the old saying of which witch is which witch is in the center of focus in media and international relations these days: looking at the protests in turkey, the continuing fighting in syria, and the cases of bradley manning and edward snowden one cannot get around wondering which side to morally support.
it is a matter of fact that the ones hero is the others terrorist, just as well as the ones terrorist is the others hero; che guevara being the most striking example to proof this point.
it is exactly this dilemma one finds him- or herself caught up in these days when consulting the media and following international happenings. torn between the sides, the question of moral rightness gets tangled in argumentative points, one being better than the other.
as a citizen, growing up in the believe of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, one cannot but support the will, strength and courage of turkish and syrian people rising against their government and making their needs be heard. i can only imagine, however, how a statesman or -woman, from any country as a matter of fact, would judge the situation: it is their job to keep order, it is the central tool for internal survival of a state to maintain what georg jellinek identified to be the third pillar of statehood – government (german: gewaltmonopol). if this balance of order and power is at stake the other side’s argument of this conflict is rather understandable as well.
i am well aware that, especially in the case of syria (but also turkey), one has to be careful with voicing any form of understanding, let alone sympathy, on the side of an authoritarian government. this is why i want to clarify that i am trying to take a morally objective approach to the issue, which to me means that one has to put oneself into the shoes of both sides. being able to understand both sides of a conflict does not necessarily say anything about agreeing or disagreeing with either one alternative.
this said, let’s take a look at a less controversial yet equally morally dividing topic: the question between freedom of speech versus betrayal of a state or agency. in other words: the cases manning and snowden. it is an issue to be decided on the cliff of a citizen’s right to know what is going on in ones country and the necessary diplomatic secrecy. so, in the case of manning and snowden – are we talking hero or public enemy? both sides have valid arguments and a moral basis for their claim. and supporting both sides feels like doing the splits, which in itself is a painful endeavor, yet this balancing act happens over a moral high ground, which makes it all the more complicated.
so, at the risk of repeating myself, the big question remains: which witch is which witch?