AL QAEDA AND CO-DEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS

2015-02-21 23:09

Anyone who has ever had a relationship with someone battling drugs or someone in an abusive situation, will be familiar with the co-dependant relationship. It's the same with international relations and foreign policy. In a nutshell: there's the victim, who is assisted by the enabler (often referred to as the rescuer). Over time the victim becomes the abuser and the enabler becomes the victim. That's essentially co-dependency in two sentences. And it's toxic to both parties.

The Victims – Freedom Fighters with a cause

For years South Africa has been hosting Freedom Fighting organisations. We are, after all, good people who fight for the underdog. We believe that everyone should have civil rights, even if we don't always exercise these ourselves, we love the fact that we we did here what no other country has managed to do. We are proud that we moved from a system of Apartheid to democracy without a civil war. We forgave. We voted. We wrote it in our constitution. Where we can assist and support, we do. We are good people.

South Africa – “The Enabler”

Like a true fixer- upper, rescuer, reformed smoker, former addict, we rally to causes where we can support the growth of emancipation. The problem with this is we haven't yet learned to discern between freedom fighter organisations and terror organisations. On Friday it was released to the press that the South African government has issued a watch list of eleven terrorists that are likely to enter South Africa. Why? It seems that Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and Al Shabaab have training camps right here. But this is not news. The fact that the government issued the statement was news. Could sentiment be shifting?

Known terrorist have moved in and out of our country with ease and since 1994 the government has protected and openly welcomed these organisations.Taking a look at recent History, in January 2010, ahead of the Soccer World Cup, the United Nations Security Council was requested by the United States to add two Johannesburg businessmen, one of them a dentist, to the list of terror suspects. They were suspected of funding and recruiting for terror organisations Al -Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The names were added to the list despite the South African governments appeal to do otherwise.

In another incident, just prior to the start of the Soccer World Cup, another two known terrorists were stopped at OR Tambo. The problem? (Aside from them being terrorists) They were stopped on their way out of the country. They had already completed what they had come to do.

In 2013 South Africa's good relationship with terrorist organisations came to light once again with the Eastgate Mall attack in Kenya. One of the masterminds behind the attack had a South African passport and had lived and operated out of South Africa for 3 years unhindered leading up to the attack.There are more incidences. Let's move forward.

Just recently Leilah Kaled, a convicted terrorist who was released as part of a prisoner swap with Israel, was in our country on a speaking tour. Yes. A speaking tour. Who was Khaled speaking to? Our youth. Impressionable. Passionate. Looking for a cause. On her arrival she was welcomed personally by Malusi Gigaba, our Minister of Home Affairs.

South Africa is clearly the enabler in this co-dependent relationship but what happens when the roles change and the victim becomes the perpetrator? .

The real danger can be seen when looked at where South Africa is socio-economically. When ISIS went into Syria, they were able to go in and take control because the people endorsed them. They arrived with electricity generators, water and supplies that the Syrian civilians didn't have. Sound Familiar? ISIS has taken control in failed states. That's the clear and present danger. 

All of a sudden the inter party bickering of our politicians doesn't seem so important does it? ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and Al Shabaab are all branches of the same tree and while South Africa is not a failed state (yet), the victims can easily become the perpetrators. Like I said - a toxic relationship. 

Just some food for thought.

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