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Posts Tagged ‘france’

WE can’t fix Islamic terrorism…but I know who can

Posted by Euroranger on November 16, 2015

Here we are again…bodies of innocents in the street.  Entirely predictable too.

So, the world suffered yet another terrorist attack a couple of days ago in Paris.  Six separate but coordinated attacks conducted against targets like a soccer match, a concert hall, restaurants and cafes.  They killed 129 people (so far) and wounded over 350 others and the only common denominator amongst the victims was that they were citizens of a western democracy and they were out to have a good time.  In other words, they weren’t attending some anti-Muslim rally or reading a newspaper whose comic section poked fun at some subject militant Muslims get all shooty/stabby/explodey about.  There’s a fair chance, in fact, that some of the dead people were Muslims themselves.  The targeting was deliberate; the slaughter of victims indiscriminate.  As happens in the now wired, always in touch, constantly connected world we live in, when the first news reports started showing up minutes after the attacks started, I reacted in the same way that the vast majority of people did.  I said, “goddamned Muslims again”.  It happened back on 9/11 as well.  First reports of a jet liner hitting the World Trade Center made me think “Osama Bin Laden” but I wasn’t fully there yet.  But when the second one hit, it was cemented.  One plane could be a tragic accident but a second one was an attack and the first person most people immediately thought of was Bin Laden: the leader of the most well known Islamic terrorist organization in the world at the time.  If you were old enough to remember that attack, you’ll probably also be old enough to recall that a second possible perpetrator of that kind of horrific mass murder never even came to mind.  Fast forward to this past Friday and the same thing happened.  First thought to pop into my head: Muslims.  There literally wasn’t a second place runner up finalist and I suspect the vast majority of people reacted exactly the same way.

So, militant Islamic fundamentalist terror has struck yet again.  It’s happened so many times now that it literally defies an accurate accounting of incidents.  France immediately reacted by shutting down international transportation and closed her borders.  That’s how a nation state reacts when it starts to go on a war footing.  Because ISIS (those merry Muslim assholes who are slaughtering and terrorizing their way to a better and brighter Islamic tomorrow in what used to be Syria and Iraq) claimed responsibility for the attacks, France immediately counter punched the only way a nation state can: it launched a military attack against targets in the areas that ISIS controls.  However, we all know that this is merely symbolic and that this response, while absolutely necessary to sate the righteous desire of the French people for some kind of vengeful action, will do absolutely nothing to prevent more such attacks in the future.  NOTHING about this French response makes anyone anywhere actually think “well, we’ve seen the last of THAT kind of murderous madness”.  We all know it’s just a tit for tat response and an ineffective one at that…but it’s the only thing a nation can do…and it’s inadequate.  So today, if you turn on the TV, this issue is morphing from a news flash/current events kind of incident to a catalyst for a debate on “what to do about terrorism” and more properly, “what to do about Islamic terrorism”.  One of the most compelling questions I read (via Facebook) was someone asking (and I’m paraphrasing here) “what can we do about this kind of thing without destroying civil liberties”.  When I read that, it made me really think.  Just asking about the peril to civil liberties suggests why we have, so far, been unable to affect Islamic terrorism.  I think I understand the problem and I think I have an answer.

We (western democracies) can’t fix Islamic terrorism…but I know who can.

Whenever anyone starts to discuss Islamic fundamentalist terrorism the very first thing you’ll hear is how we can’t penalize all Muslims for the actions of a few.  According to the mighty Google, there are nearly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and anywhere from 15% to 25% of them would be classified as “radical” or “fundamentalist”.  That means there are as many as 400 million people on this planet who support the erasure of western civilization and culture (because that’s what we are to those people…we’re “infidels” or unbelievers and deserving of death and eradication).  That’s more people than the entire population of the United States and Canada combined so it’s a number worth recognizing as posing a serious and continual threat.  Furthermore, those 1.6B and 400M people aren’t confined to a tidy geographic area like a nation with borders.  They’re scattered throughout the world.  Yes, there are roughly 50 nations whose populations are predominantly Muslim but for the most part you can find Muslims and by extension radicalized, militant Muslims all over the world.  As of right now, the number of terrorists who conducted the actual attacks in Paris is EIGHT.  On 9/11, it was NINETEEN and Al Qaeda tried to send TWENTY SIX in total.  That’s it.  Eight attackers in Paris and nineteen on 9/11.  Think on this a moment: less than 30 people actively conducted attacks against the United States and France in those two incidents…and there are FOUR HUNDRED MILLION SUCH PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.  September 11 revealed gaping intelligence holes and since then, our government has gone on a rampage of establishing invasive and onerous intelligence programs designed to get wind of future such attacks so that we can pre-emptively act to thwart them.  Paris itself was attacked less than a year before by Islamic terrorists though and, presumably, France has similar efforts set up to monitor communications and try to identify and neuter such sinister efforts by would be terrorists.  Western governments share information they gather and France would have received such information had national intelligence organs in the UK, US, Germany and other western nations twigged to an upcoming attack.  The fact that France was caught totally unawares says that these terrorists met, plotted and coordinated in a way that was mindful of skirting the intelligence apparatuses of the western democracies.  There was no acquired intelligence that any government was capable of gathering that would have warned French authorities in time to prevent these attacks.  This leads to the conclusion:

Western governments and government in general is not the source for the solution to Islamic terrorism.

Pictured above: doing absolutely jack other than deluding themselves thinking they’re doing something about the problem.

Earlier I identified the civil liberties conundrum: a government cannot pass laws or regulations that target all Muslims in their populations without shredding civil liberties laws.  That said, that WOULD BE THE ONLY EFFECTIVE MEANS FOR A GOVERNMENT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.  It would look something like this: label Islam as a hate group (much like the KKK which has Christian underpinnings), overtly make clear that national intelligence and police organs are actively keeping an eye on Muslims (like the FBI does with white supremacist groups and members), emplace and enforce laws that allow greater police latitude in dealing with such groups and members (relaxing 14th Amendment restrictions against unlawful searches, for example) and so on.  The problem is that to do this, you pretty much have to shred the 1st Amendment’s prohibition about making any laws restricting the free exercise of religion.  This, of course, cannot be done.  So, if government can’t do the job, who can?  Well, think a moment: who stands to lose the most if Islamic terrorism goes unchecked?  Not western democracies because once fundamentalist Islam gets big enough to actually threaten the existence of nations, they get big enough to get dealt with militarily.  Not the suicide terrorists themselves.  They’ve already accepted death as their ultimate reward for their actions.

The real player who must act in their own self interest against fundamentalist Islam…is the rest of Islam itself.

The lack of electronic intelligence that preceded this attack means that the plotters likely met in person, probably many times, to scheme and plan their villainy.  Western intelligence organs already know this (especially the French) but for the rest of society: where can a bunch of Muslims meet, talk, go someplace secluded in our midst where they can exchange ideas for how best to slaughter their neighbors without fear of being detected or leaving a telltale electronic trail?  Their local mosque.  In fact, authorities have already identified a mosque in Belgium where, they say, most attendees were radical, fundamentalist Muslims.  This means that the would be terrorists do a fair amount of their organizing and plotting within the confines of their local mosque…in close proximity to other, non-radical Muslims.  Thinking about your own church (for those of you who go) we all know the “normal” folk and we all know who the quiet, distanced, or angry and strident members are.  We know who are new attendees and who are old familiar faces.  In other words, the rest of the attendees would have a fairly good idea who, in their midst, would be likely to be plotting mayhem and mass murder.  The real issue then is: what can government or society in general do to encourage moderate Muslims to police their own ranks and out these murdering bastards before they strike?  The answer would be: when society in general comes to regard ALL Muslims as criminals and terrorists and shuns them and excludes them accordingly.  In other words, when society begins to discriminate against all Muslims because of the actions of a few of their number.  And this WILL end up happening eventually.  Just because our leaders are so concerned with political correctness that they refuse to identify our foe doesn’t mean that individuals in society who do won’t eventually become the majority.  A Charlie Hebdo cartoonist draw a series of panels on Instagram this past Friday night (same night as the attacks) and he said in part in one panel “Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a mode of operation. Repeating ‘we are at war’ without finding the courage to name our enemies leads nowhere.”  This is a fundamental truth: we cannot begin to act against those who would deny us our freedoms and our lives if we can’t even collectively scrounge up the testicular fortitude to point at our victimizer.  What needs to be understood is this: there are still too many among us that are willing to trade insipid Tweets or Facebook posts or leave flowers or a teddy bear or a burning candle in a pile on the ground and think that such will do a single damn thing about the problem.  The time for “saying a prayer” or “standing with” the victims or our leaders “deploring” or being “shocked” and every other single inane and ultimately useless statement or gesture needs to come to an end.  Substituting grim and resolute action with inanities and symbolism only says to the terrorists, “you haven’t yet slaughtered enough of us for us to get around to dealing with you effectively”.  It’s us saying “the lives of the victims didn’t matter because we’re not outraged enough to effectively and seriously act”.  More people need to die for us as a collective society to actually act.

The solution, then, is to act individually.

It’s time to quit being cowed by those who would call a person a “racist” or an “Islamophobe” for deciding to shun or avoid the company of Muslims because they (the Muslims being shunned) refuse to collectively act to police their own community.  It’s time for the rest of us to effectively say “if you refuse to scour your community for these assholes and serve them up to our collective societal justice system, then you’re condoning their actions…agreeing with what they’re doing…and in so doing, you’ve decided to side with them against the rest of us”.  For myself, if someone sides against me, they’ve pretty much removed themselves from my social circle and I need have nothing to do with them.  I write this having friends who are Muslims and this troubles me for saying it.  But the point at which society will finally, collectively act will cost too much in the lives of past, and worse future, victims for me to wait.  If you’re Muslim and you’re reading this: I’m sorry.  So very sorry.  But Muslim voices ARE and have been silent on this.  You practically never hear about a terror plot being foiled by other Muslims coming out and reporting the would be killers of innocents.  You know who those people are in your community and your silence is their cloak of anonymity.  They actively use you and yours as shields to their activities…and you allow it.  This is a choice YOU need to make: side with our collective society and act to protect it…or side with them.  You are best positioned to do this.  It’s finally time you stepped up and took responsibility.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this post.


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Well, glad THAT’s over…

Posted by Euroranger on September 29, 2010

Smiling Bob

You know why Bob’s smiling? He just sent me around a brazillion emails for “natural male enhancement”. The fucker.

Just a quick post today.  Yes, I know I’ve been gone for a time but hey, it’s hectic being me.  Even nerds get busy at times.  Anyway, a blog is like a chore sometimes.  You log onto it, look at how many people have visited, delete all the penis pill spam comments (believe me…there are a LOT of people who are really concerned about your lack of an erection) and you silently berate yourself for not tending to it properly.  I’m still sitting here wondering how I created a new source of self-imposed guilt as I write this.  So, quick recap of what’s been going on recently:

  • planted a garden for the summer
  • promptly ignored garden
  • garden died (if you don’t count all the grass and weeds…yeah, THEY did fine)
  • bought an old Jeep from my folks (they bought a new one)
  • drove it and really enjoyed it
  • it died (well the starter died anyway)
  • had a notion to lose some weight
  • whilst trying to lose weight, I nearly died (actually just a gall stone…well, it seemed like dying at the time)
  • as a result, the lose weight notion died
  • wife’s uncle (who is my age) was diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma (for real)

This will be the serious portion of the blog for a moment.  You know how you can have an irrational hate for inanimate things?  You know, like if you go to toss something into the trash from across the room you will “miraculously” hit the rim of the trash can so that whatever it is bounces off the trash can, rolls across the floor and ends up under the direct center of the couch?  Hitting the rim of the can?  Yeah, if you meant to do that you couldn’t do it in a million years…but if you’re just trying to exert a little laziness by not getting up and walking over to the can you can bet your odds of making the shot go way down.  They go down approximately 1003% more if the object you’re tossing out is nasty/sticky/smelly/likely to rot.

Anyway, in that same vein, I hate cancer.  It’s an easy disease to hate because it doesn’t fight fair and it doesn’t pick on the people who court it every day.  My little sister got cancer when she was just 10 years old way back when.  No 10 year old has any of the habits that would increase one’s risk of contracting cancer…and yet she got it and it was awful.  She beat it way back when but it came back later when she was in her early 20’s and this time it killed her.  She was 25 years old, had just gotten married and wanted kids.  Pretty damned unfair and it effected a permanent change in the way I view some things in life ever since.  Now it comes to pass that my wife’s uncle has cancer in the worst way.  You know what?  He doesn’t smoke, work with chemicals or huff asbestos and only discovered it because his best friend died from massive liver failure (his friend DID have the bad habit of drinking anything and everything that contained alcohol however) which prompted him to go get a checkup.  Docs come back and tell him he might want to have a seat because they have some serious matters to discuss.  How fucking fair is that?  Guy loses his best friend, decides to think of his family and make sure he’s good to go…only to find out that, once again, the universe can play some pretty goddamned awful practical jokes.  You know what’s worse?  He’s married (he’s actually a year younger than I am) and has 2 kids and his youngest, his son, just finished treatment for cancer HE had.  So, in a nutshell, he lives with the nightmare of his child having cancer, manages to get through that only to have his best friend drink himself to death and then gets the delightful surprise that he’s got stage 4 cancer himself.  Stage 4, for those that don’t know, basically means it’s incurable.  It’s an eventual death sentence.  I can’t imagine how his family feels: they just dodged a bullet with their boy only to discover that it hit dad.

Remember how I said this blog was kind of cathartic for me?  Yeah, this is one of those times.  My wife grew up with her uncle as though they were brother and sister.  I know and can remember with pretty unwelcome clarity how badly this will end…and there’s really nothing I can do to prepare her, shield her or make it somehow less awful for her.  Her uncle, incidentally, was pretty much the only normal “sibling” in my wife’s family when we first started dating (some of her 4 brothers and sisters have since wised up) and he was the only one I felt comfortable around or had anything in common with at first.  So moral of the story: God apparently doesn’t hate just me…and his sense of humor really sucks.

France Sucks

Even the almighty Google knows: France sucks.

However, enough about death and morbid things.  Let me tell you about something interesting I ran across the other day.  Once upon a time, way back in the mists of antiquity (when I was in school) I learned how to speak, read and write German (amongst a couple of other languages).  You see, I was going to school in Canada and one of the high school graduation requirements was having X number of credits in a foreign language.  That sounds silly to Americans but the idea there was to make sure the English speaking kids had an impetus to learn French (the country’s other official language) so that when they visited Quebec, they could get the full Quebecois effect by understanding all the obnoxious things the people there were saying behind their backs.  Well, I was a misplaced redneck fresh from the hillbilly country of Greenbriar County, West Virginia…so there was no practical way, with my accent, that I could ever learn to speak French and not have it sound like I had suffered some French version of a debilitating brain injury.  You may wonder then how it is that German was any better.  Well, as I learned German and was introduced to German culture I made a remarkable discovery.  Just like in the United States, in the southern part of Germany (Bavaria they call it) the people there don’t sound like the folks in the northern part of Germany.  In fact, the difference in the way they speak is quite similar to the difference in the way rednecks and damnyankees speak.  In addition to this, the southern Germans (just like rednecks here) have elevated the consumption of beer to a cultural touchstone.  Well, I couldn’t think of a language and culture better suited to my existent circumstances (southern drawling accent and a plan to thoroughly acquaint myself with beer when I grew older)…that and the Germans kick ass whereas the French are fucking pansies.  That part didn’t hurt either.

So, what does my speaking German have to do with my interesting discovery?  I was examining an online German magazine, Der Bild Am Deutschland (The Window on Germany…hey, it makes sense to them), when I ran across the following story headline: “Nach 92 Jahren – Am Sonntag endet für Deutschland der 1. Weltkrieg” (After 92 Years – On Sunday the First World War ends for Germany).  Now, being the astute student of history that I am, I was fairly certain that the First World War ended in 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.  In fact, that was only partially true.  As it turns out, the story of how the treaty came to be, how it turned into a document that hung the fault for the entire war on Germany (even though it was Austria-Hungary and Serbia who started it) and how the French in particular wanted to cripple Germany so badly that their insistence on such a harsh peace is what eventually led to the Second World War is quite an interesting story unto itself.  However, one of the details of the treaty (which Germany was forced to sign despite not having been defeated on the battlefield) was a demand for reparations (cash payments) to the victors.  The initial amount of the reparations Germany (and only Germany) was forced to pay was 226 billion Reichsmarks.  To give you some perspective, the German GDP in 1919 (when the treaty was signed) was just 156 billion Reichsmarks.  The debt was later reduced to 132 billion Reichsmarks but by then inflation had crippled the German currency (such that by 1924, just five years later, it took 4.3 billion Reichsmarks to equal 1 US dollar).  In other words, it was a bill Germany would never be able to pay…and by 1922 they started defaulting on their payments.  The French, in response, occupied the Ruhr valley where most of Germany’s heavy industry lay which meant that Germany couldn’t earn the money to pay the Allies and the situation spiraled out of control from there.  A series of German governments formed and fell, the socialists and communists moved into the void and Adolf Hitler and a nascent Nazi party made their first attempt to overthrow the government in late 1923.  The rise of the Nazi party, the Holocaust, the Cold War…all traceable back to the crippling reparations payments the Germans were forced to make at mostly French insistence.

Germans heading West

Germans heading west in 1916. Their mission: defeat France, locate the women and improve the French gene pool for the good of all mankind.

Anyway, what happens this Sunday you might ask?  Well, as it turns out, Germany will make the last of those reparations payments for World War One.  Didn’t know they were still doing that…what with all the World War 2 stuff and all?  Yeah, me neither but they’re about to pay the equivalent of around $94 million to the private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding the last reparations bonds that were set up in 1919…and with that, the Germans’ obligations under the Treaty of Versailles will be fulfilled and the war will technically be, finally officially be, over.  Imagine that: WW1, 1914-2010.  92 years indeed.  It’s just one of those odd historical footnotes to events that nobody ever hears about and which 99.99% of the population will never even know.  Except me…and now you.

So, even though no American news source picked up on that, this Sunday Germany will officially perform the last official act of WW1 and pay off the debt the French insisted upon that ended up paving the way for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis to get elected in Germany, rebuild their war machine, conquer all of Europe, murder 6 million Jews, cause the deaths of anywhere from 50 million to 70 million people worldwide, require the invention of the atomic bomb, lead the way to the formation of the U.N. which, in turn actually appointed someone this past week to be space ambassador for extraterrestrial contact affairs.  I shit you not: the U.N. is about to appoint an “alien ambassador”.

Like I did back then and why it’s still patently obvious today, France and French things just need to be avoided at all costs.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »