Author Topic: Paris attacks thread  (Read 4686 times)

Cain

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Paris attacks thread
« on: November 14, 2015, 04:38:03 pm »
For those who want to talk about it.

I've mostly confined my points on it to Facebook, but I'll put this here, for people who want to know my take:

Quote
With the caveat that I literally got up half an hour ago and so have not seen any coverage since 7am, UK time...

ISIS is also my chief suspect. The methodology could go either way, Al-Qaeda or ISIS, with Beslan, Mumbai etc. The gratuitous nature of the violence also suggests ISIS over AQ, the latter being slightly more stringent with targeting (see Charlie Hebdo, frequent AQ complaints about civilian Muslims being collateral damage etc).

According to some reports, just before I went to bed, one of the gunmen shouted "this is the fault of Hollande, he does not have to intervene in Syria" before he killed himself. I suggested, back in 2014, that if overt intervention in Syria looked to be on the cards, the strategic calculus would change for ISIS, that while they would encourage and agitate for attacks in the west, they would prefer to focus on their more immediate enemies except in the case of potential attack. In the long term, I think ISIS would always be looking at attacking the west, it has to wrest the crown from Zawahiri somehow, and beyond that, their overall ideology paints the west as enemies of Islam.

Another thing not to discount is their awareness of the refugee crisis in Europe, and how an attack could complicate the political response there or even work to inflame tensions. ISIS are remarkably media savvy, and I'd be very surprised if they weren't aware of how such an attack would, almost inevitably, be followed by calls to refuse refugees, crack down on Musims generally. That then plays directly into their propaganda. It also sends a message to the refugees - no matter how far you run, we can reach you.

Quote
Another thing, that was mentioned in the Vice article but that I neglected to mention above. ISIS has been put under quite a bit of military pressure lately. I suspect it's more of a short-term issue than the death knell of the group, given their ability to bounce back.

That said, a large attack like this...well, it's advertising. Get more men and women joining the jihad. Convince the potential donors in the Gulf states that ISIS is leading the Islamic revolution, and so deserves their donations. An influx of recruits and money could be just what they need to turn things around in those areas where they've been taking a beating recently.

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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2015, 09:50:27 pm »
So, I've found myself unusually affected by these attacks, in a way I haven't felt before. 

And then it occured to me that it was basically because it happened in a Western country that I could be familiar with.  These things happen daily in countries I only see on CNN (even if it's in a kind, Anthony Bordain style), and many times it's my own country doing it.

So yay for me, recognizing my bias.  And boo for me, because of my bias.

Cain

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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2015, 10:20:48 pm »
I saw a post on Facebook which kinda dealt with this:

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Those girls in Nigeria. That little Syrian boy on the beach in Turkey. How far back you wanna go here? Myanmar is like a fucking murder theme park and has been on and off for decades. Guatemala? El Salvador? Sudan? Mali? Those students in Mexico? Hell, everybody who gets in the way of a cartel in Mexico? Been a while since the Eastern Europeans had a good old fashioned genocide, they're due any minute now.

And each and every time, people say "Oh, you care about this one but not about that one." They try to shame people for heartbreak because their hearts aren't broken often enough and by every single horror humans perpetrate on one another.

But here's the truth: humans are really good at doing unspeakable things to each other. We do it a lot. And we tend to do it in places where we can get away with it, and frankly, that's a lot of the world. I love Kenya, but why do you think those fuckers chose a university there instead of going on a rampage through Tufts or Oxford? Because they could. Because they knew nobody was really going to stop them. The cops in Kenya are fucking useless. The military is fucking useless. Kony is still alive because the Ugandans have neither the money nor the skill nor, frankly, the political will to hunt him down and take his skull as a trophy. Horrific shit, Eli Roth-level shit, happens in sub-Saharan Africa every single day.

And the reasons for that are incredibly complicated, and they're not the fault of some kindhearted person sitting in their breakfast nook weeping at the pictures of the dead in a place like Paris, which is not a place where this shit happens on the regular. Or it didn't used to be. Paris is a city of light in more ways than one.

I'm almost numb to it now. Because I've been looking for so long. My heart has been broken a hundred times, and it's hard to look at pictures of the legs of a child sticking out of an LRA cookpot like a grotesque old image out of a cartoon and then go sit at Starbucks and listen to people prattle about the inconsequences of their daily lives. To hear my buddy Susan Oguya tell me about her roommate, whose fiance escaped Westgate, though he didn't - having to meet his parents and give them his things. To know that most of these things are the result of a chain of events so long and convoluted that almost nobody can really pick it apart and see all of it. Some of this shit goes back centuries, man. Centuries.

But this is the world, and nothing you do, no amount of petitions or social media posts or even votes are going to stop the machetes from coming out somewhere sooner or later. Sometimes you can make a difference; sometimes you can get the bear. But more often than not, the bear will get you. Why do you think relief workers end up burning out so quick? Band-Aids on bullet wounds, baby.

I want to make this very clear and I want you to listen to me: you will not end this. Ever. You will not stop the children from dying. You will not stop the knives from coming out. Not completely. Not ever. Not until the last homo sapien vanishes from this world... or at least, the next to last one.

So why shit on people who are mercifully sheltered from this horror by some lucky accident of birth or circumstance, who only ever have to see a little of this? They have empathy. They care. They want to help. But they don't know how to help everybody and they couldn't if they did know.

So let them see this little part of the dark that's been put in front of their eyes and do what good they can, and don't judge them for not just standing in the river of shit and letting it choke them.

Sooner or later, you're going to stop looking too. Or put a gun in your mouth. You're going to stop feeling outrage all the time, because we are not wired for that, and it will kill you. Trust me. I know.

I feel more sad about Paris than Baghdad or Beirut.  Not because it is any more tragic, as it's not.  But because it hits closer to home, for me.  I know Paris, very well.  I know people from Paris.  I speak French, watch French TV shows, read French newspapers and have an overall appreciation of French culture.  I'm geographically closer.  I have students who have family in Paris, who came rushing down to me last night, to use our phones to try and call their loved ones.  So it does hit me harder.  But that's because of me, not because of the event.  The event would've been terrible no matter where it happened.

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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 11:50:13 pm »
So, I've found myself unusually affected by these attacks, in a way I haven't felt before. 

And then it occured to me that it was basically because it happened in a Western country that I could be familiar with.  These things happen daily in countries I only see on CNN (even if it's in a kind, Anthony Bordain style), and many times it's my own country doing it.

So yay for me, recognizing my bias.  And boo for me, because of my bias.

Yeah

Basically the entire country, which 14 years ago condemned France for refusing to join us in an unjustified war, is changing their Facebook avatars in solidarity over the deaths of 140 people because they recognize them as being like us; they are our tribe. They aren't dusky, anonymous aliens.

Yeah, I AM a little bitter, because this principle extends far beyond sympathy; it is at the root of what allows us (the national "us") to ignore poverty and starvation on reservations, to ignore disease and civil rights violations in the impoverished black South, and to bomb schools and hospitals in dusky countries with different religions, because we can't really identify with those people anyway.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2015, 12:11:21 am »
Yeah. That's what's fucking with my head.

Do you mind if I borrow that and post it on FB with attribution? It really nails it.

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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2015, 12:52:11 am »
Yeah. That's what's fucking with my head.

Do you mind if I borrow that and post it on FB with attribution? It really nails it.

Go right ahead.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2015, 12:55:17 am »
Warning: written at 2am, in bed, on a tablet...
(calloused fingers + touch = hilarity)


It hits me hard because it's like a six hour drive away.

It hits me because here, in my little nook of Europe, many
people are trying to learn how to live together.
It hits me, because I feel that in many ways, things have been
improving. European society is changing, and in some ways, it
really looks like it'sbfor the better.

It makes me think of Giang. She's an almost 50 year old professor
of Law from Vietnam. She's in my fine city doing research on the
Belgian Labour Codex. I know her through work. She does dishes
in the restaurant i used to work at. We've had conversations spanning
many, many different topics, and I can honestly say I've learned quite
A bit from her. But you should see how she's changed in the four years
That I've known her! When she first got here, she didn't want to be here,
but her husband brought her daughter here, so, there you go. Now, she
has embraced everything that I love about what I (double capital I) consider
to be 'western culture'. The love of 'freedom', equality,the search for
knowledge, the aversion to dogma. I've seen her change many of the
values she was taught from birth on the basics of reason and ethics!
I feel fucking priviliged to have been a small part of this process. a
And then
to see my frikkin neighbours attacked, at least in part because we hold these values...
 (clarificaTion: I fully realize that the aforementioned values are merely
a part of a, for lack of better term, 'enlightened humanist' ethical system which
any selfrespecting biped with a functioning brain could arrive at, if said biped
removes its cranium from its rectum before venturing to ponder ethical quandaries)

Most of all, this shit pisses me off.
Recognizing bias is all well and good, but if fuckers are going to keep
pulling this shit in my backyard, anybody that tells me I'm being biased
for being ripshit pissed that someone wants to turn Paris into Bagdad
can go take a long walk off of a short pier for all I care.

Why should we judge eachother for how this shit makes us feel instead
of focusing the negative energy towards the more deserving, or, better yet,
piss em off some more by, idk, improving education, tolerance, and understanding?
You know, all that flowerchild shit...



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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2015, 01:04:49 am »
So, I've found myself unusually affected by these attacks, in a way I haven't felt before. 

And then it occured to me that it was basically because it happened in a Western country that I could be familiar with.  These things happen daily in countries I only see on CNN (even if it's in a kind, Anthony Bordain style), and many times it's my own country doing it.

So yay for me, recognizing my bias.  And boo for me, because of my bias.

Yeah

Basically the entire country, which 14 years ago condemned France for refusing to join us in an unjustified war, is changing their Facebook avatars in solidarity over the deaths of 140 people because they recognize them as being like us; they are our tribe. They aren't dusky, anonymous aliens.

Yeah, I AM a little bitter, because this principle extends far beyond sympathy; it is at the root of what allows us (the national "us") to ignore poverty and starvation on reservations, to ignore disease and civil rights violations in the impoverished black South, and to bomb schools and hospitals in dusky countries with different religions, because we can't really identify with those people anyway.

I've been to Paris.  It does in fact seem more real to me than similar attacks in Kenya, as I have never been to Kenya, and thus it remains an abstract idea of a place.


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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2015, 01:25:53 am »
So, I've found myself unusually affected by these attacks, in a way I haven't felt before. 

And then it occured to me that it was basically because it happened in a Western country that I could be familiar with.  These things happen daily in countries I only see on CNN (even if it's in a kind, Anthony Bordain style), and many times it's my own country doing it.

So yay for me, recognizing my bias.  And boo for me, because of my bias.

Yeah

Basically the entire country, which 14 years ago condemned France for refusing to join us in an unjustified war, is changing their Facebook avatars in solidarity over the deaths of 140 people because they recognize them as being like us; they are our tribe. They aren't dusky, anonymous aliens.

Yeah, I AM a little bitter, because this principle extends far beyond sympathy; it is at the root of what allows us (the national "us") to ignore poverty and starvation on reservations, to ignore disease and civil rights violations in the impoverished black South, and to bomb schools and hospitals in dusky countries with different religions, because we can't really identify with those people anyway.

I've been to Paris.  It does in fact seem more real to me than similar attacks in Kenya, as I have never been to Kenya, and thus it remains an abstract idea of a place.

Yeah, exactly.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2015, 03:16:02 am »
Two thoughts rattled through my brain but id need to really dig into Sharia to answer them.

Question: is God infallible?
ISIS: Of course.

Question: Is the prophet Muhammad, PBUH, infallible?
ISIS: Certainly.

Question: And the prophet was entirely a human, and not a manifestation of God in any fashion as is believed by Christians of prophet Issa(Jesus), PBUH?
ISIS: Any who believe otherwise are takfir(apostates, infidels) and must be put to death.

Question: Is the Caliph, Al-Baghdadi infallible?
ISIS: He is.

Question: Is it not apostasy to equate a man with God and assign attributes to the man that must only rightly belong to God?

ISIS:???.. this is where I need to do some digging. I'm seeking a cogent argument against ISIS's "traditionalist" version of Islam that may not take effect on those that have already drunk the ISIS Kool aid, but should provoke a strong argument in the Muslim mind against their legitimacy.

Forgot the other thought I'd had while writing that. Really need to fall over now.
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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2015, 06:24:25 am »
Have any politicians used this attack as an excuse to try and take away people's civil liberties yet?
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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2015, 11:29:24 am »
Not YET, but some of the more right wibg assholes want to
'close the borders' for the influx of refugees. As if that's even a viable
Option, even if it wasn't a terrible idea.
A few other people are realizing, on the other hand, that it is exactly
this kind of thing all those fplks are running from.
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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2015, 04:27:36 pm »
I'm barely educated with french politics but it would seem like this kind of event would set the stage for the national front party to gain some momentum with their conservative views on immigration and whatever else.  If someone knows more about the national front and how this might benefit them, i'd be curious to hear.

Cain

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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2015, 05:22:36 pm »
It absolutely would.

At the very least, it will force the Republicans (the centre-right party led by Sarkozy) to try and co-opt some of their rhetoric and support.

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Re: Paris attacks thread
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 10:21:08 pm »
http://inthesetimes.com/article/18605/breaking-the-taboos-in-the-wake-of-paris-attacks-the-left-must-embrace-its

Zizek delivering some 10/10 trolling.

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We encounter here the old problem: What happens to democracy when the majority is inclined to vote for racist and sexist laws? I am not afraid to conclude: Emancipatory politics should not be bound a priori by formal-democratic procedures of legitimization. No, people quite often do NOT know what they want, or do not want what they know, or they simply want the wrong thing. There is no simple shortcut here.