Monday, November 16, 2015

Paris Attacks: Solidarity Against Barbarism

Friday November 13th was a busy night in the City of Lights.  Paris was hosting a friendly soccer match between the French and the German national teams in which French President Francois Hollande attended at the Stade de France. Former American Vice President Al Gore was conducting a "Live Earth" a marathon 24 hour webcast concert to raise consciences about Climate Change at the foot of the Eiffel Tower featuring luminaries like Duran Duran.  The Eagles of Death Metal, a southern California rock band was playing the storied Bataclan music hall. And the bars and cafes in the 11th arrondissement were packed with revelers.

But Paris was rocked with a half dozen coordinated bombings and shootings.  A terrorist tried to come late to the soccer match in Saint Denny but was turned away by security, hence he blew himself up outside of the Stade de France.  Several minutes later, his comrades in arms exploded their suicide vests nearby.  This was a probable assassination attempt against President Hollande with the intent to kill more from the potential of 80,000 spectators.

Five minutes after the bombings at the soccer match, gunmen with submachine guns began shooting people in the sidewalk cafes and bars in the 10th and 11th  arrondissements.  

But where the most carnage occurred was at the Bataclan Music Hall in which several terrorists took hundreds hostage, killing at least 80 with many more critically injured. These barbarians deliberately shot spectators in wheel chairs one by one.  If there was any doubt as to the motivation of these savages, they shouted Allahu Akbar( ("God is Great" the war chant of jihadists)  and "Free Syria" as they reloaded and continued their atrocities.

The world sought to show solidarity through gatherings of remembrance and sympathetic light displays. Yet some protested these humanistic expressions as the same consciousness does not occur when lives are lost by Palestinians or in Africa.  Black Lives Matter activists reached out to social media to proclaim "F#ck Pray for Paris".  And after some progressive politicians like socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made pro forma expressions of sympathy, they still maintain that Climate Change is more of a threat to the world today than radical Islamist terrorism. 

Hence it is ironic to consider the irony that Duran Duran kicked off the "24 Hours of Reality" with "What Are the Chances?" to pressure the Climate Change Summit which is scheduled to be held in Paris at the beginning of December.  The ponderous lyrics muse about our place in the world.  Yet idealists perseverate on the theory of anthropogenic global warming over a 100 years yet ignore the danger which is right down the boulevard. 

So, what are the chances Of seeing an uptick of violence from forces creating chaos and tyranny? ~Quite likely.  But what of solidarity against barbarism? The foundation exists amongst those who love liberty and the value of individuals. Alas, it is unknown how those noble sentiments will hold up during the Storm.

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