Friday, November 13, 2015

Quelle Horror, Vraiment

I woke up this afternoon to horrible news, the series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris which claimed the lives of over one hundred victims. I haven't been to Paris in a decade, so it's hard to reconcile the scenes of carnage with the City of Light that I remember... it's especially jarring to see crimson carnage sullying a city characterized by the rosy life.

This has been a terrible year as far as terror attacks in France are concerned, starting with the Charlie Hebdo attack and continuing with the attempted trainboard massacre. This new horror is the nadir of a bad year.

Right now, my sympathies and well-wishes go out to the French people. I feel a kinship with Parisians- my mother's father's mother left Paris to escape from an arranged marriage, only to fall in love with a merchant seaman from Alsace-Lorraine, and my mother spoke both French and Swiss-German at home as a young girl. While in Paris, I noted that the French people were much more hospitable than American popular culture would lead one to believe. I hope that the French government responds to these terror attacks in a wise faction... fourteen years ago, the metropolitan area which I call home came under attack, and my government responded to these attacks by launching a war against innocent bystanders, a war calculated to line the pockets of administration apparatchiks with our tax dollars and Middle Eastern petroleum reserves, a war which caused much of the blowback that led to these current attacks. I hope that President Hollande is prudent... skulls need to be cracked, but they have to be the right ones.

May Liberté, égalité, fraternité never give way to nihilistic fundamentalism or a paranoid security state. Vive la France! Bon Courage!


Laura said...

I couldn't believe what I was seeing last night. I feel badly as well for the French people. I agree with everything you wrote 100%!

Side note... At first I thought you wrote.. my Mother's Father fell in love with a merchant seaman. That would have added a whole new dimension to the "Bastard Family Tree" eh? LOL!
Sometimes it takes me a few seconds but eventually I weed out the true story. ;)
Take care Big B!!!


mikey said...

2 key lessons from the post 9/11 experience one can truly hope the Europeans will have learned.

First, terrorism is never, in any way, a military problem. It is not a 'war', and all the firepower and infantry brigades in the world cannot do anything but make it worse. Law enforcement, communication, intelligence gathering, defensive measures to disrupt and break down terror groups work much better, and don't encourage further recruitment and attacks.

Second, there is no value in rolling back civil liberties. It has a very limited security value, but hands a gigantic victory to the opposing forces. Accept a level of risk, and have the courage to hold on to your values.

The real challenge for Europe will be the far right nationalist crazies that have gained so much power over the last decade. We know what Marine Le Pen's response will be, we can only hope it doesn't resonate to the extent we can probably, sadly, expect it to...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Unsurprisingly, the right-wingers in this country who supported the primary reason ISIS came into existence (the unnecessary war crime that was the invasion of Iraq) have no intentions of taking any responsibility.

And instead are doubling down on their prescription for disaster.

Chickpea said...

I hope there will not be a backlash against the refugees, the right wing are already spreading blame and fear.