Yesterday’s post, titled Clash of civilisations in full bloom, was no foreboding of times to come, but a confirmation that it’s here, and has been for quite a few years.
Granted today’s wars do not play out the way they used to, but rather as hybrid wars, proxy wars and jolly old terrorism, known since the days of the IRA, PLO, and the RAF, not to be confused with the Royal Air Force. Which is probably why we have such problems identifying them as such. After all our image of a war has been cemented over the centuries, as nations have met on the battlefield, fighting it out until a winner emerged.
Today, as I just mentioned, not so.
On one side there’s the extremists demanding every infidel’s life. On the other there’s the extremists waging war on practically every living Muslim, and on the third there’s the madman trying to reinstate the Russian empire, in a pseudo Soviet shape, sans the Communism (albeit with all the trimmings).
Wedged in between these parties (and then some, I grant you that) you find the rest of us – the ones that have to pay the price, either because we happen to step outside, somewhere in the western world, if we are liberal and/or secular Muslims, lumped in with the crazy bunch, or citizens of a country neighbouring Russia.
Or, as we’ve just witnessed, inclined to love whom ever we want.
Attacks on civilians, both in Europe, America and in Muslim countries, carried out by all parties, seem to have reached a level at which people find themselves more or less barricaded, out of fear for moving around, or to go on vacation where they want. The latter exemplified by luxury facilities in popular holiday destinations sold at record low prices during peak season.
Needless to say it is all bound to escalate, as Putin (a prominent homophobic himself), Trump and the so-called Islamic State grow in strength, and the bigots of the world multiply, inspired by said forces’ actions and statements. And you know how it is, in all camps: An attack calls for retaliations. Retaliations, too, call for retaliations, and the merry-go-round is just about where we’re at.
In short, I’m afraid, we ain’t seen nothing yet, even if the Orlando incident may be altogether unrelated to organised terrorism.
Having said that, the perpetrator did pledge allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, in turn claiming full responsibility. It remains a mystery to me how the international community has squandered every opportunity to wipe the terrorist organisation off the face of the earth.
Top illustration: A drawing I made just after the attack on Copenhagen café “Krudttønden”, hosting a meeting with Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks, February 2015.