Au­thor Gwynne Dyer of­fers per­spec­tive on Is­lamic State

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Noted his­to­rian, jour­nal­ist, broad­caster and lec­turer Gwynne Dyer of­fered a fresh per­spec­tive and con­text to world events, in par­tic­u­lar the rise of the Is­lamic State, to DVSS stu­dents and the com­mu­nity, Mon­day.

Dyer was in­vited to speak to stu­dents by An­drew Ber­dahl, teacher at DVSS. Friends of DVSS spon­sored his ap­pear­ance. He spoke to stu­dents in the af­ter­noon, and then did a free talk with mem­bers of the com­mu­nity that evening.

His talk fo­cused on the his­toric roots of the Is­lamic State and its path from rebel roots to Osama Bin Laden and AlQaeda in Afghanistan and the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks. This was a di­rect path to the sit­u­a­tion in Syria and Iraq to­day.

He gauges how cred­i­ble ter­ror­ist threats to Canada and the US are and if we are in­deed the tar­get of th­ese threats, or sim­ply a pawn in the Is­lamic State’s own bat­tle across the world.

“I think it is im­por­tant be­cause we get suck­ered all the time by peo­ple who want to send our troops off, get us in­volved in things that may be just fu­tile—and will get some peo­ple killed, or are counter pro­duc­tive,” he tells

“This will al­ways be around, this will al­ways be in the me­dia, it will be an­other feed­ing frenzy, and it is ev­ery year. All sorts of ac­tors in Canada, some whom do not un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tion and some of whom are ex­ploit­ing it, will be urg­ing us to go and do what­ever it is we are called upon by events, or our al­lies or the op­po­si­tion par­ties”.

“It’s not that we should never do this, it's about we should un­der­stand what it is about, what is at risk and if you want to do some­thing that is pub­lic spir­ited or al­tru­is­tic like go and fight evil peo­ple in Iraq or Syria to save de­cent peo­ple in Iraq or Syria from bad guys, go ahead and do so. I might hold your coat or I might even help you, but don’t tell me it’s about

Gwynne Dyer spoke to DVSS stu­dents and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity on Mon­day.

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