Thursday, July 14, 2016

Friday's Thoughts: L'horreur à Nice

By Kit

First it was the mass shooting at Charlie Hebdo coupled with an attack on a Jewish café in January of 2015. That summer it was a gunman on a train, fortunately subdued by several passengers. Then came November and the horror of the Bataclan where 130 people were killed in attacks across the city of Paris and a state of emergency across the country imposed by President Hollande of France.

And outside of France you had San Bernadino, where a mother abandoned her child to join her husband in murdering 14 of his fellow co-workers at a Christmas party. Then came spring and a small group of terrorists, using combined mass shooting/suicide bombing tactic of Bataclan, killed 32 people and left behind the blurred and searing image of an infant baby wailing next to the body of her dead mother. This was followed by Orlando, where a lone gunman slaughtered 50 people at a gay bar, the worst terror attack since 9/11. And, of course, the multitude of bloody attacks across the Middle East.

But since the attacks of November, aside from the slaying of a police chief and his girlfriend by a disturbed young man, France seems to have managed to avoid terror attacks carried out in the name of ISIS or Al-Qaeda. And last night, with the nation, having held its breath through the Euro 2016 in Marseilles and suffering only the ravages of intoxicated Russian hooligans, was getting ready for the end of the state of Emergency in less than two works and celebrating with fireworks and parades Bastille Day, their equivalent of the Fourth of July, with fireworks and parades.

Then, at 10:45pm in the southeastern seaside town of Nice, just as the crowds on the Promenade des Anglais were getting up from having watched the fireworks show over the harbor a man drove a truck down the Promenade into the crowd of spectators for over a mile (2km), swerving to the left and right to kill as many pedestrians as possible. The carnage was horrific. One witness said he “saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route” and in the truck’s wake the corpses of men, women, and even children littered the street.

The details on how it ended are, as of the time I write this, a bit sketchy. It seems, judging from the numerous bullet holes in the windshield of the truck, that the police opened fire on him. There are also reports from French newspapers of him opening fire on either the crowds or the police with a pistol, his truck allegedly had long arms and a defective grenade. Again, details are sketchy. We are still in the first 24 hours of this.

Reports coming out indicate he was a 31-year old man with French-Tunisian citizenship which, along with the statement by Francoise Hollande referencing “Islamic Terrorism,” makes it likely this was an Islamist attack. Granted, France has enough of a political history with Revolutions, Communards, framed Jewish officers, quasi-fascist Catholic reactionaries, and May riots that while it is possible that some far-left radical Communard holding a grudge over the Bloody Week of 1871 or a crazed Reactionary French Catholic holding bitter over the rise of a Satanic-mason-Jewish Republic might have done this, it’s unlikely either would carry dual citizenship with Tunisia.

So, if all the above reports are true then this is very likely an Islamic terrorist attack. In his speech after the attack Hollande said that the state of emergency would be extended another 3 months, 10,000 soldiers are being mobilized to support non-military forces, and the reservists are being mobilized, and her operations in Syrian and Iraq against the Islamic State will continue. Right now the Citizens of the Republic are waking up to discover the country is still at war and still very vulnerable.

And judging by San Bernadino and Orlando so are we. Both Hillary and Trump (yes, both of them) said in the aftermath of the attack that we are at war with radical Islamic jihadism.

We can’t really say more until we learn more. Until then ignore the brown noise of morons on the left who equate this atrocity with our bombing of the Islamic State and on the right who think we can “test every person of Muslim background to see if they believe in sharia.” Such statements are both morally idiotic (never mind constitutionally) and craft an overly simplistic narrative about a struggle against an enemy that is both utterly evil and yet tied to a faith held by 1.2 billion people, from which they will not be easily lodged.

Instead, pray for those who have been affected. Even if you don't put much stock in prayer, it's a far better option than the other two examples.


AndrewPrice said...

I'll repeat my comment from last night.


And let me add this quote from a Doctor Who episode in which a woman is being hunted by monsters but keeps being saved by the Doctor. She is told, "I wish this had never happened to you." And her reply is magnificent. She rejects that wish and she says,

"One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel."

Our world is full of angels. It is full of beauty. It is full of kindness, amazing moments and amazing people. The demons don't frighten us.

God bless France.

Kit said...

Death toll seems set at 84.
10 children are among the dead, including an American boy who was killed along with his father.
A witness on Channel 4 (UK) said that he swerved towards a children's carousel

Der Spiegel is calling him an eigenbrötler, or "lone wolf."
Now my translation is probably spotty but it seems he was married with a three year old child.

Elsewhere, his neighbors have called him a "creepy loner."

Kit said...

202 wounded
52 in critical condition
25 on life support.

Kit said...

BREAKING: Military coup underway in Turkey.

Anthony said...

When is the Turkish military not staging a coup?

Critch said...

The Turkish military knows the Islamists to be trouble, something their idiot president didn't seem to grasp.

Kit said...

The coup seems to have been carried out by colonels and junior officers.

And it seems to be withering. It's 6:38 in Turkey right now and there is a fairly sizable crowd out in support of Erdogan and they just heard him speak. He said the coup plotters are being arrested.

Kit said...

On CNN Bob Baer just pointed out he's in Istanbul, instead of the capital city Ankara. Which means things are still active.

And CNN is broadcasting footage from one of the Istanbul bridges of military men surrendering.

Anthony said...

I guess the timing surprised Ergodan but not the coup itself. Turkey has a long history of such things.

Unfortunately for the coup stagers Ergodan knows a thing or six about seizing power.

Anthony said...

I see the Huffington Post is trying to coin a derogatory nickname for Pence (Lil Mikey). Doubt it will catch on.

Watched part of the VP unveiling or whatever you call it. Trump was himself. Pence seems like a good guy albeit one who has chosen to make himself subservient to Trump despite stark differences in ideology.

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