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Charlie's Books
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris …


Paris … it’s a horror story that has become all too familiar. An Islamic terrorist groups seek to inflict damage on innocents who reside in a country that provides military assistance to the war against Islamic Fundamentalism. Most of the world is shocked at what happened in Paris. Many here cry out for vengeance, pointing to the inevitability of a Muslim vs. Christian way of life coming to malls and theatres and stadiums near us ... and another ginning up for war has already begun. Presidential candidates use the news of the day to put more fear into a population anxious to do something about ISIS, et al. Many overanxious for war Americans react like a mob and want swift justice, suddenly forgetting all the insults they’ve hurled at the French; many forget calling them “cowards” at every opportunity for their failure to stop the Nazi invasion of France in WWII. The war drums are beating mightily today in the United States. The risk of a similar attack here and to every country with military in the Middle East is great, and it is no doubt enhanced by the success of the attack in Paris yesterday (success being defined by the number of innocents killed and the fear it has garnered).
Make no mistake, the Paris attacks are despicable acts of cowardice. Killing innocents so blatantly, without regard for anything other than their citizenship and/or where foreigners/other innocents were at the time of the attacks, is horrific. They killed them because they could. It’s is always so damn easy to take people unawares.
Now, imagine yourself an Arab living in the Middle East. You’re someone trying to raise a family in poverty. You have no regard for Sharia Law or a Caliphate or anything else. You’re just trying to survive. You’re trying to keep your two or three kids from starving to death. You’re trying to avoid the psycho band of religious fanatics ruining a religion you may or may not follow. You may or may not have faith yourself, but your immediate concerns have more to do with survival than what some prophet may or may not have said. And one day there’s a sound in the sky just a few seconds before your entire family is wiped out from an air strike. Everything you’ve lived for, like some of the people in Paris yesterday, is gone, just like that.
But you had a brother and sister, and they had kids, and when they learned that a United States or French or United Kingdom or now Russian bomb dropped from a drone or a fighter jet killed your brother and his family, they maybe start to think (especially the kids) that what the psycho religions preach (us against them), may have some merit. And new recruits who may one day visit Paris or London or New York or Moscow with bombs strapped to their chests or handguns hidden in their backpacks become the reality.
The moral to this story is try not to forget that what happened in Paris yesterday has been happening in the Middle East for a very long time. Foreign countries dropping bombs on innocent Muslims, no matter how well-intentioned those bombs may have been to kill bad guys and to minimize collateral damage, they have killed far more innocents, and those innocents killed remains the greatest recruiting tool this particular psycho religions has.
And today from fear and justifiable rage, we can’t wait to do more of it, except we need to think about what it will accomplish in the long run.
As horrible as what happened in Paris yesterday is, and it is extremely horrible, it isn’t hard to see (if one bothers to look) how the chickens are coming home to roost yet again. What is baffling to me is how the yahoos looking to go to war again today can refuse to see the other side of this conflict. I’m not talking about killing ISIS. I look forward to the day those religious psychopaths are gone, but I am talking about the innocents (just like those in Paris last night) who are killed regularly; how more Iraqi civilians were killed during our invasion there than were Iraqi soldiers: Counts of deaths reported in newspapers collated by projects like the Iraq Body Count project found 174,000 Iraqis reported killed between 2003 and 2013, with between 112,000-123,000 of those killed being civilian noncombatants.
And then there’s this statistic, something our government and media seem reluctant to deal with … not to mention all the flag waving super patriots rooting our volunteer army on to more war, because for many of the flag waivers, for all their American exceptionalism blather, they have ZERO skin in the game (i.e., their kids won’t be the ones going to war) … they all seem to ignore the picture and the stats show on it below.
This is not an attempt to minimize the horror and tragedy in Paris yesterday. Those poor Parisians and tourists, etc., suffered a horrific tragedy yesterday. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time, and we all fear and know that it won’t be the last time. Nor is this post a defense of what/why it happened. I have zero use for any religion, whether it is used as an excuse to kill or not. This is a wake-up post to anyone who would read this and accuse me of anti-Americanism. It is an attempt for people to see the bigger picture in these terrorist attacks and to think about what is going on in the Middle East; why so many there have turned their fear of the U.S. (and all the other foreign nations with militaries dropping bombs on the innocents there) into a hatred for them. Make NO mistake, to the innocents in the Middle East being killed regularly, the survivors view us along with all the other countries dropping bombs on them as the terrorists ... and can you really blame them?
And for those crying for us to “wipe them out already” … “kill them all” … “nuke them back to the stone age they came from,” etc., just remember that when we nuke them there, there’s a great likelihood nukes will be fired back at us in return … and when those chickens come home to roost … well, remember to duck your heads under your desks.
And there’s this inconvenient truth … please pay attention.