Thoughts on Paris
  • This really shouldn't need any other clarification if you've walked near a TV today. 

    Personally I find the news sad, but not shocking at all. 
  • Just going WTF, ISIS has now pissed off metal fans, 120 people dead RIP man!
  • I have no words. I was following events closely because a friend of mine was vacationing in France this week, specifically Paris. Heard back from them an hour ago, so I'm super relieved. I'm praying for the families and friends who didn't receive good news.

  • Epke, I heard it was closer to 160.
  • They mentioned 153 on CNN Japan now.
  • I have no idea how France will respond. ISIS believes the end is nigh. They are lashing out at any target they can hit more than trying hit those who oppose them most strongly. Europe is simply a softer target for them.
  • Well, considering Hollande is totally insane he will probably respond by unliking ISIS on his Facebook. That'll teach 'em. He responded to the massive wave of refugees with the brilliant idea to launch air strikes on Syria last month, so we must expect a similar level of reason and logic this time around too.
  • This news makes me very sad. Not just that it happened in Paris but its a sobering reminder that this happens frequently in other parts of the world. This is just better documented and more accessibly vocal with how relevant France is to my part of the world.

    In terms of reaction, I would personally prefer a path of kindness, compassion and empathy where we both educate and gentrify the fuck out of the source/origin regions. I'm not sure if I am right on this but to me it seems like the only real way to curb the problem as unlikely as this scenario is.

    Also its scary as fuck because there's the projection of, if I were in that situation, what realistically could do that would a) keep me alive b) actually immediately help out.
  • It always bothers me that terrorist attacks in the West receive a stronger reaction than say the terrorist attack that just happened in Lebanon, or the death of 147 people at a university in Kenya.

    Are we just desensitised to what happens in the rest of the world because it always seems to happen, or is it because we value western lives more than others?
  • @AshGooner

    Good point, we are very numb to third world bombings.
  • For the same reason we worry about a friend who's been in a car accident and don't spend our days weeping for the thousands of others killed every year. Let each mourn their own.

    Damn straight I value some lives more than others. Anyone who says they value all lives equally is either a liar or a psychopath, possibly both. "A friend to all is a friend to none", as Aristotle said.
  • The west will band together and strike out, hope they do not strike at the wrong targets and fan the flames in the middle east even more. And i will worry that Muslims will be demonized even more even do there were Muslims victims in Paris
  • It's hard to imagine how they could possibly make things worse. The Middle East is a bonfire as it is. I don't know how this is all going to end but I do know we aren't finished counting bodies yet.
  • Like this?
  • Obviously a horrific attack. Reading about people Tweeting and Facebook posting begging to police to come because they were being killed was brutal.

    There will be a lot of talk about solutions in the coming days, but there are no solutions. There are only calculated choices. We could choose, for instance, to ramp up our air and drone strikes in Syria and Iraq. But IS is geographically contained already and mostly incapable of expanding, so I am not sure what that will do. We could choose to do nothing. We could choose to put down ground troops. We could choose to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for being the main source of Islamic terrorism, and our support of them for decades, and cause an oil crisis. The only solution, really, is to invent a time machine and go back 15 years and prevent the Iraq War, since the vast majority of IS officers and agents come from former commanders and intelligence agents from Saddam's Baathist party. That war will be the defining blunder of western leaders, mostly the US and UK, for the entirety of the 21st century, for not only failing to improve Iraq for Iraqis, but also for helping plant the seeds for IS.

    IS fundamentally wants to divide the world into two spheres; they have made this their literal strategy that anyone can find by reading their pamphlets and messages. They want Muslims to have to choose between a hostile, Islamaphobic west, and a pro-Muslim caliphate, because the only way they can convince people to join is by creating a division between 'worlds.' These targets were no happenstance, they attacked an area of Paris that has Green party politicians representing them, and are known to be very diverse, young, and progressive. They want to turn these people into hardliners who will respond negatively to Muslims. When Angela Merkel announced the reception of refugees earlier this year, and said Germany would bring them in, IS put out almost 20 videos in the span of a few weeks trying desperately to portray Germany and Europe in a bad light, because they saw that the EU accepting refugees that Muslim countries like Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the like were not was the single greatest detriment to IS that could occur. Really, the greatest tool we have against IS is the fact that we are not IS.

    France has the second most powerful military in the world, but I fail to see a way it can be brought to great effect here. Syria is a catastrophe of human death and destruction, with a mass-murdering tyrant and a swath of mass-murdering extremists and 50 years of modern development now lost. Iraq is more salvageable in that there is a somewhat functioning government, but nobody has the manpower nor drive to try to right that ship, and any solution that involves military will undoubtedly cause more civilian casualties and more alienation. 

    Ultimately, I expect the status quo will be the defining response here, with maybe a few more airstrikes, a few more police raids, and a lot more Islamaphobia, the latter of which plays right into IS' hands. Technically speaking, these attacks are still very rare, and your heart, brain, car, beer, house, gun, are all more likely to kill you. They are meant to drive fear. But we don't have to let them.
  • Epke, how do you get to the oil if you irradiate everything? Or do you think the nukes will be heading our way, Jack Bauer style? 

    Hollande, to nobody's surprise, has bombed IS targets, again. Impotent aggression at its finest.
  • I don't know if this is on-the-money or utterly wrong or somewhere in the middle, but this is an interesting read from British journalist Jon Snow (yes, really, that's his name).  Several of the comments on that article refer to the Bitter Lake agreement between the US and Saudi Arabia - did anyone watch the Bitter Lake documentary from the BBC by Adam Curtis - the guy behind the excellent Power of Nightmares?  It was depressing as all hell and didn't hang together quite as compellingly as PoN, but it was also pretty gripping viewing in a horrible way...

  • It sounds unnecessarily dramatic. The biggest threat since the end of the World War II was probably America and the USSR during the height of the Cold War going nuclear. Either way, yeah, the developed world's buddy-buddy relationship with Saudi Arabia has caused a lot of this. We supported Wahhabism through the Cold War decades because they were staunchly anti-socialist. They were seen as religious fundamentalism that could be used against calls for oil nationalization and leftist policy. If you package oil and anti-communist together, we'll buy it no matter what the cost is. Whoops. Now we're dealing with the effects of decades of the most well-funded religious school on the planet, one that happens to be extremely, extremely conservative and is ripped straight out of centuries long gone by. 
  • @Flibble only the top soil will be irradiated, and as the american prisons are full they can work to get the oil to get a reduced "life" sentence :P
    Noobied by 1Dr Flibble
  • I found it all very upsetting, some fucked up shit.
  • Nice one Epke, every solution needs a problem!

    G, I watched that documentary you recommended last night. Not as good as Power of Nightmares but not bad. Bloody long though. It would have been nice if they'd gone into the petrodollar more. Few people understand the implications and the importance of them. But I suppose they wanted the viewer to stay awake. The Saudi's don't get called on near enough of their bullshit, same as Israel. As the SJW community would say, someone should check their privilege.
  • Can't we just send Sarkeesian to IS? I am sure she will talk some sense into them with her firm grasp on reality :P
  • Maybe after she's finished getting the UN to police the internet for trolls hurting her feels.

    I read today that Obama is again going after Assad. Apparently if Assad goes then IS will go away or some such nonsense. Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad. All three men threatened the dollar, and only one still draws breath, and only because of Obama and Kerry's monumental fuck up a couple of years back. Will the US get their murder trifecta? Doesn't matter, the dollar is screwed either way.
  • Hussein was Bush, and without the invasion of Iraq, no ISIS. That was the most amazing American fuck up since Vietnam. Historians are gonna look back and think it was like if we had invaded Argentina after Pearl Harbor.

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