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Author Topic: Paris on the front lines
Rafi
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News is breaking so details could be fluid but reports now are the gunmen declaring they were recruited by and working for ISIS. Death toll stands at 60 right now. Paris is essentially under martial law tonight, mandatory curfew, military patrols throughout the city and check points being established.

Pretty damn terrible.

Update: now reporting 100 dead. Unbelievable.

[ November 13, 2015, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: Rafi ]

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JoshCrow
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They may have just elected Marine Le Pen.
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Gaoics79
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This is going to be the new normal in Europe. It is impossible to stop this from happening again and with increasingly greater frequency.
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Rafi
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Looking at 140 dead. Unconfirmed reports are that a Syrian refugee camp is being attacked now, presumably in retaliation but that's unconfirmed stuff.
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Pete at Home
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Paris is the city of my childhood. ;(

I am hiding from the news.

all of those who make it a habit to pop in and say that Islamophobia is the most awful thing facing the world today, and thank you for biting it down tonight

[ November 14, 2015, 01:27 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
Looking at 140 dead. Unconfirmed reports are that a Syrian refugee camp is being attacked now, presumably in retaliation but that's unconfirmed stuff.

Well that's real bright, considering that most Syrians are probably on the run from ISIS
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AI Wessex
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It looks like the political backlash will be intense. Initial reports are saying that the perpetrators were not recent immigrants. Hollande is calling for French borders to be closed, a state of emergency and a national curfew. Those are all understandable temporary measures, but they can't stay in place for longer than a minimum time it will take to regroup and implement stricter safety measures.

It's sad to have to endure the obvious danger, that any country can be victimized by a small group of violent extremists. In the US we can go back to Condoleezza Rice who made the case that it's impossible to eliminate all risks.

My fear is the same now as after 9/11. We can't over-react by implementing increasingly severe restrictions on people's freedoms every time one of these rare - however harmful - events occurs. As even our farthest right wing Ornery members like to point out whenever guns are involved in mass murders, the cost of freedom is risk and the freedoms underlying our way of life are based on Constitutional guarantees, not complacency.

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Greg Davidson
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I resonated with this take on the issue (even if it is a quote of a quote):

quote:
David Wong’s “6 Ways to Keep Terrorists From Ruining the World.”

Eerily, Wong begins his irreverent but oh-so-important piece — penned January 2015 — with:

Obviously what's all on our minds right now is the horrific attack in Paris, in which Islamic militants massacred an office full of comedians for drawing pictures that mocked their religion (if you're reading this in the future, just insert whatever mass killing is most recent to you — it will still apply).
And here we are.

Wong’s argument is worth reading in full, but — for your convenience — I’ve excerpted my favorite points. You’re welcome.

(1) Well, in the wake of a terror attack, Step One is to forget about "the score" completely ...

Whenever some notorious rapist is caught, exactly 100 percent of the conversations or Internet comment sections about the subject will say, 'I hope he gets raped in prison!'

See, because that would “even the score.” But even five seconds' consideration demonstrates how monstrous that idea is: “rape is awesome, as long as it's targeted toward people who deserve it!” No, the cruel reality is that if that guy gets raped, the score isn't: Rapist 1, Society 1.

It's: Rape 2, Society 0 ...

So the next time you turn on the news and see that terrorists have blown up 10 children with a car bomb, that's the first step: Realize that the scoreboard lies. It will tell you that winning the game means dropping bombs that you know full well will splatter ten times as many children as collateral damage. The score — the real score — would then be:

Violence Against Children 110, Humanity 0

(2) When a bunch of terrorists blow up a school or shoot up an office full of cartoonists, do you think it's because they don't know we have guns and bombs and drones? You think they do what they do because they believe we're “too weak to strike back” and that we thus need to “show them how strong we are?” ...

They know exactly what we're going to do: We're going to overreact. We do it every time. That's why they do it. So stop, step back, and understand something that most of America doesn't:

They do what they do, because they know we're too weak to resist striking back.

Our knee-jerk, bomb-dropping reflex is our weakness. They are trying to exploit it, because retaliation bombings are how they recruit more terrorists to their side. And please note that when I talk about their “side,” I'm not talking about Islam, or even Islamic terrorism. Their “side” is what I'm going to henceforth call Team Violence ... The bully doesn't fight because he wants to win; he fights because he wants a world in which everything is resolved by fighting (note: The bully himself doesn't realize this). It doesn't matter if he loses — the moment you chose to fight, his side already won, and the world becomes more like the world he wants to live in ...

In other words, “We can't beat them, unless we become more like them.” It's like a doctor telling you he's going to get rid of your tumor by growing a bigger, meaner tumor next to it. Even if it works, Team Cancer wins, and you just fell for a scam that has been tripping up humanity for 200,000 years or so.

(3) Soon after the attack, commentators will appear on every screen in your home explaining in snide, sarcastic tones how the courageous choice is to hate Muslims — like they're the lone, brave voice in a world afraid to hold such a controversial opinion.

The reality ... is that your most automatic, unthinking reflex is always to hit back, and that growing up means resisting it ...

It's the thinking part — the human part — that says to stop, resist the initial urge, and actually think about what action will make the world better.


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Sa'eed
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I just don't understand terrorism like this. What is the point? The only people who have a right to terrorism are, IMO, Palestinians, and just towards the colonizers in the West Bank and the Israeli military who oppress them.

I don't understand what possible goal ISIS hopes to accomplish by killing a minuscule number of Frenchmen and arousing the anger of Europe, the West and the entire world all the more.

And the right-wing media is having a collective orgasm at the sight of this massacre and is delighting in the prospect of more war and discrimination against Muslims.

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Pete at Home
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Just pointing out that on this thread, it wasnt the "right wing" that started standing on these graves to take their business as usual political pot shots.
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Sa'eed
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It isn't potshots--it is experience that the neo-cons who engendered this whole mess in the Middle East will use this affair to buttress their dangerous motives and worldview.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Just pointing out that on this thread, it wasnt the "right wing" that started standing on these graves to take their business as usual political pot shots.

Frankly, I find it sick that you refer to genuine concern as "political pot shots" just because you see the situation differently. Or were you just taking your own "political pot shots"?
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Pete at Home
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"experience that the neo-cons who engendered this whole mess"

That seems to me to be a far fetched bit of grave dancing. Paris is not in the middle east, your causality is off more than your geography, but your timing is particularly ghastly.

To blame this in neoconservative is like blaming every horror of the holocaust and WWII on the first Versailles treaty. Some blame is there, sure, but save at least a little bit of blame for ISIS and the Nazi's, don't you think?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Just pointing out that on this thread, it wasnt the "right wing" that started standing on these graves to take their business as usual political pot shots.

Frankly, I find it sick that you refer to genuine concern as "political pot shots" just because you see the situation differently. Or were you just taking your own "political pot shots"?
Yes, Al. By asking you not to turn this funeral into a screed for gun control and asking Saeed what the hell the right wing's "orgasm" (note you don't bitch at him for the sexual insertion as you did me on a thread that wasn't as sombre), I am just being political. And when I said earlier that this was the city of my childhood and would appreciate a teeny bit of sensitivity, it became my fault that you behaved this way.
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Sa'eed
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The rhetoric of the neo-cons is that radical Islam is at War with the West. They somehow managed to use anger about 9/11 to destroy a secular Arab government (Saddam's) whose fall substantially contributed to the rise of ISIS. These people have been disastrously influential and wrong and it isn't inappropriate to wonder how they'll use this event as propaganda. Perhaps if, after 9/11, more people had been vigilant about the neo-con cabal, the Iraq War disaster wouldn't have happened.
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Pete at Home
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"The rhetoric of the neo-cons is that radical Islam is at War with the West"

Something, or rather, a number of somethings that call themselves "Islam" are at war with the west. Yes the Iraq War(s) made it worse. But it didn't start with the neocons. This probably would not have occurred without their stupidity, but there are several other parties whose incompetence and/or malice led us to this gloomy day.

If I were French, reading your blurb and Al's would make me more likely, not less, to vote for a Le Pen nutcase. Your words read like gloating.

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Pete at Home
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" Perhaps if, after 9/11, more people had been vigilant about the neo-con cabal, the Iraq War disaster wouldn't have happened"

I absolutely agree. Doesn't change the wrongfulness of putting this primarily on them, or the inappropriateness of your tone.

Likewise it would not have happened if Bush I had looked the other way in the 1990s and let Saddam take Saudi Arabia and gas all those crazy extremists. Desert Shield, remember? Lots of folks we can point to and say, if X had not done y, this never would have happened. But let's not blame Jodi Foster for Reagan's shooting, okay? Killers do bear some blame for the stuff they do

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Just pointing out that on this thread, it wasnt the "right wing" that started standing on these graves to take their business as usual political pot shots.

Frankly, I find it sick that you refer to genuine concern as "political pot shots" just because you see the situation differently. Or were you just taking your own "political pot shots"?
And I find it grossly hypocritical that you jumped on my leg when I used the word "orgasm" on the Missouri protest thread, and nary a word to Saeed for using the same word on this thread. I guess a college protest is more sombre and serious than 160 French dead.
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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
" Perhaps if, after 9/11, more people had been vigilant about the neo-con cabal, the Iraq War disaster wouldn't have happened"

I absolutely agree. Doesn't change the wrongfulness of putting this primarily on them, or the inappropriateness of your tone.

I'm not putting it primarily on them. All I'm saying is that these people still have tremendous influence and it's wise to be vigilant about how they'll use this event to further their disastrous policies.

ISIS are scumbags, but they are scumbags that were enabled by careless US military action in Iraq that removed a secular dictator.

quote:
Likewise it would not have happened if Bush I had looked the other way in the 1990s and let Saddam take Saudi Arabia and gas all those crazy extremists. Desert Shield, remember? Lots of folks we can point to and say, if X had not done y, this never would have happened. But let's not blame Jodi Foster for Reagan's shooting, okay? Killers do bear some blame for the stuff they do
Well yes, maybe all this terrorism **** wouldn't be happening if the Pan-Arabists like Saddam had their way and the Arab nations united, a prospect that the West absolutely does not want and would do a whole lot (and is doing a whole lot, like backing the sheiks in Saudia Arabia) to prevent.

Quite frankly the world might have been a whole lot better off if the West enthusiastically backed Saddam and enabled him take the oil Shiekdoms of Arabia.

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Pete at Home
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"I find it sick that you refer to genuine concern as "political pot shots" just because you see the situation differently"

It's not clear that I do see this issue any differently than Sae'ed although I reacted viscerally to what I perceived as the tone and timing of his first post. I agree that electing Le Pen would be a victory for ISIS. I also think that quotes from Americans telling the French what they can and can't do to protect their own, sounds like a great way to get Le Pen elected.

[ November 14, 2015, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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"I'm not putting it primarily on them. All I'm saying is that these people still have tremendous influence and it's wise to be vigilant about how they'll use this event to further their disastrous policies.

ISIS are scumbags, but they are scumbags that were enabled by careless US military action in Iraq that removed a secular dictator"

I absolutely agree. Saddam, where are you now? He looked a little like Stalin and smelled a little like Hitler but was the best and brightest hope for that region, and we offed him.

[ November 14, 2015, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Sa'eed
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Saddam was a capable leader who desired Arab unification, a prospect the West considers more horrific than ISIS and Al-Qaida.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
Saddam was a capable leader who desired Arab unification, a prospect the West considers more horrific than ISIS and Al-Qaida.

Similarly Gaddafi was working towards unification of the African nations. Coincidence?
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Pete at Home
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Well they were also both psychopaths, so I think She'ed mistaken about "the west"s intentions. I suspect Bush He'r removal of Saddam had more to do with Daddy issues.

But like Stalin and Mao during World War II, they were, relative to the alternative, benign psychopaths.

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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
Saddam was a capable leader who desired Arab unification, a prospect the West considers more horrific than ISIS and Al-Qaida.

Similarly Gaddafi was working towards unification of the African nations. Coincidence?
The lesson there is that it's very foolish to give up pursuit of your nuclear weapons program.
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Sa'eed
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We of Muslim origin in the West primarily feel anxiety and fear, not anger, when these sort of terrorist atrocities are carried out by people loudly proclaiming they share our faith. So sorry if my tone is off but I can only focus on this event's effect on people like me, which is only further stigmatization.
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Pete at Home
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Also , Gaddafi was working with the west when they turned on him too. [Frown] but I think that, and the Bushes saving the Saudis, had more to do with Bushes feeling a sense of nonsense oblige between Dynasties. Same reason the Bin Laden family were the only folks flying private jets over America in wake of 9\11 while others were trapped on the ground.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa'eed:
We of Muslim origin in the West primarily feel anxiety and fear, not anger, when these sort of terrorist atrocities are carried out by people loudly proclaiming they share our faith. So sorry if my tone is off but I can only focus on this event's effect on people like me, which is only further stigmatization.

I respect that. My family lived in China when that moron Clinton bombed the Chinese embassy in Serbia. I remember being with them trying to defuse wrath.
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Pete at Home
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I told them I thought our president should be sent to China to be tried for war crimes and that the Chinese people should have a serious word with members of the Chinese government who paid to have Clinton elected. Nothing deflects anger like sincere shared outrage at where it is due.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
The only people who have a right to terrorism are, IMO, Palestinians, and just towards the colonizers in the West Bank
Wow.

Just...wow.

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Pete at Home
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Who said that?
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kmbboots
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Greg, what you posted was good. I didn't want it to go unmarked.
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Pete at Home
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Ah, Sae'ed.

I disagree with your wording of any "right to terrorism". However, I think violent action against oppressive military occupiers and to a lesser extent against civilian occupiers (where said civilians tend to carry ak_47s) should probably not be considered "terrorism"

In that, I think armed Palestinian resistance to settlers and Israeli soldiers is valid as any action in war. But as in war, some actions are war crimes. Using ambulances for military purposes, targeting school busses, etc. Not to mention violating terms of ceasefires etc. These are wrong regardless of the righteousness of an underlying cause. Wrong if the allies did it against Hitler.

[ November 14, 2015, 04:12 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
We of Muslim origin in the West primarily feel anxiety and fear, not anger, when these sort of terrorist atrocities are carried out by people loudly proclaiming they share our faith.
I don't respect this.

I wouldn't suggest that "anger" is necessarily a proper response, but having such a self-absorbed reaction of concern for your own identity group as a "primary" reaction upon hearing news of the murder of people with whom you apparently don't identify, is pretty despicable, in my book.

People lost their lives, and your reaction appears not to be compassion for those individuals, nor condemnation for their murderers--but questioning the wisdom of the action of the murderers, simply because of how it impacts the stigma of the identity group to which you belong.

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seekingprometheus
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Pete

He did say "toward the Israeli military." He just appended it after an "and" which was preceded by his advocacy of terrorism first toward the "colonizers."

It's not a wording problem, though I don't doubt he'll claim it was (out of fear for the stigma to his in-group), I suspect his view is exactly what it sounds like...

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Sa'eed
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I must be self-absorbed about news of this nature given hwo 9/11 negatively affected Muslims in America.
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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
Pete

He did say "toward the Israeli military." He just appended it after an "and" which was preceded by his advocacy of terrorism first toward the "colonizers."

It's not a wording problem, though I don't doubt he'll claim it was (out of fear for the stigma to his in-group), I suspect his view is exactly what it sounds like...

I legitimately and 100% believe Palestinians are justified in carrying out terrorism against West Bank settlers and the Israeli military.
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seekingprometheus
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Well, at least you aren't lying about it.

You are, however, part of the cause for the problem of stigmatization that your in-group faces...

[ November 14, 2015, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
Well, at least you aren't lying about it.

You are, however, part of the problem of stigmatization that your in-group faces...

Terrorism against an occupying military and colonizers is justified.
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seekingprometheus
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You mean that it's justified in your mind.

But it sounds like your mind is trapped within an ethnocentric paradigm--which is fairly common among humans, but it does probably mean that you're not going to be able to successfully manipulate the liberal sensibility of those whom you are trying to enlist in your cause but appear to see simply as "others."

But you never know...humans are notoriously stupid, after all.

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