I’d like to speak a little bit about the tragedy on going in Paris. There is so much that has happened, and so much that is still on going, that it’s hard to put anything in to a “resolved” column. The terrorists attacked civilian populations, what CNN likes to refer to as “soft targets”. To CNN I’d like to say “Duh”! Would the attention that the terrorists have drawn to themselves have been as big if they had tried to blow up a military base? Of course not.
Attacking military bases is not the nature of terrorism. For terrorism to work, the general population has to be paralyzed. When no one feels safe going to the grocery store then the heat is turned up under the politicians to deal with the terrorists demands. Look at a hundred years of Irish – English relations for a primer.
While the “troubles” had a religious component, as certainly the Isis issue does, I can think of a couple of differences in the Isis terrorists methods. First, the IRA never went to a music venue for the purpose of carnage. Second, the IRA were not intent on killing themselves in the effort. I guess the Catholics lacked the “72 virgins”, component in their training. The self immolation seems to be a trait that is strictly of a religious bent, and stands apart from the political goals, to me. Some, like Bill Maher, would say that the terrorists were brave like a Marine charging a machine gun nest, sacrificing his life for a perceived greater cause, I chose to think of them as cowards. I feel they have been indoctrinated so strongly in their religious beliefs that they are immune to feeling or independent thought.
So now, our “longest standing ally”, has been attacked by a bunch of wacky-doodles bent on turning the world back to the fourteenth century. While I’m enjoying the reversal of stance of our politicians who brought about the term “freedom fries”, I’m wondering if the politicians will now acknowledge why France didn’t want to get caught up in George Bush’s war in the first place. France really is our longest standing ally, and has played a vital part in the formulation of our country and the pseudo democracy we live in. We should have treated them with a lot more respect than we did during the George Bush war.
The difference between the United States and France has been described as, “in the United States the people fear the government”, in France, “the government fears the people”. For you folks that like history, France really did have a revolution, and in addition to wiping out all of the aristocracy, they wiped out all of the clergy above local priest level. Seems the average Frenchman knew who was delivering the pain to their daily lives and decided to clean house while they were at it. Hence, in France, “the government fears the people”. So when the people of France said they didn’t want any part of George Bush’s war, the government heeded their wishes. What a concept, government for the people.
Sadly, now France has been drug into it. All of our hearts are broken over the events. The French are extremely resilient, and if history is any indication, they will persevere. I am confident the French will not give in to terrorism. Besides, I’m self interested, I want to go back here.