Engaging in Battle

The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem that describes the siege of Troy. Part of the battle has the gods and goddesses of Olympus joining the Greeks and Trojans, on each side of the conflict.

A more recent struggle was the Spanish Civil War where fascists and communists fought in Spain; so important were the values represented by each side of the conflict that young people from all over Europe joined the Spanish forces. The current struggle against Assad of Syria and ISIS has recently been compared to the Spanish conflict.

The young gentleman who has just returned from Syria to his family in Queensland, I am not sure whether he is genetically related to the Kurdish fighters of Syria. If he is Kurdish he may feel that it is his destiny to struggle against Assad’s dictatorship and the lawless anarchy of the caliphate. If not, I think it entirely regrettable that he and his family feel that he was entitled to travel to Syria and take up arms in what he considered a just cause. I feel the Australian people are entitled to know what has prompted his return? Has he killed a sufficient number of people? Who feels that they are entitled to make the moral decision to go to Syria and use weapons and engage in bloody conflict?

When our Foreign Affairs Minister was recently explaining that Australia would not send troops to Syria she said that to do so would be to contravene several international laws. This misguided individual has certainly broken those laws; the AFP has to consider how to evoke those laws. Beyond our international obligations, if this individual goes unpunished, we have broadcast the message that bloody conflict can be engaged in at an individual’s whim. Surrounding his unjustifiable act of international homicide, there is the possibility of post traumatic stress and numerous other after effects.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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