42 thoughts on “Death in Paris – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “If we want the Middle East to stop producing terrorists, we must offer hope and change to those most disaffected.”

    Some people just like to watch things burn, and no offer of hope is going to change them.

    1. @ Hopper:

      Some people just like to watch things burn, and no offer of hope is going to change them.

      I know a few of them. THey burn churches, mosques and little babies in the beds. They’re called Israeli settlers!

      1. Making invidious comparison between ISIS and Jewish settlers is a diversion.
        The question, which you haven’t addressed, is whether ISIS or Al Queda can be brought to negotiate with offers of ‘hope an change’.

        If they will negotiate, what are their demands, and what should be offer them?

  2. “We must do everything we did not do during the Arab Spring.”

    Secretary Kerry just said Tunisia’s democracy was “a shining example to those who claim that democracy is not possible in this part of the world.”

    Now, four years after revolt toppled autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has completed its transition to democracy with free elections, a new constitution and compromise politics between secular and Islamist parties.
    Yet security forces in Tunisia are still battling militants, including Ansar al Sharia, who recently slaughtered dozens of tourists in Tunisia, and just the other day, beheaded a rural shepherd boy and sent his head back to his family in a bag.

    So. What more are ‘we’ to do now?

    1. @ Hopper: Decades after the American Revolution we had the Shays Rebellion in which George Washington had to kill Pennsylvanians who revolted against federal authority. In Israel, Ben Gurion commanded that Begin’s forces be routed in the Altalena. Of course, there are growing pains when nations are founded. Is that a reason to assume they will ultimately fail? Or that they must never have problems or violence in the process of establishing themselves?

      Only disingenuous fools like you make such arguments.

      1. Shay’s Rebellion, and the Whiskey Rebellion were minor insurrections carried out by men with legitimate political grievances. These American ‘rebels’ were neither nihilists nor terrorists, and they certainly didn’t bomb, slaughter, enslave or decapitate innocent civilians. In fact, I don’t think hurt anybody.

        Your comparison comes up short.

  3. In my view, any list of massive terrorist attacks in the middle east (or anywhere else — Paris 2015 and New York 2001 come to mind) should begin with the USA’s attack on Iraq and the USA’s cleanup of Faluja and shoukld include Israel’s attacks on Gaza and south lebanon. I know, I know, American official-megaphone media call USA’s and Israel’s efforts “war” and call the other folks’ efforts “terror”. But the knowing and deliberate killing of large numbers of civilians, and the purpose for doing so, seem to me — am I wrong ? — the same.

    1. Absolutely right, pabelmont. The major paper Le Parisien headline “Cette fois c’est la guerre” (This time it’s war) expresses the opinion of the political leadership here in France, but of course as Olivier Berruyer (http://www.les-crises.fr/la-france-est-en-guerre-ben-oui-depuis-longtemps-cretin) points out this war started years ago with French bombings in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and Syria and hasn’t let up since.

      Perhaps the fact that President Hollande early this week renewed bombing in Syria and also sent France’s aircraft carrier to the Middle East to make easier the escalation helped motivate the Paris attacks. It is no secret that Hollande has wanted for years to overthrow the current Syrian government (he conspired to send arms to Syrian rebels in 2012 in violation of a EU embargo as he stated to the author Xavier Panon (http://www.editionsarchipel.com/livre/dans-les-coulisses-de-la-diplomatie-francaise).

      All this helps to make it clear why France is a target for retaliation, and not Denmark, Germany or Italy for example. Too bad that innocent people are the victims of the disgusting attack in Paris last night, but the responsibility for their deaths is shared by western leaders. Let us mourn these victims, aslo mourn those of Beirut earlier this week, those of the attack on the Russian plane last week, and those of the actions that pabelmont mentions here.

      1. “All this helps to make it clear why France is a target for retaliation, ”

        But for the military interventions by France and the United States, ISIS would probably have already rolled through Syria into Lebanon, and minorities, like the Alawites, would be sold in slave bazaars in Damascus.

        Vive la France! Vive la liberte!

        1. En tant que citoyen de France, permettez-moi d’ajouter :

          Vive tous les peuples de la Syrie, quelle que soient leurs confessions.

        2. You mean “Liberte” for the few, not for all.
          ISIS would not even have been born had it not been for the US- paid and supported Saudi intolerance impregnated tino the minds of Afghans and Pakistanis (Taliban), which gave birth to Al-Qaeda…which led to ISIS.

          Now, the West that has bene responsible fo almost all the oppression, dictatorships, tyrannies and intolerant thinking, would like to destroy what they created, with the largest hammer they can find. I believe a better choice woyuld be for the West to draw together and support POEPLE (“Liberte!” remember?) and means for them to eat, find peace, shelter, education and jobs

          THAT, will destroy ISIS, Al-Q et al but that is a long-term (although lasting) solution and the West does not like long, drawn-out solutions.
          So we are destined to be in this “War!” that nobody wants…on any “side”.

        3. But for the military intervention of the U.S. 5,000 American youth would be alive. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans & Iraqi victims of war & occupation would still be alive. Western colonial intervention in the Middle East (and its proxies like Israel) are pernicious and noxious.

          1. @Hopper: Who made Saddam? WHo supported him in his insane war against Iran? Don Rumsfeld & Dick Cheney, my man. Just like your pal, Gen. Sharon dipped his hands in Lebanese blood in Sabra & Shatilla helping his proxies massacre 3,000 women & children.

            ONce again, my man, you’ve violated the comment rules by going off-topic. I have a certain limited amount of patience, but this is yr 3rd warning in the past week. You are on notice. I do hear the jet engines revving for your departure from Ben Gurion on Hasbara Airlines…

      2. Salut l’ami !
        I guess you’re the James Whitney that sometimes comment on Rue89.
        The terrorists at Bataclan clearly stated that this was a response to the bombings of Syria and Iraq (their positions of course).
        It seems the terrorist State of Israel is proposing its help to fight terrorism in France, isn’t that ironic ? And Manuel-I-am-eternally-linked-to-Israel-Valls is probably eager to accept.
        Sigh ….

        1. Salut Deïr Yassin !

          You are correct, except that since Rue89 has more or less been captured by NouvelObs (although I respect some of its contributers), I comment now more on Olivier Berruyer’s http://www.les-crises.fr/, although not often, and also read Le Yeti and Jacques Sepir.

          I see you understand how things work in Europe and the Middle East.


    2. Pabelmont. One must actually go back much longer namely to the betrayal of Arab leaders by Wilson, Clemenceau, and Lloyd George at the Paris “Future-Wars” Conference of 1919 followed by the ruthless exploitation and suppression of the Mandates by France and Great Britain.

  4. We have covered this before, the lunacy of Charlie Hebdo.

    Je Suis Charlie … Non!

    The cartoon appears on the magazine’s back page and shows parts of a plane and a passenger falling from the sky onto a bearded, armed militant. The commentary reads: “Islamic State: Russian aviation intensifies its bombardments.”

    “The Charlie Hebdo journalists danced on the memory of people who died in that terrible air crash. These caricatures will deliver a hard blow at the image of France and Europe where such things are possible,” said Vyacheslav Nikonov.

    Tass news agency:

    “The magazine’s actions are designed to foster terrorism which is shameful and insulting for France,” Irina Yarovaya, the deputy head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Security and Counteraction to Terrorism, said.

    “The caricatures fall short of human ethics,” Boris Reznik, secretary of the Russian Journalists’ Union, said.

    Russians outraged after Charlie Hebdo cartoons ‘ridicule’ Sinai plane crash | RT |

    1. Yes, these two cartoons are disgusting (The first one with Air Cocaïne refers to a scandal involving Sarkozy),
      I wonder if Charlie Hebdo is going to mock the Parisian mass killing in the same way, and how the French public and politicians are going to react if they publish something as disgusting as this.
      They clearly have lost all talent (Charb was very talented, best of his generation), and only have pure provocation left to gain attention.

        1. @ Richard
          I also answered it yesteday 🙂 as soon as I woke up (in the afternoon after a sleepless night) Thank you so much again.
          Yes, I live only two stops on the metro from two places where nearly 20 people were killed, among them many young Muslims (just to point out that the lunatics from Daesh make no distinction between Muslims and none-Muslims but want to annihilate everyone who doesn’t rally their f***** ideology).

  5. This fellow Hopper seems to be so deeply invested in “defending” Israel, that he appears to want to spread as much hate and fear against Mulsims as he can; he is the reflection of the people who wish to spread as much hate and fear against Jews as they can. Together these two forces of evil WILL destroy the world…with a little help from their like-minded Christians.

    1. I don’t know ….. Davide Martello, a German pianist, also played on Place de la Republique after the Charlie attack, and in Taksim, Maydan etc, it’s not that ‘spontaneous’. He used to be working with the German army, he was in Kunduz, Afghanistan, it seems that’s where he became a pacifist.
      (I really prefer Ayham Ahmad, the Palestinian-Syrian pianist from Yarmouk who played for years there defying the siege, al-Nusra and ISIS, he’s in Germany now after ISIS burnt his piano, see him playing in front of Bataclan would have been so much stronger)

  6. ” If we want the Middle East to stop producing terrorists, we must offer hope and change to those most disaffected. ”

    Is it up to us (the West) to offer people of the Middle East “hope and change”? Whose responsibility is that?

    We are often fed the idea that the messed up Middle Eastern countries are the way they are, because of Western intervention, past wrongs, occupations, colonialism etc. For how long will that be an excuse? While I agree that Iraq was a US screw-up, is the whole Arab Spring-Winter the fault of the West? Arab societies have many ills that they themselves will have to overcome, including tribalism, discrimination of women, etc.

    This is where I fault left-liberals with a cognitive error. You apply the sociological/societal model of crime, disaffected youth and gangs, in which Obama-style community organizing is the proposed solution. Fix the root causes of social decay at a community level, and people will stop doing bad things.

    However you feel about that approach locally, it certainly does not work in the international sphere, where civilization and cultures are so vastly different, and national interests diverge. How is the West’s job to “fix” what is wrong in the Middle East?? Is it our job to stop extremism, sectarianism and discrimination? What “hope” are you talking about? Do you even know what Arabs in the Middle East really want??? What about Russia’s slide towards ultra-nationalism? Can and should the west fix that?

    1. @Yehudah: Yes indeed it is. Western colonialism has generously offered the ME massive doses of mass murder, war, and racism for nearly 2 centuries. I include Israel as a generator of mass mayhem in the region as well.

      1. If you start with extreme left anti-Western assumptions. ie that the Western powers are responsible for most of the world’s ills, and it is within the power of the west to fix them, then you arrive at very different conclusions than the mainstream. The weak are always the victims, and the strong are always at fault.
        This is of course very different than my opinion.
        My educated guess is that many of your commentors here, although they find common ground with you regarding criticism of Israel, probably don’t share other liberal attitudes such as religious freedom, democracy, tolerance of minorities, etc.

        1. Yehuda, when you go wrong, you don’t do it by half-measures, do you?
          If you are suggesting we don’t respect values such as religious freedom, tokerance of minorities or “Democracy” (whatever that means!), that is quite a presumption on your part and it would be wrong. If you would like us to believe Israel has those values, you will have to drug us first because no rational mind can possibly see those values being practised in Israel.
          As for the ills of the post-colonial world. The Empires left tyrants and dictators behind so the empires could still maintain control by controlling the one person and it is a most successful model. The US entered the business of setting up Empire in the M-E after having done so elsewhere, and it propped up the most vile oppressors it could find, from Israel to the rest of the M-E. Among the the “Values” these oppressors have in common, is to not provide proper education, not provide avenues for free expression, not provide job opportunities for the oppressed and to line their own pockets (banks in the West). Then of course, when the oppressed populations explode in violence, these tyrants and dictators (including Nethanyahu) sanctimoniously blame them for being “terrorists” and people who have something to gain by the oppressions…people such as yourself…echo the proclamations.

          There is not a living person who does not wish to have his/her voice be considered in the governance of their lives. There is not a person alive, who does not wish for a genuine, Just, peace so they and their children can thrive in harmony with their neighbors.

          1. Jafar I don’t know you personally so I cannot say what your values are, I can only guess based on your comments.
            Maybe in the imaginary la la land of this blog, Muslim nations like Turkey and Iran, who are not ruled by American installed “oppressors” , are shining examples of freedom and tolerance. Or perhaps Lebanon, a pristine example of good governance? During the Ottoman Empire, before the Brits, were the people of the region free, happy and prosperous? Perhaps young and educated middle easterners would like to immigrate to Hamas ruled Gaza, another outstanding example of democracy, good governance, freedom of expression and religious tolerance.
            Sorry, your narrative of oppression rings as hollow as a church bell, I don’t read anybody here on this blog calling for BDS against Iran, Turkey or Saudi Arabia because of their treatment of women or ethnic minorities. which then leaves me wondering about the reasons for the pathological obsession with Israel’s flaws.

            As for Israel, let’s play a multiple choice question.
            In the event that the Israeli army evacuates the West Bank, the time that it will take for ISIS , Hamas or Islamic Jihad to take over is approximately (a) 1 year; b) 1 month; (c) 1 week; or (d) 1 day.
            Since Israel will obviously not allow that to happen (it would be national suicide), the Palestinians should not expect an independent state in the west bank any time in the near future. Although this is not an ideal situation, it is reality. The sooner they (and their supporters) accept that, the sooner peace will come, when they will be ready to actually compromise– and get some kind of broad autonomy or confederacy with Jordan.

          2. Lebanon, a pristine example of good governance?

            Actually, I would say that Lebanon, Turkey and Iran are democracies as flawed as Israel’s own “democracy.” As for good governance, if you think Israel’s political system is an example of this then you are an inhabitant of an alternate universe.

            During the Ottoman Empire, before the Brits, were the people of the region free, happy and prosperous?

            Oy! Now you’re an expert on the Ottoman Empire?? Actually, the Ottomans were until the last few decades of their centuries-long rule, quite liberal and enlightened. And the Empire was quite prosperous.

            I’m beginning to detect a narrative here. A little Islamophobia with some Arabophobia sprinkled in for good measure.

            I don’t read anybody here on this blog calling for BDS against Iran, Turkey

            Hasbara diversionary tactic 101! Nice try. This is far off topic. This is my second warning. Once you get to three off topic comments you’re in danger of moderation.

            In the event that the Israeli army evacuates the West Bank, the time that it will take for ISIS , Hamas or Islamic Jihad to take over is approximately (a) 1 year; b) 1 month; (c) 1 week; or (d) 1 day.

            Thank you for revealing to us your true lunacy!

            Israel will obviously not allow that to happen (it would be national suicide),

            Israel doesn’t need ISIS to commit national suicide, it’s already doing an excellent job of it by itself.

            The sooner they (and their supporters) accept that,

            The sooner Israelis accept that they will destroy themselves if they don’t compromise with the Palestinians, the sooner peace will come.

            Now I know that you are a lunatic settlerist. Your stay among us I project to be quite short. ANyone wanna put down bets how long: 1 year, 1 month, 1 week, 1 day?

  7. A fundamental component of the 19th century socialist movement was solidarity of the oppressed and exploited around the world. That component was injured in/by WW1 and was subsequently killed by fascism. The killing has always been based on racial and/or religious differences which are cleverly exploited by the powerful. That, I take, is what Richard Silverstein has in mind when he considers any solutions in the Middle East.

  8. “Finally, there is a terribly irony that no western journalist will point out: yesterday, ISIS planted two bombs in a Beirut neighborhood that is a Hezbollah stronghold. 43 Lebanese died. Neither is this the first or second or even third such explosion orchestrated by ISIS against Lebanese. Will anyone in the west weep as much for these dead Arab victims as they are justly weeping for the dead Parisians? Whose dead are worth more? Or are Arab dead worth anything??”

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