The beginning of this particular story does not take place in the dusty and arid deserts of Yemen, where the AQAP has been violently active in its training and recruitment of young Muslims for the last decade and a half. It is said that a plane trip to Yemen is a plane trip to heaven, and the same could have been said of Somalia before last October. Nor does our story begin in the mediocre and rainy streets of Portland, Oregon, where a young Mohamed Mohamud was recruited by “Yousef,” a member of Al-Quaeda who had ties to the high command. The beginning of our story takes place neither in the when of either of these two stories, but rather many years before the words “Al Quadea” were considered household items.
The year is 1942, and the world is at war. Declarations of war have been made by countries on every habitable continent on planet Earth, and more are coming in every month. Europe has been tossed into tumult and turmoil, the Germans advancing their empire ever-more and interning everyone who defies them along the way. Stalin is removing those of less-then admirable social status from the ranks of russian power, in a “reign of terror” that goes by unnoticed by the West, and is head-to-head with Hitler. The Japanese are advancing in the Pacific, and the US Marines have been called out to respond aggressively.
The Germans hold their cockroaches of war. As do the Russians have their Siberian prison camps. And the Chinese their water-torture chambers. Nearly every fighting force on earth has some form of prisoner “housing.”
They did it out of fear.
And somehow, the Good Ol’ United States of America has the great fucking idea to lock up all of its Japanese citizens in key states along the Western seaboard and elsewhere. As if when we do it, it doesn’t hurt as bad.
We did it out of fear.
The same fear of others was what led Senator Jospeh McCarthy many years later to go out on an anti-communist campaign to rid the country of its blight.
I have never met a man who did not have fear. Because fear is a constant gauge that reminds us that we are still human, and it is essential that we have fear. But it is when the actions of human beings are dictated by that fear, instead of by love, that you need to find a good transport to excommunicate yourself from that place. Fear cannot control someone who is filled with love.
Mohamed Mohamud finds himself in a long line of people who were controlled by their fear, and for that, he faces the courts system.
Because Mohamed wasn’t actually recruited by the AQAP after all. It was a sting operation set up by the FBI. The G-Men, not the AQAP, were the ones who filled his head with violent thoughts and who gave him the idea to blow up a target in Portland, Oregon. The question that now remains is; would he have even considered it if it wasn’t for the FBI? Putting those thoughts in his head? I can only shake my head in disgust at the failure of the FBI. Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier to recruit him, then to turn him into a failed terrorist? Entrapment is the word, and the bird is the word.
In this case, fear dictated both sides of the fight. Fear of others. Fear of oppression. Fear of reverting to a medieval state.
People should never be dictated out of fear or stupidity. People who let themselves be neglected by their fear become dictated by it. People who run to be rebels only come back being the very people that they despised. Life is forever cyclical in that way. Don’t give yourself into that fear.
Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the world.” – Charlie Chaplin