News Nov 13, 2015 at 1:58 pm


Apropos of nothing, shit, that's where I saw Amon Tobin when I was over there. It's a small, dark, cramped room.
Which GOP candidate will use these (foreign) events to their benefit first? I say Cruz.
No. No. Loving thoughts to you guys.
Love especially to you Sissoucat.
The Followers of Peace never give up.

For fuck's sake let's not politicize this just yet, 'kay? It's a sickening, needless tragedy perpetrated on ordinary people enjoying themselves on a Friday night in Paris. Disgusting.

Hope you're ok, Sissou, on ne veut pas te perdre.
if they want france to become reactionary and (more) anti-islam, they're doing a great job. horrible, horrible, horrible.
the concert is supposed to be josh homme's eagles of death metal.
Fucking bastards, indeed. They ruin everything for everybody. When Andy Rooney once bemoaned how many things had become unpleasant (e.g., air travel) because of terrorists, he concluded, "...that they've made life just that much more irritating. Couldn't you just kill 'em?"

I'm very glad I remember a time when you'd put on dress-up clothes and simply walk out and get on your plane without a pat-down and without a trace of fear - other than perhaps one of flying itself - because no one could conceive, no one could have dreamed that a flight might be used as a tool for terrorists. It's made us all so cynical. It's made us all so weary.

And furthermore, leave Paris alone! It's one of man's greatest achievements. Though that's probably the point.
Who could be behind such despicable acts?
@7 Agreed.
We're staying in the 9th Arrondisement about 7 blocks from the first restaurant attack. Had planned to go out to Le Marais more than an hour ago. Good thing we were delayed because now there are reports of another incident near there. There are a few people on the streets, but they're mostly empty.
@11: I don't understand - this won't make FR more reactionary and anti-islam? or that's not one of the goals of the attack?
@ 15 - I don't understand what GermanSausage meant either, but I'm pretty sure it's not one of the goals of the attack; it's merely one of its side effects. The goal is to generate terror.
These news reports are no different from the weekly reports we get from American colleges/malls/elementary schools. Does France have a branch chapter of the NRA?
@17 There is a high number of illegal guns in circulation in France. The Sky 1 News feed just commented on that. In France you can buy a Kalashnikov for €300 on the street. They come from N Africa.
The goal is to create terror, which creates more islamophobes, which creates more aggression against muslims, which creates more pissed-off recruits for terrorist groups, which creates more terror. They know this.

It's the lifecycle of the toxoplasma of rage.

@15 I think his point is a) you're right; and b) that is probably a goal of the attackers.

Islam as a decedent of Christianity believes in the "End Times" described in revelations and ISIS is actively attempting to bring about the apocalypse and the rapture by triggering the "Army of Rome" to invade the Muslim lands and oppress the believers.
@18: I agree with point #2.
Cops say it's all over at Bataclan.
I try not to be judgmental, but I must say I don't understand this whole rage lifecycle. Can you really blame people for being angry you murdered their fellow countrymen? How does a peaceful Islamist watch a terrorist act, perpetrated by other Islamists, and decide the victims are at fault, simply because they had the gall to get pissed about it?
@20 "How does a peaceful Islamist watch a terrorist act, perpetrated by other Islamists, and decide the victims are at fault, simply because they had the gall to get pissed about it?"

Probably the same way that some people who read about drone attacks killing civilians and express anger towards the victims. It''s not right. It's the way our world tragically works.
Violence begets more violence. My heart goes out to the victims and I hope the perpetrators were either killed or captured.

To Quote MLK: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that..”
Sorry supposed to be @24
Reports saying around 100 dead at the concert. Just awful :(
"Islamophobia"? Really? How about wondering how we can defend Enlightenment values against a murderous group of primitive religious fanatics who delight in raping women and killing children?
@28 Enlightenment values include tolerance and acceptance of difference. The goal of salfi/whabbi/ISIL terrorism is to destroy the tolerance and acceptance of the Muslim community in the "West".
"Tolerance for intolerance is cowardice." - Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Now more than ever.
@ 28 - If the West starts looking at its own crimes against islamic countries (like killing thousands of innocents in Irak and Afghanistan, supporting Israel with arms and money and vetoes against Security Council resolutions that might actually help the peace process, etc.) and if it stops committing them, we might get somewhere. But unless we start applying Enlightenment values, we can't really pretend that our goal is to defend them.
If anyone had a real genuine gripe against USA it would be Vietnam.
So where are the Vietnamese terrorists?

No, part of the problem is the "culture of the middle east".
I disagree c&d @32;. A large part of this problem is the culture of the Middle East.
And the West has been interfering, manipulating and invading different parts of the cultures there, for many, many yrs.
God. Poor France, It has endured so much.
@16: The goal is a world-wide Islamic jihadist caliphate; terror is also a side affect.

I think that we are largely agreeing.
It took until comment @31 and @33 for the first "blame America first" comment. A card that the America hating left reliably plays. You might have to move your goalposts if it turns out that these murderers are not from the ME but from Africa.
No we don't agree -- or maybe we do.
Your punctuation is confusing.
What does "I disagree c&d @32;. A large part of this problem is the culture of the Middle East.."
@ 36 - I said "the West", not America. And I said "islamic countries" (many of which are in Africa), not the Middle East. So unless this happens not to have come from an islamic country, whether African or Middkle Eastern, I won't have to move my goalposts. You, though, should learn to read before you comment. And you shouldn't play the "America hating left" card so fast, it makes you look childish and ignorant.

Numerous countries took part in the invasion of Aghanistan. The UK and Spain went along with the US on the Irak thing. Many European countries, including France, have had a long history of colonialism in Africa and have kept meddling into African affairs ever since. France also sells weapons to an awful lot of countries that maybe shouldn't have them. The US is merely the last in a long line of countries that have fucked up other regions of the world, but none of those countries should be surprised that it now comes back to affect them.

@ 32 - "If anyone had a real genuine gripe against USA it would be Vietnam"

Political history of the second half of the 20th century is obviously not your forte.
What do you mean by that, friend? My question obviously too subtle.
Where ARE the Vietnamese terrorists IN THE USA NOW?

Simple enough?
@38 for the most part the US hasn't seen real blow-back from Afghanistan because most of the world agrees the US had a darn good reason for invading. It's Iraq and the consequences of that mess that has spread blood and the worst jihadist ideology across the Islamic world.

I must say it always annoys me when people conflate Afghanistan and Iraq both politically, militarily, and morally. They are two completely different endeavors that must be judged on their own merits (such that there are).

The US didn't elevate jihadism by responding militarily to 9/11 the US elevated jihadism by attacking Iraq, which had no relationship to the 9/11.…
This is the act of a weak bunch of cowards. and @41, I would say that France now has a darn good reason for throwing down on whatever group (or, most likely, a so-called "caliphate") is responsible for this.
@21: I'd be so honored to be killed in someone else's apocalypse.
Yes C&d,@37. my punctuation confuses me also. My editor is on extended leave.
I guess I mean we have violated these countries for a long time. Involved ourselves in the politics of the ME, and changed their culture, their cultures.
These raging young men, are mutant forms.
Can we please all think a little more critically here? Coordinated attacks like this one appears to be aren't demented "terror-for-terror's-sake" art projects out of the minds of some comic book villain.

The organizers have goals, and expect the reaction to the attacks (rather than the immediate carnage inflicted) to advance them. Who the organizers are may never be known with certainty, but the lens of qui bono certainly narrows the possibilities.

Regardless of who's actually responsible, my most fervent wish is that the assholes on all sides expecting to profit from these events (whether they are hoping to start a war for religious reasons, or for mercenary ones, or hoping to ride a wave of fear to advance their own careers) are disappointed.

It would seem that @39 was a bit too subtle in noting your weak grasp of history. Try this: go to and look for a website called Wikipedia. Once you find it, go there and look up who won the Vietnam War.
I hope that wasn't too subtle.
@ 40 - Adding to what Seatackled said @ 46, you could also look up the history of American interventions in Latin America, for example (and examples abound in other parts of the world, too).

Genuine grudges do not always lead to terrorist acts.

@ 46 - Thanks.
@ 41 - "They are two completely different endeavors that must be judged on their own merits "

That would be failing to see the forest for a couple of trees.
@ 34 - Religion is and has always been a tool by which the leaders manipulate the followers into doing whatever is necessary to attain the real, unstated goals of the former.

It was true of the Crusades, it was true of the Inquisition, it's true of American preachers who only want to get rich, and its true of extremist Muslim leaders.

Don't believe the hype.
@ 45 - Terror is never for terror's sake. It's for power's sake.
@ 42 - "France now has a darn good reason for throwing down on whatever group ... is responsible for this"

France has been subjected to islamic terrorist attacks since the 70s at the very least. Perhaps it has very little to do with events of the last 15 years. Perhaps it has to do with their history in the Maghreb, or they way Arabs have been treated in France for decades.

At the very least, we can safely say that resentment against France has been building up for a long time in the muslim world. Learn a bit of history, for fuck's sake (hint: you can start with the conquest of Algeria and that country's eventual war for independence, or read up on the Front national).
@52: A thoughtful and insightful comment. Thank you.
Hi Grizelda. Thanks for your kind concern. Everyone I know is safe. Following official recommandations, we stayed at home today. Besides, schools and colleges were shut for saturday. Music academies were shut as well. Monday, classes will open again.

As far as I know now, there are over 127 dead and around 200 hurt people, half of them in critical state ; the dead count is expected to raise. Many of my friends are deeply shocked. I've avoided TV or radio reports of this tragedy to stay sane. Most people are not afraid, they are very angry, and feel in chaos.

What happened in Strasbourg has nothing to do with terrorists. A essay train that was run to safeproof a new track derailed. Engineers and technicians on board died. It's an industrial disaster, not a terrorist one.

@Ricardo : Algeria was under the thumb of the Ottoman Empire when it was conquered by France. It's never been a free standing country, ever since it was conquered by the Arabs in the 7th or 8th century, and forcingly converted to Islam. There are deep divides in that country, the Berber people hate being under control (and under fire) of the Arabs. Many Algerians leave their country to come and find a better life in France - something they would never do, if resentment against France was slowly building up as you say.

Besides, when Algeria's rulers fall sick, they run to France to be cared for in French military hospitals.

As for the way people from Mahgreb are treated in France, it pales in comparison with the way Black people are treated in the US. Mahgreb people are very eager to become French citizen and thus to be spared being sent back to their country. Sure there is racism in France, but not to the point of systematic murder by policemen or so-called vigilantes.

Front National is a far-right party, akin to your Republicans. They represent 20% of votes. They are the people who regret that the Nazis didn't stay in France, and who want a "white" country. They are our scum, and the only ones likely to assault Berber, Arab, Black French citizens. I couldn't be friend with a FN voter. They're morons regretting the Nazi collaborationnists loosing WWII.
This rage doesn't develop in a vacuum.
Religion, culture , the forms by which humans organize their groupings. Many stories different cultures tell themselves about creation, the rules that evolve to keep the group moving along.. They can be very weird stories to those outside.
The west in its arrogance thinks somehow the cultures that have evolved in our groupings are superior to others. We have barged into so many places and just squashed functional and real cultures that others have developed over thousands of yrs. Australia, what the west did to the indigenous culture,that had survived for many many many yrs, was close to genocide.
Amazing any Aborigines are still here today.

Sorry I missed on first reading your concern for me. I'm probably more okay than most, since I stayed clear of news sources for the day, and kept the kids inside playing on the computers. I'm not aware yet of anybody I know being a victim. Thanks for your kind thoughts.
Good to see you are safe Sissoucat.
Thanks LavaGirl.
I do hope the next president of the USA is a woman. Maybe then we can get away from the White/ black/ brown/ different colour shades cock swinging that we are all so subject to.
Men in each culture, let's all be real here, take on a dominant role. How it is, because of their superior physical strength to women, and the women bear the children.
The health of a community is how much those men facilitate the care of the women and children, not just seek power and pleasure. Each culture would/ does have that tension.
Men from different cultures, have to not turn their dialogues into dick swinging contests.
Bush et al crashed into Iraq waving his puny little white dick, and look where we are now.
@55 - Even if you were to "erase" all the political ramifications of the west from colonialism on, I don't see how what you're saying adds up. Cultures influence each other, all over the world. It's not always one over the other.
Saddam Hussein loved western liqueurs and Frank Sinatra - Dubai is perhaps the most garnish and gaudy monument to materialism on the planet, but unfortunately western reverence for rights of the women is something that didn't get picked up on. Much of ISIL is us led by well-educated, middle class, tech savvy organizers. No, this second 9/11 event is not a socioeconomic, political, or cultural revenge exercise that the west needs to learn its lesson from -- the roots of their rage (actually "passion" would be a better word) - is fundamentally theocratic.
And Middle Eastern men, except Israelis, maybe don't want the western women to influence their women too much.
Stepping into these cultures is a minefield. As we are seeing.
Diplomacy is the key. The adults from all the countries where these mad young men are causing havoc need to get talking to each other.
Talking of young men's rage.
We have to stay committed to being in Syria. These maniacal young men have to be stopped.
More will come behind if their power and energy is continued to be ignored.
These young men are torn by the story of their religion, their bodily desires and their undeveloped minds.
They need to be engaged in our communities, so this energy can be channelled well.
Raindrop, @60: "Much of ISIL is us led by well-educated, middle class, tech savvy organizers."

Well yes, the ringleaders / dictators are typically well-to-do. Those volunteering to be suicide bombers, however, are not. A ringleader without followers is a harmless crackpot. A dictator without a nation is a sad nut rambling to himself.

Simply put, the *spark* that hit the powder keg is theocratic. But much of the kindling was socioeconomic and cultural.

"Learn a bit of history, for fuck's sake"...Thanks for assuming i know none. I'm well aware that France was anything but a benevolent colonial power, and that Arabs are not treated particularly well in France. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always felt that actively suppressing Islam (the headscarf ban, for example) was going to have some blowback. But NONE of that justifies what happened yesterday. Further, all the evidence now suggests that this is the work of a so-called "islamic state" in Iraq and Syria which is killing people in order to advance its dream of establishing a shithead theocracy (there is no other kind of theocracy, and never has been). Mark my words, many many innocent people are going to die because these assholes can't figure out that religion should not run a country.
@ 54 - I never said Algeria was a free country. What I meant was - and that is well documented - that the French were rather brutal during the conquest, to say the least, and during the war of independence.

As for Algerians going to France to find a better life, this is obvious. The same goes for millions of Mexicans who have gone to the States. That doesn't mean that they are well treated there, and that their life indeed becomes better. And it definitely doesn't mean that there's no resentment. If 20% of the adult population votes for a party that says you are basically responsible for many of the nation's problems, you don't feel welcomed there... even if that's where you were born. You feel disenfranchised. The riots that have occured repeatedly in recent memory are a testament to that.

Which leads us to the actual point: all these factors (and many more, like unemployment that disproportionately affects young Arabs) have turned France into a great place to recruit young, not-necessarily-very-islamic people and turn them into suicide attackers. Islam has merely become the tool with which they can be manipulated to do someone else's dirty deeds, as their being Arabs is what they are discriminated for, and for far too many people on both sides, being muslim is perceived as part and parcel of Arab identity.

That said, I am not blaming France in particular for creating such a situation. I was merely saying that Western countries are in no way innocent, and France is the country that we are tallking about. It most assuredly didn't do anything that other colonial powers aren't also guilty of, but the fact of the matter is that now there's some blowback, and no one should be surprised. It was to be expected.

That doesn't mean that I am not disgusted and outraged by such acts. But I am equally disgusted and outraged when Western countries do the same or worse in other parts of the world and pretend that it was just and necessary, trying to convince us that we Westerners do have the moral high ground. We don't.
@ 54 - Changing subject: I'm really glad you're ok.
@ 66 - "But NONE of that justifies what happened yesterday."

Accordingly, none of what islamic terrorists have done justifies all the death and destruction brought upon Middle Eastern countries by Western powers since 2001.

I'll admit I was somewhat harsh on you in my earlier post, but your comment didn't seem to reveal any understanding of who really did what to whom to start the ball rolling.
@70-this ball has been rolling since long before 2011. Muslims and Christians have been killing each other over fairly petty religious differences for well over a thousand years. That will never change so long as people of any faith insist on founding their governments on religion and on fighting/forcibly converting those of other "faiths." Both sides (and any other group that insists on setting up a theocracy) are to blame.

My original point was not that France should have carte blanche to stomp on various Middle Eastern countries, but that it has every right to retaliate against the groups that actually did this. The so-called Islamic State claims that it is a legitimate state. The terrorists (if ISIS's claims of responsibility are true) claim that they are acting on behalf of this "state." If so, then ISIS has essentially declared war on France and can't complain if France responds accordingly.

While I completely agree with you about France and other European countries having exploited foreign countries where Islam is the predominent religion, I disagree about your point that what happened in Algeria, of all those countries, during its conquest almost two centuries ago, or during its independence war some 60 years ago, has anything to do with the current events.

It has a lot more to do with France currently participating in the Western coalition against ISIS, or however these bloodthirsty, enslaving male Arab supremacists call themselves, than on two wars that happened when the parents of the current barbarians were not even born.

Besides, France has had, since 1962, a long history of very cordial state-level relationships with Muslim countries. France easily gives refugee status to Middle East or Africa political opponents of all sides.

Ayatollah Khomeini was once a refugee in France - not the wisest of moves, but still, it happened. France didn't participate in the war against Iraq, and strongly advised the US against it, remember ? I remember the backlash from the US, the Freedom fries, the hate online, and an American teacher visiting France telling me, to my face, that if France didn't join the US on that war, the US would declare war on France. Utter bullshit. France also has had a listening ear to the plight of Palestinians and Arab Israelis, with our UNO diplomacy always trying to curb the murderous wars Israeli far-right rulers frequently launch against these populations - and Nethanyou hates it so much he keeps asking French citizens of Jewish heritage to leave everything behind and come 'home' in his own warring country. Most are not that stupid and stay home in France.

And, last but not least, wealthy Muslim World rulers and their families love spending time in Paris, and Qatar, not the most democratic of Muslim states, does own the best of the French soccer teams.

Of course, Arab rulers of current Algeria love to point the finger at France's responsability from that Algeria War whenever things go bad in their country, because when one can deflect blame from their own shortcomings elsewhere so easily, why not do it ?

One thing that has everything to do with Algeria's War though, is that despicable party Front National, founded by Lt Le Pen who made a name for himself because of his torturing skills and glee in the whole of Algeria, in both the Indigenous and European populations. "Do not fall in Le Pen's hands" remembered my grandmother, a teacher who lived part of that war in Algeria. Nowadays Le Pen's daughter is trying to exclude him from his own party because he hurts her chances politically with his obvious and provocative racist and antisemitist and holocaust-denying ways.
Wow Sissoucat. Where to even start.
The person who shot a police employer in a terrorist attack in Australia a few weeks ago, was 15 yrs old. The kids who commit mass shootings in the US, mainly young men as are the ISIS maniacs. Older men would be pulling the strings, organizing the mob of impressionable minds and hearts. Kids who get hated by their country. It happens here in Australia. Muslims are punished by this, that generates fear and anger and you have people ripe for a way to express that rage.
Islam has some wild edicts then so does Christianity.. Both of them archaic forms.
Australia sits below Indinesia, the biggest Muslim population of all. We have learnt to give Indonesia its space and she returns the favour, mostly. Some testy times have occurred between us, yet both desire a peaceful relationship.

@LavaGirl : oh, I'm sorry, I think I mistook you for Grizelda yesterday - it seems I was a bit too shocked to really pay attention.

I think I'll have to let my students express themselves on monday, and probably on tuesday as well, so we can work afterwards. Our highschool was closed on saturday, we're waiting for an official statement of reopening from the highschool supervisor later today. Our students are allmost all born and raised in France, but many of their parents have multicultural origins - so we have to deal with students having both multicultural sensitivities and French stubborn loudmouth know-it-all-ness, aggressivity and self-misery. This will probably be an interesting time.

And for us adults, many thanks for providing a safe space for expressing ourselves on this occasion, Dan. It helps.
Just in from the supervisor : school reopens on monday, staff to wear all black, to talk with students instead of teaching (internet resources provided to do it right), classes cut short for assembly of all staff and students outside and minute of silence at 12:00.
@73 LavaGirl

When I'll be less upset, in a week or so, I'll be happy to read your objections to my post #72. Now I'm not quite in my usual state.

Thanks all for your outpouring of love towards France and Paris.

If Mormons or Southern Baptists bombed Paris, you guys would be frothing at the mouth the dissolve their respective religions, and hammer the communities of the like-minded indefinitely.

With the Muslims, you guys just roll over and sing John Lennon. Pathetic, and lethal double standard. These people aren't friends to queer folk/leftists, and as much as you hate American right wingers, I haven't seen anyone beheaded or bombed because of Jesus cartoons or tv plots.
@78: Not paying attention much, are you? Eric Robert Rudolph, just to name one of the most notorious Christian terrorists.

Let me know when you cheerfully move to an Islamic country.
Yeah, so hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing Christian violence. Right. Got it.
What planet do you live on?
No objections Sissoucat, I see your perceptions are spot on. Please take care of yourself, love to you.
Liberal C, no one is condoning this violence, this carnage. It wasn't done by a religion, it was done by people. Extremely unhinged, unconnected to their fellow humans or themselves, people.
I'm not joining in any hatred of a whole religion. Because in my country the people practicing that religion are mostly peaceful people. So, all I can deduce from that, is that their religion is not completely about eradicating others.
I don't know much about Islam. You are right, I wouldn't move to a Muslim country. I haven't been nor will I ever go to Bali, the Indonesian paradise so many westerners love. I haven't been nor will I go to America, either.
The use of violence to solve any problems between people is the use of our most primitive forms.
I am a Buddhist, going this way to deal with anything is not what I believe. Yes, sometimes it is inevitable. On repeat.
We keep creating the situations where it is inevitable. Keep responding the same way; Them and Us.
I'm just not joining that mind set. We all people. Wanting happiness.
The people fleeing Syria are freeing violence the west help set off.
How is this any different to the Jews fleeing Germany? And yet all these people are not welcomed in, we are shunning them. Just like the west did with so many Jews who tried to get out of Germany.
Repeat. Same behaviour.
The Leaders of the world about to meet in Paris. We must work to lessen the violence of the world, maybe a real and compassionate solution by all countries to the refugee crisis, could show we acknowledge our part in creating this.
As well as feeling our compassion for suffering people. Our brothers and sisters.

Compassion and altruism, while noble in some situations, can be a dangerous when unrequited. Islam has never been reformed.

Think about that for minute.

In an age where we have gay ministers and all manner of progressive (or decadent, depending on your views) agnosticism blended with modern Christianity, they still adhere to the "vile Bronze Age" religion. Even John Cleese made the joke about how he wouldn't tell a joke about Islam because he didn't want to lose his head.

Our military adventures in the ME are stupid and ill-advised, but Islam has been at war with itself (Sunni/Shi'ite) as well as the "decadent West" long before Bush or the Neocons or even the formation of Israel.
One of the highschool staff members has lost several very close persons in the music hall attack. I hope no student lost anybody, and no student was a victim. Tomorrow will be tough.

@78 You must be an American far-right Christian, with such delirious fears of Christian religions being 'dissolved' ? As if that could happen. Separation of Church and State has a meaning, you know, even though it's blatant that you can't quite grasp it.

If you love fellow Christians that much, why don't you let your Christian representatives know what you think of having bombed the hell out of Iraq. As an obvious reprisal, most or all of the Iraqi Christians - who had lived peacefully with their Muslim neighbours for centuries - have been killed, or are enslaved, or are dying in the Mediterranean sea while trying to get into European countries. Your right wing politicians knew that would happen, and they still did bomb Iraq, because oil and because of the Christian Rapture ! I haven't seen that Bush's religion has been punished because of him deliberately setting the whole world on fire, nor that he himself has been held accountable for the hundred of thousands of deaths that are his legacy, along with a broken US economy.

Or... do you not care for the lives of your fellow Christians, if they speak a different language, and have not white blond looks ?'

I care for everyone who respects the Golden rule. And that's most people. I won't attack peaceful French Muslims because some deranged people abroad convinced 7 or 8 of their sheeps to go and kill French people, regardless of who they were, and what they thought of the Middle East current crisis - and then kill themselves.

Maybe an important point you're missing is that ISIS kills everyone they can get their murderous hands on, and that means mostly their fellow Muslim countrymen. There are many flavors of Islam and ISIS kills all the other ones. Muslim people are also in the crosshairs of ISIS, and have suffered way more from ISIS than the West has, even with the Paris bombings.
I think you would be surprised at the number of Americans, even conservative Christians, who learned the horrible lessons from the Iraq War.

There is little we can do do influence our leaders. Even the liberal "peace and love" candidates become hawks once in office. Nobody wants to bring up the current commander-in-chief's complicity in prolonging these conflicts. No question Bush and his bunch were fools, but what excuse does Obama have? Isn't he supposed to be the smart one? Didn't we arm the Syrian rebels (terrorists)?

Why are the EU countries allowing the jihadists to move back and forth from the ME? Doesn't this seem suicidal?

I'm am deeply sorry for the damage to France and any losses to you and yours.

@84, LC. Yes, they are still human beings first. From where I sit, much madness exists in the ME, Israel included. As it exists in your country and mine.
There are many Muslims talking out against the extremists, and calling for
Compassion is what goes missing, if we only use violence. As well as confront fascist ideas, wherever they pop up.

Let me see if I've got this right
Massive terror in Paris = let's get outraged at reactionary Americans/Euros and call them "fascists" because some Muslims held signs up.

Actually, I know the "Stranger Approved Answer" to this line of thinking already:

Kim Davis is more evil than Islamic terrorism. *sarcasm*
Don't get your drift, CL.
The carnage in Paris is unforgivable. As is the carnage all over.
Fascist thoughts, I fear, are coming out of your mind, right now.
@85-You hit it on the head. "Separation of church and state." That has done more than anything else to make this country the "kinda" peaceful place it is. It's why many of the first European settlers came here in the first place - to get away from authoritarian churches. Yes, I realize we have done terrible things to many of our citizens and to others, but the day when people are concerned they can't practice the religion of their choice (or not), then the shit will really hit the fan. And @89, The Kim Davises and MIke Huckabees with which we are afflicted are different only in degree. Once you overlay religion onto politics, then terrible things like ISIS happen.
@80: Why? Do I currently live in a Christian country?
My people have been beaten, terrorized, forced to convert, murdered, and otherwise persecuted by all kinds of theocracies: Christian, Islamic, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, the whole deal. Don't tell me that some are better than others. (And the fact of the matter is that the Jews were better tolerated under the Abbasid caliphate in modern-day Iraq and the Moorish kingdoms of al-Andalus than in most Christian nations of Europe in centuries past.)
@84: "Islam has never been reformed."
If you are unaware of the very nature and existence of Sufism, you really shouldn't be weighing in on matters of Islamic thought.
I send loving thoughts and prayers to all the people of France after this vicious attack.

People want to debate the whys and wherefores, and whether its Islam or Saudi Arabia or French colonialism....

I think my view is this - people are rational actors. They choose the social system that they perceive brings them the most benefit. How else do you think China managed to suppress the social unrest of Tiennamen Square? Why do you think they sweat bullets now whenever the economy appears to cool?

Right now, sadly, some people believe engaging in these types of behaviors benefits them the most. And in this day of easy flights, that type of behavior can be exported to other countries to the benefit of those who are doing it. Old as time, the perpetual attempt to gain power. Religion, statism, nationalism,are all the trappings by which power is channeled and exercised.

When has Christianity been the most benevolent? In the modern era, while the West has been riding high in the upswing from WWII. Islam was benevolent in circa 1200/1300s, when the Arab/Persian/Turkish countries were the light of learning and the great powerhouse.

Why France? Because Paris, like London and NYC, is one of our great global cities of the West. France and its people didn't do anything to "earn it" other than being successful.
@ 72 - The only thing I can say - and I won't repeat again (coz it's useless) but I always have and always will believe it - is that it is ALL part of the big picture that many people are failing to see.

I will say no more on the subject.

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