimated 1,147 people…”

The assumption that “radicalization” is not based in some reality is an 
empire or White supremacist notion where everything is ok save for those 
rabble-rousers, outside agitators, and purveyors of hatred. Again I am 
reminded every time I hear some newsperson or some pundit drone on 
(excuse the pun) about when, how and who did the radicalization about J. 
Edgar Hoover, former Director of the FBI during the Civil Rights era and 
the status-quo politicians of the time looking under every rock for 
communist agitators from Moscow who had inflamed and radicalized the 
Black folks to march, demonstrate and rebel! It is an empire and White 
supremacist notion to believe that all is fine save for outside 
influences. The assumption is ‘who would not be happy with our way of 
life, our agendas, or ways we see the world.’

Keep in mind that I am not condoning acts of violence by any side or 
carried out in any name of God or nationalistic identifications. I am 
simply pointing out that it is real conditions and experiences that have 
given credence to the so-called “radicalization” process. There are 
agents recruiting and organizing people to join their cause, but it is 
recruitment based on some stark and harsh realities produced by war, 
greed, and attempting to fashion entire regions in the United States’ 
political image.

Therefore it stands to reason that to combat so-called radicalization 
the US and its partners need to ethically evaluate it motives and 
initiatives and stand to be judged in a world court where warranted. The 
US and its allies need to allow countries and regions to develop without 
interference, manipulation or control. The mechanisms of radicalization 
would be muted and impotent if the US and its partners addressed human 
rights violations carried out around the world by itself, its partners 
and its allies. There would be no fertile ground to recruit from if 
people felt the processes were fair and just rather than exploited by a 
few nations and corporations at the expense of everyone else. This is a 
part of what needs to happen to thwart radicalization. The US and its 
allies must right the wrongs they have done and attempt to restore 
regions and people to govern their own selves no matter how those 
structures might look in the end.

As far as who, when and how Syed Farook and Tasheen Malik and the 
countless others were radicalized? The answer to this question is found 
in a world that has been ravished by war and greed; in the conditions of 
despair that has been created; in the powerless feeling pushed around by 
the powerful; and it is there in refugee camps and at funerals from 
drone strikes that we will find the agents of anger that breeds 
radicalization that we claim we do not understand.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20151209/a8b4f4c8/attachment.html>

More information about the News mailing list