The new post-colonial in the Middle East

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In the post-pandemic world, signs, and manifestations of slavery present a new era of unconventional challenges perpetrated by governments or armed non-state actors (terrorist organizations, criminal gangs, and hybrid groups), says Benjamin Wittes, an American legal journalist and senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

As fifth-generation warfare has been on the rise in the Middle East, it has become a source of violence and a threat to human security. Violence has manifested in specific crimes such as slavery, servitude and forced labor, forced marriage, sexual violence, systematic rape, human trafficking (especially of children and women), the enslavement of migrants in detention centers, and other slavery-like practices as cyber nuclear crimes.

Eat News spoke with Benjamin Wittes, the author of The Future of Violence. He entitled lights on modernity and technological new weapons destruction. Humanity is witnessing a model of the deadliest and devasting violence that undoubtedly brought with its positives but established a perilous concept of unprecedented violence and terror.

He said, “These profound and radical changes bring unconventional challenges and risks related to human beings, because the intensity of the process of interaction with advanced electronic applications and intelligent virtual life leads to an over-repressed fascination with selfishness and self-absorption, as well as psychological problems that depend on the idea of seduction and motivation.”

He added, “The instincts and feelings of the recipient made the sentiments speech becomes a targeted priority and controlled by the act of advertising, marketing and commodification, human being become a captive of interactions of likes and fictitious numbers, besides other aspects of cyber threats, non-traditional interactions, espionage, data breaches, security and privacy problems in the surveillance community related to the virtual society that transmitted the conflict of Military to a hazardous and advanced concept.”

He emphasized, Therefore, talking about human civilization today seems empty as long as this civilization obeys the principle of the strong and the weak, the victor and the vanquished, and there is no room to talk about the dialogue of cultures. Because the masters of globalization control the means and cannot prevent the goals, that why globalization came for democracy and Prosperity, which is considered a necessary phenomenon in the noble human sense that might need to go beyond the techniques and material means, i.e., the soul and the human essence.

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In his opinion, any conversation today about human civilization and the dialogue between cultures has become a mirror for a specific ideology. It is the weak ideology, those who dream of equality and consolation in a globalized and vast space where there is no place for equality. Still, it is a lot of business for something different, like barbarism, savagery, alienation, and occupation that takes a new face of colonial forms. This new concept of violence and terrorism of the twenty-first century calls for new challenges and determinant strategies to confront it?

This new concept of violence and terrorism of the twenty-first century calls for new challenges and determinant strategies to confront it? He believes that most of the theories put by Western strategists such as Fukuyama and Huntington about the end of history and the clash of civilizations were failed theories. He said, “I believe that Europe, when it brought about religious reforms, didn’t create it through the development of the religious system. Today, we use robots in operating rooms to support surgical procedures and battlefields to scan the terrain and deliver supplies. But what happens when these automated tools fall into the hands of criminals who decide to reprogram them for nefarious purposes? Then there is the technology that enables and underlies all of the other new technologies: the vast and ever-growing digital network that connects devices in our homes and offices and, increasingly, on our bodies. Such devices continuously collect and transmit data and then store those data on remote servers that are highly vulnerable to digital stalkers, data aggregators, and members of cyber-crime syndicates. To be sure, these devices empower us. But the more that everything we touch, carry, and wear becomes part of a network, the less secure we become.”

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“I see that Conflicts still exist, whether conflicts of religions, cultures, identities, and nationalities. The most important question is that racism, hatred, intolerance, and arrogance have not ended. Instead, it has become more entrenched and recorded new violations of another aspect of colonialism and domination aiming to extend the most significant possible amount of control. Besides that, the question must not be about a clash of civilizations instead a dialogue of civilizations. Each society has its qualified privileges to lead the world from a different perspective by proposing a formula for exchanging cultures and pluralism”, Benjamin Wittes said.

In the same context, the book highlights cyber attacks as one of those significant challenges facing the world and exacerbating the future of violence, as these attacks would inflict severe damage on important government institutions and private companies. That means that states are required to increase their power incrementally to counter such catastrophic risks.

“We should warn of the widespread use of uncrewed aerial vehicles, which are developing extensively and spreading worldwide far from their monopoly in favor of certain parties. The fear that these planes might come into contact with individuals, which according to the philosopher ‘Thomas Hobbes’ makes the world appear to be a ‘war of all against all’, calls for the need to protect the state and make it a strong structure capable of facing these dangers”, Benjamin Wittes said.

These cyber-terrorist attacks are characterized by connections between countries around the world, which means that a terrorist attack on one country can affect the security of another, which at some point requires the intervention of states. Thus, another issue arises related to sovereignty and the ability of states to protect their interests vis-à-vis other groups or countries. So, given these challenges, the future of world security will not be guaranteed, Benjamin Wittes said.

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Benjamin Wittes concludes that exploring non-traditional security threats associated with the emergence and development of new technologies opens up a serious discussion about the future of violence in the world. Arriving at a better scenario through which more international cooperation can be brought into play to address the growing threats and risks, whether they exist or are endured, makes the future of world violence more optimistic from the current perspective.

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Ornella Sukkar is a Lebanese journalist specialized in Arab-Islamic and radicalization studies from an oriental perspective and international affaires.


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