Stevo Pendarovski – University American College – Skopje

It is probably true that each nation has more that one “Munich”. Clear winners usually do not emerge whenever and wherever life and death meet each other. But, understood as a crossroad of politics and morality, this kind of events has potential to turn inward the face of the nation. Who and when is authorized to apply controversial principle “an eye for an eye” in a world being more and more laid upon the global rules and mutual solidarity?

In democracies Government has upper hand over the intelligence, but, some of later consider (or even act) to obtain prime influence. Honestly: is it possible to merge two different organizational cultures of “shadowy” and “sunny” poles of the world, ones of Governments and secret services? Who in essence creates policy and tailors national interests: first group of people with undisputed electoral legitimacy or latter one, which is put in power by the former?

What if “impossible” happens: political leader and intelligence chief fully agree on the content of retaliation having in mind the same set of values? It might be a difficult guess on the kind of values which reside in the minds of Iranian Grand Ayatollah and the boss of notorious paramilitary organization Basij? Will their reaction in urgency be in compliance with the globally accepted civilization norms, when two years ago they have been opposed to the half of their own population?

Media plurality and political interests make the danger of treating both sides (terrorists and law-enforcement agencies) as morally equal, to be very realistic. But, much more important is the question: in a fragmented world what is supposed to be a response of the post-modern citizens against the barbaric acts of the pre-modern ones? Robert Copper in 2000 said that applying proper instruments should be the order of the day, when contemplating the use of force as a last resort. Nevertheless, how many people are ready to accept this principle a decade later?

Media exposure of terrorist acts and anti-terrorist activities alike should be wisely balanced not to install fear among the average viewers or promote evil people as role models for the wider audience, thus helping recruitment process of youngsters. Unfortunately, TV dramas of this kind are business as usual: prejudices recycled, stereotypes sustained, good people praised, bad people punished. What is wrong with the last two points? Nothing, but the passports of those people. Good characters are always members of our nation, since we routinely avoid having anything in common with the nasty boys. They are anyhow coming from the “different and distant” cultures.

Pen Pal Cooperation