Oct 222014

berlin-wall-flagMy parents escaped from communist Poland when I was a wee baby. And there was a level of actual “escaping” involved, the country was trying to prevent their leaving. Preventing one’s citizens from leaving a country, despite their wishes, is a pretty infamous characteristic of totalitarian regimes, especially communist ones. Our media still criticizes North Korea for it.

How are the Western countries trying to stop people from leaving their state any different?

For that matter, can anyone figure out why the UK (and other countries) are trying to prevent their citizens from running off to the middle east to join IS? Shouldn’t that be encouraged? It’s gets dangerous radicals out of your country, and it makes them happier. AND it makes all their former neighbors safer and happier as well. What is the downside? Everyone wins. And you aren’t faced with the bad publicity of attacking your own citizens within your own borders, which has always been a red flag of totalitarianism. Do we really want to become more like the very societies we’ve been taught are evil for so long?

What am I missing here?

  9 Responses to “Involuntary “Citizenship””

  1. In many / most cases these people don’t renounce / drop their citizenship. They go, fight in a jihad learning bomb making, cell structures, how to plant bombs without being caught, and other such skills. Then since they still have their passport they can fly back to their ‘home’ country and cause havoc. The measures proposed include mostly things like takings peoples passports. So they essentially say once you switch sides you have to stay on your new side. You can’t actually be a IS jihadist and pretend to me a citizen of Europe. This is analogous to if I left for a new company my current employer would not continue letting me access our network drives.

  2. What Quixote said about returning with the skills and ideology necessary to set up new terrorist cells in the UK. Just “not letting them back in again” is not a foolproof strategy since borders are porous and a passport isn’t the most important thing in establishing a network compared to contacts and local knowledge in the country.

    But also, IS is an enemy of the UK. It murders British citizens abroad, fights against states allied with the UK, and has declared its support for a broad campaign of violence and sedition against the UK government and people. Signing up to fight with IS is treason, however simplistic that sounds.

    • You make a compelling point about porous borders and returning extremists. :/ I wish there was some data available as to how much of a problem that actually is.

  3. Just read in the Economisttbst the UK explored taking returning Jihadists passports away but had to abandon the idea as it’s against international law to make someone stateless.

    • I’m not convinced this was their true rejection. Nations seem to have no trouble disregarding international laws when they want to do things like torture people.

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