The Devastation Blossoms

by Beauchamp Art

“Where Germans obliterated conventional states, or annihilated Soviet institutions that had just destroyed conventional states, they created the abyss where racism and politics pulled together towards nothingness. In this black hole, Jews were murdered. When Jews were saved, it was often thanks to people who could act on behalf of a state or by institutions that could function like a state. When none of the moral illumination of institutions was present, kindness was all that remained, and the pale light of the individual rescuers shone.” [Snyder, 2015]

A situation emulated in the militant actions devastating the Middle East, although not isolated to an individual group, but collectivising the opposition to the new authoritarianism of Daesh, and the subsequent flight of Syrian and other refugees from areas still bloodied by the conflicts and power plays of the US and UN against the old Cold War adversary.

Much as the first Gulf War enveloped Iraq, Iran and neighbouring states in bitter conflict, leaving a long legacy of turmoil and troubles for the Levant, fighting over post-colonial provincial control and access to resources (oil, et al.). From these ashes the US backed Taliban became infused with the Wahhabi extremists and groups like Al-Qa’ida against the West, as it refused to be a pawn in the US/UN war games, but was transformed from a defensive posture to an aggressive nationalism that further destabilised the region out of the control of Western powers, but simultaneously diverting the power to self govern further away from the general populous and towards another tyranny.

Once the state and its institutions were obliterated by years of internal conflict and external ‘interventionism’ (the post-colonial desire for control over foreign soil, its populous and its representatives) then the new antagonists sprung up, like vines from the devastation of a volcano, strangling the prospects of any peaceful popular uprisings that may have blossomed in the Arab Spring; their seeds scattered and lost to the dusty fallout and growth hijacked by various dogmatic developments (whether with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood or through military coups). But most notably, Daesh has shot up from the abyss, and in the chasm of conflict it has been able to successfully exact itself across much of the Syrian and neighbouring regions.