The violence in Aleppo and around the world might be fueling a generation of psychopaths who can turn violent, recreating some of the problems in Aleppo elsewhere in the world. The picture is heartbreaking but also consider what that child has been exposed to? What kind of life might he lead? The “X-men” comic book’s primary villain, Magneto, and anti-hero is a man turned violent and extreme due to violence and injustice he saw as a child. It’s not a quantifiable argument but as the west becomes less apt to carry out violence it’s something to consider for the future. The barbarian hordes, after all, toppled Rome in the final blow.

If it’s not enough that we’re facing the humanitarian crisis of your time, it won’t end there. The Taliban and young fighters have lived and grown up in an intensely violent region. During a VICE episode it showed children who defend their village in battle with crewserved weapons in Afghanistan like resistance fighters in Mad Max 2. That’s a stark difference from the “microaggressions” and snap chats that our kids live with today. ISIL and the Taliban both have men who have grown up in hell. They’ve learned that the stronger man survives. They learned how to be violent and become psychopaths.

Disclaimer being a psychopath or possessing sociopathy just describes someone. It doesn’t absolve them from wrong-doing or condemn on principle. There are many of both in society who function and contribute. It has been labeled as an evil personality – but it is the critical factor and allows some to be the most violent in society.

In a TED talk, Jim Fallon dissects the new factors that create a ‘real psychopath’ and expresses concern that areas of turmoil and violence beget more violence via psychopaths. It has also allowed many to carry out incredibly powerful acts for good by being free of many emotions that shackle others. But in this case – in these war zones it might lead to more violence. Because there is also a profound lack of understanding and education. Not only to the events surrounding those in the zones but in a general sense. A warrior culture emerges in its place and religion the education.

Jim Fallon exploring the mind of a killer

Special Forces on the ground have noted the Taliban’s renewed strength. I’ve heard they no longer run from more extended battle, but call for reinforcements. They are not afraid. This is why so many cultures in peace time take their children hunting. They needed to learn to use measured aggression, and the ability to kill. Except in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, there’s been no need for systematic and restrained violence. It’s been the likely birthplace of many psychopaths who want to kill and have joined ISIL or militant groups on the ground. ISIL has committed violence unseen by other extremist groups and have a clear desire to battle and to do so immediately. They’re psychopaths who might idolize killing.

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They moved closer to the knife and the act of violence as we propel ourselves back into a technological killing machine.

As long as their problems are human based they will need human solutions. We have to be on the ground negotiating and at times, fighting to kill those who will undoubtedly kill us. The high percentage of PTSD and mental illness could be related to a culture that has distanced itself from the reality of violence in the world. We’ve all met the young college graduate who believes those in society, like myself, who represent a capacity to deliver violence are unneeded.

Poise in chaos and ability to comprehend the violence by Afghan children were noticeable in Afghanistan. From what I saw it was impressive. These kids have a maturity many adults in senior positions lack. Is our next generation prepared for the battles to come? War and violence is a consistent part of human civilization. We might need medical technology tools to numb those at war and reset them when they return in the future.

A safe zone or cease-fire, whatever it is – still must be planned with some precision. There must be a political solution, which ultimately there always is, in Syria. It should be based on an idea to not incite more violence – but save those we can, salvage what we can and stymie the flow of radicalized thought and exposure to extreme violence in the region. A military intervention, going after Assad with ISIL on the back porch will lead to more violence. There’s no clear or clean choice and whatever the decision: it will be a monumental one in the next presidency.

Featured image courtesy of The Sun.