Anyone who knows me by now, also knows that I am passionate and vociferous about the subject of refugees and immigration.

In this Sunday’s post & book recommendation, I cover a book that has been on my reading list for some time, “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger.

Junger explains how during combat, war, or even natural disasters people put aside all differences, religion, race, and disagreements to come together, help and feed each other.

He gives specific examples of natural disasters for example in Peru in 1970 when a terrible earthquake claimed the lives of 90% of the inhabitants of the city of Yungay and how for several days the survivors had to pull together to help each other and share resources until help could arrive and how this situation quickly changed as soon help had arrived.

Equally, it explains how people in London kept calm and united during the WWII bombing raids.

While the main subject of the book is why we as human beings prefer to live in tribes and that this type of living reduces stress and increases happiness and the sense of purpose within those living within the tribe, it also brings to light one thing: “That people are more likely to collaborate when they have a common goal or enemy”.

The “Common Enemy” is what interests me. This is exactly what politicians have used in order to control the masses and play the “US & THEM” game. I have seen it in Iran, in Europe, and in America.

Governments and politicians, in order to play their game always need to find a common enemy. For the West in early 1980 to 1990s, Russia was that enemy. In fact in the book “Refugees” the author of one of the chapters, a Ukrainian refugee speaks of their problems, discrimination, and prejudice in the 1990s in Europe. Fast forward to 2021–2, when Ukrainians were suddenly the golden apple for the Europeans, invited warmly to Europe, while Russia turned into the common enemy for all.

The situation was no different from when Iran changed its regime. Iranians from one day to the next were unwelcomed, no longer a friend, and suddenly turned into the evil and common enemy that was needed in order to pull the people together in the West to find the Iranians as one common enemy. The same was used by the Iranian government. The Iran-Iraq war was the perfect tool for the government to pull the Iranians together as they now had a common external enemy.

While there is a common external enemy, the sense of people protecting their homes is much higher and they turn a blind eye to those mischievous or inappropriate use of the power of within. Those issues are secondary and are to be tackled after the external enemy has been defeated.

The United States’ war against Terrorism is one great example of this. In order to rage war, The US politicians needed a common enemy. While there was no proof of any weapons of mass destruction, or an evil force capable of doing anything, the 11th of September twin tower attack was the perfect incident that the American politicians could use as an excuse to pull the people together to fight an evil.

To fight an evil? I ask. After 20 years and x many billions of US$ tax payers they replaced Taliban with Taliban ?!

What was the point?

Arm sales.

Manufacturers of warfare do not stop producing and the army camps and warehouses can only store so much. After a while, they have to be used. There needs to be a reason to use them and unless WAR and ENEMIES are not created, they will not be used.

In the end, taxpayers and the countries of those people fighting or receiving the goods will pay for the politicians’ commissions of warfare sold and used. It is written down as a humanitarian act and the cycle repeats.

While I have digressed, I return to why this book is an eye-opener if you can read between the lines. The fact that we as human beings are programmed to live and work in groups, we find purpose in protecting each other and fighting against outside enemies. This very fact is what is used by politicians to create and justify war and few people ever consider that they have been simply manipulated.

Like it or not. This is my opinion. You are entitled to yours and I am happy for you to share your thoughts below.