to the Spanish Civil War fought the Socialists on their side as cheerfully as the Fascists.
The Sunni jihadis in the Islamic State want to kill all apostates, including Sunni tribes which do not adhere to the al-Qaeda sectarian view and also, of course, all Shias, to say nothing of Yazidis and Christians. Nouri al-Maliki, the just ousted prime minister of Iraq, created a Shia-majority democracy where no Iraqi Sunni family could feel safe. He was only taking revenge for what Saddam Hussein had done to his people.
Young men, and some women, fight and die for the cause in the full belief that this is the martyrdom worth having. Be it the Anushilan martyrs, who threw bombs at the British, or the Irish Sinn Fein ‘terrorists’ fighting to throw out their rulers, violence confers honour from your side and hatred and calumny from those who are being attacked. One man’s shaheed is another man’s terrorist. There is no moral high ground here for any nation or any people. We may hope that as we progress with time, all will become peace-loving and friendly with others. But there is a long way to go yet.
We are perhaps more aware of human rights and the idea that a lot of adversarialp killing is unjustified. We have war crimes as a new category in international law, for which there is an international court. But these courts cannot prosecute without a superior force to apprehend the criminals and bring them to trial.
There is no such force left in the world. The prospect is of more anarchy and more martyrdom.