In some respects I do agree, if you are on a battle field fighting for a side that is causing global terror and death then yes, you do deserve to die. However, the words used by the most recent Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, are scary. I felt like he was suggesting more than just battle field killings as part of air strikes. "hunted down" suggsests assassinations, suicides in the countryside or 'gang crime related' deaths, this is a different kettle of fish. Obviously, I don't have and never will have evidence that this kind of thing has happend before. The state would cover it up with more than just a false tash and glasses with rubber nose attached.
It's also impossible to legally make the returning daesh fighters stateless since that would be a breach of the internation convention on statelessness. Moreover, setting somebody loose would only make them somebody else's problem or executioner.
What could be done instead then? Well, this Danish town might have the answer. Rather than using such profiling that leads to a bad experience from Prevent, that's been oh so successful in the UK. In summary, this town has strengthen connections with the local muslim population and uses the intel from them to intervene and tries to fix some of the problems that the young people are having that lured them to daesh's propaganda. It's a practical solution, it's also flawed but so too will any program trying to break idealism and brain washing. Nothing will be 100% successful 100% of the time. We can't have both complete autonomy of self and still have a guaranty of safety from the state. Even with 0 autonomy we'd probably be victims of horrific personal violations but from the state, like those in fiction from George Orwell and Margaret Atwood.
At risk of slipping into a philosophical criticism of most people's dilution of safety, let's get back to what the Defence Sec said.
In the grand scheme of things killing people while there is potential for them to kill far more people than their combined number isn't such a bad thing. They signed up to die. People going about their lives didn't. My concern is, where does it stop? Not only that but how do we prevent terrible tragedies such as the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005 from happening. It was all down to bad intel but it was still a murdered sanctioned by the state of a foreign national who didn't pose any known threat. I would also say it's evidence that assassinations have been planned before now.
If the state can convince us of the real risk of death from these people, why would we then not give them the nod to do what it takes to keep us safe from 'them'. We could quite easily creap to having our very own wall to be reminded of the greatness of the state.
I really do wish I could say we've come so far since public executions and that this was just an insight from a deranged person's mind. However, I can't. The rise or maybe uncovering of hatreds in modern society makes me wonder quite how far things could go. Not just with state control to prevent unwanted behaviour but from people that are full of misinformation and fear.
First it's a legitimate target like daesh. Correction, secondly daesh - let's not forget the victims from 300ish years of witch hunting. Then what? People who protest with violence such as those seen in Brixton, Toxteth and English 'riots'? Nope the British state have done that before, in 1819 at the Peterloo Massacre, slightly more recently Fuadaichean nan Gàidheal (The Highland Clearnaces) - oh and once more, let's not forget the most recent atrocity by the British state upon "its" people via Dúchrónaigh (The Black and Tan) in the 1920 war of independance.
I'd hope that the international community would intervene but the UN doesn't seem to be able to do very much. Trade embargoes screw the little people not those doing the harm, if citizens can't resist and fight the state with food in their bodies doing it hungry will make it so much more possible. Weapons embargoes do work incredably well, the DPRK (N.Korea) has been stopped in its' tracks with the embargoes against it. Travel bans would stop those trying to find safety from leaving, presuming the embarkation state doesn't stop them. NATO hasn't intervened to stop the death and ill treatment of indigenous people or those hit by austerity.
Who can we rely on to protect us from our protectors? Why would the entity that protects us from the state be any less dangerous?
Let's hope that we can maintain our ignorance of state sanctioned murder and violance, in an overt mordern way, othered and out of our internal feeds of fear for a bit longer. As long as it's only indiginous people, the poor and people of colour its fine.
It's a bad situation when the government openly suggests murder of one group of citizens and the media doesn't seem to highlight the genuine need for fear and alarm. Or, when the media makes a decision to not reference times before when the state has done such terrible things but push one group out to show us that, this group are the worse of any. We got here from the past, much like getting fat, it didn't just happen. it's beyond naïve to ignore history and not see pattens and to not try and stop them from continuing. Why yoyo diet, to carry on the analogy, we need to make real sustainable changes, what they could be, I'm not sure.