Friday, January 09, 2015


As you would suspect, the usual people are saying the usual things. I can't be bothered to dignify their ordure with links. There are the covert sympathisers, such as Galloway. Then there are the 'murder can never be defended, but ...' apologists, Richard Seymour is one of the worst examples - part of a far left that is slowly vanishing up its own orifice rather than face up to the fact that they have made a colossal error in allying with Islamists. The far right blame immigration - Nigel Farage being spectacularly insensitive. And, of course, there is the anguished reasonableness of the reasonable anguished, desperately seeking a therapists couch to confess their sins and accept the blame. But this time round, they seem to be in the minority. There are more and more pieces that get it right. I will just quote one, from the New Yorker. George Packer's eloquence nails it.
The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in the Middle East, or the American invasion of Iraq before that. They’re not part of some general wave of nihilistic violence in the economically depressed, socially atomized, morally hollow West—the Paris version of Newtown or Oslo. Least of all should they be “understood” as reactions to disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists. 
They are only the latest blows delivered by an ideology that has sought to achieve power through terror for decades. It’s the same ideology that sent Salman Rushdie into hiding for a decade under a death sentence for writing a novel, then killed his Japanese translator and tried to kill his Italian translator and Norwegian publisher. The ideology that murdered three thousand people in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. The one that butchered Theo van Gogh in the streets of Amsterdam, in 2004, for making a film. The one that has brought mass rape and slaughter to the cities and deserts of Syria and Iraq. That massacred a hundred and thirty-two children and thirteen adults in a school in Peshawar last month. That regularly kills so many Nigerians, especially young ones, that hardly anyone pays attention.
 Maybe, just maybe, we have reached a tipping point. 

1 comment:

Anton Deque said...

Thanks for the quote Peter. There was young chap from the RUSI on Al Jazeera (!) that also nailed the 'marginalised youth' argument that others have pushed out. I thick the relative failure (as compared to amateurs and more far flung contributions online) of the 'left' British cartoonists has been, well, illustrative.