Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Suffer With You, Paris

That multiple terrorist attacks have now taken the lives of possibly as many as 200 tonight, seems appalling, but also absurd--what gain did they ever expect to have from killing so many regular people? They struck at people gathered at a sporting event, at a music concert--these are regular activities anyone might engage in--but why did they think these people, these people particularly, should go?

There's this wonderful hashtag #porteouverte where great people are offering spaces to various people disrupted by these terrorist attacks. This is such a beautiful and hospitable thing to do, it is the instant rebuke to the very ethos that generated these attacks.

The French people are decent, tolerant, and generous. The people who attacked them are the world's worst, stupidest, and most days-numbered cowards.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

There's no place for liberté, égalité, fraternité in a fundamentalist's worldview. Vive la France.

mikey said...

Religious mythology breeds fear and hatred of other beliefs, and is toxic to human community.

To answer your specific question, this is a brilliant tactic. The best way to mobilize Islamic fundamentalist solidarity, to bring believers to a willingness to fight for the Caliphate, is to make them a despised minority in a highly integrated place like Europe. The goal - and it's going to work, I fear - is to make Europe perceive its Muslims as a hated, feared and dangerous cohort. That widens the war, and makes it impossible for Muslims to stay on the sidelines...

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, when we find out why these specific targets were selected I suspect we will learn that in part it was because they're all soft targets and high profile targets.

They are doing it because they want to have a worldwide caliphate with everyone in the world either eliminated or devotedly practicing Islam. Regrettably, Islam through the Koran gives explicit approval for torture and murder when it is seen as desirable to convert non-believers to Islam. The heart of their initiative is ideological. It is not economic or social. It is an ideological purity that demands non-Islamic believers be eliminated. We have been fighting jihadists since the time of Thomas Jefferson. The Barbary pirates in many ways simply presented the same old struggle.

It would be comforting to think that these atrocities were carried out because of fundamentalist thinking. However, Islam has a depth of theology and I'm afraid that the tenets are also embraced by people who would not be regarded as fundamentalist.

In our terms this is not so much fundamentalism as the fanaticism of a death cult. Fundamentalism has been responsible for horrible things, especially if you include secular fundamentalists like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao. One could say, for example, that Stalin was a fundamentalist Communist. And the Third Reich was fundamentalist about racial purity, and so forth.

However, in our terms fundamentalist is Pat Robertson. And while he may be obnoxious, he is a fundamentalist about thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not lie, thou shalt not steal. And a fundamentalist about loving thy neighbor as thyself. I believe we do a disservice to our capacity for understanding when we view all fundamentalists as equal. There are fundamentalist Buddhists who were run out of Tibet in part because of their fundamentalist doctrine of harmlessness. As a consequence, they did not build an army to challenge the Red Chinese.

In Christianity, for example, in addition to fundamentalists we have theologians like Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr whom President Obama regards as his favorite theologian.

In Islam, however, even the intelligent devotee agrees with beheading, stoning, and establishing a totalitarian caliphate.

We have fanaticism now rising in the United States, and astoundingly enough the university campus is becoming a place where free speech in in danger of elimination. Imagine hundreds of thousands of graduates believing censure of free speech needs to be established throughout society.

This will be happening a lot more in the United States unless we kick political correctness to the curb, change our immigration policies, and aggressively confront Islam domestically and abroad. As a Vietnam vet I can assure you that people in the US have had it comfortable for such a long time that they have forgotten what threats really are. And we should have started an aggressive policy years ago. I hope it is not too late.