Liberty and Justice only defend those that are willing to defend them, but the manner of that defense is limited only by the imaginations of those that issue that Defense. It is to be hoped that the fruits of Liberty and Justice would find such manner of Imagination as are the blessings of those two imperious qualities, and would not launch a defense more fitting of those that have been starved of either quality.
For desperation under the cudgel of despotism, is mirrored in the desperation of the struggle to overthrow such despotic regimes. Struggle, or the fight for freedom, or Jihad, only loses its credibility if it seeks to inflict upon others the very qualities it seeks to over throw. No credence can be placed in such a struggle.Rather this struggle,although it must be enjoined, should be set upon such principles that are immutable, both within the struggle itself, and after the struggle has been achieved. Only in this way can Liberty and Justice be won as a universal basis for any form of Governance. If one seeks to be governed in a manner that is both Peaceful, and allows for the fullest expression of personal and interpersonal Liberty, in combination with co-requisite duties that afford those self same qualities for others, then it behooves those that enjoin that struggle to show those very same qualities in the process itself.
Fight for the right, and your freedom to have that right. Allow others the same freedom, and right, if you don't have it already. If you have it defend it. But do it with imagination, and if you want peace, employ that principle in your fight. don't do it with violence then preach peace.
Of course, if violence is used against your freedom and your rights, then it is your right to struggle against that violence, in fact it is likely your duty. If you never had it, freedom and justice that is, then your struggle is likely to be of the basest kind, ie: violence, but if you have a prior exposure and understanding of Freedom and Justice, knowing them first hand, and have enjoyed them, then the fruits of having had those two principles operating in your life is likely to have given you the opportunities and imagination to explore more positive ways to struggle.
For instance, Ghandi only developed his system of thought, after having studied Law in London, and having enjoyed the fruits of both Justice and a peaceful environment. Choosing his weapons of change creatively, knowing that the British system of Law would demand a certain code of practice be adhered to in India. He had an enormous faith in the Sense of Justice within the British peoples, given they had enjoyed those principled qualities for the most part for many hundreds of years and they had become part of the cultural Heritage of that land.
Hitler however posed a different problem. His aggressive policies are often brought into contrast with those of Gandhi. Where as Gandhi sought to free himself and his people, from a Just people who had enjoyed the fruits of Freedom and Justice and were therefore familiar at least with the principles, Hitler sought to deprive others freedoms violently, and unjustly, with no recourse to either an external judicial agency or an internal one, and therefore an equal and opposite struggle formed in order to prevent his domination, as no other recourse could be employed. Violence is always the final act of the unimaginative and hopeless, it is the last vestige of the desperate and despicable.
Gandhi's strength was that he realized that eventually the internal fruits of freedom and Justice enjoyed by the British people would lead to public opinion pressuring the Government, through Law (Justice) to capitulate from the use of Violence if he himself did not employ it, and thereby he won his country freedom in the face of insurmountable odds against a vastly superior military strength, because he relied on the greater strength of both an internal veracity and power by way of consistent principles of action, and an external appeal to the judicial heritage enjoyed in Britain since the time of the Magna Carta.
Jihad, or Struggle against injustice and oppression, in the face of an overwhelming military force, is doomed to failure if it uses violence as its means, because it leaves no other response than an equal an opposite reaction, and if the power you use violence against is more powerful than you, then you undercut your hand and are doomed to fail. The law of the jungle is the eventual outcome, where Might makes right. But it is to be hoped that with a more enlightened approach Right may make might.
If there is a rule of law existent in the oppressors homeland, and if there is a measure of freedom available to the citizens of said homeland, then the person or group who struggle using violence actually end up struggling against there own interests, because they employ a practice that precludes any other form of imaginative, positive or creative form of struggle. That is not to say that, these measures cannot be used in conjunction with a violent struggle, but rather, the veracity and principled credibility of any of these addendum processes are so catastrophically undercut as to leave them as mere token gestures, without any moral credence at all.
In cases where violence is employed in the struggle, If faced with a greater might, then the law of the jungle or Might is right comes into effect, and the Jihadist will end up losing; But if they are creative,positive and imaginative in such circumstances, then eventually right will overcome, and create might, so long as the light of truth is shone on the circumstance, simply because Justice and freedom are ingrained principles within the oppressors own country, Heritage, or state. Therefore, if they continue an injustice or an enslavement in the face of their own laws, then they end up undercutting the very premise upon which their own state is founded, and each citizen in that state acts and functions, both internally, externally and communally.
Of course, Hypocrisy exists, but usually only in the dark. Once the light of truth is shone upon such Hypocrisy, then Justice comes into effect. Not always with immediate effect, but faced with the dissonance that this injustice creates, individuals, groups, or states are eventually forced to withdraw the Hypocritical action in favour of the Justice they espouse. The strength of Justice is Truth, and it should be employed at all possible times against states who are duty bound to adhere to that truth within their own judicial principles. There will always be more creative, positive and imaginative ways to do this, than acts of violence, which only ends up stimulating a sense of injustice within the people you seek to appeal to.
If one employs the very actions that one seeks to liberate oneself from, or worse actions, then between two competing principles or actions what is to separate them? certainly not an appeal to Justice. Therefore it should always be the case that the oppressed should employ such means that appeal to the injustice that is being perpetrated upon them, IF there is a system and heritage of Justice and freedom existent with the culture one seeks to separate oneself from, any other course or struggle is self defeating, if the force you fight is overwhelmingly stronger.
If there is no system of Justice or heritage of Justice and freedom within the culture or state you seek to separate yourself from, then you have a right to defend yourself in any means that ensures your survival, but this caveat is always a last case scenario, and it is unlikely except in the face of an overwhelming oppressor with no just recourse what so ever, and even then there is probably a better option.
One option here may be by way of appeal to a Greater Judicial body that has the power to maintain a system of Accountability. Sadly at present, The Globe does not possess this. Another of course is the Dunkirk option, retreat. For he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. It is sad that such a situation should have to exist, but without a Global Judicial Body with a mandate of accountability, the plight of the desperate leaves few avenues of expression.
By adopting a peaceful approach in the face of overwhelming aggression and violence, one does however undercut the power of the oppressor, and give both credence and power to ones own struggle.
If those in situations of desperate plight and subject to gross injustice, had the capacity to purchase weapons and bullets from arms manufacturer's then supposedly they also had the financial capacity to seek training in Law, or the peaceful dissemination of the truth by way of international media. Of course this may just be a fanciful idealism in the face of a brutal realism, and in the majority of situations sadly, this is the case.Yet if one is able to galvanize the masses in a unified struggle, employing the tenets of peace and non violence whilst also appealing to the principles of Freedom and Justice through the dissemination of truth, one radically strengthens ones hand in the face of violent oppression. A caveat to this is of course that one is appealing to a System of Justice, either in the internal state of the oppressor or a more powerful external meta-state, such as a mandated and independent Global Judiciary.
Many Current Jihads, or Struggles, could be settled by non violent means, if just such a judiciary was brought into effect. In fact, war itself might find it is outlawed, and you can be sure Arms manufacturer's and those that make profit from the misery and oppression of others globally would be none to pleased to see just such a peaceful Jihad take place.
For a Jihadist that takes up arms and violence as there means of struggle, they are defeated before they begin. Not only do they undercut the premise upon which they struggle, but they are actually supporting the very mechanism's they seek to free themselves and others from, by supporting an Amoral industry that makes its profit within a global free market economy by keeping protagonists at each other's throats. By adopting a policy of potential violence the Jihadist allows for the manipulation of events, and themselves, by vested interests who may seek to maintain a situation in which they can potentially profit from the maintenance and escalation of the very oppression the Jihadist seeks to set himself and others free from. Examples of this might be by way of False flag initiatives, coercive activity, diplomatic obscuration, or fiscal leverage to third party interests to maintain corruption in the face of resource benefit.
Therefore once again the Jihadist finds that by employing acts of Violence they are undercutting there position, and ensuring the prolongation of the injustice rather than its eradication, and further become the pawns of powerful vested interests or third parties who seek to make profit by maintaining the injustice.
By adopting a peaceful, creative, imaginative and constructive approach to the struggle, the Jihadist is brought to his greatest power, and frees himself from the tyranny of both the oppressors need to use coercive violence, and from the vested interests of powerful third parties who seek to maintain a system of mutual violence, for their own profit, whether that be fiscal or ideological profit.
Peaceful Struggle is the only way forward.
So then, put down your guns, your weapons of violence, your bombs and your inclinations to war, and instead pick up the banner of Truth, and enjoin the struggle with whole hearts, replete with the principles that you seek to enjoy and help others to enjoy. Peace, Justice and Freedom. So that the weapons of injustice, oppression and war may be consigned to the Hell in which they belong, and we may be graced with the Heaven we seek in our hearts to create.
© Richard Michael Parker 2009