Random Thoughts about the Paris Attacks

An email acquaintance of mine of the left leaning persuasion emailed me a question as to my thoughts on the recent attacks on Paris.  I’m pretty sure he wasn’t asking for a news report but impressions.  My first impression was, “here we go again.”  Another terrorist attack that in the aftermath we’ll try to find a way to excuse; by denying what it really is.  For example:

No Zooey, it’s not senseless tragedy.  It was no more a senseless tragedy than Pearl Harbor was.  This was a planned attack with purpose behind it.

Liberal Man child Ezra Klein threw his two cents in:

Liberals consider Klein an intellectual so I assume that most of them nodded at his prepubescent wisdom, but to me, what does he think the new ISIS expeditionary force is?  At least one of the suspects was a refugee.  No doubt there will be more of that in the future.

President Obama sounded no less dumb than his acolyte. “This is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”  No Mr. President, it’s not an attack on all humanity; just the infidel part.  And we don’t have any universal values to share.  We have Western Judeo-Christian values, and then there is everyone else, who has totally different values.

If anyone had the right to be self righteous, it was French President Francois Hollande and appropriately enough, he said all the right things: “[France] will be merciless towards the barbarians of the Islamic State group.”  Although I’ve no doubt the French military will find a few targets they can bomb, does anyone really think they are actually declaring war on the Islamic State?  That’s like him saying Je suis Charle.  He was no more Charlie than the Iranian Supreme Leader.  If you don’t believe me, ask Marine Le Pen, who is on trial for comparing Muslims to the Nazi Occupation.  After the recent attacks in Paris, I would call that a reasonable comparison.

So does this change anything in Europe?  My sense is that it won’t.  It’s too late for that.  After the Charle Hebdo massacre, there was outrage, world leaders marched together (except ours for obvious reasons), and then the world returned to, as columnist Mark Steyn describes as, “no Islam to see here.” I suspect this will have no effect on slowing down the tidal wave of refugees into Europe.  After all, ISIS has to replenish the ranks of its expeditionary force.

Bernie Sanders out Trumps Trump

Democratic candidate and progressive favorite Bernie Sanders had a “conversation” with the liberal talking points website Vox (conversations being what the site calls its interviews) by liberal wunderkind Ezra Klein, who famously claimed that the US Constitution was confusing because it was over 100 years old.

Ah, the liberal intellectual.Bernie Sanders

Most of the interview was fairly boilerplate, with Sanders describing what he means by being a Democratic Socialist, and went through a litany of all the things he would like to regulate, tax, and give away for free.  Pretty standard stuff until the interview hit upon the issue of immigration, and Sanders started making Klein’s head spin.

Ezra Klein: You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …

Bernie Sanders: Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.

Ezra Klein: Really?

Bernie Sanders: Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …

Ezra Klein: But it would make …

Bernie Sanders: Excuse me …

Ezra Klein: It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?

Bernie Sanders: It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

Heh, a Koch brothers proposal…

Klein was totally unprepared for the thought that Sanders might actually favor some restrictions on immigration.  But Sander’s progressivism isn’t the same as Vox’s or most of the mostly white crowd that’s attracted to the Sanders candidacy. Sanders is an old time class struggle leftist.  He would be much more comfortable with labor rights and issues rather than the identity politics that is required of current Democratic and progressive politics.  That’s why Sanders was so blindsided at the Netroot Nations conference.  He would have been much more comfortable with #workerslivesmatter rather than the #blacklivesmatter, which he was finally browbeat into acknowledging.

But the modern left isn’t concerned with workers (or working for that matter).  They’re trying to reach various identity groups as identity groups.  Jobs are too boring compared with the excitement of sitting in a coffee shop updating your social media with snarky comments.

Sanders old fashioned “protecting American workers” shtick was so unnerving to Vox that they had to publish a rejoinder in praise of open borders and call for supporting a policy that would allow every poor person in the world to come to the US.  They still love Bernie, but they want everyone to know that he’s wrong on this issue.

It’s too bad Vox doesn’t allow comments on it’s articles.  It would be a far more interesting website.

I find it interesting that the two insurgent, non establishment campaigns, even though they are on opposite sides politically, seem to be much closer on the immigration issue than any of the more “mainstream” candidates.  Trump and Sanders both seem to want to put American workers first.  Why does that have to be a fringe position?

 

The Media’s Five Steps in Dealing with Islamic Terrorism

I don’t have much to add to the attack on the offices of the Parisian satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.  I don’t want to say that we are exactly getting used to these sorts of things, but who is surprised that a magazine that mocked Mohammed, or as NBC news refers to him, “The Prophet Mohammed,” gets machine gunned?  That’s just the world we live in, a vibrant and confident Islam flexes its demographic muscles in areas where it’s been allowed to settle.  Meanwhile, a weak West, which believes in less and less, goes through its cycle of blame and recriminations.Charlie Hebdo

I don’t know exactly when I noticed it, but since yesterday, following the evolving news coverage of the shooting and aftermath, I was struck by how unsurprised I was at each step of the coverage.  It seemed to follow a fairly predictable pattern that resembles the Five Stages of Grief.  The only difference is that no progress is made when the media does it.  They never seem to get to acceptance.

Step 1:  We don’t know that Muslims did it.

You may think this step is prominent in the early moments of the crisis when we genuinely don’t know for sure who the culprits are, but it continues long afterward to deny who the culprits were.

Step 2:  OK they’re Muslims, but not real Muslims.

This is to separate Islam the religion, from Islam….uh…the religion.  Or at least it’s teachings.  Howard Dean was an especially amusing example of this when he insisted that the attackers were no more Muslim than he was.  Well Assalamu Alaykum Governor!   You’ll notice we’re near the end of stage two when you hear references to the Inquisition, the Crusades and Westboro Baptist Church.

Step 3:  Standing Together

This is where the media exhorts us to “stand together” with the moderate Muslims or with Free Speech, depending on the condition.  Sometimes it’s a mixture of both.  However nothing is more temporary than standing “with” anyone who is a target.  Ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali about that.

Step 4:  Root Causes

I’ve noticed that the root causes never have anything to do with the actual root causes.  In this case, the root causes were that Charlie Hebdo ran insulting Mohammed cartoons.  I mean, that is the real root cause.  But instead we’ll be treated to Islamaphobia, Imperialism, poverty, alienation, or whatever the left oops excuse me I mean the media, want to talk about.

Step 5:  Backlash

This is the real media worry, not continuing violent acts by Muslims, but that someone may actually be upset about it.  The New York Times put it perfectly:

LONDON — The sophisticated, military-style strike Wednesday on a French newspaper known for satirizing Islam staggered a continent already seething with anti-immigrant sentiments in some quarters, feeding far-right nationalist parties like France’s National Front.

This is a dangerous moment for European societies,” said Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London. “With increasing radicalization among supporters of jihadist organizations and the white working class increasingly feeling disenfranchised and uncoupled from elites, things are coming to a head.”

A “dangerous moment for European societies?”  “Things are coming to a head?”  You mean more Islamic terrorism?    Ha!  Foolish mortal!

Anti-immigrant attitudes have been on the rise in recent years in Europe, propelled in part by a moribund economy and high unemployment, as well as increasing immigration and more porous borders. The growing resentments have lifted the fortunes of established parties like the U.K. Independence Party in Britain and the National Front, as well as lesser-known groups like Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West, which assembled 18,000 marchers in Dresden, Germany, on Monday.

In Sweden, where there have been three recent attacks on mosques, the anti-immigrant, anti-Islamist Sweden Democrats Party has been getting about 15 percent support in recent public opinion polls.

Yes the real threat is anti-immigrant attitudes!

We can’t have any of that.  So the stages of dealing with Islamic Terrorism do lead to an acceptance of sorts, that the terrorists are the real victims all along.

It’s like an O Henry short story.

Zinger.

And then there will eventually be a new terrorist act, and the process begins all over again.