Patrick Henry, during the American Revolution.
Civil war and responsibilities
When civil war begins there is no going back, especially for those in leadership positions. The struggle now truly becomes life and death for them. If caught by the dictator, they will serve as an example to all. The regime will deal with them ruthlessly, efficiently, violently, and permanently.
Although this is surely a major concern, human belief in their own invulnerability, disgust for the regime, and the knowledge that the moment is right overrules these fears. Death is even preferred over tyranny. However, the decisions you make affect not just your life, but also the lives of millions. Life and death choices now happen in the blink of an eye.
When it comes to civil war, governments throughout history consistently use lies to rally people around them. By using the threat of foreign invasion, or minorities who cannot speak for themselves, they are able to fabricate a threat that does not exist. Switching blame to other groups gives governments more time to pollute the movement by corrupting its message and discrediting its leaders. Even when these messages are laughable, these tactics succeed because the government has total media domination. It is up to reasonable voices to counter these falsehoods. By bringing hope to those concerned, no one needs to feel isolated, and alone with their own thoughts.
One of the major questions that each freedom fighter must ask of themselves is, “Will I stoop to their level of violence?” If the answer is “Yes!” then you will be damned. Damned by your own God, damned by this group, and damned by humanity in general.
Bloodlust, when allowed to rule, brings out the worst in humanity. Those fighting must realize the evil tendencies brought on by bloodlust, and must fight to control it. In the continuing and long-lasting march of history, ten years or a hundred is not that long a time. When taken into account, the evils of warfare are immeasurable. If bloodlust becomes less prevalent, and if future wars fought and won are righteous, we can dream of the day when someone declares war and no one shows up.
Everyone has a moral responsibility to shun those who succumb to bloodlust. Show them clearly that it is not acceptable. Failure to do so will infect you as well.
It is unfortunate that both sides target foreign workers. Rumors run at a fevered pitch so immediately, and conveniently, all foreigners become scapegoats. Suspected of being mercenaries by the freedom fighters or foreign agents by the government, foreigners are left with two bitter choices. Fight unconditionally for one side, or run for their lives.
Foreigners who naively believe they can stay neutral do more harm than they know. Not only do they put their own lives at risk, and those of their families, but they risk the lives of their friends as well. Those caught in the middle during a civil war are local friends associating with foreigners. In these situations, foreigners can save their friends by saving themselves. Unless someone is willing to fight and die in a foreign land, it is best to leave everything behind and get out, before it is too late.
Even in the best of times foreigners, outsiders, and minorities make perfect targets because of a major disadvantage. Foreigners cannot speak the language; outsiders do not have the friends, and minorities? Well, we have a perfectly irrational reason to hate them. They sound funny, they look funny, and… they are just not one of us!
When discovered, foreigners need help escaping. What chances do they have when even locals have difficulty escaping a war zone, or the burden of choosing sides.
Freedom fighters should realize that by helping foreigners escape they keep them away from government control who could easily force them to become mercenaries. Those who help foreigners escape may not gain respect of some of their narrow-minded fellow citizens, but know this: The world will thank-you, the country whose countrymen you helped will thank-you, and your God will smile down at you.
All controlled areas are going to require security checkpoints. While checkpoints are disruptive, they are unavoidable. When living in a war zone everyone must sacrifice, not just those who are fighting and dying. This is just another reality of war. Those who object and prevent checkpoints are inciting chaos, infiltration, or worse.
Checkpoints will be on the lookout for spies, saboteurs, and even common criminals. They must search cars and passengers for stolen items, unauthorized weapons, or satellite phones used to receive or call in reports. Suspect any person who suddenly becomes wealthy. Be thorough, patient, and do not be naive. See Infiltrators.
Those manning checkpoints have a job to do. Their job does not mean intimidating people without cause. They must respect those they question. While they do need to do their job thoroughly, they must also do it quickly. Those on a power trip are not suited. It is the responsibility of those policing all checkpoints to check their own egos and police themselves.
After searching and interrogating someone, it becomes obvious whether that person is an immediate threat. No one has the right to execute unarmed people after detaining and questioning them. Government agents and freedom fighters are both guilty of this crime.
When either side commits atrocities it leads others to follow suit. It also guarantees that when the war is over the stain remains, the hatred remains, and the thoughts of retribution remain.
Securing the Weapons Needed
Securing weapons inside a country at war, has limited choices. Guerrilla warfare, military defectors, purchases from corrupt opposition figures, and armory raids will be the main source. These will not be enough. Freedom fighters must learn to rely on more covert ways of obtaining the weapons needed. The obvious solution is that outside sources augment any shortfall. Foreign benefactors, not tied to the politics of nations, will be the first choice.
Another tactic for freedom fighters to try is to get in touch with the major arms dealers of nations willing to listen. If you make it worth their while, your requests will pass through the arms dealers and reach powerful foreign government officials rather quickly (See: War is a Racket).
Arms dealers, and the nations they work for, have no scruples when it comes to their complicity supplying arms to dictators around the globe one month, and those fighting against them the next. In shocking and hypocritical words, their argument has always been, “It helps stabilize the region.”
Someday the world’s responsibility to the victims we created might be to make it up to them. Someday is a long way away.
Most nations are increasingly reluctant to supply the arms needed by rebel forces. This is a concern to them because of past failures, but worries about where the arms end up during the war, or when the fighting is over is real.
Supplying arms to those fighting for freedom is a morality choice civilized countries struggle with, especially if the fight is against a tyrannical dictator they helped keep in power. At the same time, even if they wanted to help, they are bound to follow standard protocols set up by inept and divided organizations such as the United Nations. The chances of getting the UN to move unanimously in anyone’s favor is slim to none and will more likely turn into a lesson in futility.
Freedom fighters should not expect a political change, or a large influx of weapons, from donor nations any time soon if at all. The best chance they have to change minds is to shame the world for doing nothing.
Freedom fighters must prove they are not religious zealots or others with an ideology we would regret helping later. Any zealot, who dares speak of battles after a revolution is over, has already done the revolution a great disservice. Distance yourself from these people’s remarks. Shun them from the community and leadership positions.
It is a tireless and thankless task to change the minds of a splintered and hypocritical world, but like it or not we are all part it. Freedom fighters must prove without a doubt that they want to be part of the world community. They can start by being better than we are, more civilized than we are, and more united than we are. This is only achievable if they unite with one voice. More important, the message they give to the world must be the same as the message they give to their own people.
After overcoming all the previous handicaps, the last one is to prove to the world that it is not backing a loser. Only by convincing the world that the revolution is the nation’s future, and in the worlds best interests, will parts of the world overlook the hurdles they place on themselves. The world will remain divided on how to help, with each nation having their own motives, but that is a minor concern for those fighting for survival.
Remember, those who cannot, or will not get the world on their side, are likely fighting a lost cause, if not an extended one, by fighting all on their own.
In conclusion, it will be a hard struggle just to unite your own people behind your cause much less the world. If revolutions were easy, they would be yearly events.
Never fire a weapon into the air in jubilation or celebration. Celebratory gunfire is a stupid act that is wrong at so many levels. all those in the area are responsible to make it known that this juvenile and dangerous practice will not be tolerated.
We all know that hotheads blow off steam. As long as discipline remains, this is allowed, at times it is even encouraged. However, firing guns for no reason, and without orders, does not show discipline but the lack of it. Lack of discipline is so wrong in fact, that those who cannot control themselves must be relieved of duty and their weapons seized.
Now repeat after me:
- If you cannot gain control of your men, you will not have them for long.
- If you try to force order on men that refuse it, you will not have them for long.
Gunfire of any amount is not pleasing to most people. In fact, it is terrifying. It does not instill calm to the area, nor does it radiate control or confidence. When the battle is over, people want quiet. They do not want more gunfire at all hours of the day and night.
In times when a movement needs all the good relations it can get, the most important relations might be achieved simply by not annoying the neighbors. Revolutions are finished once they becomes a nuisance.
More reasons not to fire a gun in celebration.
- It wastes ammunition
- Trigger-happy allies are just as scared and untrained as everyone else is. Sometimes they shoot back, thinking someone is shooting at them.
- Thinking there is a battle in progress, your allies may waste ammunition shooting at phantoms, as they run to your aid.
- Bullets falling to the earth kill innocents.
- Equipment wears out and will need cleaning and repairing more often.
- Gunfire gives away your position to the enemy.
- Gunfire gives a rough estimate to the enemy on how many weapons you have.
- Gunfire increases the tension level of those occupying an area.
- Gunfire proves without a doubt that a group is an untrained and undisciplined mob.
- Etc., Etc., Etc…
We can easily agree that unnecessary gunfire is not the preferred solution around neighborhood or civilians. We can further establish that unnecessary gunfire can lead to no good. Therefore, gunfire and civilians are a bad combination.
Gunfire when not appropriate can stifle a mood not enhance it. In crowded areas, it is disruptive, counter productive, and as a rule, unnecessary gunfire must not be tolerated.
STOP CELEBRATORY GUNFIRE
For those who need further proof on what celebratory gunfire can do check out Wikipedia’s version of Celebratory gunfire, or the video below from al-Baidah, Libya.
Life and death decisions are mentioned repeatedly on this website. This time it comes from a simple moment of joyful celebrating.
Pay attention to the boy on the truck holding the flag. All he did was ride a fire truck during celebrations when out of no where a celebratory gunshot hit him in the head. His condition is unknown, but since he was hit in the head it is likely he was killed.
Warning: video is disturbing
Note: Shaikh Gheriayni issued a fatwa on celebratory gunfire. He said that it is haram to shoot in celebration. One who does should fast 60 days, upon hearing of a death in that vicinity. They cannot know if the bullet they fired was the one that killed the individual.
Gheriayni’s fatwa is a mere slap on the wrist. He did not go anywhere near far enough.
Created: May 01, 2011
Revised: March 03, 2013